History and Background of the M1 Garand

"The greatest battle implement ever devised".



History of the US Rifle .30 Caliber M1 Garand


  • Specifications

  • Operation: Semiautomatic, Gas Operated

  • Caliber: .30 (.30-06)

  • Length: 43.6 in. (1103 mm)

  • Weight unloaded: 9 lb 8 oz (4.37 kg)

  • Barrel:24 in. 4 grooves, right hand twist

  • Magazine: 8 round internal box, clip loaded, clip ejected after last round fired

  • Muzzle Velocity: 2800 fps, 2903 ft-lb

  • 500 yds: 1918 fps, 1362 ft-lbs

  • Ammunition: 174 gr bullet, 50 gr charge, Ball M1

  • Effective Range: 440 yds

  • Classification: "Standard" from 1936 until M14 adopted in 1957

  • Total production: Approx. 4,040,000

    • "In my opinion, the M1 Rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised."
      LGEN George S. Patton, Jr.

      The M1 Garand is a full blown combat rifle with maximum range of 3,200 meters and maximum effective range of 400 meters.....or the greatest distance at which the weapon can be expected to fire accurately to inflict casualties or damage. Fully loaded with 8-round en bloc clip, cleaning kit in butt stock, sling and with stock of dense GI issue wood the M1 weighed in at 11-1/4 lbs. The M1 came into production in 1936 using the .30-06 rifle cartridge. The M1 was the designated service rifle of World War II and the Korean War for the United States Military. It was designed for semi-automatic fire using a spring steel clip containing 8 rounds. This is where the term "clip" originated. All other rifles used a detachable or fixed magazine. (There is some discussion on whether this is accurate, if you have a comment, please enter it on our Bulletin Board.) The M1 Garand was designed for long range accuracy i.e. battle zero was set for any target less than 200 yards It was the only rifle that had fully adjustable i.e. windage and elevation, rear sights.

      The M1C, manufactured by Springfield Armory in late 1944-1945, mounted either a M81 or M82 scope, a T4 leather cheek pad, and an M2 flash hider. The original rear sight of the M1 would not hold adjustments very well, so a locking bar was added in late 1942 which could be tightened after sights were set.

      The US Rifle M1 was the first semiautomatic rifle to be the standard small arm of the US Military, and the first semiautomatic rifle to be adopted by a major military power. It was the product of a genuine genius, John Cantius Garand. While the M1 Rifle was never officially referred to as the Garand, it is known by no other name so widely. First adopted in 1936, the M1 Rifle served the US in World War II, Korea, a host of "police actions" and interventions, and, in the hands of allies, in the Vietnam War. Even there the US Army fielded accurized sniper M1 rifles even though the M1 had by that time been supplanted by the M14 and later the M16.

      To many the M1 Rifle has a classic elegance and grace characteristic of a bygone era, when steel was forged in white heat and walnut was carefully shaped for both form and function. "There will never be again such a rifle, so brimming with the genius of an individual mind, so well constructed to outlive us all, so sculpted as to ask the hand to caress."

      Criticisms of the M1 are its weight, limited ammunition supply, the fact that single rounds could not be pushed in (8 round clip, or nothing). Also, the spent clip was automatically ejected after the last round was fired, making a distinctive sound, which could be fatal in close quarter or sniper operations.

      As a supplement to the Garand the M1 Carbine was developed. It was totally different design philosophy with a smaller, less powerful cartridge and an effective range of 300 yds max. It weighed almost exactly 1/2 that of the M1 Garand. In many ways you could think of the M1 Carbine as a moderately powerful, two-handed, long-barreled auto pistol with a shoulder stock.

    • 8338-JPG633536161797247114.jpg

      Do you wonder why that rifle
      Is hanging in my den?
      You know I rarely take it down
      But I touch it now and then.

      It's rather slow and heavy
      By standards of today
      But not too many years ago
      It swept the rest away.

      It's held its own in battles
      Through snow, or rain, or sun
      And I had one just like it,
      This treasured old M-1.

      It went ashore at Bougainville
      In Nineteen Forty-Three.
      It stormed the beach at Tarawa
      Through a bullet-riddled sea.

      Saipan knew its strident bark,
      Kwajalein, its sting.
      The rocky caves of Peleliu
      Resounded with its ring.

      It climbed the hill on Iwo
      With men who wouldn't stop
      And left our nation's banner
      Flying on the top.

      It poked its nose in Pusan,
      Screamed an angry roar
      And took the First Division
      From Chosin Reservoir.

      Well, time moves on
      And things improve
      With rifles and with men,
      And that is why the two of us
      Are sitting in my den.

      But sometimes on a winter night,
      While thinking of my Corps,
      I know that if the bugle blew
      We'd be a team once more.

      Unkown Author