Build An Ark: Valkyrie Arms M3A1 "Grease Gun" Carbine

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Valkyrie Arms M3A1 “Grease Gun” Carbine

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 short.

First Impressions
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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