Copyright 2000-2007, by James Wesley, Rawles
In response to numerous requests for
on the types and makers of M1 Carbine
magazines during and after World War II, here is a brief but as yet incomplete listing of
maker's stamps (Usually found on the rear of the magazine, roughly one-half inch to one
inch up from the floorplate):
15 round magazines. Originally packed 100 to a
case, with cardboard dividers and separate
wrapping papers for each magazine--usually a brown or reddish heavy wax paper. A few were wrapped in red transparent cellophane. These sold for around $1.00 to $1.75 retail (new in wrapper) before the U.S. (September, 1994) magazine ban, and even less by the case. They now sell for $5.00 to $10.00 each:
Inland Division of General Motors AI A1 IA II UI KI KI [inverted] II [circled] SI [circled] AI Note: Inland codes including an "A" were reportedly made by Autorye Co. For GM Inland Division
C. Cowles & Co. C
Saginaw Steering Divison of
KSG S'G' OI-S'G'
G- S'G' SP-S'G'
and some more Saginaw codes... U-S'G' O-SG K-S'G' ISG KSG (inverted)
IBM SY-B OI-B OI B
International Silver IS
Irwin Pedersen K-IP I-P-K IP-I C-IP UP
National Postal Meter UN MN
Quality Hardware UQ QU G-Q
Rock-Ola IR R-C RO RC R-G UR
Rugg Mfg. Co. (Greenfield, MA.) RUGG
Seymour Smith SS SS-4 R-SS
Standard Products SO SP
Stanley Works SW
Underwood IU LU UU IU [circled]
Union Hardware U
Wade Electric Products WEP [in curved type]
BW IW UW IW
And here are some as yet unidentified maker's marks... (Please send me an e-mail if you know for certain who made these.):
B [circled] (I've seen some cases of 100 that were marked Winchester, but packed with these "B" magazines-- could they be a subcontract from Bridgeport?)
S-C [stamped sideways]
O-S [in curved type]
SQ struck out with a line, and SP-SG beneath it.
30 round magazines. There were two basic types made under military contracts.
Hard Back: The first (early) type is
called a "hard-back". The body for this
type was made out of one piece of sheet steel. It can be identified by the reinforcing
grooves that run nearly the full length of the sides of the magazine, following the curve of
the magazine for the entire length. These magazines are currently selling for $40 to $90
each, depending on condition.
Split Back: The second (later) type is
called a "split-back" or "two-piece." The
body for this type was made out of two pieces of sheet steel. It can be identified by two
reinforcing grooves that run at odd angles in the bottom half of the magazine. It is also
quickly identified by the two small slots or "splits" on the rear of the magazine, right where
it bends. Original split-back magazines are currently selling for $25 to $50 each,
depending on condition. BTW, some of these were unmarked, but are still original. (To
the best of my knowledge, no copies were made of hard-backs, only split-backs.)
Inland Division of General Motors KI
M2 (stacked marking)
A.I. Made by Autorye Co. (for GM Inland Division)
AI Made by Autorye Co. (for GM Inland Division)
M2 (stacked marking)
OKay Industries OKAY (in circle)
Seymour Products SEY (Warning: Some "SEY" fakes are on the market)
Underwood Circled IU
Made by FN, Post-WWII AYP (Warning: Some "AYP" fakes are on the market)
J J [underlined]
Tony Scherer (Commercial, 1970s/80s) M2
Possibly Japanese Commercial NVS
Definitely Commercial. Maker
(Again, please send me an e-mail if you know
made the 30 rounders listed as
"Unidentified", or if you have examples with other markings...)
The following are William J. Ricca's notes on some commercially-made 30 rounders:
"IU - Definitely a fake. I inspected one
and it had all the fake features of
Tony Scherer's magazines, even the rounded sides. The G.I. has a much better turn from
the body to the back. It is missing the crimp on the front fold that all US
GI welded magazines have.
J (and underlined J) - Made by B. Jahn
The name of the company before Eddie Okay
purchased the company and changed it to OK Industries in 1968/69 era. I
have had then in boxes of 100 and were dated 1966. This magazine is being
faked today and being sold in the SGN by a very [ostensibly] credible company.
AYP - Nobody has been able to prove anything
about [the origin of] these. The
story was originally they were G.I. That was blown away and the story
changed to Belgium Mfg.
[Editor's note: It was recently confirmed by the CMP that original AYP-marked 30 rounders were "Foreign military split back, FN manufactured for Belgium/Holland, angled bolster, no crimp, square cut. The AYP magazines match USGI quality and work perfectly when new. These magazines are heavy, solid feeling, and work like USGI. The "bluing" on perfect examples is a deep blackish blue very evenly and attractively done. A lot of AYP magazines suffered some storage corrosion and are sold as "new" after being reblued. If buying without seeing the product, the purchaser should establish if they are actually new or corroded and then reblued. The reblued ones are obvious because the coloration is slightly to mostly mottled and there are pits or light corrosion blemishes blued over. The insides are still perfect on every one looked at even with outside tube corrosion." The same article notes that "The fakes are now being marked SEY and AYP. They are really bad fakes except for the nice deep clear markings which are almost a giveaway by themselves."]
NVS- I think it is a Japan reproduction from
1970's. I received one
with other Japanese marked magazines, but this one did not have the Japanese marking.
It is possible it was from a earlier time when marking on imports was not
required. Still nothing confirmed.
OKAY in circle. Okay industries has no
of making this. They know of
no contract, military or commercial.
Also, I have never seen a 30 round magazine
can be proven as US GI
that is not marked. Some of the games from years ago was the big guys (you
know who they are) sold repros into Central America and then ran ads that
they were US GI overruns. That is where these stories come from." [End of Bill Ricca's notes.]
Special note: Beware of aftermarket copies of
the split-back 30 round magazine. Nearly all
of these are junk, and not worth buying. In general, unless you want to buy grief, only
buy original U.S. G.I. contract 30 round magazines, and if you can't find them, stick to 15
rounders! (Which are nearly all original.) Caveat Emptor!!!!
Nearly 90 percent of the "split-back" magazines on the market are after-market copies. Most are either completely unmarked or marked "M2" in an odd, wide, and very deeply stamped type face (type font), rather than a narrow font with a shallow marking like the original U.S. G.I. item. A few are marked "Jay Scott." Starting in 2004--just after the Federal ban expired-- some fake 30 rounders marked "AYP" and SEY" hit teh market. The copies also usually have a dull blued finish, whereas the originals have a bright blue finish. Don't be fooled. These are NOT originals! One in-the-know reader passed along the following info: "The ones stamped M2 are Taiwanese military mags, and 90%+ of them are junk. They are soft sheet metal, not properly heat treated, and the feed lips tend to get burred up and/or bent readily. Some are off in some critical dimension, like the geometry of the feed lips, or the placement of the magazine catch bumps. They are best avoided."
On the U.S. High
Capacity Magazine Ban:
The magazine ban passed in September of 1994 "sunsetted" in September of 2004 (it is now null and void), so magazine prices have come down considerably.
Thanks to Bud Evers (M1 Carbine guru extraordinaire) who helped me assemble
this list. BTW, if you need to contact Bud, his voice phone number is (707) 252-3226.
(Sorry, he has no e-mail address.) He sells U.S. M1 Carbine parts and accessories. Sadly he can no longer sell magazines "in State" since anything over 10 round capacity was banned in California on Dec. 31, 1999.
Thanks also to J.C. Harrison, author of "Collecting The M1 Carbine", from whom I picked up a few more maker's codes.
Special thanks to William J. Ricca, who provided a wealth of information on the various commercial makers of 30 round Carbine magazines.
James Wesley, Rawles <><
I'm the author of numerous firearms FAQS on topics including:
AR-15 magazines, M1 Carbine magazines, M14/M1A magazines, M1911 magazines,
FN/FALs and L1A1s, Mauser rifles, pre-1899 cartridge guns, and European Ammo Box
Markings Translations. These FAQs are available at www.SurvivalBlog.com/faqs.html
I'm also the author of a pro-gun survivalist
and screenplay. For info,