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Why did Savage move the charging handle to the side of the receiver on the M1 guns?


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Like the title asks, what was the advantage of moving the charging handle to the side of the gun? Was is a simplification, you no longer needed the actuator, it made the gun simpler to make?
Thanks,
Mark

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Yes sir, I just needed confirmation. I am giving a short talk on the M1, and I did not want to put out bad info. I thought the reason was a simplification of the bolt, getting rid of the actuator, and the cuts for the Blish lock, but I just wanted to be sure.

Thanks, 

Mark

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Less parts, machining, tooling, materials, etc. were critical improvements during war time manufacturing. Basically an economy re-designed TSMG that was reliable and got the exact same job done. 

Edited by inertord
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If you look inside the 1921 and 1928 Thompson with all the stuff going on inside them, it’s really a wonder they even worked. The M1A1 was a much more simple design that worked better, cheaper to produce and much faster to produce as well. 
 

Long story short-Savage come up with the M1 as they were trying to reduce costs, weight, and manufacturing time. They took the design to the Army Ordnance Dept and then it was finally signed off on. AOC didn’t like it but they were told to sit down, shut up and make them.  Had they not looked at doing this, the M1 and M1A1 wouldn’t have existed. 

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3 hours ago, Dan K said:

I run an M1A1 as a southpaw. Right hand manipulates the charging handle, left hand stays on the grip. Tip of trigger finger pulls back on the front of the mag release. 

Same here, though I use the first joint of the trigger finger on the mag release. 

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The Uzi and Ingram SMGs are two common examples that demonstrate the feasibility of top cocking handle SMG.  And a few of us longer time members might recall that quite a few years ago there was a board member who was an SOT, and he actually made an M1 type Thompson with an Uzi cocking knob on top.  Unfortunately, I no longer have the photo.

 

MHO, YMMV, etc.  Be well.

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ive cut the bolt handle slot on the left side for several guns ,,80 % post samples,, guys love them,,,sust sayn                            5                                                                                                         55

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15 hours ago, 2ndArmored said:

The charging for the 1903 Springfield, 1917, M1 Garand, and M1 Carbine are all right-handed operations.  Same with the later Grease Gun.  Maybe with the Ord Dept's influence on the new Thompson's design, they wanted that consistency.

And the vast majority of people are right handed. This was long before the fancy "tuck your left hand under the gun and charge". Somehow it seemed to work just fine.. makes you wonder about all the "modern" ways to operate a gun.

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It would have been very easy to design a charging handle slot into both sides of the M1 TSMG's receiver, with no modification to the bolt. I wonder if this was ever considered. 

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Simple ergonomics would indictate the desirability of never having to break your firing grip to operate anything on the gun.  The '28 achieved that with the top-mounted actuator handle.  The M1 could have it placed on the left similar to a BAR and thus achievedthat result for right-handed shooters. They also had the examples of the MP38/40/41 to follow had they chosen to do so

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Rekraps said:

And the vast majority of people are right handed. This was long before the fancy "tuck your left hand under the gun and charge". Somehow it seemed to work just fine.. makes you wonder about all the "modern" ways to operate a gun.

 

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15 minutes ago, 2ndArmored said:

But Thompson's original central charging handle would return on the M16.  What's old is new again...

So true, but nobody likes the M16/AR15 charging handle position. Way too complicated, kinda like the original TSMG top actuator. 

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5 hours ago, TSMGguy said:

It would have been very easy to design a charging handle slot into both sides of the M1 TSMG's receiver, with no modification to the bolt. I wonder if this was ever considered. 

See, for example, "The Ambidextrous M1 Thompson"; Hill, Tracie L.; The Ultimate Thompson Book; 2009; pg. 402.

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5 hours ago, 2ndArmored said:

But Thompson's original central charging handle would return on the M16.  What's old is new again...

Yes, it was on top of the AR10, but that really did not last. I always wondered it that was so it would be protected by the carry handle, which is more of a rear sight base. 

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