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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys,
I live in the south of France and I've found a 1943 underwood M1 carbine.
I stripped it down to clean it and found that it has all the .U. Stamps on it.
See attached photos, I'm interested in knowing the correct value for this gun if I do sell it.
Mary thanks for any info.
All the best & take care.
LPN
Regards
Kevo.
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@Kevo , I am going to move this thread to the "Ask the Pros and What's it Worth" forum, you may get more replies there.
 

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Just a couple of thoughts. You are in France, this is a US based forum. I am fairly sure the prices in France will not be the same as in the US.

Can you shoot them in France? Can you get ammo?

I see many many posts of people who had an M1 carbine, traded or sold it off and have bitterly regretted it ever since.
 

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I wish we had a picture of the carbine put together, but it looks like you have a very nice original WW2 high wood that was never rebuilt. If it is indeed an original never refurbished Underwood, here in the states that would be worth somewhere around $2-3k minimum, possibly a lot moreFrom the looks of it it has the wide front barrel ban sans bayonet lug, which would be correct for an original 1943. Plus nice cartouches. And Underwood was the third largest manufacturer, incidentally the third to get production up and running after Winchester and Inland, but they only made 545,000 carbines compared to 800+k by Win and 2.6m+ by Inland, so they are far less common than the other 2. But even the other two if original unrestored can bring that much so I may be low.

Most carbines have been rebuilt many times so the parts do NOT match, and even those are getting up there, $800+ In otherwise good shape.

Now a lot of these were given to the Free French and I believe the French Army used them after the War for some time, and if it was used by the French and possibly rebuilt by French Arsenals that could negatively affect the value, but if it is a US issue somebody had stored away since WW2 and it’s untouched it would be very highly sought after by collectors here.

I have no idea what the controls or laws are over there, but I know there are collectors with deep pockets in Europe, and if you could get the word out you might find a rich US collector or auction house who would jump through the hoops to import it and maybe even sell it for you on consignment, and they’d deduct their expenses and fees, IF it is an unaltered original...
 

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The only thing throwing me is the stock..the cartouche is correct, but that should be a “high wood.” But it kinda looks like a “low wood,” but then the cartouche wouldn’t match. But it doesn’t look like a “pot belly” either. Hmmm. I wish we could see it put together.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
A
The only thing throwing me is the stock..the cartouche is correct, but that should be a “high wood.” But it kinda looks like a “low wood,” but then the cartouche wouldn’t match. But it doesn’t look like a “pot belly” either. Hmmm. I wish we could see it put together.
This M1 was stored away since WW2 . I can't keep it for long as the laws in France are hard, but I'm looking into it. Many thanks for all the help.
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This M1 was stored away since WW2 . I can't keep it for long as the laws in France are hard, but I'm looking into it. Many thanks for all the help.
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That’s definitely an original WW2 Underwood, what a shame, you would have such a bidding war among collectors here that would knock your socks off!

I don’t think that is an M2 “Potbelly” stock that most very late war and rebuilt ones had, which they call “low wood.” Plus your very sharp stock cartouche matches the correct one for an original Underwood stock.

The terms “high wood” and “low wood” are collectors terms, and refers to the section of the stock immediately in front of the action, covering the “slide” or op rod flat extension. The M1 stocks raised up a little so about 1/2 of the flat part of the op rod/slide visible was covered hence “high wood.” This thin piece of wood was brittle and cracked and broke easily so when they adopted the next stock which was intended for the M2 they did away with it so that flat part was fully uncovered and visible like the op rod on a Garand. But the later stocks were deeper in the forend area so they were also called “potbelly” stocks. Yours looks flatter there, like an original should.

Im curious, does the area right in front of the action, directly below the hand guard, look like it was trimmed and possibly sanded? I’m wondering if since those cracked so easily it might have been modified in the field, or at low level maintenance behind the lines.
 

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My only advice is to get on the internet and contact some of the major auction houses that deal in WW2 militaria, I know some are in Europe. They may be able to take it on consignment.

And if you have any “provenance” to go with it, any at all, it’s value might go up exponentially. Even a notarized affidavit from a relative that “I once heard Grandpa tell a story about burying an American paratrooper who they found hanging in one of his trees” or “I heard Uncle Jean tell Jacques that he was given the rifle by a dirty American supply Sergeant in exchange for a case of his wine” is a start.
 

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The reason it is so valuable is because there are so few M1 carbines in “original” “as issued” “correct” condition from any manufacturer, and ones that show up now are “reimports” from current or former allies that are in “ratty” condition, unlike yours.

Most carbines were in service until the 1970s even in US service, and were “Arsenal rebuilt” so many times with no thought given to using “correct” parts, just the next available in the parts bin, with the only idea to get them to “serviceable” condition for reissue, that most carbines available to collectors while still good “shooters,” are “Mixmaster” mongrels just like the Garands...

Plus yours was made by “Underwood-Elliott-Fisher Typewriter and Office Machine” company, not the more common “Winchester Repeating Arms” or “Inland Manufacturing Division of General Motors”😉
 

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My only advice is to get on the internet and contact some of the major auction houses that deal in WW2 militaria, I know some are in Europe. They may be able to take it on consignment.

And if you have any “provenance” to go with it, any at all, it’s value might go up exponentially. Even a notarized affidavit from a relative that “I once heard Grandpa tell a story about burying an American paratrooper who they found hanging in one of his trees” or “I heard Uncle Jean tell Jacques that he was given the rifle by a dirty American supply Sergeant in exchange for a case of his wine” is a start.
I found the weapon when I was cleaning my wife's grandmothers old store room out,the grandmother is 98 years old and can't remember how it came into the hands of her husband. He passed away a long time ago. I served in the Franch foreign legion so you can understand my fascination in finding out some history about the gun.
Thanks again for the your advice,it's very much appreciated.
 

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I found the weapon when I was cleaning my wife's grandmothers old store room out,the grandmother is 98 years old and can't remember how it came into the hands of her husband. He passed away a long time ago. I served in the Franch foreign legion so you can understand my fascination in finding out some history about the gun.
Thanks again for the your advice,it's very much appreciated.
Wow, if only we had your grandfather’s story! With the age of your grandmother-in-law it probably put him right in the thick of the action in WW2. I’d bet he would’ve remembered. What a shame.

That should serve as a reminder to all of us, those of that generation are passing quickly, in just a few years more there will be none left! If you can, talk to them, get their stories and write them down!

To many of them, with what they saw and witnessed in their lives, the Depression, the World War, the suffering, it is painful for them to recall, so they have suppressed it all these years, and/or they think what they directly did “wasn’t that important” compared to what they saw or witnessed others do! Plus every one of their “contemporaries” they knew in their lives after the fact had similar or worse stories to tell so they didn’t need to “share” with them!

But they are the only “first person” sources from that great time in our shared History left! If they don’t share their experiences we still living will have an even greater loss when they, hopefully, pass in peace.
 

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Are any of your wife’s relatives around you could ask? Say, an uncle or cousin?

I know my father, a WW2 vet, had a “special relationship” with his “favorite nephew” who flew 3 tours in Vietnam flying slicks and then Cobra Gunships, and earned the Silver Star there, and I know they talked more about their “experiences” when together than either did with their own families.

Unfortunately I lost my cousin to cancer before I lost my Dad...so I never got either of their “full” stories, just snippets, and I regret it mightily.
 

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Are any of your wife’s relatives around you could ask? Say, an uncle or cousin?

I know my father, a WW2 vet, had a “special relationship” with his “favorite nephew” who flew 3 tours in Vietnam flying slicks and then Cobra Gunships, and earned the Silver Star there, and I know they talked more about their “experiences” when together than either did with their own families.

Unfortunately I lost my cousin to cancer before I lost my Dad...so I never got either of their “full” stories, just snippets, and I regret it mightily.
I understand the relationship your Da & nephew had, vets only take & tell there story's to each other,it's a natural understanding only people who have had the honour to serve know & have. My they rest in peace Heroes
 
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