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M3/M3A1 Grease Gun


M3/M3A1 Grease Gun In 1941, the US military began looking for an alternative for the Thompson submachine guns. In December of 1942, they adopted a new submachine gun, the M3. Built from an all-steel construction using mainly stamped parts, it fired from an open bolt and had simple controls. At first, soldiers were not so confident about their new weapon, they believed it looked crude and could not hold the powerful .45 ACP round. The M3 had a cocking handle on the side of the receiver, and its dust cover would work as a safety. They gave the weapon many nicknames, but the one that stuck was the “Grease Gun”, because it looked so similar to the tool. The M3 “Grease Gun” soon proved to be a reliable weapon, it was compact, light, had a controllable rate of fire of 450 rounds per minute, and it was cheap. It was favored by tankers, drivers, and even paratroopers due to its compact size. Even though the M3 was performing well, there was still some issues that needed to be fixed, so in December, 1944, the M3A1 was adopted. It was further simplified by removing the cocking handle and elongating the ejection port. The weapon was loaded by putting your finger in a groove on the bolt and pulling it back. Other things were added such as a guard for the magazine release, easier disassembly pieces, and a magazine loading tool on the stock. Overall, the M3 and M3A1 “Grease Gun” was well-liked by service personnel. The M3 served extensively through World War II and the Korean War. It was issued to the US and ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) forces in Vietnam prior to the adoption of the M16, and served tank crews from then on, into the Gulf War. Subscribe for more World War II videos! Get your copy of Simple History: World War II today! Thank you for all your support on the Simple History YouTube channel! If you enjoy the channel, please consider supporting us at Patreon.

100 thoughts on “M3/M3A1 Grease Gun

  1. This weapon fits for america.

    Get it?…

    …cause it's called grease gun!

    Ok I think I'm getting out of here!

  2. As a Recovery Specialist ( M-578/M-88 ) in the U.S. Army of the 80's I remember having ours…
    I, however, never got a chance to live-fire one… 🙁

  3. Despite being one of the most cheap and powerful smg in ww2, it never got an copy. Mauser pistol and the soviet AK had been copy by china and the japanese did copy and deploy their version of the m1 Garand, so why does no country every try to copy it, it may be the 45mm ammo, but they could just change it to 9mm.

  4. I have handled them as a unit armour almost 40 years ago. I even had a crate of 10 barrels bent at 90 degree meant to shoot out of the hatch of tanks to shoot people off the tanks so as I was told. And From the two periscope type attachments that was there also. I guess firing around corners.

  5. Fun fact: Philippine tank crews still use this gun. Its mostly stock from previous hand me downs from US and WW2 but still reliable.

  6. Some info to boot was the grease gun was both designed and built by guide lamp division of General Motors. It was also so cheap to build you disposed of it after each use, since reusing it extensively will cause jamming and mechanical issues. It's the only weapon General Motors ever built.

    https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2016/5/20/the-m3-and-m3a1-grease-guns/

  7. “Wha wha wha… shut up. Take a look at it. See that cover? Open it. Now you killin. Close it up. Now you aint heh heh heh.”

  8. Our track drivers had them in Desert Storm but I was stuck with a stupid M-9 being a medic until I was able to acquire an AKS-47

  9. Ah. The M3 Grease Gun. I’d probably take it over a Thompson M1A1. Thompsons are extremely well made but are overengineered and almost as heavy as the Suomi KP/-31 unloaded. And the op system on the Thompson makes it horrible for Semi-Auto fire. The biggest actual advantage for me, is their magazine. Double stack double feed. Easy to load and with .45ACP. I wish the M3 had interchangeable mags but nope. It’s also open bolt, light weight relatively, easy to use, easy take down, and way more convenient. Disadvantage FOR ME, is the mag. Double stack, single feed. Notoriously difficult to load, but the M3A1 like he said, had a loading tool on the stock, so convenient indeed!

  10. It never did fully replace the Thompson though. It was meant too replace it and eventually most likely did, but during WW2 the M1A1 Thompson was still dominant. But regardless it still made an important impact for the US military.

  11. One interesting fact about this gun is that it can also switch to the Mags containing 9mm rounds of the German MP-40 SMG . Exactly the main reason why it was popular with resistance fighters in occupied countries.😉😉

  12. never shot one the only thing i raise my eybrows at in design is the a1, because after running 2-3 mags in a real fire fight charging that bolt will burn ya I think….

  13. In 1993 my first year in. Tankers still had these. My squad leader told me they were so bored in Desert Storm. They would drive by farm animals and spray and prey they hit something. They never did lol

  14. My grandfather was in Marine recon (2nd recon Bn) in the 1950's and they all used M3A1s. I was surprised they didn't use M1 Carbines or Garands.

  15. Soldiers in 1941: this gun doesn’t look like it’ll be all that great, I think I’d much prefer the Thompson.

    Soldiers in 1991: You’ve served us well you old warhorse.

  16. Have you guys made a video discussing the m1911a1, the handgun that literally all if not most handguns are based off today? It was used for nearly 100 years & still serves its place in many armies worldwide

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