POTD: Garand's Only T3E1

Logan Metesh
by Logan Metesh

Made in October 1929, the working model receiver and trigger guard assembly of John C. Garand’s only T3E1 rifle is on display at Springfield Armory National Historic Site.

From the museum’s records:

“Armory was directed to manufacture (a) One caliber .276 Garand Semi-automatic Rifle T3E1 in which the weaknesses of the Garand rifle presented to the Board, and developed by the test, are to be corrected; (b) Twenty additional Caliber .276 Garand Semi-automatic rifles T3E1 similar to (a) above for service test by the Infantry and Cavalry Boards; and (c) One caliber .30 Garand Semi-automatic Rifle T1 which is to be submitted to the Ordnance Office. Work has progressed on these twenty-two rifles during the fiscal year and it is expected that they will be ready for delivery and shipment during October, 1930.”

“On November 21, 1929, as result of the 1929 official tests by the War Department’s Board, this Armory was directed to make 20 Cal. .276 guns for test by the Infantry and Cavalry Schools and one Cal..30 gun.”

“Having a number of ideas for improving upon the design of the T3 (Cal..276 gun) which had been tested by the 1929 Board) Mr. Garand had already made some experimental changes therein; and had even completed in October 1929, a gun (essentially a new gun although it utilized some components of the T3) which is known as the T3E1.”

“Even that T3E1 gun was modified after completion, and the twenty guns took advantage as far as possible of improvements resulting from its Armory tests. The twenty guns are therefore called T3E2. The first of these, #9, was completed January 31, 1931, and the remainder (#1-8 and #10-20) with 2000 clips on April 10, 1931. These were made in the Model shop by toolmakers and with standard machinery but each cut was made seriatim on the twenty units, and their components have almost complete interchangeability. These guns have behaved very well in quite extensive firings.”

Logan Metesh
Logan Metesh

T. Logan Metesh is an historian and writer who runs High Caliber History LLC. He has worked for the NRA Museums, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Park Service. He has also served as an historic firearms facilitator for television shows such as Mysteries at the Museum, Gun Stories with Joe Mantegna, NRA Gun Gurus, and American Rifleman TV. Contact him at highcaliberhistory@gmail.com

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