Members of the
Civilian Marksmanship Program
Understanding the Trigger Housing Markings
The Bundespolizei and Bundesheer did not place any identifying marks on their carbines. The Gendarmerie placed a series of letters and numbers on the
bottom of the trigger housings, that were used for identification and inventory.
Some of the carbines used by the Austrians have a hang tag identifying which of the Gendarmerie posts the carbine was assigned too.
If a gendarme was transferred to a different post, the carbine remained at the post it was assigned too.
The "Bavarian Carbines"
Bavaria received their carbines from the U.S. Office of Military Government for Bavaria, between 1946 and 1949.
Bavaria was ordered to mark their carbines with the name of the Bavarian agency that used the carbine, in English, along the top of the
receiver to the left of the bolt.
The Austrians did not remove, or alter, the Bavaria markings. The Austrian Gendarmerie carbines that have the Bavaria markings, also have the Austria markings on the bottom of the trigger housing.
Because the Bavaria markings are obvious and easily understood, and the Austrian markings are not, many have assumed the trigger housing markings were related to Bavaria. Many have assumed that those carbines without Bavaria markings, but with trigger housing markings, were also Bavarian. In fact, carbines used by the four other German lands within the American Occupation Zone, have also been confused with the "Bavarians".
One of the purposes of this website, is to correct this misunderstanding, and introduce you to the history of the U.S. M1 Carbines used by five separate German areas within the American Occupation Zone (Bavaria was but one of the five), as well as the history of the U.S. M1 Carbines used by Austria.
The U.S. M1 Carbines Come Home from Austria
In 1993 approximately 7500 U.S. M1 Carbines were imported into the United States from Austria by the American importer, INTRAC of Knoxville, TN. The carbines were
sold wholesale/retail in 1994 and 1995 by Centerfire Systems and Tennessee Guns. INTRAC had arranged to obtain another 7000-7500 U.S. M1 Carbines from Austria, but
the importation was blocked by legislation signed by President Clinton. The second shipment of carbines remained in Austria.
In the latter part of 2008, the U.S. Army provided CMP with approximately 6700 U.S. M1 Carbines that had been returned by the government of Austria. These are the majority of carbines INTRAC wanted to import in 1995. The rest of the carbines appear to have been sold to Euroarms in Italy (covered elsewhere on this website).
Amongst the CMP carbines from Austria, are Gendarmerie carbines from five of the eight Lands of Austria, including carbines that Austria purchased from Bavaria. A small percentage of these CMP carbines have no markings identifying the agency that used them. The hang tags present on a number of these unmarked carbines are from the Austrian Minister of Defense (BMfLV), which indicates they were used by the Austrian Bundesheer (military).
Some of these carbines have a barrel that has no markings, yet appears to be an original U.S. GI carbine barrel. These barrels have the concentric circles along the length of the barrel, like the barrels manufactured by Underwood, Saginaw, and Springfield Armory. These barrels were obtained by Austria from Erma Werke of Dachau, Bavaria, as replacement barrels. Many of the carbines that have these barrels do not have Bavarian markings. A number of the identified Bundesheer carbines, that have no additional markings other than their original GI markings, also have these unmarked barrels. FYI, the muzzles of these barrels consistently gauge at 1.0 - 1.5. They're like new.
You will also find a number of trigger housings with a color ranging from purplish to copper. These were reblued at an improper temperature, causing the change in color.
This alteration, and others, are part of the history of these carbines from Austria. They are covered in further detail throughout this website.
About this Website
This website exists to help owners of the U.S. M1 Carbines that served with the Germans and/or Austrians to recognize what they have, and the history
of these carbines. You will find no ads or anything for sale here. This is a website devoted to you, your carbine, and it's history.
At the same time, I hope to encourage owners to preserve that history, and not alter or replace parts and/or markings in an attempt to reconstruct a "golden fleece". Once the history of these carbines is altered, it is lost forever.
Some owners are interested in obtaining a carbine for it's value. In the past, carbines with the Austrian and/or Bavarian markings were considered less valuable than their GI equivalent. There are a growing number of collectors and people interested in owning one of these carbines in it's unaltered historical configuration. The value of some of these carbines, particularly the nicer Austrians, is now almost equal to it's GI equivalent. Different people have different interests.
Enjoy, and feel free to e-mail me with suggestions, corrections, information, or any questions you might have. Please take a moment to view the website, the more common questions are answered here.
The information and photographs on this website are the property of their respective owners. Permission to use any information, photographs, illustrations, or anything else that appears on this website should be obtained prior. Much can be shared, if you simply ask.
This website and everything on it is not done for profit or personal gain. The costs are maintained by one person, me, as my contribution to the history of the U.S. M1 Carbines, especially those used by the police officers of Austria and Germany.