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FEATURED CARBINE: NATIONAL POSTAL METER 1457503

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    Posted: Nov 23 2018 at 5:38pm

 2019-A

National Postal Meter M1 Carbine – 1457503

National Postal Meter made carbines from February 1943 through July 1944. It was made in March of 1943 as part of early first block production. It is from NPM's first block of production and is an excellent example with double bevel housing, early trigger housing pin and type 2 extractor. During production, manufacturers made changes by applying lessons learned during the war. The following carbine is an early example showing some of these changes. It was acquired in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, no other information is known about it. As a reminder to collectors when acquiring original carbines, it never hurts to ask about its history. While we don’t buy stories, we do buy carbines and any information we can learn about them can be preserved and passed on to the next owner. It’s not always possible, but it never hurts to ask.



Receiver

The receiver shows small font serial numbers, common on early National Postal Meter carbines. The National Postal Meter font is lightly stamped.



The receiver ring shows a single period after the “L” in Cal and a serif 1. Looking down on the receiver, note the double proof marks instead of one (1).



Early receivers had a single takedown notch (1). The mill cut is square (2). Early Slide (3). 22 coil hammer spring (4).



Early receivers had a type 1 lug commonly called the takedown pin notch (1). The shape of the lug is option 1 in the club’s datasheet. The lug’s shape had a purpose. This notch helps in reassembly, as it provides clearance/space for the little bent end of the wire spring (2), as one mates the trigger housing to the receiver. Unless it's completely removed, the type 1 trigger housing pin normally stays with the trigger housing (3). Often this pin, made of spring-steel wire is missing or has been replaced. Later, this pin was dropped. A view of the receiver is shown where it meets the recoil plate. Note the wear marks from the recoil plate (4).




Numbers have been observed on the bottom of the receiver trigger housing lug and occasionally inside. They are probably drawing revision numbers. More information on these numbers can be found in CCNL 125-2. The feed ramp is shown polished. When inspecting a carbine, look in this area to see if the feed ramp is polished. If it is not, it could be a sign of refinishing. Also note the barrel’s long skirt.



Rear Sight

The rear sight is marked RN as is the leaf. The leaf was made by Redfield Gun Sight Co. of Denver Colorado (War Baby doesn’t say if the sight assembly was also made by Redfield). Note the off-center circular stake marks on the sight pin, and the chisel-type stake marks on the left side of the dovetail slot.




Stock

The earliest NPM I cut stocks had a crossed cannons cartouche and the NPM over FJA in a box stamp located above the trigger. They were sometimes called the “move up” stock (See CCNL 104-7 and 275-3). These stocks typically had an L A, OI and ordnance bomb in the sling well showing early lateral support from Inland. This stock shows the NPM markings after they were moved into their normal location, on the right side of the stock about halfway from the oiler cutout.







Stock Markings

Early on in NPM’s production, the NPM over FJA in a box cartouche was stamped on the right stock of the stock under the rear sight. Later, it was moved into its later position, mid way on the right side of the stock. The sling well is stamped TRIMBLE over TN made by Trimble Nurseryland Furniture Co. of Rochester, N.Y. The nose of the stock has only one set of crush marks from a T1 band.



Handguard

CCNL 126 describes four examples of very early NPM carbines with 2 rivet, deep groove, OI and flaming bomb marked handguards showing lateral support from Inland. NPM 2 rivet, deep groove handguards were marked TN. One would expect this handguard to be TN marked, but no marking was found. Later in NPM's production, they switched to the shallow groove TN marked handguard.





Side view of type 1 band marks (1). Note their location when checking a stock for originality. Each band type will leave distinctive marks on the stock and in the case of type 3 bands on the barrel. These marks might be hard to spot if attempt have been made to remove them. Approximate locations of the marks left by each band are shown below (2, 3 and 4). The sling and swivel are shown. The swivel is marked UN and made by Union Switch and Signal of Swissvale, Pa. On later NPM carbine swivels, the serif was dropped UN. NPM slings were marked S-N, but the sling on this carbine is unmarked.




The type 2 recoil plate is marked LN and made by Lyman Gun Sight Corp. The escutcheon nut holding the type 1 recoil plate screw is shown from the underside of the stock. The butt plate is the square type.



Trigger Housing

The trigger housing is the earliest production type, called a double bevel.



The trigger housing is marked N on the right side and 7 on the right side. On later NPM trigger housings, both the letter and the number were moved to the same side. As expected, the trigger housing has a single strike mark for a dog leg hammer (1). Remember, early hammers leave marks in a different place on the housing rail than do later straight hammer. If you are able to inspect the housing or evaluating pictures, looks for these marks.


  
There is a bevel on the front of the trigger housing (1 and 2) and on the rear section including the lug (3). Later, these bevels were dropped.



The blued, type 2 dog leg hammer is marked HN. The hammer spring is 22 coils and the plunger is blued.



The type 2 safety is marked IN (IBM – Electric Writing Machine Division of Rochester New York) and the type 3 magazine catch is marked MN (Mattatuck Mfg. Co of Waterbury Connecticut).



The trigger is marked S with no other discernible marking. It is probably an SN marked trigger made by Silver-Creek Precision Corp. of Silver Creek, N.Y. The no-hole LN marked sear is blued and made by Lyman Gun Sight Corp. of Middlefield Connecticut. The small parts are a mix of blued and parkerized. The trigger spring is a type 3 due to the bends at the end of the spring (1). This feature has only been reported on NPM carbines.



Barrel

The Underwood barrel is dated 11-42. The type 1 barrel band is unmarked with 3 weld scars. The front sight shape is ridged (option 1 on the datasheet) and is marked NN for Neidner Rifle Corp. of Dowagiac, Michigan. The second N (1) is stamped to the left of the center N. It is also a different size and font denoting use by National Postal Meter. Underwood used at least three different barrel proof mark stamp types. This particular P mark was used in 1942 up to approximately May 1943. While not definitive, a guide to barrel proof marks can be found in CCNL 384.




Slide

The slide is an E169 marked N9 with an early slide stop.



Bolt

The flat bolt is blued and made by National Postal Meter. The right lug is rounded and marked with an N. Interestingly, the left lug is marked with a sideways 8. Early NPM bolts had the letter on one side of the bolt and the number on the other. Later, both the letter and number were marked on the right lug vertically. The firing pin is a type 1 marked WN made by the Worcester Taper Pin Co. or Worcester, Mass. The extractor is a seldom seen type 2 marked IN made by International Business Machine Corporation’s Electric Writing Machine Division of Rochester, N.Y. The type 1 “V” notch extractor with cone-type plunger was a poor design and occasionally resulted in the extractor, plunger and spring (and subsequently, the ejector also) being flung from the bolt during firing. In February 1943, the Ordnance Department announced a design change to both parts milling a "flat surface" into the v-notch of the extractor and also onto the cone of the plunger, with these two flat surfaces locking the parts into the bolt more securely. The stem of the plunger was also shortened to reduce problems of breakage. Type 1 extractors in inventory of the carbine manufacturers were thus modified and called type 2 or "transition extractors". In approximately March 1943, the inventory of type 2 extractors was exhausted and new production type 3 extractors and plungers with "flat surfaces" incorporated solved the problem of bolts occasionally flying apart. For more detailed information, see CCNL 116.






DataSheet



The purpose of this article was not only to show members and original carbine, but also how parts transitioned during the war. The Carbine Collector's Club encourages all members to fill out datasheets and submit them to the club.


TS

The Carbine Collectors Club Copyright© 2019 www.USCarbineCal30.com

This article and/or it's images are the property of the author. They're not to be copied without prior written permission (Title 17, Chapter 5, Section 501(a) U.S. Code)




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 14 2019 at 10:20am
Extremely informative article and an absolutely beautiful NPM! Like seeing the type I trigger housing pin, don't see too many of them, at least I don't.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wmmwraghd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 14 2019 at 11:57am
That is a wow carbine. Thank you for sharing.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rcycles45 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 14 2019 at 12:17pm
Article is nicely done , good break down of parts and pictures are perfect very informative . Love these early carbines .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GotSnlB28 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 14 2019 at 9:23pm
Great article I really enjoyed it. Haven't seen an NN front sight like that before with the other N off to the left, presumably hand stamped. Was the left N stamped in by NPM when the rifle was built, or by Neidner prior to delivery?
I've got one somewhere in my parts bin, where the NN is in line with the blade, that would have been machine stamped by Neidner I'm sure.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m1a1fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2019 at 9:15am
Good question. I would think Neidner sent the sights to NPM and they added their own N. If that is true then why not just produce them with the extra N at the factory?

Not sure though as that would be a Dan question.

@GotSnlB28 - If you locate your example, could you post a picture of 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 15 2019 at 8:03pm
Beautiful NPM.  Thanks for sharing it with us!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Why Carbines? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2019 at 9:18pm
I've see a few NN front sights, but not like this one. It's like it was an afterthought, like oh, yeah I almost forgot that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m1a1fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 17 2019 at 10:51pm
The other N is definitely different. Suppose it could have been a transferred part from another manufacturer like Inland who sent NPM 50 front sights in late 42.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote soylentBlue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 18 2019 at 7:31am
Being from Rochester, NPMs are my favorite.  Thank you for sharing this!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2019 at 4:40pm
 
 
According to CCNL 125, NPM update we see N marked sights at the beginning and then the NN marked sights appear shortly after. This carbine falls into the correct range for a NN sight.
Later we see just N marked sights again until the type 2 SN sights showed up.
 
According to WB Niedner was a supplier to NPM for front sights. It also list Lyman and Super Metal Mfg. Co.
 
There are ordnance correspondence with guidelines that suggest how a part should be marked. Clearly this was not followed.
 
Ultimately ordnance did not want to deal with the subcontractors. The prime contractor was responsible financially for the parts used on the guns they delivered if there was an issue.
See WB pgs 314,315 and WB3 pg 1107
 
Here is a similar sight to the featured carbine above on a 1.9 NPM. I wish this was as nice as the carbine above!
 
 
Note that the ridge where you usually see the N is machined away.
It is possible that NPM added an additional N to comply with Ordnance. It is also possible that there was a setup problem when machining the post which required the N to be stamped again.
Notice how the smaller N appears done with some form of rotary engraver.
 
Unfortunately, I do not have more concise answers as to who or why this was done this way
 
Here we see the NN sideways, some have called this ZZ
 
 
I would argue that this was delivered this way from Niedner.

I am sure everyone is familiar with the typical Niedner N. I guess the question is the variations of Neider sights used by other manufactures.
The change back to N might have been that Niedner sent what they had.

 or consider how International Silver was allowed to just mark oilers IS after a certain point.
 
 


Edited by New2brass - Jun 03 2019 at 12:52pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GotSnlB28 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 09 2019 at 8:15pm
Finally checked my parts stash and found the NN sight. Looks like it was machine stamped.





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m1a1fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 01 2019 at 9:24am
Dan, thanks for the reply. Great conversation about the different front sight stampings. 

@gotsnlb28 - Interesting...Even though the letters are lined up in the picture above, one N looks thinner font wise than the other. Any idea of the S/N or was it loose when acquired?

I'll post some pics of the pin staking in a few. Also have some NPM pics from another member. Will review and ask if it is ok to post.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GotSnlB28 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 01 2019 at 9:31am
Originally posted by m1a1fan m1a1fan wrote:


@gotsnlb28 - Interesting...Even though the letters are lined up in the picture above, one N looks thinner font wise than the other. Any idea of the S/N or was it loose when acquired?



Bought it loose quite a few years ago. At the time I was looking for a "Z" marked sight and it was sold to me with a bunch of gunk obscuring the marking. Once I cleaned it I found what I had, and I haven't seen another one for sale loose since.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donnie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 02 2019 at 8:32pm
Wow, I am impressed! Such a detailed and informative post with excellent photos. You have a beautiful NPM and thank you so much for posting to help educate us new guys.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gbehrman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 03 2019 at 12:06pm
Not to be picky regarding that beautiful carbine, but the front sight N is for Niedner (note spelling).  I don't know about the double NN marking.

I have a picture of the Niedner shop inside and out where these sights were made if I could figure out how to post pictures.  T  Shelhamer VP of the company, said a dump truck backed up to the door and dumped a lot of steel blocks from which the sights were made.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 03 2019 at 12:54pm
Originally posted by gbehrman gbehrman wrote:


I have a picture of the Niedner shop inside and out where these sights were made if I could figure out how to post pictures.  T  Shelhamer VP of the company, said a dump truck backed up to the door and dumped a lot of steel blocks from which the sights were made.

Are these your pictures? I believe you are credited for them.


If you have different pictures contact me and I will put the pictures in your folder so you can post them.
Great stuff!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gbehrman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 03 2019 at 3:12pm
Oh I forgot I sent them.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m1a1fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 03 2019 at 8:15pm
Close up of Featured Carbine front sight pin staking.



1.4 NPM Front sight example 1 (Courtesy of Marcus Rust)



1.4 NPM Front sight example 2 (Courtesy of Marcus Rust)



1.4 NPM Front sight example 3 (Courtesy of Marcus Rust)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nevinator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 21 2019 at 9:57am
A great report on a beautiful Carbine.  Nicely done!
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