2 weeks, 6 days ago
Garand never accepted royalties for his work and instead gifted the gun’s design to his adoptive homeland. Congress tried to grant him a $100,000 reward of gratitude, but nothing ever came of it. Garand continued working at Springfield on other designs until he retired in 1953. He died on February 16, 1974. He was 86.
Approximately 5.5 million M1 rifles were made between 1936 and 1956, and then proved themselves in some of the most difficult battles ever fought by the U.S. military. The M1 was finally replaced in 1961, by the select-fire M14, a rifle which owes much of its lineage to John Garand as its receiver, bolt, and sights were nearly identical to the M1.
I didn’t know that about John Garand. By my estimation, the U.S. has had three premier weapons designers: John Moses Browning, John Cantius Garand, and Eugene Morrison Stoner. It’s a shame that the complete Stoner system of arms wasn’t employed by the Army and Marines, including the Stoner 63. It’s my understanding that the Stoner 63 is actually still in use among SpecOps today.
On a related note, Military.com has a history of long guns recently published, dealing in part with the M1. I find it amusing that Lee Ermey is still complaining about the loss of the .30-06 round in favor of the .308 NATO.
“This was really a game changer as it was semi-automatic and held eight rounds,” R. Lee Ermey, better known as the “Gunny”, former United States Marine Corps staff sergeant and host of the Outdoor Channel’s “Gunny Time”, told FoxNews.com. “It could be argued it helped win World War II.”
After the war the military planners sought to find a one-size fits all rifle, and the result was the M14, which was actually developed to replace four different weapons systems that included the M1 rifle, the M1 Carbine, the M3 “Grease Gun” submachine gun, and the M1918 Browning Automatic Bar (BAR). The upsized M1 had its fans, including the Marine Corps, which still issued one to each platoon in the Vietnam War.
“The M14 could hold its own against the bad guy gun, the AK-47,” added Ermey. “The problem is that it went with a smaller round than the M1, so it lost some of its punch.”