Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Garand Thumb - Facts and Myths

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by PTMCCAIN, Apr 29, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. PTMCCAIN

    PTMCCAIN member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    545
    I made this little video after several conversations recently spreading the rumor/myth that you get Garand Thumb as a result of loading a full clip into a Garand. Have you heard that before? I used to believe it, until I read up on it and hear from old timers and read the original manuals and watched all the US Army training videos...just not so.

    http://youtu.be/xeRjceFcAQg?hd=1
     
  2. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    4,060
    Oh, no, no one ever got their thumb smashed by a Garand, even a Garand with worn out parts.

    Never happened. Never will.

    I guess I should tell my friend who was in Korea (and who is totally left handed) that he never got his thumb popped.

    BSW.
     
  3. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    527
    The OP isn't claiming that it doesn't exist. But that point is more clear in the video than in the post.
     
  4. Hacker15E

    Hacker15E Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,511
    Location:
    Vegas
    Until this post, I have never heard anything about "Garand thumb" being related to a full clip.

    I have always heard it in relation to closing the locked-open bolt on an empty magazine.
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    No magazine in an M-1.

    Closing the bolt without a loaded clip is where all the M1 thumbs I ever saw came from.

    You got to stick your thumb down in it to depress the follower to release the bolt when it is empty. Then get it out of the way while the bolt is closing.

    And yes, it is very very real!!

    rc
     
  6. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    527
    I had never heard it specifically related to a full clip either.
     
  7. W L Johnson

    W L Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,248
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Look up Hakim thumb, makes Garand thumb look like a hangnail.
     
  8. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,293
    ive only heard of you getting it if you open the bolt, but not fully, using the magazine follower itself to hold it open.. then when you stick a mag in and press it down it bites you
     
  9. Kevin5098

    Kevin5098 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    144
    Not to nit-pick, but the Garand does have a magazine - an internal magazine fed by a clip.
     
  10. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,795
    Location:
    TEXAS
    your top round was on the left side?
     
  11. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    5,051
    It can happen. With good technique it won't happen but when I played around with some Garands I was repairing for fun I did find that you can easily get Garand thumb if you do it wrong.
     
  12. PTMCCAIN

    PTMCCAIN member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    545
    Doesn't matter which side the top round is.

    And, as per the video and discussion, there may well be some doofus who somehow manages to get a finger or other appendage in the magazine while loading a full clip, but.....

    The VAST majority of times it is always when the magazine has NO clip being loaded into it.
     
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    O.K. how about a 1911 pinky finger?

    One of the most funny and also horrific things I ever saw involved a new 2nd. Lieutenant, an arms inspection, and a private E-nothing with a 1911.

    The newly appointed officer stuck his pinky finger in the chamber of the 1911 to check for dirt, and Beetle Baily hit the slide release.

    He screamed like a little girl, tried to shake the pistol off his little finger, and peed his starched khaki pants!

    Right in front of the whole platoon.

    rc
     
  14. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,795
    Location:
    TEXAS
    ya, i dont remember where i heard they should be on the right. read it somewhere i guess.

    and ya, ive never considered m1 thumb to be a problem loading clips into the rifles i have.

    working with an empty rifle is where you get bit. ive never had a problem with it.
     
  15. WALKERs210

    WALKERs210 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,342
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie - Alabama
    I read this post and had to pull out one of the Garands. Now its been since 1965 since I had to present arms for inspection, but at 64 I can still do it without loosing meat in the process. I do remember it happening to a couple, and as for the shells being loaded in clip left side or right side on top, the right side was prefered as to make it easier for right handed men(truth or bull ??) And RC I remember seeing that happen, I was laughing so hard I almost could not get that nasty gun off the guys hand.
     
  16. hang fire

    hang fire Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,089
    At one time to prevent muzzle wear, the proper cleaning procedure for the M-1 was thus.

    Lock action open, insert cleaning rod down the bore, then either screw on a brush or insert patch into cleaning tip slot.

    Lets just say inserting pinkies into open action while fiddling around, resulting pinky bashing curtailed that procedure rather quickly.
     
  17. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,093
    Location:
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    I only experienced it while shooting a 600 yards NRA Match at Fort Richardson during the winter.
    Since they were ten-shot strings, you had one fully loaded enbloc clip and one enbloc clip with two rounds criss-crossed into it so they would snap correctly into place when the magazine was inserted correctly.
    A bunch of old guys showed me how to do it right since I had already shot one run through the match with an M-14.
    Once my fingers were cold and I was halfway excited about trying to catch up with the old guys, I managed to bungle the two round clip loading and it smashed the crap out of my semi frozen thumb. Much to the pleasure of the old guys who proceeded to kick my butt.
     
  18. Liberty1776

    Liberty1776 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,297
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Am I the only guy that does this?? - I hold the bolt handle back with the outside edge of my right hand, depress the follower with my thumb, and close the bolt under control with pressure from the edge of my hand...
     
  19. asia331

    asia331 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    296
    Location:
    Arizona
    Logged my first M1 thumb on an amphib exercise along the Chowan River (NC) 1971...ouch; my fault..not the rifle's.
     
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Thats the way you are supposed to do it.

    Sometimes, someone doesn't.

    rc
     
  21. PTMCCAIN

    PTMCCAIN member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    545
    Certainly a good way to do it, to each his own. Doing it that way though was a bit difficult while making this video, trying to show the bolt.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  22. PTMCCAIN

    PTMCCAIN member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    545
    The 1911 "pinkie" story is priceless, thanks!!
     
  23. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    7,816
    Location:
    Kingsport Tennessee
    We have a lot of Garand shooters at the military matches at the local gun club.

    Garand thumb from depressing the follower on an empty magazine to release the bolt, very very rarely. It been years since anyone got pinched closing the bolt on an empty Garand.

    I see folks having to slap the bolt handle closed after loading a full 8-round clip in the magazine. Never seen anyone getting M1 thumb from loading a full clip.

    That's what the users teach as proper technique with the M1 Garand.
     
  24. PTMCCAIN

    PTMCCAIN member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    545
    Bingo, precisely. You may, or may not, be surprised how often I run across people spreading the myth that Garand thumb results from loading a clip.
     
  25. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    42,987
    Location:
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    In Elmer Keith's "Hell, I Was There", he comments about the problem in the earliest Garands as to which side the top cartridge should be loaded in the clip. The problem was fixed. Sorry, I don't recall the details.

    Closing the bolt from "Inspection, Arms", you just slap the bolt handle with the side of your hand while very briefly pushing down on the follower. Do it quickly, no problem. Slow Is Bad.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page