I read that they did not make spare parts when they first shipped out M3 grease guns as it was considered a throw away weapon. Unfortunately the bolt retracting handle would break off because the metal was not hardened. There was a shortage of grease guns and demand outpaced supply so a fix was needed to keep them in the field. I believe the M3 above was an attempt to keep the weapon in the field and still function. Not sure if that was sanctioned Army wide, division, brigade, battalion, company level, or one of a kind, but folks were resourceful back then and came up with some ingenious methods to keep equipment running. Here is something I just found doing a quick search:
"The solution was straightforward and simple: ordnance company personnel started by removing what was left of the retracting handle assembly from each damaged weapon, then used an end mill to cut a seven-inch long slot into the right hand side of the receiver at the 2 o’clock position running from just behind the weapon’s ejection port. This accommodated a crudely hewn steel bolt handle that inserted through an enlarged opening at the forward end of the slot and entered a hole drilled into the back end of the bolt assembly. It was not a pretty repair, but it worked.
A few archival photographs of men from General George Patton’s Third Army taken around the time of the Battle of the Bulge show Grease Guns repaired in this manner. In addition to that, the collection of Musée National d'Histoire Militaire (the National Military History Museum) in Diekirch, Luxembourg has in its collection five M3s that have received this field modification. Considering the fact that the Third Army operated in Luxembourg during and after the Battle of the Bulge, it looks like this field modification may have been confined to the ranks of that specific unit. Interestingly, a product improvement was already in development back in the USA that would make this design shortcoming superfluous."
Edited by NFA amnesty, 14 December 2018 - 01:00 AM.