History Of the M1 Garand Rifle
The M1 Garand (officially designated as U. S. rifle, caliber .30, M1, later simply called Rifle, Caliber .30, M1, also abbreviated as US Rifle, Cal. .30, M1) is a semi-automatic rifle chambered for the .30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge. It was the first standard-issue semi-automatic rifle. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S. Patton, the Garand officially replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield as the standard service rifle of the United States Armed Forces in 1936 (although the switch was not instantaneous) and was subsequently replaced by the selective fire M14, starting in 1957. During World War II, the M1 gave U.S. forces a distinct advantage in firefights against their Axis enemies, as their standard-issue rifles were more effective than the Axis' slower-firing bolt-action rifles. The M1 continued to be used in large numbers until 1963 and to a lesser degree until 1976. Like its predecessor, the M1 originated from the Springfield Armory. Today, the M1 remains in use for drill purposes.
The M1 is an air-cooled, gas-operated, clip-fed, semi-automatic, shoulder-fired weapon. This means that the air cools the barrel; that the power to cock the rifle and chamber the succeeding round comes from the expanding gas of the round fired previously; that it is loaded by inserting an en-bloc (i.e., it goes into the rifle's action and functions as part of the rifle) metal clip (containing eight rounds) into the receiver; and that the rifle fires one round each time the trigger is pulled. After the eight rounds have been shot, the empty clip automatically ejects with an audible "ping" noise.
The M1 was the standard-issue service rifle of the U.S. forces in World War II, the Korean War, and also saw service to a limited extent in the Vietnam War. Most M1 rifles were issued to U.S. forces, though many thousands were also lent or provided as foreign aid to America's allies. The Garand is still used by drill teams and military honor guards. It is also widely sought by the civilian population as a hunting rifle, target rifle, and military collectible. Although the name "Garand" is frequently pronounced /ɡəˈrænd/, according to experts and people who knew John Garand, the weapon's designer, /ˈɡærənd/ (to rhyme with errand) is preferred. It is available for American civilian ownership through the Civilian Marksmanship Program.