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Proposed M2 Carbine Production Schedule

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Dan Pinto, Photo Editor

Joined: Nov 29 2015
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    Posted: Apr 05 2019 at 8:07pm
2019-K
M2 Carbine Production Schedule





July 1945 the Army Service Forces, Office Chief of Ordnance sent out a booklet on Pacific Area Materiel, It included a booklet to aid in the selection of weapons. Within that booklet was an information page on the M2 Carbine.



“In order to meet the requirement for increased firepower in the carbine, a redesign of the carbine was made to permit selective semi- and full-automatic fire by the means of a change lever. This increase in firepower was accomplished by modifying the M1 Carbine to include seven new additional manufacturing components; two new components to replace the old, and five modified components. The principle of operation in semi-automatic fire is the same as that of the M1 Carbine, Full automatic fire is accomplished by a sear trip actuated by the movement of the sear trip lever cammed downward during the free travel of the operating slide after the bolt is closed.”

“A new thirty round, curved, box magazine, double row type, has been developed which operates satisfactorily in the M1 or M2 Carbine. This magazine is loaded and used as the standard magazine.”




As you can see from the above picture one of the white arrows point to the selector switch.

Though the passage mentions the new and modified parts it does not specifically mention the new magazine catch which the second arrow is pointing to.



Interesting is the large Procurement Schedule, in the second half of 1945 production of well over 100,000 carbines a month. It projects through the end of 1946 with a production of 1,050,000 M2 carbines in 1946.

It is believed the push for these M2 carbines would be for Operation Downfall, an Allied plan for the invasion of Japan. The operation had two separate parts, Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet. This was to begin in November 1945 and spring 1946 with a projected timeline into 1947.

From production numbers of Inland and Winchester, it seems that they could handle it, but would be pushing production to do so.

The Ordnance Department canceled the other 7 prime contractors contracts in early 1944, yet they were planning on having Springfield Armory to start producing the carbine. This had always seemed odd, however, this information now seems to justify it.

Looking at the cover letter accepted date stamp, it is the day after Hiroshima had the first of two atomic bombs that were dropped on Japan. August 9th the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended with the armistice of 14 August 1945 (V-J Day) and the formal surrender of Japan on September 2nd, 1945



With Japans surrender all of this was OBE (Overcome By Events), things changed so rapidly that the proposed production schedule was no longer relevant.

Winchester made its last deliveries of M2 carbines in August and the Inland production numbers are an unknown to the club for June, July August 1945.

Special thanks go out to Don Hillhouse for finding and sharing this information.

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