Murphy's Law: Garand Gold Discovered In South Korea


September 25, 2009: As South Korea upgraded its armed forces over the last two decades, it has had to dispose of a lot of old equipment. But then it discovered that it had put into storage 108,000 World War II era rifles it had received from the United States during the 1950s. Some of these M-1 Garand rifles (the first semiautomatic rifle to enter wide service in any army) and M-1 Carbines (which fire a pistol class 7.62mm round) had only been used occasionally by reservists, and even these troops have since been armed with more modern weapons. In the normal course of events, these old rifles would be melted down. Fortunately, someone in the South Korean Defense Ministry realized that M-1s sell for over a thousand dollars each on the collectors market. So those 86,000 M-1 are probably worth over $100 million (or half that, if they are all dropped on the market at once). The 22,000 M1 Carbines, which used to be sold cheap, have recently been going for nearly as much as the Garands. For once, the South Koreans will be able to sell a used weapon at a huge profit (since they received them for free, and have only had to pay for storage and maintenance since then).



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