M1 Garand rifle

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The basic infantry weapon of U.S. forces in the Second World War, as well as one still used in less advanced militaries as well as in sporting derivatives, the M-1 Garand rifle was a clip-fed semi-automatic rifle, firing a .30-06 full-power rifle cartridge. [1]

It was replaced briefly by the M14 rifle, also firing a full-power NATO 7.62mm cartridge, which, in turn, has been replaced by the M16 family of assault rifles firing the intermediate power 5.56mm round. Today, most commonly issued U.S. rifle is the M-4 carbine variant of the M16 rifle. Both the M14 and M16 were capable of full-automatic, although the latest versions fire either in semi-automatic mode, or a burst of three shots fired automatically.

Principles of operation

Tactical use

It was intended for aimed fire, as its magazine capacity was not sufficient to lay down large quantities of suppressive fire. That was the role of the Browning Automatic Rifle and machine guns.

Even standard M1s were capable of quite accurate fire, and troops were trained to exploit its capabilities.


The M-1C and M-1D are highly accurate versions optimized for use by snipers.


Type Purpose Identification
Ball, M-2 This is the basic solid round for general use It is the only round with no special markings
Armor piercing, M-2 lightly armored vehicles, protective shelters, and personnel Black bullet tip
Armor piercing incendiary, M-14 inflammable targets white or aluminium buklet tim
Incendiary, M-1 unarmored, flammable targets Blue bullet tip
Rifle grenade, M-3 propelling rifle grenades no bullet; mouth of cartridge case is crimped
Tracer observing fire, incendiary, marking targets Red bullet tip
Blank, M-1909 Practice and salutes No bullet, case sealed with red lacquer
Dummy, M-50 mechanical training either grooved case and tin plated, or holes drilled in the case
Match Competitive shooting stamped "MATCH"


  1. Field Manual 23-5 for the U.S. Rifle, CALIBER .30, M1, Department of the Army, May 1965, FM 23-5