The Garand is known as the first semi-automatic rifle fielded by the majority of troops in a major military, but it nearly didn’t get to become the M1. The ten-shot, .276 Pederson rifle was once the favorite to become the U.S. Army’s standardized battle rifle.

Thanks to Alex C. at TheFirearmBlog, I recently had an opportunity to do some shooting with a .276 caliber Vickers-Pedersen model PB rifle. This was one of the very first rifles Vickers built when they though the Pedersen would be adopted by the US military and couple be further marketed worldwide – after only about 16 PB rifles they made some changes and started making the improved PA model instead (the two main improvements being the use of a reversible clip and the addition of a mechanism to allow ejection of a partially-full clip).