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The M1 Garand (officially designated as United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1 and later simply Rifle, Caliber .30, M1, and also abbreviated as US Rifle, Cal. .30, M1), was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S. Patton, the Garand officially replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield as the standard service rifle of the United States Armed Forces in 1936 and was subsequently replaced by the selective fire M14 in 1957. However, the M1 continued to be used in large numbers until 1963 and to a lesser degree until 1966. The M1 was used heavily by U.S. forces in World War II, the Korean War, and, to a limited extent, the Vietnam War. Most M1 rifles were issued to Army and Marine troops, though many thousands were also lent or provided as foreign aid to America's allies. The Garand is still used by drill teams and military honor guards. It is also widely sought by the civilian population as a hunting rifle, target rifle, and military collectible. According to experts and people who knew John Garand, the weapon's designer, the latter version is preferred. It is now available to civilians in the original .30-06 chambering, as well as in .308 Winchester. United States citizens meeting certain qualifications may purchase U.S. military surplus M1 rifles through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The CMP is run by the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety (CPRPFS), a not-for-profit corporation chartered by the United States Congress in 1996 to instruct citizens in marksmanship and promote practice and safety in the use of firearms. The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code. From 1903 to 1996, the CMP was sponsored by the Office of the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM), a position first within the Department of War and later in the Department of the Army. The DCM was normally an active-duty Army colonel. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
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