Springfield Armory Museum - Collection Record

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Maker/Manufacturer:GARAND, JOHN C.
Date of Manufacture:1954
Eminent Figure:
Catalog Number:SPAR 7031
Measurements:OL: 29.4CM 11 5/8" BL:

Object Description:

Manufactured by Springfield Armory, Springfield, Ma. - Receiver only. Complete with charging handle. This was John Garand's last design.

Receiver: U.S./CAL. 30 T-31/SA. #1.
Tag attached: T31/LATEST GARAND/RIFLE/26 AUG 54.

Notes: "JOHN GARAND'S 'CART-BEFORE-THE-HORSE' RIFLE: THE T31 - The 'T31' rifle was a fantastic combination of innovative features which John Garand believed might be applied to future combat weapons. Garand's office contained an array of miscellaneous gun parts, and one day I spotted a short length of what looked like a rain pipe. 'What in the world is this?', I queried. John replied that it was a metal sleeve that was to go around the barrel of his new gun. Amazed by this revelation, I then asked Garand if we were going back to the water-cooled design of 1918. John smiled and then briefed me on an array of mechanical innovations to be featured on his 'new design' weapon. The hollow sleeve, he said, would engulf the length of the barrel, and the air from port holes in the rear end would be pulled forward thorough the sleeve by a muzzle venturi reduction exit. This process would be aided by a special muzzle blast attachment that had vents which would cause muzzle-exit gas to induce the air in the sleeve to flow forward at extended velocity as the gun was fired - in other words, an air-cooled barrel.
Garand always lamented the comparatively short barrels of traditional weapons, and he decided to design a gun that would have a longer barrel (which would allow for greater accuracy) and yet be comparatively short in overall length. He went to work by using every inch of space, and he encased the recoil springs, the bolt assembly, and the magazine behind the trigger group, thereby creating the 'cast-before-the-horse' designation he so aptly applied to this design.
This unique weapon incorporated many internal innovations such as the bolt and magazine pick-up, which featured prominently on the subsequently design of the M14. At special demonstrations before the War/Ordnance officials, I fired this gun with one hand (what else is new?) and John held the butt end against his chin to show the lack of disturbing recoil." - Art Tuttle, Garand Collectors Association Newsletter, Summer 1996.

- "The T31 was one of Garand's last developments, and featured a very short stock with magazine located to the rear of the trigger, an annular gas system surrounding the barrel with gas led to the rear through a tube to a tappet, and an open sear. The entire action was closed to a entry of foreign material, with the ejection port opening only during firing. The short stock led to some of the same problems encountered by the British with the EM2, such as that of 'right handedness.' Direction of case ejection prevented firing from the left shoulder. The services did not want their one in eight left handed soldiers to have to learn to shoot right handed. For this and other reasons, the T31 design was not continued." - Roy Rayle

"Cal. .30 T31 Rifle. The T31 is an in-line stock types weapon with 'bull pup' type stock. The magazine design was incorporated into the T44 rifle. This rifle was chambered for the T65E3 (NATO) cartridge." - Smith

Smith, Joseph E. SMALL ARMS OF THE WORLD. Stackpole Books. Harrisburg, Pa. 1969.

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