Hitting The Beaches With The M41

Unlike the Pedersen rifle, Mr. Johnson’s Caliber .30s did see combat. The USMC actually had a battalion of ParaMarines in 1942 fighting in the Solomon Islands and they carried M1941s into combat. After the ParaMarines were disbanded they traded their Johnson rifles for M1 Garands.

Most readers know the M1 uses a barrel port for bleeding gas into the operating piston but the first version didn’t. When Garand’s rifle was accepted as the M1 in 1936, the first 40,000 or so were called the “gas trap” version. They had 22" barrels with a “trap” on the end for catching gas. Early in 1940 M1s were redesigned to the gas port system. As “gas trap” M1s were returned to armories for repairs or refurbishing, they were converted to “gas port” versions. Very few escaped conversion and I know of only one privately owned.