View Full Version : Boys AT rifles used by the US Marine Corps in 1942 on the Philippines - mistake?

03-02-2015, 05:56 PM

A moment ago I accidentally reviewing book I found the information, that:

“Some Boys AT rifles used by the US Marine Corps in early 1942 on the Philippines against dug in Japanese infantry positions”
(Bishop, Chris, The encyclopedia of weapons of World War II, p. 213).

It's probably a mistake? I know that General MacArthur took over motor transport include 57 Universal Carriers from Canadian ship, the Don Jose – but these vehicles were (I think) without weapons.
I have a few good books on the 4th Marine Regiment. There is no mention anywhere that had used Boys AT rifles on the Philippines Campaign.

Text by Chris Bishop - it's probably a mistake.
If anyone will have any suggestions - I'll be grateful for any comments.


03-02-2015, 07:11 PM
Opinions vary on the use by U.S. regular Military of the Boys Rifle. While the U.S. did under lend lease contracts with John Inglis company of Canada produce a number of Boys rifles for England, I have none to support that any of these were taken into the U.S. inventory, but I have heard from several other people here, and there about the U.S. Marines having used some Boys Rifles as you described, so I'm led to believe that this may well have happened. No one could say whether they were U.S. issued or in any way Organic weapons , or just happened to be English equipment present at the time, and commandeered by the Marines. According to the information I have, (which is certainly subject to flaws) The U.S. never produced an Anti-Tank rifle for it's own use. There was one program in which the idea was investigated, and a single test Rifle was built, and tested on two separate occasions, but the program went no farther than that. (T1-E1) I couldn't find an image of it, but it used a necked down U.S. 20mm case holding a .60 cal. steel bullet.

03-03-2015, 03:00 PM
I have found a reference to USMC at least carrying one - A picture appears in

Page 31/32 "USMC Raiders" by Ed Gilbert, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 10: 1841769819

The context and time I do not know as I do not have the book

A ref is also made about the use of the Boys in Korea by US forces - fitted with an M2 barrel (converted to 0.5") by Ralph Walker on Formosa - used as a long range sniper rifle giving decent results out to 1100yds.

This article also has a post war advert claiming they were produced for the US government and a special 'collectors' one with markings indicating US ownership.


The US equipped Chinese troops and trained them with the Boys AT Rifle as well.

"Ways of War and the American Experience in the China-Burma-India Theater" By James M. Ehrman

03-03-2015, 04:15 PM
The Inglis Lend / Lease guns were marked as property of the U.S. a technicality of the program. Although I know the boys to be a popular candidate for conversion to .50BMG, I was not aware that this had been done in any official way. It's just a matter of removing the original, and threading the new one to fit. Even the cases are very similar, and these days owners will use 50BMG brass necked up to .55, so they can have something to shoot. The .55 case has a belt like many Magnum cartridges, something the .50 lacks, but they will last a number of loadings.
The Chinese did use The Boys in WW II, my info concurs that they were provided by the U.S. Gov't. perhaps under the Lend/Lease contracts. There were loads of them to be had post war. They were offered to the U.S. civilian market for $75.00 through the mail. Ammo about 90 cents each. Today the Boys goes for about $4,500 in serviceable condition. Ammo about $30-$40 per shot for original service ammo.