Springfield M1 Garand 7.62x51 mm NATO, $1348
The Garand from Springfield had a new investment-cast receiver, new barrel, and a new black-walnut stock. Per the Springfield website (www.springfieldarmory.com), the rest of the parts were U.S. GI mil-spec units. All the metal was freshly Parkerized. The cast action showed more green color than the remainder.
Springfield Garands are available in .30-06 or .308 Winchester, the .308 version being slightly more expensive at $1378. A decent Garand manual is available as a download from the company website.
The walnut of this rifle was quite plain, though obviously stout and fully serviceable. The grain was well oriented for strength, but the wood finish looked slightly dingy, we thought. But in fairness, that is how most Garands look. The fit and finish were all well done, except that the forward hand guard was a bit loose. We had no qualms about Springfields investment-cast action because we know the company has an extensive history with its fine M1A, which utilizes a similar cast-steel receiver, as do all Ruger rifles.
One item we noted was the milled trigger guard, which featured a hole for a cartridge. That made takedown a bit easier for some of us, though we noted there was less finger room within the milled trigger guard than in the more-common stamped one. This rifle was on loan from an active shooter. We noticed a slight mar on the front of the floorplate, but the wood near it was not marred, so we doubt the blemish was there when the rifle was new.
The trigger pull was not quite as good as the Fultons, but was not bad, with a final break at 5.5 pounds with barely perceptible creep. On the range, the rifle proved to be completely reliable, and accurate enough to suit us just fine. In fact, with our limited shooting, it averaged the best with the Korean ammunition, just under 2.4 inches. There were no problems with the rifle whatsoever.
The Springfield had a milled trigger guard, which had a hole for a cartridge to help take down the rifle. There was a bit less room in it, but it looked somewhat better than the more common stamped guards.