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Old April 29, 2012, 10:41 AM   #1
Amsdorf
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Garand Thumb - Facts and Myths

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
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Old April 29, 2012, 11:26 AM   #2
HiBC
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Using your thumb to push the follower down,open bolt,no clip will give you a fine example of an M-1 thumb if you do not have your hand on the op rod handle at the same time!Most folks don't have to do it more than once.
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Old April 29, 2012, 12:50 PM   #3
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Concur with HiBC. Garand thumb is no myth. Lungmann thumb is not a myth either.
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Old April 29, 2012, 12:54 PM   #4
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Hey, guys....I'm NOT saying Garand thumb is a myth, at all.

The myth is that loading a full clip of ammo into it will give you Garand thumb, now, sure, I suppose there is some doofus out there who managed to get a finger or other appendage in the magwell while loading a clip, but....

The vast majority of Garand thumb cases are a result of cycling the bolt when there is NO CLIP of ammo.

Just the way it is.
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Old April 29, 2012, 12:56 PM   #5
Slamfire
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I lost a thumb nail cleaning a Garand. Pushed the follower down and the bolt bashed my thumb against the receiver.

I believe it could happen.

There is a way to become a believer: experiment.

Put a clip and the gun and don't be hasty about getting your thumb out when the clip latches and the bolt goes forward.

Give it enough tries for the sample set to be statistically valid.

How about 100 tries?

Then you could tell us who is the doofus.
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Old April 29, 2012, 01:02 PM   #6
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At drill, when they do inspection arms, when the weapon was returned to you, you were supposed to release the bolt and let it slam home. Put pressure on the op handle with the heel of your hand, depress the follower with your thumb, and release. Some people are not coordinated, there were always a few that had the interesting experience that we called M-1 thumb. Goat
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Old April 29, 2012, 03:17 PM   #7
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Guys, it seems to me that you feel that Amsdorf said "there is no such thing as M1 Thumb". I can see no other explanation for the replies he's gotten.

However, if you read what he actually posted, you'll see that he hasn't said what you're assuming he did. Please take a minute and read what he said and digest it before telling him that M1 thumb is real. He knew that before he posted, trust me
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Old April 29, 2012, 05:30 PM   #8
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Better yet, watch the video, which is titled FACTS and MYTHS.

Fact: You can get Garand thumb when handling the weapon without a clip in the magazine: cleaning, manual of arms, inspections, etc.

Myth: You can get Garand thumb by loading a clip of ammo into the magazine.
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Old April 29, 2012, 05:46 PM   #9
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I understand your point, but you lack experience. When you load a full clip into a garand, you are relying on pressure from the clip to hold back the bolt, if the clip is a little weak, that bolt WILL slam home, and if you did not knife edge that charging handle, it will crush your thumb
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Old April 29, 2012, 06:00 PM   #10
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And there you go, more myth spreading.

The Army taught troops to load the Garand as demonstrated in the video, you can't get your thumb in the magazine when there is a full clip of .30-06 in it at the same time.
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Old April 29, 2012, 06:04 PM   #11
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if the clip is a little weak?

can you please explain that?
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Old April 29, 2012, 06:10 PM   #12
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As demonstrated in the video...

Here is how the US Army instructed troops to load the Garand, none of this blading stuff:
(b.) Full clip. To load a full clip, hold the rifle at the balance with the left hand and pull the operating rod handle all the way to the rear. Place the butt of the rifle against the thigh or on the ground. With the right hand, place a full clip on top of the follower assembly. Place the thumb on the center of the top round in the clip and press the clip straight down into the receiver until it catches. Swing the right hand up and to the right to clear the bolt in its forward movement. Note that the operating rod is not held to the rear during loading since there is no danger of it going forward as long as pressure is maintained on the top round in the clip. It may be necessary to strike forward on the operating rod handle with the heel of the right hand to fully close and lock the bolt.

That is from:

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FIELD MANUAL

FM 23-5

for the U.S. Rifle, CALIBER .30, M1

And more...

Loading The Garand Rifle And M1 Thumb

The M1 is a fine battle rifle. We can debate about its' alleged deficiencies, about pings, Enblocs, etc., characteristics that actually exist. An alleged deficiency that does not exist is getting one's thumb crushed while loading a full, 8 round clip into the magazine. The M1 has gotten a bad rap (pun intended) when it comes to loading.

It is physically impossible to crush one's thumb when loading a full, 8 round clip into the magazine of an M1 Rifle. Prove it to yourself. Field strip your rifle and remove the op rod spring. Next, open the bolt. Push an 8 round clip containing 8 dummy rounds into the magazine as far as you can. Push the op rod forward. Notice that the bolt cannot override the top round no matter how hard you try. Now look at the follower arm. It is stopped from further downward travel by the bottom of the notch in the bullet guide. The follower and the follower arm can travel no lower. That's one reason why you can't insert a full clip and chamber a 9th round (or your thumb). It is physically impossible.

Ok, let's try to defeat this design. Assemble the rifle minus the bullet guide so as to allow maximum follower arm travel. Reassemble your rifle. Notice that you still cannot override the top round when you insert a loaded clip. The follower is bottomed out on the trigger housing floorplate. Ok, let's remove the trigger housing. Maybe we can close the bolt over the loaded clip and then reassemble the trigger housing. Nope, doesn't work, unable to assemble the housing, not even close. It's impossible to latch the trigger guard. There's a big gap between the housing and the bedding of the stock.

M1 thumb is something that can only happen when carelessly handling an Empty rifle.

Now that you see that your thumb is totally safe during loading, go to the range and push that clip home without a care in the world. Your thumb is in no danger. That bolt will slam forward, pushing the first round into the chamber and your thumb up and out of the way. ( two objects cannot occupy the same space, or chamber, at the same time )

Hopefully, this information will relieve some of the apprehension many M1 owners experience when loading their rifles.
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Old April 29, 2012, 06:16 PM   #13
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The M1 rifle was designed so that the bolt would close automatically when a full clip is inserted. In practice, most of the time it will be necessary to tap the op rod handle with the heel of the hand to get the first round to feed.

But "M1 thumb" doesn't occur when loading a clip. The pressure of the thumb on the top round keeps it from moving and allows the operator to get his thumb out of the way even if the bolt does close by itself.

The problem almost always happens when the bolt is not retracted all the way and the front of the bolt rests on the sloping surface of the follower slide. In that position, a slight touch on the follower will let the bolt slam forward and the result is generally a somewhat muted scream. (Of course, it is necessary to immediately clean the rifle as blood rusts steel; first aid for the sufferer can wait.)

Jim
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Old April 29, 2012, 06:20 PM   #14
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Bingo!!
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Old April 29, 2012, 06:40 PM   #15
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M1 Thumb

I never heard of anyone getting an M1 thumb loading a full clip. I always remember having to bump the Op rod handle to coax the first ,top round, out of the clip and into the chamber.Single round loading could be problimatic.
Using a timing block or dummy clip the op rod does not release until the clip is almost fully inserted.
All of the M1 thumbs I know about happened while doing the manual of arms. You had to use the heel of your hand to pull the op rod to the rear while depressing the follower and then letting the bolt ease forward slowly and then sharply removing your hand smartly in a military manner allowing the bolt to slam home.
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Old April 29, 2012, 06:43 PM   #16
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Precisely!
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Old April 30, 2012, 04:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
The myth is that loading a full clip of ammo into it will give you Garand thumb, now, sure, I suppose there is some doofus out there who managed to get a finger or other appendage in the magwell while loading a clip, but....
Clearly, you've never been in the Army.
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Old April 30, 2012, 06:10 PM   #18
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In my younger years, I earned two M-1 thumbs. Neither involved a clip. As was previously suggested, one happened while working the manual: The commands were: "Inspection Arms, Port…" and, after a protracted delay, "As you were." Those familiar with the M-1 manual can visualize what happened. The second time was while inspecting an M-1.
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Old April 30, 2012, 09:20 PM   #19
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I never got a "Garand Thumb" with a Garand, but I have several times with a M14.

In High Power shooting you single load in Slow fire, both at 200 yards (standing) and 600 yard slow fire. This consist of stuffing the round in magazine (which is inserted in the rifle) then getting back in position. You don't want the round in the chamber until the instant you're ready to shoot as it will heat up changing your impact.

Many times I inadvertently release the bolt while pushing the round into the magazine.

With the M1 you expect it so tend to watch out.
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Old April 30, 2012, 10:48 PM   #20
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I was in a gun store northeast of Long Beach CA. nice store, I ask to see an M1 Garand, for some reason the sales person did the order arms routine then handed me the rifle. I asked to see his very nice pin then stuck his pin in the receiver and hit the bullet guide. The bolt slammed forward and that is the way I handed the rifle back to him with his pin held securely between the front receiver ring and bolt face.

Then, one day I was on a shooting range, everyone was shooting M1s when a friend went into panic mode with an M1 attached to his thump, he was hysterical, I know it hurt, he had to be held down while the rifle was removed, his thumb was still loosely attached to his hand.

Up to that time I did not believe in hypnotism, he was told his thumb did not hurt, he was told he would ride the ambulance in the front, he was told he would not need a pain killer, he was told he would not feel anything, anyhow, a couple of privates went with him and returned with an incredible story. They said he refused pain killer, one claimed one of the privates almost hit the floor out of sympathy, he said they had never experienced anything so raw in their life.

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Old April 30, 2012, 11:01 PM   #21
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I read that one several times and am still trying to figure out how one can hit the bullet guide with a pin (pen?) from the top of the receiver. Maybe it can be done, but I don't see how hitting it would release the bolt.

Jim
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Old May 1, 2012, 11:19 AM   #22
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Jim, the pin thing went right over my head, too.
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Old May 1, 2012, 11:58 AM   #23
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Pen, he meant pen, as in the writing instrument.
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Old May 1, 2012, 04:03 PM   #24
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Respectfully, the way I read the anecdote about the shop salesman performing the manual of arms, he was showing the customer it was not loaded; maybe an odd way sure, but that's what I see when I read the description. I'm not sure what the point of sticking his pen into the magazine to make the bolt slam home was supposed to illustrate; the rifle functioned as designed, so...I'm unsure of what the underlying message there is

However, I am sure that what was meant was the follower, not bullet guide
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Old May 1, 2012, 04:32 PM   #25
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The light dawned after I had sent that post and logged off. I am sure he meant the follower. The condition was probably that the bolt was not fully retracted and was stopped on the slide. As I said above, that condition will almost certainly lead to "M1 thumb" or in Mr. Guffey's case, "M1 pen."

For those not familiar with the M1 rifle, the bolt does not lock back on the magazine follower or with a bolt catch like the M14 or M16. The M1 operating rod locks back because its hooks engage with hooks on the operating rod catch. This is a very secure and positive way of locking the action open, and it takes a very deliberate action to disengage the op rod catch and release the op rod and bolt. As has been said about other mechanisms, it is foolproof; it is just not damnfool proof.

Just FWIW, only those who have never been in service call it the Garand - to those who carried and used it, it was, and always will be, the M1 rifle.

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