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G.I. Ingenuity: M1 Carbine Battlefield Modifications

Very cool article! I hadn't seen most of that stuff before.

I once "invented" a bandolier-sling for my house shotgun that carried 10 rounds. I was so proud! The very first time I shouldered the hot mess, I realized instantly that it was a HORRIBLE idea. It came off immediately and I've never been tempted to try THAT again.

Those gizmos that mounted the M1 carbine mags on the fore-end look like almost as bad an idea. No thank you.

About a decade ago I got in a net fight with a guy who claimed that the movie Kelly's Heroes had a big stinky blooper in it--an M14 rifle had sneaked in somehow. I knew exactly what he was talking about, I'd seen it too. It goes fast, can't be on screen for more than a second or two. I had to run the flick again and freeze-frame it at exactly the right moment to figger out what it was--an M1 carbine with rifle grenade launcher device attached. It DOES look like an M14 if you see it quick like the movie. These are evidently rare--both the flash hider and the muzzle brake have been reproed and are available cheap--but not the grenade launcher.
 
Hello all, here is today's article posted on TheArmoryLife.com. It is titled “G.I. Ingenuity: M1 Carbine Battlefield Modifications” and can be found at https://www.thearmorylife.com/battlefield-m1-carbine-mods/.

Does anyone have a actual example they can post? I would like to see exactly it was made. If they grafted a carbine sling to a MG belt and how it was attached. It would be used for further research and making a reproduction.
Thanks in advance.
 
Look what they started
 

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An excellent article on two of my favorite topics, M1 carbines and field mods of any sort!
For a few years, I have been aware of the attached photo of a Lt Strickland, said to be taken during fighting in Seoul. Note his carbine has a sling AND he is wearing a bandolier of what Ive assumed is 30 Carbine ammo. I never found information on an issued bandolier so I assumed it was the product of the Lieutenant and a creative rigger. Now, I wonder…

I’m hoping someone points this picture out to the writer Tom Laemlein for his educated opinion. Thanks!

Also of note, the Lieutenant must have been a true warrior, gunslinger type…note the cut down flap holster for his sidearm.
 

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An excellent article on two of my favorite topics, M1 carbines and field mods of any sort!
For a few years, I have been aware of the attached photo of a Lt Strickland, said to be taken during fighting in Seoul. Note his carbine has a sling AND he is wearing a bandolier of what Ive assumed is 30 Carbine ammo. I never found information on an issued bandolier so I assumed it was the product of the Lieutenant and a creative rigger. Now, I wonder…

I’m hoping someone points this picture out to the writer Tom Laemlein for his educated opinion. Thanks!

Also of note, the Lieutenant must have been a true warrior, gunslinger type…note the cut down flap holster for his sidearm.
He’s a southpaw to boot 😍
 
He’s a southpaw to boot 😍
I hadn’t noticed that, but, due to the position of his sidearm, I’m going to say he is more likely like me, left-eye dominant. Ever since my grandpa put a 22 in my hands, it always felt natural to left shoulder it, but, I write and shoot handguns with my right hand dominant.

As for the sidearm, could it be a Browning Hi-Power? The P-38 grip has a bit of a curve whereas this gun seems t o be straight, like a Hi-Power. There were so many WW2 leftovers in the theatre and I am no expert, but, I believe the Chinese were provided Hi-Powers which would make sense that the LT may have liberated one from a Chi-Com officer, just a guess though.
 
I worked with a guy who collected battlefield mods. It was such an interesting collection. He had numerous clear sweetheart gripped Smiths, various clothing modifications, firearm mods, and my favorite knives. He had a sweet collection of knives with replacement grips made from plastic, airplane aluminum and other salvage material. Leather was notorious for rotting in the Pacific theater. He also had theater made knives. I have read there were a number of Navy machinists who made utility and combat knives for guys.
 
Your Honors, upon further examination of the evidence, I'd like to amend my previous testimony.

It now appears to me that what I originally interpreted to be the distinctive curved backstrap of a P.38 (or something similar) is actually something behind the pistol. There COULD, in fact, be a 1911 or 1911A1 in there.

So while I can't authoritatively state that this is a P.38 or anything else, I also cannot say that it's NOT a 1911.
 
Your Honors, upon further examination of the evidence, I'd like to amend my previous testimony.

It now appears to me that what I originally interpreted to be the distinctive curved backstrap of a P.38 (or something similar) is actually something behind the pistol. There COULD, in fact, be a 1911 or 1911A1 in there.

So while I can't authoritatively state that this is a P.38 or anything else, I also cannot say that it's NOT a 1911.
Looks like a 1911 to me personally.
 
I’m so happy 😀 thanks 🙏🏼 so
I worked with a guy who collected battlefield mods. It was such an interesting collection. He had numerous clear sweetheart gripped Smiths, various clothing modifications, firearm mods, and my favorite knives. He had a sweet collection of knives with replacement grips made from plastic, airplane aluminum and other salvage material. Leather was notorious for rotting in the Pacific theater. He also had theater made knives. I have read there were a number of Navy machinists who made utility and combat knives for guys.
Sweetheart grips, like in the movie Fury, were a fairly common mod and a great collectible especially when you have provenance. Remember WW1 trench lighters, another common mod? I knew a guy who collected Pacific Theatre knives that varied from the roughest of homemade Bowie-type to some you’d easily drop a grand on today. A good machinist during the island hopping campaigns was the man to know.
What strikes me as similar is the ingenuity that combat soldiers share with jailbirds/prisoners, lol.
 
Not trying to beat a dead horse, I just love figuring this stuff out…
I enlarged and tweaked the photo and even though he should have a 1911 , I’m seeing a Browning Hi-Power just based on the angle of the grip … ideas?
 

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I really enjoyed the Tom Laemlein article and the comments by the late Larry Ruth, who was a very good friend of mine. Regarding the idea that expended Carbine magazines were saved by GIs/Marines to be reloaded later, I can offer the following - very limited - observations. My service in the Navy and later with American Airlines afforded me opportunities to walk the battlefields of the Pacific and Europe with a metal detector for more than 30 years.

In all my explorations, I only ever found one expended carbine magazine, and it was in a cave on Okinawa; Perhaps accidentally dropped rather than discarded. The flash from firing a Carbine in a dark cave would've resulted in "flash bulb blindness" for a few moments.

Related thoughts: I only ever found one expended BAR magazine (in a foxhole in Germany), and a handful of loaded BAR magazines in a foxhole on Okinawa. My thought was that the latter guy - a Marine - was wounded and evacuated or killed.

I've never found a Thompson (nor M3 submachine gun) magazine, although I found lotsa .45 spent casings and live rounds. Were those Marines/GIs saving their empty magazines also? It seems likely.

The 1945 retaking of Corregidor was an airborne operation with lotsa Carbines, but although I found plenty of ammo (both spent and live rounds), no magazines were found (at least not by me on the one day I was there.)

Both expended and full Garand clips were commonly found in both Europe and the Pacific, but of course Garands were more widely used than Carbines, BARs, or Thompsons/M3s.

For what it's worth, one person's very limited observations.

Regards, Marty Black
 
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