M1 Garand Rifle
Designed by John Garand (18881974), the M1 was a semiautomatic rifle that was adopted by the U.S. Army on January 9, 1936. After a redesign to correct a major problem, the Marines began employing the M1 in November of 1940. The "Garand" nickname was not official, and the name was not necessarily used by soldiers during the war.
The M1 was known as an accurate and reliable weapon, although it did have its drawbacks. One of these problems was the distinctive sound that was made when the last round was fired from a clip and the clip automatically ejected. An enemy hearing this would know that an M1-equipped solider was out of ammunition and in the process of replacing the spent clip.
Over 4,000,000 M1 rifles were constructed between 1942 and 1945 by Winchester Repeating Arms and Springfield Armory.
The M1 saw extensive service in World War II and the Korean War, and was officially removed from service in 1957 (replaced by the M14), although it was employed by Allied nations in the Vietnam War.
The Saving Private Ryan production staff used 200 M1 Garands for the film, as well as hundreds of rubber copies used for background extras and stuntwork.