U.S. Carbines in Germany and Austria

U.S. M1 Carbine

The Gendarmerie: Lower Austria (NiederÖsterreich)

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The Gendarmerie
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In 1958 the population of the Austrian state of NiederÖsterreich (Lower Austria) was 1,401,800. Lower Austria is 19,169.45 sq. kilometers (11,911.3 sq miles). The capitol of Lower Austria is Vienna, the nation's capitol.

In 1958 the Gendarmerie of Lower Austria was headquartered in Vienna with regional commands in:

  • Amsteiten (326 personnel in 55 posts)
  • Hollabrunn (301 personnel in 49 posts)
  • Horn (196 personnel in 37 posts)
  • Korneuburg (283 personnel in 45 posts)
  • Krems (185 personnel in 34 posts)
  • St. Pölten (235 personnel in 45 posts)
  • Tulln (253 personnel in 32 posts)
  • Waldhofen an der Thaya (207 personnel in 33 posts)
  • Wein (Vienna) #1 (332 personnel in 39 posts)
  • Wein (Vienna) #2 (131 personnel in 18 posts)
  • Wiener Neustadt (288 personnel in 46 posts)
  • [Almanach der österreichischen Bundesgendarmerie, 1958]

    Law Enforcement within the city of Vienna was handled by the Bundespolizei. The Gendarmerie handled law enforcement in the densely populated suburbs of Vienna and the outlying areas. Vienna is 414.91 sq. kilometers (257.8 sq miles) and in 1958 had a population of 1,622,00 above the population of Lower Austria.

    During the occupation Lower Austria was completely within the Russian Zone. Vienna was divided into four separate zones, one for each of the Allies.

    LGKNÖ U.S. M1 Carbines


    Landes Gendarmerie Kommando NiederÖsterreich

    Lower Austria appears to have received more U.S. M1 Carbines than any other state in Austria. The markings used by Austria were consistent. They have the last four digits of the serial number stamped in the slingwell, bottom of the handguard, side of the slide rail, rear of the trigger housing at the top, and etched into the bolt.

    Lower Austria received a large number of carbines with Bavaria police agency markings. Carbines without the Bavaria markings tend to have gone through a parts upgrade or rebuild. Carbines with the Bavaria markings that were used in this state, generally retained their earlier parts and finish.

    Carbines used by Lower Austria w/ Parts Upgrades (no Bavaria markings)

    Barrel Band w/ Bayonet Lug
    Adjustable Rear Sight

    Late production Hammer

    Magazine catch capable of holding 30 round magazine (indicated by letter M on face)
    Rotary Safety

    Lower Austria consistently refinished their carbines using black oxide. Many, but not all, of the stocks and handguards were treated with a verathane type coating which was well maintained.

    Carbines used by Lower Austria that were refinished
    and the wood has been coated with a verathane type finish

    Some of the carbines used by Lower Austria still retain the hang tags that identify where the carbine was assigned and who it was last used by.

    All of the carbines used by Lower Austria that are outside Austria, appear to be in the USA only. They were imported from Austria by INTRAC of Knoxville, TN in 1993 and sold retail and wholesale by Centerfire Systems and Tennessee Guns in 1994 and 1995. These carbines have an INTRAC import mark on the bottom of the barrel behind the front sight. This import mark was sometimes etched very faintly. For further information on INTRAC and their importing these carbines, refer to Imports/Exports.

    One of the things different about the carbines used by Lower Austria versus the carbines used elsewhere in Austria is the stock and handguard usually are not the original stock and/or handguard used by the U.S. manufacturer. This is another indication that the carbines used by Lower Austria that do not have the Bavaria markings, may have undergone a rebuild as was done by or for U.S. Army Ordnance. None of these carbines have the Ordnance required rebuilder markings for carbines rebuilt in the USA, as some of the other Austrian states have. FN in Belgium was contracted by U.S. Ordnance to rebuild an unknown quantity of U.S. M1 Carbines. Ordnance manuals specifically state that rebuilds done outside the United States were not to be marked by the company who did the work. However, this rebuild is specific to the carbines used by Lower Austria, not the other Austrian states. This would indicate the rebuild was done by, or at the directions of, the Gendarmerie command of Lower Austria.

    Some of the stocks and handguards that appear on these carbines, the numbered parts do not match the serial number of the carbine they're on. It is believed that between the time Austria sold them to INTRAC and the retailers in the USA sold them retail, some of the stocks and handguards were interchanged between carbines, in an effort to match the "correct" stock and/or handguard with the receiver manufacturer.

    The highest Lower Austria inventory number observed so far is LGKNÖ 2655. The number of personnel assigned to Lower Austria in 1958 was 2737. Allowing for command personnel that would not have been armed with carbines, the inventory numbers probably don't go much higher. These are the most common of the U.S. M1 Carbines used by the Austrian Gendarmerie. They also were amongst the best maintained and cared for.