Garand T31 aka. Bullpup .30

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

The last gun Garand worked on before retirement was the T-31 Bullpup. From the Springfield Armory website

Manufactured by Springfield Armory, Springfield, Ma. – Limited prototype experimental select-fire weapon shoulder weapon; never went into production. Lightweight, selective full and semiautomatic rifle with an in-line stock in an attempt to reduce recoil. Cyclic rate of fire 600 rpm. Weapon weighs approximately 8.7 lbs. without accessories. Handguard cooled by circulating fresh air. German FG42 rear sight. Rubber stock and handguard. This was the last model worked on by John Garand.

What is especially interesting about this gun is the recoil system. The tube that surrounds the barrel is not a handguard but gas tube (I use the term lightly). A small around of gas deflected by the muzzle brake would enter the tube causing a shockwave to ripple down the tube towards the receiver end where it would actuate a piston. The system did not work very well because the tube would accumulate 3 grains of dirt for every shot fired!

Garand retired before the second version of the rifle was complete and so the project was terminated. The legacy of this rifle can be seen in the magazine design which was adopted for the M14 rifle.

[ Many thanks to Sven ( Defense and Freedom) for emailing me the the info. ]

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Daniel E. Watters Daniel E. Watters on Mar 30, 2010

    A little more digging revealed that the photo of Garand with the early SPIW prototype was taken April 17, 1962. The fellow in the bow tie is Otto von Lossnitzer. Von Lossnitzer was the director of Mauser's Weapons Research Institute and Weapons Development Group through the Second World War. He was brought to the US in 1946 as part of Operation Paperclip so he could work at Springfield Armory.

    • Steve Steve on Mar 30, 2010

      @Daniel E. Watters Daniel, thanks for the info.

  • Daniel E. Watters Daniel E. Watters on Jun 11, 2011

    I was at Rock Island Arsenal yesterday. They have the SPIW rifle shown in the bottom photo on display. Item #4818 is listed as Springfield SPIW Concept #1.