This historically significant artifact recently came out of the woodwork and is believed to be perhaps the earliest known working tool room prototype for what ultimately became the John Garand designed US Model 1924 primer actuated semi-automatic service rifle. This is an elaborate, highly sophisticated and intricately designed rifle that is based upon the barrel assembly of a M1903 Springfield Rifle mounted to a completely novel designed 17.5 inch long receiver that operates on the principle of primer setback at firing to unlock the rotating tilt bolt to allow semi-automatic operation. This primer actuated approach was only ever attempted by John Garand and we believe this to be one of his earliest working prototypes of this operating method. Two rudimentary aspects of this mechanism will be readily apparent to those knowledgeable about Garand’s design; the rotating tilt bolt and the trigger/hammer assembly. Based upon published designs we believe that this is one of his earliest working prototypes and probably dates from around 1917-1918. The buttstock has been removed,(if it ever even had one) even so the length of what is here is as long and a normal 1903 Springfield Rifle. The machine work on the metal and the meticulous inletting of the stock are of the highest level tradecraft in execution.
This artifact is going to attract a lot of attention but the new owner will be among the most advanced collectors or a museum. We feel that this early work will answer many questions in the evolution of design and industrial innovation that ultimately led not only to the M-1 Garand Rifle but also to today’s automatic rifle designs. As such this is a very important work of industrial art and technological advancement.