Volunteer Commando Carbines

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Volunteer Commando info and manuals

Volunteer Enterprises Commando
Semi-auto Rifle
Caliber .45ACP/ 9mm

Weight 8lbs

Barrel length 16 1/2 inches

Total length  37 inches

Magazine Capacity of 5/15/30/90
Volunteer Enterprises, Inc. offered a 1 year warranty.

(from Volunteer Enterprises flyer)

optional nickel plated barrel and receiver assembly (seen here)
Smooth chambering action
easy trigger pull
very little recoil
very little noise
fires from closed bolt
square receiver and bolt
hammerless action
cocking lug on left side position
bolt safety
positive disconnect(cannot premature fire)
barrel made from 4130 chromium molybdenum oil quenched steel and button rifled
right hand twist 1 in 16 , and work hardened
rugged , but extremely reliable

Volunteer Enterprises eventually changed their name to commando arms and then either change their name again or sold their company to Manchester arms but has since gone out of business so address is obsolete.

Patent no. 3595145
Volunteer Enterprises
Commando Arms Inc.
2515 Sutherland Ave.
Knoxville TN 37919

The Mark III .45 APC used M3 Grease gun magazines

The Mark 45 used original Thompson magazines

The Mark 9 used Sten magazines

The Mark I II and IV were all Thompson look a like stocks for M1 carbines 


Special Thanks to Spitfiresubgun for the mark III manual , and please check out his site where he also has the spitfire manuals .

Spitfire Carbine Site

 Mark 45 manual (Thanks Mel)
(New) Apache arms manual (Thanks DDT)
Grease gun magazines

I've found that there's 2 kinds of grease gun magazines , ones with a square magazine catch and ones with the upper case D shaped magazine catch . if you have the square type then it will not lock into most Commandos until you take a drill and add the rounded part to the front edge of the squared hole . I've tried this on 2 magazines and they fit and feed flawlessly . So if you have the option when ordering magazines ask for the type with the D shaped magazine catch.

There were a great many manufacturers of grease gun magazines back when the US army used them, and because of this many of them aren't built to the exact same dimensions.Many grease gun magazines will lock into the Commando just fine but when you try to let the bolt close it just slams the nose of the cartridge into the feed ramp and jams instead of loading it into the chamber.

This is because the feed lips on some magazines are too close together at the front which keeps the cartridge captured in the magazine. This is common with pistol magazines too but they're usually easily fixed by just bending the lips with a pair of pliars, the lips on a grease gun magazine are a great deal thicker than the lips on your standard pistol magazine and can't be adjusted with pliars. So to make the magazine function some of the feed lips need to be filed away at the front like in the pictures below.

Obviously you only need to do this if you have a magazine that refuses to allow you to chamber a round, when I first got my Commando none of my 4 magazines would allow me to chamber any brand of ammo until I filed the lips, since adjusting the magazines it's never jammed. If your gun already functions correctly then nothing needs to be done to your magazines(though I've had to modify every single magazine I own)

This is what happens on my Mark III when you try to cycle a round with an unmodified grease gun magazine (on my rifle anyway, your results may be different) Note that the rim of the cartridge isn't able to clear the front of the lips of the magazine and is stuck against the feed ramp.
Here is a good look at the feed lips on my new magazine, on the left side I have performed the modification to the feed lip, on the right side I have left it original so you can see what exactly needs to be removed for the magazines to function. Obviously this must be done to both lips for the magazine to function properly.
Thompson horizontal grips
TheUnforgivenII was nice enough to try and see if the original Thompson horizontal front grips would work on the Volunteer Commando and good news , if you remove a little bit of wood around the inside of the grip where it contacts the barrel shroud it will fit ! he was also nice enough to include some pictures , thanks TheUnforgivenII .
However the original Thompson vertical front grips DO NOT fit due to the angle of the hole drilled in them . You can get them somewhat close , but they sit at an angle and just don't look right because on the Commando it has to mount to the partially finned sleeve that sits on the barrel instead of being mounted to a rail under a finned barrel like on the Thompson  .
Volunteer Enterprises Patent Information with exploded views

Thanks to pws49 for finding this

 For Fox Carbine information please have a look at The Fox Carbine site.