What if - the original Garand?


June 6, 2003, 07:52 PM
After some research, I discovered that Garand had originally designed the M1 as a magazine fed .276 Pederson weapon. I'm assuming that round was somewhere between .223 and .308 in power.

If he had his way, how would you think it would have performed, and would we still be using it today?

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June 6, 2003, 08:28 PM
The M1 Garand was made obsolete (but still usefull) a few years after we adopted it with the DESIGN of the FN49 (pre WW2). The .276 was a great cartridge as was the 30/06. What would have given the Garand a longer life span would have been the introduction of the BAR magazine. Had that modification been adopted, I doubt that their would have been an M14 or M15. But the M16 still would have made its appearance in the 60's. IMHO.

June 6, 2003, 09:20 PM
But the M16 still would have made its appearance in the 60's.


June 7, 2003, 11:32 AM
Where does the .276 Pederson stand as far as the .223 and .308?

June 7, 2003, 03:06 PM
Real close to the .270 in performance.

June 7, 2003, 03:13 PM
Because, as you already know, the hand-made FN-49 was too labor and cost intensive to equip the standing armies of the time. Milled steel gave way to stampings, wood gave way to plastic, and the FN-FAL was born. Meanwhile, the Italians figured out how to make an M14 variant (BM-59) using original Winchester Garand tooling, and we took over a decade to come up with the M14, using just a few Garand parts. :D

Jim K
June 7, 2003, 10:29 PM
FWIW, I consider the FN 49 a decent rifle, but far inferior to the M1. It is slower to load, gets dirtier and is harder to strip for a good cleaning. Its only advantage is that as a commercial military rifle which had to work with a variety of local ammo, it uses an adjustable gas system. The M1, made for only one nation with rigidly controlled ammo production, had no need for adjustment.

The .276 Pedersen was a decent round, and would probably have served well for purely anti-personnel, but would not have been as effective on light armor and vehicles. Nonetheless, the reason it was not adopted was the huge quantity of .30 ammunition on hand in the 1930's. When the decision to require use of .30 ammo was made (by Douglas MacArthur, then Army Chief of Staff), Pedersen dropped out of competition; his rifle could not work with the more powerful round.

The .276 Garand rifle that would have been adopted used a ten-round en-bloc clip, not a detachable magazine.

BTW, ballistics of the .276 were a 125 grain bullet at 2690 fps muzzle velocity, and a muzzle energy of 2012 foot pounds. For comparison, the Caliber .30, M2 ball fires a 152 grain bullet at 2800 fps for a muzzle energy of 2656 foot pounds.


June 8, 2003, 05:24 PM
Interesting, seems like an idea middle ground between the .223 and .308, with at 20 round magazine, it would have been quite a fine rifle. If it was made to those specs, would there have even been a need for the M1 carbine?

June 8, 2003, 06:59 PM
yes, because the .30 Carbine was made to suppliment the 1911 pistol

June 9, 2003, 01:14 AM
Not only did John Garand's early prototypes use a .276 round, several used detachable box magazines as well. One even had a 30 round mag! Supposedly, the army did NOT want a mag that extended below the bottom of the rifle because it would get in the way of performing the rifle drills. That's why John Garand went to the internal box mag feed by an en-bloc clip.

When chambered in .276, the clip held 10 rounds instead of 8, which wasn't bad firepower for the time period when most infantry rifles only held 5 rounds.

June 9, 2003, 10:16 AM
I'm thinking the .276 round would make for a substantially lighter rifle, thus the difference between a Garand and the carbine might not have been significant enought to warrant the carbines development/production.

Mike Irwin
June 9, 2003, 12:01 PM
"I'm thinking the .276 would have made for a substantially lighter rifle."

Not really. A few ounces at most.

The .276 cartridge wasn't any great shakes performance wise, really along the lines of the 7mm Mauser.

June 9, 2003, 12:24 PM
The Pederson rifle had a toggle action, like a Luger.

Mike Irwin
June 9, 2003, 01:11 PM
IIRC from Hatcher's Notebook that the Pedersen rifle also ejected shell cases so vigorously that it actually stuck several into a wood door.

Not something you'd want to be on the firing line next to.

June 9, 2003, 01:19 PM
The 276 Pederson was not an intermediate ctg, like an assault rifle would chamber but an attempt to idealize the long range combat rifle with an autoloading action. I recently read a book by Maj. Charles Askins (the colonel's father), dated 1912, that enthusiastically stated the hunting rifle of the future was an autoloader. Pretty far ahead of his time when you think of it.

Like somebody else said, the difference between 270 Win and 30/06 is about a dime's worth. .276 ~ 7mm. If you remember the army has always been fascinated with things German (or European).

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