Jump to content

M3 "Grease Gun" SMG


2ad82recon

Recommended Posts

any of you weapons gurus.. out there got a good website with serial number references for the M3 grease guns. think.gif

 

I have just brought another one..... ..yes yes i know but the price was too good to turn down along with 3 spare mags and a GP ammo bag.....Harian 1944 dated thumbsup.gif

 

#1 is serial numbered 023505

#2 is serial numbered 273762

 

Both made by the Guide lamp Co

 

need to know approx what month and year of production for these two...?

 

Any help appreciated ....thanks guys

 

regards

 

Lloyd

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you really love this kind of gun you have to find also the version in 9mm parabellum made for european resistance and using the same magazine as the ones for the british Sten.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes Artu..i do like the M3 SMG..but as a weapon i beleive it was less than satisfactory as a front line weapon especially during the "Bulge" as the lubricating pad for the bolt used to freeze.

 

Still is there any reference guide to production data on the M3s please

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lloyd, the M3 SMG is hard to pin down with a date of manufacture, but there were some slight design changes that are documented. Here's my M3. The rear sight was strengthened to look like mine starting in March 1944.

MVC_071S.JPG

MVC_072S.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Robin..a very happy holiday season to you and the family....

 

Seems a great void in the records as far as M3s go....mu early serial number one has a few minor changes to that one of yours

 

Yet the later 273 one has the rear sight like yours but not the magazine release protection cover

 

The search goes on

 

Kindest regards

 

Lloyd

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lloyd, the mag release cover comes off real easy. It just slips into place. I wouldn't be concerned about that detail.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah OK Robin...so that was a production piece that was "field removed" by GIs then.....

 

Can we ascertain when the first production M3s went into the "field".

 

Also what were some of the early to later production modifications ?

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

Link to post
Share on other sites

M3's started to come off the production line in May 1943. Guide Lamp made 85,130 in 1943, 343,372 in 1944 and 178,192 in 1945. Only 900 had been made by July 1943, but production picked up after that.

One change was the addition of a welded bar in between the stock's long rods. The stock was used as a claening rod, and it was discovered that the GI's were pushing the rod too far into the gun and damaging the firing pin. The welded bar acted as a stop to keep the cleaning rod from striking the bolt face. Again, the stock is easily removed from the gun and could be replaced by an earlier or later type. The rear sight, being welded to the gun, is one of the easiest ways to tell if you have an early or late gun.

Link to post
Share on other sites

According to US Infantry Weapons of WWII by Bruce N. Canfield the M-3 was first issued in late 1943 but its first real use in combat was in the hands of the 82nd and 101st on D-Day but there were still more Thompsons Guns used. The only modification mentioned was the one to the rear sight. In April of 1944 when they started looking hard at modifications they came up with so many the gun became the M-3A1 adopted in December 1944. Also all M-3s were made by the Guide Lamp Division of General Motors and they also made all WWII M-3A1s. The M-3A1s made by other companies are post war. He lists the total number of M-3s produced as 605,664 but no serial number brake down. With that many guns turned out in that short a time I am betting no one kept records.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Charlie Flick

Lloyd:

 

You may want to pick up a copy of Frank Iannamico's book on the M3 SMGs. He has done a lot of writing on the full auto guns. You can find a copy at

 

http://www.machinegunbooks.com/

 

I don't know if the book has serial number data or not, but it might be worth a try if you are intent on getting the most info you can on these SMGs.

 

Charlie Flick

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Robin,QED and Charlie......Robin with those production figures i can guess that my 1st M3 was made in the year 1943 and the last one in 1944

 

so its pretty basic research so far......

 

i take it that 023505 is the 23 thousand 505th M3 to be produced....!

 

And guess where all the latest batch of Grease Guns came from ?

 

INDIA and NEPAL !!!.Go figure

 

Charlie thanks for the book tip...might make a purchase...rephrase that as TREATED myself to a late christmas present.:-)

 

Cheers

 

Lloyd

Link to post
Share on other sites

A most interesting topic. Thought I'd share some of my M3 Grease Gun SMG photos...that's the closest I'll ever get to owning one, unless I hit Lotto this weekend!

 

Pictures No. 1 & 2 appear to have been taken during some maneuvers. Here is No. 1

post-70-1167103789.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW ! Gunbarrel love those pics...see the guy firing the 30cal from the hip...and he is wearing the asbestos mitten for barrel changing.

 

The Marine pic in Korea is interesting as the USMC didnt adopt the Grease Gun during WW2...or did they....!!!!!

 

and when did the US Army wear those "goldenlight" rank stripes as that will date the bottom picture ?

 

Superb pics

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

Link to post
Share on other sites
Greg Robinson
WOW ! Gunbarrel love those pics...see the guy firing the 30cal from the hip...and he is wearing the asbestos mitten for barrel changing.

 

The Marine pic in Korea is interesting as the USMC didnt adopt the Grease Gun during WW2...or did they....!!!!!

 

and when did the US Army wear those "goldenlight" rank stripes as that will date the bottom picture ?

 

Superb pics

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

 

The Marine Corps started out in WW2 with a good number of Thompson SMG's so I doubt they bought too many M3's, at least not until those were used up. But maybe in Korea since by them the Thompson was long out of production....too expensive. Uniform collectors will note the USMC dark green flannel shirt being worn underneath the dungaree jacket

**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY**

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/106069-rip-greg-robinson/

Link to post
Share on other sites

Still wearing what looks like a P41 Dungaree Jacket too Greg.....with possibly P44 trousers and a cammo 1st pattern helmet cover....

 

a good sign of the esprit Du Corps of the "Corps"

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

Link to post
Share on other sites
craig_pickrall

The small chevrons shown in post # 16 were in use from 1948 until about 1953. The blue stripes on gold field were for combatants and the gold stripes on blue field were for non-combatants. They were never popular and you see them in use along side the full size chevrons for the full term of their existence.

 

That pic usually shows up in items related to Special Forces. That particular pic is quite a bit more spit and polish than the typical period SF pic.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another interesting thing about those stripes is that the solider in the picture is a Sergeant not a Staff Sergeant there was not a three stripe chevron for some reason. The Army in their great wisdom rearranged the ranks and paygrades and ended up with no SSg rank but the Sgt in that paygrade and the new Cpl. in the old Sgt. paygrade and the lower paygrades moved down a rank. It was an attempt to separate professional NCOs from short timers. It did not work and they want back to the three stripes with the yellow on green chevrons. Also I beleive it was 1948 to 1951 the small stripes were used.

Link to post
Share on other sites
craig_pickrall

Greg / ADMIN we have started a discussion inside a discussion concerning these chevrons. Can one of you move the posts concerning the chevrons to the insignia section please.

 

I have started a thread there covering these small size chevrons.

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...p?showtopic=652

PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Sgt Bilko...so any further info on M3 grease guns ? guys..it seems like theres a huge black hole concerning info on these

 

regards

 

Lloyd

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Paramarine

The earliest photo of the M3 I've seen is a shot of the interior of a C-47 loaded with 101st troopers before take off for Normandy. The photo shows Thompsons and M3s being used in the same unit at the same time.

img.photobucket.com/albums/v515/LSU_Tiger1/AtleeWartime.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.