National Postal Meter
Serial Number: 4,244,785
Bavaria Rural Police
After the end of WWII departing American soldiers turned in their rifles and carbines to U.S. Army Ordnance as they boarded their transportation home. Some of the weapons were stored in American depots in Western Europe in case they were needed again.
In March 1945 the U.S. Office of Military Government (OMGUS) for Germany requisitioned carbines for the reformed German police in the American Occupation Zone. OMGUS Bavaria marked this carbine with the words "Bavaria Rural Police" on top of the receiver to the right of the bolt then issued it to the Bavaria Landpolizei. Bavaria's Landpolizei (previously and now Landespolizei) was the equivalent of an American State Police agency with the number of officers exceeding the number of military personnel of many of the smaller nations in Europe. OMGUS divided the agency into five sectors within Bavaria to decentralize their command. The carbines they were issued did not indicate which of the five sectors they were assigned too. The Landpolizei being a rural law enforcement agency the officers normally fielded their carbines when they went on patrol.
Bavaria was given control of their carbines in 1949 after a new government was elected. They paid OMGUS for the weapons they had been issued taking ownership at the end of the Occupation of Germany in 1955.
Contrary to the agreements made at Potsdam, after the end of WWII the Russians refused to leave the areas of Eastern Austria they had captured retaining control of the Austrian government and police forces. This prompted the Western Allies to divide and occupy the central and western areas of Austria to keep the country from being forced into an alliance with the Eastern Block countries. The Occupation of Austria ended in 1955 almost concurrent to the end of the Occupation of Germany.
As the U.S. troops who had occupied the American Zone in Austria departed the country they provided the Austrian government with their American weapons and equipment as part of a military assistance program for the police and Austrian Self-Defense Forces known as the Bundesheer. This included thousands of U.S. .30 caliber carbines with additional U.S. carbines from American depots in western Europe. The Austrians divided the carbines and equipment between the Bundesheer, Bundespolizei (City Police), Zoll Wache (Border Guards/Customs), and the Austrian Bundes Gendarmerie (Federal Rural Police).
With the majority of Austria being rural, mountainous and remote the officers of the Austrian Gendarmerie were the largest law enforcement agency in Austria. Their main headquarters was located in Vienna. Each of the eight Austrian Land/States were assigned their own gendarmerie headquarters specific to the areas of their Land/State outside the cities. Each Land/State was subdivided with personnel and outposts assigned to the various subdivisions. As with the Bavaria Rural Police the Austrian Gendarmerie many officers fielded their carbines as they went out on patrol.
After the carbines provided by the Americans had been divided among the various Austrian agencies the Austrian Gendarmerie found they were in need of additional carbines given their number of outposts and/or officers. In 1955/56 the Austrian Gendarmerie purchased over 4000 U.S. carbines from Bavaria.
The carbine below was one of the carbines purchased from Bavaria and retains it's Bavaria police markings. The markings LGKOO on the bottom of the trigger housing indicate the gendarmerie headquarters in Vienna assigned this carbine to the gendarmerie in the Austrian Land/State of OberOsterreich (Upper Austria). The four numbers (0112) below the LGKOO were the inventory number for this land/state. The carbines were assigned to a particular outpost for the duration of their time in Austria. Officers assigned to the outpost left the carbines at the outpost if they were reassigned.
The gendarmerie in Upper Austria polished some of their carbines to a shiny blue for double duty using them both in the field and for ceremonial purposes. In the polishing process they often removed some of the carbine's original U.S. markings. This carbine is an example (see the receiver photos below).
The gendarmerie in each of the Austrian land/states decided how long they would retain their U.S. carbines. Most used their carbines into the 1980's. Some retained them as a ready reserve for a period of time. By 1992/93 the gendarmerie headquarters in Vienna ordered all of the land/states to ship their U.S. carbines to a storage facility under the control of the Austrian Bundesheer. This carbine remained there until it was returned to the U.S. Army for disposition in 2007. The U.S. Army transported the carbine home where it was turned over to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for inspection and sale to support the CMP marksmanship programs. The carbine was sold by CMP in 2009.
On 01 July 2005 the Austrian Bundes Gendarmerie ceased to exist when it was merged into the Austrian Bundespolizei. Since 8 Jun 1849 the gendarmerie had been policing 98% of Austria occupied by 2/3 of Austria's total population.
|Barrel||type IB||undated, IBM|
|Gas Piston Housing||integral|
|Front Sight||type II||SN (Super Metal Mfg of North Bergen, NJ for National Postal Meter)|
|Barrel Band/Swivel||type I||KV-B (Knapp & Vogt Mfg Co. of Grand Rapids, MI for IBM, IBM collateral support to National Postal Meter)|
|Slide||type IV||UN (Union Switch & Signal of Swissvale, PA for National Postal Meter)|
Last 4 digits of serial number stamped in slide arm.
|Stock||type III||TRIMBLE TN (Trimble Nurseryland Furniture Co. for National Postal Meter)|
|Handguard||type I||unmarked or worn down|
Last four digits of serial number stamped in slingwell and under handguard.
|Receiver||type II||National Postal Meter|
|Rear Sight||type II||N-A (right), S (left) (Allied Screw Machine Co. of Chicago, IL for National Postal Meter)|
|Operating Spring Tunnel Housing||integral|
|Recoil Plate||type III||.U. (Underwood collateral support for National Postal Meter)|
Bavaria Rural Police on top of receiver to left of bolt.
Receiver was polished to a shiny blue by the gendarmerie in Upper Austria for ceremonial use in
addition to field use. The process of polishing often removed some of the original U.S. markings.
|Bolt||Flat||N14 (National Postal Meter)|
|Extractor Plunger||type II|
Last 4 digits of serial number not engraved or stamped in top of bolt.
|Trigger Housing||type II||N16 (National Postal Meter)|
|Trigger||type II||SN (Silver Creek Precision Corp of Silver Creek, NY for National Postal Meter)|
|Sear||type II||SW-N (Star Watch Case Co. of Ludington, MI for National Postal Meter)|
|Hammer||type III||HI (Hemphill Co. of Pawtucket, RI for Inland Mfg, collateral support provided to National Postal Meter)|
|Safety||type IV||SS in circle (GI replacement safety)|
|Magazine Catch||type II||MN (Mattatuck Mfg Co. of Waterbury, CT for National Postal Meter)|
The carbine came with an unmarked tan leather sling authentic to the Austrian gendarmerie.