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M1 Carbine envy ....

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carbinecanuck View Drop Down
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    Posted: Nov 11 2017 at 10:35pm
As I find the history and stories behind M1 carbines just as interesting as I find collecting them, I have wondered if there is any knowledge of soldiers, particularly during WWII, discussing the pros/cons of having an M1 carbine made by one contractor over another?

I can't help but imagine there being some conversations away from the front line involving one fella claiming his Rock-Ola was superior to his buddies QHMC, or something to that effect. Would the GI's have had any knowledge about which contractors built the most/least carbines.  And the somewhat varying degrees of quality between each? 

Or was a carbine a carbine, and it didn't matter what you ended up with as long as it went bang when you pulled the trigger.

May just be a silly thought, but wanted to ask all the same.
Courage is fear holding on a minute longer. - GEORGE S. PATTON
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Charles View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 12 2017 at 8:59am
Food for thought. I don't think the GI,s where thinking too  much about accuracy back than but it would have been a good time, when the weapons where still new,  to have some target practice with the different brands to compare accuracy.
 It wouldn't be fair today when a lot of them are pretty well shot out. Actually, I wonder if they even knew of the different manufactures.
A good subject for discussion.
Charles
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghostman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 12 2017 at 11:29am
Charles, I have to disagree with you, soldiers thought about accuracy and power of their weapons all the time! Soldiers complained (post combat) that the carbine wouldn't kill the enemy. If you have a weapon that doesn't kill the enemy or knock him down, what good is it? Now remember the only rounds they were issued were FMJs, hollow points were not allowed by the Geneva convention and we played by the rules! With a FMJ, we know the carbine is anemic.
 
We also know that front sights needed to be filed down to hit where one was aiming. Some mfg's did this before it left but most didn't. I'm sure some soldiers, armorers too, did this too if tools were available. Once again what good is a weapon if you can't hit what your aiming at? During WW2, all the carbines were made with flip sights, so contractor's names were easily readable. I'm sure, between soldiers, that they each boasted "my Rockola hits what I'm aiming at every time!" Remember when your Winchester jammed" or "your Underwood couldn't hit that target to get us off the range!" soldiers throughout time have looked at the maker of their weapons, I know I did. M16s by Colt, H&R, M9 by Beretta (sole mfg'r). The .38s I have had issue to me were made by Ruger, Colt and S&W. All .38s performed equally, for a .38 revolver.
 
I'm sure soldiers also said, "Standard Products? Never heard of them!" or "International Business Machines Corp, who are they?" I think the only prominent industrial names the soldiers knew was Winchester and maybe Rockola (from their jukeboxes). If you worked for GM in Detroit, you might have heard or knew of Inland and Saginaw Steering. If you were an office worker, manager or office equipment buyer, IBM Corp Or Underwood were well known! But for the most part, all of the manufacturers of carbines, with the exception of Winchester, were anonymous industrial names! Quality Hardware and Machines, Standard Products, IBM, Rockola, National Poster Meter, Inland, Irwin Pederson, Saginaw Steering Gear, and Underwood- Elliot Fischer.
 
Weapons have to be dependable (go bang every time you pulled the trigger) and innately accurate (hit where it was aimed) every time! Without these qualities, it's no good to the soldier.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 12 2017 at 11:33am
It is a interesting question actually. But multiple manufactures was nothing new.
The 1903 was produced by Springfield Armory and Rock Island Arsenal. But who would question a firearm made by an armory or arsenal. For WW2 Smith Corona, a typewriter company was making them. I am sure some GIs noticed that.
the M1917 Enfield was produced by Winchester, Remington and Eddystone. 
M1 Garand has Springfield Armory, Winchester. Post WW2 add Harrington & Richardson and International Harvester.
Even the M1911 pistol has several manufactures, not well versed in these but will mention US&S and Singer as they both built carbine receivers as well.
 
 As to the Rockola, I do not think the name was popular enough during WW2 for the boys to recognize.
The United States was in a depression pre war. Though Rockola  coin operated coin juke boxes were around many might not have been able to afford such a luxury.  Rockola was known for fine woodworking. I may be off but do not think many flashy jukeboxes by Rockola appeared till after the war.
 
As a mater of fact "rock and roll' music as we know it did not come to the scene till the 50s.
after the war the economy was growing and new exciting colorful products were on the market.
 
Now the boys in Korea and Vietnam surely knew the rockola name, and it you put a happy switch kit on the carbine you really knew how to 'Rock and Roll"
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 12 2017 at 11:42am
Ghostman, Well said with maybe one exception
Originally posted by Ghostman Ghostman wrote:

"International Business Machines Corp, who are they?"
 
During the war intelligence used IBM punch cards and IBM equipment was used for crypography by US Army and Navy organizations.
 
Some of the other manufactures may have been known by some with the exception of QHMC. They produced items for manufacturing and would not have been known unless you were in that business.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m1a1fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 12 2017 at 11:51am
As long as it worked when I needed it, I cound't care less who made my carbine. Maybe I would have been more at ease with a Winch, but it probably wouldn't have mattered to me. Just my guess since I wasn't a GI but had I been I would not have been concerned with the maker since the gov't vetted each manufacturer and they were inspected and accepted before issue.

My only concern had a received an early model would have been to ask:

"Does the wind not blow where we are going?"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghostman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 12 2017 at 11:59am
Dan, check the history of jukeboxes or nickelodeons. There were several popular jukebox styles and manufacturers before WW2. Wurlitzer, Rockola, & Seeburg before the war. They were starting to become popular as the US was coming out of the depression in the late 30s.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghostman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 12 2017 at 12:03pm
Originally posted by New2brass New2brass wrote:

Ghostman, Well said with maybe one exception
Originally posted by Ghostman Ghostman wrote:

"International Business Machines Corp, who are they?"
 
During the war intelligence used IBM punch cards and IBM equipment was used for crypography by US Army and Navy organizations.
 
Some of the other manufactures may have been known by some with the exception of QHMC. They produced items for manufacturing and would not have been known unless you were in that business.
 
 
Yes, IBM did this but it was so Top Secret most of the average joe, users of the carbine, had no idea where or how intelligence was gathered, let alone what machines were used. Arlington hall, Who knows about that? See the US Cryptologic Museum link below.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 12 2017 at 12:40pm
As I went up through the ranks, I had to qualify with three different weapons and I didn't give a damn who made it.
Charles
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1st M1 88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 12 2017 at 2:32pm
Imagine going into battle and noticing your carbine said UN-QUALITY.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghostman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 12 2017 at 3:02pm
you know one of Murphy's laws of combat is:
Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidding contractor Ouch
Michael
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 12 2017 at 8:46pm
Originally posted by Charles Charles wrote:

As I went up through the ranks, I had to qualify with three different weapons and I didn't give a damn who made it.
Agree 100%. And I was happy with every weapon I was ever issued except that damn Beretta!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbinecanuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 13 2017 at 1:22am
This is great Big smile 
Originally posted by 1st M1 88 1st M1 88 wrote:

Imagine going into battle and noticing your carbine said UN-QUALITY.

I have a difficult time believing soldiers would not have noticed what was stamped on the receivers of their carbines.  Particularly, as was mentioned, when they were originally issued with flip sights.

And when you have a bunch of young fellas around, I can see such conversation going in the way some might chat about the make of their cars, trucks and whatnot.  In reality one isn't necessarily that different or operate that much better, but people will still argue that they have a superior model none the less.

If you think about your preference for a certain manufacturer of M1 carbine prior to becoming a serious collector and/or enthusiast, one of the contractor names most likely would have stuck out as more appealing than the others.  Regardless of whether or not you had ever heard the name previously or knew the background to which the name came from.   

Before having any real knowledge or understanding of M1 carbines, I was drawn to certain contractors over others, simply because of the name.  I had no idea which ones had smaller production runs, or what Underwood or Standard products manufactured prior to the war. 

I understand that condition and relative rarity, account for a lot when determining the value of a carbine.  But if you were to compare three carbines, say an IBM, NPM, and QHMC, all of similar vintage, comparable condition, and all having having similar production totals ....which one would be worth more?  I would imagine suddenly preference of name then becomes a factor.  And where does the preference of name come from?  Right down to the owner.  

So it would seem to me that if a simple name can be a factor now, over which carbine a person would favor over another, why not back then as well.  I've never served in the military, but I imagine there must be some lighter times when one gets up to poking fun and having a laugh about something as simple as the subject of who might have put together your carbine. 

Which inevitably leads to ....my S'G' is better than your S.G., any day of the week :)



Courage is fear holding on a minute longer. - GEORGE S. PATTON
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote manteo97 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 13 2017 at 7:19pm
While reading Jim Wilson's book, Retreat, Hell! about the withdrawal from the Chosin Reservoir, I found this passage attributed to a Marine, PFC Winston Keating Scott, dated Nov 28, 1950:

Scott still had his carbine, but now it didn't fire at all.
"There was a failure to fire, a failure to feed, and all the malfunctions that could occur, did occur, " he said. " I remember to this day, what it said on the side: General Motors Inland Division. It was a very damn long time before I ever bought a General Motors car."

Although not quite accurate as to the location of the lettering, it's interesting to note a combatant's impression of one particular maker of the carbine. It is of course well documented about the shortcomings of the M1 carbine in cold weather during the Korean War. Scott later that day got an M1 Garand, and was then wounded by shellfire.
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