Tag Archives: m-1

Guns of the U.S. Army, 1775-2020

While you may know of today’s standard U.S. Army infantry rifles, and those of the 20th Century, how about those present at Lexington and Concord or the line of Springfield muskets from 1795 through 1865? What came after?

For all this and more, check out the easy 2,000-word primer I did for this last weekend at Guns.com.

If you are interested in a deal on an IHC Garand, there has been a development

The U.S. loaned 312,430 M1 rifles to NATO-allied Turkey, beginning in 1953 and ending with the final shipment of 5,000 in 1972. A few years ago, several thousand were returned from the Turkish Navy and now, over 13,000 have come back from the Turkish Air Force and are filtering out through the CMP as testing and grading are being completed.

The good news is, as many as a quarter could be rare IHC models.

The neat news is, they also sometimes have Turkish dope charts (marked Nisangah Tanzi) affixed to them.

More in my column at Guns.com

Happy birthday, Lee

The great Lee Marvin would be 94 today.

Here he is seen as Sgt. Turk in the “Bridge at Chalons” episode of Combat! (1963)

And if he looks natural with that Garand, he came about it honestly.

Leaving school at 18 to enlist in the Marines after Pearl Harbor, this member of The Greatest Generation was seriously wounded while a part of the 24th Marines during the assault on Mount Tapochau in the Battle of Saipan in 1944 and spent over a year in recovery before he was medically discharged.

There may very well be a couple Garands afloat in the Navy until 2067

In watching the footage and imagery coming from the commissioning of the largest aircraft carrier ever built, the brand new USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) on Saturday, the below struck me as a great image.

NORFOLK, Va. (July 22, 2017) — USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) color guard member Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Miguel Monduy departs the hangar bay after retiring colors during Ford’s commissioning ceremony. Ford is the lead ship of the Ford-class aircraft carriers, and the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cathrine Mae O. Campbell)

LS3 Monduy’s rifle, of course, is a U.S. rifle, caliber .30, M1, best just known as a Garand. The rifles, though officially withdrawn in the 1970s, are still floating around for ceremonial use and in this case has been chromed, but as Ford has an expected lifespan of 50+ years, these shiny M1s could be aboard her for some time.

Principles of Operation (1943) United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1

The above U.S. Army training film explains the principles of operation of the M1 (Garand) Infantry Rifle.

John Garand’s M1 rifle was developed at Springfield Armory over a five-year period and put into production in August 1937, with over 5 million produced by SA, Winchester, Rock Island Arsenal, International Harvester and Harrington & Richardson by 1957 when it was theoretically replaced by the M14.

Gen. George S. Patton called it “the greatest battle implement ever devised” after seeing it in action during some of the heaviest ground combat in World War II. It went on to hold the line in Korea, the Cold War, and the early days of Vietnam. The old M1 remained in National Guard armories through the 1970s and as many as 250,000 DoD-owned Garands still serve with various military and civilian honor guards.


The Winchester M1 Garand ‘SAW’

From the Cody Firearms Museum: This M1 was modified from standard configuration by Winchester by adding a box magazine, flash hider, bipod, pistol grip, and making the gun select fire. They also made a serious effort to keep the weight down and while we don’t have the exact figure, it doesn’t feel much heavier than a standard M1. Winchester modified several M1s during WW2, but we aren’t sure if this gun was part of that or a later development program for the M14.

Would you like to know more? Tapping in Ian with Forgotten Weapons:

‘The Greatest Battlefield Implement Ever Devised’

The original memo that led to the quote, 72 years ago today:


The good ol M-1 certainly carved out its place in history, being used by the U.S. Army as its front line rifle until 1957 and in the National Guard and Reserve through 1976.

It is still used by select honor guards, veteran’s units, ROTC and the like today.

Among the current stock of M1 rifles maintained by the Army earmarked for the Ceremonial Rifle Program, of which the Army’s TACOM Life Cycle Management Command in Warren, Michigan advised me amounted to some 250,000 rifles loaned to over 31,000 civilian clubs including such well-known organizations as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans.

The government-chartered Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) still has on hand some 125,000 former GI-owned M1 rifles in numerous grades from welded drill rifles to stripped bare receivers to complete collector grade weapons and everything in between.

Freedom of Information Act requests tell me that, “US Army records show 182 M1 Garand Rifles, NSN 1005-00-674-1425, are serviceable and in use by Army units; another 115 are serviceable held for possible issue, and 68,443 are considered unserviceable but frozen from disposal action by Congressional moratorium for total Army owned quantity of 68,740.”

Figures from the Department of the Air Force and Navy are unavailable, but nonetheless, there seem to be upwards of about a half-million M1’s still in the hands of the federal government or it’s chartered programs, which is not bad for a gun that was officially replaced 60~ years ago.

Overall, it seems like the M1s days of service are still far from over.


Everything you wanted to know about Garand rebuilds

The always knowledgeable Bruce Canfield has a great piece over at American Rifleman on field and arsenal care of the M1 while in U.S. service to help better illustrate just what happened to these guns.


When M1 rifles were received by an ordnance facility for overhaul, they were unpacked, serial numbers recorded and the arms were degreased as necessary. They were broken down into the major groups; stock group, barrel group and trigger group. The metal parts, except the barrel, were removed and set aside for inspection and gauging. The wooden components were inspected and repaired, refinished, or discarded as necessary. Barrels and receivers were inspected and gauged to make sure they were within “specs.” Any barrels that proved unusable–due to substantial pitting, wear or excessive throat erosion–were removed from their receivers and scrapped. Receivers passing inspection were refinished (reparkerized) as required. The other metal components were inspected and gauged. Parts passing inspection were placed in storage bins for subsequent use. Superseded (obsolete) components were replaced, and those that required modification for continued use were altered as necessary.

Much, much more detail here.