Book Review
M1 Garand
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by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]


**In 1936, the pioneering semi-automatic M1 Garand rifle was adopted by the US Army. It had taken 15 years of development and trials to reliably harness the power of the .30-06 service cartridge in a gas-operated self-loader. But armed with the Garand, the US Infantryman could now shoot faster and hit harder than enemy armed with bolt-action rifles. With World War II looming, the Garand would become beloved by GIs for its power, reliability, and rate of fire.

John Garand’s semi-automatic saw two decades of front-line service, and the design endured in its M14 successor – which was little more than an upgraded M1. It has even seen 21st-century service as M14-based Designated Marksman Rifles. This is a concisely detailed history if the weapon that George S. Patton called “the greatest battle implement ever devised.” **

** Author’s words quoted from the back cover of the book.

the book

Osprey Publications Ltd has released The M1 Garand as Number 16 in their Weapon series. The M1 Garand is by author Leroy Thompson and illustrators Peter Dennis and Alan Gilliland with Series Editor Martin Pegler. It is a paperback book with 80 pages. Included with the text are colour and black and white photographs, colour illustrations and detailed captions. It has a 2012 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-621-9. The book examines and discusses the M1 Garand rifle.

the contents

- Introduction
- Development
- The switch to semi-auto
- Use
- The M1 rifle on the battlefield
- Impact
- Loved by infantry, feared by enemies
- Conclusion
- Further Reading
- Index

the text

The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. I didn’t notice and spelling or grammatical errors as I read through the text. Thompson covers the M1 Garand rifle from its development, to its introduction, to its use in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and beyond very well. Anyone interested in the development of the M1 Garand, its use and variations will find this book very informative and interesting. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. I feel that if the text is well written then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text for yourself.

the photographs:

There are a total of 42 black and white photographs and 39 colour photographs throughout the book. The majority of the photographs are nice clear, centered and focused images. The majority of the featured photographs were new to me and I was pleased with this. I definitely consider that a bonus as it is nice to have a reference book that contains several lesser known photographs as opposed to the same old over used photographs that many books tend to contain. The photographs range from the rifle’s inventor John Garand, to factory photographs, to military training photographs to photographs taken during combat. Some of the photographs are staged for the photographer and others were taken as the events happened. The photographs of the M1 Garand being used by other countries militaries and the variations of the M1 Garand were a nice addition. The colour photographs show things such as close up details of the M1 Garand as well as the method of operation for the weapon. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself.

the illustrations

There are four very well done colour illustrations by illustrators Peter Dennis and Alan Gilliland. As with the photographs, the illustrations come with well written captions that provide detailed information about each illustration. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the illustrations for yourself.

The colour illustrations are of the following:

- The Garand Exposed
- Hand-to hand combat
- Facing a banzai charge
- Sniping in Korea
There are also three black and white illustrations. They are of the following:

- Garand patent drawing offering external view of the Garand and its major parts
- Patent drawing of receiver internals of the M1 Garand, including top view
- Official M1 Garand diagram designed for use in training and familiarisation with the new rifle

some of the variations of the m1 garand and other weapons shown and discussed

- M1903 Springfield
- Garand Model T1920
- Pre-M1 rifle prototype T26
- Pre-M1 rifle prototype T27
- Garand T1922
- Thompson MPC
- .276 Garand T3
- .276 Pederson T1
- .30 M1 (T35)
- Garand T1
- M1 Garand with a Winter Trigger
- M1C
- M1D
- M1E5
- T20E1 and T20E2
- M1 Garand with M7 Grenade launcher
- Garand Type II National Match Rifle
- M1 Garand with a T1 Infrared Weapons Sight
- M14
- M21
- M25
- M39
- Folding-stock Alpini version of the Beretta BM-59

the captions

The captions are well written, very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs and illustrations well. They detail things such as the weapon version shown, specific individuals and specific wars and locations shown. As with the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors as I read through the captions. As I stated before, grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.

the informational charts

There are informational charts included in this volume. I personally would have like to have seen some comparisons and results from the different versions, as well as ammunition comparisons and results. I would have also liked to have seen some comparison test results from other semi-automatic rifles from different countries from the World War II time frame such as the German G43 rifle and the Russian SVT-40 rifle. However these are just my personal thoughts and the lack of informational charts do not take anything away from this fine volume.


All in all I am very impressed with the book. This is a very nice reference book that contains many great photographs with accompanying detailed captions. It details the M1 Garand rifle very well. This book will prove helpful to the military modeler and the military weapons enthusiast and collector. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library.

This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.


The Military Book Club Encyclopedia of Infantry Weapons of WWII
Ian V. Hogg
Saturn Books Ltd.

Winchester An American Legend
The Official History of Winchester Firearms and Ammunition from 1849 to the Present
R.L. Wilson
Chartwell Books, Inc.

The Fighting Garand Owner’s Manual
Edited by Nolan Wilson
Desert Publications

Great Weapons Of World War II
John Kirk
Robert Young
Introduction by Bernard E. Trainor
Walker And Company

The Osprey web site:


Take a look inside the book at the Amazon web site:

http://www.amazon.com/The-M1-Garand-Weapon-ebook/dp/B007SGV6ZC/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1341020955&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=osprey publishing The M1 Garand
Highs: A very nice history of the M1 Garand rifle. Nice photographs and artwork.
Lows: No informational charts.
Verdict: This is a very nice reference book that is well researched and written and contains many great photographs with accompanying detailed captions.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN:978-1-84908-621-9
  Suggested Retail: US $17.95/ UK £12.99/ CAN
  PUBLISHED: Jul 02, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Randy L Harvey (HARV)

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2021 text by Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.


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