View Full Version : Springfield Armory M2 by P.O. Ackley

May 16, 2010, 11:04 AM
I have the oppurtunity to purchase a Springfield Armory M2. The questions or concerns I have are that this particular example has been modified by P.O. Ackley. His name is stamped on top of the barrel, and this rifle now can only shoot .22 short. The rear of the original stock has been cut off behind the pistol grip and a high comb stock has been added. The front sight has also been modified to something that looks like a tube with the sight base completely wrapping around the front of the barrel and sweeping back. There is no post inside this tube but there is a long narrow "fin" on top of the tube.

Has anyone ever seen something like this? Are all these modification something that Ackley did at one time or is it a hodge podge of mods that have been done by others as well? The rifle looks good and all mods seem to be of the same vintage. The rest of the rifle looks to be original. Any help would be much appreciated.


James K
May 16, 2010, 08:39 PM
Sounds like someone wanted a rifle to fire .22 Short, and Parker O obliged him. Not to uncommon a conversion when .22 Shorts were less than half the cost of .22 LR. Remember, for accuracy, the .22 Short requires a different rifling twist than the .22 LR those rifles were made for. (Please don't ask what the optimal .22 Short twist is; it is getting too late for a lot of research.)

To some folks, that name on the barrel would add a nice premium. To others, any work on that M2 would be desecration, and who was this P.O. Ackley, anyhow?


May 17, 2010, 02:22 AM
Like just about any gunsmith, I would bet PO Ackley did a lot of mods to customer specs. Customer comes in, wants this and that done, you do it and get paid, customer goes on his way. Pretty simple.

Where this one gets complicated, though, is the use of the M2 receiver. Even if modified to preclude use in full-auto fire, the BATFE subscribes to the theory "once a machine gun, always a machine gun", that once a gun has been modified for full auto fire, it is always capable of full auto fire. I would ask them what to think of it before I lay down any money on it.

May 17, 2010, 10:23 AM
All parts to convert to M-2 are bolt on. Not a problem. No different than building an AR-15. The last two lowers I bought were milled out like an M-16.

Jim Watson
May 17, 2010, 10:46 AM
What are you talking about with this full auto stuff, Scorch?

I am sure the M2 in the OP is a 1922 M2 bolt action rifle resembling a 1903 Springfield.

Has the rifle been converted to .22 Short by replacing the barrel with one having a 20" or 24" rifling twist meant for the 29 grain bullet or has the original barrel been set back and rechambered for Shorts, retaining the 16" twist?

At this late date, I don't think there is much way of knowing whether Ackley did all the work or if a local gunsmith modified the stock and sent out the barrelled action for conversion to Shorts.

May 17, 2010, 11:31 AM
Good catch, I wasn't paying attention either.

May 17, 2010, 04:29 PM
Thanks for the input guys I appreciate it.

With a bolt handle sticking out the side of the 1903 type receiver I don't think this was ever a full auto. :)

I'm not sure about the rifling twist to be honest but it could be checked. I would also agree that it looks as if all the work was done at the same time although it's probably impossible to say if Ackley did it all. I think the owner would let me take some pictures if that would help?

James K
May 17, 2010, 08:13 PM
Thanks for the twist rates, Jim.

Scorch and Gunplummer, I have to wonder what "M2" you were thinking of. I think a .50 HB "Ma Deuce" converted to .22 Short would be, well, neat, but the cartridge might be a bit short on operating power.


May 17, 2010, 11:40 PM
M-2 carbine

Jim Watson
May 18, 2010, 08:52 AM
Springfield Armory did not make carbines.

I don't know about a .50, but Carbine Williams is said to have converted a 1917 .30-06 machine gun to .22.

May 18, 2010, 12:42 PM
Thinking back over the years and some of the things I have seen, just about anything could be converted to a .22 and has been.

James K
May 18, 2010, 04:03 PM
The .30 caliber MG has been coverted to .22 LR for a training aid, but AFAIK never went beyond the experimental stage. Like other .22 LR conversions, the gun was not really "converted" as much as a .22 insert was set into the receiver shell, much like the M16 conversion kits. Assuming all the other problems were solved, I doubt the .22 LR would have enough power, even with a floating chamber, to operate the standard M1919 breechblock.

The big hangup, though, was getting the tiny cloth belts to function properly, and links would have been pretty much out of the question. Adapters (a .22 LR cartridge inserted into a steel "cartridge" of approximatly .30 size) also proved both expensive and impractical.


May 18, 2010, 11:45 PM
We worked on what I think were model 1919s, it has been a long time it could have been model 1917s I don't remember. Anyway, they used disintegrating links and I do remember the changes were up 1919A-6. I remember working with some Irish Rangers and they still used cloth belts with them. Old and half rotted belts, funding problem I guess. The Dutch are still probably using them, converted to .308. Lot of weird items out there yet.

James K
May 19, 2010, 07:04 PM
The Model 1919 was originally designed for heavy canvas "cloth" belts, like all the early belt-fed MGs. The use of disintegrating links is a later development, first used in aircraft guns, where the empty belts tended to get in the way of propellors and things like that. German WWII and later guns used link belts, but not disintegrating links, so they had some of the same problems as cloth belts.

Obviously, a cloth belt is not compatible with push-through feed systems like the M60, so that development put an end to cloth belts.

(The M1919A6 was a "light" gun with a sort of shoulder stock - IMHO a monstrosity.)


May 20, 2010, 07:48 AM
yes, that is the model number, 1919 series. I remember the tank crews that were in the old 48 series tanks had the stock and tripod if they had to bail. I saw the Dutch were still using them in the early 80s. Thing I remember the most about them was the spring and guide on the early models could be compressed in the bolt when you took the bolt out. You could be standing there holding the bolt and take a spring guide through the gut. Tough little guns.