The U.S. Caliber .30 Carbines
|The Basics Here|
|The U.S. Caliber .30 Carbines||The Carbine Manufacturers||The Barrel Manufacturers||Parts, Variations & Markings|
|Carbine Nomenclature||The Serial Numbers||The Stocks & Handguards||Post 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.
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
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.
Thicker right side wood along the receiver opening
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".
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 Prime Contractor
|Charts extracted and reproduced from the book War Baby!, with permission and review by the author, Larry Ruth|
Things you should know:
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.
|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 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.
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 Groove||Deep 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)
By Prime Contractor
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.
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.
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