Hi, all. Have a question for the forum mind please. Been getting back into the Garand’s lately, and thinking of matching manufacturer parts. Just found out that there was a difference in early bolts vs later bolts, the later bolts were longer to avoid excessive headspace? Early bolts were a no step, later ones were a step bolt. Have a 1944 garand, and if I wanted to replace the bolt, does it make a difference which type bolt I opted for as long as I made sure the headspace was correct? Just curious. Thanks!
Functionally they should all interchange but as you observe, headspace still needs to be checked. Some bolt dash numbers do seem to be longer (or shorter) and there are charts online you can find with opinions on that. After decades of service wear bolts of the same dash number can headspace differently. Even NOS bolts do not all headspace the same. Are you looking to change your bolt to the same manufacturer as your receiver or are you also looking for the correct dash number and heat lot for your S/N?
As long as it headspaces I believe you are good to go. I have had really no issues with any bolts being older/newer.
Where is the “step” on the bolt you are talking about to make sure we are on the same page?
Thanks, M1Garandy. Not that up on all the details for perfection, was originally just wanting to find the same manufacturer as the receiver. Know it was made in May, 1944, wasn’t sure how to find that same year and make on a bolt. Would be happy just to have the same manufacturer at the moment. Especially since so many of them have gone thru Arsenal’s so harder to get all matching parts as originally built. Things break, wear out. Etc.
357fuzz, as to the step, I don’t know. Supposed to be on the lug for the op rod, but I have not seen one side by side to be able to distinguish them. Only reason I ask about it cause I read there was a difference and wondered which would be closer to my actual year of my garand if I decided to replace the bolt. Just trying to learn and decide.
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Later WW2 and post-WW2 production bolts had a slight lip/step in the op rod lug area, while pre-WW2 and some early war bolts did not.
Springfield added the "step" in ~1940. Winchester added it in ~1944.
The step does not affect function or safety. If you're trying to assemble a "correct" rifle, and a certain manufacturer and lot number of stepless bolt is correct for that rifle, go with it. If you're planning to shoot it, have your gunsmith check headspace first.
Early SA (no step):
Late WRA (step):
Thank you! RogueJSK, that’s exactly what I needed to see! I saw the difference in your pics!
Will have to go check which one I have currently on the rifle now as well just to satisfy my curiosity.
That looks like a nice wra bolt too. Good condition on the other bolts too. Thanks for letting me know they didn’t really make a difference in function.
If you're trying to maintain the collectible value of your Garand, replace parts with the same parts as what is there.
If you try to make it "all correct," this didn't actually happen regularly, due to how these and many other weapons were assembled.
If you have no intention of selling it, do what you like, but if you do intend to sell it, you would not be honest if you listed it as "all correct" or as wholly the mfger on the heel.
Does the bolt need to be replaced?
Honestly, doing this just so you can "match parts" can be a strong urge, but is not correct, especially if your garand is wartime.
Again, if you never sell it, it hardly matters, but if you do, you could at worst deceive and at best confuse future buyers.
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Hi, arc. Not intending to sell it, gonna be a treasured shooter. Just would like to get as much of the same make of parts as possible before for myself.
Just thought it would be cool to have it mostly the same make internally. Right now it’s got an IHC bolt. It runs just fine, as is.
Edited to add:
I just got it actually, took it out first time yesterday, ran great, like I said, not intending to sell, this ones MINE, lol.
That is what I figured you were talking about. Wanted to be sure. I will check my Garand books for you to see the correct drawing number for 05/44.
357fuzz, thank you! And thanks to everybody, this place is a wealth of info.
Sorry it took so long to get back to you.
Anyway, your bolt for a May ‘44 should be marked with drawing number “D28287-12SA” there should be a hole in the underside of the bolt and an “SA” stamped after it’s revision number.
Hope this helps you.
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the step on the bolt will not affect headspace in any way,
the step is on the top of the lug, headspace will be affected if there was a change in the length of the lug, not the thickness, it does not lock in the receiver where the step is, and the op rod clearance does not affect headspace
it would be wise to check headspace (field gauge would do ) if you ever change a Garand bolt
Thank you, 357fuzz, and Lyman! Appreciate the info, have been reading up on the history for wartime Garands, and finding it very interesting. Have had some garands before, but never paid attention to what year, or manufacture. Got back into them about a year ago, and fell for them all over again. This time, am paying attention and trying to learn more. It’s a sweet shooter. Got lucky finding this one, it’s in great shape, no pitting at all.
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