The U.S. Caliber .30 Carbines


Basics

The Caliber .30 Carbine Stocks & Handguards


The Basics Here
The U.S. Caliber .30 CarbinesThe Carbine ManufacturersThe Barrel ManufacturersParts, Variations & Markings
Carbine NomenclatureThe Serial NumbersThe Stocks & HandguardsPost WWII Ordnance Operations


If you find an error on this page, please contact me.
If you need help with something, please use the forums listed at the bottom of the page due to the volume of mail I receive. Thanks much.


Overview of the The U.S. Caliber .30 Carbine Stocks

If you find an error on this page, please contact me. If you need help with something, please use the forums listed at the bottom of the page due to the volume of mail I receive. Thanks much.

Interesting & Helpful Facts
  • There were 5 basic stock styles for the carbines M1 & M2, but many more minor variations by manufacturers that often changed over time.

  • There were 3 basic handguard styles for the carbines M1 & M2, but many more minor variations by manufacturers that often changed over time.

  • During WWII most, but not all, stocks & handguards had manufacturer markings. After WWII many stocks & handguards did not have a manufacturers mark.

  • Commercially manufactured modern day replicas of the dies/stamps are often used in "restoration". Forgeries are a serious concern for collectors.

  • American walnut was the most common wood used. Anticipated shortages led to the use of birch and one manufacturer using cherry for a short time period.

  • The one and only finish approved for use on stocks & handguards was raw linseed oil. Lighter colored wood was often stained darker before being finished.

Stock Variations

The M1 Stocks


I shaped sling cut, High Wood covers slide
Used early in production


Oval sling cut, High Wood covers slide
Sling cut changed from the I cut to the Oval cut for expediancy in production.


Oval sling cut, Low Wood exposes slide
The thin high wood area was eliminated as it was perceived as a weak point.
Earlier stocks sometimes had their High Wood area removed.


Transitions

Late during the production of the M1 stock with the oval sling cut and low wood, Winchester and Inland increased the length of the barrel channel with the added effect of thickening the wood in this area. The longer barrel channel and thicker wood would later become standard on the stocks made for the M2. These stocks appear the same on the outside as their predecessors and the first M2 stocks. The M2 stocks can be distinguished from these and their predecessors by the presence of a cutout for the M2 selector switch, located on the left side of the stock even with the receiver ring.


Longer barrel channel and thicker wood


Thicker right side wood along the receiver opening


The M2 Stocks

Often found on the M1 as they were also used as replacement stocks. An overall stronger design adopted from the late M1 stocks manufactured by Winchester and Inland. Keep in mind that after WWII it was not uncommon for M1 Carbines to be converted over to selective fire, which included cutting the opening for the selector switch located on the left side of the receiver.


Top: Cutout for M2 selector switch inside the left side of the stock above the front of the opening for the trigger housing
Bottom: M1 stock with no cutout for selector switch


On the outside, has the cutout for the M2 selector switch on the left side but otherwise appears to be the M1 stock with an oval sling cut and low wood.
On the inside the wood is thicker as shown above.


Oval sling cut, wood is thicker below slide channel, giving this stock the nickname of "M2 Pot belly".

Stock Markings



Manufacturer Marks


Most often found inside the stock's left side slingwell and not always obvious.
In this case, the TN used by Trimble Nursery & Furniture Co. on stocks made for National Postal Meter


The W used by Winchester is sometimes
found in the barrel channel.


The W used by Winchester is sometimes found
on top of the lip in front of the opening for the trigger housing.


SA marking used by Springfield Armory is usually found to the left of the barrel channel.


By Marking

 

By Prime Contractor

MarkingManufacturerPrime Contractor
BR-BMilton Bradley Co.
Springfield, MA
IBM
HI Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
Louisville, KY
Inland
IO see OI  
 
IR Robert W. Irwin
Grand Rapids, MI
replacements
IR-IP Robert W. Irwin
Grand Rapids, MI
Irwin-Pedersen, Saginaw S'G'
J  
 
T3, replacements
JL-B Jamestown Lounge Co.
Jamestown, NY
IBM
LW Lumb Woodworking Co.
Poughkeepsie, NY
replacements
LW-B Lumb Woodworking Co.
Poughkeepsie, NY
IBM
LW-U Lumb Woodworking Co.
Poughkeepsie, NY
Underwood
M Marlin Firearms ?
New Haven, CT ?
replacements
M-U Marlin Firearms Co.
New Haven, CT
Underwood
OI S.E. Overton
South Haven, MI
Inland
PJ  
 
replacements
P-U Pedersen Bros.
Wilton, CT
Underwood
Q-RMC Rock-Ola Mfg Co.
Chicago, IL
Quality Hardware
RI Richardson Bros. Co.
Sheboygan, WI
Inland M1A1 only
RMC Rock-Ola Mfg Co.
Chicago, IL
Rock-Ola
RSG Rock-Ola Mfg Co.
Chicago, IL
Saginaw S.G.
SA Springfield Armory
Springfield, MA
replacements
SC-B Sprague & Carleton Co.
Kane, NH
IBM
S-HB Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
Louisville, KY
Standard Products
SJ Jamestown Lounge Co.
Jamestown, NY
Standard Products
TN Trimble Nursery & Furniture Co.
Rochester, NY
National Postal Meter
Trimble/TN Trimble Nursery & Furniture Co.
Rochester, NY
National Postal Meter
W Winchester Repeating Arms
New Haven, CT
Winchester
Prime Contractor MarkingManufacturer
IBM BR-BMilton Bradley Co.
Springfield, MA
JL-B Jamestown Lounge Co.
Jamestown, NY
LW-B Lumb Woodworking Co.
Poughkeepsie, NY
SC-B Sprague & Carleton Co.
Kane, NH
Inland HI Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
Louisville, KY
OI S.E. Overton
South Haven, MI
Irwin-PedersenIR-IP Robert W. Irwin
Grand Rapids, MI
National Postal Meter TN Trimble Nursery & Furniture Co.
Rochester, NY
Trimble/TN Trimble Nursery & Furniture Co.
Rochester, NY
Quality Hardware Q-RMC Rock-Ola Mfg Co.
Chicago, IL
Rock-Ola RMC Rock-Ola Mfg Co.
Chicago, IL
Saginaw S.G. RSG Rock-Ola Mfg Co.
Chicago, IL
Saginaw S'G' IR-IP Robert W. Irwin
Grand Rapids, MI
Standard Products S-HB Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
Louisville, KY
SJ Jamestown Lounge Co.
Jamestown, NY
Underwood LW-U Lumb Woodworking Co.
Poughkeepsie, NY
M-U Marlin Firearms Co.
New Haven, CT
P-U Pedersen Bros.
Wilton, CT
Winchester W Winchester Repeating Arms
New Haven, CT
 
 
Replacements IR Robert W. Irwin
Grand Rapids, MI
J  
 
LW Lumb Woodworking Co.
Poughkeepsie, NY
M Marlin Firearms ?
New Haven, CT ?
PJ  
 
SA Springfield Armory
Springfield, MA

Charts extracted and reproduced from the book War Baby!, with permission and review by the author, Larry Ruth


The Cartouche: Inspection Marks and/or Crossed Cannons

Things you should know:
  • Not all stocks were marked with an inspection mark and crossed cannons

  • Some stocks were marked with the crossed cannons only

  • Sometimes the cartouche has worn off over time and use

  • Many inspection marks and/or crossed cannons were stamped at a slight angle causing a deeper imprint on one side than the other

  • The inspection mark and crossed cannon designs are specific to the prime contractor who assembled the carbine

  • The height, width, and positioning of the inspection mark and crossed cannons in relation to one another were also specific to the manufacturer

  • Replica metal stamps with which to forge or duplicate the cartouches are sold by a number of retailers.


One of the inspection marks and crossed cannons used by Winchester.
W.R.A. was Winchester Repeating Arms. G.H.D. were the initals of the inspector
in charge of the Ordnance District that included Winchester, Underwood, and National Postal Meter.

A close up of a clear set of crossed cannons. Compare these to the drawing and you can see minor differences that help identify which manufacturer made the stock.


The photograph above has been reversed so you can see the markings easier. These stamps were commercially manufactured for use on the M1 Garand rifles, though some could be used to replicate or forge the markings on the U.S. Carbines. The stamps used for the Caliber .30 Carbine stocks are also available. Some stock restoration businesses offer to include stamping the "correct" cartouche on the customer's carbine. This website intentionally omits the information on which manufacturer used which inspection marks, crossed cannons, their size, and their spacial relationship to one another. It is this author's opinion these stamps should be altered in a manner that makes the marks readily identifibale as not originals. Most people wouldn't know the difference. A few stock restoration companies intentionally place the inspection mark and crossed cannons in a location and orientation that makes them recognizable as replicas to those familiar with authenticity.


P on the Hand Grip

A P on the bottom of the handgrip was used by manufacturers as a passed inspection mark. Sometimes the P is within a circle or a square. Not all manufacturers used these and those that did, did not use it throughout production. Meaning they may or may not be present. A P on the front of the handgrip was used as an inspection mark on carbines rebuilt by U.S. Ordnance. Sometimes the P is within a circle or a square. Sometimes stamped more than once if the carbine was rebuilt more than once. Not all carbines have these. Meaning they may or may not be present.


Rebuild Marks

Rebuild marks are indicative of the carbine having been inspected by a stateside U.S. Ordnance facility,
sometimes involving a complete overhaul that stripped the carbine and rebuilt it from different parts.

Rebuild marks are rarely forged as they devalue the carbine in the eyes of most collectors. Keep in mind,
U.S. Ordnance depots outside the continental U.S. and foreign facilities contracted by U.S. Ordnance
also inspected and refurbished carbines and were not permitted to use rebuild marks.

There are a few owners who look for these carbines as they're generally available at a lower price than carbines without the rebuild marks.

Refer to the page on Post World War II Activities for a list of the markings and further information.

Handguard Variations

All of the handguards depicted below were made from walnut. The variations in color were/are inherent
with walnut, as with other types of wood. Birch was generally a lighter color than walnut, but not always.

The first handguards had a deep wide cut down the center called the sighting groove. 2 rivets held the plate that engaged the front of the receiver to hold the handguard in place.


The deep cut thinned the wood enough that it would sometimes crack. The design was changed to thicken the wood yet retain enough of a clearance for the sighting groove.
To strengthen the plate that engages the receiver to hold the handguard in place, the plate was lengthened and held in place by 4 rivets instead of 2.

The width of the cuts at the front and/or back of the sighting groove sometimes varied by manufacturer.

The angle of the nose at the front of the handguard tapered to a 90 degree cut. Some of the
Winchester handguards made in 1943 the taper was slight, creating a "bull nose" effect (not shown here).

Use of the 4 rivet handguards began during the Winter of 1944. Since all manufacturers but Inland and
Winchester had ceased production during mid 1944, these were only manufactured by or for Inland and Winchester
and as replacements by Springfield Armory.

Deep Sighting Groove Shallow Sighting Groove 4 rivet
 
4 rivet Shallow Sighting GrooveDeep Sighting Groove


The lengthening of the plate that slides under the front of the receiver to hold the handguard in place,
with the change from 2 rivets to 4 rivets, strengthened the plate to handguard connection and therefore the handguard to receiver fit.
(refer below for information on the markings)


Handguard Markings


By Marking

 

By Prime Contractor

MarkingManufacturerUsed By
BR-BMilton Bradley Co.
Springfield, MA
IBM
HI Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
Louisville, KY
Inland
HQ Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
Louisville, KY
Quality Hardware
IO see OI  
 
IP-IR Robert W. Irwin
Grand Rapids, MI
Irwin-Pedersen, Saginaw S'G'
IR-IP Robert W. Irwin
Grand Rapids, MI
Irwin-Pedersen, Saginaw S'G'
JL-B Jamestown Lounge Co.
Jamestown, NY
IBM
LW-B Lumb Woodworking Co.
Poughkeepsie, NY
IBM
M-U Marlin Firearms Co.
New Haven, CT
Underwood
OI S.E. Overton
South Haven, MI
Inland
Pedersen U Pedersen Bros.
Wilton, CT
Underwood
P-U Pedersen Bros.
Wilton, CT
Underwood
Q-RMC Rock-Ola Mfg Co.
Chicago, IL
Quality Hardware
RMC Rock-Ola Mfg Co.
Chicago, IL
Rock-Ola
RSG Rock-Ola Mfg Co.
Chicago, IL
Saginaw S.G.
SA Springfield Armory
Springfield, MA
replacements
SC-B Sprague & Carleton Co.
Kane, NH
IBM
S-HB Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
Louisville, KY
Standard Products
SJ Jamestown Lounge Co.
Jamestown, NY
Standard Products
TN Trimble Nursery & Furniture Co.
Rochester, NY
National Postal Meter
Trimble/TN Trimble Nursery & Furniture Co.
Rochester, NY
National Postal Meter
W Winchester Repeating Arms
New Haven, CT
Winchester
 
Charts extracted and reproduced from the book War Baby!,
with permission and review by the author, Larry Ruth
Prime Contractor MarkingManufacturer
IBM BR-BMilton Bradley Co.
Springfield, MA
JL-B Jamestown Lounge Co.
Jamestown, NY
LW-B Lumb Woodworking Co.
Poughkeepsie, NY
SC-B Sprague & Carleton Co.
Kane, NH
Inland HI Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
Louisville, KY
OI S.E. Overton
South Haven, MI
Irwin-Pedersen, Saginaw S'G' IP-IR Robert W. Irwin
Grand Rapids, MI
IR-IP Robert W. Irwin
Grand Rapids, MI
National Postal Meter TN Trimble Nursery & Furniture Co.
Rochester, NY
Trimble/TN Trimble Nursery & Furniture Co.
Rochester, NY
Quality Hardware HQ Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
Louisville, KY
Q-RMC Rock-Ola Mfg Co.
Chicago, IL
Rock-Ola RMC Rock-Ola Mfg Co.
Chicago, IL
Saginaw S.G.RSG Rock-Ola Mfg Co.
Chicago, IL
Saginaw S'G'IP-IR Robert W. Irwin
Grand Rapids, MI
IR-IP Robert W. Irwin
Grand Rapids, MI
Standard Products S-HB Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
Louisville, KY
SJ Jamestown Lounge Co.
Jamestown, NY
Underwood M-U Marlin Firearms Co.
New Haven, CT
Pedersen-U Pedersen Bros.
Wilton, CT
P-U Pedersen Bros.
Wilton, CT
Winchester W Winchester Repeating Arms
New Haven, CT
 
Replacements SA Springfield Armory
Springfield, MA

Wood & Finish


Walnut


Birch

The two most common types of wood used for Caliber .30 Carbine stocks and handguards were American walnut and birch. During WWII the only stocks made with birch were made by Sprague & Carleton Co. Kane of NH for IBM (SC-B). As the war progressed, shortages in walnut led to the approval of cherry as an alternate to walnut or birch. During WWII Rock-Ola is known to have manufactured a limited number of stocks using cherry.

After WWII birch became much more common. Although additional woods were approved it does not appear any were manufactured using other than walnut and birch.

Walnut stocks were placed in raw linseed oil for a period of time, then allowed to dry. Birch stocks were treated with a dark stain, then placed in raw linseed oil for a period of time and allowed to dry. American walnut varies greatly, resulting in slightly different looking stocks. The density of birch sometimes created finish variations, such as the "tiger striped" birch stock above.

The one and only finish approved for the Caliber .30 Carbine stocks was raw linseed oil. Outside of U.S. Ordnance, this was applied by rubbing it into the wood by hand.


Where and Who to turn to for More Information and Further Assistance

I wish I could help everyone, but with over 6 million U.S. Carbines and almost 1 million post war commercial carbines one person can't handle all the requests for assistance. However, there are a number of resources available that can answer any question you might have, including groups of knowledgeable collectors and shooters on discussion forums. The internet is ripe with experts on almost every topic, so you would be wise to get opinions from more than just one person.

This Website & it's Sister Website Discussion Forums
Links Page Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) M1 Carbine Forum
Books Page M1 Carbine Forum
  MilSurps Forums: M1 Carbine
Post War Commercial Carbines Military Surplus After Hours
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