Direct evidence of the origin and source for the M1 Carbines with the H&S name has been non-existent. These carbines are not encountered frequently and the duration of
their manufacture was fairly limited. Their history has been overshadowed and obscured as a direct result of the reason they existed.
Indirect evidence, on the other hand, has been present for a number of years. The amount of indirect evidence, and it's weight, has increased significantly since this website was started in 2008. Partly due to the recent research on the companies on this website, partly due to the people who have found this website and shared information.
This indirect evidence includes the research into Millville Ordnance and Plainfield Machine Company, not least of which was information from the families of the owners of both of these two companies. It also includes prior research by Larry Ruth (author of War Baby! and War Baby Comes Home), information shared by the owners of these carbines, and a comparison of the characteristics of the H&S receivers with those made by other manufacturers, particularly Millville Ordnance and Plainfield Machine.
One of these three is marked MOCO, one is marked H&S, and one is marked PMC (Plainfield Machine Co.). Can you tell which is which?
Look close and you will see some very distinctive characteristics not present on later carbines manufactured by Plainfield Machine or any other manufacturer.
(Answers are below)
Millville Ordnance Company (MOCO) was owned and operated by Charles Colle in Union, NJ. Commercially manufactured M1 Carbines bearing the name MOCO on the receiver and barrel were first advertised in October 1961. Colle did not have the resources available to manufacture the MOCO receivers and barrels himself so he contracted a machine shop to do the work for him.
In early 1962 Charles Colle was taken into custody to begin serving a sentence in a Federal penitentiary. The legal case had been going on for several years. His appeals had finally been denied and the case caught up with him. Millville Ordnance abruptly ceased to exist.
Colle had neglected to inform the owners of the machine shop he had contracted to machine his barrels and receivers regarding his pending criminal case disposition. As a result, the machine shop owners found themselves in possession of M1 Carbine receivers and barrels Colle was unable to pay for, in addition to other bills Colle had not yet paid. The money owed was sufficient to significantly impact the finances of the machine shop. Because of this, the machine shop owners decided they would complete the carbines that were in progress, negotiate with Mrs. Colle for the carbines and related parts and accessories left at Millville Ordnance, and sell everything in an effort to recover some of their losses. The owners were machinists, not gun dealers. Their initial intent was to return to the machining business once the carbines had been sold.
The machine shop was Plainfield Machine Company in Middlesex, NJ. It had been incorporated in New Jersey in 1951 by it's two owners, William Haas and William Storck.
One of the sons of William Haas related that his father and his partner did not want the Plainfield Machine name connected with Charles Colle, Millville Ordnance, or their M1 Carbines. The son was unaware of the carbines with the initials H&S, but he knew the surplus left over from Millville Ordnance had been acquired by his father and his partner. What changed the minds of Haas and Storck was the realization of the profit that could be made by manufacturing and selling M1 Carbines as they sold the Millville Ordnance leftovers. This is what led Haas & Storck to change their machine shop over to the full time production of M1 Carbines with the initials and/or name of Plainfield Machine Company.
Millville Ordnance advertisements for their carbines appeared in Shooting Times magazine October 1961 through April 1962. The deadline for the April issue was February 15th.
The first advertisement placed by Plainfield Machine appears in Shotgun News May 1, 1962, using the name Plainfield Ordnance. Ads for this issue had to be submitted by April 1st, six weeks after the deadline for the Millville Ordnance ad. Notice the similarities shared by both ads, including the carbine specification wording.
When Haas & Storck started making the H&S carbines they had no prior experience with marketing, distribution or sales. After this first advertisement (above) no retail direct marketing ads were found for Plainfield. The manner in which they sold the carbines left over from Millville Ordnance under the H&S name is not yet known. It's also not known if the ad above was the beginning of the Plainfield M1 Carbines or intended to sell the H&S Carbines. However, the family of Charles Colle indicated Colle was very good friends with, and a possible business associate of, the owner of Greeley's Range & Gun Store located in Cedar Grove, NJ. Greeley Arms Company was incorporated in New Jersey in March 1956 by Thomas Greeley at 448 Pompton Ave. in Cedar Grove, NJ.
The below advertisement began with the August 15, 1962 issue of Shotgun News. It's the first advertisement found for Greeleys in any of the publications of the time period.
Greeley's advertisements for M1 Carbines continued on the 15th of each month until July 15, 1963. The August 15, 1963 issue of Shotgun News carried a Greeley Arms Co. advertisement that listed only surplus GI rifle parts and M1 Garands. The M1 Carbines, carbine barrels, and surplus M1 Carbine parts were conspicuously absent, as were any further Greeley Arms ads afterwards.
Overlapping the time period Greeley advertised carbines for sale, in January 1963 Powder Horn in South Plainfield, NJ began advertising M1 Carbines with the same stock as those by Millville Ordnance and the first Plainfield Carbines. At some Powder Horn became the sole distributor for Plainfield's M1 Carbines. Further on Plainfield and Powder Horn will be discussed on the pages devoted to Plainfield Machine Company's M1 Carbines.
Greeley may have become a distributor for Plainfield Machine, but given his close connections with Colle that preceded Colle's connections with Plainfield Machine, it's also possible Greeley sold the H&S carbines for Haas & Storck as they geared up to begin production of the Plainfield carbines.
H&S M1 Carbine Production Numbers & Serial Numbers
H&S serial numbers were a continuation of the serial numbers used on the Millville Ordnance carbines. The highest serial number on a MOCO carbine found so far is A361. The lowest serial number found on an H&S carbine so far is A432. The highest serial number found on an H&S carbine so far is A615.
Plainfield Machine M1 Carbines with the A prefix were chambered for the 5.7mm Johnson (alias .22 Carbine) cartridge and manufactured after several years of .30 caliber carbine M1 production. The lowest serial number found on a Plainfield Machine marked M1 Carbine is B311.
Seen to Date
Seen to Date
|* Production may have started at A000 or A100|
** minus letters I & Q so far, after Z999 s/n's continued with 0001 (see Plainfield page)
Characteristics of the H&S M1 Carbines
Keep in mind it was customary for both Millville Ordnance and Plainfield Machine to sell the receivers, barreled receivers, and completely assembled M1 Carbines. Some of the receivers that carry the name have a barrel and/or parts that were added, or replaced, by someone else. H&S carbines used commercially manufactured barrels, receivers, and stocks with the remaining parts being original surplus GI.
Stocks observed so far have not had the cutout for the slingwell. Other commercial stocks have been observed on the H&S carbines but without a consistency that could be attributed to these stocks having been made specifically for H&S.
The machining of the outside of the barrel and the manner in which the gas piston housing is attached is specific to the barrels used by Millville Ordnance and H&S. The early barrels used by Plainfield have yet to be examined for comparison. Some of the barrels on the H&S carbines have the MOCO markings, some do not.
As was done with the Millville Ordnance carbines and
Plainfield carbines the front sight was mounted all the way to the rear of the area turned
down for the front sight. The front sight on GI barrels and other carbines is mounted midway
between the muzzle and the increase in barrel diameter.
Gas piston housings were brazed to a small slot machined into the barrel.
This barrel is on an H&S carbine. It has had the MOCO name
machined off. When the name is present the letters are usually stamped deeply.
The left side of the letter M and the upper right of the last O are still present.
As with the Millville Ordnance and Plainfield M1 Carbines all receivers were manufactured using cast steel.
No "U.S. Carbine Cal. 30 M1" markings on receiver ring
(Special thanks is extended to EPM of Cape Cod, MA for his assistance in obtaining an H&S carbine and photo's for this research)
This story continues with the History of the Plainfield Machine M1 Carbines (click here)....