M1A3 Carbine pics or info?


February 27, 2011, 05:48 AM
I stumbled across this on Wikipedia. I own an M1 Carbine and have long coveted an original M1A1 paratrooper model with a folding stock, but I have never even heard of the M1A3. Were they actually produced? Issued? Does anyone have a drawing or photo to share? * Any help much appreciated as my Google Fu has turned up only a standard M1A1 misidentified as an M1A3. Cheers, Matthew

Carbine, Cal .30, M1A3
Pantograph stock, 15-round magazine
Type standardized to replace the M1A1 but may not have been issued.
Pantograph stock was more rigid than the M1A1's folding stock and folded flush under the fore end.

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February 27, 2011, 12:54 PM
I never heard of it, and it does not appear to have ever been an issue item.

I have an original M1A1 folder in my collection.


I also have a Mini-14 with an old Federal Ordnance pantograph folder stock.
Might give you some idea what it might have looked like had there been such a thing. While it is sorta cool looking, it ain't no joy to shoot, cause the sharp edge of the pantograph eats at your face.



There was an under-folder Type-III prototype stock developed for the later M14 rifle, but it was never adopted either as far as I know. Probably the tester guy had to have plastic surgery on his cheek after shooting it!!


February 27, 2011, 03:08 PM
Thanks, RC, and wow, I sure am jealous of that M1A1. Still hoping someone has more info and hopefully a photo of the M1A3....

Carl N. Brown
February 27, 2011, 03:26 PM
Larry Ruth, "M1 Carbine: Design, Development & Production", Gun Room Press, 1979, p 139-143.

M1E3 (M1A3) was a folding stock designed with four supports intended to withstand the firing of rifle grenades better than the M1A1. The experimental M1E3 was actually standardised Dec 1943 as the M1A3, making the M1A1 a substitute standard. However, it is doubtful any of the "standard" M1A3 stocks ever reached the battlefield.

M1E4 had a sliding wire buttstock similar to the M3 grease gun. It never left experimental stage.

There were several post war commercial folding stocks based on the German MP38/MP40 folding stocks: these were never military issue.

February 27, 2011, 04:00 PM
Thanks, Carl. Is there a pic of the M1A3 in that book?

Carl N. Brown
February 27, 2011, 05:41 PM
Yes, the first E3 and the finalised A3.

February 28, 2011, 03:28 AM
Carl, is there any chance you could post or PM me a scan of those pages, please?

April 7, 2011, 08:59 AM


It turns out that the M1A3 is listed in the Standard Ordnance Catalog, Vol. III which is available online at Scribd.com. Presumably, the decision to issue the M1A3 had been made when that document went to print, but never in fact happened. It does look like a handy little thing, but RCMODEL is probably right about the comfort of that metal strip against your cheek. Cheers, Matthew

April 14, 2011, 03:55 PM
Universal made a lookalike in the late 60s--I had one in the 80s, looked cool but because it was not a GI action, it jammed constantly and I traded it for an SKS-S. The metal stock wasn't as bad as it looks, but the buttplate had a degree of wiggle unlike a real M1A1 that played havoc with vertical consistency in groups--ragged 3-5" strings at 100 yds. Was truly unpleasant to shoot when below freezing.

Here's one that was up for sale recently


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