U.S. Carbines in Germany and Austria

and the
U.S. M1 Carbine


National Agencies Additional Info
Gendarmerie Bundespolizei Accessories Oddities
Bundesheer Zoll Training Rifles

Leather Slings (Leder Gewehrriemen, Lederriemen, Leder Trageriemen)

Stolla Wien (Stolla of Vienna) was an Austrian leather goods manufacturing firm who made leather accessories for military rifles and handguns prior to, during, and after WWII. After the war the products they made for military and police were restricted to those of Austria only. Stolla went out of business in 1970.

Stolla manufactured slings have been found on a number of the U.S. M1 carbines used by Austria after World War II. These slings were manufactured specifically for the U.S. M1 carbine. The stitching and hardware are consistent with a mixture of other slings Stolla had made prior. Somewhat unique is the buckle, which is made from heavy gauge brass wire.

Special thanks to Glen Efinger who has helped much in sorting these out, and photographs.

The front of the sling passed through the carbine's barrel band swivel
and was secured by pressing a hole in the front strap over a brass knob
mounted in the thick leather of the rear strap. The rear of the strap was
threaded through the sling well, around the oiler, back through the sling
well, and either through the buckle or held by the tight belt keeper.

The end at the front of the sling bears the Stolla trademark.
Some of the slings also have a number/letter sequence stamped
on the outside of the sling. The number on this sling is 1ABT5C62.
The exact meaning of this marking is not known for the moment,
but it is for the year 1962.

Gendarmerie-Beschaffungsamt 56
(Gendarmerie procurement office 1956)
1ABT not yet identified, 1962Gendarmerie Command Lower Austria, no date

The sling depicted in the photo to the left, at the top.
Sometime between 1963-1970
From bottom to top: 1956, 1962, sometime between 1963-1970

From left to right: 1956, 1962, 1963-1970From left to right: 1956, 1962, 1963-1970From bottom to top: 1956, 1962, 1963-1970

From left to right: 1956, 1962, 1963-1970

From bottom to top: 1956, 1962, 1963-1970

For reference purposes, the slings manufactured by Stolla the buckle is a heavy gauge wire approximately 1.20" in diameter, 1.29-1.30" in height, and 1.15-1.16" wide. The belt is approximately .09-.180" thick, .97" wide , and 51-52" long. Measurements are approximate based on the amount of wear and use of the sling. The thicker slings did not fit through the stock's slingwell with the standard U.S. oiler, without altering the stock (see "oilers" below).

Stolla imprint leather slings have been found that are very similar to the slings marked 1GBA56, minus this marking.

Leather slings very similar in dimensions and appearance to those made by Stolla have been discovered on some of the U.S. M1 carbines from Austria. These have no manufacturer markings, no date markings, and no gendarmerie markings. Considering they were on the carbines at the time they were purchased from INTRAC, it's likely these were made for, and used by, the Austrian gendarmerie. Citizens of Austria were not, and still are not, allowed to own or possess M1 carbines without a hard to obtain special license.

Leather Magazine Pouches (Leder Magazintasche or Patronen Tasche)

Stolla also manufactured leather magazine pouches for use by the Austrian police and gendarmerie. Stolla pouches are marked Stolla Wien on the backside, have an adjustable strap for carrying the pouch on the carbine buttstock or uniform belt, and a flap that folds over the magazines and is secured by sliding a hole in the flap over a metal knob on the front of the pouch. Stolla manufactured a single 15 round magazine pouch and a pouch that held two 15 round magazines side by side.

The polizei uniform leather was black. The Gendarmerie uniform leather was brown. The Bundesheer used the U.S. issue webbed magazine pouches.

The Gendarmerie metal pouch trim designated the rank of the officer they were assigned too.

Stolla's leather pouch for the Gendarmerie holds two 15 round M1 carbine magazines. Strap adjusts for wear on uniform belt or butt of carbine. Back of pouch is imprinted with Stolla trademark (above). Inside of this pouch is stamped GBA 1964, which is the Gendarmerie procurement office initials and the year the pouch was received from Stolla.

Advertisement in June 2001 circular from Tennessee Guns for black leather
magazine pouches from the Austrian police. Tennessee Guns sold many
of the M1 carbines imported from Austria by INTRAC of Knoxville, TN.

Not all of the leather gear for Austria's police and gendarmerie was manufactured by Stolla. The magazine pouches below do not have a manufacturer's imprint or mark and are not adjustable for the carbine stock, they were worn on the uniform belt only. The pouches below are identifiable as belonging to the Austrians by the markings under the flap. As can be seen in the pictures, the markings varied somewhat. Pouches from the same manufacturer may have been used in Germany.

The black leather pouches below are from the Vienna Polizei.

Polizei leather was black, these were with the Vienna Polizei

Gendarmerie leather was brown

Handprinted under the flap of several pouches are the surnames
of the officer(s) they were assigned too. Some of the pouches
have their M1 carbine's serial number. Each person was assigned
one M1 carbine, one rifle sling, and one ammo pouch.

Zinn means Sergeant aka Inspector

Glebe means Master Sergeant aka District Inspector

Verelnnchint (Received)

Bestundibuch Nr (Inventory Book Number)

Seite (Page)

Nr (Number)

The belt loop fit only the uniform belt, not over the stock like those made by Stolla.
These brown pouches appear to have been black ones that were sprayed brown.

Barrel Muzzle Cap

Harsh winter weather conditions led a number of European countries to find alternatives to cloth or metal muzzle caps for protecting rifle barrels from the elements. During WWII the Russians, and Germans on the eastern front, used a muzzle cap made of rubber that was designed to be shot through, or off, and later replaced. With the advent of plastics, a number of countries switched from rubber to plastic. The Austrians designed a plastic muzzle cap for the M1 carbine that served this same purpose.

Oiler replacements

Some of the M1 Carbines sold with the leather slings came with a plastic piece slightly smaller than an oiler.
These were specifically made by the Austrians as a replacement for the U.S. oiler, which was too big to
accomodate the leather sling in the stock's slingwell.

Rear Sight Protectors

These rear sight protectors for the U.S. adjustable rear sight have been found on U.S. M1 carbines utilized by Zoll Wache (Tariff Guards). They are constructed of a rubber coated metal plate on either side of the sight, overlapping the sight edges. They're held in place by a screw forward and aft of the sight adjustment.

Image by www.euroarms.net, © 2007

These have not been observed on any other M1 carbines used by the other Austrian agencies.

Ammunition (Patronen)

Hirtenberger Patronen und Rohrwerke

  • manufacturer of various .30 Caliber Carbine cartridges, including plastic cartridges

      Hirtenberger case markings
  • HP
  • HP Gend (for the Austrian Gendarmerie)
  • HP with an unknown polizei marking (for the Austrian Polizei)
  • HP 30M1 K7.62 (for the Austrian Bundesheer)
  • Note: INTRAC received their M1 carbines from Austria in Hirtenberger munitions tubes, two carbines to a tube. Hirtenberger manufactures various large caliber ammunition for tanks, artillery, etc.

    Blank Ammunition (Knall Patronen)

    Südsteirischen Metallindustrie (South Steyr Metallurgy)
  • Plastic blank cartridges for the Bundesheer

    paper bag containing 100 rounds of plastic cartridges

    The plastic cartridges have no head case markings
    and a larger primer. PMC casing is for comparison

    The primer & brass casing head are attached to a
    one piece black plastic casing approximately 2.2 mm thick.

    The black plastic "bullet" is not a bullet at all, it's the end of the plastic casing.
    The X at the end releases the blast from the gunpowder ignition.
    (brass casing and full jacketed bullet is caliber .30 carbine mfg. by PMC, shown for comparison purposes only)

    (Südsteirischen Metallindustrie ammo courtesy Roger Mickelson)

    Dummy Cartridges

    GECO: Genschow Co. is now owned by the major ammunition manufacturing conglomerate RUAG Ammotec, based in Austria but with manufacturing facilities throughout Europe.
  • Non firing Dummy Cartridges for Zoll (Tariff Guard)

    Image by www.euroarms.net, © 2007

    Cleaning Kit used by the Gendarmerie for the M1 carbine

    The rifle cleaning kit for the German K98 rifle was introduced in 1934 and designated M34. The above User Manual indicates this was the same cleaning kit issued to the gendarme for cleaning the M1 carbine.

    Gendarmerie Karabiner M1 User Manual

    In 1957 the Ministry of the Interior published a User Manual for the Gendarmerie. The manual is is approximately 3" wide x 4.5" tall with the front and back covers made from water resistant vinyl. The manual consists of 68 pages covering the operation, maintenance, use, disassembly and cleaning of the M1 carbine. Illustrations are high quality with photographs depicting the more important procedures.

    The inside cover of the below manual is stamped in ink with the date December 2, 1984 and the central Gendarmerie school in Mödling, in the state of Lower Austria.

    vinyl protective covering


    Table of Contents

    Gendarme w/ KM1

    Gendarmerie Karabiner M1 Drill

    In 1959 the Ministry of the National Defense published a Training Regulation Manual for the Bundesheer. The manual is is approximately 3" wide x 4.5" tall with the front and back covers made from water resistant vinyl. The manual consists of 107 pages covering basic training regulations, including 3 pages of drill instructions for the M1 carbine. This training manual was also issued to the Gendarmerie.

    The inside cover of the below manual is stamped in ink with the date January 13, 1982 and the central Gendarmerie school in Mödling, in the state of Lower Austria.

    Cover Page

    Drill Instructions

    Gendarmerie Almanac

    The Gendarmerie published an almanac every couple years. The below example is from 1958 and consists of 455 pages detailing command structure, Gendarmerie posts throughout the entire nation, and the personnel assigned to each of the posts. Some of the slings and/or ammo pouches have the names of the personnel and/or the serial numbers of the M1 carbines they carried. This almanac allows us to determine where an individual, and their M1 carbine, was assigned in Austria. The next almanac I could locate was for 1964.

    Research requests for individuals whose name is known are accepted by contacting me via the discussion forum.

    Cover Page

    Gendarmerie stations in Lower Austria (94)

    Gendarmerie Command for Lower Austria