Examining the various components and miscellaneous parts that make-up my National Postal Meter carbine I got down to a closer look a the butt-plate. Originally I though it was an Underwood, given the description of diagonal checkering in Craig Reisch’s book U.S. M1 Carbines: Wartime Production. However when I Googled “that I found another resource at the fine purveyors of gunny-goodness, Chestnut Ridge Supply, which was a cool and actual visual comparison of all the different manufacturer’s M1 Carbine butt-plate
checkering. I had literally overlooked some information in the book itself. So I took their images and tweaked them for color and size and flipped them sideways to compare.
As you can see compared to the top-picture, what I’ve got is clearly not a NPM butt-plate.
And comparing further the fine checkering visible on the Underwood is also lacking.
Ding! Looks like an early Inland with the more generous checkering to me. Wonder where I can find a “proper” NPM butt-plate?
That’s one of the fun conundrums of Carbines, while National Postal Meter made their own butt-plates, they also integrated and used thousands and thousands of components from ALL the other manufacturers. From Inland (just about everything), IBM (trigger housing and stuff), Irwin Pederson (firing pins only), Quality Hardware (including a very few Union Switch & Signal made receivers), Rock-Ola (operating slides and front sights among other things), Saginaw (three things only: front sights, recoil plate, and piston nut), Standard Products (various little bits including hammers and sears), Underwood (most notably their excellent barrels), and Winchester (a few bolts, and several thousand recoil plates).
So an early butt-plate from Inland is actually quite possibly “right” for my early National Postal Meter carbine, as is also an Inland operating slide (5,000) or rear-sight assembly (5,000) – or an Underwood (10,000) rear-sight assembly.
There was probably only a few totally 100% National Postal Meter component-only carbines ever actually made, and on the first day of training and familiarization – when they took everything apart and each soldier threw every piece into a blanket and they washed the cosmoline off in gasoline and re-assembled them randomly – then there were none.