View Full Version : M1 Garands that take BAR magazines

September 7, 2006, 12:13 AM
I have read on wikipedia about M1 Garands that take BAR magazines, in effect making a high capacity M1 Garand :cool:

Does SA make those? Has anyone ever seen one of these?

Northern Sod Breaker
September 7, 2006, 01:00 AM
I remember there was a later variation of the Garand. It used hi-cap mags. I Just dug the article out of my closet. It was called the Berretta BM59. Chambered for .308 Nato.
There are also a few prototype M14s floating around out there somewhere. The first attempts to improve M1 Garand were made during the Second World War, and numerous experimental modifications in .30-06 were built, mostly using the 20-rounds detachable magazines from Browning BAR M1918 automatic rifle. One of such prototypes was the T20 of 1944.The T20 was basically the M1 Garand rifle fitted with 20 rounds BAR magazine and with selective fire capability. `


September 7, 2006, 01:47 AM
Although it was really a parallel development to our own M14. Uncle Sam gave Italy the Winchester M1 Garand tooling line, and Beretta (among others) began producing their own M1 Garand - which in some respects was an even nicer gun than our own domestic manufactured rifles.

When the 7.62x51mm NATO round became the de-facto standard for NATO members, the resourceful folks at Beretta decided to use as much of the M1 Garand tooling as they could while making a detachable, box-fed magazine rifle in the new 7.62mm NATO round. The result was the BM-59, a rifle that used the M1 Garand's receiver, with a special magazine for the 7.62mm NATO round (Not BAR, Not M14, but a unique BM-59 mag) that fit nicely in the space normally reserved for the M1 Garand's magazine well for the 8-round en-bloc clip of .30-06 rounds.

I own a BM-59 and several of those mags. They aren't cheap, and they're nothing like either the BAR or M14 mags. The BM-59 mags fit rather nicely in the M1 Garand's receiver space, and one can tell it took only a minimum of receiver modification to accomodate the 7.62x51 length magazine, a couple of tack welds or shelves/ledges in the forging, and voila'!

A conversion of an M1 Garand to use M14 magazines would probably go the same route, because, again, the M14 is chambered for the 7.62mm NATO round - considerably shorter than the .30-06 round the M1 Garand was originally chambered in. The magazine is short enough to fit in the M1 Garand receiver without removing critical metal.

An M1 Garand modified to take Browning M1918 BAR magazines, however, is an accident waiting to happen. BAR magazines are .30-06 length. Add the BAR .30-06 magazine's external dimensions to the equation, and stuffing it into an M1 Garand's receiver area requires grinding away a goodly amount of metal for magazine clearance. That's metal intended by John C. Garand to keeps the gun in one piece and the shooter safe.

I've seen M1 Garands hacked to accept BAR mags. Not pretty, and I sure as heck wouldn't shoot them with that much steel removed in the receiver. :(

September 7, 2006, 05:48 AM
During WWI, the Germans modified some Model 98 rifles to take detachable magazines, though I have no information about the magazines themselves. That was something new then and it was even before the BAR came out. I imagine they appreciated the additional firepower. I've never seen one and I've never seen a modified M1. I have handled a BAR and it is a lot of rifle.

September 7, 2006, 12:10 PM
eclancy posted a thread a few weeks ago about magazine fed M1s. Seems the Ordnance Department didn't like them. That was before WWII, though. Maybe they would have felt differently after the war, but they were too focused on replacing the old warhorse.

Beretta made the BM-54 in 30-06 (a real magazine-fed M1) prior to the BM59 in 7.62X51 NATO. Not exactly parallel development with the M14, because the BM54 and BM59 retained the full-length gas system of the M1, making it less susceptible to barrel damage and more shootable due to the weight forward construction. The BM59 was everything the M14 wanted to be.

September 7, 2006, 02:05 PM
Here's a relevant link from eclancy.


September 7, 2006, 02:07 PM
Not exactly parallel development with the M14, because the BM54 and BM59 retained the full-length gas system of the M1, making it less susceptible to barrel damage and more shootable due to the weight forward construction.

Depends on which variant of the BM-59 you're talking about. The simplest BM-59 version, the BM-59E, looks for all the world like an M1 Garand with a 20-round box magazine attached. Here's the E-Type BM-59, first the receiver area:


And the muzzle area, showing the original M1 Garand gas cylinder, albeit with a new muzzle brake added by Beretta for controllability in full-auto fire:


Here's a lineup of the different BM59 family variants:


September 7, 2006, 02:18 PM
The only M1 Garands that were modified were made selective fire and accepted BAR magazines was the trial versions named the T20. It was made in 1944 by John Garand and was in testing to go into service, however it never saw active duty and was never released to the public after ww2 ended. I believe one or two of them still exists in museums.

September 7, 2006, 02:18 PM
My own BM-59 is the Nigerian Model Mk IV, which looks like this one:


It has the proprietary Beretta BM-59 gas cylinder/expansion chamber/bipod mount system and TriCompensator, you'll notice the amount of daylight showing between the barrel and gas cylinder. Beretta widely separated the gas cylinder from the barrel to give the oprod a straight shot back, instead of the mild curve of the full-length M1 Garand, or the more severe bend of "tanker" M1 Garand conversions. Oleg Volk has a pseudo-BM-59 on his website, the giveaway is that it uses an M1 Garand gas system with a sharp-radius shortened M1 Garand oprod. (it has the correct Beretta BM-59 magazine, though!):


These conversions were rather popular for a while when one couldn't find the original PB marked gas cylinder/expansion chamber/bipod mount systems. Reese Surplus (same folks as Springfeld Armory, Inc.) bought out the remaining inventory, and every now and then will list them on their website.

Here's the most common variant of the BM-59, straight grip stock, w/TriCompensator, bipod, and proper PB gas system:


September 7, 2006, 02:28 PM
Thanks for the visual aids, Gewehr98!

April 22, 2011, 12:37 AM
hi everyone, im new to the fourm and i got questions about the garands. please dont get upset with me i am new with garands and aimin to buy 2 soon but need to know more info casue most of what i know ive read online.
1. id like to know what style garands in .30-06 with take a external mag, like 20rd BAR mag or similar.
2.do they make new internals, such as pistons, receivers, arms, etc.
3.do they make a .308win/7.62nato garand with external mags?
4. will a garand function properly with usage of en bloc mag or external mag if converted properly?
5. any contact info on any related questions would be greatly adpreciated.
thanks everyone in advance.

April 22, 2011, 09:00 PM
Well, your question does seem related to this thread... :)

1. As discussed above, there were several modifications made by Beretta (and others), but these are not Garands and are not being sold by CMP. Due to magazine dimensions, an original Garand receiver modified to take a BAR magazine won't have sufficient metal remaining to be safe. So, the short answer is, there aren't any.

2. For a short time, Springfield Armory Inc. (not WWII era Springfield Armory) made new Garand receivers (or bought them on contract, made by others), but these were cast rather than forged and are generally considered inferior replicas when compared to WWII/Korean era forged receivers. My understanding is that all Garands are rebuilt using parts from WWII/Korea. Some are NOS (new, old stock) and some are refurbished.

3. They make M14 clones known as M1A's which are chambered in 7.62 which use detachable magazines. While these are similar to Garands in action design and overall appearance, they are not Garands.

4. A Garand will function properly with enbloc clips. Conversions to use external magazines should be viewed with an objective eye and a proper concern for safety. There is no such thing as a free lunch. If you want an M1A, buy an M1A.

5. See Fulton Armory for one source for parts, books, Garands and semi-auto M14's -


And, here's a link to a gunsmith that will do Garand modifications -


April 23, 2011, 06:50 PM
I will suggest if you want a 30cal semi auto hi-cap service rifle,choose from the M1A,FAL,AR platforms,or even one of the semi-auto BAR clones someone was making.
I do not think BAR mags are easy to find,cheap,or likely to be in good shape.
I am not saying the retro thing cannot be done,but,why?BTW,that enbloc clip works good,loads fast,and makes a lighter,smoother,less clumsy rifle in the hands.
IMO,if you are fortunate enough to have a Garand,you have a perfect tool to show up to a Garand ,Service Rifle,or other competitive shoot.That is the sweet spot for a Garand these days.
If you had an original 1934 Ford Victoria that would drive down the road,would you make a dirt track racer out of it?You could.

April 25, 2011, 01:02 AM
thanks guys the helps, if i wanted i could get a AR-10 in .308/7.62, but thats not what im after. i guess im looking for a bm-59 in .308/7.62 and a .30-06 garand or clone. and 3 quickys

1.does anyone make a billet receiver out of modern material such as 4140cromoly or stainless?

2. are the enblocs interchangable between the italian and us made garand styles? like the bm-59 and the springfield garand?

3. how difficult would it be to use a full size mag out of a modern rifle/MG? lke find a avalible mag and make it cycle? kinda like doing a blue print but not redesigning it. thnaks

April 25, 2011, 06:15 PM
1. To my knowledge, there are no current production Garand receivers, billet or otherwise, but Smith Enterprise Inc is working on a M14 receiver -


2. The Garand uses the enbloc clip and the BM-59 uses an external box magazine, which takes up the space in the receiver normally used by the enbloc. Pictures (above) show the BM-59 being used with a stripper clip, which is not an enbloc clip as it does not insert into the receiver.

3. My understanding is that the problem with using BAR magazines and the Garand receiver is that it requires removing too much metal to be safe. The 7.62 conversions work better because the 7.62 is shorter than the .30-06. So, any magazine you select for .30-06 won't fit because they all have to house the same cartridge and are, therefore, essentially the same size.

April 25, 2011, 10:53 PM
Added info:

I spent a few minutes researching this. The question comes up every few years, it seems. There are a few gunsmiths doing the conversions. Most are 7.62 conversions, but there are a few who managed to get a BAR magazine to work.

I found this link showing a functioning BAR magazine, by Shuffs Parkerizing -


19 rds usable in a 20 rd magazine, and no bolt hold-open...