Inland 1 to 5
Winchester 6 to 10
Winchester 1,000,000 to 1,249,999
Underwood 1,250,00010 1,449,999
National Postal Meter 1,450,000 to 1,549,999
Quality Hardware & Machine 1,550,OOOto 1,562,519
Quality Hardware & Machine 1,562,520 to 1,662,519
Rock-Ola 1,662,520 to 1,762,519
IRWIN PEDERSEN (Saginaw, G.R.) 1,762,529 to 1,875,039
Quality Hardware & Machine 1,875,040 to 1,907,519
Quality Hardware & Machine 1,907,520 to 1,937,519
National Postal Meter 1,937,520 to 1,982,519
Standard Products 1.982,520 to 2,352,519
Underwood 2,352,520 to 2,912,519
I nland 2,912,520 to 3,212,519
Irwin Pedersen (Saginaw, G.R.) 3,212,520 to 3,250,019
Saginaw S.G 3,250,020 to 3,651,519
Underwood 4,010,000 to 4,074,999
National Postal Meter 4,075,000 to 4,079,999
National Postal Meter 4,080,000 to 4,432,099
Quality Hardware & Machine 4,432,100 to 4,532,099
Rock-Ota 4,532,100 to 4,632,099
Quality Hardware & Machine 4,632,100 to 4,879,525
Inland 4,879,526 to 5,549,821
Winchester 5,549,822 to 5,834,618
Saginaw S.G 5,834,619 to 6,071,188
Rock-Ola 6,071,189 to 6,099,688
Underwood 6,099,689 to 6,199,688
Rock-Ola 6,199,689 to 6,219,688
Inland 6,219,689 to 6,449,867
Winchester 6,449,868 to 6,629,883
I nland 6,629,884 to 7,234,883
Winchester 7,234,884 to 7,369,660
Inland 7,369,661 to 8,069,660
The reader may note that the assigned serial numbers above add up to approximately 2 million more carbines than the 6 million total production discussed in the text. This Is not a typographical error, but is the result of spare numbers being assigned within blocks of numbers, some receivers being scrapped after being stamped and their numbers being re-used at a later date, etc. Additionally, major design changes or improvements were often designated by starting with a new block of numbers and purposely leaving a gap between the numbers of the first gun of the new model and the last one of the old.
A total of over 6,000,000 of both models was produced before VJ Day.
Less than five years after the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay, war clouds again loomed over Japan when North Korean troops moved south in June of 1950. One need only study a map of the Far East to realize the trepidation that must have filled the minds of American occupation troops in Japan at the outbreak of the Korean War. Within weeks, mothballed fighter aircraft, landing craft, Garands and Ml and M2 Carbines were being refurbished to go to war. For three years the Ml Carbine was to serve American troops in the frozen wastes of Korea, and names like Pork Chop Hill, Inchon and the Yalu River had become as familiar to the American people as Omaha Beach, El Alamein and I wo Jima. With the signing of an uneasy truce in July 1953, the Mis and M2s were once more put back into storage.
Only a year later, an event took place that was to signal the Mi's return to the front lines for yet another war. A French Indochinese fort by the name of Dien Bien Phu fell to Communist forces in far off Southeast Asia. However, it doesn't seem so far away today when you think of the present name for the country in which Dien Bien Phu is located — Vietnam.
With the end of the 300 year French rule in Indochina, the peninsula was divided into three countries, the largest being Vietnam. One might have thought the French withdrawal would bring peace to Southeast Asia, but such was not the case. Fighting continued between Communist regulars and guerrillas and the forces of the democratic governments of the countries that had been French Indochina. The situation had deteriorated so badly by the early 1960's that American "advisors" were sent to help the South Vietnamese. What followed was history, with American troops eventually becoming involved in the longest war in which America ever fought. By the time the Vietnam War officially ended in the early 1970's, over 50,000 American servicemen had payed the ultimate price for freedom.
Although some Ml Carbines saw service with American troops in Vietnam, by far the greatest users of the Ml were the Vietnamese themselves. Due to their smaller physical stature, they liked the small, light carbine with the negligible recoil. The Ml Garand had, of course, been replaced by the M14 as the standard service rifle. Although the 7.62mm NATO cartridge of the M14 produced less recoil than the Garand's .30-06, it was still a bit much for the Vietnamese. They made do with Ml Carbines until the Armalite AR-15 became available in quantity. It was largely upon their recommendation that Gen. William Westmoreland requested AR-15s for the American troops which were dissatisfied with the M14's performance in the tropics. It should be pointed out, however, that the AR-15 which had endeared itself to the Vietnamese was a select fire weapon that was the forerunner of the M16, and not the semi-auto only civilian AR-15 we know today.
Although once readily available at gun shows, the M2 parts shown above are available as a group now only through Class III dealers since the complete kit is classified as a machine gun, even in the absence of the carbine itself.
Although the Ml and M2 Carbines are no longer standard issue with any American military unit, a number of them are still in government storage for possible future use. As of Spring 1984, 65,984 Ml and 7,298 M2 Carbines were being held for special contingency and foreign military sales requirements. Ml Carbines are likely to be encountered just about anywhere in the world, either in the hands of guerrillas or small local militia units fighting against them. While the Ml failed to replace either the Colt M1911 A1 or the SMG, both of which are still on active duty with U.S. forces, it served its country and her allies well in war and is now a favorite "pickup" gun of ranchers and farmers who want a small, lightweight arm with minimal recoil that is still more powerful than a .22 rimfire. Just how many surplus Ml Carbines have found their way into civilian hands is anyone's guess, but the fact that Ruger chambered its popular Blackhawk single action revolver for the .30 Carbine cartridge attests to the round's popularity.
Numerous commercial models of the Ml have been produced by various manufacturers since World War II and Iver Johnson currently offers a select fire version for police and foreign markets as well as the "standard" version for the U.S- civilian market. Whether as a surplus weapon picked up at a gun show or brand net? out of the box from the local gun shop, the Ml Carbine should be with us for a long time to come.
II. Description & Data
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