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Old August 20, 2011, 09:19 AM   #1
rangerryda
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M1A1 Paratrooper Carbine

Hello, I'm new to this forum. I'm posting because I've come across a family owned M1 Paratrooper Carbine. It's the first generation from what I can tell because it has no adjustment knobs for the rear flip sight. Overall, my novice opinion of antique weapons says this is in great shape. I know for a fact it is non restored/modified and period correct. It does fire accurately with no malfunctions and smooth bolt action. The only "problem" is the front band (no bayonet lug)/sling loop needs to be fixed or replaced. The screw and sling loop are fine but the metal band is cracked just where it's no longer "laminated" to the inner band just on top. I'll post up some pictures when I go take a look at it again.

Another concern is on the handgrip (not on the pistol grip portion) the paratrooper that was issued the rifle in WWII etched his name "Jimmy" into the side. I don't want to replace it because it adds a little nostalgia factor but I'm wondering if it affects value.

I would really appreciate it if someone could give me proof marks, serial numbers and other identifying factors so I (and we as a community) can properly value the weapon. It's priceless to the family but for insurance reasons and pure gee whiz we'd all like to know what it's worth and as much history behind it as possible.

Thank you all in advance!

Last edited by rangerryda; August 20, 2011 at 04:50 PM.
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Old August 20, 2011, 02:29 PM   #2
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You can still find original bands, even though most you see are repros, but replacing it requires removal of the front sight, which can be a bear. There is no special strain there and if it still stays together and retains the handguard properly, I would leave it alone.

I think I would also leave "Jimmy" alone, especially if you can determine who Jimmy is/was and include that information with the carbine.

This may be the exception to the rule, but I am always skeptical of "bring back" U.S. military weapons. It was strictly prohibited and any GI caught taking his weapon home could be convicted of theft and sent to prison. Not many soldiers finally getting out of service wanted to take a chance.

Jim
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Old August 20, 2011, 03:04 PM   #3
4V50 Gary
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Silver solder it. BTW, you're luckier than I. My Saginaw is also a pre-Korean War gun and it doesn't have the bayonet lug. However, the sling swivel is missing.
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Old August 20, 2011, 04:49 PM   #4
rangerryda
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I just took it out today and fired 100 rounds through with just one failure to feed because of a bad mag. I've got 3 more that worked perfectly with the FTF rounds from the bad mag. It came directly from my grandfather that was a pilot for the paratroopers in the troop carrier squadron. Perhaps I used improper lingo or improperly described the part that is broken... the part that is broken is the removable sling mount. This holds the upper wooden grip to the rear where it slips under the rear band. I'm not sure if this design is shared with it's non folding stock counterparts though so maybe I can find a picture and highlight which piece I'm referencing.

Overall, it's still in firing condition but you have to use your fingers to hold the upper grip down when firing (which almost comes naturally anyhow). It's wicked accurate too! Give me a few mins and I'll have a picture up.

Thanks for the replies so far!
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Old August 20, 2011, 04:57 PM   #5
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The screw and sling loop are fine, it's just the ring of metal they're both attached to is broken.

** EDIT ** Upon further inspection, it is the whole assembly (barrel band) that needs to be replaced.

The good news is that the serial number is 115182 INLAND. This means it was produced in the first tenth of the first batch of M1 Carbines ever made by any manufacturer (excluding test/bench models)! Correct me if I'm wrong though.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg k183603_US WW2 M1 Carbine paratrooper by Inland 1942 1.jpg (250.1 KB, 189 views)

Last edited by rangerryda; August 20, 2011 at 05:19 PM.
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Old August 20, 2011, 07:25 PM   #6
Dfariswheel
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New or used bands are available, but you have to watch for non-USGI "replicas".
Replacement does require front sight removal.
Note that there are several types of bands, since the design changed during production.
You need to be very careful to get the same type version to protect the value of the Carbine.
I'll assume you'll need a First Type Carbine barrel band assembly.

As for your Carbine, it appears to have damage to the finish, but always keep in mind that today a genuine USGI paratrooper Carbine is worth a small fortune to collectors. DO NOT remove any marks or attempt to "clean it up".
Normal cleaning with solvent is fine, but NO polishing or sanding or anything else.
The rifle is worth more to a collector in it's present condition. Any alterations or attempts to make it look better can reduce the value by many hundreds of dollars.

Here's some possible sources of original USGI bands, and some places where you can look at GI Field manuals showing the various types of band and how to change them out.

Parts: CALL them or at least email to insure you get the correct version genuine USGI part. They may have the part, but not list it.
http://www.billricca.com/

http://www.m1garandrifle.com/

http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/...px?catid=11882
WARNING: These may not be original USGI.

Field Manuals showing band changing:
http://www.biggerhammer.net/manuals/
Note the info at the top about what password and user name to use.

Last edited by Dfariswheel; August 20, 2011 at 07:33 PM.
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Old August 20, 2011, 07:42 PM   #7
Adirondack
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I'm jealous, I have 8 M1 Carbines but still don't have a authentic paratrooper model. I wouldn't do a thing to it other than keeping it clean and lubed. You can find replacement barrel bands but what you have is more valuable to a collector even if it is broken.

The carved "Jimmy" does detract from the value of your M1 unless you can find out who the person is and his story. Knowing Jimmy's background would make the weapon quite valuable (it is already pretty valuable judging from recent auctions)
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Old August 20, 2011, 08:02 PM   #8
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That picture isn't my actual rifle. It's just one similar to display the part I needed but more digging on my part led me to my own answer. I wouldn't consider buying anything other than genuine period manufactured parts for this carbine. EVERYTHING else (besides mags) is period from the war. It's been disassembled once (last week) since being shipped to the states via the aircraft he flew. It's just one of the many many many hidden gems coming out of Grandpa's WWII secret closet. Top Secret original copies of invasion plans, full uniforms, etc. My Dad remembers unwrapping it from the original shipping crate it was still in when he inherited it (along with other goodies). I still need to head over to their house and take some nice pics of "our" actual carbine.
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Old August 20, 2011, 09:41 PM   #9
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I strongly recommend Bill Ricca (www.billricca.com) for parts; he has originals for most parts or if they are not original he will tell you so and not claim anything they are not.

Jim
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Old August 20, 2011, 10:04 PM   #10
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Thanks for the reference!
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Old August 20, 2011, 11:22 PM   #11
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Respectfully, you state that your knowledge of this type of antique is "novice", but you also state that you know for a fact that the rifle is all correct

May I ask how you reconciled these apparently mutually exclusive statements?
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Old August 20, 2011, 11:55 PM   #12
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Go to the CMP Carbine forum, these guys can tell you every thing there is about the Carbine, including where to get orginal parts.

http://forums.thecmp.org/forumdisplay.php?f=6

As far as "bring backs" WWII was a totally different story then today's military. With in reason no one cared if you took your rifle home.

My father told me, after the war people coming home had to pass by several venders on the ramp, on the way to the plane, selling M1s 45s etc. LEGALLY

I got a used sling from CMP to go with my CMP Carbine. It had a name writtnen on the inside. My wife did a search and found there were two people by that name in WWII, one in the Pacficl and one in Europe during 1944.
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Old August 21, 2011, 07:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James K
You can still find original bands, even though most you see are repros, but replacing it requires removal of the front sight, which can be a bear. There is no special strain there and if it still stays together and retains the handguard properly, I would leave it alone.

I think I would also leave "Jimmy" alone, especially if you can determine who Jimmy is/was and include that information with the carbine.

This may be the exception to the rule, but I am always skeptical of "bring back" U.S. military weapons. It was strictly prohibited and any GI caught taking his weapon home could be convicted of theft and sent to prison. Not many soldiers finally getting out of service wanted to take a chance.

Jim
Jim is right on, "bring back" stories are just that, stories. Issued weapons were accounted for and turned in. A GI may have bought a surplus weapon on the way home for his "bring back " story. Trophy weapons had paper work tied to them. With out the paper work it's just another gunshow story.

The name carved in the stock well diminish value some. The correct front band is inexpensive but labor intensive to change. Genuine Inland paratroopers sell for 2-2.5k in average condition.


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Old August 21, 2011, 08:38 AM   #14
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I'm with Kraig on this.

I'm sure many people here have seen the articles, read the published accounts, heard the vet stories etc

I do a little US militaria collecting myself, and the climate of 1945 (and earlier in the US involvement) was such that yeah sure, you'd get in trouble for a 'lost' rifle say, in training. They'd make you pay for it out of your pay. Today it's a major, major deal and the rifle will be found or accounted for and there's big major penalties. I hear that Leavenworth is still around. But that wasn't the climate in WWII, and especially if nobody knew it was 'lost', such as a battleground pick-up. To support that, there's plenty of documented stories of soldier using a weapon they picked up. In WWII, a GI was not assigned a specific s/n rifle. if you turned in an M1A1, it didn't have to be 'the same one' as the one you were issued.

Look at the stories of the Normandy invasion. Guys abandoned their rifles in water over their heads and picked up weapons on the beach. Nobody said 'gotcha' about the lost original rifle. the only thing that stopped a GI from mailing home a rifle- especially one like an M1A1 (mine fits in a pillow case, fully assembled with a mag!) would be the desire and opportunity. And most troops were not on the front lines, so there was plenty of opportunity. Look at the guy who mailed home a jeep, or photographs of the third reich that were mailed home. I could disassemble my M1A1 completely and make it fit into a tube of fairly small diameter. It seems really easy to get that M1A1 to the homefront in WWII if a guy had the chance. And naturally, he wasn't getting permission. Also plenty of stories of guys who had weapons with them in their duffel bags, heard that things like this were being confiscated in say, New York, and said 'to hell with it, I'm not ditching that stuff', kept them, and didn't get searched after all

Personally, I strongly believe that the guys who did the fighting have no moral issues with 'stealing' those rifles or pistols. They paid for them dearly. I believe in law and if that is contradictory to my earlier statement then fine, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes. And Uncle Sam didn't really pursue legal action. Heck, my Model of 1911 is blued and reads "United States Property". Was it a DCM sale? Was it a lunchbox special? Did somebody mail it home from France in 1918? I dunno, but nobody ever got in trouble over it. Try that with an M9 today....

The single best well documented WWII M1A1 came up a few years back. American Rifleman did an article. Was picked up by a non-paratroop because it fit nicely inside his jeep. It was a pick-up, and it turns out it was well documented. that's the preferred thing today for a buyer or for discussion of course

But does that mean that without the verifiable story, the rifle cannot have been a vet bring-back? Respectfully, it just means that it can't be documented. If grandpop used the thing in WWII, and sent it home and it's been there ever since, well, we can assume that the rifle did not grow there in the closet, regardless of paperwork or the lack thereof

Let's look at some details on this rifle. I own one, a non-verifiable M1A1 of course. Inland, arguably the right s/n range.

Depending on what's been done to the M1A1 in question, we know some things.

One it has flip up rear sights. contrary to popular belief, the windage adjustable was not a strictly post-WWII item. neither was a bayo lug front band. Quite unlikely to find these items on a WWII example, but neither of these features are on the rifle in question

The type of stock and handguard can tell us things- high wood? Two rivet handgaurd? Don't know, and while not conclusive, it could suggest things. If highwood and two rivet and the rifle s/n supports the first contract, then we can tend to feel it could be a bring-back. can't conclusively make proof but it can lend itself to a scenario

The stock can tell us things. as mentioned, High wood, etc. Cartouches? if they have all been sanded off, and the name 'Jimmy' is still there, it could mean that somebody was afraid of getting caught with USGI property. or it could mean that the stock was arsenal refinished and somebody carved it up later. However, 'highwood' wouldn't survive an arsenal refinish

So, the rifle itself can tell us many things, because of what was done or was not done by Uncle Sam. The only thing it can't do is speak and tell us if it's an original, and unless some Inland records are discovered that prove s/ns in each case, collectors are in a band unless the rifle is documented

rangerryder:

A wealth of info is known about this type of rifle. can you post some specifics? Such as:

Maker of the rifle. Only Inland originally made M1A1 carbines.

The s/n range. Just the first three digits followed by 'XXXXXX' would be good enough

Photos of any markings that were USGI stamped on the stock. Pay close attention to the handgrip area, too

Photos overall would help in discussing this rifle. Even the shape of the grip is informative, and if it has a parkerized round bolt, that tell a story, too

Last edited by Chris_B; August 21, 2011 at 08:46 AM.
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Old August 21, 2011, 12:49 PM   #15
rangerryda
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I reference to a previous post, I FEEL positive that it is a real bring back with nothing touched. I am no expert in historic rifles or any firearm other than what I fire for the line of duty or carry concealed. Thanks for bringing us off topic though.

I WILL have pictures up but since it's still currently in my Dad's possession, I'll have to drive over to his house, get it out of the safe and take pics. I have work all week and I work graveyard shift so scheduling this might be tricky. The only picture I have is one taken with my cell phone with the parts strewn about my kitchen table before re-assembly.

The SN in front of the rear flip sight is 115182. There is a P with a circle around it stamped on the rear of the handgrip area in the wood. Other than this, the 3 or 4 WWII weapons buffs that have seen it were amazed when I took it to the local gunshop (been in business since '77) and the manager came flying down the stairs just to see it. The elderly range official at the American Police Hall of Fame where I shoot took a long look at it and said, "it ain't no knock off!". Not to mention my Dad is the only person in the U.S. that holds a semi-annual troop carrier squadron reunion for all the surviving veterans including the paratroopers and the pilots. He's had tons of first hand accounts and uses the gun as a display during his events.

I'm not looking to prove myself, I'm looking to understand the history of this weapon. If you are not here for that reason only, please unsubscribe and find another thread to troll.
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Old August 21, 2011, 12:56 PM   #16
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This is the only photo I have FOR NOW

I have a very nice camera that I can take great photos with in detail a later date.
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Old August 21, 2011, 01:29 PM   #17
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If the comments in regard to asking you to 'prove yourself' are in reference to me, you are misunderstanding

If I felt you were misrepresenting something, I would plainly state that. If I felt like challenging you, I'd do it. I'm doing neither.

I asked a question on how you can be so sure that the rifle is what you think it is, because you yourself posted that you have a novice understanding of this type of thing. That's a legitimate question; there's no reason to be defensive about it. If you want to understand the history of that particular weapon, then what I am saying is 100% applicable to finding out. It is not off topic at all.

If you feel that I am here giving you a hard time, you are again mistaken. I am taking my precious time to help you understand what you have there, which seems to be a nice WWII M1A1. My job is stressful, I'll probably be losing it soon, I have work calling me on my days off, I have three bosses assigning me work and they don't talk to each other much. My weekends are pretty important and I don't waste them taking potshots at people online

Don't be so defensive, OK?
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Old August 21, 2011, 02:19 PM   #18
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Without reference to a particular gun, yes, U.S. weapons were brought back (the real word is "stolen") by GI's. That it was routine and condoned is simply not true. Many people confuse U.S. materiel with captured guns, which were brought back legally (except for automatic weapons). Contrary to the war stories, combat captured long guns are rare, since no soldier was going to carry two rifles with him. Pistols were usually kept if possible. Most rifle "bringbacks" were taken from depots or from piles of captured materiel as the soldiers were getting ready to return to the states.

But U.S. and allied guns were off limits. Of course, in combat, some were lost, weapons were swapped, picked up, and so on. But even if a soldier did, for example, lose his carbine and acquire an M1, it was still not his to keep.

In many cases, vets acquired military guns after the war, when surplus arms were cheap and plentiful; even if the vet was honest (some may actually have been), "a gun like dad carried in the war" soon became "the gun dad carried in the war."

Two tales I have told before are illustrative. The widow of a man who was a captain when he landed on Omaha Beach showed me the carbine he carried that day. If it was, it was the only Model 1873 carbine on the beach.

The second is about a young man who told me his late father had an M1 rifle that was given him by Gen. Patton for heroism at the Battle of the Bulge. But I had known his father before the son was born; he had never been out of the states, and I was with him when went to the Railway Express office to pick up the M1 he got from DCM.

As I said, some "bringbacks" may have been that. But I know of too many that were not, that I consider it foolish to pay any more for them based on unsubstantiated stories.

One point to consider. If you were a soldier, coming home after a rough couple of years in a combat zone, whether in actual fighting or not, would you risk ten years in Leavenworth just to bring back a weapon you were probably heartily sick of anyway? Some did, but not as many as we tend to think.

Jim
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Old August 21, 2011, 02:42 PM   #19
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Chris, if you had worded your first response the way you did your second, I would not have taken it out of context. Water under the bridge.

I know exactly how this weapon got from the front lines to the states and no, it was not legal. But, when you're an officer and a pilot to boot, it makes these sort of "missions" relatively easy. He did not fly the gliders, he flew the aircraft towing them. Once the dust settled, you take your pick from your "connections" and store it on your aircraft in your personal items crate until you decide to ship it. Easy as pie. If he were a ground pounder, yes it would make things much more difficult because of your lack of mobility and rank.

I promise, pictures, soon!
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Old August 21, 2011, 03:34 PM   #20
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No offense taken

So what you have is an M1A1 that never saw an arsenal refinish. That makes IDing easy
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Old August 21, 2011, 03:43 PM   #21
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Jim, I really respect your opinions on things, but on this I must disagree with you. Were 'bringbacks' such as a carbine like this common? No. Where they encouraged? No

Did they happen? Yes. To say that they didn't because too many things have fantasy stories attached to them is missing the point in my opinion

Here's an illustration of what I mean, and on this same type of firearm. bringbacks are very very rare but they do, respectfully, exist

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/foru...6&hl=bringback

And, if it needs to be said, I'm so jealous of the guys that are lucky enough to have an original M1A1 that it almost hurts. Here in MA, this type of carbine is especially evil. I was lucky to get my very 'undocumented' one with a repro stock. That used up about all my luck for the rest of my days, when you consider that I ended up knowing the man who had it on consignment at the gun store, it's a really nice carbine, and it was only 700 dollars in 2010

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Old August 21, 2011, 06:40 PM   #22
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There is one issue that needs to be cleared up.
This may have been a mis-statement:

The SN >IN FRONT< of the rear flip sight is 115182

M1 Carbines had the serial number stamped BEHIND the rear sight.
The only Carbines that had numbers stamped in front of the rear sight were Carbines that had the adjustable sight added as part of a rebuild.
Since the adjustable rear sight over hung the area where the serial number was stamped, on some Carbines the serial number couldn't be read, so Ordnance re-stamped the serial number in front of the sight.

Ordnance manuals show the special stamping fixture that was used to re-stamp the number.
A re-stamped serial would have been done only on a late to post-war Carbine rebuild.
There would be no chance that a paratrooper Carbine would have had an adjustable sight installed, the number re-stamped in front of the sight, then had the adjustable sight removed and an original flip type sight re-installed.
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Old August 21, 2011, 07:11 PM   #23
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^ It was a mis-statement as I don't have the firearm in front of me and wasn't thinking. Now that I think about it from the shooting extravaganza yesterday, it is behind the flip sight towards the shooter.
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Old August 22, 2011, 08:39 PM   #24
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A good source of full information on your carbine would be to buy a copy of "The War Baby" by Larry Ruth.

This is a collectors book that covers each carbine maker in great depth, including all marks on all parts, and all accessories, including the paratrooper stock.
This book will tell you just about everything you could possibly want to know about your collectible paratrooper model.

http://www.amazon.com/Baby-U-S-Calib...4063401&sr=1-1
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Old August 23, 2011, 03:00 AM   #25
rangerryda
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Why can't all of this information be posted online for free

Who reads books anymore anyways? I definitely appreciate the link, I'll forward it to my Dad, I think his generation still knows how to read things printed on paper

I can't wait to get my hands on it for some detailed photography and inspection. Work week can't end soon enough and this hurricane coming isn't going to speed things up either
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