M1 Carbine or AR-15? Which one to buy?


PDA






seeds76
June 12, 2008, 10:17 PM
I'm trying to decide on which carbine to invest in - an M1 or AR-15? What are the major pros and cons from those who have experience with either or both?

Both have great American history behind them and they're around the same price new. I plan on using for home defense/shtf/range.

If you enjoyed reading about "M1 Carbine or AR-15? Which one to buy?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
SSN Vet
June 12, 2008, 10:19 PM
Which one to buy?

as usual...the answer depends on the intended purpose.

19-3Ben
June 12, 2008, 10:24 PM
What you describe sounds like a good role for the M1, and if you are looking for an investment...well, there won't be any more milsurp M1s. There will be plenty of commercial ARs for a long time to come.

Dave Markowitz
June 12, 2008, 10:27 PM
Since you use the word, "invest"...

I suggest a USGI M1 Carbine. Why? They aren't making any more of them. The value will not go down. More likely, it'll appreciate. Ease of acquisition is unlikely to go up.

In contrast, unless there's another AWB, the only thing preventing you from getting an AR-15 is lack of funding. They are probably the most popular single type of rifle in the US now, and that doesn't show any signs of changing. Unless you get some special, rare variant, or there's an AWB with a grandfather clause that permits transfer, it will depreciate.

From a practical user standpoint, ammo costs are comparable now that cheap .223 has dried up. Either will work just fine as a defensive gun (assuming good functional condition and decent ammo). The AR-15 has an edge in terminal ballistics past 100 yards, but unless you're hunting, target shooting past that distance, or using it in a war zone, that's not very important, IMO.

Here's a pic of my 1944 Underwood to further whet your appetite:

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/davemarkowitz/M1_Carbines/1944_underwood.png

And my gussied up 1943 Rock Ola:

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/davemarkowitz/M1_Carbines/Rock_Ola_Side.jpg

Oh, what the heck. Here's my Colt AR-15A3. I have a different scope on it now, though.

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/davemarkowitz/Hakko%20Electrodot/Colt_With_Hakko.jpg

:D

NC-Mike
June 12, 2008, 10:28 PM
What you describe sounds like a good role for the M1, and if you are looking for an investment...well, there won't be any more milsurp M1s. There will be plenty of commercial ARs for a long time to come.


Maybe not...

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g312/Mike____Smith/Miscellaneous/barackcigarett.jpg

seeds76
June 12, 2008, 11:09 PM
Dave,

That's a beautiful underwood!!

Acera
June 12, 2008, 11:21 PM
I would buy the M-1 carbine, because I have a bunch of AR's. Well that tells you where my priorities are, lol.

shep854
June 12, 2008, 11:39 PM
Dave, can you de-gussify that Rock-Ola?

I would (will) go for an AR; I already have an M1 carbine (a Rock-Ola w/ Winchester barrel. Actually, I want to build an M16A1 clone, first. I am also thinking about returning the carbine to its original configuration with a flip sight and removing the bayo lug.

transformerguru
June 13, 2008, 12:29 AM
I have both :) get one from the CMP and save for the AR

blkbrd666
June 13, 2008, 12:43 AM
I voted M1 for all the same reasons already mentioned. Plus, I still lack 4 of the manufacturers having the set...which reminds me, I need to take a drive to the CMP store pretty soon. Then there's the excuse, "Audie Murphy would be proud".

Dave Markowitz
June 13, 2008, 10:43 PM
Seeds, thanks. I was lucky to nab this one.

Shep, I can easily restore the Rock Ola to GI condition in about 5 minutes. All I need to do is remove the Ultimak and replace it with the orginal GI handguard. I may actually do this, as I'm thinking about moving the Ultimak/red dot over to another Underwood I have which is in a replica M1A1 paratrooper stock. (Yes, I have 3 M1 Carbines. :) )

shep854
June 13, 2008, 10:57 PM
Dan, I was pretty sure (you seem to be one who respects his weapons), but it's still a relief to know you didn't "Bubba-ize" that carbine!:)

possum
June 14, 2008, 02:36 AM
the m1 is a classic but i would go with the ar it is so much blacker and so so evil. the ar has so many more options and upgrades avaliable. i believe that you will be much happier with the ar as commpared to the m1.

RockyMtnTactical
June 14, 2008, 02:41 AM
The AR15 is much more practical and useful IMO.

shep854
June 14, 2008, 09:03 AM
Until I picked up a Kel-Tec SU-16C my carbine was my defense/Hit the hills rifle. While the .30 Carbine round (especially with soft-points) is a fine defensive round, the 5.56 gives the extra pop and versatility that is nice for a BUR. For the vast majority of my needs, a small compact rifle like the SU is fine.

Dave Markowitz
June 14, 2008, 10:21 AM
In a civilian setting, the main advantage of 5.56mm over .30 Carbine is accuracy and trajectory past 100 yards. At typical defensive engagement ranges, if one use JSPs in the .30 Carbine, it performs at least as well as the best 5.56mm loads, according to testing performed by Dr. Gary Roberts.

19-3Ben
June 14, 2008, 12:07 PM
NCMike-

too true, and scares the living s**t outta me.

threefeathers
June 14, 2008, 12:13 PM
I have 9 AR's and 3 M-1 Carbines.
If you are going for just one and you have the possible defense of your family in mind in a shtf situation you have to go with an AR-15.
With the Dems having a good possibility of controlling both houses and the exectuive office there is real danger of an AWB.
I'd go to AR15.com and look at the E&E and see if you can pick up a sweet deal.
Then I'd pick up 9 30 round mags, a red dot optic, and then save for an M=1 carbine.

lmccrock
June 14, 2008, 06:48 PM
Voted "Other", i.e., BOTH!

Why? To invest, M1 carbine. For defense, AR15. Very different. Certainly, M1 carbine is adequate for home defense but AR15 is far more flexible to customize to your exact wants.

The political thing may or may not happen. I warned my wife that based on the outcome of the primaries, "we" will be putting a bunch of money into every gun I think I may want for the rest of my life, at least the ones that will be unavailable.

Lee

paintballdude902
June 15, 2008, 12:33 AM
ars will be around for a long time get a cmp m1 carbine or garrand before they either run out or become unaffordable

dakotasin
June 15, 2008, 01:37 AM
i went out this evening in search of the definitive answer to this question.

i took a full-blown custom ar-15, a ww-2 era m-1 carbine, some 30 carbine ammo, some 223 ammo, a 5 year old girl, and an 8-year old girl to the range.

after the brass stopped piling up, we had a split decision: the eight year old girl says the m-1 carbine is the superior weapon. the 5 year old girl says the ar-15 is better.

the range is maybe 2 miles from my house. yeah, we had to stop halfway home to stop the bickering. and get ice cream.

at any rate... there is no clear decision. the older girl likes the m-1 better because she likes wood. the younger girl likes the ar better because "its better, daddy. can't you see?"

Sunray
June 15, 2008, 02:37 AM
"...they're around the same price new..." The only new M1 carbines are the AO/Kahrs. Too much money at $775 MSRP. A real Colt AR-A2 runs $1300ish.
"...if one use JSPs in the .30 Carbine..." Use JHP's with IMR4227. 13.5 to 15.0(compressed). Blows a hole in a ground hog the size of a grapefruit with no feeding issues.
An AR15 isn't a carbine. It's a commercial copy of a battle rifle. The short barreled models don't take advantage of the cartridge either. Neither do short barreled .308's.
"...a 5 year old girl, and an 8-year old girl..." Chicks! Geezuz, they always argue about everything. Especially sisters. That is funny though. Wait until they're teenagers. snicker.
"...Since you use the word, "invest"...I suggest a USGI M1 Carbine..." Absolutely. Even commercial carbines have skyrocketed in value in the last 10 years or so. Mind you, not all commercial carbines are equal, but even junker late model Universals have increased in value. Far moreso than any AR of the same vintage.

RockyMtnTactical
June 15, 2008, 03:49 AM
An AR15 isn't a carbine. It's a commercial copy of a battle rifle. The short barreled models don't take advantage of the cartridge either. Neither do short barreled .308's.

Since we're getting into semantics...

What's your definition of carbine? Dictionary.com lists the definition as a "a light, gas-operated semiautomatic rifle."

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/carbine

The AR15 certainly fits that description...

Also, according to the definition as I know it, the M16/M4 is not a "battle rifle". It is an "assault rifle".

As to the barrel length... M4 length (14.5" barrel) AR15's work just fine. With milspec ammo, they still are capable of fragmenting at ranges out to 60-100 (and more in some cases).

Do you think that it's likely to ever need an AR15 "carbine" for anything more than 50 yards? It's EXTREMELY unlikely to need an AR15 for most average folks in the first place... and considering that coupled with the likely ranges of a defensive firefight... the ranges afforded by the M4 length (and others like 16") are plenty for 99% of all scenarios one might encounter.

That is assuming you are stuck with milspec ammo like M193 or M855. There are better choices out there for us civilians ammo wise as well. Some that frag out to longer ranges, some that expand...

guntotinguy
June 15, 2008, 03:57 AM
The AR15 is much more practical and useful IMO

+ 1,I fully agree with this,nothing against the M1,but i have found my RRA and Colt to be more easily 'workable',and by function.

shep854
June 15, 2008, 08:33 AM
After reading RockyMtnTactical's last post, it occurred to me just how valid the topic question is. The original AR-15 was adopted by the USAF as a replacement for M1/M2 carbines used by AF security troops! Compared to the M1 or M14, the AR platform is just as much a "carbine" as the M1 carbine is.

What's funny is that the M16s have been called "Long Rifles" by M4 toters. My, how times change!:D An infantryman from the 1800s or earlier would probably laugh at the .30 cal "Battle Rifles" as peashooters compared to their "manly" .45 to .71 caliber boomers.:neener:

dakotasin
June 15, 2008, 12:54 PM
Chicks! Geezuz, they always argue about everything. Especially sisters. That is funny though. Wait until they're teenagers.


yeah, i've already caught glimpses. at least they are arguing about platforms and not cartridges or optics. even better, i like that they are arguing about which guns are better, and not debating guns as an option or not.

FMJMIKE
June 15, 2008, 05:14 PM
I use this late Inland M1 Carbine for my house gun. Probably more rifle than you will ever need. Definitely get a USGI Carbine...........:D
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/mbmphoto/Inland1H.jpg

MCgunner
June 15, 2008, 05:22 PM
Both are in pretty useless calibers, but I've always liked the little carbine, handy size, normal rifle ergos (don't like pistol grip guns), and at least an effective home defense rifle if nothing else. It'd make as good a knock around gun as my 10/22, I guess, and the caliber is more effective against humans, if not game.

Anyway, I've just always liked the M1 Carbine. Never did care for ARs. Garands, M14s, M1 Carbines, they have the ergos of a rifle. Quick to the shoulder and don't feel funny when shooting from positions. Pistol grips are for pistols.

mnw42
June 15, 2008, 11:19 PM
For collectors, right now M1 Carbines are very popular. This is especially true since there has been a lack (until recently) of quality commercial guns and a major interest in WWII gear. I doubt the AR will garner the kind of collector interest carbines have because there are a lot of companies making them and a lot more frankin-15s floating around.

The AR is accurate, can be reliable, and has more accessories than you can shake a stick at. It is also modular and versatile platform. you can by one gun and with a simple switch of an upper have a .223 carbine, a 22" HB varmint/target gun, a 6.5mm long range target gun, etc. Really, it is probably better to buy purpose built gear, but if you are on a budget it can work for you. Also, if they ban "evil assault weapons" the value could go up.


I must say: I do like my IBM. It is my primary HD gun, and at HD distances I think the 110 gr Cor-Bon DPXs will be effective. It is reliable, accurate, and oh so handy. Besides, I have a soft spot in my heard for forged steel and wood.
http://docstech.com/pertinax/arms/M1%20Carbine%20IBM-right-sm.jpg

jackdanson
June 16, 2008, 12:26 AM
AR is more "useful" but an m1 would be loads of fun.. both!

jackdanson
June 16, 2008, 12:31 AM
Pistol grips are for pistols.

No way, the news said pistol grips are for firing into schoolyards from the hip at extreme rates of fire....

I agree though, everyone keeps asking me when I am going to "convert" my saiga 12, why the heck do I need a pistol grip on my shotty, it works perfectly without one.

JesseL
June 16, 2008, 12:36 AM
It's all but impossible to make a good financial investment in a firearm, especially one you intend to shoot. I say go for the one that's a better and more flexible weapon. Get the AR.

Daniel Foster
July 21, 2008, 03:43 PM
From personal experience I like the M1 carbine much better. To me the AR is waaaay overpriced. Especially for a weapon that jams so easily. You need to keep these immaculately clean and use the best ammo in it in order for it to function properly. The design of the AR/M16 is very flawed. I have a hard time understanding why our military has used this jammer for so long...

Check out the H&K version of the AR/M16 (forgot the actual name). This is a very reliable, well-designed weapon. Our military should switch to these!

As for the M1 carbine, I own an Auto Ornance and it shoots everything but Wolf flawlessly. You can get Prvi Partisan or Georgia Arms ammo cheap for the M1 carbine, both FMJ or SP. Barely more expensive than Wolf .223. The 30 carbine round is a little less powerful than the .223, but as far as home defense or just fun shooting the round is perfect. The energy of this round is roughly that of a 44 magnum. The gun itself is well-balanced. I have no complaints about it.

As for the AR, I have a hard time trying to find good things to say about it...

dakotasin
July 21, 2008, 08:41 PM
To me the AR is waaaay overpriced. Especially for a weapon that jams so easily. You need to keep these immaculately clean and use the best ammo in it in order for it to function properly.

i don't know about all that... mine have not been real high maintenance, but i do clean them once in awhile. yearly, anyway.

i suppose this as good a time as any to mention i have had far more problems w/ my m1 than any of my ar's.

i do have the carbine running well now, but note it seems to be more prone to jamming than my ar's w/ fewer rounds fired. i can usually get about 125-150 trouble-free rounds out of the carbine before it jams. the only ar that has given me jamming problems was related to a mag issue. the gun still jammed, but replacing the mag cured that.

maybe the ar-15 is a flawed design and all that, but i do not think it is any worse than an m1 carbine, and think the ar-15 is a far, far more accurate weapon than the m1. i have trouble getting any real groups out of the m1 once i clear 100 yards, but the ar turns in great groups as far as i care to shoot it.

AR-15 Rep
July 21, 2008, 09:42 PM
There is a reason the AR-15/M-16 has been in service for over 47 years. And the M1 carbine, 18 years.

chauncey
July 21, 2008, 09:46 PM
There is a reason the AR-15/M-16 has been in service for over 47 years. And the M1 carbine, 18 years.

yep. ammunition commonality. at least, that's what doomed the M1 Carbine. can't imagine SAW's shooting a pistol round.

Ratshooter
July 21, 2008, 10:41 PM
I voted "Other".

I can't make myself like the AR15 rifles. I've tried. They just don't "do it" for me. I do like the M1 carbines. I just haven't found one for the right price.

The bottom line is this. I prefer my Mini-14 580 series or my Remington 7615 to either of the other guns. Heck, i like my SKS rifles better than the M1 or the AR.

dispatch55126
July 21, 2008, 10:45 PM
I thought the bayonet lug came out on the M2 and didn't appear until Korea?

Threeband
July 21, 2008, 10:48 PM
In the long run, of course, you WILL have both.

For the time being, try to shoot both and get a feel for them.

CMP is the way to go for the carbine. You'd better move FAST though: they are running out.

http://www.odcmp.com/rifles/carbine.htm

Looks like the Rack Grade Saginaw or National Postal Meter is the Best Buy at $479.

(I grabbed one of the last Inlands a few months ago.)

Anyway, a GI carbine, perhaps with an Ultimak and a red-dot, in either a Choate folder or a repro M1A1 folder from Numrich, would be very compact, light, and practical HD weapon. Lot of fun at the range, too. Good resale value.

But for serious, non-romanticized HD/ anti-zombie work, the AR is probably the way to go. I do have both, and in a Katrina/ L.A. Riots situation, I'd probably go for the AR.

(but http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=4705664&postcount=192 )

Mortech
July 21, 2008, 10:58 PM
I voted for the M1 , but I have both . Until I read this thread I was going to sell my 1943 Inland . Now I think I'll just hang on to it .

shep854
July 21, 2008, 11:24 PM
"I voted for the M1 , but I have both . Until I read this thread I was going to sell my 1943 Inland . Now I think I'll just hang on to it ." Mortech

Good man. I still have the random urge to kick myself around the room for selling my AR (an Olympic/SGW) A1 clone.

mljdeckard
July 22, 2008, 01:21 AM
M-1s aren't exactly cheap, $6-700 for a good Inland.

There are a good number of reasons I love my grandfather's heirloom Inland. It's small enough for my wife to handle comfortably, the cartridge ends the overpenetration/sufficient HD cartridge argument, etc. However, I wish it were more versatile, and I could get some good night sights for it. I love it, but if I hadn't inherited one, I don't know if I ever would have gotten around to buying one.

AmishFury
July 22, 2008, 01:40 AM
I thought the bayonet lug came out on the M2 and didn't appear until Korea?

the M2 was introduced in 1944 along with the bayonet lug and adjustable rear sight on the m1

Daniel Foster
July 22, 2008, 03:12 PM
It is true that when I first got me Auto Ordnance, I was very upset with it because it only wanted to fire American ammo. After at least maybe 100 rounds it started to shoot prvi partizan ammo just fine. Is it normal for a firearm to require breaking in? The only other one that I have bought new was my Saiga, .223 which of course is the perfect gun :D

Matt-J2
July 22, 2008, 04:02 PM
[jedi hand wave]You want to buy an AR[/jedi hand wave]

The more people that buy M1 carbines now, the less that will be around in 4-6mths when I have the money to get one! :p

Seriously, I'd get the M1carbine if you're looking for a collector piece.

rbernie
July 22, 2008, 04:17 PM
The carbine was handy when it and the ammo it shoots could be had as cheap surplus. Now that those days are gone, I do not myself see much value in either.

I prefer the AR; it shoots a more powerful round, is more ergonomic, is clearly more customizable, is not significantly larger/heavier than the M1 Carbine if you stay away from the HBAR variants, and in general I find it far more satisfying to use.

If you enjoyed reading about "M1 Carbine or AR-15? Which one to buy?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!