“In my opinion, the M1 Rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised.”
– Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr.
The M1 Garand (the United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1) was the first semiautomatic rifle to be the standard small arm of the US Military requiring a trigger pull to fire a round but automatically chambering the next round. This greatly increased the rate of fire over bolt-action rifles and made it easier to refocus on a target after each round.
Designed in the 1920s by Canadian John Cantius Garand, an employee of the Massachusetts Springfield Armory, it was the first semiautomatic rifle to be adopted by a major military power and enabled the United States to enter World War II as the only country with a semiautomatic rifle as standard issue for its troops.
In 1936, it officially replaced the bolt-action Springfield M1903 rifle as the standard service rifle of the United States military (the M1903 retained a valuable role as a sniper rifle) and was subsequently replaced by the select-fire M14 in 1957. However, the M1 continued to be used in large numbers until 1963 and to a lesser extent until 1966. The M1 was used heavily in World War II, the Korean War, and even in the Vietnam War.
The M1 was designed for semiautomatic fire using a spring steel clip containing 8 rounds. All other rifles used a detachable or fixed magazine. It had a maximum range of 3,200 meters and maximum effective range of 400 meters. Fully loaded with an 8-round clip, cleaning kit in stock, and sling, the M1 weighed 11 lbs.