7mmag6 - How is that for being almost silent? Good info, and it will vary a little from range to range.
Spotting Scope & Stand
Obviously the M1 Garand is needed for M1 Garand Matches. Remember not all M1 Garand Matches are registered and as a result range rules are what governs the limits on how an M1 Garand is prepared, though very few will allow VISIBLE National Match parts.
At our club matches (unregistered) if you use a Club M1 Garand, you must purchase the ammo from the club (they do not want any problems with their M1 Garands). However if you use your own M1 Garand, then you can use reloads.
A Shooting Mat is needed, and if you don't have one and/or can't borrow one, a piece of carpet will suffice for a short time.
Some shooting mats have one side that will resist holding dirt and dust, and the other side should have non-skid material for your elbows. Since this is not an expensive item, it can be experimented with a little more readily, and for at least a short time you can use a piece of carpet. What you should be looking for is a shooting mat that provides enough padding that you do not bruise your elbows or knees when getting up and down, or moving around to get into a comfortable position, AND you need non-skid surfaces for your elbows.
A Shooting Glove is necessary or you can't hold the rifle correctly without hurting your hand.
A Shooting Glove can be a regular utility glove, though the specially made for shooting, gloves are best. You need something that first, fits your hand well (uncomfortable doesn't get it when you are trying to get your best score), and provides padding for your hand when it is pressing against the sling swivel, or hand stop. Some people prefer to use a spray on non-slip goo that keeps the rifle stock from slipping on the shooting gloved hand. I do not use it myself, and maybe 50% of the people I shoot with do not use it (that means about 50% do use it), that should be your choice. It may not be allowed in an M1 Garand Match. I mentioned it so that you at least know about it.
A Spotting Scope is really necessary if you want to shoot well, but you can get by without one for a short time, if you have friendly helpful club members. A tripod is not really acceptable except for the short ones for prone shooting.
SPOTTING SCOPES: Think of the spotting Scope in the same way you would think of a Large Telephoto lens for a SLR (Single Lens Reflex) Camera. There is no substitute for quality: Nikon (good prices), KOWA (excellent), Swarovski (too expensive), Leica (too expensive). The cheap ones, less than $150.00 just won't do the job at 200 yards or more, because you won't be able to see any hits in the black. I chose the KOWA 821 with the 45 degree eyepiece, for myself, and it does the job, that is why you will see so many of them on the firing line. I may have bought a Nikon if there was one to look through to check out at the time i was looking.
A good spotting scope is a long term investment, and that should be your view of what you are looking for. A quality Spotting Scope should be foremost in your mind, it is resellable for closer to what you paid for it, if that is your choice later.
As was stated before by somebody else, a 60mm Objective lens is the smallest you should accept, because the smaller ones just do not gather enough light for you to see clearly beyond 100 yards. If you can afford it, get a 70mm or larger Objective lens, though a VERY GOOD 60mm will work except in poor light. Remember that, just because the spotting scope has a very large Objective lens doesn't mean that it is better (it usually is though), the quality of the glass can make or break the light gathering ability.
Spend a lot of time looking through other peoples spotting scopes, and you will find the one you want. Most people are at least willing to help you find the one you should get, and they don't mind showing off their spotting scopes.
The maximum power that is effective (the trade off between magnification and enough light to see well) is around 20 to 30 power. The higher magnification cuts down the amount of light that gets to your eye, and a spotting scope that gathers enough light with a 25X eyepiece, and is virtually perfect, may be totally unacceptable trying to use a 35X eyepiece, or even a 30X eyepiece.
A variable power eyepiece will reduce the amount of light, more than a fixed eyepiece. I have both, and I use the fixed power 27X LER (Long Eye Relief), I do not use the very expensive variable power eyepiece that I have.
A Spotting Scope Stand should not be an afterthought, it should be a planned purchase, because even with the best of spotting scopes, if the stand moves too easily, or falls over in the slightest wind, or bump, your spotting scope could become garbage in a second. A Spotting Scope Stand should have a large diameter support tube, as close to 1" diameter, or more, as you can buy. Its base should give a wide support, the wider the better, for stability (but not so wide it becomes a trip hazard that could endanger your spotting scope). A slide together spotting scope stand for transporting or storage is best, as it keeps all the parts together, and they are on the line ready to go all the time.
You need a weighted bottom on the stand for stability (a sandbag is OK for temporary use, but the scope stands usually have an option for a 10 lb or so weight that attaches to the scope stand base (in a heavy wind you may still need the sandbags). Do not even think of using the spike on the base for stability, most ranges don't want their firing line dug up, and some even have a concrete firing line.
A Shooting Jacket is necessary, if you do not want to rub your elbows raw, and if you get a good Shooting Jacket, it can boost your Standing (Offhand)score by at least 10 points.
The Shooting Jacket is a very desireable item. I think you can do well with a jacket that isn't leather or doesn't have leather sleeves, and you can save some money (at least $100.00). Except for the standing position, the only advantage for me is the elbow pads (many people really like the recoil pad, but that is not something that is a bother to me). The USMC style shooting jackets are available for about $50.00 or $60.00, and are OK except for the benefit of the more ridged jackets in the Standing position. If you are flush with money, then an all leather shooting jacket for around $400.00 is a must have.
Some sources, for shooting equipment and supplies, are O. K. Weber, Champions' Choice, Creedmore, and one or more that have been mentioned already, plus some that I did not list because I can't think of them right at this moment. Watch for sales, it will keep money in your pocket, as some of these suppliers really do have sales; they're not like department stores that put unmarketable items on sale, as loss leaders, and the only thing that you can use is sold at the regular price. This market is their main source of income, and they only carry items that are at the very least useful, and usually just what you need.
A Shooting Cap is something you may want to look for, too. They come in many varieties, but what you want is something that can shade your eyes from the sun or glare, and also to keep distractions at the sides to a minimum. The better ones have flaps that you can drop, or hold up with velcro, and have a long shade at the front.
DO NOT FORGET EAR PROTECTION, IT IS VITAL TO YOUR FUTURE HEARING. THE BEST IS STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH, BUT THAT IS ALL WE HAVE. The ratings are in db (decibels), and the higher the number the better. I double up with ear plugs rated at 33 db, with electronic muffs, rated at 19 db over the top. The db numbers do not add up, for instance 33 db plus 19 db does not equal 52 db, it is more like about 38 db, never-the-less it increases the protection, and MORE IS BETTER. I use electronic muffs, over the ear plugs, to enable me to hear the range commands, and that is a SAFETY ISSUE!
I WILL ELABORATE MORE ON THESE LATER!