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Craig Riesch, 7th Edition Review

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Dan Pinto, Photo Editor

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    Posted: Feb 20 2021 at 12:12am

U.S. M1 Carbines, Wartime Production…by Craig Riesch, 7th Edition

 

 

Some forum members have asked experienced collectors their opinions on Mr. Riesch’s book.  Here is one man’s review of the 7th Edition:

Mr. Riesch’s book is an excellent guide for beginning collectors.  It is well organized, extremely thorough in content, very well written, and has great photographs.

However, the sampling of carbines that Mr. Riesch had available was far too small to justify the sweeping generalizations that he made in his Tables (charts), showing readers what parts types and markings are “correct” for the various serial number ranges of carbines.

Carbines were not assembled in strict serial number order and changes in parts types were not made at defined serial numbers. 

And what I found very disappointing, is that - if Mr. Riesch didn’t know the answer to something, he apparently guessed. His chart on oiler markings is an example of guesswork to fill in what he didn’t know.

Below is a list of corrections to some of the author’s statements that can mislead a beginning collector.  However, digging deep into the Tables of parts and parts types is beyond the scope of this report. 


Page 6.  Figure 6 should read 82nd Airborne, not 81st. 

In regards to M4 bayonets, the South Pacific Base Command documents issuance of 11,637 M4 Bayonets to the 81st Infantry Division (before combat in the Philippines) and 9,642 M4 Bayonets to the 27th Infantry Division (before combat on Okinawa).  See CCNL 368.

A “Life” magazine photo shows a 7th Infantry Division replacement GI on Okinawa with an M4 Bayonet and M8A1 Scabbard affixed to his M1936 suspenders, although he is armed with an M1 Rifle.  (No photographs of carbines with bayonet lugs have been reported from the Okinawa campaign, April-June 1945.)

The M2 Carbine was adopted in Oct 1944, not March 1945.

Field-modified automatic carbines were experimented with, in the European, Mediterranean, and Pacific Theaters as early as June 1944. T4 (or M2) carbines saw combat in the Philippines in February 1945.  6  M2 Carbines were temporarily issued to the 81st Infantry Division before deployment to the Philippines. This was likely done only for familiarization, because a note on the document states “Issued on memorandum receipt and returned to depot stock.” See CCNLs 368 and 377.

M2 Carbines arrived in Europe as early as Jan 1945, but it is unknown if any saw actual combat use.  See CCNL 377.

The earliest known photograph of a carbine with a clear view of a (probable replacement) bayonet lug was at Iwo Jima in May 1945 (after the end of organized Japanese resistance).  See CCNL 377.


Page 13. The work of the Carbine Industry Integration Committee (CIIC) should not be overlooked or minimized.  It coordinated the transfer of over 4 million parts among the carbine manufacturers to overcome delays or shortages and keep production lines operating.  The CIIC played a huge role in the astonishing production quantity of over 6 million carbines in roughly 3 years. 

Larry Ruth’s “War Baby” book lists the parts and quantities that the CIIC transferred among the carbine manufacturers. Collectors can see for themselves what seemingly “incorrect” parts are likely factory-original in their carbines. 

The CIIC lists in “War Baby” are only those that Larry Ruth found at the National Archives.  There are no-doubt other transfers of parts whose records have been destroyed, lost, or misfiled.  And these lists do not reflect the parts that were transferred between manufacturers via a phone call or telegram, bypassing the time-delay and bureaucracy of the CIIC.  The carbine manufacturers helped each other out to alleviate shortages.

Page 16. “Spring well” is on right side of receiver, not left side.

Page 25.  Early Inland receivers were blue/black in color, owing to the Dulite brand protective oxide finish that was applied. 

Page 29.  There were no Saginaw Steering Gear carbines produced in the 6 million range.  SG stopped production in the 5.8 million range.

This is what I was referring to earlier in this report, when I wrote that the Tables are only rough approximations, based on a limited number of observed carbines.  Use the Tables as a guide, but nothing more than that.

Page 41. The Type One extractor plunger had a long stem that was shortened when the modification was made to the cone (Type Two).  Shortening the stem was done to eliminate breakage problems, as reported in a memo by the Chief of Ordnance on March 5, 1943.  See CCNL 116.

Page 48.  The flat muzzle crown has been observed on factory-original early IBM barrels.

Page 58.  M4 bayonet, not M8 bayonet.  M8 was the scabbard. (corrected to read M4 in 8th edition)

Page 67.  The Type 3 Operating Slide Stop used a slightly longer spring than the Type 2.

Page 110.  RSG stocks were manufactured by the Robert Irwin Company of Grand Rapids for both Saginaw Steering Gear plants (SG and S’G’).  Not Rock-Ola.

Page 111.  The coarse diamond pattern Inland butt plate was a secondary minor subcontractor, and those butt plates were used occasionally until early 1944.

Page 119. Inland chose to continue use of the circled P on the bottom of the grip until about 12-43.

Page 121.  Quality Hardware used a large crossed-cannon stamp (very similar to Inland’s) until mid-1943.

Page 125. Same error as page 119.  Inland used the circled P proof mark until about 12-43. 

Page 144. The sling buckles that have the rounded profile were made by a subcontractor for Schlegel Manufacturing, and were used sporadically throughout carbine production.  Schlegel supplied slings to NPM, STD PRO, and IBM, and also directly to Ordnance as spares (marked S.M. Co. with year date).  The various sling manufacturers purchased their hardware from a variety of subcontractors, so the presence of the rounded buckle has no significance. (Research by Bill Ricca). (page 139 of 8th edition)

Page 145.  The F-S Co. 1943 sling is a fake and has been around for decades.  Think of it as the “Fake Sling Company.” (page 140 of 8th edition)

Page 148.  Oilers were indeed blued from the start of production until sometime in 1943.  (page 143 of 8th edition)

The oiler chart is a mess. There is no evidence that SW or BW oilers were for Winchester.  BW oilers don’t even exist.  Winchester’s only documented oiler subcontractor was International Silver.   Winchester’s oilers were marked IW until approximately Spring 1943, then the generic IS. (pg 142, 143 in 8th edition remove the BW)

There is absolutely no evidence that ISP oilers were for Standard Products. In fact, there is strong circumstantial evidence that ISP was for Irwin-Pedersen.  Talented researcher Brian Quick made the best argument for this in CCNL 347.

BK oilers (Blake Manufacturing) were indeed WWII production in a direct contract to Ordnance in 1943-1944, as carbine spare parts and/or use with the M3 “Grease” Gun.  That weapon used the carbine sling and oiler.  (See CCNL 333, Bill Ricca)

SW oilers: Stanley Works is the likely manufacturer, but documentation is lacking.  They made mags and butt plates for IBM, and SW-marked mags on a direct contract to the Ordnance Department, but there is no evidence that they made oilers for Winchester.  Like the BK oilers, they are most likely spare parts for the carbine and/or the M3 “Grease” Gun. (Bill Ricca)

Page 168.  The author recommends that the gas piston be disassembled “periodically to remove carbon from the piston face.”  This experienced collector warns that this is neither necessary nor desirable.  A sure way to ruin a barrel is by attempting to “break” the staking of the gas piston nut.  In 45 years of shooting carbines, I’ve never had a fouled gas piston.  (page 180 of 8th edition)


Summary: This report is not a “take down” of Mr. Riesch’s book.  Although it has many errors, it has far more good information than incorrect information.  I have always recommended this book to beginning collectors - with caution as to the errors - and will continue to do so. 


This book packs a ton of information into 200 easily readable pages, and skillfully “flattens the learning curve” for beginners who are eager to learn all they can about the production history of the M1 Carbine and its many accessories. 

For the money, this is the best book for a beginning collector.  Just be careful with the Tables (charts.)  They are very rough approximations based on a limited number of carbines observed.

Again, carbines were not assembled in strict serial number order and changes in parts types were not made at defined serial numbers. 


 

I invite experienced collectors to offer their comments.  Hopefully, I didn’t commit any errors of my own in this report!

 

                                                                            Good collecting,                       

                                                                                                                Marty Black       


  Edited by W5USMC to add 8th edition pages 

Transposing errors corrected, additional information added      


Edited by New2brass - Feb 21 2021 at 11:09am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sling00 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 20 2021 at 8:01am
Thanks to W5USMC for editing to address the 8th edition.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbinekid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 20 2021 at 11:38am
thanks for the review. Very detailed and concise.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ranzuly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 20 2021 at 12:45pm
Thank You for very balanced, thorough and fair review !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 20 2021 at 2:06pm
Great article Marty!

I hope this encourages others to provide input on other "Mark-Ups" to their copy of Riesch's book. Here are a couple more:

page 59 Symbol that appears to be "PI" in a pennant is actually a stylized logo for American Swiss.

page 59 Add "JQM" as another Type 3 barrel band marking for post war rebuild.

page 68 Operating slide spring was actually specified as 10.28" per Dept. of Army drawings (yeah, I know this is a small difference).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 20 2021 at 3:33pm
Agree great article, here's my 2 cents. 

page 89. BR hammers listed as Rock-ola, CCNL 372-12 article by BQ offers evidence that these are replacement hammers made by Bruner/Ritter

page 160. says Springfield Armory (SA) is one of the manufacturers of the M1 recoil check, Springfield Armory Developed the recoil check but it is not believed they ever manufactured any. He also leaves out National Tool and Die (NLD) as one of the manufacturers. ref CCNL 155-5 article by Marty Black (page 156 of 8th Edition)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote welbytwo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 20 2021 at 4:23pm
Riesch is the best beginning collector book by far for just gun itself, Ruth's books are must have for history of the carbines, Harrison's book today is useless and while Larson's book has great layouts of the carbine itself but lacks detailed colored up close photos of the real nitty gritty. Some day someone will do a book that may put it all together showing fake markings and real markings. It would be nice but it would be thick. Rare is it the cheapest book is the best book but if only one book that is the Riesch book to have.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smokpole Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 20 2021 at 4:40pm
Harrison's book is not useless. It works perfectly well for leveling a table with a short leg!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 20 2021 at 7:32pm
Interesting having Harrison and Larson compared.
If you have Larson, read his last contributor to his project,  Mrs. Alice Harrison with a thank you for letting him "Update" and use final portions of Harrison's book.

If you have the newsletters look up the book review.

There may also be some review on the books page.

Nuff said on that, as it is not the topic of this post.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 20 2021 at 10:40pm
Page 165 of both 7th & 8th edition, Table 6-1 M3 Trench Knives and M4 Bayonet Manufacturers.
Lists American Cutlery Company as a manufacturer for the M4 Bayonet. 
American Cutlery Company did not manufacture the M4 bayonet. 
Per Gary Cunningham's Bayonet Points #17
"There are two different markings used by Aerial. The one shown in this photo is the first style, and for some time was the subject of some speculation. During World War One, bolo knives made by the American Cutlery Company of Chicago were marked ACC. In some sources the M3 knives and M4 bayonets so marked were identified as being made by American Cutlery, and it was not until fairly recent years that it was determined that this was in fact an alternate marking used by Aerial Cutlery."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smokpole Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 21 2021 at 10:58am
I used to have a blade marked M3 from Aerial. The full name was stamped on the blade.
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