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M3 Salvage


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#1 barryeye

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 04:02 PM

resized_IMG_2784.JPG resized_IMG_2786.JPG A friend here in New Zealand gave me an KINFOLKS M4 with a broken blade a couple of years ago. Then last month, another freind in the U.K. sent me an M3 in relic condition. He had only purchased it for the scabbard and had no use for the rusty pitted balde with a few dry crumbling leather washers. With nothing to lose I decided to have a go at giving the M3 back some of its former dignity by cleaning up the blade as best I could and cannibalizing the broken M4 for its leather washers. A previous owner had taken to the blade with power tools and left some deep scratches in the metal. Most I was able to polish out but gave up on the deepest and those too close to the markings. A bath in boiling vinegar put a patina on the blade that hid a few of the minor scratches and looks a bit better than the shiny bright steel I had. Removing the washers from the M4 without breaking them was a real chore and took hours. All the leather was then treated to a soak in bees wax and gently transferred onto the M3 tang. There is a longer line of leather washers on an M3 than an M4 and I managed to salvage the best of the original M3 washers to augment the M4 ones. I'd like to say that all the parts are still 100% G.I. but the original pommel pins just did not want to go back. Amongst the helpful advice I gleaned from this forum was that nails had been used as pins in the originals and nails worked well again. I am now left with a functional M3 Frankenstein that will never be authentic and likely will be a future collectors nightmare. But its chances of survival are higher than had it been left as a rusty relic. None of the M4 parts will be wasted and are already earmarked to help other restorations and projects. 



#2 barryeye

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 04:10 PM

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#3 barryeye

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 04:13 PM

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#4 sundance

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 04:20 PM

Nice save, Good for you. I can see it's a blade dated knife which is a big plus. I can read U.S. M-3 1943 but can't make out the maker. Is it a Pal? I don't know if they made blade dated M-3's. I'm sure others here will know.



#5 SKIPH

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 04:29 PM

Barryeye- Good job saving the blade, and putting on a handle.   PAL did make blade dated M3s.   You now have a functional M3. Nice to see nothing wasted. Something  that I've been considering is replacing the leather washers on a slightly rough Imperial M3 handle, with plastic grips from some beat up M4, or M7 bayonet. Just haven't got a round to it yet. Thanks for saving, & showing the M3.  SKIP



#6 Mr.Jerry

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 06:12 PM

Great work!



#7 barryeye

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 11:28 PM

Nice save, Good for you. I can see it's a blade dated knife which is a big plus. I can read U.S. M-3 1943 but can't make out the maker. Is it a Pal? I don't know if they made blade dated M-3's. I'm sure others here will know.

Yes it is a PAL Sundance. I could not find out a way to clear up the metal around the stamp and not risk losing what was a light stamp already.

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#8 barryeye

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 12:01 AM

Barryeye- Good job saving the blade, and putting on a handle.   PAL did make blade dated M3s.   You now have a functional M3. Nice to see nothing wasted. Something  that I've been considering is replacing the leather washers on a slightly rough Imperial M3 handle, with plastic grips from some beat up M4, or M7 bayonet. Just haven't got a round to it yet. Thanks for saving, & showing the M3.  SKIP

Thanks Skip.    I purchased a set of Dutch (German made) M4 plastic grips from the U.S. I intend to use them on the cannibalised M4 blade to make a "Theatre" knife. 

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#9 SKIPH

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 01:58 AM

There you go!  Make them functional, by giving them new life!  SKIP


Edited by SKIPH, 02 December 2019 - 01:19 PM.


#10 m1ashooter

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 08:40 AM

FYI I bought a leather washer kit and used some to repair my uncles liberated M4 handle.




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