IBM made M1 Carbines?!


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Sven
January 29, 2003, 09:41 PM
Browsing Miltech Arms (http://www.miltecharms.com) catalog, I came across the list of manufacturers offered for the M1 Carbine:

Inland (GM), Underwood, Saginaw (GM), National Postal Meter, Quality Hardware Machine Corporation, Standard Products Corp., IBM, Winchester, Rock-ola...

... can this really be? IBM made a carbine? Bizzare! What's the story?

This came up when researching WWI/WWII rifle manufacturers - if you haven't already, check out my poll here on THR: Which M1 Garand manufacturer, if you could choose? (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6264)

I'm just starting to learn about this all, and it is very exciting!

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wun_8_seven
January 29, 2003, 10:06 PM
yup its true, my dad has 13 of them. he retired from IBM and buys every ibm carbine that comes along. 187

Wildalaska
January 29, 2003, 10:16 PM
Hi carbines are very cool, I just got a NPM with an IBM barrel, it is complete WW1 issue (ie flip sight, no bayo lug)...

The nicest thing is that I have TONS of ammo for it...

WildcutelittlecarbineAlaska

Hkmp5sd
January 29, 2003, 10:20 PM
Don't forget, in the late 70's they also said there would never be a market for personal computers. They scoffed at these two nerds that put together some gadget they called the Apple //.

Tom C.
January 29, 2003, 10:45 PM
Here is a little history of the M-1 Carbine.

A Pocket History of the M1 Carbine
by Robert Gibson
Someone wanted some info on M1 Carbine....maybe this will help. Much of it is copied from the NRA's booklet "U.S.Caliber .30 Carbine".
Over a span of just 38 months (the first carbines were delivered in June 1942, the last in August 1945) nine primary contractors established manufacturing facilities, tooled up and turned out some six million carbines of all types - M1, M1A1, M2 and T3/M3. The production program was such a success that, excepting Inland and Winchester, the remaining contracts were cancelled in mid-1944. Those two companies completed their carbine production runs in August, 1945.
M1 Carbine Production
Inland Manufacturing Division, G.M.C 2,632,097 43.0%
Winchester Repeating Arms Co 828,059 13.5%
Underwood-Elliot-Fisher Co 545,616 8.9%
* Saginaw Steering Gear Div., G.M.C 517,212 8.5%
** National Postal Meter Co 413,017 6.8%
*** Quality Hardware & Machine Co 359,666 5.9%
International Business Machines Corp (IBM) 346,500 5.7%
Standard Products Co 247,160 4.0%
Rock-Ola Co 228,500 3.7%
---------
Total: 6,221,220
* Note that Saginaw had two plants in operation, one in Saginaw, MI and one in Grand Rapids, MI. The Grand Rapids facility assumed a contract that had been originally awarded to Irwin-Pedersen Arms Co....I-P had assembled only 3,542 guns at the time, none of which were accepted by the government.
** Note that a few early NPM receivers are marked "Rochester", for the Rochester Defense Corp. A very few late receivers are marked "CCC", for Commercial Controls Corp.
*** Note that some Quality Hardware carbines were assembled using receivers made by Union Switch & Signal Co, hence the "UN-QUALITY" marked carbines. These are highly prized by some carbine aficionados.
The history of who made what during the brief 38 months of production is a story that can (and does) fill a book. Might I suggest you find a copy of "WAR BABY" or "M1 Carbine Design, Development and Production" by Larry Ruth. Another recommended book is "Guide to Collecting the M1 Carbine" by Robert Gibson (no relation, by the way!)...they're all good books with tons of info. Another excellent reference book is "U.S. M1 Carbines: Wartime Production" by Craig Riesch, a North Cape Publications "For Collectors Only" series.
Which are the most collectable? Depends on what your own personal criteria might be. Rock-Ola's are always desirable, not only because there were fewer made than any other make but because Rock-Ola was a famous juke box maker of the period who's product was quite familiar to the WWII GI's. Others look to the Winchester carbines because of the name on the receiver....I own one these myself. There are all kinds of reasons to own a particular "brand" of carbine...I've worked with IBM mainframe computers systems for some 20 years, I think it would be rather fitting to obtain an IBM carbine sooner or later. 20 carbine owners might give 20 different reasons for owning their particular carbine....you really need to read up on M1 history and decide what YOU want.
Mechanically they were each and every one built to the same design specs as specified in the contracts the maker signed with the U.S. Government. You could strip 25 M1 Carbines down to their component parts, mixed 'em up in a box and then reassemble them at random back into 25 carbines....they would be expected to function within the specified performance parameters.
Finding what you want is another matter. If not available at your local gunshops or gunshows you could get a current issue of Gun List, the indexed firearms paper....many, many M1 Carbines will be found listed in the Military Weapons section. Another source is Fulton Armory....call (301) 490-9485; the current advertised price is $699.95 for service grade M1 Carbine.
On this subject....at a recent gunshow I attended in Birmingham, Alabama (Jan. 5, 1997) the prices being asked for typical M1 Carbines were running from low of $450 for Inlands to a high of $650 for Rock-Olas. The Carbines I examined appeared to contain the usual mixed parts one would expect....a combination of the original mix of parts by the manufacturer, augmented by the various arsenal refurbishment programs following WWII and Korean wars.
As a counterpoint my local gunsmith still has a few Quality Hardware Carbines for sale at $385....mixed parts so certainly not collectables, but they're quite acceptable "shooters" and would satisfy most who have an itch to own a GI Carbine of their own. On this subject I've heard reports of "shooter" grade M1 Carbines still going for between $250 to $300 in scattered locations around the country. They've not been this affordable in my local area since back in late 1994 or early 1995.
Something a Carbine newbie should know....none of the primary contractors made ALL of the parts for these handy firearms. Best among the prime contractors was Underwood-Elliot-Fisher, which made 35 of the M1 Carbine's 55-58 parts in its Hartford and Bridgeport, Conn., plants. At the other end of the spectrum, Quality Hardware made only receivers, depending upon government supplied parts and parts from other contractors and sub-contractors from which its guns were assembled.
Subcontractors involved in the carbine program number in the hundreds, and made everything from pins and springs to receivers and barrels.
The U.S. Cal. .30 Carbine was designed from day one as a true "mixed parts" military firearm....carrying the "any part from any source will fit" philosophy of the U.S. Rifle, Cal. .30, M1....the M1 Garand....one step further.
In my rather humble opinion the design and manufacture of the M1 Carbine by the American Military Industrial Complex of the WWII era would have to be considered a watershed event in the field of military firearms production.
It certainly goes without saying there are no "bad" USGI World War II era M1 Carbines seeing they were all built to the same milspecs and thoroughly inspected before acceptance by Uncle Sam. True, there are many out there now that are in need of large doses of TLC due to their hard travels around the world for the last 50 years. A good service rifle gunsmith can do wonders with one of these rather sad re-imports if someone were so inclined to rescue it, but....supplies of repatriates could be drying up. That WRA carbine I mentioned above was one of these neglected war dogs when I stumbled upon it.
It now rests in the gunsafe with my Garands, M1911 Govt pistols, M1903-A3 Remingtons 'n others from the World War II era...including a German KAR 98k. Quite a sight actually, old cronies...and mortal enemies...resting together with actions gleaming and stocks giving off the odor of fresh linseed oil.
There were also commercial M1 carbine models produced from 1960's to 1980's by Iver Johnson, Plainfield Machine Co., & Universal Sporting Goods. I don't much care for commercial M1 carbines so am not really up on their history, OTOH some do prefer them over GI carbines...different strokes for different folks. I did see a nickel-plated IJ once that was quite striking....well, to be perfectly honest I thought it was somewhat gaudy.
The commercial carbines simply *do not* compare well to a true-blue USGI M1 Carbine that's in good repair....my own biased opinion of course .

Jim K
January 29, 2003, 10:51 PM
IBM carbines had rectangular bores. That is how they punched the holes in all those cards and got hanging chads.

(OK, OK, I couldn't resist.)

Tom C., very good post.

Jim

PUMC_TomG
January 29, 2003, 10:52 PM
IBM also helped Hitler pull of the Holocaust... interesting huh? :uhoh:

Lone_Gunman
January 29, 2003, 10:53 PM
Wildalaska sez:

"Hi carbines are very cool, I just got a NPM with an IBM barrel, it is complete WW1 issue (ie flip sight, no bayo lug)..."

I think you have a syntax error there, my friend.

Quartus
January 29, 2003, 10:55 PM
Hmmm, I guess they might have been issued to special units like Intel personel.


:what:



:D

ranger7
January 30, 2003, 12:03 AM
The carbines were manufactured at IBM's typewriter plant in Lexington, KY during WWII. This plant later made printers and keyboards. Much later when IBM wanted to get out of the printer business it helped the employees of this plant buy the printer business and factory and form an independent company: Lexmark.

Alan (ex-IBM employee)

dude
January 30, 2003, 12:20 AM
With the reliability of GI Carbines, just imagine how smooth operating and reliable an Apple Carbine would be!


.................of course there would not be as many games for it

Wildalaska
January 30, 2003, 01:05 AM
I think you have a syntax error there, my friend.

No actally an addition error forgot to add the other 'I"

WildpoortypistAlaska

Hkmp5sd
January 30, 2003, 01:22 AM
WildpoortypistAlaska

Don't know why, but your unique (and highly entertaining) signature reminds me of Don Adams with his line, "Would you believe....?" from Get Smart. :)

Tom C.
January 30, 2003, 08:29 AM
I find it amusing that the M-1 Carbine is a tribute to Eli Whitney and interchangeable parts. Car companies, business machine companies,a juke box maker, none of whom had ever made a gun, made parts that could be mixed and matched to make a pretty decent rifle. Only in America.

M67
January 30, 2003, 10:04 AM
No actally an addition error forgot to add the other 'I"
WildpoortypistAlaska If it's an addition error, shouldn't the signature be "Wildcan'tdosimplemathAlaska"? :D

Hammerhead
January 30, 2003, 01:17 PM
Re: PUMC_TomG
IBM machines were used by Nazi Germany, but IBM didn't know what what was going on. You could just as well say that the US goverment "helped Hitler pull off the Holocaust" because there was a US ambassador there!

Or that Jesse Owens was a Nazi collaborator because he went to the Olympics in Germany!

The claim that IBM was involved in the Holocause is a vile and untrue accusation.

Regards,
Hammerhead

MonkeyMan
January 30, 2003, 01:23 PM
A gun shop near me has IIRC an IBM carbine that's stamped "Bavarian Forest Service" on the left side of the reciever. Marked $450 but alas, not in the budget.:( :banghead:

Tom C.
January 30, 2003, 01:29 PM
The second part of the little history of the M-1 carbine was about the Bavarian M-1s.

ADDENDUM: "Bavarian Carbines"....What Are They?
Following from the "For Collectors Only" edition of "U.S. M1 CARBINES" by Craig Riesch, published by North Cape Publications (revised, 2nd edition)
"After World War II, the United States, as one of the Occupying Powers in Germany, was responsible for providing community policing in the U.S. Zone. As the United States had no intention of either remaining as an Occupation force in Germany any longer than necessary, or in becoming involved in the day-to-day government of the community, local police forces were established to assume standard policing duties ranging from traffic control to criminal investigation to forestry protection. One of the most extensive of these police forces was the Bavarian Rural Police.
"Bavaria is one of the largest German states and included extensive forested and mountainous regions. The U.S. Army made M1 Carbines available to these local police units, many of which remained in service for more than ten years.
"Many can be identified by the stampings, "BAVARIAN RURAL POLICE", "BAVARIAN FORESTRY SERVICE", "BAVARIAN BORDER POLICE" and "BAVARIAN STATE POLICE" on the receiver. Other carbines were furnished to the federal border guard service, the "BUNDESGRENZSHUTZ". A variety of city and state police marks will also be noted. Most also had their component parts stamped with the last three or four digits of the original receiver serial number, as was standard German practice. Many of the carbines were reblued or refinished in "black oxide" which sometimes appears almost "blue/black' in color, depending on the polish of the metal beneath. On others, the issue rear sight was removed and the dovetail filled with a block of steel which was machined with a series of grooves across the top to prevent glare.
"Occasionally, they were rebarreled with new barrels manufactured by the German firm of ERMA Werke. A non-adjustable rear sight with a "Vee" notch was brazed on the front of the receiver behind the handguard. It provided a sight picture very much like that of the Mauser bolt action rifle, fam- iliar to its new users, many of whom had seen previous police or military service during World War II."
Hope this information is of some help.
Robert Gibson

KMKeller
January 30, 2003, 01:54 PM
Re: PUMC_TomG
IBM machines were used by Nazi Germany, but IBM didn't know what what was going on. You could just as well say that the US goverment "helped Hitler pull off the Holocaust" because there was a US ambassador there!

Or that Jesse Owens was a Nazi collaborator because he went to the Olympics in Germany!

The claim that IBM was involved in the Holocause is a vile and untrue accusation.

Regards,
Hammerhead

How comfortably revisionist. It's well known that IBM's German subsidiary provided support throughout WWII to the Nazi regime. It's also well known that IBM HQ in the US of A spun off a subsidiary called Watson Business Machines with the express intent of support Nazi efforts in the occupation of Poland and all efforts therein including calculating just how many jews could be emptied out of the ghettos on a daily basis.

That IBM didn't know it's machines were being used in the fashion they were is ludicrous. Every paper in the free world had been reporting the efforts of the Nazis for some time. They would have to be blind deaf and dumb not to recognize what was going on. And spinning off a subsidiary to assist the Nazis in Poland is pretty damning.

T.Stahl
January 30, 2003, 01:56 PM
No, IBM probably didn't know what Germany used their machines for. Just as GM, Ford, Standard Oil or Exxon. :o
Some of them where even given German industry patents in return but refused to use them to help the allies.

KMKeller
January 30, 2003, 02:02 PM
No, IBM probably didn't know what Germany used their machines for. Just as GM, Ford, Standard Oil or Exxon. There is also evidence that IBM operated a punchcard manufacturing facility one street over from the infamous Warsaw Ghetto. They knew quite well.

Sven
January 30, 2003, 02:10 PM
...and Bin Laden used a IBM laptop to communicate with his cronies.

Seriously, this is getting pretty hot and heavy here... lets change the subject a bit, anyone have closeups of the IBM markings on an M1?

-s

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