Winchester G30M – The Forgotten Garand Competitor

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While the Garand was hailed by Patton as the “best” battle implement ever to hit the field, there arguably were better implements proposed to replace it. While the Johnson & Peterson designs typically gets the most attention, the Winchester company also threw its hat into the ring with the G30M, a weapon originally designed by a Browning… Jonathan “Ed” Browning, that is.

However, after the original G30 (note, not the “M” version) stalled due to Browning’s death in 1939, the weapon was handed to none other than the infamous David Marshall “Carbine” Williams, who worked to evolve the weapon into a better solution by using his short-stroke gas piston system. Forgotten Weapons has all the juicy details and tidbits. 

Unfortunately, the upgraded design was not yet mature. When asked to compete against the Garand, the weapon was tested to be nearly 100% worse than the then upgraded Garand (using the long-stroke gas piston with gas hole). Per Forgotten Weapons:

Ultimately the trials were won by the Garand, with the G30M placing third in total malfunctions and broken parts. This had involved 37 different tests and more than 12,000 rounds through each rifle. The Garand had 1,480 total malfunctions and 49 parts broken, replaced, or repaired. The Johnson had 1,547 and 72 respectively, and the G30M 2,864 and 97 (roughly double the number of problems as the Garand).

But, Marine Corps and other branches continued to encourage the Winchester company to continue development. Learning from the trials, Williams would then replace the tilting-block operation with a rotating-bolt operation to create a weapon that would indeed be potentially better than the Garand (which, Forgotten Weapons will also get their hands on later).



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • gunsandrockets

    I skipped over to Forgotten Weapons to see the latest videos. Including one on the Winchester Automatic Rifle, the W.A.R.!

  • AirborneSoldier

    Moot.