This carbine has a very interesting history, most of which is not obvious. It is an excellent example of history hiding in plain sight, all you need to unlock it, is to understand what certain things mean.
The carbine was sold at auction online in January 2008. It has the INTRAC KNOX, TN import mark on the bottom of the barrel behind the front sight. INTRAC imported only one lot of M1 carbines, and that lot was from Austria in late 1993 or early 1994. All were sold wholesale by INTRAC to either Centerfire Systems in KY or Tennessee Guns. Centerfire Systems maintained an inventory list and this carbine is not on it, indicating it was likely sold to Tennessee Guns who, in turn, sold it wholesale or retail in the U.S.A. 1994-1995.
This particular carbine's trigger housing is a fairly rare S'G' (Saginaw Gear, Grand Rapids, MI) in near mint condition. It does not have the markings of the Austria Gendarmerie on the bottom of the trigger housing, which should be present. Both Bavaria and Austria commonly placed the last four digits of the serial number on the back side of the trigger housing near the top. This trigger housing does not have these markings. It appears the trigger housing used by Austria was replaced with this one. The top of the bolt also does not have these same customary markings of Bavaria and Austria, indicating it is also probably a replacement bolt.
The other parts that were customarily marked with the last four digits of the serial number, do have four digit markings, but they do not match the receiver serial number: 4347 on the slide, 1025 on the bottom of the handguard, and 2370 in the stock slingwell. It's easy to draw the conclusion that someone rebuilt the carbine from various parts from various carbines. What's not easy is determining who and when. One of the Winchester Prison Guard carbines sold by Centerfire Systems had the last four digits of 2370. INTRAC didn't change any parts. This leaves the very likely possibility that the changes were made while the carbine was still in the possession of Austria. Perhaps just before they sold their carbines.
The stock on this carbine is a beautiful high wood with oval cut, marked Bavaria Prison Guard on the left side of the forearm. The top of the receiver to the left of the bolt is stamped Bavaria Prison Guard. The Austria Gendarmerie purchased 2013 U.S. M1 carbines from Bavaria in 1955 and 1956, so it is not uncommon to find a U.S. M1 carbine with the markings of both Bavaria and the Austria Gendarmerie when the INTRAC import mark is present.
Closely examining the receiver marking of the Bavaria Prison Guard, it is clear the Prison Guard was not the first agency marking. The Waffenamt in Munich is known to have removed the markings of some of the Bavaria agencies that no longer used a particular carbine and replace them with the next agency to use it. The markings on weapons used by the German police post WWII were mandated by the Allied Control Council in Berlin in October 1945. The markings used by Bavaria were mandated by the U.S. Office of Military Government in Bavaria, under whom the Waffenamt in Munich operated 1945-1949. After the occupation ended in May 1955, the markings were a moot issue. Indicating the Bavaria Border Guard received this carbine after another agency was done with it, both having used the carbine 1946-1955, when it was sold to the Austria Gendarmerie and served in Austria until 1993.
This, after having served the U.S. Forces in the European Theater of War during WWII. The serial number was one of the first 60,000 carbines manufactured by Winchester, of a total of 828,059 carbines they manufactured. It was probably manufactured between October and December 1942.
|Barrel||W with Winchester proofmark, undated|
|Front Sight||type I||L (Lyman Gun Sight Corp of Middlefield, CT for Winchester)|
|Barrel Band||type III|
|Slide||type II||circled PI (Packard Mfg. Co. of Indianapolis for Inland)|
|Slide Stop||type II|
INTRAC import mark behind front sight on bottom of barrel. Slide marked 4347.
|Handguard||type I||W (Winchester)|
|Buttplate||S-SE (Shelby Spring Hinge Co. of Shelby, OH for Standard Products)|
Bavaria Prison Guard on left side of stock
NM or WN, meaning unknown
S-S3, markings used by Standard Products
2370 stamped inside stock slingwell, no other stamps. W.R.A. over G.H.D. (no box) and Ordnance cannons on the right side of the stock. 1025 stamped underneath handguard. The letter NM or WN, depending on their correct orientation, appear in the bottom of the stock forend.
|Rear Sight||type III||I.R. Co. 7160060 (International Register Co. late production replacement rear sight)|
|Operating Spring Tunnel Housing||removable|
|Recoil Plate||type II||W (Winchester)|
|Bolt||type II||EM-Q (Elgin Metal Novelty Co. of Elgin, IL for Quality Hardware)|
Last four digits of receiver serial number are not electropenciled into the top of the bolt.
|Trigger Housing||type III||S'G' (Saginaw Gear, Grand Rapids, MI)|
|Hammer||type III||NI (National Cash Register Co. of Dayton, OH for Inland)|
|Trigger Housing Pin|
|Safety||type IV rotary||S circled|
|Magazine Catch||type III|
S'G' mfg trigger housings followed pattern set by predecessor Irwin-Pedersen
using set holes on either side of the trigger housing for holding it during machining operations
detachable spring housing common, but not specific to, Winchester carbines