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“Lipstick” Oiler and Other Carbine Tools

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jackp1028 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Mar 16 2019 at 2:26pm
2019-G

Lipstick” Oiler and Other Carbine Tools

By Jack Pickle



"A tiny, Ingenious can about the size of a lipstick, is the only maintenance equipment needed by U.S. Troops going into battle with the army's new lightweight, semi-automatic carbine” 

Published across the country circa May to August 1944


Though the article says the “Lipstick” oiler is the only maintenance equipment needed for the carbine we know that two other tools inherent to the carbine are required by the soldier for first echelon maintenance of the carbine.


The carbine oiler was a concept that was first described in Winchester’s patent number 2,335,357 pictured below

The patent described the attachment of a rifle sling using the oiler as an anchor. The oiler itself was not necessarily patentable since it’s concept is somewhat obvious to those familiar to the “state of the art”, a standard for whether something is worthy of a patent. However, the sling attachment concept was deemed novel and therefore patented. The oiler was an integral part of every carbine issued.



Although the enlarged oiler cap shown in the patent drawing may have been the inspiration for the “I” shaped cut out in Type 1 stocks, no such oiler has been found to exist other than a prototype. The slot evolved to the oval shape of later type stocks.

Another interesting bit of news in this article was the mention of sperm oil being used in conjunction with the oiler. This may have been unique to Winchester at the time and was short lived because all official USGI maintenance documentation describes the use of a mineral oil rather than sperm oil.

According to TM 1276, a “Preservative Lubricating Oil (Medium)” is to be used for conditions above freezing and a “Preservative Lubricating Oil (Special)” is to be used for conditions below freezing. It refers to TM 9-850 (Abrasive, cleaning preserving, sealing, and adhesive, etc.) for specifics of the lubrication.

TM 9-850 describes these oils as a “...highly refined, light, very low pour point mineral oil containing a rust-inhibiting additive...”. No mention of sperm oil. There was no mention of any lubricant in the TM lubricant bible that was based on sperm


Here’s a link to TM 9-850:


https://archive.org/details/TM9-850/page/n15


Perhaps the following explains why sperm oil was never officially specified in the TM’s.

Excessive whale hunting due to lack of regulation led to low prices for whale products, as well as a significant decline in the international whale population. Some species with severe population losses. These factors led whaling companies to recognize the need for regulation.

In 1946, 14 nations signed the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. This convention established the International Whaling Commission, which was seen as a major precedent for international regulation of natural resources because it gave economics and conservation equal weight.

Countries which relied heavily on whaling as part of their economic foundation such as Norway, Iceland, and Greenland, proved difficult to negotiate with in regard to scaling back on whale hunting, but by the 1960s so many species were endangered that a long negotiation process resulted in an international moratorium on whaling by the IWC in 1986. [www.leaf.tv by Shelly Moore]



The rest of the story:

The two other tools required by the individual soldier for carbine maintenance are barely mentioned in the last paragraph of an article in the Hartford Courant September 4, 1943


Winchester Makes New Army Carbine

The carbine part is the recoil spring guide which can be used to remove hammer and trigger pins and also the hammer spring guide.

The other is the rim of the carbine cartridge which conveniently fits the oddly shaped head of the barrel band screw allowing the soldier to field strip the carbine without needing a screwdriver.


Interestingly, not everyone was aware of this. In the following account by C.B. Johnson in his book, “A Wolfhound Story, Korea 1950- 1951” he describes his first combat encounter with the North Koreans.






Perhaps being an occupation force soldier in Japan after WW2, Corporal Johnson was not specifically trained in the care and maintenance of the M1 carbine before being rushed into combat. At that time in our country’s history, the armed forces were being drawn down, not expecting to have to fight another major conflict until North Korea invaded South Korea across the 38th parallel in June of 1950.

That experience left a sour taste in Corporal Johnson’s mouth regarding the M1 carbine. During this initial encounter with the North Koreans, Corporal Johnson picked up an M1 Garand and carried it instead of the carbine until he was later wounded and sent to an aid station. There the practice was to disarm the wounded patients and later rearm them if they were returned to combat duty. Since Corporal Johnson was part of a mortar squad, they issued him another carbine, much to his disappointment.

Retired Sergeant First Class C. B. Johnson, now deceased, was my father-in-law. When I described to him the use of the carbine cartridge as a “screwdriver”, his response was at first laughter, then later, tears. He had never known why that barrel band screw head had such a funny shape.

Thanks to Dan Pinto for his encouragement and assistance in preparing this article.



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JackP
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m1a1fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2019 at 12:47pm
Jackp, excellent article!

Never really thought about an oiler other than whether a carbine had one or not, until now. Even something as "simple" as an oiler had engineering and documentation like TM's behind it.

Thanks! (and Dan too)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2019 at 12:53pm
It turns out that the "Lipstick Oiler" was also used on the M3 and M3A1 submachine gun. The earlier M3 had a clip on the left side of the receiver that could hold the standard M1 Carbine oiler.





The later M3A1 variation of the submachine gun had the clip removed and the oiler was incorporated in the grip. This necessitated the redesign of the cap to fit into the grip. This new oiler design came about in December of 1944 so it was never considered for use on the carbine and was not the source of inspiration for the "I" shaped oiler slot.

By the way, the oiler stylus could also be used as a drift punch for removing pins on both the M1 carbine and M2/M3A1 submachine gun.





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sling00 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2019 at 3:43pm
The oilers pictured above appear to be those made for the M2 Hyde-Inland sub machine gun. Developed and limited manufacture during 1942-1943 and cancelled after adoption of the M3 "Grease Gun" in 1943.  They are similar in size to the M1 carbine except for the oversized cap. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2019 at 3:59pm
@sling00. Thanks for the correction. After further research I learned that the M3A1 oiler is actually a little bottle captured with a jam nut inside the grip. It looks like the cap and stylus are totally different than either the M1 carbine or the M2 Hyde caps. I refer to your earlier post.

http://www.uscarbinecal30.com/forum/very-early-i-cut-oiler_topic2819.html



   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2019 at 6:19pm
Great article, JackP! Very interesting, and I will say that I am not putting any sperm oil on any of my Carbines!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2019 at 6:55pm
@Wayne, did you know there's a big difference between sperm oil and whale oil. Sperm oil was extracted from the spermaceti organ of the sperm whale whereas whale oil was just boiled down blubber. Betcha didn't know that!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2019 at 7:23pm
JackP, No actually I did not know that and I am not really sure that I will ever use this new found information ever again in my Life.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2019 at 8:32pm
look up sperm oil
 The spermaceti was in the head.
Its properties would have been beneficial In cold temps.
It was used in as a steam oil, lubricant in steam engines.
Also good for machinery.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donnie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 14 2019 at 2:04pm
Mr Pickle, thank you for such fun and informative article on that curious little component. Nice work! Clap
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