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A Future Carbine Owner... and Why

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GliderInfantry View Drop Down
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    Posted: Apr 25 2021 at 11:51pm
Hi, Folks,

I'm pleased to be a member here as I've recently decided that I'm going to acquire an M1 Carbine.

Part of the reason for this - aside from being a gun enthusiast for the past 50+ years - is that my Dad, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 90, was a WWII veteran, having served in the 17th Airborne, 194th Glider Infantry Regiment as well as the 13th and the 82nd Airborne.

When he reluctantly told stories about his time overseas, I always recall that he said he was issued an M1A1 Carbine (although he described it as "that carbine with the metal folding stock").  This was partially because he was in the glider infantry, but maybe mostly due to the fact that he was attached to a light machine gun company, and therefore was considered more of a support soldier than a primary infantryman who would have carried an M1 Garand.

Despite being raised on a farm in the Great Depression and having to hunt and fish as a part of his family's survival, he was never really a "gun guy."  When I asked him questions about the carbine he carried, his response was usually "well, it was better than a sharp stick."

In the last couple of years, I've decided I need to own an M1 Carbine.  Despite my Dad's experience, I'm not really that interested in an A1 version, and I think I'd like a nice, honest model with a conventional wooden stock.  When I was a kid, an employee of my Dad's would give me back issues of gun magazines, most prior to the GCA of 1968, and I remember seeing the ads in the back for "VG to Excellent US GI M1 Carbines" for $49.95.  Considering that I'm looking at spending possibly 40 times that to acquire one now, I'm on the hunt for knowledge... and hence my stop here.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt_X Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2021 at 9:34am
Welcome!
Thanks for sharing the family connection. It would be interesting to find out more about which soldiers were issued folding stock carbines (when they were available).  Wouldn't surprise me if there was a general order or similar guidance issued at various times and places.  I stumbled across a large post D-Day operation book summarizing logistical needs amongst other things.   So that sort of thing is another possible documentary source.  I'll dig that up later.

As a fairly new owner myself who also wanted a collectable shooter, here's my suggestions.
The Club's main webpages and this book http://www.uscarbinecal30.com/forum/craig-riesch-7th-edition-review_topic5276.html ; will help with the terminology and many of the parts variations. 
If I could have bought one book first, in retrospect it would have been this one.

In some parts of the country its easier or more difficult to find a good selection at local gun stores and/or shows.  Given a choice between on-line and in-person, I would suggest in-person if your area is one where a reasonable number of carbines are on the marketplace.  
The additional challenge (gamble) for buying a shooter on-line is they rarely have information about the headspace and muzzle wear.  Sometimes they post a general observation about the condition of the bore, and sometimes not.

Then for yourself you'll have to balance how much you want the gun to look to be WW2 era vs. post war.  This where it gets tricky.  Some of those late war and post war features actually make them somewhat more accurate or more reliable.  Additionally, while say a re-enactor may be satisfied with a gun that looks correct but has reproduction parts, such 'restoration' is less valuable to most collectors.

Once you've bought one and taken it apart, become familiar with the parts, then its easier to recognize the differences.   At least that's what I found.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote firstflabn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2021 at 11:06am
..


Edited by firstflabn - May 23 2021 at 10:12pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GliderInfantry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2021 at 12:52pm
While I have no indication of its reliability, I saw that the website battleorder.org does list a light machine gun squad in 1942-1943, which seems to conform to his first-person accounts as I recall them.  He described an air-cooled, .30 caliber machine gun which I assume to be an M1919.  The majority of the information I have was from listening to the personal recollections of someone who was an 18 year-old at the time, drafted off a farm in the midst of a world war.  As for myself, I never served and had the benefit of being indoctrinated with US Army organization, so I concede that some of his stories from 70 years before might not meet the most critical scrutiny.

​→ 1× Light Machine Gun Section

  • 1× Section HQ of:

    • 1× Section Leader, Sergeant, armed with 1 M1 Carbine

    • 1× Messenger, Private, armed with 1 M1 Carbine

    • 1× Basic Duty, Private, armed with 1 M1 Rifle

  • 2× Light Machine Gun Squads of:

    • 1× Squad Leader, Corporal, armed with 1 M1 Carbine

    • 1× Gunner, Private/Private First Class, armed with 1 M1919A4 machine gun and 1 M1911A1 Pistol

    • 1× Assistant Gunner, Private/Private First Class, armed with 1 M1911A1 Pistol

    • 2× Ammo Bearers, Private/Private First Class, armed with 1 M1 Carbine

MOS is irrelevant in this case, as when he mustered out he had been assigned to a different role stateside, and the discharge paper lists only that, namely Medical Technician/409 in the 82nd Airborne Division, 307th Airborne Medical Company.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2021 at 1:06pm
Welcome to the forum Glider, suggest that you read the info in the below thread about "buying your first carbine" it contains lots of good info.

Wayne
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GliderInfantry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2021 at 1:11pm
Originally posted by W5USMC W5USMC wrote:

Welcome to the forum Glider, suggest that you read the info in the below thread about "buying your first carbine" it contains lots of good info


Thanks, Wayne!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smokpole Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2021 at 7:04pm
I have a book on the 82nd AB that shows a picture inside a glider of troops on a mission. Some equipment shows a 44 date. One of the glidermen is clearly carrying an M1A1. No question about them having those carbines. If I can locate the picture and reduce it to managable size, I'll try to post it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BER911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 27 2021 at 8:14am
Glider,

Check your Private messages.  I might be able to help you in your quest.
Semper Fi, Bruce
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smokpole Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 29 2021 at 6:09pm
I'll add some information here pertaining to the 194th Glider Infantry Regt. After the Ardennes, the 193rd GIR was disbanded and the men were added to the 194th. That brought the total manpower from 1678 men to 3114. Their allocations went from 6 to 18 81mm mortars, then the 60mm mortars increased to 27, more than 100 bazookas were added and the number of light machine guns was increased from 9 to 36. 
Interesting what a little research can turn up....BTW, light machine guns were the 1919a1 browning with the light weight barrel.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GliderInfantry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2021 at 2:44pm
Thanks, Smokpole!  That's interesting information.  I wish I had known the right questions to ask while he was still alive, but alas, we never know what we don't know.

After he left the 194th, he was transferred back stateside to the 13th Airborne, who according to him, was awaiting orders for a ground invasion of Japan.  While he was home though, they dropped the bombs and he finished out his hitch in the 82nd Airborne.

While I've gotten some strange looks for saying this, the truth is  that I probably wouldn't be alive if not for the atomic bomb.  The reason being, if we had in fact invaded Japan it would have been a bloodbath, and his chances of survival would have been slim.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smokpole Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2021 at 8:58pm
Understood...I'm in the same boat. I was born post war myself.
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