"The Grease Gun Was for Killing Nazis."
Cheap, easy to make, great for shooting bad guys
It is no secret to my friends that the M-3A1 "Grease Gun" has long been my favorite submachine gun. (It is also no secret to the ATF, apparently, since three times in the 90s snitches tried to offer me one for sale in a "can't miss" deal. Each time I picked up the phone and called the state police and the snitch went away. The devil, it must be said, knows your temptations better than you do so be prepared to resist them.)
I first fired an original M-3 back in the 70s -- a specimen that bore no paperwork since it had been stolen by someone else, who stole it from someone else, who, presumably, stole it from Uncle Sugar. This was during my Benedict Arnold period when I handled quite a lot of illegal weapons. I have loved that clunky, junky SMG chambered in the justly revered caliber of .45 ACP ever since.
Never had my hands on one, but it sounds a lot better than the British "Sten", which i did have a chance to fire once, also back in the '70's. The guys there told me "don't hold it by the clip when firing because it will mess up the feed". So I guess that was something that must be remembered when things are moving fast in a gun battle as if there's not enough happening...American made products always stood head and shoulders above all others, except, maybe, the Edsel..
This was probably being offered by the panty thieves mentioned in the article above. BATF or DHS, they are all the same.....braindead zombies!
Please stop calling a magazine a "clip". You show your ignorance of guns when you do that. Don't hold it by the magazine.
Had one issued in the Army, but never got to shoot it.
But that was okay, because my "real" weapon was an M16/M203. I love 'splodey stuff!
My recollection of an article in the New York Daily News (back when I lived there) was that the prototype M3 was built in a basement workshop in Brooklyn (NY) and the sheet metal parts were made from flattened Contadina tomato paste cans.
People ask me "YOU can make a zip-gun???!!??" and I nod. Where I came from EVERYBODY could make a zip-gun (even the girls).
Yep.. It's clunky and junky. I fired one once.. I was not impressed with the "chug... chug... chug... chug..." as it slowly spit 45ACP down range. Now the 1928 Thompson.. Yeah Baby!
The M-3 and M-3A1 ARE NOT that good a weapon. I trained with them in the 70's and found that unless brand new, they were just "jam -O- Matics". They were the "American STEN" , no better made than their British counterpart. It was meant to be a cheep(3.50$ each in 1944) disposable machine pistol. The mag springs are short lived. The recoil springs are iffy and need regular replacement, and if dented the weapon becomes useless. The fact that so many have lasted this long is more a testament to the work ethic in America in the 1940's than any real "goodness" in the weapon.
I've shot both of them and prefer the Sten but the M3 gave good performance and acceptable accuracy for it's class.
As I recall WWII production cost per unit were $3.90 for the Sten. I can't imagine it being much more for the M3.
Two of them were part of the complement of weapons on my M60A1 tank back in the early 70's. I served as a trainer with the weapon, so I knew it well.
The 'don't hold the magazine' is good info for weapons that received less than stellar care over their thirty+ years of service, but honestly, I never had one fail to fire when the trigger was pulled.
Maybe 20 years ago at an air show The Florida National Guard had some display tables set up showing off some of their gear. Sitting smack in the middle of one table was an M3. When I asked one of the guardsman manning the tables if that antique was a for real grease gun he replied that they had been required to leave the Trapdoor Springfields behind at the armory.
I lugged one of these anvils around when I was in the service. Frankly I would have preferred to put the ammo from it into my 1911 and left the heavy bastard behind. These things are so heavy they actually outweighed two M-16's of the era (80's) and the inadequate width of the sling bit into your shoulder painfully. Of all the folks firing it on the range I had the best results keeping shots on target in full auto, and mine were pretty poor. I accomplished this by NOT following protocol, folding the stock and letting the weapon rock back and forth against arm tension, which wasn't very accurate, but was more accurate than trying to use the stock and getting knocked back upon firing. If forced to use it, I would tend to fire off single aimed shots by stroking the trigger quickly enough to only fire one round. That way you actually HIT something. That said, the .45 ACP is perfect for a silencer, as it is already subsonic and gives up nothing in reliability and power when suppressed. If you like this mule kicking beast, try getting your hands on a Kriss Vector...it is the ultimate expression of the .45 ACP submachine gun. Frankly I consider sub guns of very limited utility, only useful in short range and close quarters encounters and not much use at all for anything else. They are good for putting a shit eating grin on your face at the range, though.
So cheap and simple. And all it takes is a headlight manufacturing set-up to crank them out. Surely someone has already come up with a modern day version that chambers the 45ACP or even the 9mm.
I have a consecutive numbered pair (post 86 samples) that never fail to work no matter what kind of crap ammo was put through them. I have met a number of people who "worked" with the grease gun that were more than happy with them. Guess it's all what you had access to. If it were one of the few I had to choose from it would be in the top two!!!
Fired one at a Vegas rental range two years ago.
Felt heavier and more solid than I expected.
No jams over the course of two full stick mags.
Pretty accurate and controllable.
That said, I'd take an MP5 over the M3 any day of the week if I had to take a subgun to a firefight.
I've used Grease Guns and I prefer the M3 Thompson as better built and easier to control.
As far as Clip vs Mag:
The bottom line is that both terms, clip and magazine, are used almost interchangeably today to describe a detachable device for feeding the action of a firearm. Before purists chime in, let me add that back in 1909 and 1910--as the United States was looking at adopting its first self-loading pistol for widespread issue--in U.S. Army Ordnance Dept. documents it referred to the detachable box magazine for what would become the U.S. M1911 pistol as, well, a clip.
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