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Proving Ground History of the Carbine

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topsoldier View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 10 2018 at 10:08pm
Years ago......about 1959, I was sent up to Crane Indiana to give a hand on refurbishing NAVY owned M1 Carbines, and basically to learn general weapons maintenance. Was mind boggling..to say the least.
While there, one of the Civilian Employees, who was a manager of some sort , asked my if I wanted coffee... We went into his office to the coffee pot and began chatting. He told me that when the need for a carbine was brought to the attention of the Staff at Aberdeen Proving Ground, he worked there. After all the trials and failures of the many submissions of multiple makers and inventors, the Carbine we all know was accepted. BUT...not many know of all the submissions of the different makers and models - actions and such. I am not sure if this information has ever been published.
After the Carbine was accepted and put into production, the man at Crane, was sent a typed "total" near day by day listing of all the submissions for acceptance in the testing area. The history - typed on separate sheets...stapled with 3 staples...was given to me by this man. and the sheets well browned from the effects of time and aging now. It came from Aberdeen , From the Historical branch, Major William J SLATOR, Ordnance Dept Chief.   30 September 1944
Right on page one - at the top is the word "restricted" !!!
The info for the informative paper was authorized by the Chief - Major Slator and put together by Major G.P. GRANT US ORDNANCE Dept
I am not sure if I can legally copy this paper (office made booklet) 14 pages -- all hand typed. The information in it , I have never seen before.
I was digging through some old TM's I have - looking for my M14 MATCH Book..and ran across this.. I had totally forgotten I had it, not having seen it in over 30 years...
What say you all....???? Should I have it re-typed - and put it on a disc and sell them for all to see..??? Sell it to who ever it is that wrote the Carbine Book.... or what ???
I really am not sure what to do with it ?? Would appreciate your thoughts...
NAVY/ARMY ARMORER - MATCH - SNIPER
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sleeplessnashadow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 11 2018 at 1:32am
TopSoldier

Hi. I'm the researcher who has been building the 3 websites that are part of this effort to share information. I was fortunate enough to also be the photographer for Larry's Ruth's 3rd volume of War Baby!. I'e made no money for any of this as it's my way of giving back to and helping others.

The dilemna with what you have is without seeing the contents we are unable to assess exactly what it is you have and what it covers.

The original submissions for the carbine competition have been well documented in War Baby! volume I by Larry Ruth. Including photos and information obtained from Ordnance at Aberdeen. They're also covered in the booklet "U.S. Special Rifles (Carbines), The development of special rifles in the United States leading to the adoption of the Carbine, Caliber .30, M1" by Tom Laemlein. Ian McCollum over at ForgottenWeapons.com has done a series of articles on the submissions.

I have photos of some of these submissions including Winchester's two prototypes and the carbine designed by David Marshall Williams. The latter 3 are on this website with a page under construction for the Development web page that will include info on the submissions.

30 Sep 1944 being 3 years after the submissions, many of which were retained by the inventors and/or companies that submitted them, seems a bit late but maybe not.

It's always possible it could have more or less information than we already have. Impossible to know until a few of us familiar with them have a look at the document.

While there are researchers who will purchase historical documents as collectibles personally I try to encourage people with original documents to donate them to an archival research library such as the McCracken Library at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, WY. We've been donating publications and more recently a number of carbines to the Cody Firearms Museum to supplement the carbines, documents and history they have that was donated to them by the Winchester Museum.

So there are a number of options open to you. Again, with the dilemna of not knowing what your document contains and if other copies have already been located by other researchers.

If you'd like a professional opinion on the document a couple of here could have a look at it and let you know. With an understanding we don't make copies without your permission. Our interest is seeing the document perserved if it's of historical value. How it's preserved is up to you.

Author Larry Ruth acquired many different items from the archives at Aberdeen, Springfield Armory and other Ordnance facilities.

Feel free to send me a private message if we can be of assistance.

Jim
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote topsoldier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 16 2018 at 2:13pm
Copy was sent to you.. As you can see...it is pretty thorough. From the ARMY Major that was there...first hand .. and done up by him during WW2. Not from archives..but from the "man" himself who ran the tests.
What do you think of it ...?
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NAVY/ARMY ARMORER - MATCH - SNIPER
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sleeplessnashadow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 16 2018 at 3:14pm
Just received it a few moments ago. Need a day to look it over. Will advise

Thank you

Jim
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sleeplessnashadow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 17 2018 at 5:01pm
Gene,

I apologize for not recognizing the title before asking you to send the copy. I'll be returning the copy you sent along with reimbursement for the cost of mailing.

Larry Ruth, author of the War Baby book series on the .30 caliber carbines has a copy of this document. He obtained it while doing research at Aberdeen Proving Grounds back in the 70's or 80's before authoring his first volume. I quoted from it when I authored the first page on this website back in late 2015 ....

Last sentence first section .....

http://www.uscarbinecal30.com/

I've been dealing with so many documents since then I didn't recognize it by the title provided. When I looked at the first page of the copy you sent it finally clicked that I'd seen it before. Did some checking and realized where I'd seen it.

Larry isn't the only one with a copy ....

Online Download
http://www.gunneyg.info/pdfs/M1_carbine_Aberdeen_1944.pdf

EBay
https://www.ebay.com/itm//273006398483

https://www.ebay.com/itm/173094369166

Wish I had better news for you. It would have also been better news for us and other researchers.

Larry's copy came from archive records that were maintained by the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen. In 2008/2009 the Army in a downsize and realignment closed the museum and archives at Aberdeen relocating them to Ft Lee in VA. It appears they didn't fund reopening the museum or archives as it hasn't happened in the years since the move. They set out a couple of armored vehicles on display but nowhere near what the displayed at Aberdeen. I have been unable to get a response from their online contacts/curators. I have 2nd hand info the archives are in storage at Ft Lee and inaccessible to the public.

Again, sorry I didn't catch it sooner.

Jim
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