Mythbusting time: I’ve seen the rifle in this April 17, 1962 photo misidentified too many times in M1 Garand titles. John C. Garand is not demonstrating his T31 prototype. Rather, it is Springfield Armory’s SPIW Concept #1 prototype. The Concept #1 design can be identified by the hinged lower receiver, a feature not used on the Concept #2 design. Ultimately, the Concept #1 was rejected, and the following series of Springfield SPIW prototypes were based upon the Concept #2. The Concept #1 prototype currently resides at the Rock Island Arsenal Museum as display item #5818.
Next to Garand are Lt. Col. Charles P. Bartow ( Springfield Armory’s Executive Officer), Otto H. von Lossnitzer (Chief of the Project Control Office), and Herman F. Hawthorne (Chief of the Research & Development Division). Prior to coming to US in 1946 as part of Operation Paperclip, von Lossnitzer had been the director of Mauser’s Weapons Research Institute and Weapons Development Group. Curiously, Hawthorne was also an ordained minister, and years later, would preside over Garand’s funeral.