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m1 rifle U.S. Rifle, caliber .30, M1: a gas-operated, clip-fed, semi-automatic, .30 caliber shoulder weapon of U.S. manufacture. This weapon, in 1964, was the standard ARVN infantry rifle. The Vietnamese soldier, averaging five feet two inches tall and weighing 100 pounds, used this weapon with good effect, if he were trained properly. The ARVN acquired this rifle from the United States, who had replaced this excellent weapon with the M-14 rifle (see above). The M1 Rifle weighs 9.5 pounds, and is 43.6 inches long with a 24 inch barrel. It fires the .30 caliber (.30-06 Springfield) cartridge which was fed by a clip holding eight rounds.
    In my mind, and it appears to be the consensus among the Marines who had used this weapon during their military career, this rifle is the finest battle weapon ever devised for the combat infantryman. This rifle was known by the U.S. Marines as the U.S. Rifle M1, or simply the M1, never referred to as the "Garand" (John C. Garand was the inventor). Other services, when referring to the M1 usually mean the pea-shooter M1 Carbine, not the real rifle. No other weapon is so endeared, so revered, and so missed by the U.S. Marine Corps as is this rifle. In the hands of any Marine who had qualified with this rifle, it could deliver one-shot kills at 500 yards and beyond. From the mud of Guadalcanal, into the sands at Iwo Jima, through the frozen hills of Chosin, in the streets of Seoul, this rifle never failed us.

browning automatic rifle Caliber .30 Model 1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle: a gas-operated, selective fire shoulder weapon of U.S. manufacture. It is 47.8 inches long with a 24 inch barrel, weighs 19.4 pounds, and is fed .30 caliber (30-06) cartridges from a 20-round staggered-row detachable box magazine. Its slow cyclic rate is 300-450 rounds per minute and its fast cyclic rate is 500-650 rounds per minute. The ARVN table of organization, based on the U.S. Army T/O, also adopted the BAR as its squad tactical automatic weapon. Because of its weight and bulk, most of the ARVN soldiers assigned to carry this weapon often got rid of it at first opportunity and opted to carry the lighter weight, but much less effective, M-1/M-2 carbine. I carried the BAR up and down the hills of Camp Pendleton and, if I had a choice at that time, wouldn't have traded it for any other weapon in the world.

browning m1919a4
Browning caliber .30, M1919A4: a recoil operated, crew served, automatic weapon. The gun weighs 31 pounds and its tripod mount weighs an additional 14 pounds. Its overall length is 41 inches with a 24 inch barrel. It fires the .30 caliber U.S. military round which is fed to the gun in disintegrating link belts. In 1964, the Vietnamese Army had not yet been equipped with the M-60 machine gun and the M1919A4 (and M1919A6) was the standard small unit machine gun. Heavy, but reliable, this weapon had served as the standard U.S. Marine Corps small unit machine gun until it was replaced by the M60.

Copyright © 2001
Enrique del Rosario