Joe - I hate to disagree with my partner, but the M1 Rifle was issued to the Army starting in about 1938 - the first M1s were basically Model 1936s I seem to recall, with a somewhat different gas system - a muzzle gas trap rather than a hole in the barrel. Most of those were converted to the later system. At one time I owned a Gas Trap Garand. All I remember about it was that I got a lot of money for it, but not compared with now.
By the time the US was involved in actual combat in WWII, most of the front line Army troops had the Ml. Service units still had the 1903 and 03A3 rifles or the Springfield type, both WWI issue and those made in WWII by Remington and Smith Corona. There were plenty of M1917 Enfields still around too. The Marines got the M1 a little later, I guess because the M1 was developed at the Army Arsenal at Springfield by John Garand and the Army seemed to get firt call on it. Early pictures of Guadelcanal show mostly 03s in the hands of the Marines, but by the end of that months-long fight, the Garand is apparent in most pictures. I think the Army brought in enough that the Marines started to pick them up, even if just off casualties. Not sure of the history of the rifle there. Still, by most of the island hopping like Betio Atoll in the Tarawa chain, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, I am pretty sure the Marines were pretty much equipped with the Ma also.
By the end of the war, just the real rear echelon guys did not have the M1 yet (and of course many snipers were still using the 03A4 or other scoped variations of the Springfield 03).
Great rifle, great cartridge, great battle history in WWII, Korea and beyond.
Falcon, the high prices being brought now are primarily for “pure” guns - those with all original features by serial number, although most of the so-called pure guns are a bit of a fraud; gun show put togethers with proper parts, rather than actually just the way they left the factory originally. I would as soon have a original G.I. Rebuild as one of those. I have a factory pure 1943 Garand, but it is obviously a combat veteran, and I suppose most collectors would rather have a restored, minty one, whether they knew that’s what they were getting or not. I also have a 1953 Red River Arsenal Rebuild, a Beretta M1 made for Denmark (my beater -good shooter but not much to look at) and my old National Match Rifle which I haven’t fired in years. I love 'em. Collectors have driven the prices up, but in the U.S., it is still possible to find decent, shootable Garands in the $600 to $800 range. Remember, it is now 55 years since the end of the Korean War and the end of all production of U.S. made Garands, and they are simply starting to disappear from the market, at least in large “shooter” quantities. The prices can do nothing but continue to go up, unless the bottom drops out of the collector market like it has out of home and stock prices here.
Edited for removal of typos only