A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ugly Gun Sunday

OK, I concede the fact. Maurice says I owe my readers one, so, I will pay in triplicate and get ahead again. Last week's ugly gun ended up not being very ugly, nor very gun.

To the right are three ugly but wonderful Czech 9mm grease guns. These three appear to be among others at an open air East European arms market. We can't call it a gun show, those wicked practices only occur in the United States.

The M3 Grease Gun (the original WWII gun) was designed in 1942 by George Hyde and Frederick Sampson. Approximately 680,000 were built to equip paratroopers and Marines. They were full auto only blowback weapons, with an open bolt. The rate of fire was 350-450 rounds/minute. The M3 and M3A1 were officially retired from US military arsenals in 1957, but they saw service in Vietnam, and as late as 1991 by drivers in the 19th Engineer Battalion, during Desert Storm. Why the comeback? They work.

Why do grease guns reappear in various guises in guerrilla wars? They are cheap and easy to build.......And they work.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Jonathan said...

"He's got a grease gun by his side.
Jumpmaster, HALO, qualified"


That cadence rolled through my head when I saw this.

Grease guns do work. Simple, easy to mass produce, ugly, effective.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

My dad called them "Burp Guns".

11:38 AM  
Blogger lee n. field said...

They look like what you see in "build your own subgun" home gunsmithing books.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

Goodness! Those ARE ugly!

6:33 PM  
Anonymous mostly cajun said...

We were still issued M3A1's when i left the army in 1977. Two were issued to every tank crew, one for the loader and one for the driver.

MC

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Trebor said...

I have to question the "officially retired in 1957" statement.

The M3A1 Grease Gun may have been removed from active duty military units at that time, I don't know for sure, but I do know that it was the TO&E weapon for National Guard tank crews up until the mid-90's. At that time they were gradually pulled from service and replace with one M4 Carbine per tank.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say that the M3A1 is a phenomenal piece of equipment. It's stunningly simple yet very practical and rugged.
It's 'loose' construction ensures it will function if/when it gets dirty. The recoil mechanism being on two rails to insure it doesnt bind up is a great idea. The stock itself is phenomenal. It functions as a cleaning rod, barrel remover and reloading tool - I frequently just that to reload rather than bring along an extra reloading tool for the magazines.

About the only negative thing I cay against it is the magazine - the double column but single feed is a real thumb buster. I much prefer the Thompson or Beretta magazines.

But all in all a phenomenal piece of workmanship.

- George

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ugly? those three? i don't see it.

the STEN gun, now, THAT'S one ugly mofo. never could get over the whole side-loading thing in a subgun, frankly. the M3's just mildly homely by comparison.

4:38 PM  

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