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A Modified M3 'Grease Gun' Submachine Gun

Updated: 1 day ago

The M3 and M3A1 are a straight blowback submachine gun designs, chambered in the U.S. military’s then standard issue pistol round – .45 ACP cartridge, and designed in the USA. The M3 was first adopted by the U.S. military in a limited capacity in early 1943, eventually supplanting the M1 and M1A1 Thompson submachine guns. Fascinatingly, a significant number have also been seen in the Pak-Afghan Region.

We’ve covered these all-American submachine guns briefly before, however, it’s time to look at another example which has had a local ‘Khyber’ modification done to it. The example is an early M3 variant with the crank charging handle, fitted with a blued 30-round magazine and is in rather used and beaten condition as can be seen in the video. The parts are rather stiff and it needs some tender love and care - a good clean and lubrication to get it work smoothly.

What a local gunsmith or maybe even the previous owner has done is add a craft produced charging handle modification to the bolt, crudely cutting back a portion of the receiver to help move the handle past the ejection port and then in turn behind the magazines feed-lips enough to then chamber a round when released. They’ve also cut a slot into the dust-cover to allow it to close with the charging handle forward. From this, it may seem that the M3’s crank charging handle isn’t working properly or the user found it easier to utilise the submachine gun as such and thus the work was done.

Fig.1.1. Right face: M3 with modification (Source: Khyber Armoury reference collection)
Fig.1.2. Left face: M3 with modification (Source: Khyber Armoury reference collection)

As we mentioned in the last post about the M3; due to the number of these now antiquated arms floating around Pakistan today, they are sold off relatively cheap, many are left lying unwanted on shelves, sold as wall-hangers and display pieces as they cannot compete with much more modern submachine gun designs of today, which as ever are sought after and widely catered to in the region.