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Book Review: The M1 Garand Rifle by Bruce Canfield

I have been procrastinating the addition of a good book on the M1 Garand rifle into my own library, reading the various published material off of friends’ shelves. Now I’m glad that I have put off the purchase, because hot off the presses is a new tome by Bruce Canfield, a 900-page encyclopedia on the Garand rifle. And not just the M1, but all the developmental iterations (primer-actuated, .276, gas trap, etc) and all the post-war experimental modifications (E-series, T-series, and more) that led to the M14.

Unlike many reference books that tend to focus on either collector’s minutia or developmental history or firsthand account of field use, Canfield’s new book does a great job of covering all the bases. In it you’ll find plenty of firsthand reports of M1 use in all sorts of environments, a great in-depth history of the self-loading rifle trials of the 1920s, detailed assessments of the M1’s primary competitors, and also comparative descriptions of all the different production variants of each individual part of the rifle. Really, it’s a one-stop-shop for information on this iconic rifle.

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