For the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, the 2019 U.S. Army Best Ranger Competition featured period-correct M1 Carbines and M37 trench guns, courtesy of Inland Manufacturing. This year's event was held April 12-14 at Fort Benning, GA.
Dating back to 1982, Best Ranger Competitions (BRC) are usually conducted using modern military firearms. In order to properly commemorate the Omaha Beach landings, especially the incredible Ranger assault on Point du Hoc, the Army decided that this year's BRC will use some of the individual firearms that Rangers fielded on D-Day.
It makes sense that Inland Manufacturing was selected because the company makes some of the most historically accurate reproduction M1 Carbines and M37 trench guns available today. Notably, when Inland started making these guns they began the serial numbers at 9 million. This is to prevent any confusion with the original military carbines. That is how accurate they are.
Inland model M37 12-gauge trench gun.
The U.S. Army Best Ranger Competition is one of the most difficult out of any in the armed forces today. The event features 55 two-man teams that; besides shooting, are running, marching (with full packs), navigating and more. Rangers competed using the two aforementioned WWII-era firearms at Fort Benning, as well as M1 Garands. Out of 55 this year, only 16 teams managed to cross the finish line.
Over the past 30 years, the BRC has evolved from a salute to the best "buddy" team from the Rangers at Fort Benning, to the present role as a determination of the best two-man team among the entire U.S. Armed Forces.
Two captains from the Army's101st Airborne Division have earned first place at the 2019 BRC. Capt. John Bergman and Capt. Michael Rosetitle previously competed together and won back in 2014. The pair are the first to ever win this competition twice. As for second place, a team from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, consisting of Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Gerber and 1st Lt. Alastair Keys, earned that honor.
At the end of the match, the top two teams chose awards from one of Inland's commemorative 1911s, reproduction carbines or M37 trench guns.