90th IDPG Reviews


Imported Reproduction M2 Tripod & Pintle

Review Date: 1/12/2012
Author: Rob Pursifull



There are a bunch of reproduction M2 Tripods out there, some created better than others. There are two main options, Imported and made in the USA. I'm not quite sure who makes the imported tripods, but these are the ones commonly seen eBay, and the usual big sources like Sarco, IMA and SportsmansGuide. The USA made ones were either from Allied Armament or Iron Creations. This review specifically addresses the Imported tripods, and not the USA made repros.

I've seen plenty of guys on forums say how "good" these tripods are, spouting off about the value for the price. Luckily enough, a friend of mine had a repro tripod for me to look photograph and do some work on.

Video Review / General Observations:

I did a fairly short video to highlight some of the various issues with the reproduction tripod and some comparisons to GI.



High Level Points in the Video:
1.) Data plate is a so so repro attached with pop rivets.
2.) Sloppy Fit & Finish, such that most things are loose and rattle.
3.) Pintle Latch is loose / finicky
4.) Pintle is a joke. Latch engagement slot is way too big. Overall sizing is off. Made of brass.
5.) T&E Bar latch doesn't hold well
6.) Tripod sits lower.
7.) Factory finish is either black or weird green paint.

Side by Side Comparisons:

I'll let most of the photos do the talking here, with some notes interspersed.

Side by side view. From this vantage point, some of the differences start to become visible.

The data plate is a nice touch, just poorly executed. With a bit more attention to detail, the data plate could have been made to more closely replicate a real pattern.

The pop rivets are a joke. A box of 100 slotted brass 4-40 screws is $4.09 from Mc Master Carr. Another correct option, drive screws that have cap heads like rivets, are around $3.50 for a box of 100. Drive screws are authentic, and easily utilized. In my opinion, its way easier to just use them than pop rivets .

So, they went out of their way to do more work and be wrong. Pop rivets were never used for M2 tripod data plates in WW2.

The pintle socket is made of steel, and of the smaller pattern. Both brass and steel were used for pintle sockets. There were several patterns. This gets a pass.

Notice the sloppy welds / cleanup on the head. One of my friends, RW, has a repro tripod as well - his split wide open at this joint after mild use. The more welds, the more opportunity for it to fail.
Details of the bottom of the head and front leg. The repro has 2 holes in it, which does reflect a correct wartime variant. The bolts holding the latch cover on are not slotted on the repro.
This photo illustrates the lockup of the pintle in the tripod head. It also starts to show the differences in the repro pintle in its length.
Latched in place, showing from the topside.
Repro pintle vs original pintle. Some differences in machining, notably the bevel / gusset where the "ears" come off the base.

This very well illustrates how different the repro is from the original. The repro has a very wide slot for the latch to engage. The original's slot is only wide enough for the latch, allowing very little play.

Additionally, the repro pintle is made of brass, which to my knowledge, was never used for M2 or M3 pintles during WW2.

High level detail of the T&E bar and tripod legs. Some construction differences are visible.
Details showing the casting marks of the original and general shape of the tabs.
Details of the opposite side.
Front leg folded down.
Front foot details. They're reasonably close.
Latch details.
Foot details. They are pretty close in construction method. The GI foot cups are welded on better without a doubt.
Foot top view. The repros seem to have the foot positioned differently than on the repro. The original does have a drain hole drilled in the leg, this is not a super common feature, and something I don't believe was there from the factory
Overall view.



I wouldn't waste my time ever again with one of these repros. The quality and details just aren't there. Additionally, these tripods really arent "fixable". The welds are poorly done, with a JB weld / Body Filler type substance being used to smooth things out. So, even if you were able to sandblast and parkerize, you'd need to grind out all of the body filler and clean up the welds, possibly re-welding, then parkerize. I had planned on parkerizing the tripod, but upon stripping off the paint, I realized what a boondoggle this was. At that point, I could either repaint in green, or use alumahyde, which is what I did. While alumahyde is a good product, its still lipstick on a pig.

With some searching, WW2 USGI M2 tripods can be found for less than the cost of a repro. Specifically, M2 tripods used by Israel in the postwar years can be found with relative ease, at great prices. If you're going to fix something up, that's the thing to get and fix up. These repros aren't the best choice.


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