"....the greatest implement of battle ever devised." - General George S. Patton
The M1 Garand (more formally the United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1) was the first semi-automatic rifle in the world to be generally issued to
infantry. It officially replaced the Springfield M1903 rifle as the standard service rifle of the United States military in 1937.
The M1 was developed by Springfield Armory firearms designer John Garand. The prototypes were refined during the 1920s and 1930s.
Although officially adopted in 1932, it did not formally enter service until 1936, and then only through an executive decision by then-Army Chief
of Staff General Douglas MacArthur. The first production model was successfully proof-fired, function-fired, and fired for accuracy on July
The M1's semi-automatic capability gave United States forces a significant advantage in firepower and shot-to-shot response time over
individual enemy infantry in battle (German and Japanese soldiers were usually armed with manually operated bolt-action rifles). The impact of
the Garand and faster-firing infantry small arms in general soon stimulated both Allied and Axis forces to greatly augment issue of semi- and
fully-automatic weapons then in production, as well as to develop new types of infantry firearms.
Ejection of an empty clip created a distinctive and unnatural metallic "pinging" sound. In World War II, reports arose that German and Japanese
infantry were making use of this noise in combat to alert them to an empty M1 rifle in order to 'get the drop' on their American counterparts. The
information was taken seriously enough that U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground began experiments with clips made of various plastics in
order to soften the sound, though no improved clips were ever adopted.
The M1 Carbine (formally the United States Carbine, Caliber .30, M1) is a lightweight semi-automatic carbine that became a
standard firearm in the U.S. mlitary during World War II. It was widely used by U.S. and foreign military and paramilitary forces.
The M1 Carbine was designed primarily to offer non-combat and line-of-communications troops a better defensive weapon
than a pistol or submachine gun, with greater accuracy and range, but without the recoil, cost, or weight of a full-power infantry
rifle. The carbine was more convenient to carry for officers, NCOs, or specialists encumbered with weapons, field glasses,
radios, or other gear. Tankers, drivers, artillery crews, mortar crews, and other personnel were also issued the M1 Carbine in
lieu of the larger, heavier M1 Garand. The first M1 Carbines were delivered in mid 1942, with initial priority given to troops in the
European theatre of war.
The M1 Carbine was soon issued to infantry officers, machine-gun crews, paratroopers, and other frontline soldiers. Its
reputation in combat was mixed. Some infantrymen preferred the carbine over the M1 Garand because of the weapon's small
size and light weight. The carbine also gained generally high praise from airborne troops who were issued the folding-stock
M1A1. The carbine's exclusive use of non-corrosive primered ammunition was found to be a godsend by troops and ordnance
personnel serving in the Pacific, where barrel corrosion was a significant issue, though not to the same extent in Europe,
where some soldiers reported misfires attributed to bad primers. The M1 Carbine had a high practical rate of fire. This, and
the carbine's light weight, compactness, and low recoil made it a convenient self-defense weapon. With a much-reduced kick
compared to the M1 Garand, a soldier would be able to fire multiple aimed shots more rapidly.
The M1 Carbine issued during the World war II European Theater was an early version, which had a flip "L" sight, a push
button safety, absence of the bayonet lug, and a khaki sling.
The Thompson Submachine Gun was designed by General John T. Thompson, who was inspired by the trench warfare of
World War I to develop a "one-man, hand-held machine gun", firing a rifle caliber round. Thompson intended the weapon as
an automatic 'trench-broom' to sweep enemy troops from the trenches, filling a role the BAR had proved incapable of
performing. In 1938, the Thompson submachine gun was adopted by the U.S. military, serving during World War II and
Modifications to simplify production and reduce cost were made in 1942, resulting in the M1 and M1A1 models, which were
commonly carried by both non-commissioned and commissioned officers. The Thompson found particular utility in World
War II in the hands of Allied troops as a weapon for scouts, non-commissioned officers, and patrol leaders. In the European
theater, the gun was widely utilized in British and Canadian Commando units, as well as U.S. paratroop and Ranger
The Thompson has a fairly high rate of fire at 900+ rounds per minute (rpm), higher than many other submachine guns of
smaller caliber. This rate of fire, combined with a rather heavy trigger pull and a stock with excessive drop, increases the
tendency of the gun to climb off target in automatic fire. By the standards of the day, however, the Thompson was one of the
most effective and reliable submachine guns available.
The Springfield M1903, formally the United States Rifle, Caliber .30, Model 1903, is an American magazine-fed, bolt-action
rifle used primarily during the first half of the 20th century. It was officially adopted as a service rifle on June 19th 1903, and
was officially replaced as a service rifle by the faster-firing, semi-automatic M1 Garand, starting in 1936. The M1903 saw
notable use in World War I and World War II. Some dubbed it the "weapon of the silent death," since a person could be
struck by its bullet before ever hearing the weapon's report.
The M1903 and the M1903A3 rifle were used in combat alongside the M1 Garand by the U.S. military during the Second
World War and saw extensive use and action in the hands of U.S. troops in Europe, North Africa, and the Pacific. The US
Army Rangers were also a major user of the M1903 during World War II with the Springfield being preferred over the M1
Garand for commando missions. By mid-war, however, US combat troops had been re-equipped with the M1 Garand. It
remained in service for snipers (using the M1903A4) and grenadiers (using a spigot type rifle grenade launcher). However,
some front-line infantry units in both the US Army and the US Marine Corps still used the M1903 despite large quantities of
M1 Garands being made available to front-line troops during the later years of World War II.
M1918 BROWNING AUTOMATIC RIFLE
The Browning Automatic Rifle (more formally as Browning Automatic Rifle, .30 Caliber, and commonly known as the BAR),
is a family of automatic rifles (or machine rifles) and light machine guns used by the United States and other countries
during the 20th century. It was designed in 1917 by the weapons designer John Browning. The BAR was originally
intended as a light automatic rifle, but spent much of its career in various guises used in the light machine gun role with a
bipod. The original M1918 version was and remains the lightest service machine gun to fire the .30-06 Springfield cartridge,
though the limited capacity of its standard 20-round magazine tended to hamper its utility as a light machine gun.
From its inception, the BAR M1918 was a selective fire automatic rifle allowing the user to choose either semi or fully
automatic fire. First issued in February 1918, it was hoped the BAR might help break the stalemate of the trenches by the
concept of "walking fire"; an automatic weapon accompanying advancing squads of riflemen rushing from trench to trench.
In addition to shoulder-fired operation, BAR gunners were issued a belt that held magazine pouches for the BAR and
sidearm along with a "cup" to support the stock of the rifle when held at the hip. This allowed the soldier to lay suppressive
fire while walking forward, keeping the enemy's head down until it was too late.
Issued as the heavy fire support for a squad, all men were trained at the basic level how to operate and fire the BAR in case
the man carrying it was out of action. While not without its design flaws, the basic BAR design nevertheless proved itself
when kept clean and earned a reputation as being rugged and reliable. It served as a frontline standard weapon from the
latter days of World War I through World War II.
M3A1 SUBMACHINE GUN
The M3 "Grease Gun" (more formally United States Submachine Gun, Cal. .45, M3/M3A1) was a submachine gun
developed by the United States during World War II as a cheap substitute for the Thompson. It was nicknamed the
Grease Gun because of its resemblance to an automotive grease gun, and because it contained an oil reservoir in the
When World War II began, the Thompson submachine gun was the standard U.S. submachine gun. However, the
Thompson was comparatively expensive in terms of machining and time to manufacture. The .45 caliber M3 was
adopted in 1942, designed specifically for simplified production using pressed and stamped metal parts. The gun was
made by welding two pressed-metal shells together to form the exterior of the weapon. Far easier to manufacture than
the Thompson, the M3 incorporated several updated design features, including a barrel that detached without tools, and
a bolt that rode on two wire guide springs. A low cyclic rate of fire and straight-line recoil thrust made it easier to control
than many other submachine guns, especially during automatic fire, though the spindly wire-frame stock fit few users
and was rather too short.
The M3 was designed to be a disposable firearm once damaged or disabled, and no spare parts were provided to Army
ordnance commands. This decision proved to be a minor catastrophe after inevitable supply bottlenecks caused reserve
stocks of the M3 to run out in certain commands, forcing ordnance technicians to make emergency repairs and fabricate
pawl springs in order to provide frontline units with operating weapons.
The M3 used the blowback method of operation. It could be fired only in fully-automatic mode, but experienced soldiers
could usually fire single shots with it due to its very low rate of fire (400–450 rounds per minute).
WEAPONRY of the RANGERS
Fox Company employs several weapons to authentically portray the elite fighting soldiers of World
War II. All of these are government issue designated, and are blank adapted for our purposes in
living histories and battle re-enactments. These weapons are real; therefore, we take
considerable practice in safety and federal regulations and guidelines to ensure these firearms
are used responsibly and respectfully.
The bazooka was a man-portable anti-tank rocket launcher, made famous during World War II where it was one of the
primary infantry anti-tank weapons used by the United States Armed Forces. It was one of the first weapons based on the
High explosive anti-tank (HEAT) shell to enter service. It was nicknamed "bazooka" from a vague resemblance to the
musical instrument of the same name invented and used by Bob Burns. It saw widespread use throughout WWII.
The War Department had developed a shaped-charge hand grenade for anti-tank use that was effective at defeating up to
100 mm (4 in) of armor, by far the best such weapon in the world at the time. However, the M10 grenade weighed 3.5 lb (1.6
kg) and was difficult to throw and too heavy to function as a rifle grenade. The only practical way to use it was to place it
directly on the tank. Army Colonel Leslie A. Skinner suggested placing the grenade on the front of the experimental rocket
launcher he had developed with U.S. Army Lieutenant Edward G. Uhl, a weapon looking for a role. By late 1942, the Rocket
Launcher, M1A1 was introduced.
The main drawback to the weapon was the large backblast and smoke trail which gave away the position of the shooter.
Secretly introduced in Operation Torch, it was highly effective, though inherently inaccurate at all but very close ranges. Its
impact was such that General Dwight D. Eisenhower later described it as one of the weapons which won World War II for
the allies. The Germans immediately copied it from captured weapons, to produce their own much larger version known as
M1911 AUTOMATIC PISTOL
The M1911 is a single-action, semiautomatic handgun
chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It was designed by John
M. Browning, and was the standard-issue side arm for the
United States armed forces from 1911 to 1985. Its formal
designation as of 1940 was Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911
for the original Model of 1911 or Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45,
M1911A1 for the M1911A1, adopted in 1924. In total, the United
States procured around 2.7 million M1911 and M1911A1 pistols
during its service life. The M1911 officially replaced a range of
revolvers and pistols across branches of the U.S. armed forces,
though a number of other designs would see some use in
World War II and the years leading up to it created a great
demand for the weapon. During the war, about 1.9 million units
were procured by the U.S. Government for all forces,
production being undertaken by several manufacturers. So
many were produced that, after 1945, the government did not
order any new pistols, and simply used existing parts
inventories to "arsenal refinish" guns when necessary. This
pistol, designed over a century ago, still remains favored by US
This bayonet, when fixed to the end
of an M1903 Springfield or M1
Garand, became a deadly close
combat weapon of the American
infantryman. These were attached
to the M28 haversack or Ammo belt
when not in use.
|M3 COMBAT KNIFE
The standard issue combat knife in
WWII. Worn on the Ammo Belt in
either the early war M6 leather
scabbard or the mid war M8
scabbard, this knife was utilitarian in
design and was an excellent choice
in hand to hand combat.
This was the edged weapon of choice
for British commandos and US
Rangers. Designed specifically for
the element of surprise, the F-S
Dagger remains an icon for the US
Army Rangers of today.
Information collected and composed by 2ndRangerBattalion.org 2012
The fragmentation grenade is an anti-personnel weapon
that is designed to disperse shrapnel upon exploding. The
MKIIA1, commonly referred to as the "pin and pineapple", is
made of malleable iron in a lemon shape. It is externally
segmented dividing it into 40 sections, has a threaded
filling hole on the bottom for the placement of 2 ounces of
TNT, and a larger threaded hole on top for the igniter
This grenade has 4-5 second delay and an effective radius
of 30 yards.
Early models were painted yellow to show HE filler, but
because the bright yellow stood out in battle later grenades
were painted green with a yellow band around the neck.