Springfield Armory Museum - Collection Record
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|Title:||GUN, SUBMACHINE - U.S. SUBMACHINE GUN M2 .45ACP SN# 226|
|Date of Manufacture:||1943|
|Catalog Number:||SPAR 1684|
|Measurements:||OL: 81.5CM 32 1/8" BL: 30.7CM 12 1/8" 9.25 lbs. unloaded; 11.15 lbs. loaded.|
U.S. SUBMACHINE GUN M2 .45ACP SN# 226
Manufactured by Marlin Firearms Co., New Haven, Ct. in 1943 - Standard M2 submachine gun. Blowback-operated, selective-fire. Fires from open bolt. 4-groove rifling; right hand twist. Full wooden stock with pistol grip and upper handguard. Blade front; fixed aperture rear sight with a 'U' notch. Muzzle velocity 960 fps. Cyclic rate of fire 500 rpm. Weapon weighs 9.25 lbs. unloaded, and 11.15 lbs. loaded. Fed by 20 or 30-round Thompson box magazines. Designed as substitute for Thompson, but by time it went into production the M3 had been adopted. Complete with magazine and sling. Only 400 of these were manufactured.
Receiver: U.S. NO. 226/SUBMACHINE GUN CAL. .45 M2/MANUFACTURED BY/MARLIN FIREARMS COMPANY/NEW HAVEN, CONN. G.H.D. (inspector's initials.)
Magazine: THE SEYMOUR PRODUCTS CO./SEYMOUR, CONN.
Weapon transferred to the Museum on 29 November 1951.
Army #6582 - "In view of the tremendous requirements for submachine-guns at that time it was not considered advisable to convert existing facilities to the manufacture of the new weapon and an attempt was made to produce the M2 by awarding contracts to firms not then engaged in war work. Many difficulties were encountered, as was anticipated, and actual production models of the M2 did not reach Aberdeen until May 1943, 5 months after the M3 had been standardized. Production of the M2 was discontinued."
Notes: Designed by George J. Hyde and developed by Inland Division of General Motors and manufactured by Marlin Firearms, New Haven, Ct.
Weapon recommended for adoption as the M2, but an Ordnance Committee action classified the weapon as Substitute Standard in April, 1942. Weapon declared obsolete in June, 1943.
In tests, however, this weapon demonstrated to be one of the most stable and accurate guns ever seen when fired on automatic. The main problem it encountered was the inability of the Marlin Company to get the weapon manufactured in the quantity needed.
"A contract was given to the Marlin Firearms Corporation to manufacture about 165,000 M2 guns, but they ran into considerable difficulties in setting up production. sub-contractors failed them, specifications were not met, and the first production guns gave constant trouble when submitted for routine tests. Eventually the M3 gun went into production while the M2 was still struggling to get started, and in June 1943 the M2 was declared obsolete and abandoned, less than 400 having been made." - Ian Hogg
"REMARKS: Uses Thompson box magazine. - Safety lever on left side of pistol grip locks sear movement. - Receiver consists of two parts brazed together, the rear portion being made of tubing, forward portion being machined from a forging. - An oiler is contained in recess of butt." - U.S. Army Ordnance
"The highest rated domestic design was a submachine gun designed by George J. Hyde. The Hyde gun was not as simple to produce as the Sten but required markedly less production time and cost than the Thompson. Since the Hyde gun showed some promise, the Ordnance Department negotiated a contract with General Motor's Inland Manufacturing Division (which was just becoming involved with M1 carbine production) to work with Hyde in refining the design. Several refined prototypes were manufactured and the design was hurriedly adopted in April of 1942 as the 'U.S. Submachine Gun, Caliber .45, M2' and given the designation of Substitute Standard. Since Inland was, by this time, very heavily involved in production of the M1 carbine, the firm could not take on the task of manufacturing the M2 submachine gun. In July of 1942, the Marlin Firearms Company accepted a contract to produce the M2 on an expedited basis. However, due to a combination of problems including difficulties in acquiring the necessary raw materials and some inherent design bugs, the M2 submachine never made it into production and the project was soon scrapped. In order to fill the demand for submachine guns, additional Thompsons were procured from Auto-Ordnance and Savage." - Bruce N. Can
"A report to the Ordnance Committee held on 13 April 1942 stated: 'The Hyde-Inland weapon superior to the M1 Thompson from a five percent reduction in weight to a ninety-five percent reduction in malfunctions. Accuracy in full-automatic fire was nearly perfect. All of the features of light weight, accuracy, absence of malfunctions, simplicity of construction, combined to make the proposed M2 far superior than any other weapon previously presented to the Ordnance Department.' The M2 however, was no the simple, easy to manufacture 'sheet metal' weapon that was desired by the Ordnance Department.
In June of 1942 five new Hyde-Inland-2 models were submitted. The new guns were tested for functioning on June 19, 21 and 22, 1942. A total of 2,640 rounds of .45 cal. ammunition were fired with only two reported malfunctions.
The Marlin Firearms Company was awarded a contract to manufacture 164,450 M2s at a cost of $36.76 per piece less magazine and accessories. A supplement to the contract was executed stating that one 30-round magazine would be supplied with each submachine gun.
Initial production was expected to begin in December of 1942, but by 31 March 1943 no guns had been produced. The delay was due primarily to Marlin's difficulty in securing the dies needed for six components that were to be made of compressed powdered metal, a relatively new process.
After several M2s were made and tested, two of the components made by the powdered metal process cracked. It remained questionable whether or not other powdered metal parts could withstand the required tests. The Springfield Ordnance District was instructed by the Chief of Ordnance in Washington not to accept any M2s pending further investigation.
Marlin was finally able to partially overcome the expected early production problems and the first M2s were shipped to the U.S. Ordnance Department in May of 1943. In the interim, Ordnance had tested and adopted the new all-metal M3 submachine gun, another of George Hyde's designs.
The reduced cost and potentially higher production of the M3 resulted in the subsequent cancellation of the M2 submachine gun. The U.S. Ordnance Committee officially declared the M2 submachine gun obsolete on 14 June 1943. No M2 .45 caliber submachine gun were ever issued by any branches of the United States military." - Frank Iannamico, SHOTGUN NEWS, 20 September 2003.
OCM 18056 - 4/13/42 - M2 Recommended for Standardization.
OCM 18156 - 4/13/42 - M2 Classified as Substitute Standard.
OCM 20773 - 6/17/43 - M2 classification as obsolete recommended.
OCM 21000 - 7/08/43 - Read for record.
Canfield, Bruce N. U.S INFANTRY WEAPONS OF WORLD WAR II. Andrew Mowbray Publishers. Lincoln, R.I. 1994.
Hogg, Ian. THE COMPLETE MACHINE GUN: 1885 TO THE PRESENT. Exeter Books. N.Y., N.Y. 1979.
Iannamico, Frank. UNITED STATES MACHINE GUNS: FROM THE AMERICAN 180 TO THE ZX-7. Moose Lake Publishing LLC. Henderson, NV. 2004.
Nelson, Thomas B. THE WORLD'S SUBMACHINE GUNS. T.B.N. Enterprises. Alexandria, Va. 1977.
U.S. Army Ordnance. SUBMACHINE GUNS. Vol. III. Aberdeen Proving Ground. Aberdeen, Md. 1959.
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