when and where was your !st encounter with the m1 garand

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by keokeboy, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Redhand

    Redhand Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Hey, It happened in 1966, I've learned alot since then. I don't know whether I should relate this experience or not. I.T.R Camp Lejeune,our platoon was going thru a pop-up target range using M-1's, we were about the 6th platoon being cycled thru the drill. The P.M.I drill instructor told us that the rifles would be very dirty and hot from laying in the sun. He said under NO circumstances should we try to clear a jam by ourselves and further reiterated that he or any of the other instructors should not catch any Marine stomping on the op-rod to clear a jam. I get up to about the third target and pick up the rifle, I take off the saftey and pull the trigger Nothing ,Nada. I attempt to eject the round and could not get the op-rod to pull back, I takes a quick look up and down the line and no instructor and sure enough I tilt the rifle towards the target and applies a heel to the op-rod. All of a sudden I'm on the ground sucking dust with and excruciating pain and pressure between my shoulder blades. I thought I had done shot myself and from the voice I heard next, thought I had died and gone to Hell. I will never,ever attempt to clear a jam again with my foot ever, I will never try and stomp my Marine Corps rifle again. I think I have a size 13 boot track permanently implanted between my shoulder blades to remind me.:eek::eek::confused::eek:;)
  2. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

    Jul 27, 2008
    West TN.
    blackcat Attilio: Buona sera.

    I don't know whether you were in the Infantry, but what sort of combat training did they have in the Infantry?

    Any long marches in the Alps, or the foothills, such as near Aviano AFB etc?
    I've heard from co-workers and others how beautiful it is up there.

    My family was in Roma, Firenza and Venezia a few years ago.
  3. blackcat_attilio

    blackcat_attilio Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    Northern Italy
    Hi Laufer! I wasn't right in the Infantry, our final destination was anti-aircraft artillery (80m/m batterys or "Hawks" batterys). I was in the 5th Reg. Anti-Aircraft Artillery Missiles HQ nearby Venice. Nowadays in the same Camp are the Italian Marines (Lagunari).
    Our march training was not so hard, long marches down the sporting field inside the Camp; for the rest we studyed about use of our M1 Garand, about ROE..... I missed the long march on the mountain tracks as the Alpini do.
    Have you served in Aviano AFB ?

    I hope your family enjoyed Italy.
  4. Lark07

    Lark07 Former Guest

    Feb 6, 2010
    I was in Navy boot camp back in the 80's. We had deactivated M-1's that we were not allowed to call rifles or guns. We were told to call them pieces.

    My next experience with one was at the local Big-5 store a few years ago. They had them on sale for $600 (back when CMP had them for about $500). I bought one knowing it was likely a mish-mash of parts, but it was a Garand and that is all I cared about.

    I took it to the range not really thinking about much other then avoiding the dreaded M-1 thumb. I had lots of time shooting my M-1a, but this one was different. I fumbled a bit with loading the en bloc clip, then very cautiously pushed it into the rifle afraid that the bolt would jump forward and squish my thumb. It didn't. I then pulled back on the charging handle to load the first round. Nothing happened. I turned to my right and as luck would have it, there was another guy shooting his Garand and I asked "how do I load this thing". He told me to just hit the handle; I did and it chambered a round. Eight rounds later I got the ching sound and reloaded again. Lots of fun.

    I bought an 8 pound keg of 4895 and loaded all of the brass I had been collecting for the last year. The Garand is the only 30-06 I own, so it all gets 150 grain bullets and feed into this rifle. I just need to get a 1903 now.
  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    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.

  6. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Upstate NY
    My first introduction was when I bought a nice M1 Garand at the Syracuse, NY gun show in the mid-1990's. I shot it for half-a-dozen years, but finally realized my aging eyes and peep sights just don't go together. I sold the Garand and bought a scoped Ruger #1 in the same .30-06 caliber.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    I got an e-mail questioning my firearms knowledge (and my ancestry) and informing me that it is impossible to re-cock the M1 rifle without operating the bolt. So, I will add this little tip.

    Those who are concerned, as I was, about a hangfire, or merely want to try again on a misfire, can cock the hammer of an M1 or M14 rifle by unlatching the trigger guard at the rear and swinging the guard down like the lever of a lever-action rifle. Then latch the guard back up and pull the trigger.

    That feature was part of the spec for the M1 rifle; the Army was concerned about hangfires, where a "dud" round can go off as it is being ejected from the rifle, wrecking the rifle and blowing brass and burning powder into the shooter's face. With the M1903, retrying a dud was done simply by pulling back on the cocking knob, and the Army wanted the same ability in the M1.

  8. Happydog

    Happydog New Member

    Feb 8, 2010
    I was a 17 year kid in basic training at Fort Jackson SC. When I was issued my M1, I thought it was very heavy. When basic was over it wasn't heavy at all. Went home on leave after basic and nearly put the barrel of a 12ga shotgun through the ceiling when I first picked it up. It had lost weight while I was in basic training.
  9. John S Bryant

    John S Bryant New Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    August 1947. Basic training, US Army............Korea, 1951. Over the hills (mountains) and through the valleys. Ruined the day for a lot of Chinese and North Koreans. Nothing could beat it in those days. Today, I'm outclassed with all these sci-fi weeeepons.
  10. wpage

    wpage Active Member

    Aug 25, 2009
    West Point NY 1965 All day at the range 100, 300, 500 meters. Seemed like about 500 rounds the 1st day. Man my arm hurt the next day. What a gun!
  11. StewNTexas

    StewNTexas New Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    Ingleside, TX
    June, 1960 at Parris Island. I had been shooting since around 8 years old, mostly .22's, and an occasional chance to shoot my cousins 1903A3.

    During our qualification, I shot a 248, which put me as 'high rifle' in our batt. They put me on the rifle team, and I had to skip a week of mess duty. I sure did not miss that. After being assigned to 8th & I, between parades and time at Camp David, I was placed on the HQ rifle team. Lots of traveling, lots of trigger time. Many close matches, but no 14k in 1961.

    Went to Eastern Division matches at LaJune (sp) in '62. Got my first chunk of 14k there. A couple more later that year at Camp Perry. All our ammo was Frankfort Arsenal Match.

    Last transfer was to HMX-1 in late '62. Even though we lived/flew out of DC, our 'offical' duty station was Quantico. Short hop on a chopper, and we had plenty of those. The Corps did not have a sniper program at that time as it had been discontinued about the end of the Korean Conflict.

    I was 'asked', along with a couple of other guys to see what we could do with some rifles bought from a few manufacturers. First we stated by improving our accuracy with our M-1's from 600 yds to 1,000 yds., still open sights. After a few weeks of this, we moved to the 'new' stuff they bought, with improved sighting systems. We mostly worked with different factory reps to see what seemed to work best. We were not given much information regarding overall test results. During 'bad' weather days we assisted at the FBI range working with 'new guys'. This is when I discovered that the FBI hired people that had never fired a firearm.

    With all this going on, we were still officially assigned to presidential security.

    Did not re-up, as VietNam had started taking buddies. Not a lot of them were returning.

    Still miss not having a Garand of my own, but with my defib/pacemaker, my doctors will not let me shoot any shoulder fired weapon over .22 cal. I have started trying my hand as pistols. This is sort of funny as when I was on the USMC team, we were considered alternates on the pistol team. Were assiged a pistol box with a .22, .38 and .45. We seldom shot them, they were just another piece of luggage we hauled around.

    Was sitting in an English class in Cookeville, TN at Tennessee Tech the morning of Noverber 22nd, 1963. Heard the news, went outside to toss cookies, stayed stuck to the TV for the next 2 days. Saw a lot of my buds from DC there. If I had stayed in, I would have been in the middle of that whole damn mess.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  12. Woodie

    Woodie New Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    New York State in the country Broome County
    Coast Guard 1967 Gutanimo ( GitMo Bay) ( SP) Cuba. pulled guard duty on the pier for our ship the Morganthau - they gave me an M1 & No Bullets.
    One month later on TDA going to Alaska awaiting orders had to pull shore patrol with the interservice MP's unit in NYC. Got stuck guarding a polish freighter in Brooklyn. Got issued a 45 and an M1 with live rounds. Polish were jumping ship and never going back. So I tell all of my Polish friends how much more dangerous the Government thinks they are then the Cubans.
    Oh I had no training on the M1 what so ever. we used the old Bolt actions in boot camp then the range at fire island and I never saw that piece I signed for again.
    here's funny one I was stationed in Cape May. NJ as my first duty station after DC school. Well they need some one to go to town with cash to buy different items we couldn't get through GS Stores ( remember in 1967 we had less men then the NY City police dept. and our budget was smaller) So i got a bond for handling cash ( they wanted a petty officer and i was the newest third class around, bottom of the pole but now liable as a non com) then they needed a guy to do( service and check the fire extinguishers in secure areas so that was under our DC job and i had already completed half the security check. So I got some level i don't even recall secret maybe. So then they decided since I was in the area ( operations something - that since i was lowly and had a clearance that they would get me a higher clearance and have me burn documents ( Carry the boxes and light'em up while a Lt JG watched me ) So then in one of the bunkers they found 4 crates of 45's there were bunkers full of stuff, some from the WW1 sea planes
    Any way they were some what rusty even with the cosmo . So they had no paper work and decided to survey. so again since i had all these dumb clearances Yup i had to load them in a International Travel All ( OLD) all our vehicles were navy throw aways. Drive them and that Lt JG to Philadelphia Naval/ Marine Brig. and read the numbers off and the JG read the numbers and some guy from the Treasury Dept wrote them down and I had to take them down and smash everything I could with a 3 lb hammer and throw the pieces in three different barrels. Seal the barrels and the Govt. man put a seal on. what a waste of 45's
    Funniest part of the story was I was trying to figure out how to snag one of these. Until we went the the different gates and they got slammed behind us. I knew I was leaving ,but my thoughts of any snagging were Long Gone.
  13. The_Rifleman

    The_Rifleman New Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Never and nowhere. :(
  14. K1D_5150

    K1D_5150 New Member

    Jan 28, 2010
    Hutchinson, KS
    In a gun shop in South Hutch 'bout a month ago, on the used rack. Never handled one though.
  15. bbqznbeer

    bbqznbeer New Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    Ontario , Canada
    About 10yr ago I shot one for the first time and fell in love.
    I finally bought one ( '55 H&R ) 2yr ago and found my lost love all over again.

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  16. Old Grump

    Old Grump New Member

    Feb 21, 2010
    Little hut in the woods near Blue River Wisconsin
    03 in boot, BAR aboard ship because I was the only one in my division built like a gorilla, first time I actually got to play with a M1 was 71 when I joined the Navy rifle team. Must have been a good gun because 9 months later I was shooting in the All Navy championships in a downpour at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. It was a dirty trick to play on a man who had just been shooting for 9 months in the desert at White Sands New Mexico. I needed a life boat to lay in for the prone position.
  17. avingo

    avingo New Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    so fl
    i got mine a few months ago but havent had the chance to shoot it. seems i'v bought too many guns in the last year and so many havent been shot but the garand is going on the next trip to the range, got my ammo and springs clips..
  18. ronnieboy

    ronnieboy New Member

    Feb 4, 2010
    swampeast missouri
    it happened at my uncles funeral. He was at the bulge with patton, so he was entitled to a military salute of his piers, WWll vets with M1's. Some had crosses embedded in the stock, some had other medals affixed with pride. I heard the brass hulls rattle on the pavement, a cold chill passed over me. 2 months later i have a March 1942 SA. And am thankfull to have it. And i Remember Where its Been. ron
  19. Blizzard

    Blizzard New Member

    Mar 3, 2010
    1977, I was barely old enough to understand what I was looking at but I do remember it. It was BIG!! It was in the "forbidden room" down cellar. You didn't go in unless you were invited in. It was where Dad kept all his stuff; his few rifles and reloading items along with a chair and a bookshelf with just about every copy of Gun Digest from when they began to that present year. He had the M-1 and a few others that were family keepsakes to be passed down.
  20. VegasTech702

    VegasTech702 New Member

    Sep 10, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV
    My Grandpa carried an M1 Garand while in the Marine Corps back in the early 50's. He introduced me to the M1 when I was 12 years old. I was able to load and shoot it successfully by the end of our outing. My shoulder hurt for a few days afterward.

    I have shot them several times since and I enjoy it but I am wouldn't want to carry one in combat. They are heavy, awkward to load, have a large amount of recoil and make the noise when you are empty that gives away your position.

    Out of all the rifles that have been deployed in our military, I would probably want an M14. If I could choose any rifle for infantry combat I would choose an M4 chambered in 6.8 SPC. For sniper or long range engagements I would want either an AI AWSM in .338 Lapua Mag or the Barrett M82 chambered in .416 Barrett.
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