M1 with early WWII long bayonet.
Note the en-bloc clip attached to the sling for rapid reloading.
The M1 is loaded by inserting an 8 round en-bloc clip into the top of the receiver.
After the eight rounds have been shot, the empty clip automatically ejects with an audible "ping" noise, and the bolt is left to the rear ready for another en-bloc clip to be loaded.
During the Korean war International Harvester (manufacturer of tractors / farm equipment) was one of the companies contracted to produce M1 Garands.
Allied troops in WWII began to take advantage of the "ping" noise made by the rifle ejecting its empty clip. During close quarters fighting one could toss an empty en-bloc clip on the ground simulating an empty rifle in order to entice enemy soldiers to expose their positions.
The M1 Garand officially replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield as the standard service rifle of the United States Armed Forces in 1936, making it the first ever semi-automatic firearm to be adopted by any armed force.
During World War II, the M1 gave U.S. forces a distinct advantage: the M1 was significantly faster-firing and more effective than the Axis' bolt-action rifles.
The M1 was the primary battle weapon of the United States during WWII and Korea and continued to be used in large numbers until 1963 when it began to be phased out and replaced by the M14.
Origin: United States
Military Service: 1936 - 1957
Wars: WWII, Korean War
Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield
Action: Semi-Automatic Gas-Operated, Rotating Bolt
Magazine: 8-Round en-bloc Clip, Internal Magazine
Significance: First standard issue semi-automatic rifle. Primary rifle of the United States during WWII and Korea. General Patton called the M1 Garand "the greatest battle implement ever devised".