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  1. #11
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    A and CM

    A is "Amola," a steel alloy developed by Chrysler, and CM is Winchester Chrome Molybdenum steel. GCAicon solved this old WRA mystery when Tony Pucci speculated it was chrome moly and sent some CM parts for chem lab testing that confirmed it. Bruce Canfield later re-confirmed it from the Pugsley papers he acquired and also a memo from T. Boak authorizing its use.

    GCA members have solved most of the mysteries of Garandicon collecting and the GCA Journal has published them. If you're not a member you should be, it's $25 well spent. Just sayin.
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  4. #12
    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    some examples of Winchester A and CM marked parts

    Starting in 1942 certain Winchester parts using the special steel received either the A or CM stamp. I can not remember all the parts but have seen rear sight base, follower, follower rod, bullet guide hammer and rear sigh aperture to name a few.

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  7. #13
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    Amola

    From the Fall 2010 GCAicon article by Bruce Canfield, a March 18, 1942 memo from Pugsley to Boak stated:

    “Mr. McIntyre saw me going through the hall yesterday and hailed me to ask what we were doing on substitute steels. I told him that we were having this Mola steel shoved down our throats and we suspected that possibly we did not know how to heat treat it. He gave me names of three men in the Chrysler organization who would know all there was to know and suggested that if we would give them the physicals we wanted, they probably would be able to furnish us the heat treatment…”

    The “Mola” steel to which Pugsley was referring was actually “Amola” steel, a relatively low cost steel that was extremely competitive in price with various other types of alloy steels and had greater availability at the time. Despite its comparatively low price, Amola was a high quality steel with a very fine grain that required no imported alloys. The Chrysler Corporation developed and used it extensively in the manufacture of its Dodge and Plymouth line of automobiles, including the top of the line “Airflow” models.

    To insure that the parts made with Amola received the different heat treat, they were stamped with an A.
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    CM Parts

    February 25, 1942 memo from T.I.S. Boak, Winchester’s Works manager to E. Scherer, courtesy Bruce Canfield:
    “Confirming our conversation this morning, you are to go ahead with the use of chrome molybdenum steel in the production of the hammer, the follower and the catch operating rod for the M1icon rifle. I am taking this responsibility on my own shoulders because I fully believe we should not allow a break in production of the M1 even though the Ordnance Department fails to get us steel or give us permission to use steel which we do have.
    You are only to make these components of chrome moly steel until the #3115 steel which we have on order arrives. In other words, I don’t want a lot of chrome moly parts made up – simply enough to keep us going so as not to shut down the assembly of M1 rifles.”
    Real men measure once and cut.

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  11. #15
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    CM Parts

    Before Tony proved that CM stood for chrome molly, the most commonly accepted theory was that they were parts made by Cowles Manufacturing, a subcontractor that made M1icon Carbine parts. That just demonstrates that speculation is risky even when it is logical
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    CM Parts

    Bob's posts reminds me of this. Early on in my collecting career and observing M1icon rifles, I attended at gunshow at West Springfield Ma. and on one vendors table was a lonely Bluesky import marked SA M1 amongst a sea of commercial rifles. Picked it up of course and I immediately observed a rather large CM marking on the jet black WRA marked bolt. Never observed the CM marking on this component before. Wanted it to add to my reference collection, but the asking price on the rifle was high and I passed. Figured I find another.

    Maybe a year later I again observed a loose bolt marked with a large CM, but otherwise completely void of any other markings. Owner did not want to part with it and did not have a camera with me ( cell phones did not exist then ) to document. Never observed another WRA or unmarked bolt with this marking.

    However, did manage to acquire at another New Englandicon gun show an un-marked in-the-white hammer marked only with a large CM which was obviously manufactured by WRA. I suspect that WRA first experimented with the CM steel and heat-treating before being used in M1 production and these first "test" parts eventually made it into the system or a scrappers pile. Maybe WRA elected not to use the chrome moly steel in bolt production early on, but existence of these CM marked bolts suggest they did try it OR possibly did use CM steel in limited bolt production but dropped the practice of marking them. Who knows? M

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    CM parts

    In addition to the parts WRA marked and listed by RCS on his previous post, CM marked trigger housings, A marked triggers and both CM & A marked clip latches can be added to the list. Numerous fonts, sizes, and location of the markings have been observed ( especially the CM marked clip latch ).

    What I find especially interesting is his photo of the operating rod catch. It clearly shows an A marked accelerator. I can't remember ever observing an "A" marked accelerator and I've seen plenty WRA early and late style body catches. Possibility the reason for their scarcity is that WRA elected to manufacture all accelerators from the getgo after adoption of the Amola steel OR they used Amola steel for a very short time in the manufacture of this component. The part is small and maybe stamping them distorted them before heat treat, but SA marked plenty of their early ones with "0". More questions. Thank you RCS for posting that photo! Proves even seasoned collectors still have a thing to learn and then ponder some more. M

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  17. #18
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    Amola

    The trigger on Gas Trap 7114 in the Royal Small Arms collection in Britainicon is marked C-46020 with an A under it. Can we assume SA experimented with Amola as well? It's the only SA part I've ever seen so marked.
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    To my knowledge, there have only been three examples located of the A marked Winchester operating rod catch and A marked accelerator ! hope more surface.

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