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M3 Date and sight question


WCG
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Hi Gents,
I've just bought an M3 "Grease Gun", and wondered if anybody could date it for me?
Serial Number 185211.
Also, the rear sight appears to be the later style fitted to the A1, was this a gradual change over before the A1, or a retrofit?

GUIDE LAMP M3 185211 pic1.jpg

GUIDE LAMP M3 185211 pic2.jpg

GUIDE LAMP M3 185211 pic3.jpg

GUIDE LAMP M3 185211 pic4.jpg

GUIDE LAMP M3 185211 pic5.jpg

GUIDE LAMP M3 185211 pic6.jpg

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Welcome! Nice looking gun.... 

We have lots of smart people on this forum, but for sure your gun is a WW2 C&R. I'll let others speak to the date, but I'd certainly disassemble that gun entirely and give it a nice long solvent bath, cleaning up all that sticky goo and residue.

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It’s hard to narrow it down past that. Remember the M3 was being pumped out by the 1,000’s per month in the height of the war. Those records don’t exist anymore (to my knowledge) 

Sight-that’s they typical rear sight for later M3’s. Early M3’s had a flat plate that was bent and then found in the field they bent easily, hence the reenforcement ribs on the side. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another odd thing I noticed, on maybe 12 of the 17 guns I had to choose from was that the front of the ejection port is cut further forward than the cover. There is about a 1/4" gap at the front. Any Idea why?

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Yes I'm the equivalent of a Class 3 dealer here in the UK, so the numbers of guns available are not limited by the NFA register.

There are very few of us that have licenses in Europe, but that means the marketplace is small, and the values are very much different.

The main market is for them to be De-Wat, which is sad.

It would make you weep to see what MGs are valued at outside the USA.

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With the last round of restrictions I actually thought the numbers would drop even further?   Pretty much the same story all over.  Can'tada, New Zealand, the EU, etc.  all getting more restrictive and no collector licenses being issued.  When you guys die, that will be it.   With all the money saved on guns, you guys drive the accessories market much higher but at least that stuff will be preserved. 

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12 hours ago, johnsonlmg41 said:

With the last round of restrictions I actually thought the numbers would drop even further?   Pretty much the same story all over.  Can'tada, New Zealand, the EU, etc.  all getting more restrictive and no collector licenses being issued.  When you guys die, that will be it.   With all the money saved on guns, you guys drive the accessories market much higher but at least that stuff will be preserved. 

Tell me about it. When I buy any SMG, priority #2 is assembling accessories (which includes spare parts) and that can set you back a fortune. The M3 was not as bad as others, but finding complete OEM bolts, extractors, recoil spring assemblies took a while and thanks to forum members, the items were obtained. Barrels are also a challenge!

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Same thing in Europe, most stuff that's not licensed is super expensive. Few years back I bought an MP44 and the magazines were $200 each, Mag pouch $1500. Now the same magazines are north of $400 and the pouches are $3000. Parts are also getting expensive, why anybody wants to buy STG44 recoil springs, or used Thompson stocks soaked in Cosmoline??? go figure! Bayonets and all the sharp stabby stuff is insanely expensive.

The problem we have here is that the de-activation market is so hungry it is pushing the gun prices out of our reach.

As dealers we are still able to buy and import MGs and all kinds of ordnance, but the sale market is mostly for De-activation. Almost all the WW2 MGs have been cut up, so what's left is going up fast. For example 5 years ago I was buying crated new Thompson 1928A1 or M1 for $250, now they are $1500-$2500, STG44 were $1500, now $7000 to $9000. MP40 were $500 now $3000. I know those prices seem stupidly low to you guys in the US, but with no limits on the importation/ registration and little civilian ownership, the sale market has been more limited than supply, but that's changing and we are just running out of the older guns. 

My quest is to keep at least two of everything I can find, run them regularly and pass them to my kids

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  • 2 weeks later...

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