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The cures of the M3
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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oldtop
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:07 am
Post subject: The cures of the M3

I watched vehicle crews in the Corps sweat out firing the M3 submachine for years, and I'll tell you it was the last weapon I would bet my life on.
The problem was alway those @#$%$#@ magazines and the springs, I saw crews holding the M3 upside down to get the mags to feed. the springs had been in those mags for so long they would no longer feed the rounds, but after each trip to the range some "hardhead" Lt would push the follower down with his calbrated finger and declare the mags "ok" and the whole thing would start allover again. And the Corps got by till Nam..I will never forget a Ontos commander standing along his bogged down vehicle trying to beat off some rag- rice farmers (VC) with his M3, there he was firing one shot at a time and shaking it to feed between each round...When I went back to Nam in 68 as a SSgt and they tried to give a M1911 I almost gagged, I did find myself a good 12ga pump shotgun, when asked why I prefered the shotgun by a "hardhead" 2nd Lt I told him that most of our fights would be at night (the NVA and VCs weren't total fools and knew they could cut their loses by 50% in a night action) And if you want to know why a shotgun just stand outside at night and try to see the sights on your 45.
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SFC_Jeff_Button
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:44 am
Post subject: Re: The cures of the M3

24th ID had M4's till I left there, (Ft Stewart) in 1997. Never fired them but had them in the arms room never the less. I have a stack of brand-new TM's for them still from there.

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Sabot
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:54 pm
Post subject: Re: The cures of the M3

I first ran across the M3 as a 12F enlisted man (combat engineer vehicle crewman). We had two per vehicle, but never fired them. As a lieutenant, I was the platoon leader of an M60A3TTS platoon and we had two per tank. We used to "fam fire" them every so often, normally to burn up .45 cal ammo so it did not have to be turned in at the end of pistol qualification. The magazines were crap, even ones we had still wrapped in foil and never used.

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:32 am
Post subject: Re: The cures of the M3

Standard issue for every tanker in my day as well. Open bolt, phooey!

Curiously, a suppressed version was a favorite among some early MACV-SOG teams, including the legendary Jerry "Mad Dog" Shriver. Never carried one in combat myself though.
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Rikard_Hufschmied
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:28 pm
Post subject: Re: The cures of the M3

- Doug_Kibbey
Standard issue for every tanker in my day as well. Open bolt, phooey!


Hey, don't slag open bolt. If well made and with basic maintenance there are few things more reliable.

I've had my share of weak magazine and recoil springs though. When my platoon was up for guard duty during basic training I was selected Platoon Leader and one of my duties was to keep inventory of the guard barracks and equipment. To my amazement the guard weapons weren't included on the list and just one look at the six m/45B's (Carl-Gustav's) in the rack were a sad sight. God knows how long they'd been in the rack with recoil springs compressed and full magazines. They were full of dust and grit and when disassembled the recoil springs were quite noticeable shorter than a healthy one. The mags were worse. First none were full, and many were topped with just 2-3 live rounds on all blanks or mixed with blanks!!! Second, the springs were so weak from being compressed for so long that they without a doubt would have caused a failure to feed. Third, there were some serious dents in a couple of mags from being trashed around on guard duty ... and these were the weapons we should use on guard?

We promptly (against regualtion) exchanged the weapons and mags with our own issue that we got from our lockers and rumaged around for live ammo (which for some reason and again against regulation is always available), popped in the cleaned bolts from the guard weapons and we were ready to go.

At the end of our rotation I handed over the ammended inventory list to the commanding officer and saw his jaw drop, I seriously think that it had never crossed their minds before that. Need I say that the guard weapons were kept in pristine condition after this "incident", all faulty parts exchanged and everything kept in inventory down to the last round of live ammo.
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:57 pm
Post subject: Re: The cures of the M3

- Rikard_Hufschmied
- Doug_Kibbey
Standard issue for every tanker in my day as well. Open bolt, phooey!


Hey, don't slag open bolt. If well made and with basic maintenance there are few things more reliable.



Not the hot tip though, where exposure to funky elements is likely...if you're to be ready to fire (with this weapon) you're either charged and allowing more moisture (or worse) into the receiver (even with ejection port door closed) or gonna' be forced to charge the thing from closed, with all it's attendant noise. Simple, yes....reliably dry and clean when ready to fire...maybe. Closed bolt has distinct advantages where the elements and stealth are an issue. (..and I hate having to futz with the "door")
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Rikard_Hufschmied
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:55 am
Post subject: Re: The cures of the M3

- Doug_Kibbey
- Rikard_Hufschmied
- Doug_Kibbey
Standard issue for every tanker in my day as well. Open bolt, phooey!


Hey, don't slag open bolt. If well made and with basic maintenance there are few things more reliable.



Not the hot tip though, where exposure to funky elements is likely...if you're to be ready to fire (with this weapon) you're either charged and allowing more moisture (or worse) into the receiver (even with ejection port door closed) or gonna' be forced to charge the thing from closed, with all it's attendant noise. Simple, yes....reliably dry and clean when ready to fire...maybe. Closed bolt has distinct advantages where the elements and stealth are an issue. (..and I hate having to futz with the "door")


I admit to having no experience with the M3, the only open bolt SMG I know well is the m/45 (Swedish K) and it's very robust and durable and even reasonably silent to charge from closed. From what I've heard and read the "Enema Syringe" was/is never first choice anywhere at any time.
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:42 pm
Post subject: Re: The cures of the M3

- Rikard_Hufschmied
- Doug_Kibbey
- Rikard_Hufschmied
- Doug_Kibbey
Standard issue for every tanker in my day as well. Open bolt, phooey!


Hey, don't slag open bolt. If well made and with basic maintenance there are few things more reliable.



Not the hot tip though, where exposure to funky elements is likely...if you're to be ready to fire (with this weapon) you're either charged and allowing more moisture (or worse) into the receiver (even with ejection port door closed) or gonna' be forced to charge the thing from closed, with all it's attendant noise. Simple, yes....reliably dry and clean when ready to fire...maybe. Closed bolt has distinct advantages where the elements and stealth are an issue. (..and I hate having to futz with the "door")


I admit to having no experience with the M3, the only open bolt SMG I know well is the m/45 (Swedish K) and it's very robust and durable and even reasonably silent to charge from closed. From what I've heard and read the "Enema Syringe" was/is never first choice anywhere at any time.


Rikard,
...and interestingly enough, the Swedish K was the other (and more commonly employed) open-bolt SMG to see use with covert forces like SOG in Vietnam (both weapons lent themselves to sound suppression).
I had a Thompson for a while over there that I used from time-to-time in "I" Corps...an early one with the removeable stock that effectively made it a long-barreled machine pistol. Heavier than either the "K" or M3, it made up for it in capacity because I had a drum magazine in addition to the 30rd. stick. It fired from a closed-bolt though, of course...and was selectable for semi-auto and had decent Lyman sights.
Quite a few S. Vietnamese and Montagnard forces used the M3 very early in the war (like everything else old in the U.S. inventory, like BAR's, etc.).
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oldtop
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:08 am
Post subject: Re: The cures of the M3

The problem with the M3 was you needed to keep it's ejection port cover open and this " open hole" was the main collection point for everything from drit to small trees (god help you if you slipped and went down in the mud!!). If you got caught by the bad guys with the port close for safety reason or to keep it clean they wern't going to call time out so you could flip open the port cover.
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Rikard_Hufschmied
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:11 am
Post subject: Re: The cures of the M3

- oldtop
The problem with the M3 was you needed to keep it's ejection port cover open and this " open hole" was the main collection point for everything from drit to small trees (god help you if you slipped and went down in the mud!!). If you got caught by the bad guys with the port close for safety reason or to keep it clean they wern't going to call time out so you could flip open the port cover.


The "open hole" is a problem with the m/45 as well but easily solved. What we did was that we removed the canvas bag from the brasscatcher which left only the case deflecting unit. This also solved another nasty problem with most open bolt desgins, premature detonation of a round not fully chambered. This may send shrapnel out of the ejection port into the shooters face and if extremely unlucky into the eyes. With the case deflector in place it's no problem. It looks ugly though, like a piece of plumbing attached, but it does the trick. I have pictures somewhere, I'll try to find them.
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Rikard_Hufschmied
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:37 am
Post subject: Re: The cures of the M3

- Doug_Kibbey
- Rikard_Hufschmied
- Doug_Kibbey
- Rikard_Hufschmied
- Doug_Kibbey
Standard issue for every tanker in my day as well. Open bolt, phooey!


Hey, don't slag open bolt. If well made and with basic maintenance there are few things more reliable.



Not the hot tip though, where exposure to funky elements is likely...if you're to be ready to fire (with this weapon) you're either charged and allowing more moisture (or worse) into the receiver (even with ejection port door closed) or gonna' be forced to charge the thing from closed, with all it's attendant noise. Simple, yes....reliably dry and clean when ready to fire...maybe. Closed bolt has distinct advantages where the elements and stealth are an issue. (..and I hate having to futz with the "door")


I admit to having no experience with the M3, the only open bolt SMG I know well is the m/45 (Swedish K) and it's very robust and durable and even reasonably silent to charge from closed. From what I've heard and read the "Enema Syringe" was/is never first choice anywhere at any time.


Rikard,
...and interestingly enough, the Swedish K was the other (and more commonly employed) open-bolt SMG to see use with covert forces like SOG in Vietnam (both weapons lent themselves to sound suppression).
I had a Thompson for a while over there that I used from time-to-time in "I" Corps...an early one with the removeable stock that effectively made it a long-barreled machine pistol. Heavier than either the "K" or M3, it made up for it in capacity because I had a drum magazine in addition to the 30rd. stick. It fired from a closed-bolt though, of course...and was selectable for semi-auto and had decent Lyman sights.
Quite a few S. Vietnamese and Montagnard forces used the M3 very early in the war (like everything else old in the U.S. inventory, like BAR's, etc.).


Doug,

I've read that CIA and Special Units favored the "K" and that when Sweden cut off the supply the Navy commisioned S&W to make a copy, hence the M76. Take a look at this arms dump picture, the m/45 is to the left on top of a pile of M3's with an SKS right beside it. The site doesn't say where the pictures were taken but it must be Vietnam, I've seen smililar pictures taken by friends who have been there in the 80's and 90's.

Check out all the pictures from the armsdump at the link below:
Vietnam Armsdump

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Dirk
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Location: South Africa
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:20 am
Post subject: Re: The cures of the M3

Thanks for the URL !

Interesting to note the Lee-Enfield Mk 4 rifles rusting away - my shoulder still hurts from firing a Mk 4 Mr. Green

Best regards

Dirk
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oldtop
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:42 pm
Post subject: Re: The cures of the M3

Don't see a Enfield in that pile, there is a SKS next to the smg, note the SKS's chomed bayonet, the only thing not rusted to crap.
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:50 pm
Post subject: Re: The cures of the M3

Here's one to make Dontos cry...and if you go to the index page below, and look at the series of files beginning with "armspics"...you're sure to find something to make you cry too..... Sad

www.project-x.org.uk/images/



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Rikard_Hufschmied
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:16 pm
Post subject: Re: The cures of the M3

- oldtop
Don't see a Enfield in that pile, there is a SKS next to the smg, note the SKS's chomed bayonet, the only thing not rusted to crap.


Oldtop,

A rusting pile of M3's no less. Go to the link below to see the full set of pictures, there you'll find the Enfields Dirk is talking about.

www.project-x.org.uk/armsdump.html
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