Frankengarand end view, showing muzzle brake

So, after too much mucking around with the borrowed tools (receiver wrench and barrel blocks) in my uncles backyard, we managed to install the .308 barrel, and the Frankengarand was given life (without the screaming melodramatics, a hunchback or even angry villagers – although undoubtedly the neighbors were somehwat concerned).

Frankengarand receiver close up

For those just tuning in the rifle is a mutt, built up on a Breda receiver and using a parts from almost every manufacturer in the Garand world, the only requirement for these parts was that they function, and that the finish be less than optimal (I didn’t want to refinish any good condition parts that might be of use to those rebuilding their own garands).

Frankengarand wide view

(Edit 18 June, 05: Publicola correctly pointed out the receiver is not the youngest part of the rifle, in fact it’s not the oldest either as the oprod appears to be WWII era. I guess for accuracy we’ll call the rifle 7 days old at this point instead of mathematically picking the mean age of the parts, and going from there.)

The receiver is 50 years old, the other assorted parts range in age from WWII to Korean War vintage, with some modern manufacture bits added (primarily the stock and muzzle brake).


  1. Cowboy Blob says:

    Looking good! Can’t wait for the range report!

  2. Mugwug says:


    I’m rather pleased with the results, this project has been a long time in the running.

    Can’t wait to drag her to the range and see how she does!

  3. OhioWoodsman says:

    Mighty different! See how that puppy barks with some real good LC ammo or even mil-surp. Report back!

  4. Publicola says:


    I think you meant the receiver could be the oldest component didn’t ya?

    Boyd’s laminate stock, Madsen recoil pad, Smith Muzle brake… not too different from mine. I went with the nutmeg laminate though & didn’t opt for the SE brake. Haven’t got any pics of the latest improvements but i’ll post soon on what else i’ve done – specifically NM rears, Alley Globe type front sight, Schuster adjustable gas cylinder lock screw, t-37 flashhider, NM (RA series 77) op rod, Orion SS op rod spring & Tubbs hammer spring. It’s still in ’06 with a ’47 SA barrel but it gives me around 2″ when I do my job.

    But yours looks nice. Can’t wait to read your post on the range trip. If you ever get to Colorado give me a holler & we’ll take them out shooting.

  5. Mugwug says:

    Wow, your rifle looks great! The nutmeg laminate looks fantastic, although I admit the black and grey of the pepper laminate stole my heart, and I didn’t really have a choice (The standard Boyds Walnut is also very nice, my ’42 Springfield lives in one and it’s gorgeous – and appears more “correct” for an authentic look).

    I am hoping that I’ll not need the adjustable gas cylinder lock screw, but we’ll see how she functions when I get her out to the range (I have an irrational fear that she might short stroke after all this, but there’s no point worrying in advance of the facts).

    I may have to upgrade a few of the parts after the range trip, we’ll see how the variety of vintage parts function “come the day”.

    Fingers crossed…. she looks perty, but if she fails to function properly, it’s almost wasted effort.

  6. Publicola says:

    From what I’ve seen you shouldn’t have any short stroking problems because of anything you’ve done. I assume you did make sure the op rod has plenty of clearence in the stock & hanguards? & what make of barrel did you throw on her?

    as long as she’s greased properly (grease, not oil), has a correctly shaped op rod, servicable op rod spring, a decent fitting op rod piston/gas cylinder & you use the correct ammo she should function just fine.

    Accuracy on the other hand is a bit more complex. But make sure she functions correctly before you start sweating group sizes.

    & I threw the adjustable gas cylinder lock screw on there for the hell of it. Figured I might want to play around with it not so much for shooting heavier bullets or using slower or faster powders than you’re supposed to, but to see if I could alter the group size through adjusting it (as I’ve heard is the case). Haven’t had a chance to do that yet – just been shooting her with the lock screw tightened down all the way like a solid lock screw.

    Oh use whatever system you like but i always date a firearm by the receiver. It’s the heart of the tool; everything else can be replaced. True, you can replace the reciever as well, but to me that’s switching firearms not just swapping out parts. So I’d call yours 50 years old, but that’s just me.

  7. Mugwug says:

    Too true. I’m not really that worried about the oepration. I have my trusty old Springfield ’42 (retoration job) and my Norinco M14 for some good experience with the platform.

    She’s greased and ready to go, now I just need to find the time.

    I take your point on the receiver, but it’s hard to picture the “receiver” as the “rifle” for me, as that receiver has been sitting around my gun cabinet for over a year looking like a big paperweight.

    I’m probably just worrying for the sake of worrying. The rifle seems fine, op rod is an older Springfield, and seems to move right (I can find no indications of contact with the handguard or stock) and it’s just the fact that I’ll not be able to make it out to the range until next month thats giving me too much time to ponder things.

  8. Kyle says:

    Nice. I wish you were my neighbor.

    Have you ever thought of moving to St. Louis? Why not?

  9. Mugwug says:

    Kyle, Clearly it was some freak accident that I didn’t end up in St. Louis to begin with, and after missing ZombieCon’05… it wouldn’t take much (Well, actually it would take a green card, but let’s not let details stand in the way here).

    Now the real question is, what the hell do I do for my next project?

  10. Publicola says:

    mugwug – another garand. this time make it a tanker & add a bm-59 folding stock. After all, everyone needs a Garand they can use as a trunk gun now don’t they? :P

    Or – get a 10/22. Add an aperture rear sight, a post or globe front sight & the kit that holds the bolt open after the mag is empty. Then you more or less have an understudy for the Garand. It’s not exactly the same in its manual of arms but its as close as you can get with a mag fed blowback. :D

  11. Mugwug says:


    Ya know a .22 was something I’ve considering since I gave my old Cooey .22lr bolt action to a friend (Byron, sound off and let me know how that little rifle is working out for you!) I’ve been without a little plinking rifle. The 10-22 seems an excellent choice.

    Although I have to admit I was seriously considering an M14 shorty project (I am definately a .30 cal snob). With the large quantity of cheap Norinco M14s up here ($400 brand new) getting the barrel shortened, adding a scope mount and taking a crack at another stock project (USGI stock with pistol grip added?) seemed like a good choice.

    Sadly any major acquisition will have to wait until I return to work from parental leave, as the old budget just won’t support it. I suppose my next project will most realistically be the restoration of my Longbranch No.4 Mk.I (needs a gentle restoration of the furniture).

    Decisions, decisions….

  12. Kyle says:

    “Now the real question is, what the hell do I do for my next project?”

    You should make a list of the projects you’ve already completed for your audience. I looked through your past blog entries and I noticed some missing. I know you had an AR-15 build at one point. I assume you lost a few with your host ate them recently.

    I’m sure I could come up with a few suggestions of my dream projects if you need one.

    Man, I wish I could get to my list. Once I finish this truck and ham radio rig I’m screwing around with I’m heading back to adding a few more modifications on the SKS (like that Rear Aperature Sight you found). Next I plan to start ruining some AR-15 parts. That is, unless I pick up the two-family flat I’ve been wanting.

    I need a project manager to keep me focused.

  13. Mugwug says:

    Damn, I never even noticed the AR stuff had disappeared, I’ll have to dig through the backups and see if I can’t find the write up.

    Gonna have to pay more attention during the projects, I really didn’t document the frankengarand well….

    I’m think publicolas suggestion of a 10-22 appeals, I miss blasting away hundreds of rounds (pop, pop, pop) for next to no expense. The worst thing about being a .30 cal snob is the expensive sore shoulder.


    List those dream projects anyway Kyle! I’m always curious what others are scheming…