M1 Garand Rifle, A Soldier’s Best Friend

Posted on April 9th, 2016 by:

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M1 Garand Rifle, A Soldier’s Best Friend:

In the years following WW1, the US Army became interested in equipping its soldiers with a self-loading rifle. In 1931, after years of competitive testing, a .276 caliber rifle designed by Canadian-American John Garand called the T3E2 won an Army trial. Garand also designed a .30 caliber model, the T1E1, which could not compete because of a broken bolt. Garand’s .276 caliber rifle was recommended for approval in January 1932, but General Douglas MacArthur, the US Army Chief of Staff, forbade a change to .276 caliber as the US Army already had large stocks of .30 caliber ammunition. To remedy this, the Army focused on correcting the issues with Garand’s .30 caliber design.

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 M1 Rifle from the collection of the Swedish Army Museum



Garand’s design, now designated the M1 Rifle, became part of the US Army Arsenal in August 1933 as the Semi-Automatic Rifle, Caliber 30, M1. Seventy five of these new rifles were sent for field testing to select infantry and cavalry units. The rifle was judged not satisfactory for the field and had to go through more modifications before the Army standardized it in January 1936. General George S. Patton called the M1 Rifle the “Greatest implement of battle ever devised”. The British Government was less impressed. They considered it as an alternative to their bolt action Lee-Enfield rifle, a design almost unchanged since before World War 1, but refused it after the M1 failed to pass their rigorous field testing.

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WWII GI aiming and M1 Rifle

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WWII M1 Rifle Poster

The M1 Rifle, popularly known as the “Garand” after its designer, saw service throughout WW2, from the early fighting at Bataan in the Philippines to the end of the war in Europe and the Pacific. The US Army was the first and only Army in the world to have a semi-automatic rifle as standard issue to its soldiers. Other semi-automatic rifles like the German Gew-41/43 and the Russian SVT-40 were not issued in large enough quantities to fully replace older bolt action models.

The M1 rifle went on to serve American soldiers in the Korean and Vietnam War and was also used by numerous militaries around the world. Today it remains a classic rifle with sport shooters, hunters and people who love history and owning the GI’s best friend.

For More Information on the M1 Garand Rifle Check Out:

The M1 Garand: World War II

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2 thoughts on “M1 Garand Rifle, A Soldier’s Best Friend

  • A great rifle. We trained with the M1 during ITR at Camp Geiger (USMC) in early 1967. Trained with the M14 during boot camp. During “Staging” at Camp Pendleton just before being deployed to Vietnam, we were introduced to the M16, or the “Mattie Mattel.” Piece of garbage, at least the early ones we were issued. Can’t remember the number of times mine misfired in combat. I still have a recurring dream of squeezing the trigger, and it simply collapses with no round being fired. They say today’s model is a great weapon, but I’d choose the M14 or M1 any day.

    1. admin says:

      Thank you for your service and your comment! The M1 was and still is a great rifle. In training, how do you feel it compared with the M14?

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