U.S. Carbines in Germany and Austria


Members of the
Civilian Marksmanship Program

CMP's M1 Carbines from Austria

The Allied occupation of Austria ended in May 1955. In 1955 and 1956, the U.S. Military Assistance Program provided Austria with 12,620 U.S. M1 Carbines. Sources in Austria have indicated the total number

Austrian Bundesheer
provided by the U.S. was actually much higher: 24,500 U.S. M1 Carbines, 1885 M1A1 Carbines, and 500 M2 Carbines. The reason for the discrepancy is addressed on the page that details the history of the carbines in Austria. The Austrian numbers are correct.

The Austrians divided these carbines amongst three different Austrian agencies.

Bundespolizei (city police)8500 M1's
Gendarmerie (rural police) 8000 M1's
Bundesheer (new security forces-military) 8000 M1's, 1885 M1A1's, and 500 M2's

Thousands of these carbines were already in Austria, under the control of American forces. Thousands more were obtained from American Depots in Italy and France. A small number of these had been inspected and rebuilt in America, with the U.S. Ordnance rebuild marks appearing on the left side of the stock.

The Austrian Gendarmerie purchased more than 4000 additional U.S. M1 Carbines from the West German State of Bavaria, giving the Gendarmerie a total of over 12,000 U.S. M1 Carbines.

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.

1) LGK, meaning Landes Gendarmerie Kommando (Gendarmerie Command for the Land of)
2) V represented the Land (the State) of Vorarlberg.
3) Four numbers were used, sequentially, to identify the particular carbine
Collectively, KGKV 0115, was the inventory number used by the Austrian Gendarmerie for this particular carbine.

  MARKING  Land (State)
  LGK B   Burgenland  
  LGK K    Kärnten (Carinthia)  
  LGK NÖ   NiederÖsterreich (Lower Austria)  
  LGK OÖ   OberoÖsterreich (Upper Austria)  
  LGK Sb   Salzburg  
  LGK ST   Steiermark  
  LGK T   Tirol  
  LGK V   Vorarlberg  

Some of the carbines used by the Austrians have a hang tag identifying which of the Gendarmerie posts the carbine was assigned too.

Gendarmerie Post 9832 (zip code) Stall (the town)
Telephone number
District: Spittal/Drau in the Land (State) of Kärnten (Carinthia)
Inspector Mario Eggar #338

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.