How this Website Came to Be
I purchased my first U.S. M1 Carbine without a clue as to it's history, or the history of any M1 Carbines. I bought it to shoot with and eventually pass on to my son. The markings on the barrel and receiver indicated it had been manufactured by Underwood. On it's first range trip the bolt snapped in two, causing me to learn a bit about what I needed to replace it. What I learned about the bolt led me into a spiral of interest in learning more. Consider yourself forewarned, these war babies can be addictive.
My personal interests have included American history and its preservation, the use of small arms for self defense and sport (especially with my kids), and research and/or investigations that started at the beginning of a career as a police officer in the Los Angeles County area in 1977. Being semi-retired and financially self-sufficient I chose to spend my time researching, documenting and sharing the history of the U.S. Carbines.
Two of my research projects were the history of the U.S. M1 Carbines used by the German Police in the American Occupation Zone after WWII, followed by the history of the various private commercial companies who have built what has come to be known as the Commercial Carbines. The means by which I chose to share my research included websites instead of books. They allow me to easily update, correct and add information as time allows. And share them with a much larger audience. My work is also shared with other researchers and authors without strings attached. The free flow of information can take research to much higher levels and deeper depth.
I became a member of the Carbine Club about 2006. The group could be more accurately described as a cooperative. The members of this cooperative, collectively, have been attempting to reconstruct the history related to the U.S. Carbines Caliber .30. Some do far more than others but the true value lies in the collective as a whole. Most of the books and other publications on these carbines have been authored by people who have been members of "The Club" at one time or another. As a researcher the contacts and resources of the group have been invaluable.
One of the people I met and corresponded with was Larry Ruth, author of the three volume War Baby series on the carbines. Myself and many others, both members and non-members, shared our research with Larry for War Baby Three. For the personal experience and education it would provide I volunteered to shoot the photographs of the items Larry needed photographs of. After about four years and a half dozen 2-3 week cross country trips I came into possession of over 7000 photographs as a result. Less than 1/4 of these were used for the book as, in addition to the photographs Larry wanted, as a researcher I had my own list. When added to my existing work and photographs this became quite a reference library. This gave birth to the thought of building a website as a pictorial resource for others.
Amongst the membership there has a great deal of resistance to sharing information on the World Wide Web. With good reason. While much of this information is available in various books the number of viewers on the internet would be far greater than those who own the books. The number of people who would use the information to produce and sell parts with fraudulent markings and construct carbines other than authentic is a legitimate concern for collectors now and for the future.
Over time the resistance softened and became cooperation as the flow of new research dwindled and the desire to keep the co-op alive and active still remained. A co-op consisting of the numbers who use the internet could breath much life into the research while at the same time sharing information with everyone.
One person constructed this website using photographs taken personally and added a basic narrative. Other members contributed by proof reading, correcting, making suggestions, and in some cases re-writing parts or entire pages. Both members and non-members loaned or provided access to additional parts for photographs. The cooperative continues. There is no organizational structure as in other collector groups. Everyone here is a volunteer. Decisions are made by those who do the work. But we are a cooperative, not a commune.
Where this project goes will depend on those who contribute.
Focus & Challenges
Realizing the majority of readers and carbine owners are not interested in the degree of detail serious collectors and researchers seek, most of the material presented on this website is at the beginning to intermediate level. Construction of additional pages with additional information at these levels will be ongoing as cooperation and time allow. Questions, comments, communication and the sharing of information is now available through our discussion forum.
The sharing and exchange of material and information at a more advanced level has presented a challenge. This challenge is being addressed by the team constructing the discussion forum. The research material previously shared via the newsletter will be divided into two groups: basic/intermediate and advanced. The basic/intermediate material will be made available to all via the forum. The advanced material and discussions will have a means of controlled access. This part of the cooperative will require a fair amount of work and time.
This website does not replace the books. As with most books worth owning some information will be common to all but one of the goals of this website is to encourage readers to want to learn more than is offered here. Each author has their particular areas of expertise and each book has information the others do not. No one knows it all.
Those in Possession of Potential Historical Documentation
It is hoped those with potential historical documentation and/or information will join us on the forum. Experienced researchers can help evaluate your material as to it's significance and authenticity. They can also direct you to the researchers and/or institutions interested in learning and preserving historical documents.
Given this is a cooperative effort this is a difficult challenge given the number of people who have helped make this website happen. Intentionally, unintentionally, directly, indirectly and to varying degrees. Some are no longer with us and unaware of their contributions. If your name is not mentioned it is hoped you can take pride and find satisfaction in what you helped create.
The substantial direct contributors include (in alphabetical order):
Curators and/or personnel of the following:
A special thanks is owed to Larry Ruth for allowing me to be his photographer for War Baby III, from which I gained a level of knowledge of the U.S. Carbines Caliber .30 and experience in product photography that eventually made this website possible. Roughly 1/4th of the photographs on this website are of items within his collection he gave permission to photograph and use. Larry is a contributing member of The Carbine Club.
Please use the discussion forum for any carbine questions you have. I wish I could help everyone individually
but I simply cannot. Besides the work on this website, M1CarbinesInc.com and BavarianM1Carbines.com I am actively
involved in a number of research projects. If you find an error on these web pages sharing it on the forum will help get it corrected.
If you wish to contact me I've provided a link to my e-mail address below.
Thanks much and enjoy.