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Early production M1 Carbine

Article about: M1 carbines are the hardest firearm to collect.( so many Variations) We have the hard core collector that wants them all correct as first issued. and then we have the guy that just likes car

  1. #1

    Default Early production M1 Carbine

    I took delivery of an early production M1 carbine last week. This one is a Saginaw S'G' made gun dating from early 1943. The barrel is dated June 1943, and is made by Underwood. The stock is the original early type with the 'I' cut-out for the oil bottle. This may suggest that the stock has been modified from the 'high wood' to the 'low wood' style, as the area around the cocking handle and slide was seen as a weak spot in the woodwork.

    The gun was obviously updated after the war by the addition of bayonet bar, adjustable rear sight and rotary safety. But it is essentially still a very nice original gun. I particularly liked the signs of much wear to the butt-plate. This to me indicates a very hard military life. The hole in the butt-plate isn't through rust, but through continually coming into contact with the ground. A sure sign of much service use!

    When I started looking for an example of this fine weapon I wasn't after one in perfect condition. I wanted one that looked as though it had been well used. I did note though that there are several weapons being offered for sale which are supposedly in their original condition with no bayonet bar and the original flip sight. This is nothing more than a clever scam to push up prices even higher for the unwary. Most of these examples - if not all - have the rotary safety fitted. The removal of the bayonet bar does not present a serious problem, and reproduction flip sights are readily available. But once that safety is welded in place as part of the deactivation process it is a dead give away to the fact the gun has been doctored.

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    Last edited by HARRY THE MOLE; 07-08-2013 at 10:59 PM.
    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Early production M1 Carbine

    Very cool, Steve! Congratulations on a great looking M1 Carbine.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Early production M1 Carbine

    Appears to be an early Winchester "I" cut stock with circa 1942-43 stock mark. Although the WRA above the GHD is not discernible, the location & placement near the crossed cannon ordnance wheel makes it fairly certain. Your gun would have originally had an SG with ordnance wheel only on the right side of the stock. There are some great books on the market to help you further research the rest of the factory markings on the remaining components. Too bad you have to "deactivate" your collector firearms. Fortunately, we haven't quite reached that point in the States -yet?? Regards.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Early production M1 Carbine

    Hi Mike, and welcome to the forum! As for the deactivated M1, it really doesn't bother me at all. I have no interest in shooting these days. I have memories of these guns from a different era than WW2. I have been on the receiving-end of this kind of weapon on more than one occasion! They were much used by the Provisional IRA in Ulster during the 1970's.

    For those who have read this posting and know of my book, I have some news. I had word today that it will be going to print on the 29th July 2013. The intention is to hold the book-launch on Thursday 8th August, which just happens to be the 39th anniversary of a major gun battle that took place in and around New Lodge on the night of 8th/9th August 1974. This book has taken five years of my life to get where it is now.
    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Early production M1 Carbine

    I hope we all learn from past and present violent conflicts. However, I was glad to be packing a visible & "activated' M1 carbine in the days following Hurricane Andrew (40 year resident of Homestead, Florida). Regards.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Early production M1 Carbine

    Nice carbine!! I agree that the barrel is probably the original. The stock is not original to the rifle - no Type Is were used in S'G' production. Like the vast majority o carbines, it probably went through a rebuild - or two - over the years after the war. That's where the rear sight, rotary safety and later mag catch and Type III barrel band was most likely added. There is probably a "w" in the sling well on the left side of the butt stock - and there may be other letters on the stock that designate where the rebuild was done.

    Almost all parts on carbines were marked to designate where they were made. By recording those, we can tell you where the parts started out.

    Enjoy it!! I've got 3 of them and always enjoy shooting them.
    COL, U.S. Army (Ret.)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Early production M1 Carbine

    Yes it is what we call in the carbine world as a re-arsenal weapon. Most were. Like that was mentioned earlier in this thread. The stock is not what would have been on this firearm from the start. Yes Steve, you have a very nice Carbine here. It should make a great addition to your collection. Please look at my profile and my museum photo Album. I have a wall full, plus. From the first 10000 block Winchester to late Korea.
    On another note: Why do they weld the safety in the on Position??? Just wondering...
    I know it has to be deactivated, but couldn't they just weld the chamber shut and then weld the barrel to the reciever so it could never be reactivated. The welds don't show if it is done right. I have seen this done here in the USA.
    Just asking.....
    Thanks for sharing your carbine with us.

    I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Early production M1 Carbine

    Totally agree with John. Most of these little carbines were all arsenal re-worked and I see absolutely nothing wrong about such "modifications"-not when they were done officially and by the government arsenals, rather than some basement gunsmith with a box of shiny new parts. Some finicky collectors want them in as new condition when they left the factory, but, the modified ones are just that Also. I guess it's just how many Times a gun leaves the factory that is the sticky point! At any rate the M-1 Carbines were and always will be a great little gun with a Huge amount of History attached to them! Not enough to have served their duty in One war...these guys had to re-enlist for a Second one as well!

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  9. #9

    Default Re: Early production M1 Carbine

    Hi John (Guns Ltd)

    I have no idea why they weld the safe in the 'on' position. Deactivation laws for certain weapons are now quite strict here in England. There was a time (pre 1995) when the deactivation of the M1 carbine would be very sympathetic. The bolt would still work - along with safety and trigger. But from my perspective I am not that bothered as long as just by looking at the weapon you cannot tell it is deactivated.

    The laws covering gun ownership here in the Uk are so stupid that I can legally purchase a deactivated weapon without any kind of licence. But if I wanted to purchase a none-firing replica I need to be a member of a theatrical organisation or re-enactors organisation. And I need to have a membership card to prove it as well! I can own an antique firearm in perfect working order in what is classed as obsolete caliber without needing a licence. But if I purchase the components to make up some ammunition to shoot the weapon I then need a section 1 firearms certificate. I need a certificate to purchase and store black powder, but not to purchase and store Pyrodex. At least that is how it used to be unless the law has changed again!
    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Early production M1 Carbine

    I have a pre '95 deact M1 carbine, not WW2 era but a Universal made rifle that was supplied to the RUC.

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