On Dec. 27, 1932, the U.S. Patent Office granted Patent Case File No. 1,892,141, for a Semi-Automatic Rifle to one John C. Garand. The rest is history.

Quebec-born Jean Cantius Garand, his name Americanized to John, grew up in Connecticut and learned to shoot after working at a shooting gallery after school as a kid. Working for the United States Bureau of Standards in Washington D.C. during World War I, he became a U.S. citizen in 1920 shortly after he began working at Springfield Armory, the Army's small arms plant he would call home for 34 years.

His self-loading rifle project, incorporating several novel ideas, would go on to be adopted by the U.S. Army in 1936 as "U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1" to replace several bolt-action models in the same caliber that the military had gone to war with back in 1917. 

However, before all that, the patents had to be protected. 

The 75-page patent application filled out and filed by Mr. Garand himself is so historical that it is on file and digitized in the U.S. National Archives. Filed in April 1930, it was endorsed by the Secretary of War with W.N. Roach, the Army's Chief of the Patent Branch of the Ordnance Department, signing the drawing sheets and application forms as Garand's attorney of record. 

 

M1 Garand patent application 1930
The petition, signed by Garand. (Photo: National Archives)

 

Among the most captivating pieces of the application were several pages of diagrams, all of which are suitable for framing in any man cave. 

 

M1 Garand patent application 1930
(Photo: National Archives)
M1 Garand patent application 1930
(Photo: National Archives)
M1 Garand patent application 1930
(Photo: National Archives)
M1 Garand patent application 1930
(Photo: National Archives)
M1 Garand patent application 1930
(Photo: National Archives)
M1 Garand patent application 1930
(Photo: National Archives)
M1 Garand patent application 1930
(Photo: National Archives)
M1 Garand patent application 1930
(Photo: National Archives)

 

In all, the Army would produce at Springfield, and contract out via Harrington & Richardson, Winchester, and International Harvester some 5.4 million M1s, keeping America's battle rifle in production through 1957-- three years after Garand himself had retired. 

Writing in 1945 to Maj, Gen. Levin Campbell, Chief of Ordnance at the War Department, famed Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, then commander of the Third Army fighting in Northwestern Europe, famously said, "In my opinion, the M1 Rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised."

 

And the old M1 still holds up, a classic that blends both beauty and utility (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

 

revolver barrel loading graphic

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