by: Darren Baker [ ]
The M1 Garand rifle became the standard weapon of the US Combat Soldier during three wars, World War 2, Korea and Vietnam and was still in use at the end of the Vietnam War unofficially by US Forces. The M1 Garand was adopted as the standard infantry weapon in 1936 and held that position until 1957 when it was replaced by the M14 rifle, as said previously it still proved popular and was used all through the Vietnam War unofficially. During its production run more than 5,500,000 rifles were produced with more than 4,000,000 being produced during World War 2 alone.
The M1 Garand clip unlike that of the SMLE rifle of the British was not a stripper clip and was slipped into the weapon, when all of the rounds had been fired it would eject usually creating a metallic ping as it left. This sound started to be listened for by enemy forces and upon hearing it they would break cover to fire, the US serviceman countered this by hitting the rifle with a piece of metal to deceive the enemy; this action was supposedly most commonly used against Japanese forces. The advantage of the M1 Garand over most other rifles during World War 2 was that it did not have to be cocked between each shot. Legend Productions has released four different offerings covering the M1 Garand Rifle designed by John Cantius Garand in different set ups. The offering I am looking at here is the M1 Garand Set with M7 Grenade Launcher.
This offering from Legend Productions is supplied in an end opening card carton with their usual package detailing. The carton in my case is covered with a shrink wrapped plastic that makes the carton quite resilient. Inside of the packaging is a Ziploc bag containing the resin goodies that make up this offering from Legend Productions. Looking at the rifles in this set I will say that there is a lot of clean up required by the modeller due to the number of gates used by Legend Productions to make sure that there are no voids in the finished item.
This offering is one of the 3D mastered offerings that Legend Productions has got into in a big way and is making good inroads into the market. This set provides five M1 Garand rifles 3 of which have a grenade fitted and 2 with just the launcher assembly present. You are also provided with 5 sighting systems for the grenade distances that are attached to the rifles and 4 grenades. Legend Productions has also provided 12 ammunition clips, an aspect that I greatly approve of, but remember that grenade launcher use blank rounds to fire the grenade.
The grenade launching element of this offering is a good match for the Fay and Scott produced item, but I cannot see the ridges that would be present. Legend Productions has not provided any of the launcher devices separate from the rifles which would have been a nice touch. Now I have hit an issue with the actual grenades; the M7 grenade launcher basically mounted a standard hand grenade into a casing for firing, but the grenades shown in this set are M7A1 grenades which according to my reference came into common use after WW2. I am open to being corrected on this aspect of the product.
The distance sight for the rifle is provided separately, but from what I have read these were rarely used as the infantry preferred to fire the grenades with the rifle butt on the ground rather than the shoulder, this is due to the kick being very severe and causing injuries that could be the difference between life and death in the field. On the scale front I have measured the resin rifles and they scale out at 1,103mm and so there is only a 3mm difference if they were 1 to 1 scale and that is nothing in 1/35th scale.
The details provided by Legend Productions are a very good match for the real weapon with the only complaint I could make being the lack of harnesses for the rifles which would have been a very nice addition to this set and my question over the time period for the actual grenade and is it an M7 or M7A1. The ammunition strips are a very well done item of this set with a beautiful level of detail provided.
It is good to see the weapons used by the Allies during World War 2 getting attention in resin and these offerings from Legend Productions are well done. I do have a gripe about the lack of harnesses for each of the rifles, but the only fault I can lay at the door of Legend Productions is if the description is accurate for the product.