1 week, 5 days ago
Letter from a reader.
Greetings Herschel, I have been fascinated by the Garand rifle for sixty years, ever since I was handed one in ROTC and taught its operation and care. I have since been able to acquire two of them, a 1942 Springfield Armory one I am in the process of back-dating to its original form, and Korean War era rifle from International Harvester. Sixty years ago we were told that Mr. Garand was an employee of the United States Government, and that he developed his rifle “on the clock.” The patents, and any royalties, were not his to assign. I don’t know where Click magazine got its information, but I tend to believe the story as I heard it. I get nervous about disagreeing with Sgt. Emery, who has “been there and done that,” but in what you quoted, I think he is wrong. Let me explain. The U.S. Rifle, caliber .30, M1 was designed to fire a specific cartridge (Ball M2 or AP M2), which used a powder of medium burning rate, usually IMR4895 or IMR4064. Slower powders will get much more performance out of the .30-06 cartridge, but the higher pressure at the M1’s gas port will quickly beat the operating rod out of spec. The rifle won’t “blow up,” but it will quickly become a manually operated bolt action, and eventually become useless, if fed improperly. People like Hornady sell ammunition loaded to Ball M2 spec specifically for use in Garand rifles. The newer cartridge used in the M14 rifle fired the same bullet (150 grains) at the same velocity (2750 ft/s), and did so by using different powder and pressure. The round of the M14 is smaller than that of the M1, but the punch is identical. Even in civilian use, the .30-06 (7.62×63) surpasses the .308 Winchester (7.62×51) only slightly until bullets heavier than 180 bullets are used, after which the difference becomes noticeable. But in military usage, the M14 is the equal ballistically of the M1, because of the latter’s need to limit pressure at its gas port. Although I disagree with Sgt. Emery on this one point, I would still consider it an honor to buy him a beer. Thanks for your blog, Herschel, and best wishes for a Happy New Year,
[Name redacted because I never know if readers are okay with me publishing names]
(and please be careful when you walk in the park)
Thank you sir. I’m circumspect.