This is an exceptional example of an extremely rare Hyde designed General Motors prototype semi-automatic carbine. The controversy of developing a suitable carbine for use by the infantry carried on for many years after WWI. The issue was that the standard handgun (including the favorite M1911) was only designed for short range self-defense use and then only used effectively by highly skilled individuals. So in 1939/40 Congress finally funded the Ordnance Dept to develop and issue a request for prototype testing of an M1 Carbine sample from industry. The basic requirement was that this new carbine had to have: 1) an effective range of 300 yards, 2) weight not to exceed 5 lbs, 3) have a sling for easy carrying and 4) it had to fire the new .30 M1 carbine round developed by the Winchester-Repeating Arms Company. Several companies developed and submitted test samples, i.e. Winchester, Harrington & Richardson, Savage Arms Company, Springfield Armory, the Woodhull Company and the Bendix Aircraft Corp. Of those tested only the Winchester and Hyde-Bendix design, met the basic requirements and were determined to be the best designs that required minimal improvements to be suitable for further testing. Consequently both companies were requested to redesign their initial submissions, eliminating the original noted short comings in their designs and resubmit new test samples. The original design was developed by George J. Hyde an engineer who worked at the Bendix Aircraft Corp. The initial prototype was gas operated that had a gas block mounted on the under side of the forward section of the barrel which was connected to a side mounted operating slide. It had one-piece receiver, magazine well with a detachable trigger group. The outward configuration looked more like the Thompson SMG in that it had a separate and distinct pistol grip mounted to the rear underside of the trigger housing with a separate buttstock and forend. The operation of this example was very similar to the aforementioned initial prototype, although it had an improved operating slide so that the bolt could be forced closed by hand in adverse conditions, a stronger recoil spring, and redesigned buttstock assembly with an improved one-piece (integral) pistol grip stock and separate forend. They also redesigned the internal components accordingly. It is estimated that approximately 5 of these were ever produced and submitted to the Ordnance Dept for further testing. In circa 1924/25, the General Motors Company had acquired approximately 25% of the Bendix Aircraft Corp stock shares, due to their on going relationship in the automotive industry. Consequently, this model was still redesigned by George Hyde, but it was submitted by the General Motors Company. Although it was improved in accordance with the recommendation of the Ordnance Dept, the second model proved to be less-reliable than the first model, and the trigger group was actually more difficult to disassemble. Consequently, the Winchester Repeating Arms Company was awarded the new contract to develop the M1 Carbine. This example is estimated to be 1 of 5 or 6 actually produced. It does not have any markings or serial number and quite possibly may have been a sample retained by the company. It has an all gray-green parkerized metal finish with excellent straight-grained walnut stock and forend. It also comes with it's original web sling that has "hooks" on the ends instead of the snaps.
Excellent overall with 99% of the original parkerized finish overall. The stock and forend are also both in excellent condition aside from a couple of very minor handling marks on the rear of the forend where it may have been held in a display fixture. Missing the magazine. This may be your only opportunity to obtain an extremely rare, exceptional example of a Hyde-General Motors Prototype Test M1 Carbine.
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