M1 Garand

M1 Garand

Overview
The M1 Garand was the first semi-automatic rifle
Semi-automatic rifle
A semi-automatic rifle is a type of rifle that fires a single bullet each time the trigger is pulled, automatically ejects the spent cartridge, chambers a fresh cartridge from its magazine, and is immediately ready to fire another shot...

 to be generally issued to the infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S. Patton
George S. Patton
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from...

, the Garand officially replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield as the standard service rifle
Service rifle
The service rifle of a given army or armed force is that which it issues as standard to its soldiers. In modern forces, this is typically a highly versatile and rugged assault rifle suitable for use in nearly all theatres and environments...

 of the United States Armed Forces
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 in 1936 and was subsequently replaced by the selective fire
Selective fire
A selective fire firearm has at least one semi–automatic and one automatic mode, which is activated by means of a selector which varies depending on the weapon's design. Some selective fire weapons utilize burst fire mechanisms to limit the maximum or total number of shots fired automatically in...

 M14
M14 rifle
The M14 rifle, formally the United States Rifle, 7.62 mm, M14, is an American selective fire automatic rifle firing 7.62x51mm NATO  ammunition. It was the standard issue U.S. rifle from 1959 to 1970. The M14 was used for U.S...

 in 1957. However, the M1 continued to be used in large numbers until 1963 and to a lesser degree until 1966.

The M1 was used heavily by U.S.
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Encyclopedia
The M1 Garand was the first semi-automatic rifle
Semi-automatic rifle
A semi-automatic rifle is a type of rifle that fires a single bullet each time the trigger is pulled, automatically ejects the spent cartridge, chambers a fresh cartridge from its magazine, and is immediately ready to fire another shot...

 to be generally issued to the infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S. Patton
George S. Patton
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from...

, the Garand officially replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield as the standard service rifle
Service rifle
The service rifle of a given army or armed force is that which it issues as standard to its soldiers. In modern forces, this is typically a highly versatile and rugged assault rifle suitable for use in nearly all theatres and environments...

 of the United States Armed Forces
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 in 1936 and was subsequently replaced by the selective fire
Selective fire
A selective fire firearm has at least one semi–automatic and one automatic mode, which is activated by means of a selector which varies depending on the weapon's design. Some selective fire weapons utilize burst fire mechanisms to limit the maximum or total number of shots fired automatically in...

 M14
M14 rifle
The M14 rifle, formally the United States Rifle, 7.62 mm, M14, is an American selective fire automatic rifle firing 7.62x51mm NATO  ammunition. It was the standard issue U.S. rifle from 1959 to 1970. The M14 was used for U.S...

 in 1957. However, the M1 continued to be used in large numbers until 1963 and to a lesser degree until 1966.

The M1 was used heavily by U.S. forces in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, and, to a limited extent, the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. Most M1 rifles were issued to Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 and Marine
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 troops, though many thousands were also lent or provided as foreign aid to America's allies. The Garand is still used by drill team
Drill team
A drill team can be one of four different entities:# A Military Drill Team is marching unit that performs routines based on military drill. Military drill teams perform either armed or unarmed....

s and military honor guards. It is also widely sought by the civilian population as a hunting rifle, target rifle, and military collectible. The name "Garand" is pronounced variously as ɡəˈrænd or ˈɡærənd. According to experts and people who knew John Garand
John Garand
John Cantius Garand was a designer of firearms best known for creating the first successful semi-automatic rifle to be widely used in active military service, the M1 Garand....

, the weapon's designer, the latter version is preferred. It is now available for American civilian ownership through the Civilian Marksmanship Program
Civilian Marksmanship Program
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a U.S. government-chartered program that promotes firearms safety training and rifle practice for all qualified U.S. citizens with special emphasis on youth. Any U.S. citizen who is not legally prohibited from owning a firearm may purchase a military surplus...

.

History


Though the U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 became interested in self-loading rifles with the Bang
M1922 Bang rifle
The Bang M1922 was a semi automatic rifle of US Origin designed by the Danish arms designer Søren Hansen Bang. It was a modification of the 1909 models both chambered in the .30-06 Springfield round. At its field trials in 1919 and again in 1927, the demonstrator of the rifle was its designer Søren...

 and Murphy-Manning of 1911, and there were pre-production models in 1916, the M1's origin properly dates to 1919, when armies around the world were realizing standard rifle cartridge
Cartridge (firearms)
A cartridge, also called a round, packages the bullet, gunpowder and primer into a single metallic case precisely made to fit the firing chamber of a firearm. The primer is a small charge of impact-sensitive chemical that may be located at the center of the case head or at its rim . Electrically...

s were more powerful than necessary for typical engagement
Engagement (military)
A military engagement is a combat between two forces, neither larger than a division and not smaller than a company, in which each has an assigned or perceived mission...

 ranges, leading to heavier rifles than really required. The Army trials in the 1920s had a .256 inch minimum caliber
Caliber
In guns including firearms, caliber or calibre is the approximate internal diameter of the barrel in relation to the diameter of the projectile used in it....

 requirement, compared to the .30-06 then standard.

Development


Canadian-born John Cantius Garand became an American firearms inventor. He went to work at the Army's Springfield Armory
Springfield Armory
The Springfield Armory, located in the City of Springfield, Massachusetts - from 1777 until its closing in 1968 - was the primary center for the manufacture of U.S. military firearms. After its controversial closing during the Vietnam War, the Springfield Armory was declared Western Massachusetts'...

 and began working on a .30 caliber primer-operated
Blowback (arms)
Blowback is a system of operation for self-loading firearms that obtains energy from the motion of the cartridge case as it is pushed to the rear by expanding gases created by the ignition of the propellant charge....

 breech
Breech-loading weapon
A breech-loading weapon is a firearm in which the cartridge or shell is inserted or loaded into a chamber integral to the rear portion of a barrel....

. In the summer of 1924, twenty-four rifles, identified as "M1922", were built at Springfield, At Fort Benning
Fort Benning
Fort Benning is a United States Army post located southeast of the city of Columbus in Muscogee and Chattahoochee counties in Georgia and Russell County, Alabama...

 during the summer of 1925, they were tested against models by Berthier
Berthier rifle
The Berthier rifles and carbines were a family of bolt-action small arms in 8mm Lebel, used in the French Army from the 1890s to the beginning of World War II...

, Hatcher-Bang, Thompson
Thompson Autorifle
The Thompson Autorifle was a semi-automatic rifle that used a Blish Lock to delay the action of the weapon. It was chambered in .30-06, with the 1923 model in 7.62mm Russian rifle rounds....

, and Pedersen
Pedersen rifle
The Pedersen Rifle, officially known in final form as the T1E3 rifle, was a United States semi-automatic rifle designed by John Pedersen that was made in small numbers for testing by the United States Army during the 1920s as part of a program to standardize and adopt a replacement for the M1903...

, the latter two being delayed blowback
Blowback (arms)
Blowback is a system of operation for self-loading firearms that obtains energy from the motion of the cartridge case as it is pushed to the rear by expanding gases created by the ignition of the propellant charge....

 types. This led to a further trial of an improved "M1924" Garand against the Thompson, ultimately producing an inconclusive report. As a result, the Ordnance Board ordered a .30-'06 Garand variant. In March of 1927, the Cavalry Board reported trials between the Thompson, Garand, and '03 Springfield had not led to a clear winner. This led to a gas-operated .276 model (patented by Garand on 12 April, 1930).

During the spring of 1928, both Infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 and Cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 Boards ran trials with the .276 Pedersen T1
Pedersen rifle
The Pedersen Rifle, officially known in final form as the T1E3 rifle, was a United States semi-automatic rifle designed by John Pedersen that was made in small numbers for testing by the United States Army during the 1920s as part of a program to standardize and adopt a replacement for the M1903...

 rifle, calling it "highly promising" (despite its use of wax
Wax
thumb|right|[[Cetyl palmitate]], a typical wax ester.Wax refers to a class of chemical compounds that are plastic near ambient temperatures. Characteristically, they melt above 45 °C to give a low viscosity liquid. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents...

ed ammunition, shared by the Thompson). On 13 August 1928, a Semiautomatic Rifle Board carried out joint Army, Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, and Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 trials between the .30 Thompson, both cavalry and infantry versions of the T1 Pedersen, "M1924" Garand, and .256 Bang, and on 21 September, the Board reported no clear winner. The .30 Garand, however, was dropped in favor of the .276.

Further tests by the SRB in July 1929, which included rifle designs by Browning
John Browning
John Moses Browning , born in Ogden, Utah, was an American firearms designer who developed many varieties of military and civilian firearms, cartridges, and gun mechanisms, many of which are still in use around the world...

, Colt-Browning, Garand, Holek
Holek
Holek is brand of revolvers made by Czech company .Light and reliable due to combination of light-alloy frame and steel barrel. It's used by the Czech Police as backup gun....

, Pedersen, Rheinmetall
Rheinmetall
Rheinmetall AG is a German automotive and defence company with factories in Düsseldorf, Kassel and Unterlüß. The company has a long tradition of making guns and artillery pieces...

, Thompson, and an incomplete one by White,Additional trials in 1930 found Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

ian Joseph White's rifles insufficiently robust. Walter, p. 143
led to a recommendation that work on the (dropped) .30 gas-operated Garand be resumed, and a T1E1 was ordered 14 November 1929.

Twenty gas-operated .276 T3E2s Garands were made and competed with T1 Pedersen rifles in Spring 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 9 October 1931. A 4 January 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
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
The Chief of Staff of the Army is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army; and is in...

 General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

 personally disapproved any caliber change, in part because there were extensive existing stocks of .30 M1 ball ammunition. On 25 February 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.

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

Production difficulties delayed deliveries to the Army until September 1937. By September 1939, Springfield Armory had reached an output of 100 per day. 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
M16 rifle
The M16 is the United States military designation for the AR-15 rifle adapted for both semi-automatic and full-automatic fire. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from ArmaLite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 fires the 5.56×45mm NATO...

 at a similar point in its development. Production of the Garand increased in 1940 despite these difficulties, reaching 600 a day by 10 January 1941, and the Army was fully equipped by the end of 1941.

Service use



Following the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Winchester
Winchester Repeating Arms Company
The Winchester Repeating Arms Company was a prominent American maker of repeating firearms, located in New Haven, Connecticut. The Winchester brand is today used under license by two subsidiaries of the Herstal Group, Fabrique Nationale of Belgium and the Browning Arms Company of Morgan, Utah.-...

 was awarded an "educational" production contract for 65,000 rifles, with deliveries beginning in 1943. The British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 looked at the M1 as a possible replacement for its bolt-action Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk III
Lee-Enfield
The Lee-Enfield bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle was the main firearm used by the military forces of the British Empire and Commonwealth during the first half of the 20th century...

, but it was rejected when rigorous testing suggested that it was an unreliable weapon in muddy conditions.

The M1's semiautomatic operation gave United States forces a significant advantage in firepower and shot-to-shot recovery time over individual enemy infantrymen in battle (German, Italian, and Japanese soldiers were usually armed with bolt-action rifles). General George S. Patton
George S. Patton
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from...

 called it "the greatest implement of battle ever devised." The impact of faster-firing infantry small arms in general soon stimulated both Allied and Axis forces
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 to greatly augment issue of semi- and fully automatic
Automatic firearm
An automatic firearm is a firearm that loads another round mechanically after the first round has been fired.The term can be used to refer to semi-automatic firearms, which fire one shot per single pull of the trigger , or fully automatic firearms, which will continue to load and fire ammunition...

 firearms then in production, as well as to develop new types of infantry firearms.

Much of the M1 inventory in the post-World War II period underwent arsenal repair or rebuilding. While U.S. forces were still engaged in the Korean War, the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 determined a need for additional production of the Garand, and two new contracts were awarded. During 1953-56, M1s were produced by International Harvester
International Harvester
International Harvester Company was a United States agricultural machinery, construction equipment, vehicle, commercial truck, and household and commercial products manufacturer. In 1902, J.P...

 and Harrington & Richardson
H & R Firearms
H & R 1871, LLC is a manufacturer of firearms under the Harrington & Richardson and New England Firearms trademarks...

. A final, very small lot of M1s was produced by Springfield Armory in early 1957, using finished components already on hand. Beretta
Beretta
Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta is an Italian firearms manufacturer. Their firearms are used worldwide for a variety of civilian, law enforcement, and military purposes. It is also known for manufacturing shooting clothes and accessories. Beretta is the oldest active firearms manufacturer in the...

 also produced Garands using Winchester tooling.
The M1 proved an excellent rifle throughout its service in World War II and the Korean War. Surplus
Military surplus
Military surplus are goods, usually matériel, that are sold or otherwise disposed of when no longer needed by the military. Entrepreneurs often buy these goods and resell them at surplus stores. Military surplus rarely includes weapons or munitions, though they are occasionally found in such stores...

 M1 rifles also armed many nations allied to the USA postwar, including West Germany, Italy and Japan. Some Garands were still being used in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 in 1963; despite the M14's official adoption in 1957, it was not until 1965 the changeover from the M1 Garand was completed in the active-duty component of the Army (with the exception of the sniper
Sniper rifle
In military and law enforcement terminology, a sniper rifle is a precision-rifle used to ensure more accurate placement of bullets at longer ranges than other small arms. A typical sniper rifle is built for optimal levels of accuracy, fitted with a telescopic sight and chambered for a military...

 variants, which were introduced in World War II and saw action in Korea and Vietnam). In other components of the armed forces, such as the Army Reserve
United States Army Reserve
The United States Army Reserve is the federal reserve force of the United States Army. Together, the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard constitute the reserve components of the United States Army....

, Army National Guard
Army National Guard
Established under Title 10 and Title 32 of the U.S. Code, the Army National Guard is part of the National Guard and is divided up into subordinate units stationed in each of the 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia operating under their respective governors...

 and the Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, Garands continued to serve into the 1970s or longer.

Some military drill teams still use the M1, including the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Team
United States Marine Corps Drill Team
The United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon is a 24-man rifle platoon of the United States Marine Corps. Often referred to as The Marching Twenty-Four, the unit performs unique silent precision exhibition drill...

, the Norwegian Royal Guards Drill Team
Hans Majestet Kongens Garde
Hans Majestet Kongens Garde is a battalion of the Norwegian Army. The battalion has two main roles; it serves as the Norwegian King's bodyguards, guarding the royal residences and Akershus Fortress in Oslo, and is also the main infantry unit responsible for the defence of...

, the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Honor Guard, almost all Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and some Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) teams of all branches of the U.S. military. The Greek Army Evzones (presidential) Guard still uses M1s, and it was used as a training rifle in the Greek army even in the late 1990s.

Design details


The M1 rifle is a gas-operated, semi-automatic
Semi-automatic firearm
A semi-automatic, or self-loading firearm is a weapon which performs all steps necessary to prepare the weapon to fire again after firing—assuming cartridges remain in the weapon's feed device or magazine...

, clip-fed rifle. By modern standards, the M1's feeding system is archaic, relying on clip
Clip (ammunition)
A clip is a device that is used to store multiple rounds of ammunition together as a unit, ready for insertion into the magazine or cylinder of a firearm. This speeds up the process of loading and reloading the firearm as several rounds can be loaded at once, rather than one round being loaded at a...

s 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
M1 Carbine
The M1 carbine is a lightweight, easy to use semi-automatic carbine that became a standard firearm for the U.S. military during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and was produced in several variants. It was widely used by U.S...

), and that a protruding magazine would complicate existing manual-of-arms drills. As a result, inventor John Garand
John Garand
John Cantius Garand was a designer of firearms best known for creating the first successful semi-automatic rifle to be widely used in active military service, the M1 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.

Garand's rifle was originally chambered for the .276 Pedersen
.276 Pedersen
The .276 Pedersen round was an experimental 7 mm cartridge developed for the U.S. Army and used in the Pedersen rifle and early versions of what would become the M1 Garand rifle.-Summary:...

 cartridge, charged by means of 10-round clips. Later, it was chambered for the then-standard .30-06 Springfield. With this new cartridge, the M1 had a maximum effective range of 440 yards (402.3 m), with the capability of inflicting a casualty with armor-piercing ammunition
Armor-piercing shot and shell
An armor-piercing shell is a type of ammunition designed to penetrate armor. From the 1860s to 1950s, a major application of armor-piercing projectiles was to defeat the thick armor carried on many warships. From the 1920s onwards, armor-piercing weapons were required for anti-tank missions...

 well beyond 875 yards (800.1 m). Because of the larger diameter of the .30-06 cartridge, the modified magazine held only eight rounds.

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. In both systems, expanding gases from a fired cartridge are diverted into the gas cylinder. Here, the gases met a long-stroke piston attached to the operating rod. The operating rod was therefore pushed rearward by the force of this high-pressure gas. Then, the operating rod engaged a rotating bolt
Rotating bolt
Rotating bolt is a method of locking originally developed by Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher and found in his Steyr-Mannlicher M1895 straight-pull bolt-action rifle designed for and issued to the Austro-Hungarian Army...

 inside the receiver
Receiver (firearms)
In firearms terminology, the receiver is the part of a firearm that houses the operating parts. The receiver usually contains the bolt carrier group, trigger group, and magazine port. In most handguns, the receiver, or frame, holds the magazine well or rotary magazine as well as the trigger mechanism...

. The bolt was attached to the receiver via two locking lugs, which rotated, unlocked, and initiated the ejection of the spent cartridge and the reloading cycle when the rifle was discharged. The operating rod (and subsequently the bolt) then returned to its original position.

Features


The weight of the M1 varies between 9.5 pounds (4.31 kg) and 10.2 pounds (4.63 kg) unloaded (depending on sling type and stock wood density)--a considerable increase over the previous M1903 Springfield. The length was 43.6 inches (1,107 mm). The rifle is fed by an "en bloc" clip which holds eight rounds of .30-06 Springfield
.30-06 Springfield
The .30-06 Springfield cartridge or 7.62×63mm in metric notation, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 and standardized, and was in use until the 1960s and early 1970s. It replaced the .30-03, 6 mm Lee Navy, and .30 US Army...

 ammunition. When the last cartridge
Cartridge (firearms)
A cartridge, also called a round, packages the bullet, gunpowder and primer into a single metallic case precisely made to fit the firing chamber of a firearm. The primer is a small charge of impact-sensitive chemical that may be located at the center of the case head or at its rim . Electrically...

 is fired, the rifle ejects the clip and locks the bolt open. Clips can also be manually ejected at any time. The "en-bloc" clip is manually ejected by pulling the operating rod all the way to the rear, and then depressing the clip latch button. Much criticized in modern times, the en-bloc clip was innovative for its era. The concept of a disposable box magazine had not been embraced, and en-bloc clips were cheap and reliable. It was even harder and slower to reload than the M1903 rifle. Contemporary rifles with the ability to easily top off a magazine included the Johnson M1941, the obsolete Krag-Jørgensen
Krag-Jørgensen
The Krag-Jørgensen is a repeating bolt action rifle designed by the Norwegians Ole Herman Johannes Krag and Erik Jørgensen in the late 19th century. It was adopted as a standard arm by Denmark, the United States of America and Norway...

  and the Lee-Enfield
Lee-Enfield
The Lee-Enfield bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle was the main firearm used by the military forces of the British Empire and Commonwealth during the first half of the 20th century...

 No1 and No4.

The rifle's ability to rapidly fire powerful .30-06 rifle ammunition also proved to be of considerable advantage in combat. In China, Japanese banzai charge
Banzai charge
Banzai charge was a term applied during World War II by the Allied forces to human wave attacks mounted by infantry forces of the Imperial Japanese Army...

s had previously met with frequent success against poorly trained Chinese soldiers armed with bolt-action rifles. Armed with the M1, U.S. infantrymen were able to sustain a much higher rate of fire than their Chinese counterparts. In the short-range jungle fighting, where opposing forces sometimes met each other in column formation on a narrow path, the penetration of the powerful .30-06 M2 cartridge enabled a single U.S. infantryman to kill up to three Japanese soldiers with a single round. The Garand's fire rate in the hands of a trained soldier, averaged out to 40-50 accurate shots per minute at a range of 300 yards, making it the single fastest-firing service rifle of any nation by a wide margin.

Ejection of an empty clip created a distinctive metallic "pinging" sound. In World War II, reports arose in which German and Japanese infantry were making use of this noise in combat to alert them to an empty M1 rifle in order to 'get the drop' on their American enemies. The information was taken seriously enough that U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground
Aberdeen Proving Ground
Aberdeen Proving Ground is a United States Army facility located near Aberdeen, Maryland, . Part of the facility is a census-designated place , which had a population of 3,116 at the 2000 census.- History :...

 began experiments with clips made of various plastics in order to soften the sound, though no improved clips were ever adopted.

The M1 Garand was one of the first self-loading rifles to use stainless steel for its gas cylinder, in an effort to prevent corrosion. As the stainless metal could not be parkerized
Parkerizing
Parkerizing is a method of protecting a steel surface from corrosion and increasing its resistance to wear through the application of an electrochemical phosphate conversion coating...

, these gas cylinders were given a stove-blackening that frequently wore off in use. Unless the cylinder could be quickly repainted, the resultant gleaming muzzle could make the M1 Garand and its user more visible to the enemy in combat. 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.

Operation


The Garand is loaded with a full clip of eight rounds. Once all eight rounds are expended, the bolt will be automatically locked back and the clip ejected (with a distinct metallic ping), readying the rifle for the insertion of a fresh clip of ammunition
Ammunition
Ammunition is a generic term derived from the French language la munition which embraced all material used for war , but which in time came to refer specifically to gunpowder and artillery. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions...

. Compared to contemporary detachable box magazines, the M1's "en bloc" clip is light, simple, and only has to be oriented with the rounds pointing forward prior to charging the rifle (the clips have no top or bottom).

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. The right hand should be placed in front of the operating rod handle in order to prevent the bolt from closing on operator's thumb (resulting in "Garand thumb" or "M1 thumb") and after the clip has been pressed into position in the magazine, the hand moved quickly forward 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.

The M1's safety 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. Contrary to widespread misconception, partially expended or full clips can be easily ejected from the rifle by means of the clip latch button. 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 loading dirt 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, which is how the rifle was originally designed to be operated. 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 wastage 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. 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.

It is recommended that very slow burning powders and heavy bullets not be used in the Garand. This is an issue especially important to handloaders, as the pressure curve of slower propellants can put too much pressure on the gas piston, bend the operating rod, and adversely affect the Garand's accuracy. The Garand is best used with bullets of about 150 grains weight, as in "Ball, Caliber 30, M2" ammunition. However, there are several adjustable gas cylinder plugs available that vent excess gas out of the gas cylinder, reducing the pressure on the operating rod.

Accessories


Both official and aftermarket accessories were plentiful for the Garand rifle. Several different styles of bayonet
Bayonet
A bayonet is a knife, dagger, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit in, on, over or underneath the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar weapon, effectively turning the gun into a spear...

s fit the rifle: the M1905
M1905 Bayonet
The M1905 Bayonet was designed to be used with the .30 caliber U.S. M1903 Springfield rifle. Variants of the M1903 rifle were produced during World War I and World War II by Springfield Armory, Remington Arms, Rock Island Arsenal, and Smith-Corona Typewriter. The blade is 16 inches long, and the...

 and M1942
M1942 Bayonet
The M1942 Bayonet was designed to be used with the .30 caliber U.S. Rifle M1, or M1 Garand. The blade is 16 inches long and the handle is 4 inches long....

, both with 16-inch (406 mm) blades; the Model 1905E1 with shortened 10-inch (254 mm) blade; the M1
M1 Bayonet
The M1 Bayonet was designed to be used with the .30 caliber U.S. Rifle M1. The blade is 10 inches long, and the handle is 4 inches long....

 with 10-inch (254 mm) blade; and the M5 bayonet
M5 Bayonet
The M5 Bayonet was adopted by the U.S. Military in 1953 to replace other bayonets for the M1 Garand. It uses the M8A1 scabbard.-Background:During the Korean War, the M1 bayonet and M1905 bayonet which mount to the M1 Garand, were proven difficult to remove with gloves on. As a result the U.S. M5...

 with 6.75-inch (152 mm) blade.

Also available was the M7 grenade launcher
M7 grenade launcher
The M7 grenade launcher, formally Rifle Grenade Launcher, M7 was a 22 mm rifle grenade launcher attachment for the M1 Garand rifle which saw widespread use throughout World War II and the Korean War. The M7 was a tube-shaped device, one end that slotting over the barrel of the rifle, the other end...

 that fitted onto the end of the barrel. It was sighted using the M15 sight, which fit just forward of the trigger. A cleaning tool, oiler and greasepots could be stored in two cylindrical compartments in the buttstock for use in the field. Because of the limitations of the Garand's clip-loading magazine, the rifle proved less than ideal for use in launching 22 mm
22 mm grenade
The 22mm rifle grenade is inserted over the firing mechanism on the front of rifles that are equipped with the appropriate launcher, either in the form of an integral flash suppressor or a detachable adapter. As with most rifle grenades, it is propelled by a blank cartridge inserted into the...

 rifle grenade
Rifle grenade
A rifle grenade is a grenade that uses a rifle-based launcher to permit a longer effective range than would be possible if the grenade was thrown by hand...

s, and the M1903 Springfield was retained for use in that role long after grenade launchers for the Garand became available.

The M1907 two-piece leather rifle sling was the most common type of sling used with the weapon through World War II. In 1943 a khaki canvas sling was introduced that gradually became more common. Another accessory was the winter trigger, said to have been developed during the Korean War. 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. 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.

Quick reference

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
M14 rifle
The M14 rifle, formally the United States Rifle, 7.62 mm, M14, is an American selective fire automatic rifle firing 7.62x51mm NATO  ammunition. It was the standard issue U.S. rifle from 1959 to 1970. The M14 was used for U.S...

)
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 barrel and folding stock, for Airborne and Tank crewman use.
M1E6 N/A M1 Garand variant; sniper variant
M1E7/M1C N/A M1E6 Garand variant; M1C sniper variant with M81 scope (though the M82 or M84 scope could be used) on a Griffin & Howe mount
M1E8/M1D N/A M1E7 Garand variant; M1D sniper variant with M82 scope (though the M84 scope could be used) on a Springfield Armory
Springfield Armory
The Springfield Armory, located in the City of Springfield, Massachusetts - from 1777 until its closing in 1968 - was the primary center for the manufacture of U.S. military firearms. After its controversial closing during the Vietnam War, the Springfield Armory was declared Western Massachusetts'...

 mount
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
Ag m/42
The Automatgevär m/42 is a Swedish semi-automatic rifle in limited use by the Swedish Army from 1942 until the 1960s.-History:...

 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 .30 T65/7.62x51mm NATO with press-in chamber insert
T20 N/A M1 Garand variant; select-fire conversion by John Garand
John Garand
John Cantius Garand was a designer of firearms best known for creating the first successful semi-automatic rifle to be widely used in active military service, the M1 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 variant
T22 N/A M1 Garand variant; select-fire conversion by Remington
Remington Arms
Remington Arms Company, Inc. was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons. It is the oldest company in the United States which still makes its original product, and is the oldest continuously operating manufacturer in North America. It is the only U.S....

, magazine-fed
T22E1 N/A T22 variant; unknown differences
T22E2 N/A T22 variant; unknown differences
T22E3 N/A T22 variant; unknown differences; uses T27 fire control
T26 N/A M1 Garand variant; 18-inch barrel and standard stock, for airborne and tank crewman use.
T27 N/A Remington
Remington Arms
Remington Arms Company, Inc. was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons. It is the oldest company in the United States which still makes its original product, and is the oldest continuously operating manufacturer in North America. It is the only U.S....

 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 2 M1 Garand variant; rechambered for .30 T65/7.62x51mm NATO
T36 N/A T20E2 variant; T20E2 rechambered for .30 T65/7.62x51mm NATO using T35 barrel and T25 magazine
T37 N/A T36 variant; same as T36, except in gas port location

M1C and M1D sniper rifles



Most variants of the Garand, save the sniper
Sniper
A sniper is a marksman who shoots targets from concealed positions or distances exceeding the capabilities of regular personnel. Snipers typically have specialized training and distinct high-precision rifles....

 variants, never saw active duty. 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. The only difference between the two versions is the mounting system for the telescopic sight
Telescopic sight
A telescopic sight, commonly called a scope, is a sighting device that is based on an optical refracting telescope. They are equipped with some form of graphic image pattern mounted in an optically appropriate position in their optical system to give an accurate aiming point...

. In June 1944, the M1C was adopted as a standard sniper rifle
Sniper rifle
In military and law enforcement terminology, a sniper rifle is a precision-rifle used to ensure more accurate placement of bullets at longer ranges than other small arms. A typical sniper rifle is built for optimal levels of accuracy, fitted with a telescopic sight and chambered for a military...

 by the U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 to supplement the venerable M1903A4.

The procedure required to install the M1C-type mounts through drilling/tapping the hardened receiver was inefficient in terms of tooling and time. This resulted in the development of the M1D, which utilized a simpler, single-ring Springfield Armory mount. The M1C and M1D first began to be widely used during the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

. The U.S. Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 adopted the M1C as their official sniper rifle in 1951. The U.S. Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 has also used the Garand, rechambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO round.

M1E5 and T26


Two interesting variants that never saw service were the M1E5 and T26 (popularly known as the Tanker Garand). The M1E5 is equipped with a folding buttstock
Stock (firearm)
A stock, also known as a buttstock or shoulder stock, is a part of a rifle or other firearm, to which the barrel and firing mechanism are attached, that is held against one's shoulder when firing the gun. Stocks are also found on crossbows though a crossbow stock is more properly referred to as a...

, while the T26 uses the standard solid stock, and has a shorter, 18-inch barrel
Gun barrel
A gun barrel is the tube, usually metal, through which a controlled explosion or rapid expansion of gases are released in order to propel a projectile out of the end at a high velocity....

. The Tanker name was also used after the war as a marketing gimmick for commercially modified Garands. Another variant that never saw duty was the T20E2. This variant is a Garand modified to accept Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) magazines, and has selective fire
Selective fire
A selective fire firearm has at least one semi–automatic and one automatic mode, which is activated by means of a selector which varies depending on the weapon's design. Some selective fire weapons utilize burst fire mechanisms to limit the maximum or total number of shots fired automatically in...

 capability, with semi- and fully automatic modes.

The T26 arose from requests by various Army combat commands for a shortened version of the standard M1 rifle for use in jungle or mobile warfare. In July 1945 Col. William Alexander, former staff officer for Gen. Simon Buckner
Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr.
General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. was an American lieutenant general during World War II. He served in the Pacific Theater of Operations and commanded the defenses of Alaska early in the war. After that assignment, he was promoted to command 10th Army, which conducted the amphibious assault on...

 and a new member of the Pacific Warfare Board, requested urgent production of 15,000 carbine-length M1 rifles for use in the Pacific theater. To emphasize the need for rapid action, he requested the Ordnance arm of the U.S. 6th Army in the Philippines to make up 150 18" barreled M1 rifles for service trials, sending another of the rifles by special courier to U.S. Army Ordnance officials at Aberdeen as a demonstration that the M1 could be easily modified to the new configuration. Although the T26 was never approved for production, at least one 18" barreled M1 rifle was used in action in the Philippines by troopers in the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment (503rd PIR).

Beretta Production


During the 1950s, Beretta
Beretta
Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta is an Italian firearms manufacturer. Their firearms are used worldwide for a variety of civilian, law enforcement, and military purposes. It is also known for manufacturing shooting clothes and accessories. Beretta is the oldest active firearms manufacturer in the...

 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, and eventually led to variants of their own, the best known of these being the BM59
Beretta BM59
The Beretta BM59 is an Italian-made rifle based on the M1 Garand rifle, but chambered in 7.62x51 mm NATO, and modified to use a detachable magazine. Later revisions incorporated other features common to more modern rifles.-Development:...

 series.

The M1 Garand became the standard U.S. service rifle in 1936, but the former standard M1903 Springfield continued in use. The M1903A4 model Springfield was a bolt action sniper rifle that remained in use for years due to its superior performance.
The U.S. rifle M1C or M1D (Sniper's) is the standard U.S. rifle M1 with telescope M81, M82, or M84 mounted on the receiver and a cheek pad laced to the stock. The cone shaped flash hider M2 or prong flash hider T37 is furnished as an accessory with the M1C and M1D models. The 1952 Marine version of the M1C had a different scope and flash hider.
The M1C and M1D sniper versions of the M1 Garand were standardized in 1944. The M1C was used late in World War II and was the main sniper weapon for the U.S. Army in Korea. Few M1D models were produced before the end of World War II. Many standard M1s were converted to M1D during the Korean War, but few made it to that war. During the early years of the Vietnam War, the M1D was the official U.S. Army sniper rifle until it was replaced in the mid-1960s by the M-21 7.62mm Sniper Rifle. The M-1D was briefly returned to service as a designated sniper weapon to US Army infantry units in Europe.

Descendants


The M1 Garand was the direct predecessor of the M14 rifle
M14 rifle
The M14 rifle, formally the United States Rifle, 7.62 mm, M14, is an American selective fire automatic rifle firing 7.62x51mm NATO  ammunition. It was the standard issue U.S. rifle from 1959 to 1970. The M14 was used for U.S...

, which replaced it. The Japanese began development of a modified copy of the Garand, the Type 5 Rifle
Type 5 Rifle
The Type 4 Rifle was a Japanese experimental semi-automatic rifle. 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...

, near the end of World War II, though it never reached production status. During the 1950s, Beretta developed the BM59
Beretta BM59
The Beretta BM59 is an Italian-made rifle based on the M1 Garand rifle, but chambered in 7.62x51 mm NATO, and modified to use a detachable magazine. Later revisions incorporated other features common to more modern rifles.-Development:...

 series of rifles, which would also be produced under license in Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 as the "SP" series. Ruger
Sturm, Ruger
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Incorporated is a Southport, Connecticut-based firearm manufacturing company, better known by the shortened name Ruger. Sturm, Ruger produces bolt-action, semi-automatic, full-automatic, and single-shot rifles, shotguns, semi-automatic pistols, and single- and double-action...

 produced the Mini-14
Mini-14
The Mini-14, Mini Thirty, and Mini-6.8 are small, lightweight semi-automatic carbines manufactured by the U.S. firearms company Sturm, Ruger. The Mini-14 non-target versions can fire both the .223 Remington cartridge and the similar military 5.56x45mm cartridge. The target model Mini-14 rifles are...

 rifle, which utilizes a reduced-size operating system and a different gas system. The Mini-14 looks like the M-14, but is chambered for the smaller .223 cartridge.

Despite similarities in naming, there is no relationship between the M1 rifle and the M1 carbine
M1 Carbine
The M1 carbine is a lightweight, easy to use semi-automatic carbine that became a standard firearm for the U.S. military during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and was produced in several variants. It was widely used by U.S...

, other than a similar rotating bolt design. Additional confusion can arise from the development of several other weapon systems, "M" being an abbreviation for Model, such as the M1 submachine gun and M1 tank
M1 Abrams
The M1 Abrams is a third-generation main battle tank produced in the United States. It is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of US military forces in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972. The M1 is a well armed, heavily armored, and highly mobile tank designed for...

.

Civilian use



United States citizens
United States nationality law
Article I, section 8, clause 4 of the United States Constitution expressly gives the United States Congress the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. The Immigration and Naturalization Act sets forth the legal requirements for the acquisition of, and divestiture from, citizenship of...

 meeting certain qualifications may purchase U.S. military surplus M1 rifles through the Civilian Marksmanship Program
Civilian Marksmanship Program
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a U.S. government-chartered program that promotes firearms safety training and rifle practice for all qualified U.S. citizens with special emphasis on youth. Any U.S. citizen who is not legally prohibited from owning a firearm may purchase a military surplus...

 (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
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 in 1996 to instruct citizens in marksmanship and promote practice and safety in the use of firearms. The group holds a congressional charter
Congressional charter
A congressional charter is a law passed by the United States Congress that states the mission, authority and activities of a group. Congress issued federal charters from 1791 until 1992 under Title 36 of the United States Code....

 under Title 36 of the United States Code
Title 36 of the United States Code
Title 36 of the United States Code outlines the role of Patriotic Societies and Observances in the United States Code.*Subtitle I—Patriotic and National Observances and Ceremonies*Subtitle II—Patriotic and National Organizations...

. 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
United States Department of War
The United States Department of War, also called the War Department , was the United States Cabinet department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army...

 and later in the Department of the Army. The DCM was normally an active-duty Army colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

.

In 2009, an effort by the South Korean government to sell about 850,000 firearms to Americans, including 87,000 M1 rifles, was initially approved by the Obama administration, but it blocked the sale in March 2010. 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.

Military surplus Garands and post-war copies made for the civilian market are popular among enthusiasts around the world.

Users


Received about 30,000 M1s from the U.S. government before 1964. Some were converted to accept BM59 magazines in the 1960s.: Received large numbers of M1s from the U.S. government in the early 1950s. Some were converted to the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge and to accept FN FAL magazines.: Received M1 rifles from the U.S. government. - Received 69,810 M1 rifles (designated "Gevær m/50") from the U.S. government prior to 1964. Some were converted to the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. Also purchased 20,000 M1s from Italy. The rifle has now been phased out of service.: Received 20,700 M1 rifles from the U.S. government in the 1960s. - Used by the Foreign Legion and Free French Forces
Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

. France also received 232,500 M1 rifles from the U.S. government in 1950-1964.: Received 46,750 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1965.: Received 186,090 M1 and 1880 M1C/M1D rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975. Still in use for ceremonial duties by the Presidential Guard
Evzones
The Evzones, or Evzoni, is the name of several historical elite light infantry and mountain units of the Greek Army. Today, it refers to the members of the Proedriki Froura , an elite ceremonial unit that guards the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier , the Hellenic Parliament and the Presidential...

.: 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.: Received 165,490 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1964.: Received up to 60,000 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.: Used by the army from 1945. Beretta license-built 100,000 M1s from 1950 until the adoption of the BM59
Beretta BM59
The Beretta BM59 is an Italian-made rifle based on the M1 Garand rifle, but chambered in 7.62x51 mm NATO, and modified to use a detachable magazine. Later revisions incorporated other features common to more modern rifles.-Development:...

 in 1959. Also received 232,000 M1s from the U.S. government between 1950 and 1970.: Issued to the National Police Reserve
Japan Self-Defense Forces
The , or JSDF, occasionally referred to as JSF or SDF, are the unified military forces of Japan that were established after the end of the post–World War II Allied occupation of Japan. For most of the post-war period the JSDF was confined to the islands of Japan and not permitted to be deployed...

. Still used by the JSDF as a ceremonial weapon
Ceremonial weapon
A ceremonial weapon is an object used for ceremonial purposes to display power or authority. They are often used in parades, and as part of dress uniforms.Although they are descended from weapons used in actual combat, they are not normally used as such...

.: Received an estimated 25,000-30,000 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1974.: Received 36,270 M1 rifles from the U.S. government in 1950-1975.: Received 72,800 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1964. Still used by the drill team of the Hans Majestet Kongens Garde
Hans Majestet Kongens Garde
Hans Majestet Kongens Garde is a battalion of the Norwegian Army. The battalion has two main roles; it serves as the Norwegian King's bodyguards, guarding the royal residences and Akershus Fortress in Oslo, and is also the main infantry unit responsible for the defence of...

.: Received possibly 150,000 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.: Received 30,750 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.: Received 34,300 M1 and 2630 M1D rifles from the U.S. government in 1950-1975.: Received 34,530 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.: Received 296,450 of M1 rifles from the U.S. government in 1964-1974.: Received 220,300 M1 and 520 M1C/M1D rifles from the U.S. government in 1950-1975.: Received about 40,000 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1965.: Received 312,430 M1 rifles from the U.S. government in 1953-1970.: Standard issue rifle of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force from 1936 to 1963. Still in use for official military ceremonies and ROTC
Reserve Officers' Training Corps
The Reserve Officers' Training Corps is a college-based, officer commissioning program, predominantly in the United States. It is designed as a college elective that focuses on leadership development, problem solving, strategic planning, and professional ethics.The U.S...

 units.: Received 55,670 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.

See also

  • List of U.S. Army weapons by supply catalog designation SNL B-21
  • Garand carbine
    Garand carbine
    The Garand carbine was John Garand's entry during the Light Rifle program. The weapon was chambered in the .30 Carbine round and was fed from a magazine inserted from the right side....

     - another John Garand-designed weapon
  • M14 rifle
    M14 rifle
    The M14 rifle, formally the United States Rifle, 7.62 mm, M14, is an American selective fire automatic rifle firing 7.62x51mm NATO  ammunition. It was the standard issue U.S. rifle from 1959 to 1970. The M14 was used for U.S...

    - Developed from and later replaced the M1 Garand

External links