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Bolt Tool Development

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New2brass View Drop Down
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Dan Pinto, Photo Editor

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    Posted: Feb 04 2021 at 5:42pm

2021A        

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Bolt Disassembly and Assembly Tool for

Carbine, Cal. .30, M1 & M1A1


        CCNL 118 reported information found in the Record of Army Ordnance Research and Development on the Tool, Bolt, Carbine, T5 which we are all familiar with. Based on a request of Field Service, a project was initiated in December 1944, to develop a carbine bolt tool for Second Echelon (Company Armorer) use.

        Springfield Armory was tasked to make pilot models based on a submitted design. Drawings were made up and a R&D contract was issued for 100 pilot models. These were turned over to the Field Service, Maintenance Division, of the Ordnance Department in June 1945.


Before a suitable bolt tool was adopted, it was the job of the Ordnance Armorer to maintain and repair carbine bolts. As you can imagine this was an exercise in futility with standard tools. Then there was the assembly to contend with.


         So what about the design that had been submitted to Springfield Armory?


         The answer can be found in the “Ordnance Sergeant” publication in April 1944

 





   The Disassembly or Assembly of the Carbine bolt is very difficult as well as hard on the hands, especially if there are many to work on. When the parts are being assembled into the bolt, it is hard to hold the ejector into the bolt and assemble the extractor simultaneously.

            Corporal. Albert T. Pecca, Det. 2061 Ord. Co., Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina sent in a tool he made up, which holds the extractor and the extractor spring into the bolt and also prevents the firing pin from falling out while the extractor is being assembled into the bolt.

            This tool was slightly modified at the Base Shop of the Ordnance School, by putting an angle on the face of the stud which compresses the ejector spring. The reason for making this modification was that some difficulty was encountered in properly lining up the notch in the ejector with the hole for the pin of the extractor.

            With this tool it is possible to assemble a Carbine bolt in a matter of seconds whereas this operation usually requires considerable time.





 


    The bolt assembly tool is held in the left hand. The bolt is inserted into the tool and with the head of the ejector lining up with the stud in the tool. After the ejector has been pushed back into the bolt, the rear of the bolt is pushed down into the tool with the rear of the tool supporting the rear of the bolt.

 






  


      


       The extractor removing tool can be easily made from a screwdriver. The notch is made 1/8” wide and projections are 1/16” inch wide. To remove the extractor, one projection is placed on the extractor plunger, depressing it, and the other is in front of the extractor, forcing it out of the bolt.








Cpl. Albert T. Pecca


   Albert T Pecca worked as a sheet metal worker at the Philadelphia Navy Yard before entering the service just after his 24th birthday.

    At some point after basic training Corporal Pecca went on to Seymour Johnson Airfield, which was the Headquarters, Technical School, Army Air Forces Technical Training Command. It also served as the Provisional Overseas Replacement Training Center, which prepared officers and men for overseas duty.

    While tasked to overhaul a bunch of carbine bolts with broken firing pins he saw that there had to be a better way than using a punch and screwdriver all while holding the bolt.

    In his attempts to streamline the process he came up the idea of the bolt tool. He started with cardboard shims, and then tin. He eventually came up with the design of his bolt tool. Without the tool it would take him about 12 minutes to disassemble each bolt. With his tool he was able to take down a bolt in 12 seconds!

   Corporal Pecca went on to Army Air Force Overseas Replacement Depot Kearns, Utah. He worked as an Armorer and was responsible for repair, care, cleaning, and general maintenance of small arms.

    Impressed by Corporal Pecca’s work ethic and going above and beyond in his duties, his officers recommended that he should work in an Ordnance Armament Company.





 

    Because of the tremendous losses during the Battle of the Bulge, General Eisenhower directed the Army to cull all non-essential rear-echelon GIs, including USAAF soldiers and reassign them as riflemen. 

    Instead of the recommended position in the field of Ordnance, Corporal Pecca was sent for Infantry training and shipped overseas on the 15th of March 1945 and arrived in France 27 March 45.

    Corporal Pecca was assigned to Company G, 397th Infantry in the 100th Infantry Division and went on to Germany. He served as an Assistant Squad Leader of a 12-man rifle squad. Armed with a M1 rifle he helped coordinate actions of his squad; did scouting and patrolling of enemy positions; directed fire if squad in combat.

    Corporal Albert T. Pecca separated from service on the 9th of February 1946 with an Honorable Discharge.

 




 He received the following decorations and citations:

     Presidential Unit Citation

     Good Conduct Medal

     American Campaign Medal 

     European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one battle star 

     World War II Victory Medal

     Combat Infantryman’s Badge

     Carbine Marksmanship Medal

 

 

 

    The club would like to extend our gratitude to Gregory Pecca for sharing his father’s story and his contribution to our beloved Carbine. It is obvious that the bolt tool that Albert Pecca designed was the forerunner of the “Tool, Assembling and Disassembling, Bolt, Carbine” that was adopted in 1945.  It continues to serve collectors today and is probably the most useful tool in every carbine collector’s toolbox.  Well done!

 

 

Further reading: Carbine Bolt Assembly and Disassembly without the bolt tool



The Carbine Collectors Club Copyright© 2021 www.USCarbineCal30.com

This article and/or its images are the property of the author and or the Carbine Collectors Club. They're not to be distributed or for commercial use without prior written permission (Title 17, Chapter 5, Section 501(a) U.S. Code)





Edited by New2brass - Feb 05 2021 at 12:56pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 07 2021 at 10:55am
Great article. I can't imagine the time spent by armorers before this tool was put into use.

Thank you, Mr. Pecca for your contribution to the Club. I know you're proud of your dad.

Edited by jackp1028 - Feb 07 2021 at 11:51am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 07 2021 at 11:49am
Agree, very interesting article and great ingenuity displayed by Cpl Pecca. 
A side note, in the Marine Corps there is what is called the Beneficial Suggestion Program (BENNESUGG) where an individual can submit a suggestion on how to do a task better, faster, safer, cheaper ect.. If the individuals method is approved and actually implemented, he then receives an award which in some cases is monetary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GotSnlB28 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 07 2021 at 2:21pm
Interesting article. Disassembling and reassembling a bolt quickly is something I have taken for granted with the tool. How did the manufacturers originally assemble the bolt? I don't recall reading anything about that process.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 07 2021 at 3:02pm
GotSNLB28, excellent question. It can be found in the TM 9-1276. The TM is listed for Ordnance Personal only. I take this to mean 4th echelon.

Basic answer, a punch!

The original cone plunger would ride over the extractor cut. When forced they would find the parts would wear and helped lead to the extractors flying off when firing.

With the change to the flat cut extractor you would have to use something like a small screwdriver to push the plunger back and another screwdriver to pry the extractor up. Sounds easy, if you have 3 hands.

Another goodie in the June 1943 TM is that they mention the bolt tool is under development.
We have now way of knowing if this was due to Pecca's design.
April 1944 is when Pecca's design is mentioned in the magazine.
December 1944 design goes to Springfield.
June 1945 the 100 are delivered to Ordnance.

Slow are the wheels of progress at times.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GotSnlB28 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 07 2021 at 3:31pm
Thanks Dan! I have the 1953 version of TM 9-1276 and it has the "7313298" bolt tool. I don't have the 1943 version. I had always assumed the tool was around from the beginning - you'd think it would slow production doing it with hand tools. Though I suppose after assembling bolts day in and day out the whole shift you'd get pretty good at it. I'll bet there were a few lost plungers (and cursing)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote floydthecat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 07 2021 at 4:01pm
Would not require a lot of tinkering to modify the existing tool to his design. I have one lying around with the dreaded broken tooth, but that only affects assembly. As opposed to buying another pawl, I just keep a spare tool. 

I have assembled bolts using the “three handed technique”, but it ain’t easy. If one had a bolt tool modified like the one displayed here that held the flying-guts in place, it would be relatively easy to hold the plunger back in the pocket with a thin screwdriver blade to pop-in the extractor. Next time I break a pawl and get caught without a spare...I might have to convert one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hunterman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 09 2021 at 10:29am
I'm curious to know what Mr. Pecca did after his discharge.  Was he in a position to use his mechanical skills?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 10 2021 at 12:43pm
I keep 2 spares and handle the tool very carefully.
I watched one of the club members disassemble and reassemble my bolt without the tool with the greatest of ease. Must have been doing it for a very long time.  
Charles
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 14 2021 at 11:23am
Originally posted by hunterman hunterman wrote:

I'm curious to know what Mr. Pecca did after his discharge.  Was he in a position to use his mechanical skills?



Mr. Pecca as stated worked at the Philadelphia Ship Yard before joining the service. What ended his military career was a bullet wound to his leg/ankle.

After being returning home he went back to the Philadelphia Ship Yard using his mechanical skills, but over the years his leg brace hindered his ability to continue at the shipyard as his condition worsened.

He then took up a job with the Philadelphia School Board where his talents were not utilized.

Interestingly this article was published on the week of the 102 anniversary of his birth. So a wonderful tribute to a man who's tinkering has had an impact that touched all of those who enjoy the carbine.



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