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THE M2 CARBINE AND ITS INVENTOR


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I picked up some press photos that were taken at an ordnance unit in Europe in January 1945. One of the interesting ones is this photo of the M2 carbine (note folding stock) being fired by actress Betty Brewer. According to the caption, the LT alongside her is the one who invented the M2, LT Fred Kent.

 

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That's a great picture but I think the attribution of the M2 to the LT in the picture is wrong.

 

From War Baby, the "Bible" on carbines, a select-fire Light-Rifle was written as the original specification of the weapon that became the M1. During early trials, the full-auto function was problematic so the subcommittee reviewing the design agreed to eliminate that specification. In '44, design work was requested to create the components that would convert the existing carbines to allow for full-auto functioning. 2 engineers from Inland designed what became the M2.

 

Paul Hamish, one of the Inland team who created the M2 design, was the engineer who submitted the initial design for the folding stock M1A1 that was ultimatelt accepted for production.

 

If you get a chance to get a copy of War Baby or War Baby Comes Home, they are great sources of info on the major manufacturers of carbines and the thousands of sub-contractors. On the down side, the books are pretty pricey so they are not for the "casual" collector. :lol:

 

Mark

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General Apathy

Hi Beast, already in this short thread we have differences on who possibly designed the auto carbine, I don't claim that the two guy's mentioned below did it, but just make the statement of what was printed in a 1944 newspaper, might just be propoganda or feel good news for the boy's in the front line. :think:

 

I don't have the copy to hand but if I recall corretly somewhere about November 1944 on the front page of the Stars & Stripes newspaper there is a news report stating that two ordnance sgt's had field modified carbines to be fully auto.

 

It's next to an interesting article on the issue of the new M-1944 wool sleeping bag as winter approaches to replace ordinary issue blankets, it states that either one or two blankets would have to be handed back in :crying: to receive the new sleeping bag as it was so officient. :think:

 

Cheers ( Lewis )

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IIRC, there is some information in "War Baby" in regards to field modified M1 select fire conversions.

 

I belive that there were several various ways that this was done, but it was a very limited modification (only a few one-sies and two-sies here and there were so modified). Again, going from memory, there were some field modifications that were auto-only once done (the main problem was that they sucked up a 15 rd mag in a near instant) and some that were more workman-like with select fire capability. All the field mods were the efforts of talented amatures working with files and scrap spring metal.

 

The factory select fire designs were pretty significant engineering efforts which were independent of the field mods. I do believe that there were a couple competing designs there, too.

 

Mike

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Having manufactured guns for years, I've ever thinked it's a non sense to force a born semiauto to become a full auto one. Specially the M1 carbine: a full auto with only 15 rounds mag, the lowest capacity in the world. A dedicated design is required for each weapon. Try to compare the M14 with the BAR. I think the only good feature of the M2 is that it can fire also semiauto (exactly as the M14). If you need a burst it's enough to have a fast finger.

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bob lamoreaux
a full auto with only 15 rounds mag, the lowest capacity in the world.

Hmmmmm. What about the Reising with the 12-round magazine? :rolleyes:

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Hmmmmm. What about the Reising with the 12-round magazine? :rolleyes:

I didn't suspect such an oddity. Also the Beretta M38 SMG had a 10 rounds mag but also 20 and 40 rounds mags. I think low capacity mags were introduced for special purpose, guard duty or something similar obviusly not for firepower needs.

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