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In this video Paul Shull, host of ‘The Weapon Hunter’ asks the question – which sniper rifle used in World War 2 is better? Is it the M1 Garand or the M1903 Springfield? This has been a question that people have argued over for a very long time. Here we’ll see Paul Shull testing both and give us a verdict.

M1903 Springfield

M1903 Springfield rifle, USA. Caliber .30-06. From the Swedish Army Museum Stockholm.
M1903 Springfield rifle, USA. Caliber .30-06. From the Swedish Army Museum.

This gun is an American 5 round, magazine-fed, bolt-action service repeating rifle that was primarily used within the 1st half of the 20th Century.
On June 19th, 1903 it was formally taken as a US military rifle and was used in World War 1. It lost its place as being standard infantry rifle in 1937 to the M1 Garand.

The M1903 Springfield remained in use during World War 2 due to there being insufficient quantities of M1 Garand’s for troops. The M1903 was also used throughout the Korean War and early Vietnam War. This gun is still used as a civilian firearm as well as a drill rifle and is considered a collector’s item.

M1 Garand

M1 Garand rifle, USA. Caliber .30-06. From the collections of Armémuseum (Swedish Army Museum), Stockholm. (Wikipedia)
M1 Garand rifle, USA. Caliber .30-06. From the collections of the Swedish Army Museum.

This is a rifle that is semi-automatic and chambered for the .30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge. It was utilized by the US Army from late 1936 through to 1957. This rifle gained its name from its designer – his name was John Garand. The M1 Garand was the first semi-automatic military rifle that was standard-issue.

General George S. Patton deemed this gun ‘the greatest battle implement ever devised’ which is a grand statement indeed. The standard service rifle used previously was the M1903 Springfield and the M1 Garand replaced this in 1936. This remained the standard service rifle until 1957 when it was replaced with the M14.

The M1 gave US forces a definite advantage in World War 2; it was far more effective than their enemy’s slow-firing guns. The M1 is still used today for drill purposes.

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