Posted on February 15 2016
Everyone in World War Two struggled to keep up with the Germans. With the creation of the MP40, the Germans stumped the Allies by fielding a light submachine gun, which weighed in at 8.75 pounds, much lighter than the Thompson Submachine gun at 10.8 pounds. Full-auto in light packages became all the rage.
The Americans produced the Thompson submachine gun as quickly as they could, but they needed something cheaper and faster. The M3 “Grease Gun” was born and it weighed in at just under 8 pounds.
Essentially a “disposable” gun, the Grease Gun experienced issues the more it was used. But, the gun completed its mission and was actually issued to U.S. soldiers all the way into the Gulf War.
There would probably be tens of thousands of Grease Guns floating around, but they were thrown away in the thousands — considered sub-standard compared to the Thompson.
That’s too bad, because if they’d found their way into civilian collections, ReadyMen would be able to pick them up today for around $3,000 to $4,000 (which would make them one of the cheapest transferable machine guns.) Firing a .45 ACP at a very reasonable cyclic rate, the Grease Gun would be an awesome CQB and home defense firearm.
While the Americans were doing their best to produce Thompsons, the British decided to make a “disposable” machine gun of their own. By simplifying the manufacturing process and design of the Lanchester, they created the stamped-metal Sten Gun (in 9mm.) As one would expect, the Sten experienced issues as well, especially relating to the German-style magazine. However, quantity over quality won out and many countries ultimately fought wars with Sten derivatives.
We ushered a couple former Navy SEALs into the ReadyMan gun vault and asked them to pick a gun they’d like to shoot. Due to their rarity and historical significance, the boys both picked open-bolts World War Two machine guns — the Sten and the Grease Gun. They both noted that the rudimentary sights proved completely unreliable — requiring the operator to know the weapon well in order to make hits.