US Rifle caliber .30 M1 Garand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History of the M1 Garand Rifle
By Bob Seijas

 

In 1888, an American named Hiram Maxim invented the machine gun, a wonder of the age: a gun that used the power of the bullet to extract and eject the empty brass casing, feed another bullet into the chamber, recock the hammer, and fire again as long as there was ammunition.  All over the world, arms designers scrambled to adapt the auto-loading principle to rifles and pistols.  Because of the low power of its small bullet, the pistol was relatively easy, and semi-automatic handguns began to appear five years later.  The rifle, however, was much more difficult, because the power of the cartridge was so strong it usually broke the rifle after only a few shots.

WWI taught the Army the value of heavy firepower, and as soon as the war ended in 1918, U.S. Ordnance began to search aggressively for an auto-loading infantry rifle.  Over the next ten years, many inventors submitted designs for testing, but none proved acceptable.  If they could stand up to the punishment, they were too heavy, and if they were light enough to be portable, they had to be in a small caliber.

One of the more promising designs was submitted by a young, Canadian-born inventor named John Cantius Garand.  He was quickly employed by the main U.S. arms factory, Springfield Armory in Massachusetts, to develop his design further. Although promising, this rifle eventually reached a dead end, and the self-taught Garand set about on a new design.  His new rifle derived the power to operate by tapping off the propellant gases of the fired bullet and using it to cycle the rifle.  This design eventually beat out all the competition and was adopted as the standard U.S. infantry rifle in 1936.

Mass production of the M1 Garand began at Springfield Armory in 1937, and the first rifles were delivered to the Army in 1938.  Production rates gradually increased and early bugs were worked out in these pre-war years.  

In 1940, a second source was enlisted when the Winchester Repeating Arms Company was contracted to manufacture the M1 Garand.  The expanding war in Europe and the increasing tensions with Japan increased the sense of urgency to equip our forces with this modern rifle.  When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the M1 Rifle became top priority.  Both Springfield and Winchester operated around the clock, producing more than 4,000,000 M1 rifles by the end of the war in 1945.

 

The United States was the only country to equip its troops with an auto-loading rifle as the standard infantry weapon of WWII.  It gave our troops a tremendous advantage in firepower, and led General George Patton to call the M1 Garand, ￿The greatest battle implement ever devised.￿

 

After the war, many M1 Garand rifles were mothballed and put into storage.  Others were loaned to allies as the Cold War with The Soviet Union heated up.  When North Korea attacked South Korea in 1950, M1 rifle production was resumed.  Although the primary source remained Springfield Armory, two new manufacturers were contracted: International Harvester Corporation and Harrington & Richardson Arms.  Almost 1,500,000 new M1′s were produced in the 1952 ￿ 1957 period.  It was the main United Nations infantry weapon of the Korean War.

In the early 1950′s, U.S. Ordnance began developing a new infantry rifle, one that would have a larger capacity magazine and selective fire capability.  That is, it could be fired fully automatically like a machine gun, in addition to semi-automatically like the Garand.  After much trial and error, an updated M1 was adopted in 1957 as the M14 Rifle.

Although the M1 Garand was officially obsolete from that time forward, it remained in service around the world through the Viet Nam era. It was and is truly an amazing rifle, and its inventor John C. Garand ranks among the very best of patriots.  A 2008 article in NRA￿s American Rifleman Magazine rated the M1 Garand the #1 infantry rifle of all time.

M1 Garand - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

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 was used heavily 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 variously as /ɡəˈr￿/ or /ˈɡ￿#601;nd/. According to experts and people who knew John Garand, the weapon's designer, the latter version is preferred. It is now available to civilians in the original .30-06 chambering, as well as in .308 Winchester.

 History

Though 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.

 Development

Canadian born John Cantius Garand, became an American firearms inventor, went to work at the Army's Springfield Armory,and began working on a .30 caliber primer-operated breech. Twenty-four rifles, identified as "M1922", were built at Springfield in the summer of 1924, and at Fort Benning during the summer of 1925 they were tested against models by Berthier, Hatcher-Bang, Thompson, and Pederson, the latter two delayed blowback types. This led to a further trial of the improved "M1924" Garand against the Thompson, ultimately producing an inconclusive report. Therefore, the Ordnance Board ordered a Garand variant .30-06, while in March 1927 the Cavalry Board reported trials between the Thompson, Garand, and '03 Springfield had not led to a clear winner, leading to a gas-operated .276 model.

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. 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 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 was awarded an "educational" production contract for 65,000 rifles, with deliveries beginning in 1943. The British Army looked at the M1 as a possible replacement for its bolt-action Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk III, but it was rejected when rigorous testing suggested that it was an unreliable weapon in muddy conditions.


John Garand points out features of the M1 to Army Generals.

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 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 to greatly augment issue of semi- and fully automatic 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 determined a need for additional production of the Garand, and two new contracts were awarded. During 1953-56, M1s were produced by International Harvester and Harrington & Richardson. 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.

The M1 proved an excellent rifle throughout its service in World War II and the Korean War. Surplus 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 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 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, Army National Guard and the Navy, 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, the Norwegian Royal Guards Drill Team, 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 Garand with important parts labeled.

The M1 rifle is a gas-operated, semi-automatic, clip-fed rifle. 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 prevented it from being fired without a clip, such as while reloading.

Garand's rifle was originally chambered for the .276 Pedersen 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 (400 m), with the capability of inflicting a casualty with armor-piercing ammunition well beyond 875 yards (800 m). Because of the larger diameter of the .30-06 cartridge, the modified magazine held only eight rounds.

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. 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 inside the receiver. 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

An M1 Garand en bloc clip loaded with eight .30-06 Springfield rounds.

The weight of the M1 varies between 9.5 lb (4.31 kg) and 10.2 lb (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 ammunition. When the last cartridge 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-J￿sen  and the Lee-Enfield 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 charges 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 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, 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

Inserting an M1 "en bloc" clip.

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. 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. It is advisable for the operator to ride the bolt forward with his hand (in order to prevent the bolt from closing on his thumb, resulting in "Garand thumb" or "M1 thumb"), and to strike the operating rod handle with his 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.

 Accessories

Both official and aftermarket accessories were plentiful for the Garand rifle. Several different styles of bayonets fit the rifle: the M1905 and M1942, both with 16-inch (406 mm) blades; the Model 1905E1 with shortened 10-inch (254 mm) blade; the M1 with 10-inch (254 mm) blade; and the M5 bayonet with 6.75-inch (152 mm) blade.

Also available was the M7 grenade launcher 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 rifle grenades, 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.

 Variants

 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)
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 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 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, 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, 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 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

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. 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. In June 1944, the M1C was adopted as a standard sniper rifle by the U.S. Army 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. The U.S. Marine Corps adopted the M1C as their official sniper rifle in 1951. The U.S. Navy has also used the Garand, rechambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO round.

 M1E5 and T26

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

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, while the T26 uses the standard solid stock, and has a shorter, 18-inch barrel. 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 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 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 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 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, which replaced it. The Japanese began development of a modified copy of the Garand, the Type 5 Rifle, near the end of World War II, though it never reached production status. During the 1950s, Beretta developed the BM59 series of rifles, which would also be produced under license in Indonesia as the "SP" series. Ruger produced the Mini-14 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, 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.

 Civilian use

A U.S. Coast Guardsman competes in a marksmanship championship with a National Match M1.

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. 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.

An effort by the South Korean government to sell about 87,000 M1 rifles was initially approved by the Obama administration, but it reversed course and 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, although the M1 Garand is a semi-automatic firearms already legal for purchase in the United States and any rifles the U.S. would acquire would only be sold to citizens legally able to possess firearms.

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

The M1 Garand is also the rifle of choice of the fighting Texas Aggie Fish Drill Team. The Garands used are welded shut to prevent operation and to keep weight uniform. The tradition of using Garands began with the inception of the team itself, due to the fact that, at the time, there were many available after the war that were used in A & M's military training.

 Users

  •  Argentina: Received about 30,000 M1s from the U.S. government before 1964. Some were converted to accept BM59 magazines in the 1960s. Also used by the Argentine Marines in the 7.65x54mm calibre
  •  Brazil: 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.
  •  Cambodia: Received M1 rifles from the U.S. government.
  •  Denmark - Received 69,810 M1 rifles (designated "Gev￿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.
  •  Ethiopia: Received 20,700 M1 rifles from the U.S. government in the 1960s.
  •  France - Used by the Foreign Legion and Free French Forces. France also received 232,500 M1 rifles from the U.S. government in 1950-1964.
  •  West Germany: Received 46,750 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1965.
  •  Greece: 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.
  •  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.
  •  Iran: Received 165,490 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1964.
  •  Israel: Received up to 60,000 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.
  •  Italy: Used by the army from 1945. Beretta license-built 100,000 M1s from 1950 until the adoption of the BM59 in 1959. Also received 232,000 M1s from the U.S. government between 1950 and 1970.
  •  Japan: Issued to the National Police Reserve. Still used by the JSDF as a ceremonial weapon.
  •  Jordan: Received an estimated 25,000-30,000 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1974.
  •  Laos: Received 36,270 M1 rifles from the U.S. government in 1950-1975.
  •  Norway: Received 72,800 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1964.
  •  Pakistan: Received possibly 150,000 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.
  •  Panama
  •  Paraguay: Received 30,750 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.
  •  Philippines: Received 34,300 M1 and 2630 M1D rifles from the U.S. government in 1950-1975.
  •  Saudi Arabia: Received 34,530 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.
  •  South Korea: Received 296,450 of M1 rifles from the U.S. government in 1964-1974.
  •  South Vietnam: Received 220,300 M1 and 520 M1C/M1D rifles from the U.S. government in 1950-1975.
  •  Thailand: Received about 40,000 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1965.
  •  Turkey: Received 312,430 M1 rifles from the U.S. government in 1953-1970.
  •  United States: 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 units.
  •  Uruguay
  •  Venezuela: Received 55,670 M1 rifles from the U.S. government prior to 1975.