Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rocking to the oldies with my jukebox carbine

Back in the 1930's and 1940's, Rock-ola was a name well known to Americans who liked to listen to music or play pinball. Founded in 1927, this Chicago-based company made jukeboxes, pin-ball machines, slot machines and other coin-operated novelty devices. And when World War Two came along, a number of German and Japanese soldiers got to hear the sound of another Rock-Ola product--the M1 carbine that Rock-Ola manufactured for the US military in conjunction with other wartime manufacturers. (Others included General Motors (Inland Division and two Saginaw Steering Gear plants), IBM Corp. National Postal Meter, Underwood Elliot Fisher (a typewriter manufacturer), Quality Hardware, and Winchester--the only actual firearm company that the government contracted the work out to. Rock-Ola made only a small number of the carbines produced for the war, however, and today they're somewhat scarce and desirable by carbine aficionados.

But they aren't scarce here at Lagniappe's Lair any more. A new addition to the arsenal arrived the other day--this beautiful and well-maintained carbine, courtesy of the wonderful people at the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). click on picture for better viewThis particular carbine was part of the batch of them that the US government gave to the Austrian Government at the close of World War Two for their use in policing their own people and defending their borders. This one bears a small stamp on the bottom of the trigger housing that indicates that it was used by the Austrian Gendarmerie and maintained in OberoÖsterreich (Upper Austria). The Austrians no longer need these obsolete arms and recently sent these weapons back to the United States where they were turned over to the CMP for sale to American shooters and collectors.

They clearly took good care of this one. it still has the original Rock-Ola barrel and a Rock-Ola bolt. The action is tight, the stock is clean and free of and cracks or major dings, and the barrel appears to be virtually pristine. And of course the Rock-Ola logo is clearly visible beneath the rear sight and behind the front sight.

This one looks to be a real winner, and a prize addition to my carbine rack. I can't wait to get it out to see how it shoots...if I can ever get it back from You-know-who, that is!


  1. I say just take it from him , he doesn't look that tough. ( but have a kitty ready for flight in the background just in case you need a distraction)

  2. Too funny that your dog has such an affinity for guns and can take possession so quickly.
    What is that "3" on the gun? Was the batch all numbered or is that a logo symbol and not a 3?

  3. The 3 was undoubtedly put there by whichever unit had the rifle as a rack number to make it easier to keep inventory. That's not uncommon on police/military surplus arms and several others in my collection are similarly numbered. I never remove them because it part of that particular firearm's history.

  4. As the owner of a '43-ish Winchester, I have to tell you that is one sweet find!


  5. DOnt forget that the Singer Sewing Machine Company made .50 cal machine guns.

  6. Anonymous12:51 PM

    Maybe if you have a doggie treat or two Lagniappe may share his carbine.