What does the "M1" in M1 Garand stand for?

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  • 4 years ago
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    Model 1

    Sometime in the mid 1930s the US military stopped designating their weapons by the year they were adopted (e.g., M1911, M1903, M1917) and switched over to numbering them in order of recognition. The M1 Garand was the first of the US battle rifles to use the new numbering standard and was officially designated: "United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1".

    Interestingly the Thompson Submachinegun crossed over that boundary. The last year designation for the Thompson was: "Thompson Submachine Gun, Model of 1928A1", but they made some mods during WWII and it became the "United States Submachine Gun, Cal. .45, M1" in 1942. Note that the manufacturer name also was to in the year-based designation and it was changed to "United States" in the order-based, probably partially to signify legal ownership of the design.

    Also note that there appears to be a lot of holes in our military designations, the second widely used SMG of WWII after the M1 SMG was the M3. What happened to the M2? When the military has experimental weapons made they give them M number (now XM) that take up numbers in the sequence. In this case the M2 competed against the M3 to create a SMG that was easier and cheaper to produce than the Thompson (interestingly they were both designed by George Hyde of General Motors). In any case, the M3 was chosen and became the famous "grease gun" and the M2 is just a footnote. This is also why we went from the M1 to the M14 and then M16 as battle rifle designations. All the rifle designs in between were experimental or of limited usage, like the M6 Survival rifle that was a combo .22 Hornet and .410 shotgun.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    The M does not stand for Military, it stands for Model.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    "Military 1", since it was the first rifle designed by French-Canadian John Garand specifically for Military use....

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