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  #1  
Old 05-16-2016, 09:50 AM
Finestkind Finestkind is offline
 
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Default Marine Corps Carbine Question

With M1903's and M1 Garand's you can sometimes tell whether they were issued to the Marine Corps or Not. Not all of them but many do have certain traits. Is there any way to ID a Carbine as a Marine Corps Rifle?


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Last edited by Finestkind; 05-16-2016 at 11:07 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-16-2016, 02:54 PM
cplnorton cplnorton is offline
 
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Everything I know is circumstancial, nothing concrete. It's probably just because the Marines only had them a short period of time and they never went through a major rebuild program with them like the did with everything else. They barely had them 10 years so not very long.

They did have a ton of them though, over 300k of them.
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  #3  
Old 05-16-2016, 11:57 PM
Rock Rock is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cplnorton View Post
They barely had them 10 years so not very long.

They did have a ton of them though, over 300k of them.
I guess Korean War experience had something to do with that. Did they obtain 300k Garands to replace them?
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  #4  
Old 05-17-2016, 05:34 AM
cplnorton cplnorton is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Rock View Post
I guess Korean War experience had something to do with that. Did they obtain 300k Garands to replace them?

The Marines had a huge surplus of Garands and carbines at the end of WWII. They had over 500k Garands and 300k carbines. And at the end of WWII they shrunk to a size of around 200k men.

They also received a lot of Garands in the post WWII timeframe, but I don't know how many they received as we haven't found that info in the archives yet. But they received a lot of them then as well. And by the mid 50's were already looking forward at the M14 and 1960 you see them starting to roll out.

This is all my speculation, but I have several hundred serials of them just found randomly in WWII documents, but you see a lot of serials with blue sky imports or Korean importer names that seem to fall around known Marine Corps serials.

And I've interviewed maybe four or five Korean War Marines who carried a Carbine in the War and they all say the same story. They shipped to Korea with their rifle, and when they left, they turned it in and left it there.

I suspect since the Marines dropped the carbine in 1954, it's very possible a lot were left in Korea. But that is only a hunch of mine. I can't prove it with documents yet. A lot of the documents of this time aren't released in the archives yet.

Also if you talk to Marines who served stateside, they all say the same thing. When Korea was done, you didn't see Carbines in the Marine Corps anymore.

Last edited by cplnorton; 05-17-2016 at 05:36 AM.
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  #5  
Old 05-17-2016, 11:38 AM
Firstflabn Firstflabn is offline
 
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Nice job, as always, Steve (here comes the 'but'). Those numbers are totals procured during WWII, not quantities possessed on V-J Day.

The initial movement to Korea was supplied from Barstow, but the 1MARDIV in KW was resupplied by the Army system. I suspect all Pacific units, both Army and Marines, being demobilized after WWII left their small arms there - that's what happened in the ETO anyway. There are additional whiffs of support for this guess in descriptions of MacArthur's Operation Rollup initiated on the eve of the KW, among them the following: "By mid-1952, it could be said that...71 percent of the infantry weapons being used in Korea...had come from rebuilding plants in Japan. This included materiel returned from Korea for repair as well as that which had come from the roll-up program." I further suspect that as occupation forces in Japan were reduced, those units were demobilized and also left their arms behind.

Fully appreciating the dangers of drawing sweeping conclusions from anecdotes, a friend of mine who joined the corps in 1960 and was a rifle company clerk in 1MARDIV told me he carried a carbine his entire time. He was in the FMF and served on Okinawa and in the Philippines during most of his enlistment. I haven't found any Cold War era T/Os, so I can't offer anything definitive. (Just what you needed - another project.)
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  #6  
Old 05-17-2016, 02:52 PM
cplnorton cplnorton is offline
 
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lol,l I have a few projects going on right now. I don't dabble much in Korea yet. The only thing I study when I do is on the 1903 Unert snipers and the M1C.

I keep on seeing snippets of a Depot on Guam and it mentions of a lot of weapons being stored there. I know a guy who lives on Guam who is a historian and I tried to see if it was possible anything still remains record wise. But there was nothing he could find.

But yeah thanks for the info man. Anytime we all get get together with our research we get a clearer picture.
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2016, 04:28 PM
armabill armabill is offline
 
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As a Marine, I saw a carbine in Vietnam in 1965.
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  #8  
Old 05-17-2016, 05:31 PM
Ping Ping is offline
 
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Default USMC M1 Carbine spotter's report

I saw this beauty at a local gun show several years ago, the seller would only allow me one picture. I can't remember his story but as can be seen, it was probably an early original by virtue of the flip sight and early controls. If only I could have done a Carbine Club data sheet for it!

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  #9  
Old 05-17-2016, 05:41 PM
cplnorton cplnorton is offline
 
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It's probably a good thing you didn't buy that one. The Marines never stamped them like that. Even the flip sight is a repo sorry to say.

There was a guy years back that was notorious for stamping USMC in stocks and asking a huge premium.
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  #10  
Old 05-17-2016, 06:15 PM
Firstflabn Firstflabn is offline
 
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Steve, look at Chap. 3 starting at about p. 58 for a brief discussion of Operation Roll-up. Most of the attention goes to the big toys, but this is where I learned that great heaps of gear were left behind. It was just as bad in the ETO with small arms of demobilized units arriving at FN heaped in truck beds and gondola rail cars.

http://www.history.army.mil/books/P&D.HTM

Packing for home after WWII wasn't as easy as it may sound. I've seen a report from the ETO in the summer of '45 where the army is importing tens of millions of board feet of lumber from as far away as Russia and the U.S. to support redeployment. Not too many lumber mills on those Pacific islands and nary a Cheaper Than Dirt to procure cosmoline from.
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