A New Feature - Unpublished Q&As

Posted by Bruce Canfield

Since I’ve finally finished my 4+ year quest of writing a massive tome on the Garand rifle, I thought it might be time to resume some regular postings here. When contemplating what to post, it occurred to me that some of you might like to see some of the Q&As that I receive via my capacity as Field Editor for American Rifleman magazine but which were not published. I receive a fairly large number of questions regarding U.S. military weapons and try to answer every one of them. However, space constraints in the magazine typically result in only one or two (at most) being printed each month. Below are the first of a number of Q&As for your consideration: 

Q. I have seen the term “M1” written with a dash (“M-1”) and without. Which is correct?

A. There should not be a dash between the “M” and the number. This holds true for the M1903, M1911, M1, M14, M16 and all other U.S. military small arms and related items. The only "official" exception I can think of is the nomenclature of the telescope and mount used with the U.S. Marine Corps’ M1 sniper rifle variant, the MC 1952. This weapon was equipped with the “MC-1” scope and mount.

Q. My Springfield/Remington Model 1870 USN rolling block rifle does not have a bayonet lug on the barrel. There appears to have been one there at one but looks like it was ground off. Was this an official modification?

A. As originally adopted, the M1870 USN rifle was fitted with a bayonet lug to accept the M1870 Ames sword bayonet. However, many will be encountered today with the lug ground off. There is some uncertainty regarding this modification. Some collectors have stated that the lug was ground off by the Marine Corps in order to use the standard M1855-type socket bayonet. Therefore, according to this theory, rifles of this type with the ground-off lugs are desirable Marine Corps variants. I have seen no documentation to confirm this theory. I believe this modification was actually done by Bannerman’s or one of the large surplus dealers of the time in order to be able to sell the common socket bayonets as an accouterment with the rifles of this type in their inventory. I cannot document this so it must also be labeled as a theory. However, the Marine Corps explanation just doesn’t ring true and cannot be confirmed with credible evidence.

Q. Did Irwin-Pedersen actually deliver any carbines to the government?

A. No. The company did have perhaps as many as four thousand essentially completed carbines on hand at their plant when Saginaw took over their failed contract but none are believed to have been delivered. There were, of course, thousands of receivers and other parts made prior to the company’s demise that were used by Saginaw to assemble carbines at the Grand Rapids, Michigan plant.

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →