Book Review: The M1 Garand Rifle

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.

If you don’t yet have a proper book on the M1 Garand in your library, this one is the clear choice – and if you do have a good book already (like one of Canfield’s previous more limited ones, or the Collector Grade book on the M1), you will sooner or later decide that you need to upgrade. So take advantage of the opportunity now to save about $15 off the cover price, and grab a copy from Amazon:


  1. While it falls too far outside my particular interests to fork over the money it’s nevertheless good to see that there’s enough of a market to get this kind of book to print.

    On another note, you really need to get some better lighting for your indoor stuff.

  2. Interesting review, but i already have an M1 Garand Rifle book i received for christmas several years ago, so i might have to pass on this one. I’m not collecting books on firearms, but i assume this book would be a real treasure to such a collector.

    My book on the M1 Rifle was about 200 pages, and very informative, it brought up many of the same areas; prototypes, army trial, post-war developments and the M1 Garand in the field. This book must be extremely in-depth about every aspect to cover 900 pages.

  3. Canfield’s latest book on the M1 Garand is clearly a labor of love. Alas, I’ve already found errors caused by reciting other authors’ misguided identifications.

    One is courtesy of Blake Stevens’ “US Rifle M14,” where Harry H. Sefried’s prototype of a mag-fed, selective fire M1 was misidentified as Garand’s original prototype of that configuration. Ironically, Canfield had only just pages earlier identified the same rifle as Sefried’s design, complete with pictures from his US patents!

    Another has been repeated before by Scott Duff and Robert Bruce in which a 1962-vintage photo of Garand holding an early Springfield SPIW concept model is misidentified as Garand demonstrating his ill-fated T31 prototype.

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