Meet Tony Giacobbe, also known as the "GARAND GUY"
Tony Giacobbe held his first M1 Garand while in training with the US Army . He wasn’t assigned that rifle as a medic, but it continued to have a big impact on his life for years to come.
Tony, also known as the “Garand Guy,” was born and raised in the state of New Jersey. He graduated from St. Mary’s Seminary and University of Baltimore with a BA in 1955. He then settled in the Army, where he served from 1957-1958, including his stint in Korea. After been discharged, Tony returned to New Jersey and joined his family’s construction business.
In 1975, Tony found himself drawn back to the M1 Garand. It was this year that he first became an owner of the rifle, though he didn’t realize what a “gem” he had in this model at the time. Later, he found out that he had an HRA M1D with a 6 million serial number, which is extremely rare.
While going about his full-time career as a Housing Development Project Manager, Tony began to crave more information about his personal M1 Garand model. In 1989, he read a book by rifle expert Scott Duff, whose works he would later contribute to. His passion for M1s was ignited, and there was no turning back.
Tony joined the Garand Collector’s Association and began attending meetings with fervor, educating himself about all of the intricacies of the M1. He began collecting original models of the rifle, including some of the first ever to be produced.
To further embrace his new passion for the M1, Tony joined the Northeast Historical Reenactment Society as a founder/co-founder and Commanding General. The society participated in World War II reenactments, which he remembers fondly—except for the frigid cold. Tony participated in these reenactments for 15 enjoyable years.
In 1990, Tony retired from his project management job and began doing what he loved full-time: rebuilding, restoring, and refurbishing rifles. Since that time, he has restored/rebuilt/refurbished more than 4,500 M1’s.
Today, Tony is a member of the Garand Collectors Association, the New Jersey Sportsman’s Coalition and the National Rifle Association. He’s regarded as one of the world’s top M1 experts, and he enjoys working with rifle collectors across the globe.