Why Not An External Box Magazine for the M1 Garand?

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Robert Treece

After World War I, Army Ordnance studied all the equipment used in that world-wide conflict.  It was decided that a new US rifle was needed that would be able to more quickly respond to “over the top” charges by enemy troops and also for trench close-in engagements.

Some semi-automatic rifle designs were starting to show up early on and did show promise to meet some of the standards they wished to address.

Also during this time the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) was reviewed because of its automatic capabilities, BUT complaints were put forth that the magazines were cumbersome, being dropped, getting dirty and even being lost—the Brit’s also reported similar problems with their Lee-Enfields.  Not much firepower loading one round at a time!

Therefore, Army Ordnance did require that the new battle rifle must have an internal magazine—the “PING” has been with us for World War II, Korea and even later conflicts.

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4 Responses to Why Not An External Box Magazine for the M1 Garand?

  1. jeo22 / John says:

    Interesting, some things that seem to be a good idea at the time, prove other wise later on.


  2. Beretta made the BM59 which was pretty much a garand with a box mag. I shot it a few times. Rugged battle rifle. Don’t know if it could have been accurised like an m14


  3. Lee Enfield person says:

    Doubt the British were having any problems with Lee Enfield magazines being lost. They were loaded from the top via a charger clip, and the magazine was only removed for cleaning. Reloading via swapping of magazines was dropped after the first batch of Lee Metfords, long before WW I.


  4. Elvio says:

    To answer this question and feasability look up the BM-59 and its history. All accounts show that it was a much better rifle than the M14 since it could be controlled under full autofire where the M14 could not. It was also NATO because it was a 7.62×51; was produced and disseminated to various countries.


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