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G.I. Ingenuity: M1 Carbine Battlefield Modifications

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.
 
I saw the attached M1 Carbine Enforcer for sale and snatched it up. It's a neat firearm. As a former Marine who enlisted AFTER Vietnam, I like the history of the M1 Carbine and other firearms used by fellow Marines over the years...:)
 

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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
Excellent observations. Regarding this subject and I’m sorry to say that I have forgotten the material it came from, I read an interview of a soldier, likely Korean War-era, when asked about the 30-round carbine mags, he stated that carbine mags weren’t exactly treated as disposable because they always tried to bring them back but after a rotation on the front they always turned in the old ones “to be used by the guys in the rear” and were reissued brand new ones. He wasn’t specific although it seems likely he was referring to just the 30-rounder, but, it’s possible the semi-disposable attitude was prevalent in combat troops… my 2 cents and yours doesn’t add up to a nickel 😂
 
I saw the attached M1 Carbine Enforcer for sale and snatched it up. It's a neat firearm. As a former Marine who enlisted AFTER Vietnam, I like the history of the M1 Carbine and other firearms used by fellow Marines over the years...:)
I like it, but, I like almost everything with GI roots…
Here are a couple of pics, one Viet Nam-era with a cutdown carbine, I believe this soldier was a tank or track crewmen because I’ve seen other pics of him standing out of a hatch..

The older one is really interesting and was posted on Facebook as someone’s grandfather in the Pacific with the unit being 543 Engineer, Shore, and Boat Regiment. The warrior is said to have had access to the machine shop and modified a Carbine by bobbing the barrel and added front and rear pistol grips.. judging from what I have found out about this type of unit, I can well imagine having something short and handy around would be welcome..
 

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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.
Very true about the grenade launcher
 
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.
These are Marines retaking Seoul and my Dad was there with the 7th Marines. The Reds weren't there ...yet. Many historians say they came in November 1950 en masse. My Dad said they were there weeks earlier in small detachments. Something the hierarchy didn't believe or the reports were ignored.
 
I like it, but, I like almost everything with GI roots…
Here are a couple of pics, one Viet Nam-era with a cutdown carbine, I believe this soldier was a tank or track crewmen because I’ve seen other pics of him standing out of a hatch..

The older one is really interesting and was posted on Facebook as someone’s grandfather in the Pacific with the unit being 543 Engineer, Shore, and Boat Regiment. The warrior is said to have had access to the machine shop and modified a Carbine by bobbing the barrel and added front and rear pistol grips.. judging from what I have found out about this type of unit, I can well imagine having something short and handy around would be welcome..
 

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While at the West End Gun Club a long time ago I was shooting a new Iver Johnson .30 cal carbine when this Korean War veteran told me that he carried a M1 Carbine until he hit a North Korean Army soldier who was wearing the heavy cloth jacket and observed hits bullets hit him by the puffs of dirt coming off his jacket but not stopping the NKA soldier until the G.I. next to him shot him with his M1 Grand. Upon coming back to the company area he traded in his Carbine for a Grand. The .30Cal. carbine is potent when used within it's designed yardage but beyond that it loses efficiency.
 
While at the West End Gun Club a long time ago I was shooting a new Iver Johnson .30 cal carbine when this Korean War veteran told me that he carried a M1 Carbine until he hit a North Korean Army soldier who was wearing the heavy cloth jacket and observed hits bullets hit him by the puffs of dirt coming off his jacket but not stopping the NKA soldier until the G.I. next to him shot him with his M1 Grand. Upon coming back to the company area he traded in his Carbine for a Grand. The .30Cal. carbine is potent when used within it's designed yardage but beyond that it loses efficiency.
At the close(er) battle, according to Bernard Fall's Hell in a Very Small Place, French paratroopers loved the M1 carbine in addition to the MAS-49.
 
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.
I would assume this would not work. The case diameter of the .30 carbine round is .30 caliber. The case diameter for the 30-06 is .45 caliber. Seems to me the carbine rounds would fit rather loosely. Might have been theater made.
 
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