The M1 Garand was the standard US rifle in World War II. Designed to replace the old M1903 Springfield, the M1 was semi-automatic and held 8 rounds of the same ammo the Springfield used (.30-06). The rifle served until the beginning of the Vietnam War. It is quoted by General George S. Patton that "the M1 Garand is the greatest battle implement ever devised."
The M1 Garand is a gas operated, semi-automatic rifle. It was designed by Springfield Armory worker, John Garand. The military was looking for a semi-automatic rifle to replace the bolt-action M1903 "Springfield" series. Garand competed with most notably, John Browning (who designed a series of key machine guns and shotguns used in both World Wars), and John Thompson (who designed the Thompson Submachine Gun).
Garand's first prototype was designed in 1922, but still didn't meet military specifications. Nearly a decade later, Garand's product was finialized and was adopted as the U.S. Rifle Cal. 30 M1. It could shoot faster than the Springfield, except at the same range and accuracy the Springfield had. By 1943, the M1 Garand was standard issued to the average soldier. The rifle was used all across World War II, from Europe to the Pacific. The Garand had one unique feature that, unfortunetly, caused the lives of many soldiers.
When the magazine was empty, the Garand would spit out an en bloc clip, which held the ammo, this also made a very metallic ping noise.
The ping would later be used to an advantage as many German and Japanese soldiers caught on to it. This made any US troop drop an M1 clip and the same soldier, who had a fully loaded M1 Garand, would kill him. Different variants of the M1 Garand would come up after World War II. The M1C and M1D "Sniper" Variants are most notable. The M1 Garand snipers were used in Korea. The Sniper Garand was unimpressive, because of the en bloc clip system, the scope couldn't be mounted on top of the gun, unlike the Springfield. Instead the scope was on the left hand side on the gun, even then, the scope could still get damaged by the en bloc clip.
The M1 Garand was later replaced by the M14 rifle. The Garand seemed to have the most influence on the M14, as the iron sights are very identical to each other. By Vietnam, the M1 Garand was still being used in very low quantities. It was later replaced, but it is still used in training and at ceremonies. The M1 Garand is often called "The Rifle that Won World War II".
The M1 Garand is seen throughout the series, mostly in the hands of Major Winters, Frank Perconte, Shifty Powers, Joe Leibgott, Skip Muck, and Albert Blithe. The series also features the metallic 'ping' noise the Garand makes when it is out of ammo.
Some cases show the Garand with a bayonet, and a M7 Rifle Grenade Launcher. It appears in every episode of the series. One unusual moment in the series is when (then) Captain Dick Winters takes Leibgott's M1 and takes out his ammo. This is because the Garand's en bloc clip won't pop out like it would if there was no ammo. What Winters does is that he opens the chamber and manually takes out the ammo in the gun, only giving Leibgott one round, in case Liebgott executes the prisoners, having a vengeance against them,