Skip to comments.M1 Garand: Our New Service Rifle (Original 1938 Review)
Posted on 05/21/2012 7:19:38 AM PDT by BO Stinkss
For more than thirty years the Ordnance Department endeavored to obtain a satisfactory semi-automatic or self-loading rifle to replace the bolt action Springfield. These efforts were not confined to the development within the Department. Invitations were extended periodically to gun designers in this country and abroad to submit weapons for test, and tests were made of those received which showed any promise of meeting the specifications prescribed.
During this period of thirty odd years many rifles were received and tested. Mechanisms embodying every known principle of operation were represented in the many types submitted.
After many tests of various calibers, it was decided that the caliber .276 cartridge developed sufficient power for a shoulder weapon and that the use of this smaller cartridge would facilitate the design of a reliable and durable self-loading rifle within the prescribed weight limit and would also reduce the load of the individual soldier due to the lighter weight of the cartridge. Of the several rifles in this caliber submitted for test, two were outstanding: the Pedersen; and the Garand, designed and developed by Mr. John C. Garand. Both Mr. Pedersen and Mr. Garand carried on their development work at the Springfield Armory.
A number of each of these types were manufactured and submitted to the services for test. Both rifles performed very well. However, to adopt a weapon of this caliber involved further complication of the supply problem by the introduction of another type of ammunition.
In the meantime, Mr. Garand, who has been in the employ of the Ordnance Department at the Springfield Armory for the past eighteen years as a designer of automatic weapons, completed a test model of a semi-automatic rifle designed to function with either the Caliber .30, M1, Model 1906, or the caliber .30, M1,
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With a gas operated rifle like the M1, part of the recoil impulse is soaked up by the operating system of the rifle. The felt recoil seems much milder and I could shoot the M1 all day long without any recoil shyness problems.
On the other hand, my M1903A1 Springfield belts me with the full recoil with every shot. Shoot 100 rounds from a Springfield and your shoulder feels like it was worked over with a guy wielding a baseball bat. The reason for the difference is the action of the rifle — a Springfield (or your Savage) is a bolt action and all the recoil impulse is felt as RECOIL. That's the big difference and a new shooter who's learned to shoot on a Mouse Gun is going to get pounded before he or she gets rid of bad habits and gets things sorted out.
That, and the load I fire out of that bolt rifle uses a bullet 20 grains heavier and 100 fps faster than the M2 Ball round.
Haven’t done much NM’ing at all. I brought these back to issue condition.
No no no ... in the Garand, I shoot M2 Ball or equivalent handloads (168gr MatchKing and 47-or-so grains of 4064).
The .300 WinMag load is a 190 gr MatchKing with 58.5 grains of RE-19 out of a bolt rifle. That load would destroy the op-rod on a Garand in short order.
The 4064 load for the M1 sounds good.
That’s a pretty heavy load for the bolt gun. Is this an actual .300 Win Mag load or is it a .30-06 trying to perform like a .300 Win Mag — I’m a little foggy here — I’m not sure of the bolt gun’s caliber.
The bolt gun’s a .30-06.
Didn’t plan for that particular load, just loaded up a bunch of different charges and it shot most accurately at the charge that I believe puts the MV at just short of 2900 fps.
Which, with a 190 gr MK, very nearly matches Federal’s published data for their 300 Win Mag Gold Medal Match load.
Great to hear from some “Brown Shoe” vets about first hand Garand use!
I started my service with an M16A1, but the AR series will never generate the warm, fuzzy feeling I have for the Garand.
It’s a great rifle and a link to a time when America did some things better than it does today.