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 Letters on WWII M1 Carbine Mags...
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Starting Member

19 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2005 :  10:55:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I posted this on the General Board - and they suggested I post here...

I have four 15 round mags for my WWII M1 Carbine and I noticed they have letters stamped on them - I believe indicating the manufactorer. Since I'm a bit of a novice regarding this stuff I'm wondering if anyone can tell me what the following letters mean and if any are considered more collectable than the others: "IA", "KI", "(SP)" and "RUGG".

Any insight is appreciated.


Advanced Member

24753 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2005 :  11:06:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Manufactures codes. I believe IA is Inland/Autotyre, KI is something/Inland, (SP) may be Standard Products, and Rugg I don't know.

Bruce Canfields book has the complete list of codes, but it's at the shop.

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Advanced Member

15621 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2005 :  07:35:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
SP is Saginaw Steering Division of GM. RUOG is unidentified.

Some makes are rare & collectible, although none of yours is.

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10017 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2005 :  09:33:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Lowdown on M1 Carbine Magazines
by James Wesley, Rawles

Revised and Updated, February, 1998

In response to numerous requests for clarification on the types and makers of M1 Carbine magazines during and after World War II, here is a brief but as yet incomplete listing of maker's stamps (Usually found on the rear of the magazine, roughly one-half inch to one inch up from the floorplate):

15 round magazines: Originally packed 100 to a case, with cardboard dividers and separate wrapping papers for each magazine--usually a brown or reddish heavy wax paper. These sold for around $1.00 to $1.75 retail (new in wrapper) before the U.S. (September, 1994) magazine ban, and even less by the case. They now sell for $4.50 to $7.00 each. (Yikes! That's why I stopped stocking them.):

Inland Division of General Motors AI A1 IA II UI KI II [circled]

Saginaw Steering Divison of G.M. KSG S'G' OI-S'G' G- S'G' SP-S'G'

--and some more Saginaw codes... U-S'G' O-SG K-S'G'


International Silver IS

Irwin Pedersen K-IP I-P-K IP-I C-IP

National Postal Meter UN MN

Quality Hardware UQ QU G-Q

Rock-Ola IR R-C RO RC R-G UR

Seymour Smith SS SS-4 R-SS

Standard Products SO

Underwood IU LU UU IU [circled]

Union Hardware U

Wade Electric Products WEP [in curved type]

Winchester BW IW UW IW [circled]

And some as yet unidentified maker's marks... (Please send me an e-mail if you know who made these):



SI [circled] (Could this be another code for International Silver???)

B [circled] (I've seen some cases that were marked Winchester, but packed with these magazines-- could they be a subcontract from Bridgeport?)

O-S [in curved type]


30 round magazines: There were two basic types made under military contracts.

Hard Back: The first (early) type is commonly called a "hard-back". The body for this type was made out of one piece of sheet steel. It can be identified by the reinforcing grooves that run nearly the full length of the sides of the magazine, following the curve of the magazine for the entire length. These magazines are currently selling for $40 to $90 each, depending on condition.

Split Back: The second (later) type is commonly called a "split-back" or "two-piece." The body for this type was made out of two pieces of sheet steel. It can be identified by two reinforcing grooves that run at odd angles in the bottom half of the magazine. It is also quickly identified by the two small slots or "splits" on the rear of the magazine, right where it bends. Original split-back magazines are currently selling for $25 to $50 each, depending on condition. By the way, some of these were unmarked, but are still original. (To the best of my knowledge, no copies were made of hard-backs, only split-backs.)

Inland Division of General Motors KI KI M2 (stacked marking) A.I. AI M2 (stacked marking)

Seymour Products SEY

Unidentified AYP

Unidentified J

Unidentified K

Unidentified M2

(Again, please do a posting and/or send me an e-mail if you know who made the 30 rounders listed as "Unidentified", or if you have examples with other markings...)
Special note: Beware of aftermarket copies of the split-back 30 round magazine. Nearly all of these are junk, and not worth buying. In general, unless you want to buy grief, only buy original U.S. G.I. contract 30 round magazines, and if you can't find them, stick to 15 rounders! (Which are nearly all original.) Caveat Emptor!!!! Nearly 90 percent of the "split-back" magazines on the market are after-market copies. Most are marked "M2" in an odd, wide, and very deeply stamped type face (type font), rather than a narrow font with a shallow marking like the original U.S. G.I. item. The copies also usually have a dull blue finish, whereas the originals have a bright blue finish. Don't be fooled. These are NOT originals!

A tip of the hat to Bud Evers (M1 Carbine guru extraordinaire) who helped me assemble this list. BTW, if you need to contact Bud, his voice phone number is (707) 252-3226. (Sorry, he has no e-mail address.)

I hope you find this info useful...

James Wesley, Rawles

Clearwater Trading Co.
c/o P.O. Box 642
Penn Valley, Calif. [95946]
voice: (916)639-1999

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