Firearms / Sub machine guns / M3 Grease Gun

M3 Grease Gun

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Sub machine gun

  • ORIGIN
    United States

  • NICKNAMES
    PAM-1 (Argentine model)
    PAM-2 (Argentine model)
    Type 36 (Chinese production)

  • DESIGNED
    1942

  • DESIGNER
    George Hyde

  • PRODUCTION
    1943 - 1947 (USA)
    1955 - ? (Argentina)

  • PRODUCERS
    Argentina - FMAP
    China
    United States - Guide Lamp
    United States - Ithaca

  • QUANTITY
    About 680.000

  • UNIT COST
    $20 during World War 2

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Very cheap to produce
    Very reliable
    Automatic fire is easy to control
    Limited accuracy and range
    Low rate of fire

Introduction

The M3 sub machine gun is was developed in the USA during World War 2 as a cheaper alternative for the Thompson sub machine gun. The nickname 'Grease Gun' comes from the resemblance to the mechanic's tool.

Design

The M3 has a very simple design as it is a blowback operated weapon that fires from the open bolt position. The M3 has a fairly conventional design with the magazine inserted halfway the weapon acting as the forward grip as well. The buttstock is a retractable wire frame, making the M3 a very compact weapon.

Firepower

The M3 fires the .45 from a 30 round magazine. The M3 is fully automatic only. The low 450 rpm rate of fire makes it very controllable and allows for short bursts. The maximum effective range is about 100 meters.

Users

The M3 was adopted in December of 1942 and served with US front line forces until 1957. The M3 was issued as late as the early 1990's to US non combat personnel. Surplus M3's were exported to South America, Asia and Africa.

Variants

M3 Grease Gun

The M3 Grease Gun is a simple sub machine gun optimized for mass production. It fires the .45 round at a low rate of fire. The M3A1 is an improved model that is lighter and more reliable. Among the various small improvements the removal of the cocking crank is most obvious. The M3 was also produced in 9x19mm using Sten magazines for US special operations forces in Europe in both a normal version and one with silencer. In Argentina the 9mm model was produced as the PAM-1, which was later upgraded as the PAM-2 with a grip safety.

TypeSub machine gun
Caliber.45 ACP
Magazine30 rounds
OperationBlowback
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire450 rpm
Barrel length203 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity280 m/s
StockRetractable
Length757 mm / 591 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.63 kg
SightsIron sights, fixed rear peep sight and blade foresight
Remarks-
TypeSub machine gun
Caliber.45 ACP
Magazine30 rounds
OperationBlowback
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire450 rpm
Barrel length203 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity280 m/s
StockRetractable
Length757 mm / 591 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.47 kg
SightsIron sights, fixed rear peep sight and blade foresight
Remarks-

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