Poor Finland! Sadly it holds the Record of being the only Democracy that fought with Hitler. Not that they wanted to, I am willing to bet. But when you have Stalin as your neighbor. One really does not have much of a choice. Since it is the Devil or the Deep Blue Sea time.
Now the Finns are a hostage of geography. What with being stuck between the two major powers of Europe. (Germany & Russia)
You also have to remember that the First campaign of conquest in WWII in Europe. Was by Hitler’s then Ally -Stalin. A true Monster of a Man.
So The Finns really did not have a choice on the matter. I mean look at who do you want to have pissed off at you? Pretty tough choice huh?
So the Finns just hunkered down. And then started throwing punches & somehow survived. Due to some great Leadership under this stud of a man.
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Now about the Guns
I have owned a couple of the Mosin–Nagant rifles over the years. During which I have found the Finnish models to be the best of the lot.
That & while they are heavy and bulky. They do shoot pretty well with the Russian 7.62x54r round. Which is a serious man stopper round.
As this guy would heartily agree with down below.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Häyhä after being awarded the honorary rifle model 28.
Simo “Simuna” Häyhä (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈsimo̞ ˈhæy̯ɦæ]; 17 December 1905 – 1 April 2002), nicknamed “White Death” (Russian: Белая смерть, Belaya Smert; Finnish: valkoinen kuolema; Swedish: den vita döden) by the Red Army, was a Finnishsniper. According to western sources, using a Finnish-produced M/28-30 rifle (a variant of the Mosin–Nagant rifle) and the Suomi KP/-31 submachine gun, he is reported as having killed 505 men during the 1939–40 Winter War, the highest recorded number of confirmed sniper kills in any major war. However, Antti Rantama (Häyhä’s unit military chaplain), credited 259 confirmed sniper kills were made by Simo Häyhä during the Winter War. Häyhä wrote in his diary, found in 2017, that he killed over 500 Soviet soldiers (by both sniper rifle and machine/submachine gun).
Häyhä was born in the municipality of Rautjärvi in the Grand Duchy of Finland, in present-day southern Finland near the border with Russia, and started his military service in 1925. He was the second youngest of a Lutheran heritage family of farmers of eight children. Before entering combat, Häyhä was a farmer and hunter. At the age of 20, he joined the Finnish voluntary militia White Guard (Suojeluskunta) and was also successful in shooting sports in competitions in the Viipuri Province. His home was reportedly full of trophies for marksmanship.
Häyhä in the 1940s, with visible damage to his left cheek after his 1940 wound
During the 1939–40 Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union, Häyhä served as a sniper for the Finnish Army against the Red Army in the 6th Company of JR 34 during the Battle of Kollaa in temperatures between −40 °C (−40 °F) and −20 °C (−4 °F), dressed completely in white camouflage. Because of Joseph Stalin’s purges of military experts in the late 1930s, the Red Army was highly disorganised and Soviet troops were not issued with white camouflage suits for most of the war, making them easily visible to snipers in winter conditions.
According to Western sources, Simo Häyhä has been credited with 505 confirmed sniper kills. A daily account of the kills at Kollaa was made for the Finnish snipers. All of Häyhä’s kills were accomplished in fewer than 100 days – an average of just over five per day – at a time of year with very few daylight hours.
However, Simo Hayha’s result is impossible to check, because his targets were always on the Russian side. During the war, the “White death” is one of the leading themes of Finnish propaganda. The Finnish newspapers frequently featured the invisible Finnish soldier, thus creating a heroic myth. Depending on the statistics, Häyhä is believed to have killed between 200 to 500 enemies by sniper rifle.
A. Svensson, Häyhä’s division commander, credited Häyhä with 219 confirmed sniper kills, and an equal number of kills by submachine gun, when he awarded Häyhä an honorary rifle on 17 February 1940. In his diary, military chaplain Antti Rantamaa reported 259 confirmed sniper kills and an equal number of kills by machine/submachine gun from the beginning of the war until 7 March 1940, one day after Simo Hayha was seriously wounded.
Some of Simo Häyhä’s figures are from a Finnish Army document (counted from beginning of the war, 30/11/1939):
7 March 1940 (when Simo Hayha was seriously wounded): total of 259 sniper kills
Häyhä used his issued Civil Guard rifle, an early series SAKOM/28-30 (Civil Guard district number S60974). The rifle was a Finnish White Guard militia variant of the Mosin–Nagant rifle, known as “Pystykorva” (literally “The Spitz”, due to the front sight’s resemblance to the head of a spitz-type dog) chambered in the Finnish Mosin–Nagant cartridge 7.62×53R. He preferred iron sights over telescopic sights as to present a smaller target for the enemy (a sniper must raise his head a few centimeters higher when using a telescopic sight), to increase accuracy (a telescopic sight’s glass can fog up easily in cold weather), and to aid in concealment (sunlight glare in telescopic sight lenses can reveal a sniper’s position). Häyhä also did not have prior training with scoped rifles thus using captured Soviet scoped rifle (m/91-30 PE or PEM) in combat without proper training was not what he preferred to do. As well as these tactics, he frequently packed dense mounds of snow in front of his position to conceal himself, provide padding for his rifle and reduce the characteristic puff of snow stirred up by the muzzle blast. He was also known to keep snow in his mouth whilst sniping, to prevent steamy breaths giving away his position in the cold air.
In their efforts to kill Häyhä, the Soviets used counter-snipers and artillery strikes, and on 6 March 1940, Häyhä was hit in his lower left jaw by an explosive bullet fired by a Red Army soldier. He was picked up by fellow soldiers who said “half his face was missing”, but he did not die, regaining consciousness on 13 March, the day peace was declared. Shortly after the war, Häyhä was promoted from alikersantti (Corporal) to vänrikki (Second lieutenant) by Finnish Field MarshalCarl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim.
Simo Häyhä’s gravestone in Ruokolahti Church Graveyard, Karelia, Finland. The inscription reads: Home – Religion – Fatherland
It took several years for Häyhä to recuperate from his wound. The bullet had crushed his jaw and blown off his left cheek. Nonetheless, he made a full recovery and became a successful moose hunter and dog breeder after World War II, and even hunted with the Finnish President Urho Kekkonen.
When asked in 1998 how he had become such a good shot, Häyhä answered, “Practice.” When asked if he regretted killing so many people, he said, “I only did my duty, and what I was told to do, as well as I could.” Simo Häyhä spent his last years in Ruokolahti, a small municipality located in southeastern Finland, near the Russian border. Simo Häyhä died in a war veterans’ nursing home in Hamina in 2002 at the age of 96, and was buried in Ruokolahti.
All that I know for a Red Hot Gospel Truth. Is that I would not want him pissed off at me in my Area of Operations!
What is there to say about “Old Blood & Guts* “, General George Patton USA? Actually a lot. I am also willing to bet that Folks a couple of Hundred years from now. Will be talking about him and his Career.
To begin with. I extremely doubt that a Character like Patton could survive politically in Today’s Army. (I have heard that he does though have some distant relatives still serving in the Green Machine)
General Patton IV – He was the last direct relative to serve in the Army.
Want to hear him? The man had a very strange voice by the way.
But let us get to part of his gun collection. This what I have been able to find so far. Now I am willing to bet on a couple of issues. So here goes the old fool!
Patton came from Money. He was at the time probably the Richest Officer in the Army.
(There are still a lot of folks in the military. Who do not depend on their paycheck. But you would never know it from looking at them.)
The class of folks that he came from. Are real big on the sport of shooting, riding & fishing.
I am also been told by folks that I believe. That if you were in Europe during WWII. The sky was the limit. On opportunities of getting a high end gun to add to your own collection. Especially if you were an Officer.
Now let us get to the Good General and a few of his known to be owned by guns!
This somewhat freaky-looking 1901 Remington Target Pistol was Patton’s first pistol.
This is the famous .45 Colt Model 1873 Single-Action Army revolver, serial number 332088, purchased by George S. Patton on March 4, 1916 for $50. Its right ivory (not pearl) handle is monogrammed “GSP”, and it resides at the George Patton Museum at Fort Knox, Kentucky. – $50 equals about $4000 in today’s (2017) money. But if one considers all the engraving on it. The Old boy got his money’s worth for it.
Patton’s rig & holster.
13 Patton’s Thompson Submachine Gun
Thompson Submachine Gun of General George S. Patton Jr.
Caliber: .45 ACP Action: Blowback, full or semi auto Muzzle Velocity: 920 fps Range: 100 yards Rate of Fire: 900 rounds per minute Magazine Capacity: 20 or 30 round magazine Barrel Length: 10.5 inches Overall Length: 32 inches Weight: 11 lbs Year Built: 1941
General Patton had this particular Thompson Submachine Gun, which he owned, in his vehicle when he was in combat areas.
General George S. Patton with a “liberated” 18th century German Jaeger rifle .
Seems to me that somebody got himself a Mauser KAR 98 somehow.
This looks like a Colt Woodsman in his holster. While at what is called now Fort Irwin California / NTC.
Here is also another article I found that might be interesting to you. Thanks for your taking the time to read this!
Also do not be afraid of the PayPal service either. God am I shameless!
The Known and Lesser Known Carry Guns of George S. Patton
If anyone were asked who they thought the most flamboyant American general of the Second World War was, I would bet, dollars-to-donuts, that most would answer, “George Patton.” Well, General George S. Patton, who carried his trademark revolvers on his hips during the war, was probably the most easily recognizable general.
Those handguns of his, by the way, had stories to tell. He initially carried twin Colt single-action Army .45 revolvers, but after he gave one of them to a Hollywood star he admired, because of the star’s courage to entertain front-line troops in combat zones, he replaced it with a 3 ½ inch Smith and Wesson .357 magnum. Part his this flamboyance was those ivory-handled revolvers. The general, however, knew the importance of inspiring his troops, and his flamboyance certainly achieved that goal.
As to the question of why he carried two revolvers, rather than just one, it is well known that as a young man he was part of General Pershing’s “Punitive Expedition” into Mexico to hunt down the infamous Pancho Villa. And, on 14 May, 1914, during one of those expeditionary forays, he came under fire while leading a caravan of three vehicles to obtain food for his troops. The band of “Villistas” attempted to flee on horseback. Patton was armed with his own Colt SAA .45 revolver. Back then he carried it with the hammer down on an empty chamber, hence only five rounds.
During the firefight he emptied the weapon, some believe three times. In a subsequent letter to his father, Patton wrote, “I fired five times with my new pistol and one of them ducked back into the house. I found out later that this was Cardenes and that I had hit both he and his horse.” Captain Julio Cardenes was a member of the Pancho Villa gang of thugs, and was second in command, when he was shot by then Lieutenant George S. Patton. Patton then carved a notch in his revolver’s handgrips, and removed Cardenes’ spurs as souvenirs. Those spurs, by the way, are now in the Museum of WWII in Natick, Massachusetts.
The firefight took place at close range, approximately fifty or sixty feet, but a second gang member came much closer, about ten feet, and Patton shot at the horse. The horse and the gangster hit the ground, and when the latter attempted to stand, he was cut down by the American troops. Like everyone involved in close-in firefights, the very first ones changes one’s outlook, and henceforth Patton would carry a second, or back-up, handgun. General Joyce would later confirm that it was the experience with the Mexican gangsters that convinced Patton he should carry at least two handguns. Some newspapers at the time described the revolvers as having pearl handles, but when asked about those handles by a reporter in WWII, Patton angrily responded that they were in fact ivory, and that, “only a New Orleans pimp would carry a pearl-handled gun!”
As a young man, Patton competed in pentathlon events, which included pistol shooting, and he would practice for hours on end on his trigger pull techniques with his strong hand and off-hand positions. Patton’s obvious preference was for revolvers, but during WWII he did also carry a Colt Pocket Model hammerless, as well as a Remington Model 51 .380. It was with the Remington that he shot at a Luftwaffe airplane, as it was attempting to strafe his encampment. He was also known to carry a Colt Detective Special .38 revolver. All of his handguns, with the possible exception of the Remington, had the ivory grips, and some were inlaid with the initials “GSP” and had the stars of a U.S. Army general. Many American soldiers and officers, including General Omar Bradley, carried the Colt M1911 semi-automatic pistol, But General Patton only carried the 1911 on rare occasions. During the North African campaigns, Major General Walter Bedell Smith, a close colleague of Patton, carried a Colt Model 03 in a shoulder holster. But Patton was never known to have carried the 03.
In the final analysis, whatever one’s opinions may be of the general, whether one viewed him as being flamboyant or otherwise, some things are certain, he inspired his troops to the point of fanaticism, and he did so by fearlessly leading the way. His persona, that of a hugely colorful, and larger-than-life military genius, exemplified by those ivory handgrips, made him an unforgettable and heroic American.
As a child, Patton had difficulty learning to read and write, but eventually overcame this and was known in his adult life to be an avid reader.[Note 1] He was tutored from home until the age of eleven, when he was enrolled in Stephen Clark’s School for Boys, a private school in Pasadena, for six years. Patton was described as an intelligent boy and was widely read on classical military history, particularly the exploits of Hannibal, Scipio Africanus, Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc, and Napoleon Bonaparte, as well as those of family friend John Singleton Mosby, who frequently stopped by the Patton family home when George S. Patton was a child. He was also a devoted horseback rider.
Patton married Beatrice Banning Ayer, the daughter of Boston industrialist Frederick Ayer, on May 26, 1910 in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. They had three children, Beatrice Smith (born March 1911), Ruth Ellen (born February 1915), and George Patton IV (born December 1923).
Patton never seriously considered a career other than the military. At the age of seventeen he sought an appointment to the United States Military Academy. Patton applied to several universities with Reserve Officer’s Training Corps programs. Patton was accepted to Princeton College but eventually decided on VMI, which his father and grandfather had attended. He attended the school from 1903 to 1904 and, though he struggled with reading and writing, performed exceptionally in uniform and appearance inspection as well as military drill. While Patton was at VMI, California’s Senator nominated him for West Point.
In his plebe (first) year at West Point, Patton adjusted easily to the routine. However, his academic performance was so poor that he was forced to repeat his first year after failing mathematics. Patton excelled at military drills though his academic performance remained average. He was cadet sergeant major his junior year, and cadet adjutant his senior year. He also joined the football team but injured his arm and ceased playing on several occasions, instead trying out for the sword team and track and field, quickly becoming one of the best swordsmen at the academy. Ranked 46 out of 103, Patton graduated from West Point on June 11, 1909 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Cavalry Branch of the United States Army.
For his skill with running and fencing, Patton was selected as the Army’s entry for the first modern pentathlon at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden. Of 42 competitors, Patton placed twenty-first on the pistol range, seventh in swimming, fourth in fencing, sixth in the equestrian competition, and third in the footrace, finishing fifth overall and first among the non-Swedish competitors. There was some controversy concerning his performance in the pistol shooting competition, where he used a .38 caliber pistol while most of the other competitors chose .22 caliber firearms. He claimed that the holes in the paper from his early shots were so large that some of his later bullets passed through them, but the judges decided he missed the target completely once. Modern competitions on this level frequently now employ a moving background to specifically track multiple shots through the same hole. If his assertion was correct, Patton would likely have won an Olympic medal in the event. The judges’ ruling was upheld. Patton’s only comment on the matter was:
Patton on his steeplechase horse, Wooltex, in 1914
The high spirit of sportsmanship and generosity manifested throughout speaks volumes for the character of the officers of the present day. There was not a single incident of a protest or any unsportsmanlike quibbling or fighting for points which I may say, marred some of the other civilian competitions at the Olympic Games. Each man did his best and took what fortune sent them like a true soldier, and at the end we all felt more like good friends and comrades than rivals in a severe competition, yet this spirit of friendship in no manner detracted from the zeal with which all strove for success.
Following the 1912 Olympics, Patton traveled to Saumur, France, where he learned fencing techniques from Adjutant Charles Cléry, a French “master of arms” and instructor of fencing at the cavalry school there. Bringing these lessons back to Fort Myer, Patton redesigned saber combat doctrine for the U.S. cavalry, favoring thrusting attacks over the standard slashing maneuver and designing a new sword for such attacks. He was temporarily assigned to the Office of the Army Chief of Staff, and in 1913, the first 20,000 of the Model 1913 Cavalry Saber—popularly known as the “Patton sword”—were ordered. Patton then returned to Saumur to learn advanced techniques before bringing his skills to the Mounted Service School at Fort Riley, Kansas, where he would be both a student and a fencing instructor. He was the first Army officer to be designated “Master of the Sword”, a title denoting the school’s top instructor in swordsmanship.Arriving in September 1913, he taught fencing to other cavalry officers, many of whom were senior to him in rank.Patton graduated from this school in June 1915. He was originally intended to return to the 15th Cavalry, which was bound for the Philippines. Fearing this assignment would dead-end his career, Patton traveled to Washington, D.C. during 11 days of leave and convinced influential friends to arrange a reassignment for him to the 8th Cavalry at Fort Bliss, Texas, anticipating that instability in Mexico might boil over into a full-scale civil war. In the meantime, Patton was selected to participate in the 1916 Summer Olympics, but that olympiad was cancelled due to World War I.
1915 Dodge Brothers Model 30-35 touring car. This model from the new Dodge Brothers company won some renown for its durability because of its use in the 1916 Pancho Villa Expedition.
In 1915 Patton was assigned to border patrol duty with A Company of the 8th Cavalry, based in Sierra Blanca. During his time in the town, Patton took to wearing his M1911 Colt .45 in his belt rather than a holster. His firearm discharged accidentally one night in a saloon, so he swapped it for an ivory-handled Colt Single Action Army revolver, a weapon that would later become an icon of Patton’s image.
In March 1916 Mexican forces loyal to Pancho Villa crossed into New Mexico and raided the border town of Columbus. The violence in Columbus killed several Americans. In response, the U.S. launched the Pancho Villa Expedition into Mexico. Chagrined to discover that his unit would not participate, Patton appealed to expedition commander John J. Pershing, and was named his personal aide for the expedition. This meant that Patton would have some role in organizing the effort, and his eagerness and dedication to the task impressed Pershing.Patton modeled much of his leadership style after Pershing, who favored strong, decisive actions and commanding from the front. As an aide, Patton oversaw the logistics of Pershing’s transportation and acted as his personal courier.
In mid-April, Patton asked Pershing for the opportunity to command troops, and was assigned to Troop C of the 13th Cavalry to assist in the manhunt for Villa and his subordinates. His initial combat experience came on May 14, 1916 in what would become the first motorized attack in the history of U.S. warfare. A force under his command of ten soldiers and two civilian guides with the 6th Infantry in three Dodge touring cars surprised three of Villa’s men during a foraging expedition, killing Julio Cárdenas and two of his guards. It was not clear if Patton personally killed any of the men, but he was known to have wounded all three. The incident garnered Patton both Pershing’s good favor and widespread media attention as a “bandit killer”. Shortly after, he was promoted to first lieutenant while a part of the 10th Cavalry on May 23, 1916. Patton remained in Mexico until the end of the year. President Woodrow Wilson forbade the expedition from conducting aggressive patrols deeper into Mexico, so it remained encamped in the Mexican border states for much of that time. In October Patton briefly retired to California after being burned by an exploding gas lamp. He returned from the expedition permanently in February 1917.
After the Villa Expedition, Patton was detailed to Front Royal, Virginia, to oversee horse procurement for the Army, but Pershing intervened on his behalf. After the United States entered World War I, and Pershing was named commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) on the Western Front, Patton requested to join his staff. Patton was promoted to captain on May 15, 1917 and left for Europe, among the 180 men of Pershing’s advance party which departed May 28 and arrived in Liverpool, England, on June 8. Taken as Pershing’s personal aide, Patton oversaw the training of American troops in Paris until September, then moved to Chaumont and assigned as a post adjutant, commanding the headquarters company overseeing the base. Patton was dissatisfied with the post and began to take an interest in tanks, as Pershing sought to give him command of an infantry battalion. While in a hospital for jaundice, Patton met ColonelFox Conner, who encouraged him to work with tanks instead of infantry.
On November 10, 1917 Patton was assigned to establish the AEF Light Tank School. He left Paris and reported to the French Army‘s tank training school at Champlieu near Orrouy, where he drove a Renault FTlight tank. On November 20, the Britishlaunched an offensive towards the important rail center of Cambrai, using an unprecedented number of tanks. At the conclusion of his tour on December 1, Patton went to Albert, 30 miles (48 km) from Cambrai, to be briefed on the results of this attack by the chief of staff of the British Tank Corps, ColonelJ. F. C. Fuller. On the way back to Paris, he visited the Renault factory to observe the tanks being manufactured. Patton was promoted to major on January 26, 1918. He received the first ten tanks on March 23, 1918 at the Tank School at Bourg, a small village close to Langres, Haute-Marne département. The only US soldier with tank-driving experience, Patton personally backed seven of the tanks off the train. In the post, Patton trained tank crews to operate in support of infantry, and promoted its acceptance among reluctant infantry officers. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel on April 3, 1918, and attended the Command and General Staff College in Langres.
In August 1918, he was placed in charge of the U.S. 1st Provisional Tank Brigade (re-designated the 304th Tank Brigadeon November 6, 1918). Patton’s Light Tank Brigade was part of Colonel Samuel Rockenbach‘s Tank Corps, part of the American First Army. Personally overseeing the logistics of the tanks in their first combat use by U.S. forces, and reconnoitering the target area for their first attack himself, Patton ordered that no U.S. tank be surrendered. Patton commanded American-crewed Renault FT tanks at the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, leading the tanks from the front for much of their attack, which began on September 12. He walked in front of the tanks into the German-held village of Essey, and rode on top of a tank during the attack into Pannes, seeking to inspire his men.
Patton’s brigade was then moved to support U.S. I Corps in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive on September 26. He personally led a troop of tanks through thick fog as they advanced 5 miles (8 km) into German lines. Around 09:00, Patton was wounded while leading six men and a tank in an attack on German machine guns near the town of Cheppy. His orderly, Private First ClassJoe Angelo, saved Patton, for which he was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.Patton commanded the battle from a shell hole for another hour before being evacuated. He stopped at a rear command post to submit his report before heading to a hospital. Sereno E. Brett, commander of the U.S. 326th Tank Battalion, took command of the brigade in Patton’s absence. Patton wrote in a letter to his wife: “The bullet went into the front of my left leg and came out just at the crack of my bottom about two inches to the left of my rectum. It was fired at about 50 m so made a hole about the size of a [silver] dollar where it came out.”
While recuperating from his wound, Patton was promoted to colonel in the Tank Corps of the U.S. National Army on October 17. He returned to duty on October 28 but saw no further action before hostilities ended with the armistice of November 11, 1918. For his actions in Cheppy, Patton received the Distinguished Service Cross. For his leadership of the brigade and tank school, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. He was also awarded the Purple Heart for his combat wounds after the decoration was created in 1932.
Patton left France for New York City on March 2, 1919. After the war he was assigned to Camp Meade, Maryland, and reverted to his permanent rank of captain on June 30, 1920, though he was promoted to major again the next day. Patton was given temporary duty in Washington D.C. that year to serve on a committee writing a manual on tank operations. During this time he developed a belief that tanks should be used not as infantry support, but rather as an independent fighting force. Patton supported the M1919 tank design created by J. Walter Christie, a project which was shelved due to financial considerations.While on duty in Washington, D.C., in 1919, Patton met Dwight D. Eisenhower,who would play an enormous role in Patton’s future career. During and following Patton’s assignment in Hawaii, he and Eisenhower corresponded frequently. Patton sent Eisenhower notes and assistance to help him graduate from the General Staff College. With Christie, Eisenhower, and a handful of other officers, Patton pushed for more development of armored warfare in the interwar era. These thoughts resonated with Secretary of War Dwight Davis, but the limited military budget and prevalence of already-established Infantry and Cavalry branches meant the U.S. would not develop its armored corps much until 1940.
On September 30, 1920, Patton relinquished command of the 304th Tank Brigade and was reassigned to Fort Myer as commander of 3rd Squadron, 3rd Cavalry. Loathing duty as a peacetime staff officer, he spent much time writing technical papers and giving speeches on his combat experiences at the General Staff College. In July 1921 Patton became a member of the American Legion Tank Corps Post No. 19. From 1922 to mid-1923 he attended the Field Officer’s Course at the Cavalry School at Fort Riley, then he attended the Command and General Staff College from mid-1923 to mid-1924, graduating 25th out of 248. In August 1923, Patton saved several children from drowning when they fell off a yacht during a boating trip off Salem, Massachusetts. He was awarded the Silver Lifesaving Medal for this action. He was temporarily appointed to the General Staff Corps in Boston, Massachusetts, before being reassigned as G-1 and G-2 of the Hawaiian Division at Schofield Barracks in Honolulu in March 1925.
Patton was made G-3 of the Hawaiian Division for several months, before being transferred in May 1927 to the Office of the Chief of Cavalry in Washington, D.C., where he began to develop the concepts of mechanized warfare. A short-lived experiment to merge infantry, cavalry and artillery into a combined arms force was cancelled after U.S. Congress removed funding. Patton left this office in 1931, returned to Massachusetts and attended the Army War College, becoming a “Distinguished Graduate” in June 1932.
In July 1932, Patton was executive officer of the 3rd Cavalry, which was ordered to Washington by Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur. Patton took command of the 600 troops of the 3rd Cavalry, and on July 28, MacArthur ordered Patton’s troops to advance on protesting veterans known as the “Bonus Army” with tear gas and bayonets. Patton was dissatisfied with MacArthur’s conduct, as he recognized the legitimacy of the veterans’ complaints and had himself earlier refused to issue the order to employ armed force to disperse the veterans. Patton later stated that, though he found the duty “most distasteful”, he also felt that putting the marchers down prevented an insurrection and saved lives and property. He personally led the 3rd Cavalry down Pennsylvania Avenue, dispersing the protesters. Patton also encountered his former orderly as one of the marchers and forcibly ordered him away, fearing such a meeting might make the headlines.
Patton was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the regular Army on March 1, 1934, and was transferred to the Hawaiian Division in early 1935 to serve as G-2. Patton followed the growing hostility and conquest aspirations of the militant Japanese leadership. He wrote a plan to intern the Japanese living in the islands in the event of an attack as a result of the atrocities carried out by Japanese soldiers on the Chinese in the Sino-Japanese war. In 1937 he wrote a paper with the title “Surprise” which predicted, with what D’Este termed “chilling accuracy”, a surprise attack by the Japanese on Hawaii. Depressed at the lack of prospects for new conflict, Patton took to drinking heavily and began a brief affair with his 21-year-old niece by marriage, Jean Gordon.
Patton continued playing polo and sailing in this time. After sailing back to Los Angeles for extended leave in 1937, he was kicked by a horse and fractured his leg. Patton developed phlebitis from the injury, which nearly killed him. The incident almost forced Patton out of active service, but a six-month administrative assignment in the Academic Department at the Cavalry School at Fort Riley helped him to recover. Patton was promoted to colonel on July 24, 1938 and given command of the 5th Cavalry at Fort Clark, Texas, for six months, a post he relished, but he was reassigned to Fort Myer again in December as commander of the 3rd Cavalry. There, he met Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, who was so impressed with him that Marshall considered Patton a prime candidate for promotion to general. In peacetime, though, he would remain a colonel to remain eligible to command a regiment.
Patton had a personal schooner named When and If. The schooner was designed by famous naval architect John G. Alden and built in 1939. The schooner’s name comes from Patton saying he would sail it “when and if” he returned from war.
Following the German Army‘s invasion of Poland and the outbreak of World War II in Europe in September 1939, the U.S. military entered a period of mobilization, and Patton sought to build up the power of U.S. armored forces. During maneuvers the Third Army conducted in 1940, Patton served as an umpire, where he met Adna R. Chaffee Jr. and the two formulated recommendations to develop an armored force. Chaffee was named commander of this force, and created the 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions as well as the first combined arms doctrine. He named Patton commander of the 2nd Armored Brigade, part of the 2nd Armored Division. The division was one of few organized as a heavy formation with many tanks, and Patton was in charge of its training. Patton was promoted to brigadier general on October 2, made acting division commander in November, and on April 4, 1941 was promoted again to major general and made Commanding General (CG) of the 2nd Armored Division. As Chaffee stepped down from command of the I Armored Corps, Patton became the most prominent figure in U.S. armor doctrine. In December 1940, he staged a high-profile mass exercise in which 1,000 tanks and vehicles were driven from Columbus, Georgia, to Panama City, Florida, and back.He repeated the exercise with his entire division of 1,300 vehicles the next month. Patton earned a pilot’s license and, during these maneuvers, observed the movements of his vehicles from the air to find ways to deploy them effectively in combat. His exploits earned him a spot on the cover of Life Magazine.
Patton led the division during the Tennessee Maneuvers in June 1941, and was lauded for his leadership, executing 48 hours’ worth of planned objectives in only nine. During the September Louisiana Maneuvers, his division was part of the losing Red Army in Phase I, but in Phase II was assigned to the Blue Army. His division executed a 400-mile (640 km) end run around the Red Army and “captured” Shreveport, Louisiana. During the October–November Carolina Maneuvers, Patton’s division captured Hugh Drum, commander of the opposing army. On January 15, 1942 he was given command of I Armored Corps, and the next month established the Desert Training Center in the Imperial Valley to run training exercises. He commenced these exercises in late 1941 and continued them into the summer of 1942. Patton chose a 10,000-acre (40 km2) expanse of desert area about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Palm Springs. From his first days as a commander, Patton strongly emphasized the need for armored forces to stay in constant contact with opposing forces. His instinctive preference for offensive movement was typified by an answer Patton gave to war correspondents in a 1944 press conference. In response to a question on whether the Third Army’s rapid offensive across France should be slowed to reduce the number of U.S. casualties, Patton replied, “Whenever you slow anything down, you waste human lives.” It was around this time that a reporter, after hearing a speech where Patton said that it took “blood and brains” to win in combat, began calling him “blood and guts”. The nickname would follow him for the rest of his life. Soldiers under his command were known at times to have quipped, “our blood, his guts”. Nonetheless, he was known to be admired widely by the men under his charge. Patton was also known simply as “The Old Man” among his troops.
Under Lieutenant GeneralDwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, Patton was assigned to help plan the Allied invasion of French North Africa as part of Operation Torch in the summer of 1942. Patton commanded the Western Task Force, consisting of 33,000 men in 100 ships, in landings centered on Casablanca, Morocco. The landings, which took place on November 8, 1942, were opposed by Vichy French forces, but Patton’s men quickly gained a beachhead and pushed through fierce resistance. Casablanca fell on November 11 and Patton negotiated an armistice with French General Charles Noguès. The Sultan of Morocco was so impressed that he presented Patton with the Order of Ouissam Alaouite, with the citation “Les Lions dans leurs tanières tremblent en le voyant approcher” (The lions in their dens tremble at his approach). Patton oversaw the conversion of Casablanca into a military port and hosted the Casablanca Conference in January 1943.
On March 6, 1943, following the defeat of the U.S. II Corps by the German Afrika Korps, commanded by GeneralfeldmarschallErwin Rommel, at the Battle of Kasserine Pass, Patton replaced Major General Lloyd Fredendall as Commanding General of the II Corps and was promoted to lieutenant general. Soon thereafter, he had Major General Omar Bradley reassigned to his corps as its deputy commander. With orders to take the battered and demoralized formation into action in 10 days’ time, Patton immediately introduced sweeping changes, ordering all soldiers to wear clean, pressed and complete uniforms, establishing rigorous schedules, and requiring strict adherence to military protocol. He continuously moved throughout the command talking with men, seeking to shape them into effective soldiers. He pushed them hard, and sought to reward them well for their accomplishments. His uncompromising leadership style is evidenced by his orders for an attack on a hill position near Gafsa which are reported to have ended “I expect to see such casualties among officers, particularly staff officers, as will convince me that a serious effort has been made to capture this objective.”
Patton’s training was effective, and on March 17, the U.S. 1st Infantry Division took Gafsa, winning the Battle of El Guettar, and pushing a German and Italian armored force back twice. In the meantime, on April 5, he removed Major General Orlando Ward, commanding the 1st Armored Division, after its lackluster performance at Maknassy against numerically inferior German forces. Advancing on Gabès, Patton’s corps pressured the Mareth Line. During this time, he reported to British GeneralSir Harold Alexander, commander of the 18th Army Group, and came into conflict with Air Vice MarshalSir Arthur Coningham about the lack of close air support being provided for his troops. When Coningham dispatched three officers to Patton’s headquarters to persuade him that the British were providing ample air support, they came under German air attack mid-meeting, and part of the ceiling of Patton’s office collapsed around them. Speaking later of the German pilots who had struck, Patton remarked, “if I could find the sons of bitches who flew those planes, I’d mail each of them a medal.” By the time his force reached Gabès, the Germans had abandoned it. He then relinquished command of II Corps to Bradley, and returned to the I Armored Corps in Casablanca to help plan Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily. Fearing U.S. troops would be sidelined, he convinced British commanders to allow them to continue fighting through to the end of the Tunisia Campaign before leaving on this new assignment.
Initially ordered to protect the British forces’ left flank, Patton was granted permission by Alexander to take Palermo after Montgomery’s forces became bogged down on the road to Messina. As part of a provisional corps under Major General Geoffrey Keyes, the 3rd Infantry Division under Major General Lucian Truscott covered 100 miles (160 km) in 72 hours, arriving at Palermo on July 21. He then set his sights on Messina. He sought an amphibious assault, but it was delayed by lack of landing craft, and his troops did not land at Santo Stefanountil August 8, by which time the Germans and Italians had already evacuated the bulk of their troops to mainland Italy. He ordered more landings on August 10 by the 3rd Infantry Division, which took heavy casualties but pushed the German forces back, and hastened the advance on Messina. A third landing was completed on August 16, and by 22:00 that day Messina fell to his forces. By the end of the battle, the 200,000-man Seventh Army had suffered 7,500 casualties, and killed or captured 113,000 Axis troops and destroyed 3,500 vehicles. Still, 40,000 German and 70,000 Italian troops escaped to Italy with 10,000 vehicles.
Patton’s conduct in this campaign met with several controversies. When Alexander sent a transmission on July 19 limiting Patton’s attack on Messina, his chief of staff, Brigadier General Hobart R. Gay, claimed the message was “lost in transmission” until Messina had fallen. On July 22 he shot and killed a pair of mules that had stopped while pulling a cart across a bridge. The cart was blocking the way of a U.S. armored column which was under attack from German aircraft. When their Sicilian owner protested, Patton attacked him with a walking stick and pushed the two mules off of the bridge. When informed of the massacre of Italian prisoners at Biscari by troops under his command, Patton wrote in his diary, “I told Bradley that it was probably an exaggeration, but in any case to tell the officer to certify that the dead men were snipers or had attempted to escape or something, as it would make a stink in the press and also would make the civilians mad. Anyhow, they are dead, so nothing can be done about it.” Bradley refused Patton’s suggestions. Patton later changed his mind. After he learned that the 45th Division’s Inspector General found “no provocation on the part of the prisoners … They had been slaughtered” Patton is reported to have said: “Try the bastards.” Patton also came into frequent disagreements with Terry de la Mesa Allen Sr. and Theodore Roosevelt Jr. and acquiesced to their relief by Bradley.
Patton talks to wounded soldiers preparing for evacuation
Two high-profile incidents of Patton striking subordinates during the Sicily campaign attracted national controversy following the end of the campaign. On August 3, 1943, Patton slapped and verbally abused Private Charles H. Kuhl at an evacuation hospital in Nicosia after he had been found to suffer from “battle fatigue“. On August 10, Patton slapped Private Paul G. Bennett under similar circumstances. Ordering both soldiers back to the front lines, Patton railed against cowardice and issued orders to his commanders to discipline any soldier making similar complaints.
Word of the incident reached Eisenhower, who privately reprimanded Patton and insisted he apologize. Patton apologized to both soldiers individually, as well as to doctors who witnessed the incidents, and later to all of the soldiers under his command in several speeches. Eisenhower suppressed the incident in the media, but in November journalist Drew Pearson revealed it on his radio program. Criticism of Patton in the United States was harsh, and included members of Congress and former generals, Pershing among them. The views of the general public remained mixed on the matter, and eventually Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson stated that Patton must be retained as a commander because of the need for his “aggressive, winning leadership in the bitter battles which are to come before final victory.”
Patton did not command a force in combat for 11 months. In September, Bradley, who was Patton’s junior in both rank and experience, was selected to command the First United States Army forming in England to prepare for Operation Overlord. This decision had been made before the slapping incidents were made public, but Patton blamed them for his being denied the command. Eisenhower felt the invasion of Europe was too important to risk any uncertainty, and that the slapping incidents had been an example of Patton’s inability to exercise discipline and self-control. While Eisenhower and Marshall both considered Patton to be a skilled combat commander, they felt Bradley was less impulsive or prone to making mistakes. On January 26, 1944 Patton was formally given command of the Third United States Army in England, a newly arrived unit, and assigned to prepare its inexperienced soldiers for combat in Europe.This duty kept Patton busy in early 1944 preparing for the pending invasion.
The German High Command had more respect for Patton than for any other Allied commander and considered him central to any plan to invade Europe from the United Kingdom. Because of this, Patton was made a prominent figure in the deception operation, Fortitude, in early 1944. Through the British network of double-agents, the Allies fed German intelligence a steady stream of false reports about troops sightings and that Patton had been named commander of the First United States Army Group (FUSAG), all designed to convince the Germans that Patton was preparing this massive command for an invasion at Pas de Calais. FUSAG was in reality an intricately constructed “phantom” army of decoys, props, and fake signals traffic based around Dover to mislead German aircraft and to make Axis leaders believe a large force was massing there so as to mask the real location of the invasion in Normandy. Patton was ordered to keep a low profile to deceive the Germans into thinking he was in Dover throughout early 1944, when he was actually training the Third Army. As a result of Operation Fortitude, the German 15th Army remained at Pas de Calais to defend against Patton’s supposed attack. This formation held its position even after the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Patton flew into France a month later and returned to combat duty.
Sailing to Normandy throughout July, Patton’s Third Army formed on the extreme right (west) of the Allied land forces,[Note 2] and became operational at noon on August 1, 1944, under Bradley’s Twelfth United States Army Group. The Third Army simultaneously attacked west into Brittany, south, east toward the Seine, and north, assisting in trapping several hundred thousand German soldiers in the Falaise Pocket between Falaise and Argentan.
Patton’s strategy with his army favored speed and aggressive offensive action, though his forces saw less opposition than did the other three Allied field armies in the initial weeks of its advance. The Third Army typically employed forward scout units to determine enemy strength and positions. Self-propelled artillery moved with the spearhead units and was sited well forward, ready to engage protected German positions with indirect fire. Light aircraft such as the Piper L-4 Cubserved as artillery spotters and provided airborne reconnaissance. Once located, the armored infantry would attack using tanks as infantry support. Other armored units would then break through enemy lines and exploit any subsequent breach, constantly pressuring withdrawing German forces to prevent them from regrouping and reforming a cohesive defensive line. The U.S. armor advanced using reconnaissance by fire, and the .50 caliber M2 Browning heavy machine gun proved effective in this role, often flushing out and killing German panzerfaust teams waiting in ambush as well as breaking up German infantry assaults against the armored infantry.
The speed of the advance forced Patton’s units to rely heavily on air reconnaissance and tactical air support. The Third Army had by far more military intelligence (G-2) officers at headquarters specifically designated to coordinate air strikes than any other army. Its attached close air support group was XIX Tactical Air Command, commanded by Brigadier General Otto P. Weyland. Developed originally by General Elwood Quesada of IX Tactical Air Command for the First Army in Operation Cobra, the technique of “armored column cover”, in which close air support was directed by an air traffic controller in one of the attacking tanks, was used extensively by the Third Army. Each column was protected by a standing patrol of three to four P-47 and P-51 fighter-bombers as a combat air patrol (CAP).
In its advance from Avranches to Argentan, the Third Army traversed 60 miles (97 km) in just two weeks. Patton’s force was supplemented by Ultra intelligence for which he was briefed daily by his G-2, Colonel Oscar W. Koch, who apprised him of German counterattacks, and where to concentrate his forces. Equally important to the advance of Third Army columns in northern France was the rapid advance of the supply echelons. Third Army logistics were overseen by Colonel Walter J. Muller, Patton’s G-4, who emphasized flexibility, improvisation, and adaptation for Third Army supply echelons so forward units could rapidly exploit a breakthrough. Patton’s rapid drive to Lorraine demonstrated his keen appreciation for the technological advantages of the U.S. Army. The major U.S. and Allied advantages were in mobility and air superiority. The U.S. Army had more trucks, more reliable tanks, and better radio communications, all of which contributed to a superior ability to operate at a rapid offensive pace.
Patton pins a Silver Star Medal on Private Ernest A. Jenkins, a soldier under his command, October 1944.
Patton’s offensive came to a halt on August 31, 1944, as the Third Army ran out of fuel near the Moselle River, just outside Metz. Patton expected that the theater commander would keep fuel and supplies flowing to support successful advances, but Eisenhower favored a “broad front” approach to the ground-war effort, believing that a single thrust would have to drop off flank protection, and would quickly lose its punch. Still within the constraints of a very large effort overall, Eisenhower gave Montgomery and his Twenty First Army Group a higher priority for supplies for Operation Market Garden.Combined with other demands on the limited resource pool, this resulted in the Third Army exhausting its fuel supplies. Patton believed his forces were close enough to the Siegfried Line that he remarked to Bradley that with 400,000 gallons of gasoline he could be in Germany within two days. In late September, a large German Panzer counterattack sent expressly to stop the advance of Patton’s Third Army was defeated by the U.S. 4th Armored Division at the Battle of Arracourt. Despite the victory, the Third Army stayed in place as a result of Eisenhower’s order. The German commanders believed this was because their counterattack had been successful.
The halt of the Third Army during the month of September was enough to allow the Germans to strengthen the fortress of Metz. In October and November, the Third Army was mired in a near-stalemate with the Germans during the Battle of Metz, both sides suffering heavy casualties. An attemptby Patton to seize Fort Driant just south of Metz was defeated, but by mid-November Metz had fallen to the Americans. Patton’s decisions in taking this city were criticized. German commanders interviewed after the war noted he could have bypassed the city and moved north to Luxembourg where he would have been able to cut off the German Seventh Army. The German commander of Metz, General Hermann Balck, also noted that a more direct attack would have resulted in a more decisive Allied victory in the city. Historian Carlo D’Este later wrote that the Lorraine Campaign was one of Patton’s least successful, faulting him for not deploying his divisions more aggressively and decisively.
With supplies low and priority given to Montgomery until the port of Antwerp could be opened, Patton remained frustrated at the lack of progress of his forces. From November 8 to December 15, his army advanced no more than 40 miles (64 km).
In December 1944, the German army, under the command of German Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, launched a last-ditch offensive across Belgium, Luxembourg, and northeastern France. On December 16, 1944, it massed 29 divisions totaling 250,000 men at a weak point in the Allied lines, and during the early stages of the ensuing Battle of the Bulge, made significant headway towards the Meuse River during the worst winter Europe had seen in years. Eisenhower called a meeting of all senior Allied commanders on the Western Front to a headquarters near Verdun on the morning of December 19 to plan strategy and a response to the German assault.
At the time, Patton’s Third Army was engaged in heavy fighting near Saarbrücken. Guessing the intent of the Allied command meeting, Patton ordered his staff to make three separate operational contingency orders to disengage elements of the Third Army from its present position and begin offensive operations toward several objectives in the area of the bulge occupied by German forces. At the Supreme Command conference, Eisenhower led the meeting, which was attended by Patton, Bradley, General Jacob Devers, Major General Kenneth Strong, Deputy Supreme Commander Air Chief MarshalArthur Tedder, and several staff officers. When Eisenhower asked Patton how long it would take him to disengage six divisions of his Third Army and commence a counterattack north to relieve the U.S. 101st Airborne Division which had been trapped at Bastogne, Patton replied, “As soon as you’re through with me.” Patton then clarified that he had already worked up an operational order for a counterattack by three full divisions on December 21, then only 48 hours away. Eisenhower was incredulous: “Don’t be fatuous, George. If you try to go that early you won’t have all three divisions ready and you’ll go piecemeal.” Patton replied that his staff already had a contingency operations order ready to go. Still unconvinced, Eisenhower ordered Patton to attack the morning of December 22, using at least three divisions.
Patton left the conference room, phoned his command, and uttered two words: “Play ball.” This code phrase initiated a prearranged operational order with Patton’s staff, mobilizing three divisions – the 4th Armored Division, the U.S. 80th Infantry Division, and the U.S. 26th Infantry Division – from the Third Army and moving them north toward Bastogne.In all, Patton would reposition six full divisions, U.S. III Corps and U.S. XII Corps, from their positions on the Saar Riverfront along a line stretching from Bastogne to Diekirch and to Echternach, the town in Luxembourg that had been at the southern end of the initial “Bulge” front line on December 16. Within a few days, more than 133,000 Third Army vehicles were re-routed into an offensive that covered an average distance of over 11 miles (18 km) per vehicle, followed by support echelons carrying 62,000 tonnes (61,000 long tons; 68,000 short tons) of supplies.
On December 21, Patton met with Bradley to review the impending advance, starting the meeting by remarking, “Brad, this time the Kraut’s stuck his head in the meat grinder, and I’ve got hold of the handle.” Patton then argued that his Third Army should attack toward Koblenz, cutting off the bulge at the base and trap the entirety of the German armies involved in the offensive. After briefly considering this, Bradley vetoed this proposal, as he was less concerned about killing large numbers of Germans than he was in arranging for the relief of Bastogne before it was overrun. Desiring good weather for his advance, which would permit close ground support by U.S. Army Air Forces tactical aircraft, Patton ordered the Third Army chaplain, Colonel James Hugh O’Neill, to compose a suitable prayer:
Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen.
When the weather cleared soon after, Patton awarded O’Neill a Bronze Star Medal on the spot.
On December 26, 1944, the first spearhead units of the Third Army’s 4th Armored Division reached Bastogne, opening a corridor for relief and resupply of the besieged forces. Patton’s ability to disengage six divisions from front line combat during the middle of winter, then wheel north to relieve Bastogne was one of his most remarkable achievements during the war. He later wrote that the relief of Bastogne was “the most brilliant operation we have thus far performed, and it is in my opinion the outstanding achievement of the war. This is my biggest battle.”
By February, the Germans were in full retreat. On February 23, 1945, the U.S. 94th Infantry Division crossed the Saar and established a vital bridgehead at Serrig through which Patton pushed units into the Saarland. Patton had insisted upon an immediate crossing of the Saar River against the advice of his officers. Historians such as Charles Whiting have criticized this strategy as unnecessarily aggressive.
Once again, Patton found other commands given priority on gasoline and supplies. To obtain these, Third Army ordnance units passed themselves off as First Army personnel and in one incident they secured thousands of gallons of gasoline from a First Army dump. Between January 29 and March 22, the Third Army took Trier, Coblenz, Bingen, Worms, Mainz, Kaiserslautern, and Ludwigshafen, killing or wounding 99,000 and capturing 140,112 German soldiers, which represented virtually all of the remnants of the German First and Seventh Armies. An example of Patton’s sarcastic wit was broadcast when he received orders to by-pass Trier, as it had been decided that four divisions would be needed to capture it. When the message arrived, Trier had already fallen. Patton rather caustically replied: “Have taken Trier with two divisions. Do you want me to give it back?”
The Third Army began crossing the Rhine River after constructing a pontoon bridge on March 22, and he slipped a division across the river that evening. Patton later boasted he had urinated into the river as he crossed.
On March 26, 1945, Patton sent Task Force Baum, consisting of 314 men, 16 tanks, and assorted other vehicles, 50 miles (80 km) behind German lines to liberate the prisoner of war camp OFLAG XIII-B, near Hammelburg. Patton knew that one of the inmates was his son-in-law, Lieutenant Colonel John K. Waters. The raid was a failure, and only 35 men made it back; the rest were either killed or captured, and all 57 vehicles were lost. Another prisoner liberated from the Oflag was Lt. Donald Prell who was recaptured and was sent to a POW camp south of Nuremberg. Patton reported this attempt to liberate Oflag XIII-B as the only mistake he made during World War II. When Eisenhower learned of the secret mission, he was furious. Patton later said he felt the correct decision would have been to send a Combat Command, which is a force about three times larger.
By April, resistance against the Third Army was tapering off, and the forces’ main efforts turned to managing some 400,000 German prisoners of war. On April 14, 1945 Patton was promoted to general, a promotion long advocated by Stimson in recognition of Patton’s battle accomplishments during 1944. Later that month, Patton, Bradley and Eisenhower toured the Merkers salt mine as well as the Ohrdruf concentration camp, and seeing the conditions of the camp firsthand caused Patton great disgust. Third Army was ordered toward Bavaria and Czechoslovakia, anticipating a last stand by Nazi German forces there. He was reportedly appalled to learn the Red Armywould take Berlin, feeling the Soviet Union was a threat to the U.S. army’s advance to Pilsen, but was stopped by Eisenhower from reaching Prague before V-E Day on May 8 and the end of the war in Europe.
In its advance from the Rhine to the Elbe, Patton’s Third Army, which numbered between 250,000 and 300,000 men at any given time, captured 32,763 square miles (84,860 km2) of German territory. Its losses were 2,102 killed, 7,954 wounded, and 1,591 missing. German losses in the fighting against the Third Army totaled 20,100 killed, 47,700 wounded, and 653,140 captured.
Between becoming operational in Normandy on August 1, 1944 and the end of hostilities on May 9, 1945, the Third Army was in continuous combat for 281 days. In that time, it crossed 24 major rivers and captured 81,500 square miles (211,000 km2) of territory, including more than 12,000 cities and towns. The Third Army claimed to have killed, wounded, or captured 1,811,388 German soldiers, six times its strength in personnel. Fuller’s review of Third Army records differs only in the number of enemy killed and wounded, stating that between August 1, 1944 and May 9, 1945, 47,500 of the enemy were killed, 115,700 wounded, and 1,280,688 captured, for a total of 1,443,888.
Patton during a welcome home parade in Los Angeles, June 9, 1945
Patton asked for a command in the Pacific Theater of Operations, begging Marshall to bring him to that war in any way possible, and Marshall said he would be able to do so only if the Chinese secured a major port for his entry, an unlikely scenario. In mid-May, Patton flew to Paris, then London for rest. On June 7, he arrived in Bedford, Massachusetts, for extended leave with his family, and was greeted by thousands of spectators. Patton then drove to Hatch Memorial Shell and spoke to some 20,000, including a crowd of 400 wounded Third Army veterans. In this speech he aroused some controversy among the Gold Star Mothers when he stated that a man who dies in battle is “frequently a fool”, adding that the wounded are heroes. Patton spent time in Boston before visiting and speaking in Denver and visiting Los Angeles, where he spoke to a crowd of 100,000 at the Memorial Coliseum. Patton made a final stop in Washington before returning to Europe in July to serve in the occupation forces.
Patton was appointed military governor of Bavaria, where he led the Third Army in denazification efforts. Patton was particularly upset when learning of the end of the war against Japan, writing in his diary, “Yet another war has come to an end, and with it my usefulness to the world.” Unhappy with his position and depressed by his belief that he would never fight in another war, Patton’s behavior and statements became increasingly erratic. Various explanations beyond his disappointments have been proposed for Patton’s behavior at this point. Carlo D’Este wrote that “it seems virtually inevitable … that Patton experienced some type of brain damage from too many head injuries” from a lifetime of numerous auto- and horse-related accidents, especially one suffered while playing polo in 1936.
Patton’s niece Jean Gordon appeared again; they spent some time together in London in 1944, and again in Bavaria in 1945. Gordon actually loved a young married captain who left her despondent when he went home to his wife in September 1945. Patton repeatedly boasted of his sexual success with this young woman but his biographers are skeptical. Hirshson says the relationship was casual. Showalter believes that Patton, under severe physical and psychological stress, made up claims of sexual conquest to prove his virility. D’Este agrees, saying, “His behavior suggests that in both 1936 [in Hawaii] and 1944–45, the presence of the young and attractive Jean was a means of assuaging the anxieties of a middle-aged man troubled over his virility and a fear of aging.”
Patton attracted controversy as military governor when it was noted that several former Nazi Party members continued to hold political posts in the region. When responding to the press about the subject, Patton repeatedly compared Nazis to Democrats and Republicans in noting that most of the people with experience in infrastructure management had been compelled to join the party in the war, causing negative press stateside and angering Eisenhower. On September 28, 1945, after a heated exchange with Eisenhower over his statements, Patton was relieved of his military governorship. He was relieved of command of the Third Army on October 7, and in a somber change of command ceremony, Patton concluded his farewell remarks, “All good things must come to an end. The best thing that has ever happened to me thus far is the honor and privilege of having commanded the Third Army.”
Patton’s final assignment was to command the Fifteenth United States Army, based in Bad Nauheim. The Fifteenth Army at this point consisted only of a small headquarters staff tasked to compile a history of the war in Europe. Patton had accepted the post because of his love of history, but quickly lost interest in the duty. He began traveling, visiting Paris, Rennes, Chartres, Brussels, Metz, Reims, Luxembourg, and Verdun, as well as Stockholm, where he reunited with other athletes from the 1912 Olympics. Patton decided he would leave his post at the Fifteenth Army and not return to Europe once he left on December 10 for Christmas leave. He intended to discuss with his wife whether he would continue in a stateside post or retire.
On December 8, 1945, Patton’s chief of staff, Major General Hobart Gay, invited him on a pheasant hunting trip near Speyer to lift his spirits. Observing derelict cars along the side of the road, Patton said, “How awful war is. Think of the waste.” Moments later his car collided with an American army truck at low speed.
Gay and others were only slightly injured, but Patton hit his head on the glass partition in the back seat. He began bleeding from a gash to the head and complained that he was paralyzed and having trouble breathing. Taken to a hospital in Heidelberg, Patton was discovered to have a compression fracture and dislocation of the cervical third and fourth vertebrae, resulting in a broken neck and cervical spinal cord injury that rendered him paralyzed from the neck down. He spent most of the next 12 days in spinal traction to decrease spinal pressure. All non-medical visitors, except for Patton’s wife, who had flown from the U.S., were forbidden. Patton, who had been told he had no chance to ever again ride a horse or resume normal life, at one point commented, “This is a hell of a way to die.” He died in his sleep of pulmonary edema and congestive heart failure at about 18:00 on December 21, 1945. Patton was buried at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial in the Hammdistrict of Luxembourg City, alongside wartime casualties of the Third Army, per his request to “be buried with [his] men”.
Patton deliberately cultivated a flashy, distinctive image in the belief that this would inspire his troops. He carried an ivory-gripped, engraved, silver-plated Colt Single Action Army .45 revolver on his right hip, and frequently wore an ivory-gripped Smith & Wesson Model 27 .357 Magnum on his left hip. He was usually seen wearing a highly polished helmet, riding pants, and high cavalry boots. Likewise, Patton cultivated a stern expression he called his “war face”. He was known to oversee training maneuvers from atop a tank painted red, white and blue. His jeep bore oversized rank placards on the front and back, as well as a klaxon horn which would loudly announce his approach from afar. He proposed a new uniform for the emerging Tank Corps, featuring polished buttons, a gold helmet, and thick, dark padded suits; the proposal was derided in the media as “the Green Hornet”, and was rejected by the Army.
Historian Alan Axelrod wrote that “for Patton, leadership was never simply about making plans and giving orders, it was about transforming oneself into a symbol”. Patton intentionally expressed a conspicuous desire for glory, atypical of the officer corps of the day which emphasized blending in with troops on the battlefield. He was an admirer of Admiral Horatio Nelson for his actions in leading the Battle of Trafalgar in a full dress uniform. Patton had a preoccupation with bravery, wearing his rank insignia conspicuously in combat, and at one point during World War I rode atop a tank into a German-controlled village seeking to inspire courage in his men.
Patton was a staunch fatalist, and believed in reincarnation. He believed that he might have been a military leader killed in action in Napoleon’s army in a previous life, or a Roman legionary.
Patton developed an ability to deliver charismatic speeches, in part because he had trouble with reading. He used profanity heavily in his speech, which generally was enjoyed by troops under his command but offended other generals, including Bradley. The most famous of his speeches were a series he delivered to the Third Army prior to Operation Overlord. When speaking, he was known for his bluntness and witticism; he once said, “The two most dangerous weapons the Germans have are our own armored halftrack and jeep. The halftrack because the boys in it go all heroic, thinking they are in a tank. The jeep because we have so many God-awful drivers.” During the Battle of the Bulge, he famously remarked that the Allies should “let the sons-of-bitches [Germans] go all the way to Paris, then we’ll cut them off and round them up.” He also suggested facetiously that his Third Army could “drive the British back into the sea for another Dunkirk.”
As media scrutiny on Patton increased, his bluntness stirred controversy. These began in North Africa when some reporters worried that he was becoming too close to former Vichy officials with Axis sympathies. His public image was more seriously damaged after word of the slapping incidents broke. Another controversy occurred prior to Operation Overlord when Patton spoke at a British welcoming club at Knutsford England and said, in part, “since it is the evident destiny of the British and Americans, and of course, the Russians, to rule the world, the better we know each other, the better job we will do.” The next day news accounts misquoted Patton by leaving off the Russians. On a visit home after the war he again made headlines when he attempted to honor several wounded veterans in a speech by calling them “the real heroes” of the war, unintentionally offending the families of soldiers who had been killed in action. His final media blowup occurred in September 1945, when goaded by reporters about denazification, he said “[d]enazification would be like removing all the Republicans and all the Democrats who were in office, who had held office or were quasi Democrats or Republicans and that would take some time.” This caused Eisenhower to relieve Patton from command of the Third Army.
Patton’s well-known custom ivory-handled revolver
As a leader, Patton was known to be highly critical, correcting subordinates mercilessly for the slightest infractions, but also being quick to praise their accomplishments. Although he garnered a reputation as a general who was both impatient and impulsive and had little tolerance for officers who had failed to succeed, he fired only one general during World War II, Orlando Ward, and only after two warnings, whereas Bradley sacked several generals during the war.Patton reportedly had the utmost respect for the men serving in his command, particularly the wounded. Many of his directives showed special trouble to care for the enlisted men under his command, and he was well known for arranging extra supplies for battlefield soldiers, including blankets and extra socks, galoshes, and other items normally in short supply at the front.
Patton views on race were complicated and often negative. This may have been cultivated from his privileged upbringing and family roots in the southern United States. Privately he wrote of black soldiers: “Individually they were good soldiers, but I expressed my belief at the time, and have never found the necessity of changing it, that a colored soldier cannot think fast enough to fight in armor.” He also stated that performance was more important than race or religious affiliation: “I don’t give a damn who the man is. He can be a nigger or a Jew, but if he has the stuff and does his duty, he can have anything I’ve got. By God! I love him.”Addressing 761st Tank Battalion Patton also said, “Men, you are the first Negro tankers ever to fight in the American Army. I would never have asked for you if you weren’t good. I have nothing but the best in my army. I don’t care what color you are, so long as you go up there and kill those Kraut sonsabitches! Everyone has their eyes on you and is expecting great things from you. Most of all, your race is looking forward to you. Don’t let them down and, damn you, don’t let me down!” Likewise, Patton called heavily on the black troops under his command. Historian Hugh Cole notes that Patton was the first to integrate black and white soldiers into rifle companies.
After reading the Koran and observing North Africans, he wrote to his wife, “Just finished reading the Koran – a good book and interesting.” Patton had a keen eye for native customs and methods and wrote knowingly of local architecture; he once rated the progress of word-of-mouth rumor in Arab country at 40–60 miles (64–97 km) a day. In spite of his regard for the Koran, he concluded, “To me it seems certain that the fatalistic teachings of Mohammad and the utter degradation of women is the outstanding cause for the arrested development of the Arab … Here, I think, is a text for some eloquent sermon on the virtues of Christianity.” Patton was impressed with the Soviet Union but was disdainful of Russians as “drunks” with “no regard for human life”. Later in life he also began to express growing feelings of antisemitism and anticommunism, as a result of his frequent controversies in the press.
A statue of Patton at the US Military Academy at West Point
On February 1, 1945, Eisenhower wrote a memo ranking the military capabilities of his subordinate American generals in Europe. Bradley and Army Air Force General Carl Spaatz shared the number one position, Walter Bedell Smith was ranked number two, and Patton number three. Eisenhower revealed his reasoning in a 1946 review of the book Patton and His Third Army: “George Patton was the most brilliant commander of an army in the open field that our or any other service produced. But his army was part of a whole organization and his operations part of a great campaign.” Eisenhower believed that other generals such as Bradley should be given the credit for planning the successful Allied campaigns across Europe in which Patton was merely “a brilliant executor”.
Notwithstanding Eisenhower’s estimation of Patton’s abilities as a strategic planner, his overall view of Patton’s military value in achieving Allied victory in Europe can best be seen in Eisenhower’s refusal to even consider sending Patton home after the slapping incidents of 1943, after which he privately remarked, “Patton is indispensable to the war effort – one of the guarantors of our victory.” As Assistant Secretary of WarJohn J. McCloy told Eisenhower: “Lincoln‘s remark after they got after Grant comes to mind when I think of Patton – ‘I can’t spare this man, he fights’.” After Patton’s death, Eisenhower would write his own tribute: “He was one of those men born to be a soldier, an ideal combat leader … It is no exaggeration to say that Patton’s name struck terror at the hearts of the enemy.” Carlo D’Este insisted that Bradley disliked Patton both personally and professionally, but Bradley biographer Jim DeFelice noted that the evidence indicates otherwise. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appeared to greatly esteem Patton and his abilities, stating “he is our greatest fighting general, and sheer joy”. On the other hand, Roosevelt’s successor, Harry S. Truman, appears to have taken an instant dislike to Patton, at one point comparing both him and Douglas MacArthur to George Armstrong Custer.
For the most part, British commanders did not hold Patton in high regard. Field MarshalSir Alan Brooke noted in January 1943 that “I had heard of him, but I must confess that his swashbuckling personality exceeded my expectation. I did not form any high opinion of him, nor had I any reason to alter this view at any later date. A dashing, courageous, wild and unbalanced leader, good for operations requiring thrust and push but at a loss in any operation requiring skill and judgment.” One possible exception was Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. Although the latter’s rivalry with Patton was well known, Montgomery appears to have admired Patton’s ability to command troops in the field, if not his strategic judgment. Other Allied commanders were more impressed, the Free French in particular. General Henri Giraud was incredulous when he heard of Patton’s dismissal by Eisenhower in late 1945, and invited him to Paris to be decorated by PresidentCharles de Gaulle at a state banquet. At the banquet, President de Gaulle gave a speech placing Patton’s achievements alongside those of Napoleon. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was apparently an admirer, stating that the Red Army could neither have planned nor executed Patton’s rapid armored advance across France.
While Allied leaders expressed mixed feelings on Patton’s capabilities, the German High Command was noted to have more respect for him than for any other Allied commander after 1943.Adolf Hitler reportedly called him “that crazy cowboy general”. Many German field commanders were generous in their praise of Patton’s leadership following the war,[Note 3] and many of its highest commanders also held his abilities in high regard. Erwin Rommel credited Patton with executing “the most astonishing achievement in mobile warfare”.GeneraloberstAlfred Jodl, chief of staff of the German Army, stated that Patton “was the American Guderian. He was very bold and preferred large movements. He took big risks and won big successes.”GeneralfeldmarschallAlbert Kesselring noted that “Patton had developed tank warfare into an art, and understood how to handle tanks brilliantly in the field. I feel compelled, therefore, to compare him with Generalfeldmarschall Rommel, who likewise had mastered the art of tank warfare. Both of them had a kind of second sight in regard to this type of warfare.” Referring to the escape of the Afrika Korps after the Battle of El Alamein, Fritz Bayerlein opined that “I do not think that General Patton would let us get away so easily.” In an interview conducted for Stars and Stripes just after his capture, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt stated simply of Patton, “He is your best.
* His troops use to say about him. “Our Blood and his Guts!” But then I have heard this alot also from the old timers. When they would say proudly, “I rode with Patton!”
So far I have been able to shoot the civilian model of the M-14 i.e The M-1a. (Since the Army had “retired” the m-14 before I showed up at Ft. Dix.)
Now frankly I had put off getting one. Because of the huge price tag on it. But due to a very nice raise* I got due to the election of a certain Governor of California.
Here is what I found out. That putting the magazine into it. Is not the same as my the Ak-47. It took me a while & the Range Master on how to do it properly. The video below will help explain it better than I could.
Now let us move on to how the Rifle functioned. When I first used the iron sights. I frankly was very disappointed at my score. Granted I am not Annie Oakley. But I thought it could do better.
But then I had a stroke of luck! I got my hands on the scope mount for it. That and I had a spare High End Scope that was unemployed.
Now as my Dear Dad would say. “This is cooking with gas!” As my scores quickly helped massaged my battered ego. Since I started shooting patterns of a inch or so at a 100 yards.
So I recommend this rifle? I give it a qualified yes. The only issue is the initial high price for this rifle. Otherwise I have nothing really to complain about it .
Here is some more technical information about America’s Last Main Battle Rifle
The M14 was developed from a long line of experimental weapons based upon the M1 rifle. Although the M1 was among the most advanced infantry rifles of the late 1930s, it was not an ideal weapon. Modifications were already beginning to be made to the basic M1 rifle’s design during the last months of World War II. Changes included adding fully automatic firing capability and replacing the eight-round en bloc clips with a detachable box magazine holding 20 rounds. Winchester, Remington, and Springfield Armory‘s own John Garand offered different conversions. Garand’s design, the T20, was the most popular, and T20 prototypes served as the basis for a number of Springfield test rifles from 1945 through the early 1950s.
In 1945, Earle Harvey of Springfield Armory designed a completely different rifle, the T25, for the new T65 .30 light rifle cartridge [7.62×49mm] at the direction of Col. Rene Studler, then serving in the Pentagon. The two men were transferred to Springfield Armory in late 1945, where work on the T25 continued. The T25 was designed to use the T65 service cartridge, a Frankford Arsenal design based upon .30-06 cartridge case used in the M1 service rifle, but shortened to the length of the .300 Savage case. Although shorter than the .30-06, with less powder capacity, the T65 cartridge retained the ballistics and energy of the .30-06 due to the use of a recently developed ball powder made by Olin Industries. After experimenting with several bullet designs, the T65 was finalized for adoption as the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge. Olin Industries later introduced the cartridge on the commercial market as the .308 Winchester. After a series of revisions by Earle Harvey and other members of the .30 light rifle design group following the 1950 Fort Benning tests, the T25 was renamed the T47.
In contrast, the T44 prototype service rifle was not principally designed by any single engineer at Springfield Armory, but rather was a conventional design developed on a shoestring budget as an alternative to the T47. With only minimal funds available, the earliest T44 prototypes simply used T20E2 receivers fitted with magazine filler blocks and re-barreled for 7.62×51mm NATO, with the long operating rod/piston of the M1 replaced by the T47’s gas cut-off system. Lloyd Corbett, an engineer in Harvey’s rifle design group, added various refinements to the T44 design, including a straight operating rod and a bolt roller to reduce friction.
Infantry Board service rifle trials
Experimental T47 rifle
The T44 participated in a competitive service rifle competition conducted by the Infantry Board at Fort Benning, Georgia against the Springfield T47 (a modified T25) and the T48, a variant of Fabrique Nationale‘s FN FAL (from “Fusil Automatique Leger”, French for “light automatic rifle”). The T47, which did not have a bolt roller and performed worse in dust and cold weather tests than both the T44 and the T48, was dropped from consideration in 1953. During 1952–53, testing proved the T48 and the T44 roughly comparable in performance, with the T48 holding an advantage in ease of field stripping and dust resistance, as well as a longer product development lead time. A Newsweek article in July 1953 hinted that the T48/FAL might be selected over the T44. During the winter of 1953–54, both rifles competed in the winter rifle trials at U.S. Army facilities in the Arctic. Springfield Armory engineers, anxious to ensure the selection of the T44, had been specially preparing and modifying the test T44 rifles for weeks with the aid of the armory’s cold chamber, including redesign of the T44 gas regulator and custom modifications to magazines and other parts to reduce friction and seizing in extreme cold. The T48 rifles received no such special preparation, and in the continued cold weather testing began to experience sluggish gas system functioning, aggravated by the T48’s close-fitting surfaces between bolt and carrier, and carrier and receiver. FN engineers opened the gas ports in an attempt to improve functioning, but this caused early/violent extraction and broken parts as a result of the increased pressures. As a result, the T44 was ranked superior in cold weather operation to the T48. The Arctic Test Board report made it clear that the T48 needed improvement and that the U.S. would not adopt the T48 until it had successfully completed another round of Arctic tests the following winter.
In June 1954, funding was finally made available to manufacture newly fabricated T44 receivers specially designed for the shorter T65 cartridge. This one change to the T44 design saved a pound in rifle weight over that of the M1 Garand.Tests at Fort Benning with the T44 and T48 continued through the summer and fall of 1956. By this time, the T48/FAL rifles had been so improved that malfunction rates were almost as low as the T44.
In the end, the T44 was selected over the T48/FAL primarily because of weight (T44 was a pound lighter), simplicity with fewer parts, the T44’s self-compensating gas system, and the argument that the T44 could be manufactured on existing machinery built for the M1 rifle (this later turned out to be unworkable). In 1957, the U.S. formally adopted the T44 as the U.S. infantry service rifle, designated M14.
Springfield Armory produced 6,641 new M14 NM rifles in 1962 and 1963, while TRW produced 4,874 new M14 NM rifles in 1964. Springfield Armory later upgraded 2,094 M14 rifles in 1965 and 2,395 M14 rifles in 1966 to National Match specifications, while 2,462 M14 rifles were rebuilt to National Match standards in 1967 at the Rock Island Arsenal. A total of 11,130 National Match rifles were delivered by Springfield Armory, Rock Island Arsenal, and TRW during 1962–1967.
Production M14 rifles made by Springfield Armory and Winchester used forged receivers and bolts milled from AISI 8620 steel, a low-carbon molybdenum-chromium steel. Harrington & Richardson M14 production used AISI 8620 steel as well, except for ten receivers milled from AISI 1330 low-carbon steel and a single receiver made from alloy steel with a high nickel content.
A U.S. soldier with an M14 watches as supplies are dropped in 1967 during the Vietnam War.
After the M14’s adoption, Springfield Armory began tooling a new production line in 1958, delivering the first service rifles to the U.S. Army in July 1959. However, long production delays resulted in the 101st Airborne Division being the only unit in the army fully equipped with the M14 by the end of 1961. The Fleet Marine Force finally completed the change from M1 to M14 in late 1962. Springfield Armory records reflect that M14 manufacture ended as TRW, fulfilling its second contract, delivered its final production increment in fiscal year 1965 (1 July 1964 – 30 June 1965). The Springfield archive also indicates the 1.38 million rifles were acquired for just over $143 million, for a unit cost of about $104.
The rifle served adequately during its brief tour of duty in Vietnam. Though it was unwieldy in the thick brush due to its length and weight, the power of the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge allowed it to penetrate cover quite well and reach out to extended range, developing 2,560 ft·lbf (3,463 J) of muzzle energy. However, there were several drawbacks to the M14. The traditional wood stock of the rifle had a tendency to swell and expand in the heavy moisture of the jungle, adversely affecting accuracy. Fiberglass stocks were produced to resolve this problem, but the rifle was discontinued before very many could be distributed for field use. Also, because of the M14’s powerful 7.62×51mm cartridge, the weapon was deemed virtually uncontrollable in fully automatic mode, so most M14s were permanently set to semi-automatic fire only to avoid wasting ammunition in combat.
A rare M14 presentation model, serial No. 0010
The M14 was developed to replace seven different weapons—the M1 Garand, Springfield M1903, Enfield M1917, M1 carbine, M3 Grease Gun, Thompson M1928/M1, and M1918 Browning automatic rifle (BAR). The intention was to simplify the logistical requirements of the troops by limiting the types of ammunition and parts needed to be supplied. However, it proved to be an impossible task to replace all four. The M14 was also deemed “completely inferior” to the World War II M1 Garand in a September 1962 report by the U.S. Department of Defensecomptroller. The cartridge was too powerful for the submachine gun role and the weapon was simply too light to serve as a light machine gun replacement for the BAR.
The M14 remained the primary infantry rifle in Vietnam until it was replaced by the M16 in 1966–67, though combat engineer units kept them several years longer. Further procurement of the M14 was abruptly halted in late 1963 due to the U.S. Department of Defense report which had also stated that the AR-15 (soon to be M16) was superior to the M14. (The DOD did not cancel FY 1963 orders not yet delivered.) After the report, a series of tests and reports by the U.S. Department of the Army followed that resulted in the decision to cancel the M14. The M16 was then ordered as a replacement for the M14 by direction of Secretary of DefenseRobert McNamara in 1964, over the objection of the U.S. Army officers who had backed the M14. (Other factions within the Army research and development community had opposed the M14 and the 7.62×51 mm round from the start.) Though production of the M14 was officially discontinued, some disgruntled troops managed to hang on to them while deriding the early model M16 as a frail and under-powered “Mattel toy” that was prone to jam. In late 1967, the U.S. Army designated the M16 as the “Standard A” rifle, and the M14 became a “Limited Standard” weapon. The M14 rifle remained the standard rifle for U.S. Army Basic Training and troops stationed in Europe until 1970.
The U.S. Army also converted several thousand M14s into M21sniper rifles, which remained standard issue for this purpose until the adoption of the M24 SWS in 1988.
In 1969, tooling for the M14 was sold to Taiwan and later many rifles were exported to Baltic countries and Israel.[verification needed]
Post-1970 U.S. military service
An Army marksman in Fallujah, Iraq, using an M14 with a Leupold LR/T 10×40 mm M3 scope
In the mid-1990s, the Marine Corps chose a new rifle for Designated Marksman (sniper) use, an M14 modified by the Precision Weapons Shop in Marine Corps Base Quantico called the Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR). It is intended for use by security teams (SRTs, FAST companies), and Marine Scout Snipers in the cases where a semi-automatic rifle would be more appropriate than the standard bolt-action M40A1/A3 rifle. The USMC Rifle Team uses the M14 in shooting competitions. Although the M14 was phased out as the standard-issue rifle by 1970, M14 variants are still used by various branches of the U.S. Military as well as other armed forces, especially as a sniper rifle and as a designated marksman rifle, due to its accuracy and effectiveness at long range. Special active units such as the OPFOR units of the Joint Readiness Training Center use M14s. Few M14s were in use in the Army until the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. Since the start of these conflicts, many M14s have been employed as designated marksman and sniper rifles. These are not M21 rifles, but original production M14s. Common modifications include scopes, fiberglass stocks, and other accessories. A 2009 study conducted by the U.S. Army claimed that half of the engagements in Afghanistan occurred from beyond 300 meters (330 yd). America’s 5.56×45mm NATO service rifles are ineffective at these ranges; this has prompted the reissue of thousands of M14s.
A SEAL operator with an M14 rifle participating in maritime interdiction enforcement during Operation Desert Storm.
Various sniper variants have been used by the United States Navy SEALs, often mistaken with M21 in the overt literature, only one of them has received a standard name in the U.S. military designations system: the M25, developed by the Special Forces. SEALs also use the Mk 14 Mod 0 Enhanced Battle Rifle (EBR) for close-quarters battle and in a designated marksman role. “Delta Force” units are known to have used M14 sniper variants. According to Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, the well-known account of the Battle of Mogadishu, Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart, used an M14 for sniping from helicopters to provide support fire to ground troops.
The U.S. Army Special Forces (“Green Berets”) have made some use of the M25 “spotter rifle”. The M25 was developed in the late 1980s within the 10th Special Forces Group, which was charged to support Special Forces sniper weapons as well as the Special Operations Target Interdiction Course (SOTIC). The M25 was first planned as a replacement for the old M21, but after the Army adoption of the M24 SWS as its standard sniper rifle, the M25 was intended to be used by spotters of the sniper teams, while the snipers would use the bolt-action M24.
The M14 has remained in service longer than any U.S. infantry rifle surpassing that of the Springfield M1903 rifle, it also holds the distinction of serving as the standard infantry rifle of the U.S. Army for a second shortest span of time than almost any other service rifle, only surpassed by the short lived US Krag–Jørgensen rifles and carbines.
Service with other nations
The Philippines issues M14 rifles, M1/M2 carbines, M1 rifles, and M16 rifles, to their civilian defense forces and various cadet corps service academies. The Hellenic Navy uses the M14.
The M14 production Springfield tooling and assembly line was sold in 1967 to the Republic of China (Taiwan), who in 1968 began producing their Type 57 Rifle. The State Arsenal of the Republic of China produced over 1 million of these rifles from 1969 to the present. Other than the surface finish it is essentially a US rifle. It is used by the reserves and as a backup defense weapon, and used by airport guards.
In Mainland China, Norinco has produced an M14 variants for export, which were sold in the U.S. prior to the importation ban of 1989 and the enactment of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Rifles made by Poly Technologies were imported to the US in the 1980s but were banned from further import in 1989 by the first Bush Administration. They are currently being sold in Canada, Italy and New Zealand. They have been marketed under the M14S and M305 names.
Stamped into receiver heel:
Springfield Armory (or commercial contractor name)
M14 with magazine
The M14 rifle was first furnished with a walnut stock, then with birch and finally with a synthetic (fiberglass) stock, which was adopted for use in damp jungle environments in Vietnam, since the wood versions would often become warped and swollen with moisture. The stock was also fitted with a hinged shoulder rest for improved user comfort when firing from a prone position. Original equipment walnut and birch stocks carry the Department of Defense acceptance stamp or cartouche (an arc of three stars above a spread-winged eagle). These stocks also carried a proof stamp, a P within a circle, applied after successful test-firing.
Rifles manufactured through late 1960 were provided with walnut handguards. Thereafter synthetic, slotted (ventilated) hand guards were furnished but proved too fragile for military use. These were replaced by the solid synthetic part still in use, usually in dark brown, black or a camouflage pattern.
Standard M14 rifling has right-hand twist in 1:12 inches with 4 grooves.
Although M14 rifle production ended in 1964, the limited standard status of the weapon resulted in the continued manufacture of accessories and spare parts into the late 1960s and beyond.
M2 Bandoleer (Has 6 pockets, each containing 2 × 5-round Mauser-type clips for a total of 60 rounds, and a pouch for a magazine filler. The sling was adjustable and was held in place with a matte-black steel safety pin). Standard Operating Procedure was for the operator to use up the ammunition in the bandoleers before using the loaded magazines in the ammo pouches. The pockets’ stitching could be ripped out to allow the bandoleer to carry 6 pre-loaded 20-round magazines.
Sling [The service rifle used a one-piece cotton or nylon webbing sling and the competition and sniping variants use the standard M1907 two-piece leather sling]
Cleaning kit (contained in the stock’s butt-trap) included: a combination tool, ratchet chamber brush, plastic lubricant case, brass bore brush, four cleaning rod sections, cleaning rod case, and a cleaning rod patch-holding tip.
M5 winter trigger and winter safety
M12 blank firing attachment and M3 breech shield
Cartridge charger clip (holds five cartridges)
Magazine filler (or “spoon”) for charging detached magazines externally. (The M14 has a groove over the action that allows the operator to place a loaded clip and top off the attached magazine internally through the open action).
M1956 Universal Small Arms Ammunition Pouch, First Pattern (could hold 2 × 20-round M14 magazines horizontally).
M1956 Universal Small Arms Ammunition Pouch, Second Pattern (could hold 3 × 20-round M14 magazines vertically).
M1961 ammunition magazine pouch. (Could carry 1 × 20-round M14 magazine. The bottom of the pouch contained eyelets for attaching a First Aid Pouch or 3-cell (6 pocket) Grenade Carrier that could tie down around the thigh.)
M76 rifle grenade launcher
M15 grenade launcher sight
Mk 87 Mod 0/1 line (rope) throwing kit
Types of sights
Rear peep, front blade, metric
Rear National Match peep with hood, front National Match blade, metric
Variants and related designs
A U.S. Border Patrol Agent, armed with a M14 rifle, tracking someone in harsh winter conditions on the northern U.S. border.
The M15 Squad Automatic Weapon was a modified M14 developed as a replacement for the .30-06M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle for use as a squad automatic weapon. It added a heavier barrel and stock, a hinged buttplate, a selector switch for fully automatic fire, and a bipod. The sling was from the BAR. Like the M14, it was chambered for 7.62×51mm NATO.
Firing tests showed that the M14, when equipped with the selector switch, hinged buttplate and bipod, performed as well as the M15. As a result, the M15 was dropped and the modified M14 became the squad automatic weapon. Accuracy and control problems with this variant led to the addition of a pistol grip, a folding rubber covered metal foregrip and a muzzle stabilizer. However, it was a poor suppressive fire weapon owing to 20-round magazines and it overheated rapidly.
The M14E1 was tested with a variety of folding stocks to provide better maneuverability for armored infantry, paratroopers and others. No variant was standardized.
Selective fire version of the standard M14 used as a squad automatic weapon. Successor to the full-automatic M14 with a bipod and the never issued M15. The developmental model was known as the M14E2. As a conceptional weapon developed by the Infantry School, it was known as the M14 (USAIB) (United States Army Infantry Board). It was issued in 1963 and redesignated as M14A1 in 1966.
It had a full pistol-gripped in-line stock to control recoil, a plastic upper forend to save weight, a muzzle compensator, the BAR sling, an M2 bipod, and a folding metal vertical foregrip mounted under the forend of the stock. Although an improvement over the M14 when in full-auto, it was still difficult to control, overheated rapidly, and the 20-round magazine limited its ability to deliver suppressive fire.
M14M (Modified)/M14NM (National Match)
The M14M is a semi-automatic only version of the standard M14 that was developed for use in civilian rifle marksmanship activities such as the Civilian Marksmanship Program. M14M rifles were converted from existing M14 rifles by welding the select-fire mechanism to prevent full-automatic firing. The M14NM (National Match) is an M14M rifle built to National Match accuracy standards.
The M14M and M14NM rifles are described in a (now-obsolete) Army regulation, AR 920-25, “Rifles, M14M and M14NM, For Civilian Marksmanship Use,” dated 8 February 1965. Paragraph 2, among other things, stated that the Director of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division, Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury (predecessor to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) had ruled that M14M and M14NM rifles so modified would not be subject to the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA) and, as such, could be sold or issued to civilians. However, with the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968, the NFA was amended to prohibit sales of previously modified automatic weapons such as the M14M and M14NM to civilians.
Stand-off Munition Disruption, used by Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel to destroy unexploded ordnance. Essentially an M14 National Match rifle with scope.
Mk 14 EBR
A soldier using a M14 EBR-RIequipped with a Sage M14ALCS chassis stock provides security in Iraq, 2006.
From 1987 to 1994, Armscorp of America or Armscorp USA produced investment-cast semi-auto M14 receivers. During the first year of production, Armscorp receivers were supplied by Smith Manufacturing of Holland, Ohio, which were heat treated and finish machined by Armscorp. From 1988 to 1994, a few receivers with an ‘S’ serial number prefix were made of stainless steel. From approximately 1994 until 2008, Armscorps receiver castings were supplied by the Lamothermic Corporation of Brewster, New York.
A product of Troy Industries the CAR 14 (Carbine Assault Rifle 14) is a smaller and lighter tactical version of the M14. Its barrel is 12.5 inches long and it weighs 7.9 pounds. The rifle has select fire ability, a threaded flash suppressor for a suppressor, a tactical rail on top for sights and other attachments, and the operating rod cover.
From 1984 to 1991, Federal Ordnance of South El Monte, California sold a semi-auto version of the M14 rifle. Initially named the M14 or M14A, the rifle utilized an aftermarket semi-auto receiver fitted with surplus USGI M14 parts. All receivers were machined from castings of AISI 8620 alloy steel. Except for the first fifty receivers, the castings were supplied by Electro Crisol Metal, S.A. of Santander, Spain, then imported to the US for heat treatment, finish machining, and exterior phosphate treatment. M14 and M14A receivers were heat-treated using the carburizing process by a firm in Santa Ana, California, followed by finish machining on a CNC machine at Federal Ordnance in South El Monte. Federal Ordnance M14 and M14A receivers were heat-treated and carburized according to USGI M14 requirements. Each completed production rifle was proof fired, then tested for functioning by firing three rounds. USGI parts and bolts were used extensively in Federal Ordnance rifles through at least serial number 88XX. In 1989, Federal Ordnance renamed the rifle the M14SA and M14CSA. Rifles in the 93XX serial range and higher have modified receivers designed to accept Chinese-made bolts, barrels, and other parts owing to a shortage of original USGI components. Approximately 51,000 complete Federal Ordnance M14 rifles and 60,000 or more receivers were manufactured before production was halted in late 1991.
La France Specialties M14K
The M14K is a commercial version of the M14 designed and built by Timothy F. LaFrance of La France Specialties of San Diego, California, most using forged receivers produced by Smith Enterprise of Tempe, Arizona. This rifle has a custom-made short barrel with a custom-made flash suppressor, shortened operating rod, and employs a unique gas tube system. Fully automatic versions have a removable flash suppressor. Semi-automatic versions (of which very few were made) have a silver-brazed flash hider to comply with the requirement that Title I firearms have a 16″ barrel. Most M14Ks employ the M60 gas tube system. Some late-model M14Ks employ a custom-designed and manufactured gas system. Both are intended to control the rate of fire in fully automatic mode. The rear sight is a custom-made National Match type aperture, and the front sight is a custom-made narrow blade, wing-protected sight to take advantage of the additional accuracy afforded by the special barrel.
The stocks and handguards on M14Ks are shortened versions of the GI birch or walnut stock, but make use of the original front ferrule. The front sling mount is relocated slightly to rear, to accommodate the shortened stock. Most handguards are of the solid, fiberglass variety (albeit shortened), but a limited number were made with shortened wood handguards. The steel buttplate was deleted in favor of a rubber recoil pad, which greatly reduces perceived recoil. A limited number of M14Ks were manufactured with the BM-59 Alpine / Para folding stock. These too had the shortened stocks and handguards, making for an extremely compact package especially suited to vehicular and airborne operations. A couple of M14Ks were built for SEAL Team members using the tubular folding stock assembly on a cut-down M14E2 stock found on some of the Team’s full-size M14s prior to adoption of the Sage International EBR stock for M14 applications. These are by far one of the rarest variants of the M14K.
The Chinese firm Norinco manufactures two versions of the M14 rifle known as the M14S or M305. These rifles have been banned from importation (1989 for all Polytech rifles) and (1994 for Norinco rifles) to the U.S., due to a Clinton era prohibition on Chinese made firearms. They are commonly sold and are popular in Canada for hunting and target shooting.
Polytech Industries of China made an unlicensed version of the M14 rifle known as the M14S. Polytechs, unlike Norinco rifles, were all banned in the 1989 firearm importation ban by the President George HW Bush administration.
Smith Enterprise, Inc
Smith Enterprise Inc. was founded as Western Ordnance in 1979 by Richard Smith in Mesa, Arizona and the company made numerous types of rifles, but specialized in the M1 Garand and M14. In 1993, Western Ordnance reformed as Smith Enterprise and has built and rebuilt numerous M14 rifles for the US Military and the militaries of Colombia, Canada and other nations.
The U.S. Department of Defense has contracted Smith Enterprise to build and modify M14 rifles for use by soldiers, Marines and sailors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Smith Enterprise played a major part in the M14 rifle modernization projects for various US military units which resulted in the development of the U.S. Navy Mark 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle. The company’s history included originally making forged receivers for M14 rifles and briefly switching to investment casting. Smith stopped making receivers for a few years, but reentered the market with receivers machined from bar stock in 2002.
In 2003 Smith Enterprise Inc. created its version of the M14 Enhanced Battle Rifle known as the MK14 Mod 0, type SEI. The rifle used a medium heavy weight 18.0″ barrel and was used as a basis to create the US Navy’s Mark 14 Mod 0 with Springfield Armory, Inc. being tasked to supply the necessary machinery in cooperation with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division. SEI builds an improved M14 gas cylinder as a component of their specialized rifles and a part for the military to upgrade older rifles. The gas cylinder is assigned the NATO Stock Number: NSN 1005-00-790-8766.
Springfield Armory, Inc. of Geneseo, Ill., produces a semi-automatic-only version of the M14 rifle. The standard rifle is known as the M1A. The company produces several variations of the basic rifle with different stocks, barrel weights, barrel lengths, and other optional features. The Springfield M1A and its model variants have been widely distributed in the U.S. civilian market and have seen use by various law enforcement agencies in the U.S. Springfield Armory, Inc. also produce the SOCOM series and the Scout Squad Rifle, based on the short-barreled version of the M14. The SOCOM 16 comes with provisions to mount a red dot sight and the SOCOM II adds railed handguards to the package. Springfield Armory’s M21 tactical is a civilian version of the M21 Sniper Weapon System currently in use by the U.S. military.
Australia: small quantities of XM21 sniper variants were issued by the Australian Army in the Vietnam War. M14 EBRs were also fielded by Australian special operations forces in Afghanistan.
Estonia: Adopted by Estonian military as marksman’s rifle, modified by E-Arsenal called the Täpsuspüss M14-TP(Precision Rifle M14-PR), with heavy barrel, bipod, synthetic stock, and optical 4× sight.
Now I have always been impressed by the wonderful art that the old Gun Companies put out in the form of Blue prints.
In the days before computers. These plans had to be hand drawn by Draftsmen. Having taken a drafting class in Junior HS, a few centuries ago. I can tell you it is not a easy job.
So here is a few of some of the better ones for you to ponder upon.
Now as any US Marine* will tell you. It seems to them that they are always the last to get any kind of new gear. Especially because the of these facts. As that most of the time. The money comes out of the Navy’s budget. That & the Marine Corp has a well earned reputation for frugality.
Now in the spirit of semi open disclosure. I am one of the few Army Guys that like the Marines for the most part. That is to say. When they are not trying steal everything from us. That is not nailed down with an armed guard on it.
But that is for small minds to ponder upon. Anyways, when WWII came our way. The Marines were having a very hard time getting their hands on Machine Guns. Since it was a seller market at the time.
So when the Sales guy from H&R came around. The Marines snapped them up. In spite of the fact that the Army said a very firm “No Thanks pal! That & do not let the door hit you in the ass on the way out”.
As the Marines were soon to found out on why, pretty quickly. When they took them with them to Guadalcanal. Where they performed miserably in combat.
What with a lot of jamming, problems with field stripping and cleaning. So they dumped them as quickly as they could. Then getting anything else that could shoot. That they could get their sticky fingers on.
Again nothing new here as any Marine will tell you after a few adult drinks.
Yes Bugs Bunny was in the Corp!
A Very Senior Marine NCO with both versions of the M-50. The shorter version was for the Paramarines with a folding wire stock.
The Paramarines were Marine Airborne Units. That the Marine Corp raised because of the Army’s 82nd & 101st Airborne Divisions publicity.
(They had a mixed reputation and were disbanded by the Corp near the end of WWII)
A U.S. Coast Guard sailor on shore patrol with working dog and a Reising Model 50 with 12-round magazine.
The Reising submachine gun was a very innovative weapon for its time featuring firepower, accuracy, excellent balance, light weight and ease of manufacture compared to the Thompson Model 1928 submachine gun, the leading American competitor of the time. But poor combat performance of the Reising contrasted with favorable combat and law enforcement use of the Thompson forever mired the weapon in controversy.
Eugene Reising was an excellent marksman and ordnance engineer who believed engineering principles must match actual field needs. Reising practiced his creed by being an avid shooter, and by serving in the early 1900s as an assistant to firearm inventor John M. Browning. In doing so, Reising contributed to the final design of the US .45 Colt M1911 pistol, one of the most reliable pistols in history. Reising then designed a number of commercial rifles and pistols on his own, when in 1938, he turned his attention to designing a submachine gun as threats of war rapidly grew in Europe.
Two years later he submitted his completed design to the Harrington & Richardson Arms Company (H&R) in Worcester, Massachusetts. It was accepted, and in March 1941, H&R started manufacturing the Model 50 full stocked submachine gun. Months later, production began on the Model 55 (identical to the Model 50 other than having a folding wire buttstock, no compensator, and a barrel half an inch shorter); and the Model 60 full stocked semiautomatic rifle that also resembled a Model 50, but had a 7.75 inch longer barrel without cooling fins or compensator.
H&R promoted the submachine guns for police and military use, and the Model 60 for security guards. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 the US was suddenly in desperate need of thousands of modern automatic weapons. Since the Reising’s only competitor was the venerable .45 ACPThompson Model 1928A1 submachine gun, a weapon that epitomized reliability and exquisite machining, the more easily manufactured Reising was quickly adopted by the US Navy and Marines as a limited-standard weapon.
The US Army first tested the Reising in November 1941 at Fort Benning, Georgia, and found several parts failed due to poor construction. Once corrected a second test was made in 1942 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. In that test 3,500 rounds were fired resulting in two malfunctions: one from the ammunition, the other from a bolt malfunction. As a result, the Army didn’t adopt the Reising, but the Navy and Marines did, faced with insufficient supply of Thompsons.
The Navy and Marines also noticed that the Reising had certain advantages over the Thompson. It was less costly, costing $62 compared to the $200 for the Thompson. It was much lighter (seven vs. eleven pounds). And, the Model 55 was much more compact (about twenty-two vs. thirty-three inches in length)–the most compact, accurate, and lightest submachine gun in the world at the time.
The Reising cost and weighed less than the Thompson because its metal components were mostly stampings instead of machined parts. Its low weight was due to its delayed blowback design, whereas most WWII-era submachine guns utilized the simple blowback principle. Simple blowback relies largely on the mass (weight) of the bolt to secure the cartridge when firing, and therefore requires this component to be particularly heavy. (The 1928A1 Thompson had a more involved Blish lock system, but this was similarly dependent on high bolt mass.) It was more balanced because the barrel-and-receiver-group rested concentrically within the stock. It had smoother lines because the stock was of conventional shape, and the cocking handle (action bar) was placed inside the forearm. In addition, it was more accurate because the closed-bolt only shifted the hammer and firing pin on firing, whereas the Thompson slammed home a heavy bolt and actuator.
Though described as a submachine gun, the Reising was designed as a compact lightweight semi-automatic delayed blowback carbine, firing from a closed bolt for accuracy. The Reising was made in selective fire versions that could be switched between semi-automatic or full-automatic fire as needed and in semi-auto only versions to be used for marksmanship training and police and guard use. The Reising had a designed full-auto cyclic rate of 450–600 rounds per minute but it was reported that the true full-auto rate was closer to 750–850 rounds per minute. At those rates, the twenty round magazine could be emptied in less than two seconds. In 1941, the Reising was priced at approximately $50 per weapon as opposed to $225 for the standard military issue Thompson submachine gun.
There were two differences between the M50 and the M55, those being the elimination of the compensator and the addition of a folding wire buttstock making the M55 lighter and shorter. M55 was originally issued to Marine parachute infantry and armored vehicle crews.
The M60 was a long-barreled, semi-automatic carbine model designed primarily for military training and police use. However, few of these were ever sold. The Marines used M60s for training, guard duty, and other non-combat roles. Some M60s were believed to have been issued to Marine officers at Guadalcanal. The remaining guns were passed on to State Guards and civilian law enforcement agencies.
The Reising entered military service primarily because of uncertainty of supply of sufficient quantities of the Thompson submachine gun. In the testing stage, it won out over some other competing designs. It was very light and quite accurate in aimed fire, and “capable of intensive fire against personnel within a range of 300 yards.” This was attributed to its better stock fit and intricate closed bolt, delayed blowback design, though its firepower was somewhat limited due to the 20-round capacity of its largest magazine. Most submachine guns fire from the open bolt position, meaning the full weight of the bolt slams forward when the trigger is pulled; with the Reising, only a lightweight firing pin striker moves when the trigger is pulled.
The U.S. Marines adopted the Reising in 1941 with 4,200 authorized per division with approximately 500 authorized per each infantry regiment. Most Reisings were originally issued to Marine officers and NCOs in lieu of a compact and light carbine, since the newly introduced M1 carbine was not yet being issued to the Marines. Although the Thompson submachine gun was available, this weapon frequently proved too heavy and bulky for junglepatrols, and initially it too was in short supply.
During World War II, the Reising first saw action on August 7, 1942, exactly eight months to the day after Pearl Harbor, when 11,000 men from the 1st Marine Division stormed the beaches of Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands. This sweltering ninety-mile long mountainous island was covered with dense jungle and swamps, and was defended by Japanese troops. Since Guadalcanal had an airfield, the island had to be taken as Japanese aircraft from there could isolate Australia and New Zealand from America. To the Marines’ surprise, as they stepped off their landing craft and their naval fire crept forward, they were met not by the Japanese, but by silence and shattered coconut groves that fringed the beach. Advancing cautiously into the dark, musky jungle, they pushed forward and took the airfield the following day. But Japanese warships and reinforcements were en route. That night, powerful shell fire swept the Marines as they were suddenly cut off from sea; to be locked in mortal ground combat with the Japanese 35th Infantry Brigade, and 2nd and 28th Infantry Divisions.
On the same date of Guadalcanal’s invasion, the Model 50 and 55 saw action by fast-striking, camouflage-dressed, 1st Marine Raiders on the small outlying islands of Tulagi and Tanambogo to the north. Two companies of Marine paratroopers, “The Devil Dogs,” dressed in olive drab jump smocks also used Model 55s to attack the island of Gavutu, between Tulagi and Tanambogo. Although Tulagi and Tanambogo were each secured in a day, the fighting was fierce. Japanese firing from caves and beach dugouts destroyed many of the raiders’ assault craft before touching shore. At day’s end, the raiders suffered 234 casualties from a 750-man force. The paratroopers fared worse. Of the 377 men who assaulted Gavutu, 212, roughly two-thirds were killed or seriously wounded, many because escorting warships couldn’t provide close fire support in the uncharted waters, and bombers sent to assist the paratroopers dropped their ordnance short killing their own men. Following six months of intense fighting, Guadalcanal fell to the Marines on February 7, 1943, at a cost of 6,000 wounded and killed Americans as well as 20,000 dead Japanese. Guadalcanal’s capture marked the beginning of the end of the Japanese Empire; other than minor advances in Burma and China, the Japanese were continuously pushed back to their homeland.
Although Paramarines and armored crewmen had been issued the folding stock M55, the weapon’s poorly designed wire-framed stock tended to fold while firing and soon earned the M55 a poor reputation. Moreover, the Reising was designed as a civilian police weapon and was not suited to the stresses of harsh battle conditions encountered in the Solomon Islands—namely, sand, saltwater and the difficulty in keeping the weapon clean enough to function properly. Tests at Aberdeen Proving Ground and Fort Benning Georgia had found difficulties in blindfold reassembly of the Reising, indicating the design was complicated and difficult to maintain. Many of the parts were hand fitted at the factory; this lack of parts interchangeability was not a problem for a civilian security or police firearm, but it was very problematic when Reisings were maintained in the field under combat conditions.
While more accurate than the Thompson, particularly in semi-automatic mode, the Reising had a tendency to jam. This was in part due to its overly complex delayed-blowbackdesign. This design used a system of levers within the receiver to release a fragile firing pin that could break, rust, or freeze in the humid jungle climate. This problem was exacerbated by the bolt delay recess in the receiver that accumulated dirt or fouling, preventing the bolt from seating properly; if not seated in its recess, the trigger disconnector prevented firing. In addition, the magazine was a staggered-column, single-cartridge feed design, and slight damage to the feed lips or debris in the magazine would render the magazine unusable. A partial solution to the magazine problem was the later introduction of a single-column magazine that reduced the capacity from 20 to 12 rounds.
The Reising earned a dismal reputation for reliability in the combat conditions of Guadalcanal. Fortunately, the M1 carbine eventually became available and was often chosen over both the Reising and the Thompson in the wet tropical conditions, as the M1928 Thompson’s built-in oiling pads in the receiver were a liability.
In late 1943 following numerous complaints, the Reising was withdrawn from Fleet Marine Force (FMF) units and assigned to Stateside guard detachments and ship detachments. After the Marines proved reluctant to accept more Reisings, and with the increased issue of the .30-caliber M1 carbine, the U.S. government passed some Reising submachine guns to the OSS and to various foreign governments (as Lend-Lease aid). Canadapurchased some Model 50 SMGs and these were issued to 2nd Battalions in Canada where the 1st Battalions of regiments were serving overseas. They were issued along with .30-06M1917 Enfields and .30-06 Lewismachine guns. One such unit to receive them was the 2nd Bn Seaforth Highlanders of Canada. The Veteran’s Guard of Canada were issued the weapon to guard German Prisoners of War. Others were given to various anti-Axis resistance forces operating around the world.
Many Reisings (particularly the semiautomatic M60 rifle) were issued to State Guards for guarding war plants, bridges, and other strategic resources. And after the war thousands of Reising Model 50 submachine guns were acquired by state, county, and local U.S. law enforcement agencies. In this role the weapon proved much more successful, and by doing so, forever mired the weapon in controversy.
H&R was justifiably proud of the Reising’s superior accuracy and balance, lighter weight, and ease of manufacturing when compared to the Thompson. However, the Reising’s close tolerance and delicate magazine proved unreliable in the sand and mud of the Solomons—unless kept scrupulously clean. The gun quickly became despised by front-line Marines, and Lieutenant Colonel Merritt A. Edson, Commander, 1st Marine Raider Battalion, ordered that Reisings be flung into Guadalcanal’s crocodile infested Lunga River, as his troops resorted to reliable bolt-action Springfield rifles.
This failure made a mockery of H&R’s company slogan, “Six-and-one-half pounds of controlled dynamite. The H&R Reising will get a bullet there when you need it!”
There are other reasons for its failure. Foremost was the Reising’s complex design of many small pins, plungers, springs and levers. Disassembly and assembly was difficult even under normal conditions. Simple maintenance was problematic as there was no bolt hold-open device. Chambering a cartridge was awkward as the action bar was hard to grasp in the forearm and could be obstructed by the sling. Worse, the safety/selector switch couldn’t be sensed by feel at night if it was in the safe, semi, or automatic position.
“Filing-to-fit” of certain parts during production limited interchangeability. The exposed rear sight had no protective ears and was vulnerable to breakage. The adjustable front sight could be lost if the retaining screw wasn’t tightly secured. The weapon was susceptible to jamming if grime clogged the bolt’s locking recess in the receiver. The two small magazine guide retaining pins and corresponding receiver stud holes were tapered allowing disassembly and assembly only from one direction—right to left for disassembly, and left to right for assembly; adding unacceptable levels of complexity in a combat environment. The retaining pins had to be delicately pounded out whenever the bolt needed to be removed for cleaning. During the reassembly process, if the retaining pins were inserted too much or too little when reassembling, the receiver might not fit back into the tight confines of the stock.
What constitutes a “commercial” and “military” Model 50 is amorphous. First, H&R never made a distinction; the distinction is made by collectors. This confusion stems from a period in production where early Model 50s were manufactured with commercial characteristics and H&R’s wartime practice of randomly installing old parts in stock throughout production.
While there is not one factor that distinguishes the so-called commercial from the military model, the commercial model is usually blued. It commonly has a fixed front sight and a rear sight with no retaining screw. It often has 28 fins on the barrel, a one piece magazine release, no outward flanges on the safety/selector switch, and no sling swivels. Lastly, the commercial model commonly has a smooth take-down screw, a two-hole trigger guard, and serial numbers ranging from one to 20,000.
Military Reisings are usually parkerized. They often have an adjustable front sight with an Allen screw and a rear sight with a retaining screw. They routinely have 14 fins on the barrel, a two piece magazine release, outward flanges on the safety/selector switch, sling swivels, stock ties (crossbolts through the forearm), and a knurled take-down screw. Finally, the military model commonly has a three-hole trigger guard, proofmarks like “PH” or “Pm2” above the chamber, and serial numbers ranging from 20,000 to 120,000.
There are three types of H&R magazines. The first and second models are both smooth body, are blued, and are twenty-shot double column. The first model is distinguished by five cartridge peep holes on the left side, a feature eliminated on the second model to prevent mud and sand from entering. In contrast, the third model is parkerized, has two long indentations on the sides to reduce its capacity to a twelve-shot single column magazine because of feeding problems experienced with former models.
Production of the Model 50 and 55 submachine guns ceased in 1945 at the end of World War II. Nearly 120,000 submachine guns were made of which two thirds went to the Marines. H&R continued production of the Model 60 semiautomatic rifle in hopes of domestic sales, but with little demand, production of the Model 60 stopped in 1949 with over 3,000 manufactured. H&R sold their remaining inventory of submachine guns to police and correctional agencies across America who were interested in the Reising’s selective-fire capability, semi-auto accuracy, and low cost relative to a Thompson. Then faced with continued demand, H&R resumed production of the Model 50 in 1950 which sputtered to a halt in 1957 with nearly 5,500 additional submachine guns manufactured. But just when the Reising story seemed to end, a foreign order was received in the 1960s for nearly 2,000 more Model 60s, but that order was finally the end.
Decades later, in 1986, H&R closed their doors and the Numrich Arms (aka Gun Parts Corporation) purchased their entire inventory. Acquiring a number of Model 50 receivers, Numrich assembled them with parts. These weapons all have an “S” preceding the serial number and were sold domestically in the early 1990s after reparkerization and fitting with newly manufactured walnut stocks. These stocks are distinguished from originals by their wider than normal sling swivels and buttstocks, by the fact they have no stock ties, and have H&R marked plastic buttplates (originals were unmarked metal).
In New Zealand in December 1963, two men thought to have been operating an illegal beerhouse business were murdered execution-style with a Reising machine gun. Machine guns were a type of weapon thought not to exist in the country at the time.
**Warning Crude GI Humor Below!**
* I was once told by a Vietnam War Marine friend of mine. Who use to strap a M-60 Tank on his back up in I Corp.
What a REAL Marine actually is. It is a Green Amphibious Monster. That lives on three kinds of shit (Horse, Chicken and Bullshit) Who also has the spirit of the Waffen SS and the weapons of the Italians. I really do believe that he was steel on target about that one.
World War II changed most everything about planet earth. Society, culture, industry, and politics all underwent a seismic shift during this worldwide conflict that ultimately claimed 50 million souls. This most horrible of wars spilt rivers of blood.
Previously gunmaking retained some modicum of art. Military weapons combined the machinist’s touch with the woodworker’s skill to produce weapons that were elegant, graceful, and expensive. Receivers typically began life as huge chunks of forged steel before being cut or turned into something mechanically complex, sometimes on machines still driven by steam. In the desperate fight for national survival that defined World War II, however, man perfected the mass production of his implements of destruction.
MP40 M3A1 Grease Gun
Weight. 8.75 lbs 7.95 lbs
Length—Stock Extended 32.8 in 29.8 in
Length—Stock Retracted 24.8 22.8 in
Barrel Length 9.9 in 8 in
Cartridge 9mm .45 ACP
Muzzle velocity 1,300 feet/second 920 feet/second
Rate of Fire 500 rounds/minute 450 rounds/minute
Sights Fixed Fixed
Total wartime Production 1.1 million 700,000
The MP38 was cut from a heavy steel tube and can be readily identified by the longitudinal grooves cut in the receiver. The MP38 also has a dime-sized lightening hole stamped into both sides of the magazine well. Otherwise, the MP38 incorporated stamped steel fire controls, sights, and ancillary widgets. The gun also eschewed the use of wood anywhere in its production.
The MP38 was initially intended for use within and around armored vehicles. As a result, a synthetic polymer barrel rest was included underneath the barrel. The hook on the end of the rest was designed to rest outside the armor of a halftrack such that the muzzle didn’t inadvertently wander into the crew compartment under recoil.
The German MP40 submachine gun ushered in an entirely new era in military gun building. Sporting stamped steel components and a collapsible stock, the MP40 was the world’s first martial weapon truly optimized for mass production.
The MP38 rendered superb service in the hands of German Fallschirmjagers during their parachute assaults into Norway, Poland and Belgium. This tidy little submachine gun also armed German Panzer troops on their Blitzkrieg across Europe early in the war. Despite its incorporation of advanced production techniques, the Germans still saw room for improvement.
The primary difference between the MP38 and the subsequent MP40 rested in the production of the receiver. The receiver of the MP40 was pressed out of thin gauge sheet steel on industrial presses. As a result, the gun could be produced en masse by semi-skilled labor. Production of the MP40 continued until the MP44 assault rifle supplanted it. Around 1.1 million of these guns were ultimately produced.
The folding steel stock on the MP40 was a bit flimsy yet remained effective under hard use. The pivoting buttplate must be folded flat when stowed.
The MP40 fed from a double column 32-round box magazine that tapered to a single feed for presentation. While offering reliable feed geometry, this design was prone to stoppage when dirty and required a magazine loading tool to load. The gun also incorporated a unique recoil assembly wherein nested steel cups telescoped into themselves around the recoil spring. This gave the MP40 an unusually smooth firing cycle. When combined with the weapon’s sedate rate of fire and front-heavy design this made the gun imminently controllable. The weapon was fully automatic only.
The original MP38 and early MP40s lacked a manual safety beyond a cutout to lock the bolt to the rear. However, the gun could be dropped onto its butt with a loaded magazine in place and suffer an accidental discharge. In this circumstance, the bolt might drop back far enough to pick up a round but not far enough to engage the sear. The fix for this problem involved cutting a locking slot in the front of the receiver and replacing the bolt with an improved version. The new charging handle could be snapped in place to secure the bolt in the forward position. Until the fix could be updated the Germans issued a special leather strap that would lock the bolt in place externally.
The Nazis serialized everything on their weapons to include the firing pin and these early Bakelite grip plates.
Despite the streamlined nature of the MP40 the Germans just couldn’t bring themselves to let go of their compulsive gunmaking proclivities. As a result, the MP40 is simply festooned with waffenamt acceptance stamps and every part big enough to accept one sports a serial number, to include the firing pin. This does indeed make for an elegant firearm that likely inspired confidence in its users, but did not lend itself to mass production by an industry threatened both day and night by Allied bombing. The MP40 has been encountered in action as recently as the Syrian Civil War.
The American Buzzgun
The American M3A1 Grease Gun was as utilitarian as we could make it. Sporting stamped steel for most of its components, the Grease Gun was ultimately a remarkably effective service weapon.
World War II was a come-as-you-are affair for the United States, and we found ourselves woefully unprepared when Pearl Harbor finally dragged us kicking and screaming into war. Our issue submachine gun of the day was the 1928A1 Thompson, but it was obsolete before the first bomb fell on that fateful Sunday morning. However, we Americans are a hearty lot and we responded by doing what we do best. We banded together, rolled up our sleeves, and built stuff.
The Grease Gun’s rear sight included a riveted insert to cut down on glare.
The M1928 morphed into the somewhat simplified M1A1 Thompson that was a bit easier and cheaper to build. Around 1.5 million Tommy guns rolled off the lines during the war to equip Allied forces of all nationalities. Even while we were ramping up to build Thompsons by the hundreds of thousands the War Department was rushing to secure a low-cost replacement.
The Thompson was sinfully heavy. With a loaded 50-round drum in place it weighed nearly what a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) might. It was also mechanically complicated and suffered simply dreadful ergonomics. Despite its shortcomings, however, American GIs loved the gun. Many to most of them had cut their teeth on Saturday afternoon crime serials and going to war with a gangster chopper held an allure. The replacement for the Thompson was as unlike this big pre-war gun as might possibly be imagined.
The Grease Gun
The front sight on the Grease Gun was nothing more than a folded bit of steel.
The M3 Grease Gun was first adopted for service just over a year after the Pearl Harbor attack. In stark contrast to the Thompson, the M3 was simple, ugly, and utilitarian. The receiver was comprised of two halves of sheet steel welded together to form a shell. The bolt rode loosely within this assembly on a pair of guide rods. This allowed the gun to function in the face of modest damage. The sliding stock was formed from heavy gauge steel wire. In the original M3 version a ratcheting lever on the right side of the gun actuated the bolt. Everything that could be produced via industrial stampings was produced via industrial stampings. When compared to the elegant and meticulously built Thompson the M3 was positively homely.
The charging handle of the M3 was found to be unduly flimsy and the unfenced magazine release allowed the magazine to be dropped inadvertently. As a result, the improved M3A1 added a raised steel fence around the magazine release and dispensed with the ratcheting charging handle entirely. In its place was a simple divot in the bolt that allowed the operator to retract the bolt with a standard finger.
The Grease Gun weighed around 8 pounds and fed from the same sort of double column, single feed magazine that drove the MP40. In the M3A1 version the wire stock incorporated a useful and effective magazine loading tool. A large stamped steel dust cover folded in place to occlude battlefield grunge. A steel tab on this appendage locked the bolt and served as the gun’s sole safety. The gun’s heavy bolt and long travel conspired to yield a rate of fire of around 450 rounds per minute.
The trigger and receiver-cum-pistol grip were all formed from stamped steel. The trigger guard was a simple length of spring steel.
The Grease Gun cost $15 to make in 1943 (around $215 today) and was quite literally disposable. The Army supply system did not stock spare parts. When a Grease Gun went down it was discarded. There was a field modification of early M3 models that involved milling a slot in the receiver for a steel charging handle that reciprocated with the bolt for use when the ratchet system failed.
Both the MP40 and the M3A1 Grease Gun were quite controllable in trained hands.
The first recorded combat use of the Grease Gun was on the Airborne drop in support of D-Day. While GIs distrusted the Greaser early on for its crude appearance, most ultimately expressed grudging admiration for the design. The gun was profoundly robust and thoroughly reliable. The improved M3A1 version briefly saw action in the closing weeks of the war. The Grease Gun was used through the Korean War and Vietnam War all the way up to the Gulf War. I encountered high mileage World War II-vintage M3A1 Grease Guns in the hands of U.S. Army tankers while I was on active duty in the 1990s.
Both these guns are bulky. The left-sided nature of the charging handle on the MP40 means the sling must be arranged on the right. This makes the gun a bit more awkward to tote. The Grease Gun uses a standard canvas M1 Carbine sling, while the MP40 employs an adjustable leather version. The MP40 sights are flip adjustable for 100 and 200 meters while the Grease Gun’s are simply fixed, but they are comparably effective.
The two guns sport very different personalities, but I found that I could keep my rounds on target with a comparable facility with both guns. The big .45ACP bullets are fully twice as heavy as the 9mm rounds the MP40 fires, so they bring markedly more horsepower. Both weapons enjoy a sedate rate of fire so singles and doubles are easy with a disciplined trigger finger.
The MP40 and the M3A1 Grease Gun were birthed under utterly different circumstances. One nation wanted to enslave the world. The other wanted to free it. That these guns share so many similar morphological characteristics is intriguing. These days rifle-caliber carbines have displaced the submachine gun in the arsenals of most developed countries. However, for a time, these two stamped steel submachine guns slugged it out to determine the mastery of the world.
For more information about period gear used as support in this article, click here.
This a very strange and frankly ugly at least for me pistol. I have only see it once. When I was much younger.
It seemed to work for the owner and he had a fairly good pattern with it. But I was told that it is extremely hard to find ammo for it now a days. Frankly I was NOt impressed by it then or now.
Here is some more information below about this false start of a Semi Auto Pistol.
I hope that you like this.
This pistol is one of the most simple of blow-backsemi-automatic pistols ever designed. The lockwork is essentially that of an elementary single action revolver. While technically listed as a ‘hesitation’ lock because of a delaying cam which has some theoretical tendency to slow down the opening of the breech, in actual practice it functions as an unlocked pistol.
According to the Steyr factory records this arm, patented in 1898, was originally introduced as the “Model 1900” and used a special 8 mm cartridge.
When introduced commercially in 1901 it was chambered for a special straight-case cartridge listed in Austria as “7.63 mm Mannlicher”, designated in Germany as “7.65 mm Mannlicher” (Note: There is also another 7.65 mm Mannlincher cartridge, M.1903, similar to 7.65 mm Borchard), and described in the U.S. as “7.65 x 21 mm”. The Mannlicher “straight sided” cartridge actually has a straight taper to help in extraction.
The cartridge for this pistol was manufactured in Europe until the beginning of WWII. The cartridge has a bullet weighing approx. 85 grains (5.5 g) which may be steel or cupro-nickel jacketed. The powder charge varies with the type of powder used, the European standard being about 3.5 grains (227 mg) of DWM standard powder, producing a muzzle velocity in the neighborhood of 1070 ft/s (326 m/s).
While this is a cartridge of considerable power to use in a blow-back action, the pistol design itself is so sturdy that the arm has given satisfaction through the years.
The firing chamber in this design is part of the receiver proper. The magazine is housed in the grip and is loaded with a clip through the top of the open action. Because of the extremely simple lock work employed, the pistol has a minimum bulk for an arm of its type.
The moving breechblock of this pistol was designed as a slide with two rails extending forward beneath the stationary receiver/barrel where they are connected by a cross beam which is also part of the single breechblock forging. The barrelis screwed into the chamber section of the receiver and has a front sight top rib which is part of the barrel forging.
A spiral recoil spring is positioned horizontally, directly below the barrel between the parallel guides of the receiver and rails of the breechblock. An illustration of this spring is shown in the drawing from page 216, Mannlicher Rifles and Pistols, Smith, 1947. When the pistol is discharged, as the breechblock moves to the rear and the slide rails travel back in the receiver guides, the cross-beam at the forward end serves to compress the recoil spring against the frame.
The lockwork is incorporated on the left side of the frame where it is covered by a removable side cover housing of unusual design, being wrapped around at the forward end and serving also as a cover of the recoil spring. An illustration of this cover is shown in the drawing from page 218,. This cover is installed on the frame from the front and is retained buy a spring catch forward of the trigger-guard.
The trigger is connected on the left side of the frame to a trigger bar which, as the trigger is pulled, moves rearward pushing against the sear tail which is under the control of the V-spring that serves as both trigger and sear springs. The sear nose engages in a notch in the left fork of the hammer (the hammer is external) to provide a fine trigger pull which is very unusual in an automatic pistol.
Mounted on the frame under the right portion of the side cover housing is the mainspring, a heavy V-spring. Its greater arm (lower) engages a notch in the right fork of the hammer to drive it forward when released by the sear. Its lesser arm (upper) continuously presses a cam upward that engages a slot in the under surface of the breechblock slide when the action is closed.
To load the pistol grasp the breechblock on the serrated gripping surfaces on the sides and pull the machine straight to the rear. The magazine follower rises to hold the action open while the cross beam at the forward end of the slide compresses the recoil spring. Insert a loaded stripper clip into the clip guide in the face of the breech block and then strip the cartridges into the magazine, compressing the spring below the follower. An illustration of this process is shown in the drawing from page 214, Mannlicher Rifles and Pistols, Smith, 1947. The spring lip at the top of the magazine serves to hold the cartridges. The cam on the right side of the frame, being forced up by the lesser arm of the mainspring, pushes the cam into the slot in the under surface of the breechblock slide and holds the machine back as explained above.
Because of this cam hold-open, the pistol does not close when the clip is removed. However, drawing back slightly on the breechblock will ride it over the cam, and releasing it will permit the recoil spring to close the action.
As the breechblock goes forward, the extractor mounted in the top of the block will snap over the extracting groove of the cartridge as it is chambered.
Movement of the trigger linked to the trigger bar releases the sear from the hammer notch. The compressed arm of the mainspring, pushes against the hammer notch, rotating the hammer on its axis to strike the firing pin, discharging the cartridge.
The breechblock starts back at the instant of discharge, carrying the empty cartridge case with assistance of the extractor. The empty cartridge case is brought sharply against the ejector which is a bar at the back of the magazine. The underside of the breechblock is slotted to travel over the ejector.
The recoiling slide riding over the hammer causes the hammer to rotate on its axis, locking the sear in the notch of the left hammer fork.
The magazine spring forces the next cartridge up into line. At the apex of the recoil stroke the recoil spring acts to reverse the direction of the breechblock, chambering a fresh cartridge. Until trigger pressure is released another discharge is not possible.
Magazine unload lever
A unique feature of this pistol model is the unloading device. While the breechblock is held open, pulling down on the serrated lever on the right side at the top of the grip panel will withdraw the lip which is holding the cartridges in the magazine, enabling the magazine spring to move the platform up and force all the cartridges out of the magazine.
If and when I win the Lottery or something. This is what I am going right out & buy. That if it is still legal to so. So here is my list of what I would buy 1st. If you have a better idea post a response below.
Ohio ordnance BAR Semi Automatic Rifle
As you have no doubt guessed by now. I up and bought myself a new toy. So I thought that I would share my experiences with it so far.
Now for a while now I wanted another Sig in 9mm. Since my P-220 in 45 ACP was getting very lonely.
So I went shopping and found out this. That here in the People’s Republic of California. It is easier to find a Trump Supporter in San Francisco. Than it is to find a P-226 in 9mm at a reasonable price. Surprised huh?
Therefore I had to “settle” for one in 40 S&W. (Life can be so hard at times!)
Anyways here is what I found out at the local noise pollution arena. (The Pistol Range)
Like the other Sig that I have. It is very well designed & built. It is also almost boring as to how accurate it is. Once you figure out where the piece throws its bullet.
This pretty close to what my pattern looked like at 20 feet. Honest!
Now about the 40 S&W Round itself.
I found that the round itself basically is a lot like the 45 ACP round. While the recoil was pretty much the same. As was the report too.
Since it was a Sig. I really can not say anything about accuracy. As up to now. I have not either seen or shot one that was not boringly accurate. Also I have never had one jam on me either.
But the big problem for me with this round are two fold. As the ammo is not cheap out here! That and sometimes it is very hard to find also.
So I am now seriously debating on if I am going to keep it or not. Time will tell, I guess!
Comparison of the 40 to other defensive rounds
here is some more videos, technical & other Information below!
Thanks for reading this!
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An expanded hollow point bullet (left) and an unfired hollow point .40 S&W cartridge
Test barrel length: 4 inches (100 mm) Source(s): 
The .40 S&W (10×22mm Smith & Wesson in unofficial metric notation) is a rimless pistol cartridge developed jointly by major American firearms manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Winchester. The .40 S&W was developed from the ground up as a law enforcement cartridge designed to duplicate performance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation‘s (FBI) reduced-velocity 10mm Autocartridge which could be retrofitted into medium-frame (9mm size) semi-automatic handguns. It uses 0.40-inch (10 mm) diameter bullets ranging in weight from 105 to 200 grains (6.8 to 13.0 g).
In the aftermath of the 1986 FBI Miami shootout, in which two FBI special agents were killed and five wounded, the FBI started the process of testing 9×19mm Parabellum and .45 ACP ammunition in preparation to replace its standard-issue revolver with a semi-automatic pistol. The semi-automatic pistol offered two advantages over the revolver: 1) increased ammunition capacity and 2) increased ease of reloading during a firefight. The FBI was satisfied with the performance of its .38 Special +P 158 gr (10.2 g) L.S.W.C.H.P. (lead semi-wadcutter hollowpoint) cartridge (“FBI Load”) based on decades of dependable performance. Ammunition for the new semi-automatic pistol had to deliver terminal performance equal or superior to the .38 Special FBI Load. The FBI developed a series of practically oriented tests involving eight test events that they believed reasonably represented the kinds of situations that FBI agents commonly encounter in shooting incidents.
During tests of the 9×19mm and .45 ACP ammunition, the FBI Firearms Training Unit’s Special Agent-in-Charge John Hall decided to include tests of the 10mm cartridge, supplying his personally owned Colt Delta Elite 10mm semi-automatic, and personally handloaded ammunition. The FBI’s tests revealed that a 170–180 gr (11.0–11.7 g) JHP 10mm bullet, propelled between 900–1,000 ft/s (270–300 m/s), achieved desired terminal performance without the heavy recoil associated with conventional 10mm ammunition (1,300–1,400 ft/s (400–430 m/s)). The FBI contacted Smith & Wesson and requested it to design a handgun to FBI specifications, based on the existing large-frame S&W Model 4506 .45 ACP handgun, that would reliably function with the FBI’s reduced-velocity 10mm ammunition. During this collaboration with the FBI, S&W realized that downsizing the 10mm full power to meet the FBI medium velocity specification meant less powder and more airspace in the case. They found that by removing the airspace they could shorten the 10mm case enough to fit within their medium-frame 9mm handguns and load it with a 180 gr (11.7 g) JHP bullet to produce ballistic performance identical to the FBI’s reduced-velocity 10mm cartridge. S&W then teamed with Winchester to produce a new cartridge, the .40 S&W. It uses a small pistol primerwhereas the 10mm cartridge uses a large pistol primer.
The .40 S&W cartridge debuted January 17, 1990, along with the new Smith & Wesson Model 4006 pistol, although it was several months before the pistols were available for purchase. Austrian manufacturer Glock Ges.m.b.H. beat Smith & Wesson to the dealer shelves in 1990, with pistols chambered in .40 S&W (the Glock 22 and Glock 23) which were announced a week before the 4006. Glock’s rapid introduction was aided by its engineering of a pistol chambered in 10mm Auto, the Glock 20, only a short time earlier. Since the .40 S&W uses the same bore diameter and case head as the 10mm Auto, it was merely a matter of adapting the 10mm design to the shorter 9×19mm Parabellum frames. The new guns and ammunition were an immediate success.
The .40 S&W case length and overall cartridge length are shortened, but other dimensions except case web and wall thickness remain identical to the 10mm Auto. Both cartridges headspace on the mouth of the case. Thus in a semi-auto they are not interchangeable. Fired from a 10mm semi-auto, the .40 Smith & Wesson cartridge will headspace on the extractor and the bullet will jump a 0.142 inches (3.6 mm) freebore just like a .38 Special fired from a .357 Magnum revolver. If the cartridge is not held by the extractor, the chances for a ruptured primer are great. Smith & Wesson does make a double-action revolver that can fire either at will using moon clips. A single-action revolver in the .38–40 chambering can also be modified to fire the .40 or the 10mm if it has an extra cylinder. Some .40 caliber handguns can be converted to 9mm with a special purpose made barrel, magazine change, and other parts.
The .40 S&W has 1.25 ml (19.3 grains H2O) cartridge case capacity.
The common riflingtwist rate for this cartridge is 406 millimetres (16.0 in), 6 grooves, ∅ lands = 9.91 ;mm, ∅ grooves = 10.17 mm, land width = 3.05 mm and the primer type is small pistol. According to the official C.I.P. guidelines, the .40 S&W case can handle up to 225 megapascals (32,600 psi) piezo pressure. In C.I.P.-regulated countries every pistol/cartridge combo has to be proofed at 130% of this maximum C.I.P. pressure to certify for sale to consumers.
The SAAMI pressure limit for the .40 S&W is set at 241.32 megapascals (35,001 psi) piezo pressure.
.40 S&W Jacketed Flat Point cartridge from the side.
The .40 S&W cartridge has been popular with law enforcement agencies in the United States, Canada, and Australia. While possessing nearly identical accuracy, drift and drop as the 9mm Parabellum, it also has an energy advantage over the 9mm Parabellum and .45 ACP, and with a more manageable recoil than the 10mm Auto cartridge. Marshall & Sanow (and other hydrostatic shock proponents) contend that with good jacketed hollow pointbullets, the more energetic loads for the .40 S&W can also create hydrostatic shock in human-sized living targets.
Based on ideal terminal ballistic performance in ordnance gelatin during lab testing in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the .40 S&W earned status as “the ideal cartridge for personal defense and law enforcement”. Apart from the imperfect relationship between ordnance gelatin ballistics and actual stopping power, critics pointed to the reduced power of the round compared with the 10mm Auto it was based on. Ballistically the .40 S&W is almost identical to the .38-40 Winchester introduced in 1874, as they share the same bullet diameter and bullet weight, and have similar muzzle velocities. The energy of the .40 S&W exceeds standard-pressure .45 ACP loadings, generating between 350 foot-pounds (470 J) and 500 foot-pounds (680 J) of energy, depending on bullet weight. Both the .40 S&W and the 9mm Parabellum operate at a 35,000 pounds per square inch (240 MPa) SAAMI maximum, compared to a 21,000 pounds per square inch (140 MPa) maximum for .45 ACP.
.40 S&W pistols with standard (not extended) double-stack magazines can hold as many as 16 cartridges. While not displacing the 9mm Parabellum, the .40 S&W is commonly used in law enforcement applications in keeping with its origin with the FBI. Select U.S. special operations units have available the .40 S&W and .45 ACP for their pistols. The United States Coast Guard, having dual duties as maritime law enforcement and military deployments, has adopted the SIG SauerP229R DAK in .40 S&W as their standard sidearm.
The .40 S&W was originally loaded at subsonic velocity (around 980 ft/s (300 m/s)) with a 180 grains (11.7 g) bullet.Since its introduction, various loads have been created, with the majority being either 155, 165 or 180 gr (10.0, 10.7 or 11.7 g). However, there are some bullets with weights as light as 135 gr (8.7 g) and as heavy as 200 gr (13.0 g).Cor-Bon and Winchester both offer a 135 gr (8.7 g) JHP and Cor-Bon also offers a 140 gr (9.1 g) Barnes XPB hollow-point. Double Tap Ammo, based out of Cedar City, Utah loads a 135 gr (8.7 g) Nosler JHP, a 155 gr (10.0 g), 165 gr (10.7 g) and 180 gr (11.7 g) Speer Gold Dot hollow-point (marketed as “Bonded Defense”), a 180 gr (11.7 g) Hornady XTP JHP, and three different 200 gr (13.0 g) loads included a 200 gr (13 g) Full Metal Jacket (FMJ), a 200 gr (13 g) Hornady XTP JHP and Double Tap’s own 200 gr (13 g) WFNGC (Wide Flat Nose Gas Check) hard cast lead bullet; the latter specifically designed for hunting and woods carry applications.
The .40 S&W has been noted in a number of cartridge case failures, particularly in older Glock pistols due to the relatively large area of unsupported case head in those barrels, given its high working pressure. The feed ramp on the Glock .40 S&W pistols is larger than on other Glocks, which leaves the rear bottom of the case unsupported, and it is in this unsupported area that the cases fail. Most, but not all, of the failures have occurred with reloaded or remanufactured ammunition. Cartridges loaded at or above the SAAMI pressure, or slightly oversized cases which fire slightly out of battery are often considered to be the cause of these failures, which are commonly referred to as “kaBooms” or “kB!” for short. While these case failures do not often injure the person holding the pistol, the venting of high pressure gas tends to eject the magazine out of the magazine well in a spectacular fashion, and usually destroys the pistol. In some cases, the barrel will also fail, blowing the top of the chamber off.
When the last big misunderstanding between the Allies & The Axis broke out. (WWII 1939-45 AD) Most Armies were not even aware of the up coming firepower race that was heading their way.
Since all of the Major Powers except of the USA. Were basically armed with your standard Bolt Action Rifle and your basic machine guns. All of whom were pretty much the same.
As you can see most WWI veterans would, could, did easily transition back into service. When it came time to issue them their rifles.
This is what was basically both sides started out with.
The Thompson MG for the Allies
The Germans & Italians with this
The MP 40
& The Italian Sub MG Beretta 38a
Both of which were fine guns that performed very well indeed.
Now take a gander at this. This what almost every Army had by the end of the War. When it came to the subject of Submachine Guns.
As you can see. They were a whole lot of them. That and they were fairly liberally issued out. Especially with the Russians. But more on that on a later entry.
Now let us get the the “Grease Gun”. America was as usual was not up to snuff when it came to Arms at this time. But this would change after this war. After we became the Arsenal of Democracy then massive Gun Dealer to the world
So we turned to Detroit to save our butts. Where the best & the brightest worked at the time. They then came up was a rather ingenious toy. That was cheap, easy to make and got the job done.
Everything that the Thompson Submachine Gun wasn’t.
(I have shot both of these guns by the way. The Thompson is like a Cadillac. I.E. Classy and practically handbuilt. It was truly a real joy to shoot by the way.
The M-3 is a like VW Bug. Hey it’s ugly but it’s cheap and will get you from point A to point B. Get the picture? But none the less. It also was a lot of fun to shoot !)
Unlike the classic Thompson. While its is an excellent gun and a lot of fun to shoot. It takes a lot longer and a lot more machining and skill to build one. Which really jacks up the price too.
Now this piece is not as accurate as the Thompson. But it will get the job done. Especially when you have to clean out a room, trench or say a bunker.
When my Dad was in very early days of the Korean War. He carried this the M-3a as his weapon of choice. The reason being that as it was the best option at the time. (He also could not find a Thompson to steal either)
Now also if you take into consideration that this was a “Temporary” weapon. It still served a very long time. As I can testify. Because in 1988, I qualified on it at the National Training Center at Ft Irwin with my Guard Unit.
In closing. All in all, I think that for once the US Taxpayer got his money’s worth out of this gun.
Here now is some more & better information below
This is a good and fairly cheap book by the way. I got mine on Amazon.
Fixed rear peep sight and blade foresight, calibrated to 100 yards for caliber .45 M1911 ball ammunition
The M3 was an American .45-calibersubmachine gun adopted for U.S. Army service on 12 December 1942, as the United States Submachine Gun, Cal. .45, M3. The M3 was chambered for the same .45 round fired by the Thompson submachine gun, but was cheaper to produce, and lighter, although, contrary to popular belief, it was far less accurate. This myth stems from a US army training film portraying the M3 as more accurate than its counterparts. The M3 was commonly referred to as the “Grease Gun” or simply “the Greaser,” owing to its visual similarity to the mechanic’s tool.
Intended as a replacement for the .45-caliber Thompson series of submachine guns, the M3 began to replace the Thompson in first-line service in mid-1944. Due to delays caused by production issues and approved specification changes, the M3 saw limited combat use in World War II and the M3A1 none. The M3A1 was used in the Korean War and later conflicts.
In 1941, the U.S. Army Ordnance Board observed the effectiveness of submachine guns employed in Western Europe, particularly the German9×19mmMP 40 and British Sten guns, and initiated a study to develop its own Sten-type submachine gun in October 1942.The Ordnance Department requested the army submit a list of requirements for the new weapon, and ordnance in turn received a separate list of requirements from both the infantry and cavalry branches for a shoulder-fired weapon with full- or semi-automatic fire capability in caliber .45 ACP or .30 Carbine.
The two lists of requirements received by ordnance were then reviewed and amended by officials at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The amended requirement called for an all-metal weapon of sheet metal construction in .45 ACP caliber, designed for fast and inexpensive production with a minimum of machining, and featuring a dual full-automatic and semi-automatic fire capability, a heavy bolt to keep the cyclic rate under 500rpm, and the ability to place 90 percent of all shots fired from a standing position in full-automatic mode on a 6×6 foot target at a range of 50 yards. The benchmark for testing the M3’s performance would be the M1928A1 Thompson. George Hyde of General Motors‘s Inland Division was given the task of designing the new weapon, while Frederick Sampson, Inland Division’s chief engineer, was responsible for preparing and organizing tooling for production. The original T15 specifications of 8 October 1942 were altered to remove a semi-automatic fire function, as well as to permit installation of a kit to convert the weapon’s original .45 caliber to that of 9mm Parabellum. The new designation for the 9mm/.45 full-automatic-only weapon was the T20.
Five prototype models of the .45 T20 and five 9mm conversion kits were built by General Motors for testing. At the initial military trials, the T20 successfully completed its accuracy trials with a score of 97 out of 100. In the endurance test, the test weapon fired more than 5,000 rounds of brass-case ammunition, with only two failures to feed. Four army test boards composed of multiple army service branches independently tested and reviewed the T-20 prototype weapons including the Airborne Command, the Amphibious Warfare Board, the Infantry Board, and the Armored Forces Board. All four branches reported malfunctions caused by the M3 magazine, mostly attributed to defective or jammed magazine followers.
The T20 was formally approved by U.S. Army Ordnance for production at GM’s Guide Lamp Division in Anderson, Indiana in December 1942 as the U.S. Submachine Gun, Caliber .45, M3. Guide Lamp produced 606,694 of the M3 variant submachine gun between 1943 and 1945. Although reports of malfunctions caused by the single-feed magazine design appeared during the initial firing trials, no changes were made to the M3 magazine.
Around one thousand M3 submachine guns in caliber 9mm Parabellum were built by Guide Lamp. These original 9mm guns, identified by the markings “U.S. 9 mm S.M.G.” on the left side of the magazine well (without any model designation, such as M3), were delivered to the OSS in 1944. Additionally, Rock Island Arsenal and Buffalo Arms Corporation manufactured parts for a limited number of 9mm conversion kits for the M3. Though 25,000 kits were originally requested for procurement, this was changed to a recommendation by the Ordnance Committee in December 1943 that only 500 9mm conversion kits be obtained. Procurement was authorized in February 1944, but it is believed that only a limited number of kits were actually produced. These conversion kits included a new 9mm barrel, replacement bolt and recoil springs, a magazine well adapter for use with British Sten gun 32-round magazines, and a replacement 9mm Sten magazine of British manufacture. As the M3’s sights were not altered for the new cartridge, the 9mm M3 shot high at 100 yards, but the sighting error was deemed inconsequential. The OSS also requested approximately 1,000 .45-caliber M3 submachine guns with an integral sound suppressor (designed by Bell Laboratories). Specially drilled barrels and barrel nuts were manufactured by Guide Lamp, while the High Standard Firearms Company produced the internal components and assembled the weapon. The Bell Laboratories suppressor was estimated to be only 80% as efficient as the British suppressed STEN Mk IIS.
With its stamped, riveted, and welded construction, the M3 was originally designed as a minimum-cost small arm, to be used and discarded once it became inoperative. As such, replacement parts, weapon-specific tools, and sub-assemblies were not made available to unit-, depot-, or ordnance-level commands at the time of the M3’s introduction to service. In 1944, a shortage of M3 submachine guns created by the need for interim production changes forced U.S. Army Ordnance workshops to fabricate pawl springs and other parts to keep existing weapons operational.
After its introduction to service, reports of unserviceability of the M3 commenced in February 1944 with stateside units in training, who reported early failure of the cocking handle/bolt retraction mechanism on some weapons. Similar reports later came from U.S. forces in Britain who were issued the M3. An investigation revealed several deficiencies in the construction of the M3’s bolt retraction mechanism, together with issues concerning barrel removal and retention as well as easily bent rear sights. As a result, several product improvements were incorporated into all new M3 production, including a new design retracting pawl with improved heat treatment, a new spring stop fitted to the right-hand brace of the retracting lever, a modified ejector featuring a cocking lever trip, a larger ratchet pad with improved heat treatment to more securely retain the barrel assembly, and strengthening gussets fitted to the sides of the fixed ‘L’ rear sight. After new complaints were raised about accidental magazine releases and failure of the wire buttstock to remain in place in the collapsed position, two additional changes were made to M3 production and approved by Ordnance on 31 August 1944.This included a small sheet metal guard around the magazine release button, and the inclusion of a stop between the two rods forming the wire stock at the butt end.
In December 1944, in response to field requests for further improvements to the basic M3 design, an improved, simplified variant of the M3 was introduced, the M3A1. 15,469 M3A1 submachine guns were produced before the end of World War II.
It was originally hoped that the M3 could be produced in numbers sufficient to cancel future orders for the Thompson submachine gun, and to allow the army to gradually withdraw the more expensive Thompson from front-line service. However, due to unforeseen production delays and requests for modifications, the M3 never fully replaced the Thompson during World War II, and purchases of the Thompson continued until February 1944. A total of 622,163 M3/M3A1 submachine guns of all types were assembled by the end of World War II, by which time the Thompson, at over 1.5 million guns produced, outnumbered the M3 and M3A1 in service by a factor of nearly three to one. The M3A1 did not see combat in World War II, but was used in Korea and Vietnam.
The M3 and M3A1 were largely withdrawn from U.S. frontline service beginning in 1959 and into the early 1960s, but continued to be used until the mid-1990s as on vehicle equipment aboard armored vehicles. During the mid 1970s tank drivers of the 1st Battalion 67th Armored attached to the 2nd Armored Division were issued the M3A1, because of its size and portability. During the Gulf War, drivers of the 19th Engineer Battalion attached to the 1st Armored Division were equipped with the M3A1 as part of their vehicle TOE. It was also the initial submachine gun equipping the Delta Force who prized it for its impressively quiet performance when equipped with a silencer.
The M3 was an automatic, air-cooled blowback-operated weapon that fired from an open bolt. Constructed of plain .060-in. thick sheet steel, the M3 receiver was stamped in two halves that were then welded together. The M3 was striker-fired, with a fixed firing pin contained inside the bolt. The bolt was drilled longitudinally to support two parallel guide rods, upon which were mounted twin return (recoil) springs. This configuration allowed for larger machining tolerances while providing operating clearance in the event of dust, sand, or mud ingress. The M3 featured a spring-loaded extractorwhich was housed inside the bolt head, while the ejector was located in the trigger group. Like the British Sten, time and expense was saved by cold-swaging the M3’s barrel.
The M3 operating sequence is as follows: the bolt is cocked to the rear using the cocking handle located on the right side of the ejector housing. When the trigger is pulled, the bolt is driven forward by the recoil springs, stripping a round from the feed lips of the magazine and guiding the round into the chamber. The bolt then continues forward and the firing pin strikes the cartridge primer, igniting the round, resulting in a high-pressure impulse, forcing the bolt back against the resistance of the recoil springs and the inertial mass of the bolt. By the time the bolt and empty casing have moved far enough to the rear to open the chamber, the bullet has left the barrel and pressure in the barrel has dropped to a safe level. The M3’s comparatively low cyclic rate was a function of the relatively low pressure generated by the .45 ACP round, a heavy bolt, and recoil springs with a lighter-than-normal compression rate.
The gun used metal stamping and pressing, spot welding and seam weldingextensively in its construction, reducing the number of man-hours required to assemble a unit. Only the barrel, bolt and firing mechanism were precision machined. The receiver consisted of two sheet metal halves welded together to form a cylinder. At the front end was a knurled metal cap which was used to retain the removable barrel. The cold-swaged, rifled barrel had 4 right-hand grooves. M3 and M3A1 submachine guns could be fitted with an optional, detachable flash hider, though none saw any service in World War II. A later production flash hider designated Hider, Flash M9 was produced in time to see service during the Korean War. It proved popular in combat, as frequent night engagements emphasized the need to reduce flash signatures on small arms. In Korea, U.S. soldiers equipped with automatic weapons were taught to look above the flash of their weapon during night firing, a tactic that sometimes prevented the detection of crawling enemy infiltrators and sappers.
Projecting to the rear was a one-piece wire stock made from a formed steel rod that telescoped into tubes on both sides of the receiver. Both ends of the stock were tapped and drilled so that it could be used as a cleaning rod. It could also be used as a disassembly tool or as a wrench used to unscrew the barrel cap.
The M3’s cocking handle assembly was located on the right-hand side of the receiver on the ejector housing, just forward and above the trigger, and consisted of nine parts. As the handle is pulled to the rear, a pawl rises to engage a notch in the bottom of the bolt, pushing the bolt to the rear until it locked back on the sear.
The fixed sights consisted of a rear aperture sight preset for firing at 100 yards (approximately 91 m) and a front blade foresight. All M3 submachine guns were test-fired for accuracy at a distance of 100 feet (30 m). With the sights set at six-o’clock on a bullseye target, each gun was required to keep four out of five shots within or cut the edge of a three-inch (76 mm) bulls’ eye to meet accuracy requirements.
The weapon’s only safety was the hinged ejection port dust cover. This cover had a projection on the underside that engaged a notch on the bolt, locking it in either its forward or rearmost positions. The M3 had no mechanical means of disabling the trigger, and the insertion of a loaded magazine would load the gun. With receiver walls made of relatively thin-gauge sheet metal, the M3/M3A1 were subject to disabling damage if dropped on an open dust cover – the covers bent easily, negating the safety feature. Dropping the gun on a sharp or hard surface could dent the receiver enough to bind the bolt.
The M3/M3A1’s 30-round magazine was the source of complaints throughout the service life of the weapon. Unlike the Thompson, the M3 fed from a double-column, single-feed detachable box magazine which held 30 rounds and was patterned after the British Sten magazine; the single-feed design proved difficult to load by hand, and was more easily jammed by mud, dust, and dirt than double-column, double-feed designs like the Thompson. Additionally, the feed lips of the single-feed design proved more susceptible to feed malfunctions when slightly bent or damaged. Plastic dust caps were later issued to cover the feed end of the magazine and keep out dust as well as protect the sensitive feed lips.
In December 1944, a modernized version of the M3 known as the M3A1 was introduced into service, with all parts except the bolt, housing assembly, and receiver interchangeable with those of the M3. The M3A1 had several improvements:
Most significantly eliminating the troublesome crank-type cocking lever assembly, replaced by a recessed cocking slot machined into the top front portion of the bolt, letting it be cocked by putting a finger into the cocking slot and pulling back the bolt.
The retracting pawl notch was removed, and a clearance slot for the cover hinge rivets was added.
The ejection port and its cover were lengthened to allow the bolt to be drawn back far enough to be engaged by the sear.
The safety lock was moved further to the rear on the cover.
To make loading the single-feed magazine easier, a magazine loading tool was welded to the wire stock; it also served as a cleaning rod stop.
The barrel bushing received two flat cuts that helped in barrel removal by using the stock as a wrench.
The barrel ratchet was redesigned to provide a longer depressing level for easier disengagement from the barrel collar.
The spare lubricant clip (on the left side of the cocking lever assembly) was removed, replaced with an oil reservoir and an oiler in the pistol grip of the receiver assembly. The stylus on the oiler cap could also double as a drift to remove the extractor pin.
At 7.95 pounds empty, the M3A1 was slightly lighter than the M3, at 8.15 pounds empty, primarily due to the simplified cocking mechanism. The M3A1 was formally approved for production on 21 December 1944.
The M3A1 modifications resulted in a more reliable, lighter weight, easier to maintain, and easier to field strip submachine gun; the original M3 needed both the trigger guard removed and the cocking crank assembly detached from the receiver housing before unscrewing the barrel, but the M3A1 only required the user unscrew the barrel. To date, only one 9mm conversion kit for the M3A1 has been discovered.
Because it had already been issued in large numbers, the existing M3 magazine design was retained, despite demonstrated deficiencies exposed during the weapon’s firing trials and its early combat service. In an effort to improve reliability, a hard plastic Tenite cap designated T2 was adopted in November 1944 to fit over the feed lips of loaded magazines. These caps protected the feed lips while keeping out dirt, sand, and debris. Sometime during the 1960s the hard T2 plastic cap was replaced in service with one of pliant neoprene rubber, which could be removed with less noise. Unfortunately, during service in the humid climate of Vietnam it was discovered that the rubber cap caused rust to form on the covered portion of the magazine, while causing loaded ammunition to corrode.
Initially, M3 submachine guns returned for repair were not upgraded to the M3A1 standard, but merely inspected to ensure they had the improved M3 housing assembly and magazine release shield. During the Korean War, existing M3 guns in service were converted to the improved M3A1 configuration using additional new production parts. During the conversion, armorers frequently removed the M3 cocking handle, leaving the rest of the now-redundant cocking mechanism inside the subframe. Overall, the M3A1 was seen by most soldiers and Ordnance technicians as an improvement over the M3. However, complaints of accidental discharge continued to occur even as late as the Korean War. These incidents were sometimes caused by dropping the weapon on a hard surface with an impact sufficient to knock open the ejection port cover and propel the bolt backwards (but not enough to catch the sear). The return springs would then propel the bolt forward to pick up a cartridge from the magazine and carry it into the chamber, where the bolt’s fixed firing pin struck the primer upon contact.
In 1945, the Guide Lamp factory manufactured 15,469 M3A1 submachine guns before production contracts were canceled with the end of the war. During the Korean War, Ithaca Gun Co built another 33,000 complete guns as well as manufacturing thousands of parts for the repair and rebuilding of existing M3 and M3A1 weapons.
In 1954, a variant of the U.S. M3A1 submachine gun was designed at the Argentine FMAP (Fábrica Militar de Armas Portátiles) factory in the city of Rosario and put into production the following year as the P.A.M. 1 (Pistola Ametrelladora Modelo 1). Constructed of somewhat thinner-gauge steel than the U.S. M3A1, the P.A.M. 1 was in essence a 7/8 scale replica of the U.S. weapon in 9mm Parabellum caliber, but was lighter and had a higher rate of fire. This was due to an incomplete transfer of all details to Argentina. In service, the P.A.M. 1’s thinner sheet steel receiver tended to overheat with extended firing, while the gun itself proved somewhat more difficult to control in automatic fire despite the smaller caliber. Additionally, triggering the weapon to fire individual shots proved difficult owing to the increased rate of fire. Problems with accidental discharges and accuracy with the P.A.M. 1 led to an improved selective-fire version with a grip safety on the magazine housing known as the P.A.M. 2, first introduced in 1963.
Colloquially referred to as La Engrasadora (the Greaser), 47,688 P.A.M. 1 and P.A.M. 2 submachine guns were produced between 1955 and 1972. A number of P.A.M. 1 and P.A.M. 2 submachine guns were used by the Argentine Army during the Falkland Islands War with the United Kingdom in 1982, and captured examples were tested by British military forces.
The Type 36 is a direct clone of the M3A1, manufactured in 1947 at the Shenyang Arsenal in Mukden. It resembles a M3A1, except that it has no flats to allow the use of a wrench for easy removal and it has no oil bottle trap in the pistol grip. Its parts are not interchangeable with the M3A1.
10,000 Type 36s were made before they were obtained by pro-Communist forces in 1949.
The Type 37 is a direct clone of the 9mm-chambered M3, made at the 60th Jinling Arsenal near Nanking. Production continued in Taiwan as the Type 39, a successor to the Type 37.
Japan: Used by the JSDF until the adoption of the Minebea PM-9. Known to be used by JGSDF tank crews as a personal defense weapon. Still used in limited numbers in certain branches of the JSDF.