Volunteer Commando Carbines

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Commando MKIII

The Volunteer Enterprises Commando Mark III is a closed bolt Semi-auto Rifle chambered in .45ACP and has a Magazine Capacity of 5/15/30/90 

The Mark III uses Grease Gun magazines .

Volunteer Enterprises, Inc. offered a 1 year warranty. The Commando line was sold between 1969 and 1977 and in a few other years under different names from various manufacturers .


 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.

Drum magazines won't work on a Commando because of the enclosed magazine well, the drum you see in the pictures of my Commando is a gutted Suomi drum with a cut down grease gun magazine welded down the middle. There are relief cuts on either side of the magazine to allow it to slide over the enclosed magazine well. Here are a few pictures.

A drawing of this setup is available here

 

The rare 90 round Volunteer magazine....which is really just 3 grease gun magazines welded together.
Pictures