These are the things I look for when purchasing a Garand Rifle:
At the CMP Store, they will let you borrow the muzzle and throat gauges, if you give them your Driver's License.
a. Be sure the muzzle has no chips or dings in it. THe muzzle gauge should measure 2 or less.
b. The throat gauge should measure 5 or less.
a. The trigger group should lock up tight.
b. For the best accuracy, the barrel group should have some upward pressure against the forearm at the lower band. This means the barrel will return to the same place in relation to the stock after each shot. This is how glass bedded rifles improve accuracy.
b. Grab the grip of the stock with one hand and the upper handgaurd area with the other hand. There should be no forward and bacward movement between these parts of the rifle.
a. Raise the rear sight aperture to the top and press on the aperture. If it goes down (or falls), turn the elevation knob so the sight is all the way down. On the right side of the sight take a small screwdriver and turn the split screw clockwise. You will feel the screw snap into another notch in the windage knob. Then try elevating the sight to the top. Press on the aperture and if it falls again, turn the screw on the windage knob another increment and do this until the aperture will not fall when pressed on. Once this is done, try the windage knob. If it won't turn, that means the ring spring in the elevation knob is either worn out or broken. You will need a new elevation knob to fix it and they are about $50.
Also, I have always had my rifles shipped to me. The shipping is $22.95 and the tax is 8 to 9% at the CMP stores
I hope this will help some of you going to the CMP Stores looking for an M1 Garand.