Denix M1 Garand review

I have been wanting to write this review for a long time, but never got around to taking the pictures for it. Today I had a day off, so here you go. This replica came on the market about two years ago and by now a lot of people have bought it. My angle is here to compare it to the real steel Garand.

Overall, it’s a replica worth its money, costing about 25-30% of the price of a real deactivated Garand. Its appearance is generally authentic, being made of real wood and metal. It feels nice and heavy, although not as heavy as the real steel. No doubt due to the use of aluminum-zinc alloy instead of steel. It is also very sturdy – no squeaking sounds like an airsoft model. Let’s have a look at the differences in detail:

Denix Garand top receiver compared with real steel M1

Above you can see the details of the top receiver. Note the absence of any markings. Denix has taken this critique into account when they released the MP 40 in 2009. You will also see that I have ‘aged’ the model. If you don’t do this, it looks too new and unrealistic. I advise you do this with an old peace of leather. Just rub until you get the desired wear. Don’t use paper tissues of polishing cloths, because this will buff the blackening to a gloss. That’s pretty on a Luger, but not on an M1. Here you will also notice the nice quality and color of the wood. It’s a bit reddish, but nice enough. The rear of the receiver is not flush with the wood though. You see a bit of a ledge there. I only noticed this now that I a looking at the pictures.

Denix Garand rear sight compared with real steel M1

The rear sight looks quite authentic. Here we can’t really compare the pictures because the Denix has the late-war windage knob. On the real steel, you see the early type windage knob.

Denix Garand detail of side of receiver compared with real steel M1

Here you see one of the more noticeable differences: the screw holding the operating rod in place. The lever really moves though, so you can actually ‘load’ the rifle. However, the replica does not take real M1 clips and it’s not possible to cycle a round.

Denix Garand detail of top hand guard compared with real steel M1

The most noticeable difference is the screw holding the top handguard into place. That’s really a pity, but it is the only thing that really stands out if you know it shouldn’t be there.

Denix Garand detail of front sight compared with real steel M1

The front sight looks fine from a distance, but up close you see that they have skimped on the details.

Denix Garand butt plate compared with real steel M1

The buttplate looks really authentic, but the hatch cannot be opened. If you age it like in this picture, it will look just like it can open.

Denix Garand left side receiver compared with real steel M1

The left side of the receiver looks fine. You see the clip latch is there, but it cannot be moved.

Denix Garand bayonet lug compared with real steel M1

The question most people ask about this replica: “will it take a genuine bayonet?” The answer is no. But with a little patient filing away wat the pot metal, it can work. Most of the filing is needed at the bottom of the bayonet lug. A bit less at the inside of the bayonet lug at the sides and at the front. A lot of filing is also needed on the barrel shroud. In the photos you can tell by the blank metal where I have filed. The trick is to be patient and to keep trying to fit the bayonet until it easily slips on. The last part I filed at was inside the front of the bayonet lug, so now the bayonet even clicks in place as it should. In the pictures below you see the result. Click on the photos to enlarge.

The Garand was the second WW2 rifle by Denix, after the Lee Enfield MkIII. Both rifles are very nice, especially when aged and fitted with a nice sling. The Denix Thompsons are nice too, but leave more to be desired, especially the military version which doesn’t have any sling attachments and the hand guard looks too unrealistic. I am now looking forward to new releases by Denix. On my wish list: a B.A.R. (if that isn’t asking too much) and an M1 carbine. I am pretty sure Denix will further expand their line of WW2 models, because they have been releasing new and better finished models every year.


22 Responses to Denix M1 Garand review

  1. Yves says:

    Very Nice article. Thanks

  2. Deberdt D. says:

    Do you know any shops in Belgium that sell Denix replica’s over the counter?

    • Wouter Has says:

      Yes, there’s Guns Shop in Brussels (Uccle), or Armabel, also in Brussels. And there must be others. Or you can go to any military show in Belgium and you will usually find several dealers who sell them.

  3. Wesley Jansen says:

    Well it sucks that i live 300 km away from belgium or any militairy show in belgium, But in a previous reply u said something whit brussel and armabel??? does brussel got a place that sells ww2 rifles??/repro’s?

  4. Spud says:

    Good article i have just aged my M1 to match the wood colouring in your article it now looks great.

  5. RICARDO says:

    Nice Review! can you tel if it´s possible to disassemble it an how? thanks for a fast rely!

    • Wouter Has says:

      Hi, it’s not possible to disassemble it like a real steel M1. You can take it apart by undoing the screws, but I would not advise to try this, as the metal is quite weak and the screws may not hold a second time.


  7. Michael says:


    It is possible to disassemble the Denix replica like the real one ?

  8. Mark Raats says:

    Hi Wouter —

    I wasn’t sure about buying the Denix M1 Garand until I read your excellent review.

    Regrettably there isn’t much that can be done (without spending a lot of money) to change the fact that its a Denix so I decided to rather create a version that was more in keeping with a 1942/43 model but still preserving some of the Denix characteristics – for example the absence of serial numbers, the badly resolved breach-barrel, the safety, oddly placed screws, the eject etc.

    I reworked all of the metal removing the horrible ‘soft’ edges Denix is to renowned for, I then reblued the metal keeping a slightly worn finish. I drilled out the front sight and then worked some ageing into the wooden stock before staining and varnishing the wood. The buttplate was scoured of paint, dented and chipped and I added authentic M1 cartouch stamps to the side of the stock (matching a June 1942-October 1943 Garand). An authentic leather sling was added as a finishing touch..

    All in all, I’m happy with the result (see link) and I’d like to thank you for helping me make up my mind regarding purchasing and modifying this iconic American firearm.

    Kind regards,

    • Wouter Has says:

      Hi Mark,
      That’s a beautiful piece of work!!

    • Steve says:

      Hi Mark, what colour stain did you use on the stock please?



      • Mark Raats says:

        Hi Steve. No stain mate, I built up the grime using layers of black and brown shoe polish – leaving it to more or less dry between applications. By using the polish I ended up with a more realistic build up of dirt in the recesses..

        After I was satisfied, I then used black polish to build up darker areas in the wood where it would get stained from sweat and hand grease. All the weathering was done logically and carefully – very slowly.

        Good luck

  9. Marc says:

    A nice review, certainly worth a look for those having trouble finding a deactivated M1 or simply not wanting to spend that much money. One small point about your statement regarding the rear sights, you got it back to front. The early pattern rear sight has the horizontal lock bar, the late war pattern is the simplified version without it.

  10. Joell says:

    Hi Wouter,

    nice review. Where can I find a deactivated M1? Or a Denix M1. I live in the Netherlands btw.

    • Wouter Has says:

      I’m not sure either of those are legal to own in the Netherlands, apart from airsoft which has become legal in NL this year. But when you visit any militaria show in Belgium throughout the year, you will find Denix replicas as well as deactivated M1’s. The deactivated ones are becoming increasingly expensive though…

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