Friday, January 2, 2015

The M1 Garand: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Interesting article that takes a clear eyed view of the M1.  I found this to be particularly interesting, and something that I had not heard before:
John Garand was a machinist with a passion for target shooting, and it is perhaps the result of his expertise on the factory floor that the Garand rifle enjoyed its most significant advantage over its stablemates. Where other selfloading rifle designers could not answer the question of how, exactly, their weapons could be produced in the quantities needed to arm a nation’s entire armed forces, Garand could. Garand’s designs of horizontal and vertical mill cutters enabled the Garand rifle to be produced in numbers large enough to arm every US Army rifleman.
I have always thought that the en-bloc clip was a good design: very inexpensive and light weight, it was also mechanically simpler than removable magazines.  This combination of light weight reliability would allow an infantryman to be supplied with and carry more ammunition.



waepnedmann said...

I worked with a former member of the 10th Mountain Division who fought through Italy.
He is the only soldier I ever met who hated the Garand.
He said it was a piece of junk and when it stopped working he would throw it down and pick one up from another trooper who had been rendered hors de combat and proceed to kill more Germans.
He had no affection for the Garand.

Murphy's Law said...

Good article. But as a long-time Garand shooter, I think that for the time in which it was developed and fielded, it was the best thing available and light-years ahead of anything else comparable.

Old NFO said...

+1 on Murph. For the time and place, it was the BEST weapon on the battlefield.

WoFat said...

That's what I trained on. I thought it was nifty; but a tad heavy.

drjim said...

+2 for Murphy.

*BUT* as the article stated, it was a product of it's time.

And a damn good one, too!

ザイツェヴ said...

The author completely fails to consider SVT-40 and its predecessors, although it was fielded in significant numbers. It also had issues the manufacturing of the gas tap and uses a barrel extension.

ASM826 said...

In a couple of significant ways, I think the rifle would have been better in the originally designed caliber. Reworking it for 30.06 was a compromise that I think limited the service life of the rifle.

Goober said...

ASM - I agree. I think that if they'd stuck with the .276 the army would probably still be shooting it today out of their M4s/

Weetabix said...

I still want a Garand, but $.

I've shot an SVT-40. I want one of those, too.

I've not shot them side by side, so I don't know which I'd choose.