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Inland - Serial # 342 - Restored

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Nevinator View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Nevinator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Inland - Serial # 342 - Restored
    Posted: Jul 30 2020 at 4:18pm


Here's a rather long story regarding the acquisition of this rifle and hopefully one worth reading.  Please bear with me...

I have a son who lives in MD and we were there visiting him in January 2018 after the birth of one of our grandchildren.  I visited a local pawn shop that sells guns looking for a Springfield Trapdoor.  There was nothing to be found and the owner asked me if I was interested in anything else.  I told him that I am always looking for M1 Carbines.  He told me: “you’re in luck, I have an M1A1.”  I immediately told him that was nice, but that was definitely something that was out of my price range (without even asking him the price).  His response was: “You’re not interested?  Even if it has a three digit serial number?”  With that I told him that I at least had to see it.

I looked at the rifle but I wasn’t exactly sure that this was the real deal.  I had heard about a company that was selling new model Inland rifles and thought that this might be one of those.  I took a few photos and posted them on the CMP Forum.  At this point I received a reply from from one of the Forum members telling me that it was the real deal and that if I didn’t buy it, he would.  Well the next thing you know I was back at the store and the owner was taking the shine off of my credit card.  The rest is history.

The rifle (incorrectly) had an authentic M1A1 stock on it with a rebuild cartouche from Augusta Arsenal.  The bolt was a Saginaw round bolt and it had a National Postal Meter trigger housing.  I considered my options in terms of leaving it was vs. restoring it.  After speaking with the forum member (also a Carbine Club member) he offered to sell me some of the needed correct parts and he also put me in touch with other collectors who had some of the parts that I needed.  

The rifle (as purchased) had a 5-42 marked Inland barrel, Inland Receiver - Serial 342, correct gas piston, correct rear flip sight and a thumbnail front sight. 

With the help of CMP Forum and Carbine Club members, the restoration was not that difficult.  The hardest part to locate was the early Inland stock.  I was told that a collector had one that wasn't being used, but when I reached out to him he had already sold it.  I asked the collector to reach out to the the person he sold it to to see if he was interested in selling it.  No luck!  

Over the next two years I posted on the CMP website and in the Carbine Club forums with no luck.  One day, I saw a carbine on Gunbroker that I was interested in buying.  Interestingly, the ad did not have any close up photos of the slingwell of the stock.  I sent a message to the seller and he emailed me some photos.  Lo’ and behold, it was an early Inland stock with the correct markings!  I purchased the rifle as a “Buy Now” item for less money than I would have offered the other person I knew to have one.

The rifle is restored now with the sole exception of the Handguard and a Type 1 Trigger Spring.  I am still looking for an early deep cut handguard with an Ordnance Bomb and an “O” marking.

According tWar Baby by Larry Ruth, this particular rifle is actually the 242nd “production” Inland made - not the 342nd rifle made as one might think based on the serial number!  I have learned that Serial #’s 1-20 were tool room guns, and then other guns up to serial #100 were used for various types if testing.  The serial numbers started at #101 for the military production contract.  Another avid collector who is also a Carbine Club member also told me that the first 100 rifles were retained by Inland as tool room guns and for future testing.  Without a doubt Serial #342 is a very, very early production rifle.

1st Infantry Division Carbines

There is another thread in this forum regarding the M1 Carbines that were shipped to the 1st ID.  That thread can be found here:  http://www.uscarbinecal30.com/forum/1st-infantry-divisions-1st-carbines_topic2560.html

Here is an excerpt of the thread cited above:

"Based at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation in Pennsylvania during the summer of 1942, “The Big Red One” was one of the American units that participated in the first Allied invasion of Europe (in North Africa) in November of that year.  The Division shipped out two weeks after these documents were written. Excerpts are below. Editor’s notes are in parentheses.

10 July 42.  G-3 (Division Operations) notified by G-4 (Division Supply) that 1st Infantry Division has just received 1500 carbines, cal. 30. G-4 stated the Div. might be completely equipped with carbines prior to embarkation.

11 July 42.  Capt. Bennett notified G-4 and DOO (most likely means Division Ordnance Officer) that Lt. Batori, Asst DOO, had asked him to notify them that a message had been received from Capt. Morgan, Washington, D.C. stating that there was going to be a production lag in manufacture of carbines.  800 delivered to us immediately, 1529 will be held up 3 or 4 days, then the full production quota will be given to us.  (In July 1942, these would obviously all be of Inland manufacture and blued/ black oxide with green/gray Parkerized slides.)"

While I have no conclusive evidence in establishing provenance of this rifle having being shipped and assigned to the 1st ID, I do believe that a strong circumstantial case can be made.  Larry Ruth’s War Baby discusses monthly production numbers (pp 361 & 491) and cites 362 rifles having been made in June and 2,642 in July.  War Baby also discusses testing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD in which "Fire to Destruction Tests" were conducted  from June 8th - 13th, 1942 using Inland rifles, serially numbered: 112, 116, 122, 126 and 169 (pp 88-89).   

Since War Baby provides dates surrounding both the monthly production numbers and the Aberdeen tests, we know that only 2,642 rifles were manufactured in the entire month of July 1942.  Given that the 1st Infantry Division's own G-3 Diary reports that 1,500 carbines were received on 10 July 1942, I infer from this data that there couldn't have been many more rifles in excess of 1,500 in existence at the time that the 1st Infantry Division received their rifle shipment on 10 July, 1942.

Of course, I could be wrong, and that is why I say that it's only my opinion that a strong circumstantial case can be made.  However, if this is true, then it would also be likely that this rifle saw action in North Africa in late 1942.

More Photos:   https://photos.app.goo.gl/UTkvouUWEKaNLJHVA




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hunterman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote hunterman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 30 2020 at 4:30pm
Great article and an awesome carbine!  Best wishes on the quest for a hand guard!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote m1a1fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 30 2020 at 6:27pm
Great write up and thanks for sharing. The club appreciates it when members share their carbines. Of all the things for your restoration, I would have thought the handguard would be easier to find. Also good to hear that other carbine collectors helped with the parts acquisition process. Too much fake stuff out there these days. When possible, best to buy from trusted sources.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote 1st M1 88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 30 2020 at 7:33pm
Very nice looking carbine and also the research.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M1carvine4me Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 31 2020 at 5:17pm
very nice
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote welbytwo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 31 2020 at 11:36pm
if you are meaning the non taper sear spring I think I have a extra one
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote welbytwo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 31 2020 at 11:39pm
and is damn nice gun!
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Carl Bine View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carl Bine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 01 2020 at 2:22am
Fabulous. Enjoy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote jangle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 01 2020 at 8:59am
Great job of putting her back together again!  Nice rifle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote OAMAAM68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 02 2020 at 8:43am
Bravo Zulu!! I believe your case for 342 having served in North Africa is very strong.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote painter777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 07 2020 at 2:04pm
If you haven't found one yet,
I see on Ebay a couple listings for Type I Trigger Housing Pins.

Just a FYI if needed.

CH-P777


ETA: My mistake, I now see on your Data sheet that you have the correct pin.
I mixed up the TH pin vs the Early Trigger spring.

Sorry, Nothing here........... Move along Ermm
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