Any tips for buying an M1 Carbine?


Peter M. Eick
February 24, 2007, 08:51 PM
I was looking at a reasonable Inland M1 carbine for around the house duty. My wife does not like handguns laying around and she did not like the 870 being out but the little carbine seems more reasonable. I figured separate the mag from the rifle and she would be more comfortable with it out. Thus I am in the market for a nice grade of M1 Carbine.

So the critical questions are what should I avoid and what should I do to get a decent one?

The Inland I looked at had a nice stock, did not show much wear overall but I did not inspect the barrel. Anything else or suggestions to look for?

Ps, trying to do a search on M1 carbine got a lot of carbines, but not much m1's......

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February 24, 2007, 08:59 PM
First off, stick with a USGI carbine. Any of the GI manufacturers will do. Avoid the commercial "Universal," and "National Ordance" clones. A "Planfield," clone might be OK, as they have the best rep of any of the clone guns.

I don't know enough about KAHR's new carbine clone to have an opinion either way.

Just check the gun over for general condition and wear. It will most likely be a mixmash of GI parts, so unless you are a collector, don't worry about who made what part.

If you can, get ahold of some headspace gauges and headspace the gun. If your buying from a shop, ask if they've headspaced it or what other sort of check out they do on their used guns.

One easy thing to look for are import stamps. A comany called "Blue Sky" imported a bunch of Carbines from Korea in the '80s. The majority of them were very rough. The "Blue Sky - Arlington VA" stamp would be on the barrel. It may be faint, so look for it under strong light.

Now, don't pass on a carbine just because it is a "Blue Sky" import. There were some decent guns imported as well. Just be aware that most of them were used very hard so take a more critical look at the gun if you know it is a Blue Sky import.

Btw, the CMP has just received a bunch of carbines from Italy. They will be selling those in April. They have not yet announced prices, but you may want to hold off and buy a CMP carbine when they are available. The CMP is headspacing and inspecting all the carbines and they are very good about fixing problems when they do arise.

Peter M. Eick
February 25, 2007, 09:18 AM
Thanks for the insight. I have a handgun getting shipped in so when I pick it up I will talk to the dealer about the carbine. I doubt it will move quickly right now if the CMP is offering more of them.

February 25, 2007, 10:37 AM
The Auto Ordnance M1 carbine is pretty nice. I have one and it works fine. You get a new gun with a warranty.
Many of the GI carbines I have seen at gunshows recently are pretty beat up.

February 25, 2007, 10:53 AM
Request permission to stake the stock apart and see if the receiver has been drilled to accept a scope mount. If toy cannot take the stock apart slide the action back and look along the receiver all the way to the barrel. Sometimes the hole is drilled through. So many carbines have been altered and turn up for sale. Gas piston nuts and gas pistons are another big problem BUBBA being unaware will take one off and promptly strip the threads ruining the barrel. Take a look at the lugs (the back portion of the lugs) on the bolt, do they look worn where they mate into the receiver.
If the shop owner will let you get a bullet puller and a .30 cal carbine bullet. Pull the bullet out and empty the powder. Take the rifle outside and load the empty case into a magazine or you will break the extractor. Slide the bolt forward and when you notice the bolt lugs start to lock up, hold the bolt in place and fire. Repeat the process with the lugs progressively locking further and further. The carbine should not fire the primer until the bolt lugs are fully engaged. If the carbine fires while the lugs are not fully engaging then you could possibly have a widow maker on your hands.

M2 Carbine
February 25, 2007, 11:12 AM
Since you know nothing about Carbines, instead of fooling around trying to find a decent GI Carbine and probably getting stung, just buy a new Kahr (Auto Ordinance).
You will have a new rifle with a good warranty and it will cost less than a possibly worn out GI rifle.

Or just wait until CMP releases theirs and see what the price is and what they are calling the condition.

February 25, 2007, 01:38 PM
I'd like to buy a Kahr M1. I'm also going to get a CMP M1, but times being as they are I'd like to get both.

Where can I find someone to sell me one (I have an FFL lined up, so out of state is ok) for less than the MSRP of $774! :what:

I'd be willing to pay up to about $600 shipped.

Peter M. Eick
February 25, 2007, 01:52 PM
Thank you again for the insight. I will check out the Kahr ones online and around town and hit my two dealers I usually work with. One caters to the collector so they have a bunch of all matching carbines but they have a price tag to match. The other just has the one I described.

I read over my Kuhansen (sp?) book on the Carbine yesterday and today so your comments about how to check one out make more sense.

Thanks again and I will have to wait and see how this plays out and see what conditions the ones I can buy now look like vs. waiting on the CMP.

M2 Carbine
February 25, 2007, 02:20 PM
I'd like to buy a Kahr M1. I'm also going to get a CMP M1, but times being as they are I'd like to get both.

Where can I find someone to sell me one (I have an FFL lined up, so out of state is ok) for less than the MSRP of $774!

I'd be willing to pay up to about $600 shipped.

Here's a big DFW internet sales site that many of us locals buy from. They sell across the counter also.
They are great people to deal with and have about the lowest prices around.

E mail them and tell them that one of their local customers told you about them and ask your questions. They may even be able to tell you about availability, street price etc in your location.

They didn't have any Kahr M1 Carbines on their web site but that doesn't mean much.

If they don't answer right away try again. It's just a man and wife operation and they are busy.

February 25, 2007, 03:59 PM
I'd still hold out for a USGI carbine in good condition. They are out there, but they take more finding these days. I have purchased Winchester and Quality Hardware cabines in the last 3 months for $425 and $500 respectively. There's an Inland in great condition near me for $600 though the shop owner can prolly go lower 'cause the previous owner electropenciled his SSN into the receiver lightly...

For me, the carbine is a great mix of utility and reminiscence. The Kahr/A-O copy seems well made and are generally regarded as faithful reproductions, but they just don't have that compelling "been there, done that" quality that a real USGI carbine has.


M2 Carbine
February 25, 2007, 05:51 PM
Yes if you run across a good GI Carbine for $400-$500 buy it.

All I've seen in the last couple years is high dollar "collectors" guns or $500 junk that I wouldn't use for parts.:(

I did buy a couple nice after market Carbines. One a like new Iver Johnson and the other a NIB IAI.
Someone must have had the IAI put up since IAI has been out of business for a while. It was even in the original wrapping paper.
I wish it was a 5.7 Johnson instead of a 30 cal. IAI made some in 5.7 Johnson.
So did Johnson.
FYI, the muzzle velocity is 3,000 fps.

Both Plainfield and IAI used some GI parts, like trigger housings and bolts.

Funny thing was IAI refinished the M2 bolt but it had a broken extractor.

February 26, 2007, 04:24 PM
I have an IAI M1 Carbine. Excellent quality and fit - for an old-time battle pony. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. I have put about 1750 rounds through it including a lot of cast lead handloads (Meister Bullets). It has shot great from the first round. Good gun for under the truck seat. The IAI isn't a collectable, so it goes with me as a working gun.

February 26, 2007, 05:31 PM

Do it fast. AWB2 would make the M1 illegal

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