Q. For many years, I have owned an M1A1 carbine that is probably an arsenal rework. The receiver and barrel are Winchester. The stock is properly marked inside the fore-end, on the bottom of the grip and on the buttplate. But, my question concerns the arsenal stamping “AAL” on the left side above the pistol grip. “AA” should stand for Augusta Arsenal, but what does the “L” signify?
A. The “AAL” stamp on the stock of your M1A1 carbine does indicate that the firearm was overhauled at the Augusta Arsenal (Ga.) after World War II. The mixed parts on your carbine are consistent with an overhauled firearm. The “AA” indicates Augusta Arsenal, and the “L” is the initial of the particular ordnance inspector who supervised the rebuild. A number of permutations of this overhaul stamp may be encountered including, but not limited to, “AAN,” “AAM,” “AAF,” “AAG,” “AAA” and others. There are no known sources to identify the particular inspector represented by the last letter of the stamp. My book, Complete Guide to the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine, contains information on the rebuild stamps utilized by the various arsenal facilities, including Augusta Arsenal.
—Bruce N. Canfield
This “Questions & Answers” was featured in the September 2005 issue of American Rifleman. At time of publication, "Questions & Answers" was compiled by Staff, Ballistics Editor William C. Davis, Jr., and Contributing Editors: David Andrews, Hugh C. Birnbaum, Bruce N. Canfield, O. Reid Coffield, Charles Q. Cutshaw, Charles M. Fagg, Angus Laidlaw, Evan P. Marshall, Charles E. Petty, Robert B. Pomeranz, O.D., Jon R. Sundra, Jim Supica, A.W.F. Taylerson, John M. Taylor and John W. Treakle.