A horrifying experiment in “Garand Thumb”

thumb

Fellow C&R firearms enthusiast Oelund has undertaken a rather extreme experiment.  He has given us permission to display the results here:

Some of you might have heard the term “Garand-Thumb” or “M1-Thumb”. That is the name for when the bolt of an M1 Garand slams closed on your thumb. A Garand-Thumb often occurs when you try to close the bolt on an empty magazine. To close the bolt on an unloaded M1 Garand you need to push down on the magazine follower before the bolt can close, and if your finger doesn’t get out of the way in time it’ll be caught.

Often people will get a Garand-Thumb because the bolt has not been pulled fully to the rear. When the bolt is to the rear it is locked in place by the bolt catch and won’t be released until you relieve the pressure on it.  However if you don’t manage to get the bolt all the way back it might rest on the magazine follower instead of the bolt-catch, and it might slam shut without warning.

howto

The best way to prevent a Garand-Thumb is to operate the gun with your right hand, having the palm of your hand flat against the side of the gun and the back of the hand resting against the charging handle, as seen on the picture above. This will prevent the bolt from closing while your thumb is still in it’s path.

loading

Here is a clip of me purposely giving myself a Garand-Thumb, recorded at 1200 frames per second.  As you can see, the bolt was resting on the follower and released as soon as I touched it with my thumb.

01

Not being completely satisfied with the previous clip, I recorded one more. Don’t try this at home (unless you are recording it)

02

Here is what the clip looks like in real time, to give you an idea of how suddenly the bolt can slam shut.

03



Othais

Othais is practically useless with modern firearms. That’s OK though, because he specializes in Curio and Relic military pieces and has agreed to decorate The Firearm Blog with a little history. He maintains his own site, C&Rsenal, with the help of his friends and the collector community.


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  • USMC03Vet

    Directions unclear.

    In hospital waiting room with garand penis…

    • iksnilol

      As long as you didn’t stick it in your behind like the followers of Bolt-Carrier-Assembly on Tumblr do.

      • Bolt-Carrier-Assembly

        Dammit guys…

        • iksnilol

          http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fbGkxcY7YFU

          I imagine that is your theme song on Tumblr.

          Seriously though, it is a pain in the butt when your followers do stupid things and then say it is your fault. Though, how did that whole thing start? Did someone just post it as a joke and then other people did it too and it just snowballed?

          • Bolt-Carrier-Assembly

            Nah, i understand its a joke.
            That’s pretty much how it started. Its getting kinda old tbh, but i don’t mind it.

          • iksnilol

            Well, look at the bright side; you have a catch joke, a staple that you can always depend on to bring smiles and laughter. I don’t have that, I depend on being funny and witty in new ways all the time (that and raving on about immigrants since I am one).

    • LongBeach

      Holy shit I’m dying laughing right now

      • Grindstone50k

        RIP in Peace

        • me ohmy

          is that to mean “RIPPED INTO PIECES”??

          • gunslinger

            you get +1 internets today

    • n0truscotsman
    • Car54

      You like your Garand “a lot” don’t you?

    • Y-man

      You, Sir, WIN THE INTERWEBZ TODAY!

    • M.Mitchell Marmel

      I LIKE you. You’re SILLY. 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

    • uisconfruzed

      Did you wait the four hours before seeking medical attention for that ‘grand’?

    • MadDog

      I love people with a sense of humor. Should have known it’d be a Jarhead! But I thought you’d be mad because you broke the bolt on your beloved Garand. Semper fi!

  • wceng

    This…. just…. Duh!

  • ColaBox

    The scab on his thumb in the top image looks like an upside down finger gun.

  • Michael Hardy

    Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!

  • GUNxSPECTRE

    I don’t want to shit on the Garand design because apparently it’s the Jesus Christ of firearms, but I don’t think anybody would deny that this is a very poor design. A design that can potentially harm the user with its intended functions.
    This and the whole reciprocating handle that can result in a finger pinch? Yeah, this is a rifle from back when. It’s a legendary rifle and again worshipped like a deity, but is it flawless? Nope, I think that’s pretty clear.

    • Pablo

      Let’s not forget that you have to put your finger/thumb INSIDE the trigger guard to disengage the safety. That alone would disqualify it, at least for me, as a serious defensive gun.

      • iksnilol

        What’s so bad about that? Aim at target, put finger in trigger guard, move finger forward to disengage safety, move finger backward to pull trigger.

        NOTE: I am no Garand fanboy, I am neutral to the whole thing.

        • GUNxSPECTRE

          The close proximity to each other isn’t exactly ideal. While the scenario you wrote about can be pretty advantageous, it could be also dangerous.
          While this is pretty out-there in terms of possibility, what if something got caught inside the trigger guard? And went the exact way as you laid out in your scenario for intended fire? Again, not completely realistic, but still something to be wary about.

          It’s not like the safety distances that we see on most bolt-actions from that era and certainly not in today’s rifles.

          • BryanS

            Well, thats why they made the glove trigger.

            If you think about it, this is a gun where you are more likely to bump the trigger guard and engage the safety. garand thumb is only an issue with those who disregard the manual of arms for the rifle. Much like you dont charge an M2 with your thumb to the left, you do it palms up.

          • GUNxSPECTRE

            It’s just Design 101: Don’t design anything that could harm the user. Saying that people could be trained hard enough not to hurt themselves is only addressing half the problem.

            Like I get it. Something called “WWII” called and maybe suddenly re-designing the Garand to be more user-friendly probably took the backseat to “make more Goddamn Garand rifles”.
            But hey, at least it wasn’t “Type 94 Nambu” problems.

          • LarryEArnold

            Ruger’s immensely popular Mini-14/Ranch Rifle has an identical safety, as does Springfield’s M-1A. I have a RR, an M-1A, and a Garand, and have never had a problem.

          • GUNxSPECTRE

            Great for you. But like I said, I understand that this is an old design and features that are found on a Garand probably won’t be found on any modern (or future) military rifles for a reason.

          • iksnilol

            Rule 1 (not really, it’s a higher number): If something is caught in the trigger guard you are going to have a bad time usually. Besides if something is pulling the trigger down, then it needs to be pulling/pushing the opposite way to disengage the safety.

      • GUNxSPECTRE

        That’s a pretty good point, I completely forgot about that somehow.
        Again, this is a pretty old design we’re talking about. And I feel like a lot of people give it a pass because Our Great Generation used it.
        But let’s pretend that the Garand didn’t exist and something like it came out recently. I don’t think anybody in their right mind would get on board with it used for anything.

      • Zachary marrs

        Yet you see people bitch when a guns safety can’t be manipulated with their finger on the trigger

    • TB

      Yeah, for some reason you Yanks seem incapable of producing good firearms. Our European designs have always been far superior. Ironic, considering that private weapons ownership is pretty much banned over here, while you Americans are still free to own weapons.

      • iksnilol

        Are you still gonna hold that against us? It’s not like there are places out in the forest you can shoot where nobody will notice you. Or smugglers that can get your hearts desires as long as you got the cash (and they got the contacts).

        Wait, we got all that. No probs.

        but seriously, what’s up with quality drop these last years?

        I am in Europe BTW, so as to not confuse you.

        • TB

          ??? I’m not holding anything against anyone, I wish we would have the same freedom of weapons ownership here in Europe that Americans enjoy. And yes, getting a weapon illegally could be a solution, however, the legal consequenses if this was discovered could be quite severe.

          • iksnilol

            “Holding against” comment was meant as a joke. Yeah, those Americans with their “no-legal reason needed for owning a gun” are really annoying. OKAY I GET IT, YOU ARE FREER THAN ME.

            Where I am from most people don’t respect gun laws. Especially international gun laws, they got a lot of my fellow countrymen and women killed. I am talking about Bosnia by the way. So illegal weapons and conceal carry is quite common. Why do you think those small satchels/man-purses are so popular? They are good for hiding a gun, mags and papers during summer.

            So I am pretty ambicvlent about the whole laws and things, but morals say I can’t encourage people to do illegal stuff (so do the mods say too).

      • ColaBox

        Wanna explain the “far superior” thing, or is this just the typical smug that comes from living in Europe?

        • TB

          Well, I don’t think there is enough room here to explain the whole history of firearms, and how Mauser, Heckler & Koch, Glock, Beretta, Sig Sauer, FN, and a host of other European firearms manufacturers have always outperformed anything ever produced in the US, in case you have missed all that.

          • ColaBox

            Ill give Sig, Berretta and FN their credit, their fine companies despite the price, however Glock and HK get far to much credit. I may be biased on Glock because the first time I ever shot one its slide cracked 3 rounds in, but what about HK deserves praise besides their Ferrari image to 13 year olds? The only claim to fame they have is the MP5 which is a 9mm SMG most people will never see, and the MR556 which requires a damn manual and a key to take apart because of export laws that have no relevance in the US. Oh and what was the MR556 based on? The AR15, a revolutionary American design, and the second most popular modern military design world round. What about Colt, Springfield, Winchester, and Smith? All crap?

          • Ge

            So you basically mean… the Prussians (Beretta’s claim to fame is from a German P38 design)

          • ScrewyouTB

            Yeah and dont forget that all of these “stellar” designs were licensed copies or pure ripoffs of Mauser designs, sure some improvements were made along the way, big whoop 30 countries making changes to one series of designs that eventually produced quality. not exactly “stellar engineering talent” How many of the Stellar Euro designs shamelessly copy Browning designs?

          • Ge

            Well, considering modern pistols use the Browning slide and short recoil action. That explodes exponentially.
            Don’t think that’s a direct enough link? Fine, foregoing the grandfather of the modern pistol (M1911), (which already has it’s worldwide clones, particularly in the Phillipines, Brazil, Taiwan, and Korea…) the Hi-Power is the world’s most popular automatic handgun and used in over 50 of the world’s militaries, as well as copied by many more (israeli hi power, hungarian arcus, CZ-75, Witness, Jericho, etc)
            The M2 heavy machine gun is the standard 50 caliber machine gun of the NATO forces which again, causes the numbers to explode
            There’s also all the commercial designs that Browning sold to FN (Auto-5, m1910 (the weapon used to assassinate Franz Ferdinand was a browning weapon)
            P.S. by “Stellar” designs, I was referring to the SA-80 (an american AR-18 action btw…), the FAMAS, and other modern weapons, not mauser designs

          • Ge

            Which segways into Stoner’s AR-18, which, excluding the use by the IRA, was never really used, but provided the basis of most of the short stroke rifles developed today, including the (SA-80 [mentioned], G-36, SAR-21, F2000, to name a few [although there are MANY more])

        • demonkoryu

          It comes from having too much time and access to the internet, it seems.

      • Incapable of producing good firearms?
        What’s a 1911?
        What’s or a M14, Ruger Mini-14 and other Garand-derived designs?
        What’s an AR-15 and its thousands of derivatives and configurations?

        What’s a Colt SAA?

        What’s a Barrett M82?

        What’s a Browning Auto-5?

        What are the S&W Models 10, 27, 29, and countless other classic revolver designs?

        What’s a Remington 870?

        What’s a Ruger 10/22?

        What’s a Winchester M1894?

        What’s a Remington 700 and all of its derivatives?

        Want me to go on? The list is long.

        As someone who lives in Europe, and with all due respect, you can eat a dick, you and your elitism.

      • claymore

        Those poor designs kept you from writing that in GERMAN.

        • TB

          Yes, because they were produced in such huge quantities. Thankfully, the Germans didn’t have the industrial capacity to even come close to keep up with the production of the allies, though their designs were almost always better.

          • Please, shut the FUCK up. Your lack of fact-checking is driving me insane.

            The simple fact that there were over 14 million Kar98k rifles produced between 1935 and 1945, compared to the TOTAL amount of M1 Garands produced (about 6.2 million between 1936 and 1957!!) invalidates your “huge quantities” statement by a long shot.

            And I’m just talking about service rifles.

          • TB

            You need to read up on WWII history, if you don’t even know such basic facts that the allies won because of a massively superior industrial production capacity, not because of better weapons systems designs.

          • And you need to please tell me how the first standard-issue _semi-automatic_ service rifle isn’t somehow a “better weapon system” than the bolt-action rifle, which was invented in the 19th century and was still ubiquitous in literally EVERY other major military force in 1939.

          • TB

            I was replying to claymore, who wrote “Those poor designs kept you from writing that in GERMAN.” I just pointed out that the allies didn’t win the war because of their weapons designs, but because of superior industrial capacity.

          • ScrewyouTB

            So you are saying that if the Americans had simply supplied Britain with all of the tanks, planes, guns, ammo, rations, clothes and bandaids that England would have singlehandedly defeated the Japaneese and Hitler.

          • ScrewyouTB

            Its not a secret that when the Americans came in England was on its Ass, however Germans were still at full capacity on production at that point We fought wars on 2 (more like 4) fronts Not only could we produce quality designs quickly and supply England, French, Dutch, Philipine, the Chineese and countless other countries war efforts we supplied our own guys. The Sherman tank was a dog, lets be honest it was waaaaay outgunned by german designs But aircraft were equal or better to German designs, far superior to everything the Russians made far superior to everything the brits made save the Spitfire The De Havilland Mosquito was a great design and was accidentally the first aircraft with a reduced radar crossection because wood was its main component, Brilliant design? nope an accident , the Mitsubishi Zero was an American Design the Japs stole it from Hughes Aircraft.

            Europe was a Bolt action continent, the Garand was a far superior design, regardless of Garand thumb, that was a training camp problem and it is a problem people have now because they simply dont know, I have many relatives who left home to save your pompous ancestors from Nazi Germany and Grand thumb was a one time mistake according to them, you did it once on the practice range then were told how to properly use the gun and how to load it and it never happened again. Amazing how your only complaint about a rifle is that it could give you a boo boo if you fucked up while handling it, Never mind how it served in combat, “it can make my thumb hurt if im a moron” its a bad design. you can be a dumbass and close the bolt on your finger with an enfield while loading, design flaw? or operator error. I can lose hold if the charging handle on an AR while doing a press check and get my finger slammed in the chamber, desing flaw or operator error? Far more Mausers, Mosins and other desings saw service than Garands but Garands turned the tides, why is that, maybe Since one Garand can lay down the same fire as 3 bolt guns, its a force multiplier, The brits used a tactic with the enfield called the mad minute, just massive amounts of fire with bolt guns, the problem was you cant do it and move at the same time, that is if shooting anywhere near your target is important.

            So how is a gun that is just as reliable as any other design from the Deserts of North Africa to the frozen hell of Bastogne to the tropical nightmare of the south pacific that can shoot faster, more accurately and from almost any position an “inferior design”

            Your assumption that quantity was the only reason the Garand was a success is wrong, dead wrong, ok your assumption that sheer volume of manpower won the war only applies to Normandy where thousands stormed beaches to preserve your rights not to speak german, after that in countless battles outnumbered and surrounded American troops held off and defeated better supplied and more numerous german soldiers, Look at the airborne, the whole war they were surrounded behind enemy lines with little to no food little to no medical supplies little to no ammo, but they still won, is that because some warehouse in Devonshire had a few thousand garands sitting in a box, or was it the quality of the men and thier equipment that helped them to survive and overcome?

            Its Amazing how common Europeans today belittle and insult the Americans that lost thier lives in wars to protect the freedom of thier parents and grandparents. Churchill was Begging for aid, Roosevelt gave it to him, British and American soldiers, Dutch and French Resistance Faced amazing odds and gave thier lives to tear down hitlers house of cards, sure he was running an unsustainable government and economy, and we could have simply waited for it to crash, then go in and take back England, France, Belgium, Poland, the Netherlands, Austria and countless other places after we devoted all resouces to fight the Japaneese but no We devoted All of our resources to fight from Anzio to Guam to Eindhoven supplying all allied countries in the proccess, I dont expect you to thank me for what my grandparents did but show some fucking respect you cocksucker

          • Sterling Hayden

            Is that what you learned in school this year, kid?

          • claymore

            Right that has got to be it. Rolls eyes

      • ScrewyouTB

        Yeah its a real shame John Browning didnt spend all his time making antiquated flint lock dueling pistols to satisfy British Opinions, and damn Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson for making the first reliable repeating weapon that a single person could carry and operate, and then Benjamin Henry for making the Henry rifle, which segwayed into 20 different designs, and damn Hiram Maxim an American who made the machine gun possible. Maybe Europe should stop worrying so much about stupid little ergonomic issues with 80 year old designs and focus on actually learning to use guns. Of course noone seemed to mind that the Garand might not meet up to your standards in the next century when The Americans were saving your pompous asses, And it cant be all that bad when the Best of the British Forces loved the gun, and what it could do compared to thier Enfield.

        And lets not forget the total failure Eugene Stoner he never made anything that has Set the template for military arms and sporting arms in the last 50 years, His designs were a failure its not like almost every firearms company today makes copies of his guns, and the british SA80 wich lead to the L85 was most certainly not prototyped by taking an AR-18 and the Stoner 63 and using them as a guide for the bullpup conversion designs. And lets not Forget how fantastic your Obviously superior European design is, when Enfield and H&K got together on the project they didnt steal an Americans designs they just saw how he did it and went from there with “thier own” ideas leading to a notorius rifle noone likes that is impossible to shoot from the left shoulder with any hope of accuracy, and a strong probability of injury. Yeah its a real shame if you really fuck up you can get Garand thumb Its much better to have a rifle that forces you to only use one direction of cover in a gunfight, an obviously superior design

        But you know maybe you are right Americans never designed a gun that Revolutionized that industry, John Browning Certainly didnt design a gun that has been copied for over 100 years and is still made today, and SIG certainly hasnt made thier own guns in the image of the 1911’s Ergonomics and funtion, and Noone has ever Built a Company and reputation off of enhanced Browning Hi Power designs. The real jewel of the 2nd world war must be the break top webley that has contributed more to weapons design than any other firearm in history.

        Get off of your typically arrogant British high horse you wanker

  • Zeropoint

    This guy did this *deliberately*? TWICE?

    Sir, I tip my hat to you. Your dedication and self-sacrifice in the name of knowledge and education are an inspiration to us all.

    • Giolli Joker

      I particularly love the real time speed .gif… I can even hear the cursing in my mind.

  • Captain Obvious

    Hmmm, kinda stupid to do that on purpose says Captain Obvious.

  • JJTX

    Only an idiot would actually use their own digit to do this. Hopefully he used someone elses.

  • LarryEArnold

    [A Garand-Thumb often occurs when you try to close the bolt on an empty magazine.]
    Let us not forget, you can also get M-1 thumb while loading a clip into the beasty.

  • michael

    When I was in high school ROTC, we had M1 Garands. To conclude inspection arms, you need to close the bolt which means pushing the heel of your right hand to the weapon’s rear to disengage the OPERATING ROD while using your thumb to depress the CLIP follower so the bolt can come forward. Sort of like the woman’s hand in the picture. The M1 uses a CLIP, not a magazine, which it ejects after the last round.

    For a small, skinny, kid, it was hard to get the force to disengage the operating rod and keep the rifle from moving while holding it with only one hand. The key is the getting enough initial force with the heel of the right hand. Not a big deal with practice. Don’t know anyone in our regiment who smashed their thumb.

    The M1 may have faults but what an advance over the 03 Springfield which was still in use in WWII (some Marines in the South Pacific, others??). Just went out to the safe and did an inspection arms with my 1943 Garand, brought back memories of the high school parade field.

  • Jeff Smith

    I’m currently reading this in the bathroom at school and people are probably wondering why the guy in the stall is yelling “OH GOD! NO! NO! NO!”

    That gif is brutal to watch. My thumbnails hurt.

  • Ken

    I shoot an M1 competitively and have been shooting them for years. The only way you can get Garand thumb is to either not know how to operate it, or be intentionally stupid. Always load clips with a “knife hand.”

  • Rob

    The Garand is an example of a firearm that doesn’t need to be loaded to hurt you. 😉
    An uncle of mine brought one for me to look at because it was not cycling correctly. I know a fair amount about guns, but didn’t know my way around the Garand. While studying it to better understand how all the little parts work together, I managed to obtain an M1 thumb and also get hit between the eyes by an ejecting en bloc clip. Lol. His problems ended up being a loose gas cylinder, which we fixed. But I still had a sore thumb and nose.

    • Grindstone50k

      She fights back.

  • Stompy

    “The Greatest battle implement ever designed”

    • Grindstone50k

      “As of 1945”

  • Stompy

    This

  • Jeff

    I have always wanted a Garand but I’m not wearing red nail polish in order to own one.
    :-p

  • Bill

    I know plenty of shooters who have experienced Garand Thumb. I’ve never heard of an ND with one, M1A, M14 or Ruger Mini due to the location of the safety

    • Dan Kemp

      Uh, I know one. The guy I bought my Webleys and my S&W M1917 from blew a hole in his parents’ living room wall in high school with his. Instead of clicking the safety on, there was a horrible boom.

  • DAN V.

    Reminds me of this show I used to watch. Starred Johnny Knoxville, Steve-o and Bam Margera. Cant remember the name, but they made a bunch of movies and stuff.

  • Jesse P Weaver

    Your dedication to spreading knowledge is commendable if not a tad psychotic.

  • n0truscotsman
  • Tom Currie

    Could you film that a few more times just so we can be sure we all get it.

  • Ken

    BTW, if you think M1 thumb is bad, FN49 thumb is worse.

  • Don Ward

    Well, since we have a TFB writer willing to do some of these tests, we need to debunk some “stopping power” myths that have been written about here earlier.

    It’s for science!

  • me ohmy

    I love the Garand.. and have never been bit.. but that isnt to say that a FN-49 a buddy of mine had didnt hack all snot out my thumb trying to get a stuck cartridge out.. man that F&^%$ING Hurt..still can see the scar twenty plus years later. the receiver cover got me.

  • Buddy_Bizarre

    Any masochists want to try this with a Ljungman style rifle? It doesn’t look so bad in this video from Forgotten Weapons, but the mass of the 8mm bolt on the Hakim seems much worse than my Garands.

    http://youtu.be/VmvI_YYSrlk?t=4m10s

    • Dan

      ljungman/hakim thumb is brutal. makes garand thumb seem like child’s play.

  • Pete Sheppard

    That’s one thing I don’t have to watch to learn. 😉 Hearing the loud CRASH of the bolt slamming home does it for me…

  • yardbird1947

    You are fudging a bit. M1 thumb came about using the procedure illustrated in the image with painted fingernails. The bolt trapped the thumb at the fingernail causing a bruse under the nail. Days of sleepless nights with throbbing nail. Then you would puncture the nail with a hot paperclip. Oh the relief! BTW the bolt is much slower (less energy) when loaded with a full clip. On the parade ground you had to get it right

  • gunslinger

    SCIENCE!

  • claymore

    Thanks for taking a “Hit” for science LOL.

  • Captain Obvious

    I implore the writer not to demonstrate a AD/ND into his foot. Please don’t!

  • Joseph B Campbell

    This guy did it on PURPOSE!?

  • Dan

    garand thumb is nothing compared to ljungman/hakim thumb. garand will smash your thumb, ljungman/hakim will skewer it.

  • 0351ata

    was in Marine infantry over 4 years I carried a garand until they issued m14s.. I am over70 years old seen a lot in my life and that is one of the most idiotic things that I have ever seen. up till now. this guy needs to be in a rubber room section 8 for sure..

  • UCSPanther

    Beware the bolt on the AG42 Ljungmann and its Egyptian copy, the Hakim.
    Those bolts can do even more damage to the careless when they snap shut…

  • Will

    Makes my scrotum shrivel…..

  • ihatelibs

    Self inflicted Pain IS the Worst . Also , STUPID

  • Billy M. Rhodes

    Been there, done that. When I was in Marine Corps 2nd ITR at Camp Lejune, summer of 1963, we carried semi auto only M14’s but the DIs didn’t want us banging them up, so for some training ranges we were given OLD, WORN OUT, M1s. Not only did we get M1 thumb but those rifles were so banged up they jammed on every third shot. Being the curious historian that I am, I did see M1s made by a number of different companies, I seem to recall one built by International Harvester.

  • Watching this is a visual Gom-Jabbar.

  • SleepingCthulhu

    Oh my god, why would you do it TWICE!?!!?

  • Bill Thronberry

    crapy primitive design. Ther are so many better guns. http://www.FamilySeccurityMatters.org

    • demonkoryu

      Ok

  • markus

    Thats why i have a holbrook device

  • Scott Roberts

    Right hand blade form is the ONLY way to load a Garand easily and without injury! The MANUAL from WWII however, shows the “Thumbs Down” method, and that was how they were instructed… I always load blade hand- it nicely blocks the slide… And works well for closing a bolt over an empty magazine…

  • Zebra Dun

    My Gunny was issued an M-1 Garand when he joined the Marines and he gave a class one day on the Navy version that shot 7.62 x 51 NATO as a conversion with some kind of receiver insert (unknown if this was plastic, also memory fails me in an actual caliber it could have been 30.06) First thing Gunny did was M-1 his Marine Corps thumb.
    Then he cursed in fluent Japanese.
    Overall The weapon was reliable, if the thumb didn’t get bit and the seventh round did not jam.
    Fam Fire found many of us Snuffies suffering the same thumb and some fingers.
    I’d take one in a heartbeat if I had the cash.

  • Frank White

    Was in the last basic cycle at FLW using an M-1 (1963). After qualification, we were issued M-14. Those first production M-14s were inferior to the beat up, worn out, M-1s we trained on. Had a M-14 in AIT and in USAEUR. Never liked it, but you take what you have and make it work.