Making The M1 Garand

    In my critique of the M1 Garand rifle on Sunday, I noted that John Cantius Garand was not only a firearms designer, but a machinist as well. It was his intimate understanding of the world of the shop floor that made his rifle economical to produce, which is in my opinion by far the most outstanding attribute of the weapon.

    Below is a video made of a series of segments showing rifle production at Springfield Armory, dating from 1955 (the footage was probably shot earlier than that):

    In it one can see drop-forging, one of the first steps to making a Garand receiver, barrel boring, lathe operations, barrel straightening, what appears to be a broaching operation, receiver and barrel assembly, tolerance inspection, stockmaking, final assembly, and test firing. The speed and care with which each of these processes are undertaken is stunning (I certainly never got that good on a lathe!); it definitely gives the impression that these men knew their work was important.

    This video gives the watcher a rare peak through the window of Springfield Armory during its golden years, when it was making “the finest battle implement ever devised”.


    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]