I have a question need your input/M1


April 25, 2007, 12:26 PM
What and why do you think Ordnance went with the en-block 8 rd Clip and did not go with a 20 det. mag on the M1 Garand. I have an idea about it, no Ordnance file on it, but just want to see what you think was the reason for it. Let's see how many ideas are out there about this. Gentlemen the floor is open for your input........

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April 25, 2007, 12:35 PM
En-bloc clips being cheaper than a 20 round mag? (less metal, and 1 spring & follower per rifle, rather than a spring & follower per mag)

'Cause thats the way John C. Garand designed it?

/////Wise N. Hiemer mode on

'Cause Ordinance thought "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that PING!"

April 25, 2007, 12:38 PM
For the same reason that modern M16's have a 3rd burst trigger instead of FA -- they insist on limiting firepower out of some misguided belief that soldier's will simply waste all their ammo otherwise.

You can't give a soldier 20rds in an easy to change magazine. Oh, heaven's no. He must be limited to 8rds using a difficult to change clip. It's for his own good! :rolleyes:

Mr White
April 25, 2007, 12:50 PM
Another thought is that having a top loading weapon and no protruding magazine would make it easier to shoot and safer to reload from prone position.

April 25, 2007, 12:55 PM

I'm sorry I do not have cites, but recall reading that John Garand originally designed the rifle for a smaller caliber - like .276 / .280 - and the en bloc clip would have held 10 rounds. However the gov had lots of 30.06 ammo on hand and wanted the new rifle chambered for that round, so he changed it and the clip only held 8 of the larger cases.

Also, that a box magazine sticking out would "look funny / be uncomfortable" for soldiers marching with rifles slung on their backs in parades and so forth - hence the en bloc clip / internal magazine.

Some of this is surely incorrect / speculation, but I believe I read the first part (about the original caliber) in Hatcher's Notebook, so it may well be true.

Just my 2.


PS I really like your web sites on the Garand rifle. Great work!

April 25, 2007, 01:56 PM
More rounds available will be used up more quickly thus heating the barrel up so hot it may ruin it more easily than if it has to be reloaded every 8 rounds.

Harder to get the gun down LOW when shooting from prone this exposing the shooter to more incoming.

April 25, 2007, 02:19 PM
This is partly speculation, of course, but here goes:

A self-contained magazine of some sort, as opposed to a detachable one, had been the most prevalent method used in military repeaters from the very inception of metallic cartridges. As experience and tactical doctrines developed 'clips' of one sort or another to fascilitate more rapid reloading were quick to follow where the design of the particular weapon was compatable. It is noteworthy, IMO, that virtually all of the most enduring and successful battle rifle designs from this period were provided with a means for recharging via a clip, including the SMLE, Mauser '96 and '98, Moisin Nagant, and 1903 Springfield.

The en bloc concept proved to have some distinct practical advantages from both tactical and logistic/supply standpoints in the Austrian Mannlicher and its Italian cousin the Carcano. I believe that John Garand incorporated the concept into his experimental semiauto because it was a proven method which coincidentally provided him with an elegant and practical solution to a couple of thorny design problems.

It gave him twice the cartridge capacity of the Mauser and Springfield, and equalled the SMLE (in the original .276 Petersen chambering) while helping him keep the profile of the weapon at the natural balance point slim enough to be easily carried using one hand. It also helped to make the reloading process both rapid and uncomplicated.

I don't believe that a large capacity box magazine was considered to be particularly desirable on a general issue individual weapon at the time. The emphasis in training and doctrine was on the accurate delivery of fire on-target over sheer volume, and eight rds. is still 60% more than five. As long as the Garand demonstrated the ability to achieve comparable accuracy levels and sustained reliable function in the field, it was all good.

April 25, 2007, 09:28 PM
I believe that Ordnance required it as they were concerned that a larger magazine capacity would result in "wasted" ammunition. Obviously adapting the design to a box magazine was not a problem and could have been easily accomplished as witness the M14.

That said, the 10/8 round en bloc clips have advantages of their own; economical, compact, no empty mags to deal with, and a fast reload.

Which is why everyone needs at least one example of both rifles...

April 25, 2007, 10:13 PM

April 25, 2007, 11:29 PM
It wasn't the Ordnance Board. It was J.C. who opted for the 'en bloc'. J.C.'s first rifle in 1920 had a 20 or 30 round box mag. His second in 1921 didn't. It was considered "lighter, neater and handier".
Plus, the expense and inconvenience of having to provide a detachable mag was considered a disadvantage for the earlier Berthier rifle.

April 25, 2007, 11:54 PM
Sunray is right about Garand's first rifle. The Model T1920 used either the BAR 20 round magazine or a special 40 round version and was chambered for the .30-06. His next model (Model 1921) was still chambered for the .30-06 but utilized a clip. It is my understanding that the .276 caliber cartridge was similar to the .30-06 in dimensions so the en bloc clip would have held eight cartridges.

The simple explanation for the clip was the belief that the soldier needed to be as close to the ground as possible when shooting in the prone position. A detachable magazine would have been a hindrance. A bad choice since the M14 proved that theory wrong and my Uncles who served in WW II would have loved to have more rounds than just eight while they were ground-pounding around France and Germany and the Phillipines.

It was Douglas MacArthur who ordered the rifle changed from the .276 cartridge back to the .30-06 due to large stockpiles of .30-06 left over from the Great War, even though the Army was ready to adopt the new cartridge.

All this came from Bruce Canfield's "A Collector's Guide to the M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine" and an old copy of the "Book of Rifles" published by Outdoor Life.

Navy Vet & SWIFT Boat OIC

April 26, 2007, 12:14 AM
Which was 30+ years ago, the prevailing wisdom was because Ord didn't consider it necessary for individual riflemen. That was the official reason. The unofficial reason was certain powerful individuals in ORD and others felt the protruding magazine was an encumberance when perfoming "drill" with the rifle. realistically, this is as likely the real reason as any. That and the whole "waste ammo" argument.

Remember, unlike today, where modern technology has encouraged the military to constantly try new (and hopefully better) things, back in the 30s, the military was run by large numbers of hidebound traditionalists. And in the Ordnance especially.

And it was MacArthur who pushed the change from the .276 to the .30-06.

April 26, 2007, 12:19 AM
Hi Clancy,

My first thoughts center on the economics and speed of the en bloc clip.

The en bloc clip was a proven technology in the 30's. The WD knew they could make millions and they'd all work. I do not know that the Department could scale up production of box magazines to a reasonable quality and cost level. Knowing that war was on the horizon, they most likely went with the option with the lowest risk.

Then my thoughts went to operational simplicity. There's nothing simpler than an en bloc clip. Box magazines, given the technology in the 30s could be considerably complex. And complexity on the battlefield could be a killer. Once again, I think the War Department went with the option with the least risk.

Then again, a lobbyist could have been in the middle of it all... :)


April 26, 2007, 03:26 AM
The story I heard was there was another guy besides John Garand at Springfield who was paid a sum of money to develop a rifle. In an effort not to waste this other guys work the 8 round en bloc system was used in the M-1 Garand. Or something like this.....

April 26, 2007, 03:45 AM
The "folklore" I've always heard is that the army believed a protruding magazine would interfere with drill with the rifle. An "en bloc" clip kept everything flush with the woodline.

Btw, the original Garand design in .276 had 10 rounds in a slighly larger clip than what was later used for the 8 round '.06 clip. When they went from .276 to .30 - '06 they had to redesign the clip to accomodate the larger rounds and two rounds were lost in the process.

There are original 10 round .276 clips out there. They are few and far between and are highly collectable.

Mike Kelly
April 26, 2007, 04:15 AM
Page 64 of "Hatcher's Notebook" shows a picture of Garand's first semi-auto rifle. It has a removable magazine.

I'm sure the answer to your question is in that book but I haven't been able to find it by skimming through the pages.

Dr. Dickie
April 26, 2007, 06:50 AM
I am pretty much of the opinion as most others. It was my understanding (although I have no idea where this came from) that the enbloc clip was used to:
Save weight, so a solider could carry more (compare the weight of two clips to one 20 round magazine); be disposable, since you could count on detachable magazines being lost; be quick loading, and have more rounds as an alternative to a fixed magazine.
Even if that wasn't the reason, heck it make sense so they would be silly not go with it!

April 26, 2007, 08:08 AM
I believe 44AMP was correct in stating a magazine would interfere with drilling or training soldiers in the " Manual of Arms". I have read that story many times that the Army brass insisted on a flat bottom like the '03 rifle. If my memory serves me correctly th honor guard at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier drills with a M-14 w/o a magazine since it would be impossible to perform right or left shoulder arms with a magazine inserted.

April 26, 2007, 02:09 PM
l.) They already had a crew served, fire team weapon, that fired
the same ammo called the Browning Automatic Rifle. The four
man fire teams had a Barman, Asst. Barman, and two riflemen armed
with M1 Garands.
2.) Somewhere around 59-60 the M14 became the replacement for
the Garand and M-60 squad weapon. Both fired the 7.62 and the
30-06 was left for the 30 Cal. Machinegun light air cooled. The 14s
were to have good and bad features, but were basic M1 Garands
that were magazine fed. I can't recall how many came with selective
fire, but can recall due to the light weight, control was an issue. As
good as, with a 20 round magazine the 8 round Garand. If memory
is correct, the first 14s were converted Garands by Bretta, until
Winchester got it's tooling going.
3) Life was short for a great battle weapon, as it was replaced with
a troubled M-16 with a spray and pray use. Only a NCO Marine ReCon
at the time so opinions never count. Really enjoyed a trouble free
Mod. 70 with glass and a case of Match 06 ammo. Ooh Rah
Simper Fi:D :D

April 29, 2007, 11:15 AM
There was a lot of data about the magazine, getting into the prone position having the Magazine getting in the way of the shooter. Remember, that the BAR was used in WW1 and thus it was a combat tested weapon. My problem with the BAR or any other full auto is the amount of ammo to keep feeding it. IIRC there were 3 man teams to keep the BAR up and running. I WONDER what would happen if all the guys were issued a BAR type weapon. Half of it troops would be getting the ammo to those on the line. Mr. Garand was ahead of Ordnance because he had all ready built a semi auto in 1920 with a rifle with the 20 rd. magazine and yes Ordnance did not want that type of firearm. Yes it had problems but with the team at SA those guys could have built as the 1920 one. But it would still have taken one or two riflemen off the line to keep ammo to feeding it. This is just my .02 cent. Talking with some WW2 Vet's. Some of them used 2 BAR"S on the left of their line making it sound like a .30 Cal., Machine Gun and a 3 man team with the M1 Garand on their right. They could make the Garands sound like a couple of BAR's firing Nice Trick!!



Could use some help Check out my sites. TIA
Thanks again

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