View Full Version : Original caliber M1 Garand

February 13, 2009, 10:21 PM
How expensive would it be for a major manufacturer to produce the M1 Garand in it's original caliber? I believe the original prototype was .243 and held 10 rounds. It was also a couple of pounds lighter.

February 13, 2009, 10:37 PM
I think it was .276 caliber. You may be confusing the early Garand cartridge with the 6mm Lee Navy. It would be a T1E2 gas trap rifle.

44 AMP
February 14, 2009, 12:23 AM
Sometimes referred to as the .276 Pedersen, but this may not be accurate. It was not the same as the .270 Winchester. The case was smaller, and the gun was intended to have a 10 rnd capacity. Primarily at the insistance of Gen MacAurthur, (with the backing of ordnance) it was demanded the gun be made in .30-06.

Along with losing the detachable magazine (govt brass didn't want it) the rifle capacity was reduced to 8 rnds of larger .30-06 ammo.

There are many fine books on the subject, the make some interesting reading.

Also be aware that at one time, Springfield Armory was producing their M1A rifle in .243 Winchester. Good luck finding one though.

February 14, 2009, 10:56 AM
Sometimes referred to as the .276 Pedersen, but this may not be accurate. It was not the same as the .270 Winchester. The case was smaller, and the gun was intended to have a 10 rnd capacity. Primarily at the insistance of Gen MacAurthur, (with the backing of ordnance) it was demanded the gun be made in .30-06.

Along with losing the detachable magazine (govt brass didn't want it) the rifle capacity was reduced to 8 rnds of larger .30-06 ammo.Classic example of all the High Ranking Goblin Hunters being stuck in the past. A 276 Garand with a detachable magazine probably could have served well for a few decades longer than the M1 Garand. The M14 was basically the fix for the magazine mistake.

Of course, an intermediate caliber M14 or AR10 or 280 FAL (that is, something capable of controllable full auto bursts) would have still been serving today.

And lets not even talk about the decisions to change the powder in the 5.56, to remove the chromed chambers and not issue cleaning kits.

The now dismanded ordnance heirarchy were responsible for the deaths of thousands dead soldiers due to their stubborn ignorance and incompetence. Frankly, they probably should have been jailed at least for their actions.

February 14, 2009, 11:03 AM
To answer the question ;)

I think it would be very expensive. Even a limited production run is expensive. What type of demand is there for an M1 type rifle in .276?

February 14, 2009, 11:09 AM
The reasoning behind not going with the .276, was that millions of rounds of .30-06 were already in stock. MacArthur did not believe that the War Dept. would go for the new rifle, if new ammo also had to be purchased.

February 14, 2009, 01:39 PM
.276 had problems that could have been worked out. But the brass did want 30-06 for many many other reasons. Some include the fact that not every service man would have an M1 Garand for some time as were were comming out of the great depression. The 1903, P17, M1919 and BAR also use the 30-06. Now WHY would anyone adopt the .276 peterson? They wanted a new rifle not a new cartrige.

February 14, 2009, 04:58 PM
Here is some information scanned out of Hatcher's book:

February 14, 2009, 06:51 PM
the garand was never chambered in .276, the army ordinance department wanted to make a rifle (before the M1 was made) in the .276", but gen. McArthur demanded a .30 or larger, because he said it wouldnt have as much killing power, but not neccesairly the .30-06.

February 14, 2009, 07:26 PM
276 was basically expermental, orginal issued Garand caliber was 30 M2 gov't also known as the good old 30-06

February 14, 2009, 08:38 PM
I’m sorry fellas but 25 rifles and carbines were requested by and made for the Cavalry and Infantry in 1926. In 1928 a “Board of Officers to Recommend a Specific Caliber for the Future Development of the Semiautomatic Shoulder Rifle” met again and again recommended the .276 caliber. At this time the .30 caliber Garand was still experimental and ‘primer actuated’.

“On February 21, 1929, the Ordnance Department was ordered to discontinue development of a caliber .30 Garand because the .276 caliber had been approved.”

The Pederson and the Garand were running neck and neck.

In late 1929 resumption of the .30 caliber Garand was requested and a pilot model was authorized. Things were looking up for the Pederson and because it looked as if it would be adopted, Pederson went to England in 1930 to help tool up Vickers, Limited for his rifle.

By 1931 20 more .276 Garand rifles had been made and sent to the Infantry and Cavalry to be familiarize the troops with a field test. By April 1931 18 .276 Garands had been sent to Fort Benning as well.

The Board again recommended the .276 Garand over the .30 caliber after the field tests by the Infantry and the Cavalry.

In 1932 the .276 Garand, the .30 Garand and the .276 Pederson were again tested side-by-side. The Board recommended that the .276 caliber be the cartridge for the service rifle and that 125 Garands be manufactured in this caliber.

In February 1932 John B Shuman (Adjutant General) put in writing that the cartridge would be .30 caliber. Consequently, 80 semi-production .30 caliber Garands were produced. They were designated the T1E2 but by August the designation was changed to “U.S. Semiautomatic Rifle, Caliber .30, M1”.

Garand, himself, had had to change the semiautomatic system from ‘primer actuated’ to gas actuated due to the decision to crimp in the primers.

It looks as if no more than 70 or 75 .276 caliber Garands were made but you never know for sure. There might have been some additional .276 caliber Garands made up by special request.

I wonder how much the .276 caliber Garands are worth. Pederson, for all his influence didn’t get the contract but did succeed with his ‘Device’.

One further note: There is some question about the Garand being able to handle M1 ammunition. On April 2, 1940, the Chief of Infantry wrote to the Chief of Ordnance emphatically and at length denying that the change in ammunition had any relation to its use in the Garand rifle. The Garand was developed with the M1 ammunition but had no trouble at all with the M2 ammunition... according to the Chief of Staff.

February 14, 2009, 08:40 PM
I'm not a gunsmith but I think you could buy a rack grade garand and a .270 or .280 Rem barrel, add a adjustable gas port system and have a machinist put together a rifle.
The cases are close enough to use in the magazine and bolt face is identical.
The only reason I can think of is their is not that much to gain and the american shooter is brainwashed over the .30 caliber.

February 14, 2009, 08:47 PM
I wonder how much the .276 caliber Garands are worth.Wouldn't a cheap one of those be a find?:eek:

February 15, 2009, 07:18 AM
Wouldn't a cheap one of those be a find?

I would be willing to bet that every one has been accounted for. Just like the 4 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 455 H.O. convertibles have been.

Mike Irwin
February 15, 2009, 09:47 AM
The primary reason for retention of the .30-06 caliber was simple -- billions of rounds of .30-06 in Government stores.

Japan and Italy both tried to roll out new rifle calibers in the middle of the depression. There was never enough money to do so. In the case of the Japanese it was a logistical nightmare to supply ammo in both 6.5 and 7.7.

The Italians finally recalled all of the 7.35 rifles and converted many of them to 6.5.

February 15, 2009, 11:37 AM
Well it looks like lots of people want to do the same thing now. Just look at these forums.

People talking about replacing the 5.56, and the M16/M4 in the middle of two wars and the war on terror, not to mention the economical mess we are in.

Some people just don't think.

Jim Watson
February 15, 2009, 11:59 AM
The first Garand illustrated in Hatcher is the 1920 primer actuated .30-06 with 20 round box magazine. As I recall, the primer actuation became unreliable when they went from the WW I Pryo powder to the more progressive IMR series.
Mr Garand shifted to gas operation in 1928; also to the .276 Pedersen round and the packet loading system then in favor.

February 15, 2009, 10:10 PM
Apparently it was both Pyro and crimped in primer Jim. Here is a partial scan out of Hatcher's book:

February 16, 2009, 09:50 AM
I can not remember who, but if I am not having a "Senior Moment" I remember back in the 1970s - 1980s someone was making Garands or Garand barrels in 25-06 and and 270 Win. I was foaming at the mouth for one but couldn't come up with the money.

Jim Watson
February 16, 2009, 10:08 AM
Interesting, Voyageur. Is that in Hatcher's Book of the Garand? I do not see mention of primer pocket crimps in Hatcher's Notebook.

Any road, I think primer actuation would be something a gun designer should look back into. There was one design based on dedicated ammunition with a very recessed primer that had a substantial stroke distance back against the firing pin. Seems like that would give it a chance to work with progressive burning powders.

Mike Irwin
February 16, 2009, 10:32 AM
Pyro powder apparently gave a very high initial pressure spike followed by a rapid drop off, which was why the primer activation worked so well.

The later IMR powders had a smoother, longer pressure curve.

February 16, 2009, 11:16 AM
the M14 went to a box mag because of the change to automatic.the auto ended as a mistake with the power of full size cartridges.frankly I like the enblock clip.since military ammo comes from the factory in clips the statement of ending as a single shot is meaningless.the gun is much faster to load.having one caliber in war is far better than like Italy with several.
example 6.5/7.35/303/8mm breda/and 10 mm.

February 16, 2009, 12:51 PM
"Is that in Hatcher's Book of the Garand? I do not see mention of primer pocket crimps in Hatcher's Notebook."

Yup... that's where it is Jim. pp. 74-5. I picked up the book (way back when) because I was interested in the development of the military semi-automatics. More specifically, I was looking for information on the Pederson .276, the Thompson semi-auto rifle and the Remington (Browning) Model 8. I was surprised to find the Hatcher semi-auto rifle as I never knew if even existed. I had seen a reference to the Hatcher 'Garand' book and sought it out.

The short stroke of the 'primer actuated' firearms was interesting but I could not believe that the production quality control could be close enough to be 100% reliable. Part of this was based upon actual experience, part on the fact that you paid 'extra' for 'match' primers and articles written on primer wall thickness in magazines such as Handloader.

February 16, 2009, 01:24 PM
Forgive the ignorance, but how exactly does primer actuation work? Ive never heard of it before, and a quick google search came up empty...

February 16, 2009, 03:47 PM
KLRANGL... I am including info on the 'primer actuation' principle along with the Garand that John C. designed. A schematic is available and I will post it, if you like, but it is quite difficult to read.

You should know that, along with the 'primer actuation' style, another type the 'Bang' principle, which involves a sliding muzzle cap, was also being investigated by the Ordnance Department.

If you would really like an education of the first totally reliable semi-automatic and full automatic firearms... hie down to the local library and pick up a copy of John M. Browning, American Gunmaker. I read this book about once a year for true inspiration.

Here is the information you asked for along with Browning's first semi-auto: