Re: when and where was your !st encounter with the m1 garand
A couple of more "M1 stories". During basic training, I encountered a dud round on the rifle range. So, concerned with a hangfire, I recocked the rifle without opening the bolt and tried again. Still no go. The range sergeant saw me cock the rifle and wanted to know whatinhell I thought I was doing. I told him I had a misfire, and he grabbed the rifle and did the boot stomp. I almost wished it had been a hangfire, but it wasn't. It was an old, corroded round that some joker found on the ground and loaded in a clip and I hadn't noticed.
Around the same time, we did the infiltration course, crawling through sand with MG fire overhead. The drill was a dry run (no firing) in the morning, then a live run in the afternoon, and another at night. After the first run, the rifles were full of sand, and we had to clean them. So one guy decided to avoid that in the afternoon and wrapped a rag around the receiver to keep the sand out. When our platoon sergeant saw that, he had a ball about a rifle having "the rag on." He got a good laugh and should have stopped, but he continued that he didn't know there were male and female rifles. Some clown in the rear (not me) said, "Where do you think carbines come from?"
Everyone just about died laughing.