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USMC and the M1 Garand

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  • USMC and the M1 Garand

    I was hoping some of the experts here could shed some light on the transition in the USMC from the Springfield to the Garand.I know that the Marines were equipped with the Springfield on Guadalcanal,and that some units used it throughout the war.When did the USMC switch over?
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  • #2
    A lot of senior officers and noncoms felt that the M1 was not as accurate as the 1903 Springfield and it led to excessive unaimed fire. At least that was what I was told by a old China Marine. The major reason was probably that enough were not available to equip the Marines (they usually got the Army's hand-me downs). After Guadalcanal the 1st Marine Division turned in their 03's for the M1; by 1943 the M1 had replaced the 03 as the standard issue for the Marines. However, in 1943 the 1903A4 was introduced with a Unertl 8x telescopic sight as a sniper rifle for the Marines.
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    • #3
      One reason the old hands didn't like the M1 was that the qualification standards were more difficult. They got bonus pay for expert qualification ratings. Back then a few extra dollars a month meant alot. If you were expert with the Springfield and had to switch to a tougher standard it might affect your opinion.

      It wasn't that the marines didn't get the M1 over the Army it was that there weren't enough available. It had been adopted in 1936 but lack of funds and low production slowed issuing the rifle. Fortunately it was the same caliber as the Springfield so ammo wasn't a problem. Some Army units even shipped overseas with the old rifles and helmets, etc and were re-equipped later. The French when rearmed by the U.S. in 1943, only got M1's for their airborne unit and had to do with 1903 Springfields or 1917's.

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      • #4
        Soldiers did basic rifle training with the 03 and even enfields and usually didn't get the Garand until they were ready to go overseas because of the shortage.

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