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Firing the M3A1 Submachine Gun

On the range with “Joe's” Grease Gun

Firing the M3A1 Submachine Gun
The Caliber .45 M3A1 Submachine Gun is a classic American design adopted in Dec. 1944 and known as the “Grease Gun”.

Recently I had the opportunity to handle and fire a classic American M3A1 submachine gun while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV. We were filming on location in Uvalde, Texas at which is a unique living history museum. What makes it unique? Not only can you see and touch historical small arms, armored vehicles and anti-tank guns, but you can actually shoot many of them. Tanks included. On the range the M3A1 proved simple to operate, reliable and fast handling. Thanks to its slow rate of fire, it’s very easy to trigger off single-shots. While the sight radius is short, the sight picture is fairly good and it’s relatively easy to hit a man-sized target at reasonable distances. An important piece of American firearms history, the M3A1 is a true classic. I wanted to share this with’ fans, so I shot this short video during a break in filming. has a variety of interesting videos coming up which include hitting the range with a M4A2E8 Sherman and Soviet T-34/85, along with a host of small arms and an anti-tank gun or two. So make sure to check back here, and tune into Guns&AmmoTV, available on The Sportsman Channel, for separate coverage. If you’ve cut the cord to cable TV you can stream it through our streaming service. If you’d like the opportunity to handle and fire an M3A1 submachine gun, and many others, take a look at

A look at how the M3 Submachine Gun operates. Note the charging system eliminated on the product improved M3A1.

M3A1 Submachine Gun Specifications
Operation: Blowback, Open Bolt
Caliber: .45 ACP
Barrel Length: 8 inches
Muzzle Velocity: 920 fps
Sights: Fixed rear aperture and unprotected front blade
Cyclic Rate: 450 rpm
Feed: 30-round detachable box magazine
Weight: 7.9 pounds
Length: 21.9 Inches w/stock collapsed, 29.1 inches w/stock extended
Practical Range: 100 yards

Fielded towards the end of World War II the M3A1 saw extensive use in both Korea and Vietnam and remained in U.S. inventory into the 1990s.

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