Because I used to be a big M1 garand collector and liked the way rifles were outed when faked, I list list here for future reference and for your advice.
I traded for this rifle this week and love the fact it is a low serial number but I am disappointed that I cannot link it to as an original built in Devine.
I spoke with Elmer yesterday and he stated it very well could have been, but then rebarreled later or it could have been one of the guesstimated 150 stripped receivers he sold/bartered.
Rifle in Question is serial number 0004XX. It is currently in a very vintage looking National Match condition. It has an extended op-rod guide that appears to be stainless steel, hand stamped "NM" on top the barrel, electro (or oil) pencil on the barrel and under the rear sight base, bedded military stock, etc. You can really tell this rifle was a match work horse and didn't live its life in a safe. The barrel has several tiny dings through the park but still gauges pretty well. I am guessing this rifle has seen many a matches.
So, my problem is that I was looking for a pre-ban M14 'clone" shooter, not a collector. Something I wouldn't feel bad banging several hundred rounds through a couple times a year. I feel like this rifle is more of a collector.
#1- Adandon any idea of it as a collector and have it "spruced up" into a pretty early serial number shooter with a repark, replacement non-NM parts, new stock etc.
#2- Trade or sell it off for what I want and have some cash left over.