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M1 rifle
M1 Rifle
Manufactured: 1932
Industry: Springfield Armory
Region of Origin: United States
Users:
  • First Resistance
  • American Resistance (Looted from Gun stores)
  • Tribe of Shadows (Only 7 in stock)
Effective Range: 440 yd (402 m)
Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield (7.62x63mm)
Years Active: 1932-1965
Action: Gas-operated, tilting bolt

The M1 Garand (officially designated as United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1 and later simply Rifle, Caliber .30, M1, and also abbreviated as US Rifle, Cal. .30, M1), was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S. Patton, the Garand officially replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield as the standard service rifle of the United States Armed Forces in 1936 and was subsequently replaced by the selective fire M14 in 1957. However, the M1 continued to be used in large numbers until 1963 and to a lesser degree until 1966.

The M1 "is an air-cooled, gas-operated, clip-fed, and semiautomatic shoulder weapon. This means that the air cools the barrel; that the power to cock the rifle and chamber the succeeding round comes from the expanding gas of the round fired previously; that it is loaded by inserting a metal clip (containing a maximum of eight rounds) into the receiver; and that the rifle fires one round each time the trigger is pulled ". After the eight rounds have been shot the clip automatically ejects causing a "ping" noise to occur.

The M1 was used extensively by U.S. forces in World War II, the Korean War, and, to a limited extent, the Vietnam War. Most M1 rifles were issued to Army and Marine troops, though many thousands were also lent or provided as foreign aid to America's allies. The Garand is still used by drill teams 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 /ɡəˈrænd/ or /ˈɡærənd/. According to experts and people who knew John Garand, the weapon's designer, the latter version is preferred. It is available for American civilian ownership through the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

History Edit

Through the U.S. Army became interested in self-loading rifles with the Bang 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 cartridges were more powerful than necessary for typical engagement ranges, leading to heavier rifles than really required. The Army trials in the 1920s had a .256 inch minimum caliber requirement, compared to the .30-06 then standard.

Canadian-born John Cantius Garand went to work at the United States Army's Springfield Armory and began working on a .30 caliber primer-operated breech. In the summer of 1924, twenty-four rifles, identified as "M1922", were built at Springfield. At Fort Benning during the summer of 1925, they were tested against models by Berthier, Hatcher-Bang, Thompson, and Pedersen, the latter two being delayed blowback 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 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 and Cavalry Boards ran trials with the .276 Pedersen T1 rifle, calling it "highly promising" (despite its use of waxed ammunition, shared by the Thompson). On 13 August 1928, a Semiautomatic Rifle Board 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 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, Colt-Browning, Garand, Holek, Pedersen, Rheinmetall, Thompson, and an incomplete one by White, 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 General Douglas MacArthur 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.[16] 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. Machine production began at Springfield Armory that month at a rate of ten rifles per day, 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, reaching 600 a day by 10 January 1941,[9] and the Army was fully equipped by the end of 1941.


Trivia Edit

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