U.S. Carbine Imports & Exports

The U.S. Carbine
Caliber .30

Exports
&
Imports
















"Exports"

During World War II over 130,000 U.S. Carbines were provided to other nations by the American Lend-Lease Program, Office of Strategic Services (OSS), British Special Operations Executive (SOE), and U.S. Forces in-theater.


OSS WWII Training Facility on Catalina Island, California
(photo courtesy of Catalina Island Museum Collections, Curator Pattie Boyd)

Since the end of World War II more than 3 million U.S. Carbines have been provided to more than 50 other nations by the U. S. Office of Military Government (OMGUS) in the American Zone of Occupation, U.S. Department of Defense through their Military Assistance Program, Foreign Military Sales, Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program and by the Central Intelligence Agency.


Japan National "Police Reserve", 1952
(for further information specific to the U.S. Carbines in Japan post WWII
click HERE.

 
Austria Gendarmerie, 1956
(for further information specific to the U.S. Carbines in Austria & Germany post WWII
click HERE.


Scuola Allievi Carabinieri in Benevento, Italy, 1993
(photo courtesy of Matteo)

U.S. Carbines loaned to other nations were supposed to be returned to U.S. inventory when they were no longer needed. Some of the U.S. Carbines that were returned were once again provided to other nations. Nations who purchased U.S. Carbines or received them for free often sold them to other countries and/or civilian gun brokers.

The countries who received U.S. Carbines, when they received them, how many they received
and which U.S. program(s) provided them may be viewed by clicking on the link below.

Nations who received U.S. Carbines


"Imports"

Over the years since World War II many U.S. Carbines have been imported into America and sold by private importers who purchased them from other nations. Private importers have also imported and sold U.S. Carbines in many other nations. In the U.S.A. most of these have been purchased retail by citizens. Some were purchased by police agencies and later sold to citizens, or companies who sold them to citizens. The ability to import the U.S. Carbines for sale to civilians has been impacted at various times by federal legislation and/or the internal policies of the agency charged with clearing imported firearms, the U.S. Department of State.

"Import" Marks

The 1968 Gun Control Act was signed by President Johnson on October 22, 1968 [18 U.S.C. 925(d)]. Amongst it's many provisions was a requirement that all imported firearms henceforth be clearly marked with the name of the company that imported the firearm and the city and state the company was located in. The law did not clarify the use of abbreviations or where the markings should be placed. This was eventually somewhat clarified by the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) which had also been created by the 1968 Gun Control Act. Imported firearms that do not have an importer's marking were imported into the U.S.A. prior to October 1968. U.S. Carbines sold to private U.S. companies by the U.S. Department of Defense, sold by the U.S. Army Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM), or provided by the U.S. Army to the DCM's successor, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), do not have importer markings.

U.S. Carbines having an import mark are generally valued 20-30% less than those absent an import mark. In a few cases the import mark may assist in determining where the carbines were imported from, as a few importers only imported from a particular country as a one time event.

Where to Look for an Import Mark & What it Looks Like

The majority of importers placed the markings on the barrel forward of the stock. However, import marks have been found on the barrel under the stock/handguard or somewhere on the receiver. They may be anywhere on the barrel or anywhere on the receiver. There has been no standard location or orientation.

The name of the importer may be the full name, an abbreviation, or initials. The city may be spelled out completed or abbreviated. The state is usually it's initials.

Various methods have been used to place the markings on the carbine and include hand engraved, machine engraved, or stamped with a die. Stamped information may have been stamped by hand or machine, individual letters at a time or as a group.


Alphabetical list of importers who are known to have imported U.S. Carbines and their known markings. This information is for the U.S. Carbines only and should not be considered complete.

(Note: If you have additional or better quality photographs than what's depicted below and wouldn't mind sharing them, please contact me. Thank you.)


Arlington Ordnance
Arlington, VA

Successor to Blue Sky Imports, most U.S. Carbines imported from South Korea late 1980's to early 1990's

ARL ORD ARLINGTON VA

bottom of barrel between stock and front sight

ARL ORD ARLINGTON VA

bottom of barrel between stock and front sight

usually only top or bottom of letters and illegible

ARL. ORD. ARLINGTON, VA

bottom of barrel between stock and front sight

ARL. ORD. ARLINGTON, VA

bottom of barrel near front sight

Download the Arlington Ordnance Manual


Armex International
Broderick, CA


unknown markings

bottom of barrel between stock and front sight


Shotgun News, September 1, 1983


Blue Sky Productions
Arlington, VA

BLUE SKY / ARLINGTON, VA.

left side of barrel between stock and front sight

Imported from South Korea mid 1980's, predecessor to Arlington Ordnance

Download the Blue Sky Manual


Century Arms Inc.
St. Albans, VT & Georgia, VT

CENTURY ARMS INC.
ST. ALBANS VT.

left side of receiver below receiver ring

Imported mid 1970's from West Germany

CENTURY ARMS INC
ST ALBANS. VT

bottom of barrel between stock and front sight

Imported mid 1970's from West Germany

CENTURY ARMS INC     ST. ALBANS, VT

left side of barrel between stock and front sight

C.A.I. GEORGIA VT.

right side of barrel between stock and front sight

Century Arms has beeen a major importer of U.S. Carbines from many different countries since the 1960's


Davidson's
Greensboro, NC

DAVIDSON'S GREENSBORO, N.C.

bottom of barrel between stock and front sight

(prior to their move to Arizona in the early 1990's)


Exel Arms
Gardner, MA

EXEL/GARDNER, MA.

left side of barrel near front sight


Federal Ordnance
So. El Monte, CA

FEDORDINC     SO. EL MONTE CA.

bottom of barrel near front sight

FEDERAL ORDNANCE INC.
SO. EL MONTE, CA.

left side of receiver

Fed Ord Inc.
So. El Monte, CA. USA.

left side of receiver

Receivers imported from the Philippines mid 1980's (receivers only), all sold to SARCO


GFCC Corporation
Sacramento, CA

GFCC CO SAC

right side of receiver to rear of slide channel

Imported from Israel

A subsidiary of Old Sacramento Armory


Inter-American Import Co.
Sacramento, CA

IA CO. SAC. CA.

left side of barrel near front sight

 

IA CO. SAC. CA.

bottom of barrel between stock and front sight

Imported as Inter-American Import Co., a subsidiary of Old Sacramento Armory. Advertised and
sold using several different company names including Pacific International in Sacramento, CA.

Imported 7000+ from P.R. China 1985-1985
Imported 4000 from Israel 1984-1985


Interarms
Alexandria, VA

INTERARMS ALEX VA

left side of barrel between stock and front sight

INTERARMS ALEX. VA.

right side of barrel just forward of receiver

Interarms (previously Interarmco) was a major importer from the 1960's through the 1980's,
importing U.S. Carbines from many different countries worldwide


INTRAC Arms
Knoxville, TN

INTRAC
KNOX, TN

bottom of barrel adjacent front sight

Imported only from Austria 1994


MEREX
Savannah, GA

MEREX
SAV., GA

left side of receiver below U.S. CARBINE markings

Mertins Export (MEREX AG) office at Combat Military Ordnance Ltd. in Savannah, GA
estimate 1984-1987


MEREX
Alexandria, VA

MEREX
ALEX, VA

bottom of barrel forward of barrel band

Mertins Export (MEREX AG) office in Alexandria, VA
estimate 1984-1994


Navy Arms
Ridgefield, NJ

N.A. Co.
RIDGEFIELD, N.J.

left side of barrel between stock and front sight

N.A. Co.
RIDGEFIELD, N.J.

bottom of barrel near front sight


New Helvetia Mercantile Corporation
Sacramento, CA

NHM CO SAC CA

right side of receiver to rear of slide channel

NHM CO SAC CA

right side of receiver to rear of slide channel

A subsidiary of Old Sacramento Armory


Oyster Bay Industries
Oyster Bay, NY

OYSTER BAY

top of barrel 1.5" forward of gas piston housing

OBI
OBNY

bottom of trigger housing
(markings placed on both locations on each carbine)

Imported from the P.R. of China who had obtained them from North Korea


SAMCO Global Arms
Miami, FL

SAMCO MIA FL

bottom of barrel between stock and front sight

Imported from Brazil


Sherwood International
Northridge, CA

IMPORTED BY SHERWOOD INT'L
NORTHRIDGE/ CA. U.S.A.

bottom of barrel between gas piston and front receiver


Springfield Sporters
Penn Run, PA

SPR SPTR PN RN PA

bottom of barrel on flat area by gas piston housing, or
barrel between stock and front sight


Should you have questions, assistance is available on our Discussion Forum.

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due to a lack of original documentation. A number of researchers and authors are present on the forums, helping others and seeking information for various research projects.