my new M1 Carbine and its story


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country boy marksman
December 29, 2011, 12:46 AM
I havent been on much lately between school and other stuff, but having finally found some time, now i return! :)

My second cousin was in 1st Cav during the Vietnam war, and he brought back a few things, including a purple heart and an M1 Carbine. He got the purple heart after being shot twice in the leg while saving a wounded buddy by pulling him to safety. He got the carbine when he was filling his canteen in a stream and saw a dead North Vietnamese soldier. this soldier had two M1 Carbines, one of which had a broken stock. (probably broken by the artillery shell that killed him) He brought back the other M1, and it hung on his wall where my dad first saw it as a boy... Now my cousin has chosen to give it to me, requesting that I also learn some about its history.

First of all, its amazing to me that this gun likely was used in both World War Two and Korea and possibly killed enemies of our country, and then fell into enemy hands and possibly killed American soldiers.. i cant imagine what this rifle has been through! Now, what I have learned so far is that it is a Winchester from the second block of serial numbers, and was likely made in late 1943. (I think) I also know that my cousin put a coat of flat black paint on all the metal parts. The furniture is in surprisingly good shape though. What I want to know now is 1- is there any definitive way to find out how it got from the US military to the North Vietnamese and what action it saw in which wars (WWII, Korea, and 'Nam) and 2- how should I go about restoring it to its former glory? (or should i leave it as-is?)

I have never been too fond of the M1 Carbine because of its lack of power, but this one has a great deal of sentimental value to me, so it means a lot to me. Any help would be appreciated.

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Hacker15E
December 29, 2011, 09:20 AM
Photos would go a long way toward helping.

Also, recommend you visit the CMP forums as there are a lot of Carbine enthusiasts there who can analyze every number and marking on every part for you.

Bottom line: it will be very difficult to track where that Carbine served...probably not realistic at all. But, you'll be able to find out a lot about it in terms of where the parts were made, put together, etc.

SharpsDressedMan
December 29, 2011, 11:12 AM
Trying to get "theater" history on a military rifle is going to be impossible, or near impossible. Records just were not important enough to be kept. For restoration, I'd probably use Fulton Armory, who will replace any needed parts, down to making it "Winchester correct", should you want to spend THAT kind of money. Making it fit to shoot, and to mil-spec, with GI parts, with a good refinish will still cost you hundreds of dollars, but, hey, you got it free, and it is a family heirloom. Any good refinisher can probably re-parkerize the metal, and the stock can probably be refubished by you, with a little research as to some good ways to do it. The sky is the limit. Great story. Wish I know anything about the carbines I have, but they are just what they are; relics of wars past.

carbine85
December 29, 2011, 11:56 AM
We would love to see the pictures.
If it's a war relic bring back it should have documents to back it up unless your buddy slipped it in under the wire. Provenance means everything here.
If it's broken and in need of repair then repair it. Other than that I wouldn't touch it. You should leave it as it is.

amd6547
December 29, 2011, 02:55 PM
Plenty of things came back from Viet Nam with no paperwork...ranging from heroin and Thai stick to AK's...

fpgt72
December 29, 2011, 02:57 PM
As to where it came from...the US handed out old military rifles to anyone on the pacific rim that was going to be fighting the commies to but it blunt. You also have to remember that the chinese had a great many US weapons before the communist took over the mainland and the rest went to Formosa.

You rifle likely was aid to one of the asian countries for use against the Japanese or the communists.

As to the shape of the rifle, I would think that I would leave it as is. You don't know for sure who altered the rifle, and like others have said the cost of changing it all back may just not be worth it. Add to that if you happen to have the "bring back" paperwork I would not change a thing.

They are great fun and handy little rifles, I would bet if you get it working well you will love it.

AlexanderA
December 29, 2011, 04:03 PM
It could have been sent as postwar Foreign Military Assistance to the French, who used it in their colonial war against the Viet Minh. Then it may have been captured by the Vietnamese from the French. In fact I think this is the most likely explanation.

CZguy
December 29, 2011, 04:17 PM
It could have been sent as postwar Foreign Military Assistance to the French, who used it in their colonial war against the Viet Minh. Then it may have been captured by the Vietnamese from the French. In fact I think this is the most likely explanation.

To me that's the beauty of an old war relic, you hold and think to yourself, what it could have been through.

1943 Underwood

http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/badgerone/M1CarbineII.jpg

61chalk
December 29, 2011, 04:55 PM
My guess is that it was captured. In fact the dead NVA since he had 2, had probably picked them up himself, then got killed an your cousin found them. If it was your cousin that painted it....I would strip that paint all off, then see how it looks, if real bad I would repark, but would try an keep the orginal park. Great story!!!!!! Get all the numbers an letters off each part an get on the CMP forums like one gentleman said, an they can tell you more.

lemaymiami
December 29, 2011, 07:18 PM
A little history from that era might give you some avenues for research.... The Viet Minh fought the French for years and years until the Japanese invaded Indochina (as it was called then), they then fought the Japanese (the Vietnamese people have hundreds of years in conflicts with anyone that tried to move into their area -ask the Chinese). All of their cultural heroes were warriors..... Now for where it got interesting, during WWII they were among many, many in the Pacific area that were our allies. When the war ended they once again worked towards independence but the French had other ideas and went back to their old colonial ways (and soon the Viet Minh were again shooting at the French). Finally, the French gave up in 1954 and the country was divided into North and South. A few years later we were foolish enough to get involved.... so that carbine could have originally been sent to the VietMinh during WWII or been captured from government forces years later when we were supplying them with arms. Lots of possibilities.

Funny the things you learn in language school.... I did one short tour, my Dad did two tours (career Army Corps of Engineers) over there. I'll bet the Vietnamese are still fighting someone, somewhere....

I'll bet there's a great many, many WWII era carbines in that part of the world today unless they've sold them all... Good luck on any research you're able to do. Post up whatever you find.

country boy marksman
December 30, 2011, 01:27 AM
Thanks for the advice! I already know that it shoots, he shot it ever so often, but says that it shoots to the left... I'm probably going to the range saturday to confirm that, after a thorough cleaning. I'll try to take and post some pictures tomorrow... the extactor is a little tight, i'm thinking it could be from the paint, which I will probably get removed.

country boy marksman
January 2, 2012, 12:51 AM
Ok. I disassembled and cleaned it last night, and today i took it to the range. I had never shot an M1 Carbine before, and the lack of recoil surprised me. the sights were already adjusted for the barrel, and it was spot-on. after three or four shots at fifty yards, I took it out to 100. For a 68 year old rifle that from what ive heard was in pretty bad condition when my cousin found it, it shoots pretty well! You asked for pictures, well heres two:

155932
gotta love the tacticool hat... :evil: as I said, the rifle looks pretty good, except for the painted-over parts...
155933
not too bad, all things considered

Hacker15E
January 2, 2012, 09:27 AM
Any chance of a few detail photos of the Carbine?

All we can tell from that shot is that it's sitting in an M2 stock and that it's been rearsenaled at some point in it's life (Type 3 barrel band with bayo, rear sight).

Looks like a great shooter none the less!

FMJMIKE
January 2, 2012, 09:33 AM
Nice looking Carbine !!!

shuvelrider
January 2, 2012, 10:04 AM
Looks good. From what I,ve read, they were designed to shoot out to 300 yards. I have an Inland I bought from a 3 war vet before he died. I can hit my 15" square steel target at 200 yards with it, from sandbags of course. They are fun.

jad0110
January 2, 2012, 10:34 AM
I recently picked up a mixmaster Inland M-1 made in Jan '44. Though I'm a tall guy, I absolutely love the way it feels when I shoulder it. And the mild recoil is a lot of fun too.

Like you said, I'd first see about having the paint removed (then slap your cousin upside the head ;)). Unless it is 100% bare metal, I'd leave it as is. My M-1 shows a fair amount of wear, but it just adds character IMO.

country boy marksman
January 2, 2012, 06:05 PM
Any chance of a few detail photos of the Carbine?

All we can tell from that shot is that it's sitting in an M2 stock and that it's been rearsenaled at some point in it's life (Type 3 barrel band with bayo, rear sight).

Looks like a great shooter none the less!

I'll see if i can get a few detail shots today. I wasn't too fond of the sights when i started, but i got used to them, and i wouldn't dare change them anyway! One of the first things i learned (i knew almost nothing about the M1 a week ago, which is rare for me when it comes to guns) was that it had been rearsenaled, and I assume that's also why the stock and handguard don't match.

P.S.- looking at the picture of that grouping, i realized- the hole farthest to the right is actually from the target next to it, as i was sighting in the scope on my Model 70, so that really is a good grouping!

KodiakBeer
January 2, 2012, 06:26 PM
Here's some Vietnam history:

At least 793,994 M1 and M2 carbines were given to the South Vietnamese and were widely used throughout the Vietnam War.[40] A number were captured during the war by Vietcong.[41]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_carbine

bikerdoc
January 2, 2012, 09:50 PM
Kodiak Bear got it right.

We gave the ARVN, a bunch. I carried one for a while and liked it a lot. Did what it was intended to do at least twice.

Dr.Rob
January 3, 2012, 12:44 AM
Also pre giving stuff to ARVN we were spending a boatload under Eisenhower (one source said a million a day--Fire in the Lake http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Lake-Vietnamese-Americans-Vietnam/dp/0679723943 ) and American weapons and equipment were part of that. Shotgun News had an article on The French Foreign Legion that clearly showed FFL soldiers in Algeria carrying the carbine--early 50's. As FFL paratroopers were certainly at the battle of Dien Bien Phu its possible (if not likely) that the carbine could have been in country pre 1959. The ARVN connection is more likely.

Also many early US troops (advisers) were issued M1 carbines.

KodiakBeer
January 3, 2012, 05:49 AM
Kodiak Bear got it right.

That's beer, as in "beer". :)

eastbank
January 3, 2012, 09:36 AM
i have winchester m1 carbine that was sent back from vietnam in pieces, it a rebuilt with a winchester reciever(12059xx) with a inland 6-44 barrel,flat bolt with a m-2 potbelly stock. over all its in very good condition with a ex bore. the only part i had to replace was the extractor as it was broken. no paper work as it was just sent in packages home. eastbank.

bikerdoc
January 3, 2012, 09:46 AM
That's beer, as in "beer".


OOPS, sorry guy. I stopped drinking in 77.

country boy marksman
January 9, 2012, 01:28 AM
heres some detail photos of the carbine. if you want more, let me know. I've seen serial numbers covered up as well as not before, but i chose to hide it just to be on the safe side.
156523

156522

156521

156524

country boy marksman
January 9, 2012, 01:32 AM
156526

156527

156528

156525

there you go!

GRIZ22
January 9, 2012, 02:16 AM
If it's a war relic bring back it should have documents to back it up unless your buddy slipped it in under the wire. Provenance means everything here.


There should be no documents as you were not allowed to bring back US weapons as war trophies.

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