Virgil Richardson fondly remembered the .30-caliber M1 Garand rifle he carried during his time as a soldier during the Korean War. He even still had the weapon's serial number. Using that number, Jim Richardson went online and found the firearm at a Kentucky gun broker.
About 7 million of the sturdy rifles were produced during the Korean War period, making the odds of finding the right one so long that the broker didn't believe the serial number matched, said Jim Richardson, 54, of Saginaw County's Frankenmuth, about 70 miles northwest of Detroit. He won't say exactly how much he spent, but some collectors have paid as much as $3,000. He gave the Garand to his father last week, although the elder Richardson's birthday isn't until next month.
Virgil Richardson served from 1951-53 as an Army radio operator in the 25th Infantry Division. When he speaks of the war, the General Motors Corp. retiree often mentions the rifle's accuracy and dependability, as well as his own marksmanship. Mr. Richardson remarked that he will wait until his Oct. 26 birthday to shoot the weapon.