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Remembered Today:

M1 Garand


Gordon Caldecott
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M1 Garand Designed by John Garand (1888–1974), the M1 was a semiautomatic rifle that was adopted by the U.S. Army on January 9, 1936. After a redesign to correct a major problem, the Marines began employing the M1 in November of 1940. The "Garand" nickname was not official, and the name was not necesarily used by soldiers during the war.

The M1 was known as an accurate and reliable weapon, although it did have its drawbacks. One of these problems was the distinctive sound that was made when the last round was fired from a clip and the clip automatically ejected. An enemy hearing this would know that an M1-equipped solider was out of ammunition and in the process of replacing the spent clip.

Winchester Repeating Arms and Springfield Armory constructed over 4,000,000 M1 rifles between 1942 and 1945.The M1 saw extensive service in World War II and the Korean War, and was officially removed from service in 1957 (replaced by the M14), although it was employed by Allied nations in the Vietnam War. Operation: Semiautomatic, Gas Operated

Caliber: .30 (.30-06)

Length: 43.6 in. (1103 mm)

Weight unloaded: 9 lb 8 oz (4.37 kg)

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

Muzzle: velocity 2800 fps, 2903 ft-lb

Effective Range: 440 yds

Total production: Approx. 4,040,000

post-2587-1129714716.jpg

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One of these problems was the distinctive sound that was made when the last round was fired from a clip and the clip automatically ejected. An enemy hearing this would know that an M1-equipped solider was out of ammunition and in the process of replacing the spent clip.

Except this isn't really true - this was pointed out at at a display called "Old Sarum Through The Ages" a couple of years ago, where a blank firing M1 was used in a display of firepower, and the commentator specifically mentioned this "fact", and asked anyone in the audience if they could hear the "ping" at the last round - I was sat only about 10 feet away and I couldn't hear it - perhaps the German's had sharper hearing in those days... ;)

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The Marines refused to replace their M1 variants when first deployed in Vietnam - they didn't believe the hype or like the look of the AR15/M16.

Gen Patton reckoned that the M1 was the greatest thing since sliced bread when first introduced.

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Am I right in thinking it was the first ever semi automatic rifle designed as a service rifle to be used as such?

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The Marines refused to replace their M1 variants when first deployed in Vietnam - they didn't believe the hype or like the look of the AR15/M16.

Gen Patton reckoned that the M1 was the greatest thing since sliced bread when first introduced.

That would be the M-14 the Marines held on to.

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Having carried the M1 in the USMC for three years, '57-60, I never saw an M-14, although after I was discharged and in college, I spoke to a former Marine who was in the Dominican Republic in '60, and he carried one.

The M1 was the only mass produced and issued military semi-automatic in WW2. The Brits, Germans, Russians, Japanese and Italians all carried bolt action weapons.

The great thing about an M1 is that one could drop it in the sand, pick it up, blow on it, and it would function. If not, whiz on it. Smelly, but effective. M-14, samo-samo. M-16? Neva hoppen! I saw Marines in Nam only very reluctantly accept M-16's. Compared to the M1 or the M14, the "16" was a b---h to field-strip, especially when one was under fire. Until they were modified, they jammed frequently. (Remember, you are armed with the weapon that was the lowest bid from a defence contractor/manufacturer)

I carried an M-14 because my .45 was a useless ornament and I wanted to cut brush with the M-14 which couldn't be done with a M-16.

As to the distinctive "ping" of the ejected clip, yes, but it happened almost simultaneously with the discharge of the last round and was somewhat difficult to hear at a distance although the firer could hear the clip go bye-bye.

Nice thing about clips, one didn't have to reload them like a magazine, so you could leave the things behind and not worry about recovering them like the mags for the BAR or a .45.

DrB

:)

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Having carried the M1 in the USMC for three years, '57-60, I never saw an M-14, although after I was discharged and in college, I spoke to a former Marine who was in the Dominican Republic in '60, and he carried one.

  The M1 was the only mass produced and issued military semi-automatic in WW2. The Brits, Germans, Russians, Japanese and Italians all carried bolt action weapons.

  The great thing about an M1 is that one could drop it in the sand, pick it up, blow on it, and it would function. If not, whiz on it. Smelly, but effective. M-14, samo-samo. M-16? Neva hoppen! I saw Marines in Nam only very reluctantly accept M-16's. Compared to the M1 or the M14, the "16" was a b---h to field-strip, especially when one was under fire. Until they were modified, they jammed frequently. (Remember, you are armed with the weapon that was the lowest bid from a  defence contractor/manufacturer)

  I carried an M-14 because my .45 was a useless ornament and I wanted to cut brush with the M-14 which couldn't be done with a M-16.

  As to the distinctive "ping" of the ejected clip, yes, but it happened almost simultaneously with the discharge of the last round and was somewhat difficult to hear at a distance although the firer could hear the clip go bye-bye.

Nice thing about clips, one didn't have to reload them like a magazine, so you could leave the things behind and not worry about recovering them like the mags for the BAR or a .45.

DrB

:)

Dr B-- Not quite "the only mass produced and issued military semi-automatic in WW2". Of course you may be looking at quantities and percentage of the force issued to, and so leaving out the G-41, K-43, and Tokarev, but you can't ignore the US M-1 Carbine, which was issued widely (like about 4 million copies). I shoot and love the M-1 (also M1-A [semi-auto only copy of M-14] and the M-1 Carbine), but we do need to be historically accurate. Doc

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Cheers Guys, I`m glad you found my thread of interest. You have pointed out some interesting concepts, that beg to be answered.

Firstly the ping noise, is this a myth or is it real, and if it is a myth were did it come from?

Secondly, just which is the best rifle the Garand or the Lee Enfield??

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Doc 2 is correct. I forgot about the carbine. Most carriers of same didn't really care for it, although in the sixties and seventies "Marvin the ARVIN" loved it because it fitted his stature.

It wasn't the action that was disliked, it was its poor stopping power.

The M1 was given to all the US forces, the common GIs, whereas the above mentioned semiautos were not the weapon issued to those millions of faceless and long suffering groundpounders in the countries named.

There was a distinctive "ping" when the empty clip was ejected. I believe the sound eminated from the release of the clip passing through the metal parts of the rifle. Plus the clip also hit the little projection which comprisied the "clip ejector" used when one wished to unload the full or partially used clip. It was also a gentle reminder that one was now firing a piece sans cartridges Some people needed a knock on the head to realize that.

Another thing not often seen in the movies or on tv is the reloading procedure. A smart grunt would always rap the full clip against his helmet or the stock of his rifle before loading it. This seated the eight cartridges firmly and ensured that none of the bullet portions were sticking up to spoil the alignment of the rounds when the clip was fed into the rifle.

I do not feel qualified to discuss the realitive merits of the M1 vice the Lee. Each individual you speak to will have a different opinion and not even the experts can agree.

I own both, but personally prefer the M1 as I was trained to shoot it. I know that when I went back to the 500 yard line when qualifying to shoot ten times at a target that was worth five points for each shot, I often needed a 46 or 47 to qualify as an expert. My M1 never failed me. If you had the had "right dope" for your sights, could get a proper sight picture, didn't flinch and had the proper prone shooting position, it was an accurate piece. I loved shooting it.

DrB

:)

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Sorry to be going on about this, but should this not be moved to Off Topic? This is a Great War forum, and this rifle wasn't introduced until the 1930s!

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Sorry to be going on about this, but should this not be moved to Off Topic? This is a Great War forum, and this rifle wasn't introduced until the 1930s!

....Can I tell you all how much I loved my '64 VW beetle? Boy, was that a great car!

Let's keep this a WW1 forum

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Am I correct in thinking that nuclear weapons were hardly ever used in WW1?. What about stone handaxes?

Yes, I agree, off topic ... there's plenty of other fine forums where you can wax lyrical about the Garand.

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How do I go about moving this thread to the off topic bit?

Gordon,

It has to be moved by one of the moderators listed in the section

Monitored by: Chris Baker, Terry Reeves, Alibee,

You could try emailing one of them with a request to move it.

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My apologies if I have miffed anyone by "waxing lyrical" about the Garand, but then again, if one ever had to use it to save ones life, one does have a certain affection for it, be it an M1, Lee, Mauser or AK47.

DrB

:)

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Just skimmed through the thread...........dont think anyones mentioned the fact that recruits in some instances had their fingers take off by this rifle.

Bet you didnt know that the British Army during WW2 also used the M1!

Steve.

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Yup...if not removed, mangled. The old "M1 thumb" was a reminder to remove, rather quickly, the thumb of the right hand when throwing forward the bolt.

DrB

:)

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That is interesting I wasn`t aware of that design fault, if thats the right word for it!!!! A bit like panzer rash, if anyone has served with armour they`ll know aht i mean!!!

Where/why did the British use the M1, tell tell!!!!!

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