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  #21  
Old 10-02-2018, 12:32 AM
jimthompson502002 jimthompson502002 is offline
 
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Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin
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They also had a mess of U.S. "leftover" parts, new.

That's why there are milled trigger guards, most of them obviously Winchester, part # markings removed, and over-marked "PB", and quite a few narrow gas cylinders (the Italians NEVER made 'em!) marked "PB" and even "BMB".

Right after I did my big survey on parts markings, a fellow had me look at his DCM rifle, a 1.4 million, all correct, save for an EARLY U.S. (ca.1940) follower marked "PB" on the bottom flat. For some reason, he imagined it was a "fake" right from the army, and got quite upset. I told him it had probably been repaired in Italy. He seemed to think that was impossible.

And yes, that "Winchester machinery" and even most fixtures and jigs arrived rusted beyond repair and mostly worn out. It had been stored outdoors, substantially uncovered, for over four years in northeast coast weather. I was told there wasn't a usable blade or die in the entire shipment. By the way, that stuff was all United States Government property, and the contract called out storage far more consistent with preservation.

Last edited by jimthompson502002; 10-02-2018 at 03:55 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #22  
Old 10-04-2018, 02:23 PM
alphawhiskey alphawhiskey is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRMPCF50 View Post
Beretta was the official European (NATO) manufacturer of M1 parts. There were a lot of US Military Assistance Program (MAP) M1 Garands loaned to NATO member nations post WWII. The US/NATO wanted a “local” European parts source to simplify the supply chain.

The Beretta/Breda parts were made to spec, during peacetime (as opposed to war pressure), and by an experienced firearms company. They are high quality parts.

My guess is that any M1 that was in Europe in the 50s and later could have been repaired with Beretta parts.
*reasonable speculation to follow*

That makes a lot of sense. "Parts is parts" applies everywhere so they probably used European parts for U.S. equipment stationed in Europe. Plus it pumped money back into the economy....
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  #23  
Old 10-04-2018, 04:38 PM
BRMPCF50 BRMPCF50 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Central MO
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FN was also contracted to repair small arms. Actually before the war ended. Shortly after the FN factory in Belgium was liberated by the allies. Some WWII M1 mixmasters may have been mixed during their refurbishing at FN...

I’ve wondered why Beretta, not FN, was selected as the NATO Garand supplier. Perhaps geography was a factor. The Alps are a barrier to invasion of Italy. Whereas Belgium had been overrun by invaders twice since 1914.
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  #24  
Old 10-04-2018, 05:44 PM
aimit aimit is offline
 
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Location: Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRMPCF50 View Post
FN was also contracted to repair small arms. Actually before the war ended. Shortly after the FN factory in Belgium was liberated by the allies. Some WWII M1 mixmasters may have been mixed during their refurbishing at FN...

I’ve wondered why Beretta, not FN, was selected as the NATO Garand supplier. Perhaps geography was a factor. The Alps are a barrier to invasion of Italy. Whereas Belgium had been overrun by invaders twice since 1914.
Probably selected by bid process.
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  #25  
Old 10-04-2018, 08:12 PM
jimthompson502002 jimthompson502002 is offline
 
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Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin
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Actually, F.N. did a lot of repairs, too.

My very first M1, a "REMIL" ( 2-part welded receiver) bore a crispy, new 50's dated F.N. barrel that shot brilliantly.

By the way, I recently tracked down the receiver, which is still shooting and in the same family to whom I sold it five long decades ago. Unfortunately, its owner--who is still alive but has severe shoulder issues and no longer shoots the M1--was a serious shooter for a long time, and the barrel I wanted to photograph was discarded long ago. The rifle still works fine, and was on what the purchaser's estimate was its SIXTH barrel since I sold. Yes, he knew from the get-go it was a REMIL and from whence it came, and it has malfunctioned only when op rod catches, bullet guides, and gas cylinders/gas pistons became fatigued. His son is not as avid a shooter, but still fires the old beast several times a year at a club north of here.

But I didn't get to photograph that barrel that was on it in 1963.

Main point: F.N. produced barrel and seems to have done some repairs, albeit whether under the NATO umbrella or not, no one seems to know for sure. This went on apparently until the sixties.

Last edited by jimthompson502002; 10-04-2018 at 08:13 PM. Reason: detail
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  #26  
Old 10-05-2018, 02:01 PM
BRMPCF50 BRMPCF50 is offline
 
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Location: Central MO
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More on FN and M1 Garands…

The book “Ars Mechanica, the Ultimate FN Book” contains a few pages on FN’s work on American small arms. (If you think Canfield’s book is big, “Ars Mechanica” is even bigger! Although it covers more than firearms.)

FN started doing work for the US Army in September 1944, shortly after the plant had been liberated by the Allied Forces. By June 1946 FN had refurbished more than 2 million US small arms. The arms inspected and repaired included M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, M3 “machine pistols” (Grease Guns) and Browning .30 and .50 caliber machine guns.

“In May 1945, the supply services of the American army entrusted FN with the inspection, cleaning, repair and packing of all small arms owned by American troops on the continent. The factory…was able to complete this task within a year (6 June 1945 to 25 June 1946: more than 2,100,000 arms were inspected in this way.”
“Ars Mechanica, the Ultimate FN Book” pp.215-219”

There are four pages of pictures in the book showing this work. Pictures of: M1 Garands stacked like cord wood; disassembly, inspection and reassembly lines; crates of finished arms stacked to the warehouse rafters. Looking at the pictures the arms were completely disassembled for parts cleaning and inspection.

Interestingly, Model 1911 pistols were not included in the work. The book implies that FN’s long-standing agreements with Colt on Browning pistol patents and marketing prohibited FN from doing M1911 pistol work.

I suspect another reason FN did little work on M1 Garands after 1946 was to not conflict with their own battle rifle developments: the SAFN-49, and the derivative LAR/FN-FAL rifles. As well as their light machine gun (M240 in US nomenclature).
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