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solcarlus

grease gun M3

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Hello

 

hello.

which is this type of "grease gun m3" find in Normandy?

thank.

regards sol.

 

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That is the M3 Grease Gun, the one with the lever on the side to cock it is the M3A1.

 

 

Cheers

Gary

Hello

 

hello.

which is this type of "grease gun m3" find in Normandy?

thank.

regards sol.

 

post-241-1186088501.jpg

 

post-241-1186088534.jpg


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"YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH RED WINE, TOO MANY BOOKS, OR TOO MUCH AMMUNITION."

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Gary-

 

I think you got it backwards: The M3 had the cocking lever, which was eliminated on the M3A1. See Canfield's Infantry Weapons of WWII book, page 144.

 

This one has me puzzled since it appears to have a slot near the top of the receiver and what looks like a cocking lever. To the best of my knowledge, the WWII "Grease Guns" did not have this feature.

 

Steve


Collecting 3rd Armored Division items of all kinds from all eras, specializing in the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment.

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This is not standard feature on any Grease gun and must be a field modification by an individual. I have only seen this done on another M3. Would have made life a bit easier to cock and de-cock than the finger in the hole of the breech block. Maybe the GI had a problem with his fingers. The M3A1 wasn't issued until later in the war and wasn't used at the time of Normandy. Your M3 is an M3 as you can see the hole for the cocking leaver is directly under the new modified cocking leaver.

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It most definitely left the factory as an M-3. I have checked my copy of FM 23-41 and TM9-1217 and find no reference to the knob or the slit. This modification is, er, not type approved. [FCC fans will know the terminology.] Making the mod at the very least required some tools. Therefore, assuming it wasn't a stolen weapon modified in a home, the mod was possibly done as a unit ordnance repair after heavy use. I know, that makes no sense. Why not just reissue a new gun or replace the retractor lever assembly or the entire housing assembly? That would certainly be a lot quicker (10 minutes?) than cutting the slit, drilling the bolt, then inserting a cocking handle (at least 40 minutes if skilled). In Normandy there would have been plenty of parts available either on a ship (days 1 and 2, as well as spares just laying around) or in local depots (day 3 on). This leads me to only 2 conclusions. It was an experimental mod/repair of a worn out gun by an ordnance geek (or a very bored soldier with access to tools) then discarded by throwing away (leading to it's being found later), OR it was a totally unauthorized repair by someone who was not legally in possession of the weapon and who therefore did not have access to crates of new 'housing assemblies' and 'retractor levers.' This second option although implying possession by criminals, does not preclude a possession and repair by a member of the resistance. While the Nazis ruled, the possession was illegal, and access to ordnance depots was also non existent. The retractor levers of these things failed or jammed a lot. Thats why the M3a1 was made. We dropped thousands of the M3s in crates over Europe and SE Asia/Philippines by parachute as soon as we could. Picture some resistance gal/guy who learns the hard way the retractor lever jams. [We will ignore the magazine issues for now.] Surviving the encounter they resolve to fix the problem. A friendly and patriotic blacksmith and you have the result. IMO the other option is a stolen gun fixed by a post war crook.

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I saw a very similar dug up M3 on display in the Patton museum in Ettelbruck, Belgium. I'll snoop for some pictures.

 

Regards

Carl


ALWAYS LOOKING FOR 106TH INFANTRY DIVISION ITEMS!!

My website http://106thinfantry.webs.com

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Here is one wartime photo of a modified M3 carried in the field, so they did exist. Question is who modified them? Most likely a unit armorer.

This picture scan comes from Heimdel's "Cobra the Decisive Battle" page 204. As you can see the normal M3 cocking knob has been removed and the hole is left in place. The new slot is difficult to see but it is there (near the carbine holder's fingers). Photo was taken in Normandy late July or early August 1944.

 

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“There's not much I can tell you about this war. It's like all wars, I guess.The undertakers are winning.The politicians who talk about the glory of it.The old men who talk about the need of it.The soldiers, well, they just wanna go home.” Jimmy Stewart in Shenandoah

 

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Another scan shows a modified M3 displayed on a "Tanker" mannequin.

 

post-9906-0-51984300-1438035364.jpg

 

Picture from "D-Day From the Beaches of Normandy to the Liberation of France" by Stephen Badsey. Page 222

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“There's not much I can tell you about this war. It's like all wars, I guess.The undertakers are winning.The politicians who talk about the glory of it.The old men who talk about the need of it.The soldiers, well, they just wanna go home.” Jimmy Stewart in Shenandoah

 

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hello men ;)

I thank you for this excellent discussion. With my friends, we follow it with "interesting". thumbsup.gif

solcarlus

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It most definitely left the factory as an M-3. I have checked my copy of FM 23-41 and TM9-1217 and find no reference to the knob or the slit. This modification is, er, not type approved. [FCC fans will know the terminology.] Making the mod at the very least required some tools. Therefore, assuming it wasn't a stolen weapon modified in a home, the mod was possibly done as a unit ordnance repair after heavy use. I know, that makes no sense. Why not just reissue a new gun or replace the retractor lever assembly or the entire housing assembly? That would certainly be a lot quicker (10 minutes?) than cutting the slit, drilling the bolt, then inserting a cocking handle (at least 40 minutes if skilled). In Normandy there would have been plenty of parts available either on a ship (days 1 and 2, as well as spares just laying around) or in local depots (day 3 on). This leads me to only 2 conclusions. It was an experimental mod/repair of a worn out gun by an ordnance geek (or a very bored soldier with access to tools) then discarded by throwing away (leading to it's being found later), OR it was a totally unauthorized repair by someone who was not legally in possession of the weapon and who therefore did not have access to crates of new 'housing assemblies' and 'retractor levers.' This second option although implying possession by criminals, does not preclude a possession and repair by a member of the resistance. While the Nazis ruled, the possession was illegal, and access to ordnance depots was also non existent. The retractor levers of these things failed or jammed a lot. Thats why the M3a1 was made. We dropped thousands of the M3s in crates over Europe and SE Asia/Philippines by parachute as soon as we could. Picture some resistance gal/guy who learns the hard way the retractor lever jams. [We will ignore the magazine issues for now.] Surviving the encounter they resolve to fix the problem. A friendly and patriotic blacksmith and you have the result. IMO the other option is a stolen gun fixed by a post war crook.

 

All M3s dropped in Europe were in 9mm luger and adapted to accept Sten magazines. The recoil springs group shows red varnish spots to make it reckognizable from the .45 one. Solcarlus forgot to tell that this dug out french M3 is a .45 one then unavailable for resistence groups.


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As I can see all these M3s pictured here have no adapter for 9mm so we can assume there are .45 so they weren't made for resistance or OSS units. We can also see the hole where the crank lever hinged then this is not a factory ultimate modifications (they would have removed the relevant punch in the press). We can think only to an intermediate step between M3 and M3A1 made using already made frames.


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It could be in case of a single specimen but here there are more than one pictured. But the question is WHY? No simpaty for the lever?


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The levers were crap, they broke, they caught on stuff, US armourers no doubt had seen Stens, modification by armourers in the field was simple, they had all the kit to do so, Not universal obviously, but not unknown

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Those are quite common modifications. Allthough there are more regular M3 then transformed ones, that are found on the Battlefields of the Bulge the modified versions are more then just a few isolated specimens. Considered the obvious quality of the work put into the transformation and the quite specialized machinery you needed to perform the work, most collectors over here agree that it must have been made in unit armouries by trained armourers with a high level of craftmanship skills. It is very hard to quantify the phenomena with hard numbers, but I would say that somewhere inbetween 10% and 20% of the Grease Guns I've seen had those field modifications.

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I wouldn't say "high level of craftmanship". To do the job you need just a less than decent machinist and three simple machine tools: milling machine for the slot, a drill press for the new bolt handle hole and a lathe to build the handle if you dont want to use an already made Sten one.


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I wouldn't say "high level of craftmanship". To do the job you need just a less than decent machinist and three simple machine tools: milling machine for the slot, a drill press for the new bolt handle hole and a lathe to build the handle if you dont want to use an already made Sten one.

 

Ok, maybe I exagerated a little, it surely is no work from Ferlach or Suhl! But all those I've seen, must be about 8 of them, were clearly to well done to be the work of an infantrymen in the field with no specialized tools at hand.

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Yes, if you are quite proficient with a file, you need only a drill press and a Sten handle but the difference in quality will be visible. LOL


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Afghanistan Vet OEF 10-11 - Engineer Corps US Army.

Getting a medal means two things:

1. Someone saw you do it.

2. You didn't tick off the approval chain.
Seeking 984th Engineer Co (Land Clearance), 36th Engineer Regt/Bde, and Sanitary Corps items from all eras.

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My Guide Lamp M3. Its cocking lever is clearly visible.

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"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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