M1 Garand

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U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1
M1 Garand rifle USA noBg.jpg
M1 Garand rifle from the collection of the Swedish Army Museum, Stockholm
TypeSemi-automatic rifle
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service
  • 1936–1958 (as the standard U.S. service rifle)
  • 1940s–present (other countries)
Used bySee Users
Wars
Production history
DesignerJohn C. Garand
Designed1928
Manufacturer
Unit costAbout $85 (during World War II) (equivalent to $1,270 in 2020)
Produced1934—1957
No. built5,468,772[9]
VariantsSee Variants
Specifications
Mass9.5 lb (4.31 kg) to 11.6 lb (5.3 kg)
Length43.5 in (1,100 mm)
Barrel length24 in (609.6 mm)

Cartridge
ActionGas-operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire40–50 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity2,800 ft/s (853 m/s)
Effective firing range500 yd (457 m)[10]
Feed system8-round en bloc clip, internal magazine
Sights
  • Rear: adjustable aperture
  • Front: wing protected post

The M1 Garand or M1 Rifle[nb 1] is a .30-06 caliber semi-automatic battle rifle that was the standard U.S. service rifle during World War II and the Korean War and also saw limited service during the Vietnam War. Most M1 rifles were issued to U.S. forces, though many hundreds of thousands were also provided as foreign aid to American allies. The Garand is still used by drill teams and military honor guards. It is also widely used by civilians for hunting, target shooting, and as a military collectible.

The M1 rifle was named after its Canadian-American designer, John Garand. It was the first standard-issue semi-automatic military rifle.[11] By most accounts, the M1 rifle performed well. General George S. Patton called it "the greatest battle implement ever devised".[12][13] The M1 replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield as the standard U.S. service rifle in 1936,[14] and was itself replaced by the selective fire M14 rifle on March 26, 1958.[15]

Although the name Garand is frequently pronounced /ɡəˈrænd/, the preferred pronunciation is /ˈɡærənd/ (to rhyme with errand), according to experts and people who knew John Garand, the weapon's designer.[16][17] Frequently referred to as the "Garand" or "M1 Garand" by civilians, its official designation when it was the issue rifle in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps was "U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1" or just "M1" and Garand was not mentioned.

History[edit]

M1 Garand with en bloc clips
M1 Garand displayed with en bloc clip at U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii

Development[edit]

French Canadian-born Garand went to work at the United States Army's Springfield Armory and began working on a .30 caliber primer actuated blowback Model 1919 prototype. In 1924, twenty-four rifles, identified as "M1922s", were built at Springfield. At Fort Benning during 1925, they were tested against models by Berthier, Hatcher-Bang, Thompson, and Pedersen, the latter two being delayed blowback types.[18] This led to a further trial of an improved "M1924" Garand against the Thompson, ultimately producing an inconclusive report.[18] As a result, the Ordnance Board ordered a .30-06 Garand variant. In March 1927, the cavalry board reported trials among the Thompson, Garand, and 03 Springfield had not led to a clear winner. This led to a gas-operated .276 (7 mm) model (patented by Garand on April 12, 1930).[18]

In early 1928, both the infantry and cavalry boards ran trials with the .276 Pedersen T1 rifle, calling it "highly promising"[18] (despite its use of waxed ammunition,[19] shared by the Thompson).[20] On August 13, 1928, a semiautomatic rifle board (SRB) carried out joint Army, Navy, and Marine Corps trials between the .30 Thompson, both cavalry and infantry versions of the T1 Pedersen, "M1924" Garand, and .256 Bang, and on September 21, the board reported no clear winner. The .30 Garand, however, was dropped in favor of the .276.[21]

Further tests by the SRB in July 1929, which included rifle designs by Browning, Colt–Browning, Garand, Holek, Pedersen, Rheinmetall, Thompson, and an incomplete one by White,[nb 2] led to a recommendation that work on the (dropped) .30 gas-operated Garand be resumed, and a T1E1 was ordered November 14, 1929.

Twenty gas-operated .276 T3E2 Garands were made and competed with T1 Pedersen rifles in early 1931. The .276 Garand was the clear winner of these trials. The .30 caliber Garand was also tested, in the form of a single T1E1, but was withdrawn with a cracked bolt on October 9, 1931. A January 4, 1932 meeting recommended adoption of the .276 caliber and production of approximately 125 T3E2s. Meanwhile, Garand redesigned his bolt and his improved T1E2 rifle was retested. The day after the successful conclusion of this test, Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur personally disapproved any caliber change, in part because there were extensive existing stocks of .30 M1 ball ammunition.[22] On February 25, 1932, Adjutant General John B. Shuman, speaking for the Secretary of War, ordered work on the rifles and ammunition in .276 caliber cease immediately and completely, and all resources be directed toward identification and correction of deficiencies in the Garand .30 caliber.[20]: 111 

On August 3, 1933, the T1E2 became the "semi-automatic rifle, caliber 30, M1".[18] In May 1934, 75 M1s went to field trials; 50 went to infantry, 25 to cavalry units.[20]: 113  Numerous problems were reported, forcing the rifle to be modified, yet again, before it could be recommended for service and cleared for procurement on November 7, 1935, then standardized January 9, 1936.[18] The first production model was successfully proof-fired, function-fired, and fired for accuracy on July 21, 1937.[23]

Production difficulties delayed deliveries to the Army until September 1937. Machine production began at Springfield Armory that month at a rate of ten rifles per day,[24] and reached an output of 100 per day within two years. Despite going into production status, design issues were not at an end. The barrel, gas cylinder, and front sight assembly were redesigned and entered production in early 1940. Existing "gas-trap" rifles were recalled and retrofitted, mirroring problems with the earlier M1903 Springfield rifle that also had to be recalled and reworked approximately three years into production and foreshadowing rework of the M16 rifle at a similar point in its development. Production of the Garand increased in 1940 despite these difficulties,[25] reaching 600 a day by January 10, 1941,[18] and the Army was fully equipped by the end of 1941.[22] Following the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Winchester was awarded an "educational" production contract for 65,000 rifles,[18] with deliveries beginning in 1943.[18]

Service use[edit]

John Garand points out features of the M1 to army generals.
George Patton letter to Springfield Armory on the M1 Garand, January 26, 1945
U.S. Army infantryman in 1942 with M1, Fort Knox, Kentucky
U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Team with M1 rifles

The M1 Garand was made in large numbers during World War II; approximately 5.4 million were made.[26] They were used by every branch of the United States military. The rifle generally performed well. General George S. Patton called it "the greatest battle implement ever devised."[13] The impact of faster-firing infantry small arms in general soon stimulated both Allied and Axis forces to greatly increase their issue of semi- and fully automatic firearms then in production, as well as to develop new types of infantry firearms.[27]

Many M1s were repaired or rebuilt after World War II. While U.S. forces were still engaged in the Korean War, the Department of Defense decided more were needed. Springfield Armory ramped up production, but two new contracts were awarded. During 1953–56, M1s were produced by International Harvester and Harrington & Richardson in which International Harvester alone produced a total of 337,623 M1 Garands.[28][29] A final, very small lot of M1s was produced by Springfield Armory in early 1957, using finished components already on hand. Beretta also produced Garands using Winchester tooling.

In 1939, the British Army looked at the M1 as a possible replacement for its bolt-action Lee–Enfield No.1 Mk III., but decided against it as by January 1940 the Birmingham Small Arms Company was already preparing production of the Lee-Enfield Mk IV.[30] However, surplus M1 rifles were provided as foreign aid to American allies, including South Korea, West Germany, Italy, Japan, Denmark, Greece, Turkey, Iran, South Vietnam, the Philippines, etc. Most Garands shipped to allied nations were predominantly manufactured by International Harvester Corporation during the period of 1953–56, and second from Springfield Armory from all periods.[29]

Some Garands were still being used by the United States into the Vietnam War in 1963; despite the M14's official adoption in 1958, it was not until 1965 that the changeover from the M1 Garand was fully completed in the active-duty component of the Army (with the exception of the sniper variants, which were introduced in World War II and saw action in Korea and Vietnam). The Garand remained in service with the Army Reserve, Army National Guard and the Navy into the early 1970s. The South Korean Army was using M1 Garands in the Vietnam War as late as 1966.[31]

Due to widespread United States military assistance as well their durability, M1 Garands have also been found in use in recent conflicts such as with the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.[32]

Some military drill teams still use the M1 rifle, including the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Team, the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Honor Guard, the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, almost all Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and some Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) teams of all branches of the U.S. military.[citation needed]

Design details[edit]

Features[edit]

The M1 Garand with important parts labeled

The M1 rifle is a .30 caliber, gas-operated, 8 shot clip-fed, semi-automatic rifle.[33] It is 43.6 inches (1,107 mm) long and it weighs about 9.5 pounds (4.31 kg).[34]

The M1's safety catch is located at the front of the trigger guard. It is engaged when it is pressed rearward into the trigger guard, and disengaged when it is pushed forward and is protruding outside of the trigger guard.[35]

The M1 Garand was designed for simple assembly and disassembly to facilitate field maintenance. It can be field stripped (broken down) without tools in just a few seconds.[36]

The rifle had an iron sight line consisting of rear receiver aperture sight protected by sturdy "ears" calibrated for 100–1,200 yd (91–1,097 m) in 100 yd (91 m) increments. The bullet drop compensation was set by turning the range knob to the appropriate range setting. The bullet drop compensation/range knob can be fine adjusted by setting the rear sight elevation pinion. The elevation pinion can be fine adjusted in approximately 1 MOA increments. The aperture sight was also able to correct for wind drift operated by turning a windage knob that moved the sight in approximately 1 MOA increments. The windage lines on the receiver to indicate the windage setting were 4 MOA apart. The front sighting element consisted of a wing guards protected front post.

During World War II the M1 rifle's semiautomatic operation gave United States infantrymen a significant advantage in firepower and shot-to-shot recovery time over enemy infantrymen armed primarily with bolt-action rifles. The semi-automatic operation and reduced recoil allowed soldiers to fire 8 rounds as quickly as they could pull the trigger, without having to move their hands on the rifle and therefore disrupt their firing position and point of aim.[37] The Garand's fire rate, in the hands of a trained soldier, averaged 40–50 accurate shots per minute at a range of 300 yards (270 m). "At ranges over 500 yards (460 m), a battlefield target is hard for the average rifleman to hit. Therefore, 500 yards (460 m) is considered the maximum effective range, even though the rifle is accurate at much greater ranges."[34]

En bloc clip[edit]

An M1 Garand en bloc clip loaded with eight .30-06 Springfield rounds
Loading the M1
Unloading an M1 en bloc clip

The M1 rifle is fed by an en bloc clip which holds eight rounds of .30-06 Springfield ammunition. When the last cartridge is fired, the rifle ejects the clip and locks the bolt open.[38] The M1 is then ready to reload. Once the clip is inserted, the bolt snaps forward on its own as soon as thumb pressure is released from the top round of the clip, chambering a round and leaving it ready to fire.[39][40] Although it is not absolutely necessary, the preferred method is to place the back of the right hand against the operating rod handle and press the clip home with the right thumb; this releases the bolt, but the hand restrains the bolt from slamming closed on the operator's thumb (resulting in "M1/Garand thumb"); the hand is then quickly withdrawn, the operating rod moves forward and the bolt closes with sufficient force to go fully to battery. Thus, after the clip has been pressed into position in the magazine, the operating rod handle should be released, allowing the bolt to snap forward under pressure from the operating rod spring. The operating rod handle may be smacked with the palm to ensure the bolt is closed.[35][40]

Contrary to widespread misconception, partially expended or full clips can be easily ejected from the rifle by means of the clip latch button.[35] It is also possible to load single cartridges into a partially loaded clip while the clip is still in the magazine, but this requires both hands and a bit of practice. In reality, this procedure was rarely performed in combat, as the danger of getting debris inside the action along with the cartridges increased the chances of malfunction. Instead, it was much easier and quicker to simply manually eject the clip, and insert a fresh one,[41] which is how the rifle was originally designed to be operated.[40][42][43] Later, special clips holding two or five rounds became available on the civilian market, as well as a single-loading device which stays in the rifle when the bolt locks back.

In battle, the manual of arms called for the rifle to be fired until empty, and then recharged quickly. Due to the well-developed logistical system of the U.S. military at the time, this consumption of ammunition was generally not critical, though this could change in the case of units that came under intense fire or were flanked or surrounded by enemy forces.[42] The Garand's en bloc clip system proved particularly cumbersome when using the rifle to launch grenades, requiring removal of an often partially loaded clip of ball ammunition and replacement with a full clip of blank cartridges.

By modern standards, the M1's feeding system is archaic, relying on clips to feed ammunition, and is the principal source of criticism of the rifle. Officials in Army Ordnance circles demanded a fixed, non-protruding magazine for the new service rifle. At the time, it was believed that a detachable magazine on a general-issue service rifle would be easily lost by U.S. soldiers (a criticism made of British soldiers and the Lee–Enfield 50 years previously), would render the weapon too susceptible to clogging from dirt and debris (a belief that proved unfounded with the adoption of the M1 Carbine), and that a protruding magazine would complicate existing manual-of-arms drills. As a result, inventor John Garand developed an en bloc clip system that allowed ammunition to be inserted from above, clip included, into the fixed magazine. While this design provided the requisite flush-mount magazine, the clip system increased the rifle's weight and complexity, and made only single loading ammunition possible without a clip.

Ejection of an empty clip created a distinctive metallic "pinging" sound.[44] In World War II, it was rumored that German and Japanese infantry were making use of this noise in combat to alert them to an empty M1 rifle in order to catch their American enemies with an unloaded rifle. It was reported that the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground began experiments with clips made of various plastics in order to soften the sound, though no improved clips were ever adopted.[43] However, this claim regarding the risks of a pinging empty clip is questionable due to hearsay produced as fact by the only known source, the otherwise fairly reliable author Roy F. Dunlap in Ordnance Went Up Front in 1948. According to former German soldiers, the sound was inaudible during engagements and not particularly useful when heard, as other squad members might have been nearby ready to fire.[45] Due to the often intense deafening noise of combat and gunfire it is highly unlikely any U.S. servicemen were killed as a result of the ping noise; however some soldiers still took the issue very seriously.[46] Some US Veterans recalling combat in Europe are convinced that German soldiers did respond to the ejection ping and would throw an empty clip down to simulate the sound so the enemy would expose themselves.[47]

Gas system[edit]

Two of Garand's patents, showing the original gas trap design and revised gas port system

Garand's original design for the M1 used a complicated gas system involving a special muzzle extension gas trap, later dropped in favor of a simpler drilled gas port. Because most of the older rifles were retrofitted, pre-1939 gas-trap M1s are very rare today and are prized collector's items.[33] In both systems, expanding gases from a fired cartridge are diverted into the gas cylinder. Here, the gases meet a long-stroke piston attached to the operating rod, which is pushed rearward by the force of this high-pressure gas. Then, the operating rod engages a rotating bolt inside the receiver. The bolt is locked into the receiver via two locking lugs, which rotate, unlock, and initiate the ejection of the spent cartridge and the reloading cycle when the rifle is discharged. The operating rod (and subsequently the bolt) then returns to its original position.

The M1 Garand was one of the first self-loading rifles to use stainless steel for its gas tube, in an effort to prevent corrosion. As the stainless metal could not be parkerized, the gas tubes were given a stove-blackening that frequently wore off in use. Unless the gas tube could be quickly repainted, the resultant gleaming muzzle could make the M1 Garand and its user more visible to the enemy in combat.[42]

Accessories[edit]

U.S. M5 bayonet with M8 scabbard
U.S. Marine preparing to fire M31 HEAT antitank rifle grenade from M1 rifle in the indirect mode with butt on the ground

Several accessories were used with the Garand rifle. Several different styles of bayonets fit the rifle: the M1905, with a 16-inch (406 mm) blade; the M1 with a 10-inch (254 mm) blade (either made standard or shortened from existing M1905 bayonets); and the M5 bayonet with 6.75-inch (171 mm) blade.

Also available was the M7 grenade launcher that could easily be attached to the end of the barrel.[48][49] It could be sighted using the M15 sight, which was attached with screws to the left side of the stock, just forward of the trigger. A cleaning tool, oiler and grease containers could be stored in two cylindrical compartments in the buttstock for use in the field.

The M1907 two-piece leather rifle sling was the most common type of sling used with the weapon through World War II. In 1942, an olive drab canvas sling was introduced that gradually became more common.[50] Another accessory was the winter trigger, developed during the Korean War.[51] It consisted of a small mechanism installed on the trigger guard, allowing the soldier to remotely pull the trigger by depressing a lever just behind the guard.[51] This enabled the shooter to fire his weapon while using winter gloves, which could get "stuck" on the trigger guard or not allow for proper movement of the finger.[51]

Variants[edit]

Sniper models[edit]

Rifle, Cal. 30, M1C with M84 telescope and rear sight protector
Rifle, Cal. 30, M1D with M84 telescope and T-37 flash suppressor

Most variants of the Garand, save the sniper variants, never saw active duty.[44] The sniper versions were modified to accept scope mounts, and two versions (the M1C, formerly M1E7, and the M1D, formerly M1E8) were produced, although not in significant quantities during World War II.[52] The only difference between the two versions is the mounting system for the telescopic sight. In June 1944, the M1C was adopted as a standard sniper rifle by the U.S. Army to supplement the venerable M1903A4, but few saw combat; wartime production was only 7,971 M1Cs.[53]

The procedure required to install the M1C-type mounts through drilling/tapping the hardened receiver reduced accuracy by warping the receiver. Improved methods to avoid reduction of accuracy were inefficient in terms of tooling and time. This resulted in the development of the M1D, which utilized a simpler, single-ring Springfield Armory mount attached to the barrel rather than the receiver. The M1C was first widely used during the Korean War. Korean War production was 4,796 M1Cs and 21,380 M1Ds; although few M1Ds were completed in time to see combat.[53]

The U.S. Marine Corps adopted the M1C as their official sniper rifle in 1951. This USMC 1952 Sniper's Rifle or MC52 was an M1C with the commercial Stith Bear Cub scope manufactured by the Kollmorgen Optical Company under the military designation: Telescopic Sight - Model 4XD-USMC. The Kollmorgen scope with a slightly modified Griffin & Howe mount was designated MC-1. The MC52 was also too late to see extensive combat in Korea, but it remained in Marine Corps inventories until replaced by bolt-action rifles during the Vietnam War.[53] The U.S. Navy has also used the Garand, rechambered for the 7.62×51mm NATO round.

The detachable M2 conical flash hider adopted January 25, 1945 slipped over the muzzle and was secured in place by the bayonet lug. A T37 flash hider was developed later. Flash hiders were of limited utility during low-light conditions around dawn and dusk, but were often removed as potentially detrimental to accuracy.[53]

Tanker models[edit]

The Tanker name was invented after the war as a marketing gimmick for commercial Garands built on welded demilled receivers. There are three 18-inch M1 Garands variants the M1E5 and T26 both never saw service. And the PWB rifle saw very limited service in the pacific. [54] The M1E5 is equipped with a shorter 18-inch (457 mm) barrel and a folding buttstock. The T26 also uses an 18-inch (457 mm) barrel but retains the standard buttstock. PWB rifle uses an 18-inch (457 mm) barrel also retains the standard buttstock and has forgrip secured by M1903 barrel band.

It was recognized that such an arm might be particularly valuable for paratroopers, as it was more powerful than the carbines and submachine guns currently in use. Preliminary testing revealed it had excessive recoil and muzzle blast, but it was recommended that it be developed further. The Infantry Board directed Col. Rene Studler to proceed with the project.

The task was assigned to Springfield Armory, and John C. Garand began work in January 1944. The resultant experimental arm, designated as the “U.S. Carbine, Cal. 30, M1E5,” was fitted with a specially made 18" barrel (not a shortened standard M1 rifle barrel) marked “1 SA 2-44” and a pantograph metal stock that folded neatly underneath the rifle. The receiver was marked “U.S. CARBINE/CAL. .30 M1E5/SPRINGFIELD/ARMORY/1.” It is interesting to note that it was designated as a carbine and not a rifle.

Other than the folding stock, the basic M1 rifle was essentially unchanged with the exception of the short barrel, a correspondingly shortened operating rod (and spring) and the lack of a front handguard. The overall length was 37½" and it weighed approximately 8 lbs., 6 ozs.

The M1E5 “Garand Carbine” was tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground in May 1944. It was determined that while accuracy at 300 yds. was on a par with the standard M1 rifle, recoil, muzzle blast and flash were excessive. It was recommended that a pistol grip be installed, which was done for subsequent testing.

Photos of the M1E5 in stocks with and without the pistol grip exist, which might suggest there were two different models, but this was not the case. The folding stock had been repaired several times and it proved to be rather uncomfortable when firing. Work began on a modified folding stock, designated as the “T6E3,” to improve the deficiencies found in the original pattern, but it was not fully developed.

The M1E5 suffered from the “compromise syndrome,” as it required a trade-off between compactness and performance. It was indeed more compact than the standard Garand rifle, but the short barrel made it an unpleasant gun to fire—and the advantages were not judged to be sufficient to offset the disadvantages. Further development of the M1E5 was suspended as other projects at Springfield, such as the selective-fire T20 series, were deemed to have a higher priority. Only one example of the M1E5 was fabricated for testing, and the gun resides today in the Springfield Armory National Historic Site Museum.

Despite the concept being shelved at Springfield Armory, the idea of a shortened M1 rifle was still viewed as potentially valuable for airborne and jungle combat use. Particularly in the Pacific Theater, there was widespread dissatisfaction with the M1 carbine’s range, power and foliage-penetration (“brush-cutting”) capability. The Ordnance Dept. was not responsive to these complaints coming in from the Pacific and maintained that the M1 rifle and M1 carbine each filled a specific niche.

Nonetheless, by late 1944 the Pacific Warfare Board (PWB) decided to move forward with the development of a shortened M1 rifle. Colonel William Alexander, chief of the PWB, directed an Army ordnance unit of the 6th Army in the Philippines to fabricate 150 rifles in this configuration for testing. Since the previous M1E5 project was not widely disseminated, it is entirely possible that the PWB may not have been aware of Springfield Armory’s development of a similar rifle, and conceived the idea independently.

Some of the shortened M1 rifles were field-tested in October 1944 on Noemfoor Island, New Guinea, by an ad hoc “test committee,” which included three platoon leaders of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) Combat Team. While the members of the test committee liked the concept of the short M1 rifle, it was determined that the muzzle blast was excessive and was compared to a flash bulb going off in the darkened jungle. The conclusion of the test report stated that the shortened rifle was “totally unsuitable for a combat weapon.”

Even while the shortened M1 rifles were being evaluated by the 503rd PIR, two of them, Serial Nos. 2291873 and 2437139, were sent to the Ordnance Dept. in Washington, D.C., by special courier for evaluation. One of these rifles was then forwarded to Springfield Armory. The guys at Springfield must have felt a touch of déjà vu, as the rifle was very similar to the M1E5 built by the armory and tested at Aberdeen several months earlier.

The major difference was that the PWB rifle retained the standard M1 rifle wooden stock rather than the M1E5’s folding stock. The M1s shortened in the Philippines under the auspices of the PWB had been well-used prior to modification, and the conversion exhibited rather crude craftsmanship, including hand-cut splines on the barrel.

Upon receipt of the PWB rifle, Springfield Armory’s Model Shop fabricated a very similar shortened M1 that was designated as the “T26.” One of the more noticeable differences was that the shortened PWB rifle had a cut-down front handguard (secured by an M1903 rifle barrel band), while the T26 rifle was not fitted with a front handguard. It had been determined that the full-length stock was superior to the M1E5’s folding stock, so the T26 used a standard M1 rifle stock.

T26 prototype rifle

It is sometimes claimed that Springfield Armory simply put the existing M1E5 action into an M1 stock and dubbed it the T26. This was not the case, as the T26 did not use the M1E5’s purpose-made (and marked) receiver, but was made with a standard M1 rifle receiver and newly made, specially modified parts.

Regardless, it is a bit curious that the Ordnance Dept. decided to go to the trouble of having Springfield Armory make up another shortened Garand for additional testing when the M1E5, which differed primarily in the type of stock, had been thoroughly tested several months previously with less than spectacular results.

The PWB rifle, Serial No. 2437139, and Springfield Armory’s T26 were sent to Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) on July 26, 1945, for testing. The APG report related that a standard M1 rifle, Serial No. 1,032,921, was the “control” rifle to which the shorter rifle was compared during the testing. The results mirrored those of the M1E5’s previous testing. As related in the test report:

“The rifle tested was a standard cal. .30 M1 with barrel shortened approximately six inches. This alteration was accomplished in the Philippine Islands by an Ordnance Maintenance Company and the rifle was delivered to the Chief of Ordnance by a USAFFE Board representative for the test.

“The object of the test was to compare, by observation, the muzzle flash, smoke and blast of the shortened M1 rifle, with and without the flash hider, to that of the standard rifle.

“Conclusions:

“The muzzle flash of the modified rifle, with and without flash hider, was approximately eighty (80) percent greater than the flash of the standard rifle.

“The muzzle smoke of the modified rifle, with and without the flash hider was equivalent to that of the standard rifle.

“The muzzle blast of the modified rifle, with and without flash hider, was approximately fifty (50) percent greater than that of the standard rifle.

“The recoil of the modified rifle was noticeably heavier than that of the standard rifle.”

In addition to the increased recoil and muzzle flash/blast, functioning problems related to the shortened operating rod and the location of the gas port in the shortened barrel were noted during the testing. The fact that the gas port was positioned closer to the chamber as compared to the standard M1 rifle resulted in increased port pressure, which was detrimental to proper functioning.

Only the shortened PWB rifle, and not the T26, was discussed in the Aberdeen test report. It is reported that the T26 rifle was damaged during the testing, which is presumably why it was left out of the final report. The ultimate disposition or whereabouts of the T26 rifle are not known, although it has been speculated that it was salvaged for parts.

Somewhat inexplicably, despite the less-than-stellar results of the previous testing, including the 503rd PIR test committee’s conclusion that the modified rifle was “totally unsuitable as a combat weapon,” the concept was still of interest inasmuch as approval was forthcoming for procurement of 15,000 shortened M1 rifles. As related in the “Record of Army Ordnance Research and Development, Vol. 2”:

“In July of 1945, the Pacific Theater requested that they be supplied with 15,000 short M1 Rifles for Airborne use. A design of a short M1 Rifle was delivered by a courier from the Pacific Warfare Board. A comparative study of the sample short M1 Rifle and the M1E5 (a 1944 program to develop a short-barreled, folding stock M1, that was dropped as being of low priority) indicated a definite preference for the M1E5 action equipped with the standard stock; the rifle so equipped was designated as T26. A study by Springfield Armory resulted in a tentative completion schedule of five months for the limited procurement of 15,000 T26 Rifles; however, with the occurrence of V-J day on 14 August 1945 this requirement was dropped.” [55]

T20E2[edit]

The T20E2 selective-fire prototype was designed to feed from 20-round BAR magazines.

Another variant that never saw duty was the T20E2. It was an experimental, gas-operated, selective fire rifle with a slightly longer receiver than the M1 and modified to accept 20-round Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) magazines. The rifle was machined and tapped on the left side of the receiver for a scope mount, and included the same hardware for mounting a grenade launcher as the M1. The bolt had a hold open device on the rear receiver bridge, as well as a fire selector similar to the M14. Full automatic fire was achieved by a connector assembly which was actuated by the operating rod handle. This, in turn, actuated a sear release or trip which, with the trigger held to the rear, disengaged the sear from the hammer lugs immediately after the bolt was locked. In automatic firing, the cyclic rate of fire was 700 rpm. When the connector assembly was disengaged, the rifle could only be fired semi-automatically and functioned in a manner similar to the M1 rifle. The T20 had an overall length of 48 1/4", a barrel length of 24", and weighed 9.61 lbs. without accessories and 12.5 lbs. with bipod and empty magazine. It was designated as limited procurement in May 1945. Due to the cessation of hostilities with Japan, the number for manufacture was reduced to 100. The project was terminated in March 1948.

Quick reference[edit]

U.S. Army designation U.S. Navy designation Description
T1 N/A Prototype
T1E1 N/A A single trial rifle that broke its bolt in the 1931 trial
T1E2 N/A Trial designation for gas-trap Garand. Basically a T1E1 with a new bolt.
M1 N/A Basic model. Identical to T1E2. Later change to gas port did not change designation
M1E1 N/A M1 Garand variant; modified cam angle in op-rod
M1E2 N/A M1 Garand variant; prismatic scope and mount
M1E3 N/A M1 Garand variant; roller added to bolt's cam lug (later adapted for use in the M14)
M1E4 N/A M1 Garand variant; gas cut-off and expansion system with piston integral to op-rod
M1E5 N/A M1 Garand variant; 18-inch (457 mm) barrel, pistol grip and folding stock, for Airborne use
M1E6 N/A M1 Garand variant; sniper variant
M1E7/M1C N/A M1E6 Garand variant; M1C sniper variant with 2.2× magnification M73 scope (later modified as the M81, though the M82 or M84 scope could be used) in a Griffin & Howe mount affixed to the left side of the receiver requiring a leather cheek pad to properly position the shooter's face behind the offset scope[53]
M1E8/M1D N/A M1E7 Garand variant; M1D sniper variant with M82 scope (though the M84 scope could be used) in a Springfield Armory mount attached to the rear of the barrel allowing quick removal of the scope but similarly requiring the leather cheek pad[53]
M1E9 N/A M1 Garand variant; similar to M1E4, with piston separate from op-rod
M1E10 N/A M1 Garand variant; variant with the Ljungman direct gas system
M1E11 N/A M1 Garand variant; short-stroke Tappet gas system
M1E12 N/A M1 Garand variant; gas impingement system
M1E13 N/A M1 Garand variant; "White" gas cut-off and expansion system
M1E14 Mk 2 Mod 0 M1 Garand variant; rechambered in 7.62×51mm NATO with press-in chamber insert, enlarged gas port, and 7.62mm barrel bushing.[56]
T20 N/A M1 Garand variant; select-fire conversion by John Garand, capable of using BAR magazines
T20E1 N/A T20 variant; uses its own type of magazines
T20E2 N/A T20 variant; E2 magazines will work in BAR, but not the reverse
T20E2HB N/A T20E2 variant; HBAR (heavy barrel) variant
T22 N/A M1 Garand variant; fully automatic select-fire conversion by Remington, magazine-fed
T22E1 N/A T22 variant; unknown differences
T22E2 N/A T22 variant; unknown differences
T22E3HB N/A T22 variant; stock angled upwards to reduce muzzle climb; heavy barrel; uses T27 fire control
T23 N/A M1 Garand variant; upward angled stock like T22E3HB; standard clip fed.
T25 N/A T25 variant had a pistol grip: the stock angled upwards to reduce muzzle climb; and chambered for the new T65 .30 Light Rifle cartridge (7.62×49mm).[57]
T26 N/A M1 Garand variant; 18-inch (457 mm) barrel and standard stock, 1 prototype made by Springfield Armory used for testing, proposed use was for airborne and jungle operations.
PWB rifle N/A M1 Garand variant; 18-inch (457 mm) barrel and standard stock and shortened foregrip secured with M1903 barrel band. 150 made in the pacific theater of operations upon request by the Pacific War Board for airborne and jungle use. [58]
T27 N/A Remington select-fire field conversion for M1 Garand; ability to convert issue M1 Garands to select-fire rifles; fire control setup used in T22E3
T31 N/A Experimental bullpup variant
T35 Mk 2 Mod 1 M1 Garand variant; rechambered for 7.62×51mm NATO; While the majority used the standard en bloc clip, a small number were experimentally fitted with a 10-round internal magazine loaded by 5-round stripper clips.
T36 N/A T20E2 variant; rechambered for 7.62×51mm NATO using T35 barrel and T25 magazine
T37 N/A T36 variant; same as T36, except in gas port location
T44 N/A T44 variant; was a conventional design developed on a shoestring budget as an alternative to the T47.[57] With only minimal funds available, the earliest T44 prototypes simply used T20E2 receivers fitted with magazine filler blocks and re-barreled for 7.62×51mm NATO, with the long operating rod/piston of the M1 replaced by the T47's gas cut-off system.[57]
T47 N/A T47 variant; same as the T25, except for a conventional stock and chambered for 7.62×51mm NATO.[57]

Demilitarized versions[edit]

Demilitarized models are rendered permanently inoperable. Their barrels have been drilled out to destroy the rifling. A steel rod is then inserted into the barrel and welded at both ends. Sometimes, their barrels are also filled with molten lead or solder. Their gas ports or operating system are also welded closed. Their barrels are then welded to their receivers to prevent replacement. Their firing pin holes are welded closed on the bolt face. As a result, they cannot be loaded with, much less fire live ammunition. However, they may still be used for demonstration or instructional purposes.

Nomenclature National Stock Number Description
Rifle, Inert,
Caliber .30, M1
1005-00-599-3289 Demilitarized and barrel plugged. US Air Force instructional use.
Rifle, Training Aid, Caliber .30, M1 1005-01-061-2456 Demilitarized and barrel plugged. Instructional use.
Rifle, Dummy Drill, Caliber .30, M1 1005-01-113-3767 Demilitarized. Barrel is unplugged but is welded to the receiver. ROTC instructional use.
Rifle, Ceremonial, Caliber .30, M1 1005-01-095-0085 Gas cylinder lock valve is removed and the gas system has welds permanently joining the lock and gas cylinder to prevent reversion. Barrel is unplugged but is welded to the receiver. The weapon has been converted from semi-automatic to a repeater and can only fire blanks. The bolt must be cycled to eject the spent cartridge case and reload a fresh round from the internal clip. Used by American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars honor guards for parading and firing ceremonial salutes.

Copies and postwar derivatives[edit]

Japanese Type 4[edit]

Japanese Type 4

The Type 4 Rifle, often referred to as the Type 5 Rifle (Japanese: 四式自動小銃 Yon-shiki jidousyoujyuu), was a Japanese experimental semi-automatic rifle.[59] It was a copy of the American M1 Garand but with an integral 10-round magazine and chambered for the Japanese 7.7×58mm Arisaka cartridge.[60] Where the Garand used an en bloc clip, the Type 4's integral magazine was charged with two 5-round stripper clips and the rifle also used Japanese style tangent sights. The Type 4 had been developed alongside several other experimental semi-automatic rifles. However, none of the rifles entered into service before the end of World War II, with only 250 being made and many others were never assembled. There were several problems with jamming and feed systems, which also delayed its testing.

Beretta Models[edit]

Beretta BM59

During the 1950s, Beretta produced Garands in Italy at the behest of NATO, by having the tooling used by Winchester during World War II shipped to them by the U.S. government. These rifles were designated Model 1952 in Italy. Using this tooling, Beretta developed the BM59 series of rifles. The BM59, which was essentially a rechambered 7.62×51mm NATO caliber M1 fitted with a removable 20-round magazine, folding bipod and a combined flash suppressor/rifle grenade launcher. The BM59 is capable of selective fire. These rifles would also be produced under license in Indonesia as the "SP-1" series.

M14 rifle[edit]

M14 rifle

The M14 rifle, officially the United States Rifle, 7.62 mm, M14,[61] is an American selective fire automatic rifle that fires 7.62×51mm NATO (.308 Winchester) ammunition. The M14 rifle is basically an improved select-fire M1 Garand with a 20-round magazine.[62][63][64] The M14 rifle incorporated features of both the M1 rifle and the M1 Carbine, including the latter's short stroke piston design originally developed by Winchester Arms.

Ruger Mini-14[edit]

Ruger Mini-14GB

Designed by L. James Sullivan[65] and William B. Ruger, and produced by Sturm, Ruger & Co. the Mini-14 rifle employs an investment cast, heat-treated receiver and a version of the M1/M14 rifle locking mechanism.[66] Although the Mini-14 looks like the M14, it utilizes a reduced-size operating system, a different gas system and is chambered for the smaller .223 cartridge.[67]

Springfield Armory commercial production[edit]

M1 Garand rifle

In 1982, years after the closure of the U.S. Springfield Armory, a commercial firm – Springfield Armory, Inc. – began production of the M1 Rifle using a cast, heat-treated receiver with serial numbers in the 7,000,000+ range, along with commercially produced barrels (marked Geneseo, IL) and G.I. military surplus parts.[68]

Civilian use[edit]

A civilian shooting target with an M1 Garand
A woman target shooting with an M1 Garand

United States citizens meeting certain qualifications may purchase U.S. military surplus M1 rifles through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The CMP is run by the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety (CPRPFS), a not-for-profit corporation chartered by the United States Congress in 1996 to instruct citizens in marksmanship and promote practice and safety in the use of firearms.[69] The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code. From 1903 to 1996, the CMP was sponsored by the Office of the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM), a position first within the Department of War and later in the Department of the Army. The DCM was normally an active-duty Army colonel.

In 2009, an effort by the South Korean government to export about 850,000 firearms to the United States, including 87,000 M1 rifles, for eventual sale to civilians, was initially approved by the Obama administration, but it later blocked the sale in March 2010.[70] A State Department spokesman said the administration's decision was based on concerns that the guns could fall into the wrong hands and be used for criminal activity.[70] However, in January 2012, the U.S. and South Korea agreed on the sale of 87,000 M1 Garand rifles, and the South Korean government entered into discussion with U.S. civilian arms dealers.[71] Korea has sold tens of thousands of M1 Garand rifles to the U.S. civilian market between 1986 and 1994.[71] In 2018, the CMP reported they had received a shipment of more than 90,000 M1 Garand rifles from the Philippines and also stated plans to restore many of those rifles for civilian sale.

In August 2013, the Obama administration banned future private importation of all U.S. made weapons, including the M1 Garand.[72][better source needed] This action did not preclude the return of surplus U.S. weapons, including M1 Garands, previously loaned by the U.S. to friendly nations, to the custody of the U.S. Government; in recent years, the CMP has received most of its surplus weapons through such returns from foreign countries. However, all civilian and military firearms imported into the U.S. after January 30, 2002, are required by federal law to have the name of the importer conspicuously stamped on the barrel, slide, or receiver of each weapon.[73] This requirement significantly lowers a military weapon's value relative to those without the importation markings as they distract from its original state.[74]

Military surplus Garands and post-war copies made for the civilian market are popular among enthusiasts. In 2015, John F. Kennedy's personal M1 Garand was auctioned by Rock Island Auction Company and sold for $149,500.[75] This rifle was acquired by Kennedy in 1959 from the Director of Civilian Marksmanship and has the serial number 6086970.[76]

Users[edit]

Austrian troops training with M1 Garands during the 1950s
Evzones of the Presidential Guard in front of the Greek Parliament holding M1 Garands
National Defense Academy of Japan Honor Guard Drill Team
An ROC honor guard soldier and his M1 Garand
A Turkish soldier stands guard with his M1 rifle at the Anıtkabir Mausoleum.
  • Afghanistan: Used during the War in Afghanistan by Taliban insurgents.[77]
  •  Algeria[78]
  •  Argentina: Received about 30,000 M1s from the U.S. government before 1964. Some were converted to accept Beretta BM 59 magazines in the 1960s.[79]
  •  Belgium: Used as a ceremonial rifle by the Belgian Police[80]
  •  Brazil: Received large numbers of M1s from the U.S. government in the early 1950s. Some were converted to the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge and modified to accept FN FAL magazines.[79]
  •  Cambodia: Royal forces received M1 rifles from the U.S. during their civil war against communist insurgents.[81]
  •  Canada: A small, but unknown, number of M1, M1C (with infra-red night vision equipment) and M1D rifles were owned by Canada. There were enough to equip a brigade and Garands were issued to certain Canadian Army units near the end of World War II and to some army and Royal Canadian Air Force personnel into the 1950s.[82]
  •  Chile[83]
  •  People's Republic of China[84] Captured from Nationalist forces during the Chinese Civil War and US/ROK forces in the Korean War.
  •  Cuba:[3] 10,000 ex-British M1s.[30]
  •  Denmark: Received 69,810 M1 rifles (designated "Gevær m/50") from the U.S. government prior to 1964. Some were converted to the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge.[85] Also purchased 20,000 M1s from Italy.[86] The rifle has now been phased out of service.
  •  El Salvador: Received more than 1,365 M1s from the U.S. government until 1965 and 211 M1D sniper rifles.[87]
  •  Ethiopia: Received 20,700 M1 rifles from the U.S. government in the 1960s.[85]
  •  France: Used by the Foreign Legion.[88] As well France received 232,500 M1 rifles from the U.S. government in 1950–1964.[85] The M1 was known as the Fusil semi-automatique 7 mm 62 (C. 30) M. 1[89] (Semi-automatic rifle 7.62mm (calibre .30) M1)
  •  Germany: Captured from United States Army, limited use in World War II.[90] German designation was 7.62 mm Selbstladegewehr 251 (a)[91]
  •  West Germany: Received 46,750 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1965.[85]
  •  Greece: Received 186,090 M1 and 1880 M1C/M1D rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.[85] Still in use for ceremonial duties by the Presidential Guard and the Honor Guard of the Ministry of National Defence.
  •  Indonesia: Received between 55,000 and 78,000 M1s and a minor number of M1Cs from the U.S. government prior to 1971; some rifles also supplied from Italy.[79]
  •  Iran: Received 165,490 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1964.[85]
  •  Israel: Received up to 60,000 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.[85]
  •  Italy: Used by the army from 1945. Beretta license-built 100,000 M1s from 1950 until the adoption of the BM59 in 1959.[86] Also received 232,000 M1s from the U.S. government between 1950 and 1970.[79] The M1 Garand was known in the Italian Army as the Fucile «Garand» M1 cal. 7,62.[92]
  •  Ivory Coast[93]
  •  Empire of Japan[94]
  •  Japan: Issued to the Japan Self-Defense Forces.[95] Still used by the JSDF as a ceremonial weapon.[96]
  •  Jordan: Received an estimated 25,000-30,000 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1974.[85]
  •  South Korea: First rifles were handed to the Korean Constabulary in February 1948. Between August 1948 to June 1949, 41,897 rifles were transferred to the Republic of Korea Armed Forces from the United States. The ROK Armed Forces was equipped with 40,378 M1 Garand at the beginning of the Korean War. The M1 Garand in service to the Republic of Korea Army reached 152,328 (December 1950), 189,704 (December 1951), 221,079 (December 1952), and 266,633 (27 July 1953) units. Also used by the Republic of Korea Forces in Vietnam until the United States officially began supplying M16 to Korean units in 1968.[97][98] The rifle was phased out from active service by license produced M16A1 between 1974 to 1985. Most of the M1 rifles were scrapped or sold back to the U.S. for civilian use.[99] Only very small numbers are used for ceremonial duties.
  •  Kingdom of Laos: Received 36,270 M1 rifles from the U.S. government in 1950–1975.[85]
  •  Liberia[100]
  •  Netherlands: known as Geweer Garand 7,62mm in the Dutch Army and Geweer v/7,62 mm no. 2 S/aut in the Dutch Navy.[101]
  •  Nicaragua: Received 5000 M1 from the US 1954 MAP bought 1500 M1 from Canada [102]
  •  Norway: Received 72,800 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1964.[85]
  •  Pakistan: Received possibly 150,000 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.[85]
  •  Panama[103]
  •  Paraguay: Received 30,750 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.[85]
  •  Philippines: Received 34,300 M1 and 2630 M1D rifles from the U.S. government in 1950–1975. Retired from active Philippine Marine Corps service.[104][105] Used by units of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit.[106] In 2017, it was reported that the Philippine government may send 86,000 rifles to the U.S. Civilian Marksmanship Program.[107]
  •  Saudi Arabia: Received 34,530 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.[85]
  •  Thailand: Received about 40,000 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1965.[85]
  •  Turkey: Received 312,430 M1 rifles from the U.S. government in 1953–1970,[85] saw action in Korean War[108] and 1974 Cyprus War.[109][110] Still used by the Turkish Armed Forces as a ceremonial weapon.[111][112][113]
  •  United Kingdom: Received 38,000 as Lend-Lease[30]
  •  United States: Standard issue rifle for U.S. Army and Marine Corps Infantry from 1936 to 1957.[114] Used in the 1970s in reserve and rear-echelon capacities. Still in use for official military ceremonies, ROTC units, and Civil Air Patrol. Additionally, it remains the standard rifle of the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon.
  •  Uruguay[103]
  •  Venezuela: Received 55,670 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.[85]
  •  South Vietnam: Received 220,300 M1 and 520 M1C/M1D rifles from the U.S. government in 1950–1975.[85]
  •  North Vietnam and  Vietnam: (Largely captured and/or inherited from now-defunct Army of the Republic of Vietnam) Some used by the Viet Cong and the Viet Minh, taken from American, French and South Vietnamese forces/armories[115] with a few modified to make them compact.

Non-state actors[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Officially designated as U.S. rifle, caliber .30, M1, later simply called Rifle, Caliber .30, M1, also called US Rifle, Cal. .30, M1
  2. ^ Additional trials in 1930 found Bostonian Joseph White's rifles insufficiently robust.[21]

References[edit]

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  4. ^ de Quesada, Alejandro (January 10, 2009). The Bay of Pigs: Cuba 1961. Elite 166. Osprey Publishing. pp. 60–61. ISBN 978-1-84603-323-0.
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