U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1 Garand Overview

This is a synopsis of the required maintenance of the Garand M1 and some accurizing measures to consider that may enhance performance.


by Norman E. Johnson

Mr. John C. Garand developed the Rifle, Caliber .30, M1 which was adopted as the standard shoulder weapon of the US Army in January of 1936, and soon after by the U.S. Marine Corps. The M1 Garand replaced the bolt action M1917 widely used by the military as the primary shoulder weapon. The 30-06 Springfield cartridge is the interchangeable ammunition used between the two weapons.

My introduction to the M1 Garand was in February of 1952 as a US Marine during the Korean War. I was quite amazed at what I saw in this 9+ pound, 43 inch rifle. Overall balance was quite good. The peep rear-sight and flat top blade front-sight served our sighting needs perfectly. The Garand semi-automatic rifle is gas-operated and uses an en-bloc style clip holding eight rounds of 30-06 Springfield ammunition. A small amount of gas passes through a port at the muzzle into a cylinder, which in turn initiates action of a spring- loaded operating rod. The operating rod, from below, extends backward engaging the bolt. Rearward thrust rotates and opens the bolt, pushing it fully rearward as it extracts and ejects a fired case. At the same time the firing mechanism is cocked. On termination of the bolt’s rearward thrust it is immediately carried forward by the spring-loaded operating rod, chambering another round from the clip. When the last round is fired and ejected, the clip is ejected upward leaving the bolt in the open position ready for a new clip of ammo. Operation is very smooth and positive.


Read more in our March 2012 issue. Back issues are available.

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