The M1 Garand (officially designated as United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1 and later it was just called Rifle, Caliber .30, M1, and also abbreviated as US Rifle, Cal. .30, M1) is chambered for the .30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge. It was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S. Patton, the Garand officially replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield as the standard service rifle of the United States Armed Forces in 1936 and was subsequently replaced by the selective fire M14 in 1957. However, the M1 continued to be used in large numbers until 1963 and to a lesser degree until 1966. Like its predecessor, the M1 originated from the Springfield Armory.
The M1 "is an air-cooled, gas-operated, clip-fed, and semiautomatic shoulder weapon. This means that the air cools the barrel; that the power to cock the rifle and chamber the succeeding round comes from the expanding gas of the round fired previously; that it is loaded by inserting a metal clip (containing a maximum of eight rounds) into the receiver; and that the rifle fires one round each time the trigger is pulled ". After the eight rounds have been shot the clip automatically ejects causing a "ping" noise to occur.
The M1 was used extensively by U.S. forces in World War II, the Korean War, and, to a limited extent, the Vietnam War. Most M1 rifles were issued to soldiers and Marines, though many thousands were also lent or provided as foreign aid to America's allies. The Garand is still used by drill teams and military honor guards. It is also widely sought by the civilian population as a hunting rifle, target rifle, and military collectible. The name "Garand" is pronounced. According to experts and people who knew John Garand, the weapon's designer, the latter version is preferred. It is available for American civilian ownership through the Civilian Marksmanship Program .