April 30, 1948

Annotated by Joel GAzis-SAx

Key to Columns
a Item and Full Description f Items surplus
b Number or quantity on hand g State how often firearms cleaned during six-month period
c When procured (Show "age" of gas, i.e. list separately when effective date expires) h Do any firearms need "zeroing" or proven accurate
d Source: Army or other i Quantities used last six months
e Condition: Specify if good, poor, (repairable) or unserviceable j Quantities each needed next six months
a b c d e f g h i j
.30 cal. Win Rifles, W/Slings,
Md. 70 (
15 1942 P (14 good,
1 unservicable)
(#39531 at FBI)(


Md.52 .22 cal Win. rifles W/Sling (3) 4 1937 P Good

.38 cal. Colt P.P. w/ 4"bbl(4) 6 1938 P Good

.38 spec. Colt Officers Md.W/6"bbl.(4) 6 1941 P Good

.22 Colt Ace Pistols (3) 4 1936 P Good

.45 ACP, Md.1911A1 (5) 30 1934 P Good

.22 Colt Offic. Police Rev. W/6"bbl. (3) 3 1943 T W/O Fund Good

.45 Thomp. sub-machine Md. 1928(6) 8 1935-38-39 P Good

12 ga Win.Shotguns, Md 1897 Riot W/Sling(7) 20 1934 Army/Loan Good to Fair

.30 U.S.Carbine M1 (8) 30 1946 Army/Loan Good

1.5 Fed Lab.Proj gas guns 6 1934 P Good to F.

Billies, Hand Type Model 29 (9) 20 1934-36 P Good

AMMO: Calibre 30'06 M1 ball (10) 22967 '34-'35-36 P

AMMO: Calibre 30'06 M2 ball (10) 2000 1947 T W/O F.

AMMO: Calibre 30'06 M1 Tracers 1092 1934 P

AMMO: Calibre .45 ball 8265 34/45/47 P

AMMO: Calibre .45 tracers 1243 40/46 P

AMMO: Calibre .38 ball 923 1938 P

AMMO: Calibre .38 special ball 960 1938 P

AMMO: Calibre .38 special mid-range 225 1940/42 P

[Page 2]
30 calibre M1 carbine ammo 11516 1946 P

22 caliber Long Rifle ammo 10092 1943 P

12 ga. paper 00 Buck (11) 5566 1937 P

12 ga. paper #4 Buck (11) 475 1947 P

CN Proj 1.5 cal 41 1946 P

CN Blast 1.5 (12) 22 1946 P

CN Billy shells 19 1946 P

CN Capsules for training none

Magazines, Box, Thomp 20 capacity 28 1935/38/39 P Good to Fair

Magazines, Drum, Thomp. Capacity 50 8 1935/39 P Good to Fair

Magazines, Box, Thomp, Capacity 30 46 1946 P Good

Magazines, For .22 Win Rifle 22 1937/45 P Good to Fair

Magazines, For Colt Ace Pistol 18 1936/45 P Good to Fair

Magazines, For Colt .45 pistol 76 1934/45/46 P Good to Fair

Gas masks, complete, US NAVY Md. IV 50 1946 P Good

Rods, Cleaning for 30 cal rifle 2 1937 P Good

Brushes, Wire for 30 cal rifle 11 1937 P Good

Brushes, Wire for .45 pistols 12 1948 P Good

Brushes, Bristle for .45 2 1937 P Good

[Page 3]
Handcuffs, Double Lock H&R 24 1934 P Good

Handcuffs,H&R W/Lead Chain 3 1938 P Good

Handcuffs,Tower 5 1935 P Good

Handcuffs,Cavaney 1 1935 P Good

Handcuffs, Misc. 3 1935 P Good
1 no key

Leg Irons, Towwr Double Lock 21 1934/5 P Good

Leg Irons, Mattatuck 2 1934 P Good

Wood Billies (nite sticks) 40 1935 P Good
2 at FBI

Shoulder Holsters for .38 revolvers 6 1938 P Good

Holsters,Cavalry type for .45 17 1937 P Fair

Holsters, Snap on type for .45 2 1941 P Fair

Holsters for .45 revolvers 8 1945 T/WO F Fair

Belts,Web Cartridge Infantry Type 24 1945 P Good

Belts,Thompson drum carrying 6 1935/39 P Good

Belts, Leather garrison type 9 1934 P Good to fair

[Page 4]
Belts, Leather shotgun shell 11 1934 P Good to F.

Belts, Sam Browne (13) 24 1934 P Fair to

Belts, S.Browne Complete w/Holster & Case (13) 24 1946 P Good

Pouches, Web. Thomp. clip, 5-pocket 6 1935/46 P Good

Pouches, Web, for thompson drums 6 1935/39 P Good

Pouches,Web,2-pocket Thomp Clips 5 1935 P Poor

Pouches,Leather for .45 clips 23 1934/5 P Fair

Vests, Khaki for 1.5 gas shells 8 1938 P Fair

Lanyards,Pistol 47 1946/48 P Good


Calibre vs. Gauge. Most rifle and pistols are measured in calibre. Calibre is the width of the bullet measured out in one hundredths of an inch. The larger the number, the larger the cartridge. (A .45 calibre bullet is twice as wide as a .22.) Shotguns are measured by gauge or, in Britain, bore. Imagine a lead ball which fits into the shotgun barrel. The gauge of the shotgun is the number of such lead balls which it takes to make a pound. So, a twelve-gauge shotgun is wide enough to hold a ball, twelve of which would make a pound. The smaller the gauge, the larger the cartridge (a 12 gauge shell is larger than a 20 gauge.) The size of shot can also be determined in the same fashion: #1 shot or buckshot is larger than #9 birdshot. Birdshot, however, has more pellets per cartridge and gives a better scatter pattern.

1 The Winchester Model 70 series were bolt action rifles whose magazines could hold three to five rounds, depending on the size of the cartridge. It was one of the rifles favored by law enforcement officers. [Return]

2 These weapons (a Winchester Model 70 Rifle and an ACP .45 revolver) were undoubtably the ones used by Coy, Hubbard, and Cretzer during the 1946 Blast-Out. At the time of this report, Miram Thompson and Sam Shockley were appealing their death sentences. [Return]

3 These smaller calibre weapons were not intended as killers (though in a lucky shot it could happen) but as wounders. [Return]

4 The .38 Colt Special was a standard for American policemen for many years. The weapon is actually a .357 caliber. The Special could spit out bullets at 900 feet per second out of the muzzle. Against some suspects, particularly those numbed by PCP, the special and other .38s could be ineffective. [Return]

5 The .45 Model 1911 was an automatic weapon, popular with the military, but not with law enforcement. Treasury agents and the Bureau of Prisons were the exception. This weapon held 20 rounds and could be modified for automatic fire. John Paul Chase's partner, "Baby-Face" Nelson had such a gun and used it to kill two FBI agents near Rheinlander, Wisconsin in 1933. The size of the bullet made the .45 a man-killer or a crippler. The ACP was made by Colt. [Return]

6 The Thompson or "Tommy Gun was originally designed as a "trench broom" by General George Thompson. In 1925, the submachine gun founds its way into the hands of racketeers who used it to rub out the competition. Thompsons were used by Capone's henchmen to deliver their message of love on St. Valentine's Day in 1929. Public enemies, like John Dillinger, took to having their pictures taken with the guns. "Baby Face" Nelson used one in his last stand against the FBI in 1934. Machine Gun Kelly made it his trademark, but shot nothing more human than walnuts. Despite their menacing appearance, the Thompsons proved to be of dubious use. Texas lawman Ted Hinton used one against Bonnie and Clyde in 1933, only to see his bullets bounce off their getaway vehicle. [Return]

7 The WinchesterModel 1897A was a reliable slide (pump) action shotgun which seldom misfired. It found its first military application during the Filipino Insurrection which began in 1898. American soldiers turned to the 12 gauge shotgun when they found their usual pistols no match for the jungle-hidden insurgents. The Model 1897 also saw service during the First World War, when it was used as a "trench broom". Law enforcers took to the gun until it was replaced by the Model 12. [Return]

8 Based on the Garand M1, the first self-loading (semi-automatic) rifle adopted for military use (1932) held eighteen rounds in its magazine. Defects in the original design (including the fact that the Garand rifle could only be reloaded with a full magazine and the distinct click made by the ejection of the clip -- making the rifleman a target for snipers) were improved by the time the M1 saw service after 1941. The end of the Second World War meant that thousands of this standard-issue carbine (short-barreled rifle) were available for use by the Bureau of Prisons. BOP ballistics expert Fred Wilkinson reported that he once had occasion to fire "approximately 4000 rounds with an M1 carbine in...three days under conditions which caused a Browning Automatic Rifle and Garand M1 to jamb." The Benecia Arsenal sent several of these and the M2 during and after the 1946 Blast-Out. [Return]

9 The "gas billy" was a chimerical, chemical device, combining tear gas dispenser and billy club. It could be a danger to its wielder, as Associate Warden E.J. Miller found when he went to investigate the first reports of Coy's 1946 escape attempt; the nervous Miller accidentally discharged his gas charge, burning his face and hand. [Return]

10 Alcatraz Warden James A. Johnston bought twenty-four M2 carbines from the Benecia Arsenal after the 1946 Blast-Out. Early in 1947, Bureau of Prisons Director James V. Bennett ordered their return and replacement by the M1 carbine. Bennett and his ballistics expert Fred Wilkinson were concerned about the M2's automatic capabilities which, combined with its great accuracy, could pose a serious threat in the hands of mutinous convicts. Ammunition for the two guns was interchangeable. [Return]

11 In 1946, a investigative committee called for Bureau of Prison's guards to use #4 buckshot instead of #00: "Experience during the past emergency showed that all shot gun ammunition on hand is of the 00 buck variety which contains only 9 pellets, which prohibits any sort of decent scatter pattern when shot any distance. That all of the ammunition on hand is old, that the wads between powder charge and the pellet charge have dried out and are hard which aid in preventing proper spread of this buck shot, and that the gun will fire what is known as a blown pattern, that the wad instead of being pliable becomes a big single wad holding together when the charge is fired with the full gas pressure behind it, blows through the center on the shot charge, spreading the shot in a circle around dead center. These guns were fired at around 100 yards during the recent trouble and Officer Mullen reports that he fired several times at Coy, good clear unobstructed shots and that he believes that he did not touch him. It is therefore recommended that the present stock of shot gun ammunition be surveyed off and disposed of and that in its place we should replace it with new shells of No. 4 buckshot which contains 27 pellets instead of 9." [Return]

12 CN or "tear gas" grenades were the first gas weapon used by law enforcement. Alpha-chloro-acetophenone was very effective in closed spaces. Rioters found that you could get used to the gas or curb its effects by wearing a handkerchief around the mouth and nose. Sometimes they even threw the grenades back. CN was succeeded by CS or "pepper gas" (ortho-chloro-benzalmalono-nitrile) which attacked the respiratory system. Later grenade designs fragmented on impact and scattered the release canisters so that they could not be easily gathered up and heaved back. U.S. Marines briefly brought rifle and anti-tank grenades to the Rock when they were called in to deal with the Coy/Cretzer mutiny of 1946.[Return]

13 The Sam Browne Belt featured a broad leather waist belt and an across-the-chest shoulder strap. The disappearance of the Sam Browne, first from the regular and then the dress uniform, marked the end of the pistol as standard military equipment. Alcatraz was among the last Federal institutions to include the Sam Browne as part of its uniform. [Return]

Annotations copyright 1998 by Joel GAzis-SAx

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