Daewoo Precision Industries K2
South Korea Looking For Brokers To Sell 84,417 M1 Garand Rifles To U.S. Korean War Vets And Families
(Editor’s note: Latest update to post here)
March 7 was the last time I updated Survival And Prosperity readers about 86,000 U.S.-made M1 Garand rifles possibly coming back to the United States from the Republic of Korea (South Korea) to be sold to American Korean War veterans and their families in time for the 62nd anniversary of the Korean War (June 25).
While the deal is still on- there’s some good news and bad news.
The good news is that progress is being made to repatriate these legendary firearms back to the United States.
The bad news is that we’re only talking about 84,417 M1 Garand rifles now.
Lee Tae-hoon wrote on The Korea Times (South Korea) website this morning:
The Ministry of National Defense has started an online auction for 84,417 M1 Garand rifles used in the 1950-1953 Korean War, ministry officials said Tuesday.
The ministry is trying to find a pair of Korean and American brokers for the deal that will market the old rifles, bought by the ministry at the end of the war, to U.S. veterans. Each rifle can fetch around $500, pushing the total price to more than $40 million.
The ministry plans to have the proceeds directly go to Daewoo Precision to pay for K-2 rifles, each of which is priced at $727.
“All of them are expected to be shipped to the United States for sale,” a ministry official said.
Onbid.go.kr, the state-run Internet auction site, says that the bidding is open until the end of the month.
(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)
While South Korean defense officials confirmed the deal for the M1 Garands is still a “go,” they reminded everyone that anything could happen. Tae-hoon added:
“Though the United States has agreed to allow the importation of the M1 Garand rifles from Seoul, there is a slight possibility that it may reverse its earlier decision if there is a change in gun-control laws or a changed political situation,” an official said.
Gun rights supporters will be watching, I’m sure.
Lee Tae-hoon and The Korea Times have done a great job keeping on top of this developing story. I’m sure American Korean War veterans and their families are most appreciative of the work they’ve done. If you read the whole piece, you’ll even notice yours truly was quoted. Tae-hoon wrote:
Many American gun enthusiasts, including Christopher E. Hill, an editor at Survival And Prosperity, have responded positively after The Korea Times reported on Jan. 19 about the Barack Obama administration’s reversal of its 2010 decision to block the import of the wartime rifles.
“First and foremost, it’s understood that revenue generated by the sale of these M1 Garand rifles will allow Korea to acquire more modern, locally-made Daewoo Precision Industries K2 assault rifles,” he said. “Upgrading Korea’s defense capabilities in light of recent developments in the region might not be such a bad idea.”
He also noted that the M1 rifle has tremendous historical value in the United States as it not only represents American ingenuity in that it outclassed many of its adversaries when it first entered service, but it also symbolized America’s coming of age on the world stage.
Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to describe myself as a “gun enthusiast”- I familiarize myself with firearms-related material as it pertains to my research/blogging about personal safety issues. And here is my full response to Tae-hoon’s question as to why I think U.S. citizens should be able to buy the South Korean Garands:
First and foremost, it’s understood that revenue generated by the sale of these M1 Garand rifles will allow the Republic of Korea to acquire more modern, locally-made Daewoo Precision Industries K2 assault rifles. Upgrading South Korea’s defense capabilities in light of recent developments in the region might not be such a bad idea.
Second, the M1 Garand has tremendous historical value in the United States. John Garand’s creation, which served American troops with distinction in World War Two, Korea, and in the early days of the Vietnam conflict, not only represents American ingenuity in that it outclassed many of its adversaries when it first entered service, but it also symbolizes America’s coming of age on the World Stage.
Third, I understand that other U.S.-made M1 Garand rifles used by America’s allies during the Cold War were repatriated and turned over to the Civilian Marksmanship Program for sale to the U.S. public. Proceeds benefited the non-profit CMP, which along with its predecessors, has been striving “To Promote Firearm Safety and Marksmanship Training With an Emphasis on Youth” since 1903.
Finally, in part due to its historical value and availability through the Civilian Marksmanship Program, the M1 Garand is incredibly popular today among firearm enthusiasts in the United States. According to the CMP website:
“The popularity of the M1 Garand continues to grow as hundreds of new Garand ‘Fun’ Matches are being held all over the USA each year. In the past ten years, the M1 Garand, regardless of condition, has become a very hot collectors’ item and sound financial investment.”
Will the M1 Garands make it back to the U.S.A. and be offered up for sale to Korean War veterans and their families by June 25? Stay tuned…
Tae-hoon, Lee. “Auction begins for brokers on sale of 84,417 M1 rifles.” The Korea Times. 17 Apr. 2012. (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2012/04/116_109166.html). 17 Apr. 2012.
Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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