IH M1 Garand .30-06


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International Harvester only produced the M1 Garand Rifles between 1953 and 1955, totalling only 537,744 IH rifles ever made.


To supplement Springfield Armory, the Ordnance Department decided to contract for additional M1s with Harrington & Richardson Company (H&R) of Worchester, Massachusetts and International Harvester Company's (IHC) Evansville (Indiana) Works plant. Contracts were signed in early 1952. IHC had never produced any type of small arms before, but was chosen primarily due to its geographic location. There was widespread concern about the dense concentration of defense-related industries on the East Coast of the United States. U.S. military planners determined these facilties were venerable to Soviet manned bomber or missile attack, therefore, defense production facilties should be dispersed throughout the middle sections of the United States.

With no prior firearms manufacturing experience, IHC required a great deal of assistance from Springfield Armory personnel. The assistance included using Springfield Armory-supplied receivers to meet initial contract delivery schedules. IHC did not produce stocks, handguards or barrels. Stocks and handguards were supplied by the S.E. Overton Company, South Haven, Michigan. All IHC M1 rifles were fitted with barrels produced by the Line Material Company (LMR) of Birmingham, Alabama. IHC small arms manufacturing inexperience and start-up difficulties resulted in the delivery of only 6,904 M1 Rifles between 1 July 1952 and 30 June 1953.

An armistice was signed on 27 July 1953, which officially ended the Korean War. Both World War II and 168,500 newly manufactured Springfield Armory M1 Rifles, were available in sufficent numbers to equip all United Nations troops. The probability of any IHC- or HRA-produced M1 Rifles being used to arm United Nations troops prior to July 27, 1953 is highly unlikely. With the 1955 sale of its Evansville plant to Whirlpool Corporation, IHC ceased M1 Rifle production and in 1955, H&R closed its lines as well.

The M1 was affectionately nicknamed the "Garand," after its designer. The rifle proved to be quite accurate, durable, rugged and reliable. The only "faults," with the rifle came from the use of its clip. The clip held only eight rounds in a staggered grouping. The rifle could not be "topped up" in the middle of battle because of the way the clip operated. After the last round was fired from the rifle, the clip ejected with a distinctive sound. Other than these small "faults," the M1 was exceptional. The M1 Rifle was also distributed to several nations under many American military assistance programs.

During the Vietnam War, the M1 served as a training rifle for troops inducted into the U.S. Army. It still serves in the training rifle role for the U.S. Navy. The M1 was the main rifle of many military reserve units until the mid-1970s (for example, the M1 was seen in the hands of Illinois National Guard troops during confrontations between Guardsmen and demonstrators outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention complex) , when it was replaced by the M16. To this day, the M1 also fulfills a ceremonial role with all branches of the military, in color guard and honor guard units. Like its predecessor, the M1903, the M1 rifle served this nation very well during times of conflict and peace. It will be remembered for many years to come.

Above Info found at http://www.wwa.com/~dvelleux/m1rifle.html


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