Whats this gun?


December 10, 2012, 10:39 PM
Taken at the national cryptology museum in baltimore.
Stumbled across this pic:
Its not a carbine or a Thompson...

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Armed 24/7
December 10, 2012, 10:43 PM
It looks like a Reising SMG in .45 acp

Carne Frio
December 10, 2012, 11:02 PM
The Marines had them early in WWII in the

December 11, 2012, 12:42 AM
It looks like a Reising SMG in .45 acp

Exactly, a Reising model 50 made by H & R.

December 11, 2012, 07:44 AM
It looks like it's the folding stock version of the Reising submachine gun. I think the fixed wooden stock was the Model 50 and metal folding stock was the Model 55.

December 11, 2012, 07:49 AM
My father fired one of those during WWII stateside. Got to fire it on full auto. He called is a Reising and of course I'd never heard of it then. He was a Navy corpsman.

December 11, 2012, 09:14 AM
Here's a more detailed look at the M55 Reising:


December 11, 2012, 09:39 AM
There was also a 22-caliber trainer.

Friend of mine picked one up at an auction and had me work on it a little (wasn't firing) - I didn't even know what it was at first because I'd never seen one before. Got it fixed up and shooting good, then discovered what it was with some research.

I didn't want to give it back! :)

December 11, 2012, 09:54 AM
We've owned one since the 80s, very controllable, well-handling, but the double stack to single feed mags tend to be problematic. They got a bad reputation among the marines for not functioning well when dirty, and the magazines contributed to that. However, they are one of the cheaper NFA full auto toys you can buy, prices hover around 4 to 5 thousand depending on condition and accessories.

Many of them became police or police guns following the war, ours came from an Illinois department. Now, not used for anything but recreational shooting with tuned magazines, ours runs reliably and is fun to shoot - it's got a low cyclic rate so you can be fairly precise with it. However, they have a reputation of breaking firing pins and strangely enough, the fins on the compensators are fragile, so they should be stocked up on, especially as those parts are getting harder to find.

December 11, 2012, 10:02 AM
Yep that is a Reising model 50, they came chambered in .45 ACP, .30 Carbine & .22 LR.

December 11, 2012, 10:06 AM
Very interesting, Ian! Thank you.

(The video narrator must be an expert. He even pronounced "Garand" correctly!) :)



The Reising soon earned a dismal reputation for reliability under Guadalcanal combat conditions.[11] Reportedly, many Marines would discard the weapon upon finding just about anything else, and one NCO reportedly "decommissioned" his Reising by breaking the stock over the head of a particularly insolent "brig rat".[12] Lt. Col. Merritt Edson, commanding officer of a Marine Raider battalion, ordered all Reising submachine guns issued to his unit to be dumped unceremoniously into a river, so that his men might draw better weapons.[11]

Also interesting, from the same wiki article, in terms of "an individual civil right" standpoint:

Post World War II

Following World War II, Federal Laboratories sold Reisings to many American law enforcement agencies. The Reising was also issued to British civilians in the Malayan Emergency.[18]

(Bolding mine)

Terry, 230RN

December 11, 2012, 10:07 AM
Identified in four minutes. impressive work

December 11, 2012, 10:12 AM
Wasn't an M1 carbine and before now I had NO IDEA the Reising even existed.

Thanks all!

Al Thompson
December 11, 2012, 10:26 AM
Let's see if we get more 411 in NFA. :)

December 11, 2012, 10:26 AM
Good video Ian!

One question I've had about this design; does the plunger-cocker reciprocate with the bolt when fired? Or does function disconnected from the bolt?

December 11, 2012, 11:56 AM

From what I have read as to the function of the Reising design, it fired from a closed bolt and was overly complicated as compared to other automatic weapons of that era.

From Military Small Arms of the 20th Century:

The internal mechanism is fairly complicated and the operation of the trigger tripped a series of related operations leading to the striking of the primer, quite unlike the simplicity of the open-bolt system.
Automatic fire was really a rapid series of semi-automatic shots in sequence, since the mechanism performs the same function each time. Another unusual feature is that the bolt was "semi-locked" on firing by being cammed upwards into a recess in the receiver.

If I remember correctly the Reising Model 55 was primarily issued to Marine Paratroopers and Marine Raider units, as the folding metal stock and pistol grip design made for a compact and lightweight (6 lbs. 4 oz.), weapon for use in jungle warfare. Unfortunately it suffered from numerous jams due to the design of the magazines, the fact that too much dirt and debris got into the gun, and recurring problems with parts breakage.

December 11, 2012, 12:38 PM
The main problem regarding reliability with the Reising was that parts were individually hand-fitted to each gun; this meant that when you and someone else sat down to clean them after use, and your parts got mixed together, it left you with 2 non-functioning submachine guns. It's an interesting enough design (and plenty of them ended up being given to the Russians via Lend-Lease), but that one factor basically rang their death knell as a military firearm.

Jim Watson
December 11, 2012, 03:33 PM
My agency had some Reisings, sold in transferrable manner to a wheeler dealer when the AC556 was settled on as standard. I know some of the private owners who ended up with them. They generally shot pretty well when not subjected to jungle conditions and parts mixing. There was a dinky 12 shot magazine that was a bandaid for the poor feeding of the 20s.
I recall an old article by a guy who was cutting and welding then-cheap Thompson "sticks" to produce decent 25 shot Reising gun magazines.

Note that there was also a semi-auto version with 16" barrel for no hassle sale to American Commoners and agencies who didn't want the paperwork.
This made the feds nervous since it was not hard to convert to full auto.

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