Reising, M50, C&R #8009


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Reising, M50, C&R, Fully Transferable, .45 ACP with Original 20 round magazine

Reising Submachine Gun 8009

Offered for sale is an early Harrington & Richardson Reising Model 50 Submachine Gun, serial number 8009.  This Reising was manufactured in 1941, during the initial run of what are commonly referred to as “Commercial” Reisings, prior to H&R’s  military contracts.  This Reising has been refinished, and is parkerized, instead of the original blue.  It has early features such as its 29-fin barrel, disassembly screw, and trigger guard. It is in very good overall condition (refinished).

Like everything we sell, In Stock and Ready to eForm to your Dealer and available for your inspection in our office in Miami, FL.

The H&R Reising Model 50 Submachine Gun is a closed bolt, delayed blowback, select-fire submachine gun with aesthetics more like a carbine.  Eugene Reising began designing it in 1938, and it came to the market through H&R in early 1941. Many police departments were early adopters of the weapon, and it provided reputable service in the law enforcement environment for many decades.  It is inherently more accurate than most other submachine guns of its time.

The USMC became the first adopter of the Reising in large quantities.  At the dawn of World War II, they wanted to field a submachine gun, and specifically wanted more Thompsons, but most Thompsons in 1940/41 were going overseas to Britain, or to the U.S. Army.   However, the USMC still wanted a submachine gun, and made a deal with Harrington & Richardson in 1941 to purchase Reising Model 50 Submachine Guns.  Because the Marines wanted the gun quickly, and it would have taken H&R a minimum of several months to gear up for production of any weapon with completely interchangeable parts, the normal USMC acquisition policies were set aside. Parts interchangeability was not a requirement.  This decision forever tainted the reputation of the Reising Submachine Gun, due to poor communication within the USMC ranks, and some unfortunate events.

The first Model 50’s delivered to the USMC were the same as those supplied to police departments and other early adopters.  The weapon featured a blued finish, a 29-fin barrel, and a 20-round magazine.  These early Reisings are commonly referred to by collectors today as “Commercial Reisings,” however that is not an official term.  It simply serves to differentiate the changes between early Reising SMG’s, and those with later military production characteristics.  Later military versions were parkerized, and had barrels with 14-fins.  Some other minor changes were also made.

The battle at Guadalcanal became the first instance of combat use of the Reising Submachine Gun.  The weapon did not fare well in its initial combat experience for two main reasons:

  • Lack of effective Marine communication regarding non-interchangeable parts
  • Jungle conditions that quickly rusted the blued finish

The main reasons the Reising Model 50 developed a bad reputation from initial Marine use was not the fault of the firearm design.   When the Marines went to Guadalcanal, many Reisings were cleaned communally.   Parts were mixed up, and then reassembled into different weapons, resulting in many mechanical failures due to originally hand-fitted parts, such as bolts. The first USMC Reising SMGs also featured a commercial blued finish that rusted easily in South Pacific conditions, and the finish was soon changed to parkerizing for subsequent orders.  An infamous incident occurred when LTC Merritt A. Edson, Commander of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion ordered many of the initial Reisings be dumped in the Lunga River.  Part of his reasoning had to do with what was learned about the parts interchangeability, and the fact that armorers did not have the time or facilities to re-fit parts to individual Reisings.  LTC Edson knew that more Reisings were on the way, and he made a calculated decision to dump the mixed guns, with the intent of changing operational habits around cleaning and maintenance of the weapons going forward. Unfortunately, the initial bad rap stuck in the minds of many Marines, regardless of the true root causes, and previous exemplary performance of the Reising SMG under test conditions.

Reising Submachine Guns also served on the U.S. home front during World War II, throughout the country at guard posts of strategically important sites.

Despite its initial failed baptism under fire, the USMC continued procurement of the Reising Model 50 Submachine Gun.  With the advent of airborne forces, and the USMC’s Paratroop unit, a modification was requested of H&R to develop a compact version of the Model 50.  This resulted in a version featuring a pistol grip, and folding wire stock, which H&R designated as the Model 55.  This version initially included a Model 50 action placed into the new folding stock design, and then receivers became marked as the Model 55, and the compensator was also eliminated.  The pistol gripped, folding stock design was short and distinctive.

Eventually, approximately 120,000 Reising Submachine Guns of both types were produced.  A small number were manufactured by H&R following the war from 1950-53, and again in 1957.  These models have serial number prefixes that make them easily recognizable today, beginning with the letters K, L, N, or S.   The viability of the design faded in the late 1950’s, and many of the 1957 produced Reising Model 50’s still remained in inventory when H&R went out of business in 1986.  The remaining units were acquired and eventually sold by Numrich Arms (Gun Parts Corporation).  Some of the Numrich Reisings are periodically seen offered for sale today as new in the box NFA firearms. For NFA enthusiasts today, the Reising remains a comparatively inexpensive, fun, and historic submachine gun to add to a collection.  In many ways it is still underrated, under-valued, and bitten by the stigma given it by Marines at Guadalcanal as a result of their own leadership shortcomings.

In stock in our vault and ready for immediate eForm transfer.

Price includes S&H and Insurance. Florida residents are subject to Florida Sales tax.