The M1 Garand, also known as the M1 Rifle, is a semi-automatic rifle that served as the United States service rifle during WWII and the Korean War. But did you know that the person who designed the rifle was not given royalties for its design?
John Garand designed the M-1 rifle that bears his name, never received royalties for the design, and an attempt by Congress to award him $100,000 failed even though nearly six million rifles were produced.
The Man Behind the M1 Rifle
John Garand turned his interest in firearms and aptitude for machining into a vocation rather than an avocation in 1917, the same year the United States entered the First World War.
The US Army was looking for a light machine gun, and the then-honestly-named War Department bought Garand’s design. Garand was given a job with the United States Bureau of Standards. Although his design was not produced until 1919, the year after the war ended, Garand was given a government job at the Springfield Armory, where he remained until his retirement in 1953.
Garand’s goal may seem unremarkable today, but it was groundbreaking at the time: the US government tasked him with developing a gas-actuated, self-loading rifle for the infantry and a carbine capable of ejecting spent cartridges while also reloading a new round using a gas-operated system.
It took him 15 years to meet the Army’s specifications with the M1 Garand. In the United States military, the Garand rifle replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield as the standard-issue weapon for infantrymen. During the Second World War, a total of four million of these were distributed.
In my opinion, the M1 rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised.General George S. Patton
John Garand’s Other Awards
Garand was never compensated for his work on the rifle. A bill was eventually introduced in Congress to thank him for his efforts, but it failed to pass. He died in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1974 and is buried in Hillcrest Park Cemetery.
However, he received non-monetary recognition for developing the rifle that would define a generation of American infantrymen. On March 28, 1944, he received the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the inaugural Medal for Merit, along with Albert Hoyt Taylor, and the Alexander L. Holley Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was inducted into the United States Army Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame the year after his death, in 1974.
While the weapon was used in World War II and the Korean War, it also saw action in the Indochina War, the Vietnam War, the Six-Day War, the Iran-Iraq War, and even the Syrian Civil War. Indeed, there appear to be few conflicts in which the Garand has not been involved since its invention. This is due in large part to the weapon’s incredible durability. (Source: Ammo)
The M-1 Garand Rifle
The M14 was officially adopted in 1957, but the transition was not completed until 1965 and was limited to the regular, active-duty Army. The weapon was used by the Army Reserve, Army National Guard, and the Navy until the 1970s. Unfortunately, Garand’s carbine remained a prototype.
While not as well-known as Thomas Edison or Henry Ford, John Garand was a pivotal figure in the history of American innovation. Indeed, his brilliance could be credited with the American war effort’s resounding success. If you value your freedom as an American, remember the life of John Garand, a man from humble beginnings whose innovation had a far-reaching impact on American and world history. (Source: Ammo)
Image from TheArmoryofLife