December 21st, 2016

John C. Garand’s Garand — Springfield M1 Number One Million

John Jean C. Garand M1 NRA Allan Cors Springfield Armory
NRA President Allan Cors’s favorite firearm is this unique M1 Garand, originally given to John C. Garand by the Springfield Armory. Images courtesy NRA Museum (top) and NRA Publications.

NRA President Allan Cors has a very special M1 Garand in his firearms collection. This unique M1 rifle was originally owned by none other than its inventor, John C. Garand. This historic Springfield Armory M1 rifle bears the serial number 1,000,000. This rifle, which came complete with a walnut-fitted case, silver-plated clip and gold-plated cartridges, was originally presented to its designer John C. Garand as a retirement gift in 1953. Remarkably, this gift was the only reward the famous gun designer received for his contribution to the Allied victory in the Second World War.

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Upon his passing, Garand’s family offered the rifle for sale. As the M1 was one of his passions and realizing the extraordinary historic significance of this particular gun, Allan Cors made an offer on the M1. The Garand family accepted.

“I felt very good that they trusted me to do the right thing. Let’s face it: we are only temporary custodians of these things,” Cors said. “They are here in our hands for a while, and then they are passed on to the next generation.”

About John C. Garand
Jean Cantius Garand (January 1, 1888 – February 16, 1974), also known as John C. Garand, was a Canadian designer of firearms who created the M1 Garand, a semi-automatic rifle that was widely used by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps during both World War II and the Korean War. Garand’s fondness for machinery and target shooting blended naturally into a hobby of designing guns, which however took a more vocational turn in 1917. That year the United States Army took bids on designs for a light machine gun, and Garand’s design was eventually selected by the War Department. The U.S. government employed Garand as an engineer with the Springfield Armory from 1919 until he retired in 1953.

John Jean C. Garand M1Credit: NPS Photo, public domain

In Springfield, Massachusetts, Garand was tasked with designing a basic gas-actuated self-loading infantry rifle and carbine that would eject the spent cartridge and reload a new round based on a gas-operated system. Designing a rifle that was practical in terms of effectiveness, reliability, and production, stretched over time; it took fifteen years to perfect the M1 prototype model to meet all the U.S. Army specifications. The resulting Semiautomatic, Caliber .30, M1 Rifle was patented by Garand in 1932, approved by the U.S. Army on January 9, 1936, and went into mass production in 1940. It replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield and became the standard infantry rifle known as the Garand Rifle. During the World War II, over four million M1 rifles were manufactured. The Garand Rifle proved to be an effective and reliable weapon and was praised by General MacArthur. General Patton wrote, “In my opinion, the M1 rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised.” Source:

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