Build An Ark: Valkyrie Arms M3A1 "Grease Gun" Carbine
Valkyrie Arms M3A1 “Grease Gun”
The Valkyrie Arms M3A1 carbine comes with three 30 round magazines.
I found three additional for a total of six to test. A G.I. magazine
loader is a handy accessory for filling the magazines; it saves
a lot of wear on the thumb and fingers!
This is an interesting article to write. I don’t
want to discuss the viability or utility of a .45 ACP carbine versus
other weapons. My comment on that is the .45 ACP carbine is a niche
weapon. It’s useful for some purposes, useless for others. With
that said, I’ll concentrate on the characteristics of the M3A1
carbine. I only test and review production guns and have never had one
supplied to me for a test by the manufacturer. I am not connected in
any way to any firearm manufacturer or dealer.
I recently traveled to visit a friend in a neighboring state. He has
just received his M3A1 carbine from Valkyrie Arms in Olympia, Washington.
He waited a year for delivery from Valkyrie Arms. Sadly, it is not uncommon
for a new firearm to be delayed, especially by a small or new manufacturer.
While he is very happy with the carbine, he was unhappy with the wait.
I assume that since the gun is currently in production, the wait is
On initial inspection I was impressed on how well made the carbine appeared.
The fit and finish of the metal parts was quite good with the exception
of the ejection port cover. This cover was a G.I. surplus part; it was
bent and did not fit over the ejection port correctly. In addition,
the pin that held the cover on the receiver was too small in diameter
and bent. The cover would open and close but is crooked. Clearly this
part should be replaced.
The carbine has two “evil features” a pistol grip and detachable
magazine. This prevents the carbine from being sold in a few states.
The ejection port cover was clearly
bent and did not fit the receiver. Also notice the finger cut out
on the bolt, on the M3A1 Submachine Gun bolt this area has a circular
hole. The front sight is welded on the front of the receiver.
I was surprised to find very few G.I. surplus parts
on the carbine. The only ones I could identify are the ejection port
cover, trigger guard, stock, magazine catch assembly, and the trigger.
The rest of the carbine is new. The carbine has a business like appearance
and with the fake suppressor barrel is quite intimidating. Also, the
Valkyrie Arms instruction manual showed a magazine loader and sling
with the carbine, but these were not included. This is a small matter
as both are only a few dollars from Sarco. The sling is the same as
for the M1 Carbine. It does come with three 30 round G.I. magazines,
which is a rarity these days. The M3A1 carbine does have the look and
feel of a military weapon.
Operation and Statistics
The M3A1 carbine weighs in at 8 pounds unloaded; overall length is 37.5
inches. To fire the carbine, insert a loaded 30 round magazine into
the magazine well until it “clicks” into place. Pull down
on the magazine to ensure it is locked. Open the ejection port cover
and place your index finger into the cutout portion of the bolt. Pull
it all the way back and release. Let the spring push it forward, don’t
“ride” it forward. Place the selector on fire (the 12 o’clock
position) and pull the trigger. The ejection port cover must stay open,
if closed; it will not automatically pop open like an AR-15 when the
carbine is fired.
The M3A1 magazine (right) is a descendent of the British STEN magazine
(left). Although the STEN magazine was criticized as being unreliable,
the M3A1 magazine is a solid performer.
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