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Firing Range carbine cleaning & maintenance

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Jamesicus View Drop Down
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    Posted: Feb 24 2020 at 4:59pm
 The following random notes are based on my experiences as a United States Air Force Small Arms Marksmanship Instructor/Technician - and as NCOIC of Base Small Arms Marksmanship Training Units (SAMTU) & Firing Ranges - during the late 1950s and early 1960s when the US Cal. 30 Carbine was used for annual marksmanship training and qualification firing by enlisted personnel.

All of our Firing Range carbines were post-WWII rebuilds.

We had a substantial inventory of carbines - I cannot remember the exact number (it has been so long ago) - but sufficient to allow frequent rotation in order to provide carbines in optimum condition for each day's training and qualification firing. The great majority were M1 models although we did have several M2 (semi-automatic/automatic select fire) models that we used for Security Police/Marksmanship Instructor training and qualification firing.


Firing Range storage rack of twenty M1 Carbines

Our Range Instructor staff (normally consisting of about three NCOs and four Airmen - variable due to overseas assignment rotation) conducted annual Marksmanship training and qualification firing for Base enlisted personnel usually five days per week (morning and aftertnoon relays - Monday through Friday) almost every week of the year.

They were also responsible for Range Carbine inspection and maintenance.

Prior to annual qualification firing, airmen were routed to the range classroom where a refresher course in safe handling of the carbine, firing range pocedures and principles of marksmanship (position, sight alignment, trigger squeeze and breath control) was provided.

FIRING RANGE CARBINE USAGE

Our carbines were in constant hard use but they were maintained in excellent condition.


CLEANING, LUBRICATION, PROTECTION & INSPECTION

After annual qualification firing, relays were routed to the range classroom where each individual was required to disassemble (field strip), clean, lubricate and re-assemble the carbines they had just fired IAW the provisions of FM 23-7/AFM 50-4, January 1952 and under the supervision of Small Arms Marksmanship Instructors.

Operations

Disassembly - into major groups: Barrel and Receiver, Trigger Housing, Operating Slide, Bolt, Stock and Handguard.

Cleaning & Lubrication - all metal parts (including bore) were cleaned and lubricated using cleaner, rifle bore and oil, lubricating, preservative, special..

Assembly - groups were re-assembled in reverse order and carbine exterior wiped down using soft dry rags.

Stock and handguard maintenance - Oil, linseed, raw was applied to wood as determined by Small Arms Marksmanship Instructors.

Inspection - for correct assembly & function by Small Arms Marksmanship Instructors and for identification of worn or damaged parts requiring replacement by the range staff. We regularly perfomed Field Maintenance IAW TM 9-1276/TO 39-A-5AD-2 on our M1 and M2 Carbines. We maintained an inventory of up-to-date parts and assemblies which we used to replace worn or broken existing ones as needed. Those identified in the TM as requiring Depot replacement such as receivers, barrels, front sights, etc. were shipped to designated facilities.



Edited by Jamesicus - Feb 24 2020 at 9:43pm
I like WWII era carbines that look as though they might have seen use in combat - with stock dings & stains and maybe with some field maintenance replacement parts - James
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Donnie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donnie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 24 2020 at 8:04pm
That is a very interesting report. It's great to hear from someone with your  direct experience and history. Thank you for sharing your recollections.
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New2brass View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 25 2020 at 10:01am
Nice M4 small arms storage rack! 

According to Bill Ricca development probably began in 1943.

What I find interesting is that the rack accommodates the bayonet lug. Coincidence or was it something actually produced later?

From what I understand there is a version with a steel top as opposed to wood, but I have never seen one.
What I have seen is the dividers on the bottom can be wood or steel.

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jackp1028 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 25 2020 at 2:51pm
I have one with a steel top and wood dividers in the base. I'm told it is the early version. It has been repainted many times and at one point there were rack numbers stenciled on the top. I can see the shadows. Unfortunately scoped carbines will not fit and the fingers that go into the mag wells are rubbing so I have to be careful with it. Also the steel top will make "bayonet lug' type scratches on your barrels



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Jamesicus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jamesicus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 25 2020 at 4:39pm
Originally posted by New2brass New2brass wrote:

Nice M4 small arms storage rack! …………… ConfusedConfusedWhat I find interesting is that the rack accommodates the bayonet lug. Coincidence or was it something actually produced later? ……………
Sorry, I do not know the answer to that.
I like WWII era carbines that look as though they might have seen use in combat - with stock dings & stains and maybe with some field maintenance replacement parts - James
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Jamesicus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jamesicus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 25 2020 at 4:41pm
very nice, Jackp1028.
I like WWII era carbines that look as though they might have seen use in combat - with stock dings & stains and maybe with some field maintenance replacement parts - James
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