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United States M3 Submachine Gun
National Museum of American History, Behring Center

United States M3 Submachine Gun

Date: 1942
Catalog #: 81249M    Accession #: 1997.0371
Credit: Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History


General Motors Corporation (Manufacturer)

The M3 submachine gun was developed by weapons designer George Hyde and Frederick Sampson, Chief Engineer of General Motors' Inland Division. Although officially designated M3, it was almost immediately dubbed the 'Grease Gun' by the troops who used it.

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 14" H x 29" W x 3.5" D

Physical Description

United States M3 submachine gun, .45 caliber.

General History

The M3 submachine gun is also known as Grease gun due to its appearance. It was was developed as a cheaper war-time alternative to famous Thompson M1 submachineguns. M3 is full-auto only, blowback operated firearm. The receiver is made from steel stampings. M3 featured spring-loaded ejection port cover which also also acts as a safety. It has a crank-type bolt retracting handle at the right side of the receiver.


Country: United States
War: World War II
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