John Garand

Inventor, Deceased Person

1888 – 1974


Who was John Garand?

Jean Cantius Garand was a Canadian-American designer of firearms best known for creating the first successful semi-automatic rifle to be widely used in active military service, the M1 Garand.

Garand was born in St. Rémi, Quebec in a French Canadian family, and moved as a child to Jewett City, Connecticut. He attended school until he was 11 years old, and then became employed in a textile mill, where he was later promoted to machinist. After gaining the necessary experience, he was hired by a tool factory in Providence, Rhode Island.

His fondness for machinery and target shooting blended naturally into a hobby of designing guns, which however took a more vocational turn in 1917. That year the United States Army took bids on designs for a light machine gun, and Garand's design was eventually selected by the War Department. Garand was appointed to a position with the United States Bureau of Standards with the task of perfecting the weapon. The first model was not built until 1919, too late for use in World War I, but the government kept Garand on in a position as consulting engineer with the Springfield Armory.

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Jan 1, 1888
  • Canada
  • Gun Designer, National Institute of Standards and Technology
    (1918 - 1919)
  • Springfield Armory
    (1919 - 1953)
Lived in
  • New York City
  • Providence
  • Springfield
    (1919 - )
  • Connecticut
    (1898 - )
Feb 16, 1974

on July 23, 2013


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