POTD: The First Official M1 Garand – The Gas Trap M1 Garand


POTD: The First Official M1 Garand – The Gas Trap M1 Garand

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Like many of the every-other-Wednesday, this Photo of the Day posts on the same days as a new Curious Relics article. If it has not been posted already (spoiler) it is about the fantastic M1 Garand rifle. In the history portion, I talk about what ended up being the first official M1 Garand. This M1 Garand is what is referred to as the Gas Trap M1 Garand. The reason being is that the method of using gas to cycle the action was different compared to what most of us know today. John C. Garand wanted to avoid gas impingement via a hole in the barrel. At the time it was thought of as a weaker operating system. It was feared that it was prone to inaccuracy and eventual failure from wear. Obviously today we use this exact gas system in many modern firearms. Before that, the Gas Trap M1 Garand used a hollow extended portion over the muzzle which would capture gas and send it to the piston and so on. These would remain in production from 1936 until 1939 with production numbers of roughly 18,000. Despite the gas trap rifles not being in production there were still left over parts so they were put to use until the end of 1940. The last production numbers are estimated at 51,000.

“This is a scarce example of a Gas Trap M1 Garand rifle as manufactured by the Springfield Armory c. April 1940. This rifle is a late Gas Trap Variant M1 that retains all of its original configuration parts. The receiver heel is roll-stamped: “U.S. RIFLE/CAL. .30 M1/SPRINGFIELD/ARMORY/36832” and it retains its original “unmodified” low rib on the right side of the receiver. The right side under the stock line is stamped with the steel lot code “K REP” above the drawing number “D28291-1”. The rifle has the correct second pattern, stainless steel, gas cylinder that lacks the lightning cuts found on the first gas cylinders with a late pattern gas plug that lacks the lightning cut on the front. The top of the barrel ring on the gas cylinder is correctly stamped “D28289-1” and it has the third pattern front sight with the flared wings with sun-deflecting serrations along the back side. It is fitted with the correct milled upper and lower barrel bands with the center groove and both without any drawing number on the side. The rear sight cover is marked “B8872”, and the aperture is unmarked. The edges of the windage and elevation knobs are checkered. The bolt is marked “D28287/-1”. The early unmodified “straight/curved” operating rod is marked with the drawing number “D35382-1 SA” and it is fitted with the correct two square cut, keystone recoil springs. The right side of the correct style barrel is stamped with a single capital “W” proof mark followed by a single punch marked “P” proof with no date or “SA” markings. The early, “long tail” follower is unmarked on the bottom. The operating rod catch is parkerized and marked with a single “0” on the back side. The bullet guide is correctly marked “B8875 SA”. The follower arm and follower rod are not marked. The milled trigger guard is marked “C-46025-1SA”. The trigger housing is correctly marked “B 28290 SA” and it has the early style large pad used on early product rifles. The flat top safety is marked “C-46015-4SA”, and the hammer is correctly marked “C46008-1 SA” on the side. The hammer spring tube is parkerized. It is fitted with the short throat second pattern gas-trap pattern walnut buttstock with the two equal holes in the butt which with a “No-Trap” coarse checkered steel buttplate. The buttplate has no drawing number on the inside. The front of the stock is fitted with the correct third pattern milled stock ferrule with no drawing number and the front hand guard is fitted with the correct first pattern front ferrule with the extended lip. The stock has restamped with a boxed “SA/SPG” final inspection mark on the left side and an original albeit faint block “P” proof mark behind the trigger guard. It is complete with a late M1905 bayonet marked “SA/1919″ and a WWII green plastic scabbard. Provenance: The George Moller Collection”

Gas Trap Garand

Lot 3538: M1 Gas Trap M1 Garand Rifle Rare Early Gas Trap M1 Garand Semi-Automatic Rifle with M1905 Bayonet and Scabbard. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved November 2, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/83/3538/m1-gas-trap-m1-garand-rifle.

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Writer | TheFirearmBlog Writer | AllOutdoor.com Instagram | sfsgunsmith Old soul, certified gunsmith, published author, avid firearm history learner, and appreciator of old and unique guns.

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