M3A1 "Grease Gun"


March 19, 2008, 12:08 AM
Does anyone own a "Grease Gun"? I may get my hands on one pretty cheap, and love the idea of owning one, but have questions.
Are they all fully auto? (I think they are, but not sure)
Are they made well enough to shoot without concern?
Thanks for any help with this. Not a very popular firearm. - CO

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March 19, 2008, 12:10 AM
I may get my hands on one pretty cheap,

If it is transferable as a registered NFA weapon then it will not be "cheap".

If it's cheap it's probably either a) illegal or b) semi auto.

Be careful.

Beyond that they are reasonably reliable, not accurate at all but who cares, its a sub machine gun......

My concern is that when you use the words "cheap" and "legal" and "full auto" in the same sentence that something is missing.

A legal transferable M3A1 should be priced around $18,000-$20,000

March 19, 2008, 12:22 AM
It's got to be a semi-auto copy if it's cheap. Plain and simple.

March 19, 2008, 12:28 AM
Did they make any semi-auto copies and if they did do they shoot from an open bolt? If so it might be a bargain. My understanding is that open bolt rifles made prior to 1982 were grandfathered in. I don't know how collectible a semi-auto grease gun would be, but I'm guessing that a legal open bolt version would be worth something. It'd be a funny looking grease gun though if it had a legal length barrel on it.

March 19, 2008, 12:31 AM
An open bolt semi would certainly be worth some money but yeah, it's gotta have a 16" barrel on it :)

March 19, 2008, 02:11 AM
Just be aware there are unregistered MG's out there and possession of them is a Felony.

Now, if the gun has a 16" barrel on it, I'm sure it's some sort of semi-auto only replica.

But, if the gun has the standard short barrel, and fires from an open bolt, it's contraband UNLESS they have the NFA registration papers for that gun. If they do, there are specific forms and procedures you have to follow to buy it and get it transfered to you.

Even though most MG's are expensive, now and then you find a deal. A friend bought a registered PPsh from another friend of his, a Korean War vet, for $1,000 a couple years back. The guy knew he could get more for the gun, but sold it to a friend cheap as a favor.

March 19, 2008, 06:22 AM

Downsides? They're more expensive than an AR, and the website's not been updated in almost two years.

March 19, 2008, 08:12 AM
The web site referenced above lists a "US M3-A1 Grease Gun - Pistol Version" with an 8 inch barrel and no wire shoulder stock. Iím thinking it would be pretty difficult to fire the weapon pictured without a support hand on the magazine or the barrel (ouch, thatís hot.) Would the magazine count as a forward hand grip, making this an AOW?

March 19, 2008, 08:21 AM
Would the magazine count as a forward hand grip, making this an AOW?

ATF has exempted mags from that rule, same would apply to AR and AK pistols.

March 19, 2008, 08:26 AM

Years ago, I carried a "grease gun" as my side arm instead of 45 Colt. My job in USMC was automatic weapons specialist; I carried a M-60 over hill & dale.

USMC armorers worked this baby over nicely.
- magazine well polished
- magazine springs replaced
- trigger tuned
- fixed sights adjusted
- internal parts polished

Was it accurate? Sort of. We're talking about a full auto 45.

Was it dependable? YES!

Was it lighter than a Tommy? YES!

What happened to the thousands that were built during WW2? Given away as Foreign Aid or cut up and sold as scrap steel.


March 19, 2008, 12:11 PM
Here is one: http://www.autoweapons.com/photos07/jun/1941grease.html
e-mail for the price,

How about a brand new one (original that was never fired)?

How about this dealer sample (you need to be a dealer, etc to own it) It's less than 9K

The ads are out there, you just have to look.

Of course if you want cheap: http://www.autozone.com/selectedZip,77345/initialAction,accessoryProductDetail/initialR,NONAPP5854/shopping/selectZip.htm


March 20, 2008, 07:40 PM
I got to qualify on one of these in 1996 in the Army because our mechanics still had them and I was in HQ company with relatively little to do. I was shocked they were still in inventory. It was a blast and the qualification was a joke, more a test that you could fire it safely than any sort of accuracy test. Shortly after they were taken away and the mechanics were issues M9's. I'd take one if the price were right and legal, would be a fun shooter.

March 20, 2008, 07:57 PM
That Valkriearms link above (#7) has me thinking...

Does the open bolt rule apply to long arms only or pistols, too? If only long arms, it would seem to me that there would be a lot more cheap, semi-auto, machine-pistol-like handguns out there. After all, how expensive could it be to make a semi-auto Sten with even fewer parts than the original (no stock)?

March 20, 2008, 08:13 PM
it would be pretty difficult to fire the weapon pictured without a support hand on the magazine or the barrel (ouch, thatís hot.)

Yeah, If you're going to put your hand near the barrel you should get one with the shoulder thing that goes up.:D

March 20, 2008, 08:17 PM
41magsnub- When I was in Germany in 1992, we had a locker full of them for the tracked wheel mechanics. I never got to shoot them, but they were on the property books for $8 and some change. (Our 1911s were valued at $58 after adjusting for 45 years of inflation.)

March 20, 2008, 09:28 PM
just for a little balance here....

dunno who may be aware, but the butt ugly little M-3 was the ~ONLY~ U.S. sub gun to ever pass the Aberdeen Proving Ground "mud, blood and crud" test. it has twin recoil springs on guide rods the bolt rides on. hence, NO contact with the reciever, as in armalite AR-180 and AK 47, but the later has one single recoil spring...kinda hard to stop one up with mung and spooh.

as for accuracy, didja ever shoot an open bolt ingram/MAC in 45 ACP? they aren't made for bench rest shooting. they will fill up a doorway pretty fast with 2X 9mm bullet weights at bad breath ranges though!

my understanding is that valkryie bought out the rights from an outfit in olympia, WA. owned by a woman, can't recall her name or the company, but the sillyvillian version was a closed bolt offering. this would help accuracy, at the sacrifice of additional moving parts. i would prefer one of these to a semi thompson as they weigh in at a "biggest loser" start off point of 13lbs. also, unless one is blessed with a steady hand and a deremel tool for milsurp mags, Kahr magazines are pretty spendy. but the Kahr can be converted for govt mags for about $60.

still, a niche offering. mighty fun but no real practical use. personally, i would look at a a mech-tech 1911 upper over this myself. at least they can have a decent trigger.



March 20, 2008, 09:38 PM
Last I knew the army still has like 750k of the things in storage. That would make a great fire sale.

March 20, 2008, 09:57 PM
As far as the ATF is concerned anything that fires from an open bolt is a "machine gun" and illegal. Doesn't matter if it is a rifle or pistol. This is because if a gun is designed to fire from an open bolt, to few things have to be altered or break in order to make it full auto.

March 20, 2008, 11:25 PM
I had one as a tank mechanic / 88 crew back in the middle-late 1980s. We spent a lot of time crawling around in the mud, and I loved knowing it would work when I needed it to. The darn thing was ugly as a track pad and just as reliable. You might try an airsoft version first to see if its anything close to your cup of tea, though. Pretty basic piece of hardware and not that easy to enjoy.

March 21, 2008, 12:50 AM
As far as the ATF is concerned anything that fires from an open bolt is a "machine gun" and illegal.

That's only for new manufacture. Anything made AFTER 1982 can't fire from open bolt but anything before then is OK.

There were plenty of things made that fired from open bolt that were grandfathered. Owning something that fires from open bolt does NOT make it a machinegun on it's own.

March 21, 2008, 01:47 AM
"ugly as a track pad".

So few of us REALLY get that one. :)

March 21, 2008, 02:28 AM
"ugly as a track pad" Is classic.

When I first joined the Army Reserve in 1992 as a M60 Armor Crewmember this was my issue weapon.

I was a skinny 17 year old kid (split-training) who had to take this "thing" to the range. It scared the hell out of me! It took I could muster just to sort of keep it pointed down range. Now 15 years later I think I could handle it a bit better if I could get over the feelings from that last time I too kit to the range.

Ah....the memories.

Wise Lite Arms
March 21, 2008, 12:27 PM
Valkyrie Arms may still have a web site:

But the owner (Valerie Johnson) has filed for bankrupcy and advised the folks who already PAID for there M3 semi-auto's to seek refunds from their Credit card companies.
There are threads about this on:


March 21, 2008, 02:35 PM
Temper temper there sparky.. maybe it would just be fun to shoot and .45 is relatively cheap to shoot. Nobody has ever claimed it was a great weapon.

Oh I didn't mean to come off like that, and I definatly wasn't trying to diswade anyone from owning a gun they want. I guess I just have some bad memories and from that piece.

March 21, 2008, 04:26 PM
Yep, cheap, ugly, and graceless, and had a RoF that sounded like a locomotive ("chug chug chug"), but darnit, they worked.... my dad actually liked the one he was issued, as a tanker back in WWII.... it saved his butt a couple times, and helped get him home alive... can't do much better than that, I guess!

March 21, 2008, 05:53 PM
I caried one of these things from 1960 to 1963 as my primary personal weapon. I was a Tank commander in the 9th Cavalry. I have fired about a gazillion rounds through it and never had a stoppage. It was a hoot to shoot, you never aimed it, you just hosed down the area. I tried to write my name with it, but the durn thing rocked backward and forward so much that one bullet never followed another. I originally had an M3 but was issued an M3a1 later. I preferred the M3.:what:

By the way, the maximum effective range of the M3 was 25 yards.(official) At that range you don't want to be in front of one. Getting hit by 10 or 20 rounds of .45ACP will simply spoil your day.:cuss:

I also qualified with the Thompson, a totally different type of weapon. Very accurate, Semi and auto. you could aim it and know you would hit the target.:)

Ah! those were the good old days, I could still hear, and run.:rolleyes:

March 21, 2008, 08:05 PM
We had to qualify with them in basic in '85. I'm left handed and started to fire that way. One of the Drill's told me it was a right handed weapon so I couldn't fire it lefty. I told him I always shoot left handed. I quickly saw the error of my ways and shot righty (yes sir, yes sir, three bags full).

Some pinhead was loading mags with the wire stock (it had a little tab on it to push the loaded rounds down to make room for the next), anyway he puts a round in backwards and somehow jams it in the mag. He starts trying to pry it out with the wire stock. The round goes off and gives the recruit next to him powder burns on the face and the bullet goes past his face, hits the tip of his helmet and flips it off his head. We though the round went through his chin. He ended up w/ an article 15 and did push-ups until the Drill Sergeant was tired.

You didn't happen to call veal patties track pads too?

March 22, 2008, 12:49 PM
I also carried a grease gun along with a M60 during Desert Storm. We had the grease guns and 1911's up until early 1993 in the unit that I was with in Germany. They took both away when we were issued the M9. It's hard to hit the broad side of a barn with one if you "spray and pray" but can be quite accurate when the shoulder stock is used. I had an old timer show me how to properly shoot the grease gun and got pretty good with it. I would take a grease gun over a M4 any day when I was part of a M88 crew.

March 24, 2008, 10:25 PM
Veal patties were meat cookies, and S.O.S. wasn't a call for help (until about 30 minutes later...)

To tell the truth, I sometimes wonder if our REMFs would be better served with Grease Guns than ARs. Too easy to use, too hard to break, and still make as much racket. That'll prolly have to wait until I'm made god-emperor of Dune, though.

Cheers, Y'all

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