The M1 replaced the bolt action M1903 Springfield as the standard U. service rifle in the mid 1930s, and was itself replaced by the selective fire M14 rifle in the late 1950s. At Fort Benning during 1925, they were tested against models by Berthier, Hatcher-Bang, Thompson, and Pedersen, the latter two being delayed blowback types.

The .276 Garand was the clear winner of these trials.

The .30 caliber Garand was also tested, in the form of a single T1E1, but was withdrawn with a cracked bolt on 9 October 1931.

The M1 rifle was named after its Canadian-American designer, John Garand. French Canadian-born Garand went to work at the United States Army's Springfield Armory and began working on a .30 caliber primer actuated blowback Model 1919 prototype.

It was the first standard-issue semi-automatic military rifle. In 1924, twenty-four rifles, identified as "M1922s", were built at Springfield.

The day after the successful conclusion of this test, Army Chief of Staff General Douglas Mac Arthur personally disapproved any caliber change, in part because there were extensive existing stocks of .30 M1 ball ammunition. Shuman, speaking for the secretary of war, ordered work on the rifles and ammunition in .276 caliber cease immediately and completely and all resources be directed toward identification and correction of deficiencies in the Garand .30 caliber.

Numerous problems were reported, forcing the rifle to be modified, yet again, before it could be recommended for service and cleared for procurement on 7 November 1935, then standardized 9 January 1936.

In March 1927, the cavalry board reported trials among the Thompson, Garand, and 03 Springfield had not led to a clear winner.

This led to a gas-operated .276 (7 mm) model (patented by Garand on 12 April 1930).

and reached an output of 100 per day within two years.