M1 carbine: 1st time buyer advice neded


June 3, 2011, 09:16 PM
I've given in to the urge to get an M1 carbine as a plinker and truck gun. I do not care for collectors value. That's a pet peeve. Please leave it alone.

I've been shooting and reloading a variety of rifles and pistols for 20+ years. When the desire for a carbine hit, I spent a day at the range with a friend's Winchester M1 carbine. It's like a big kid's 10/22 and I've got to have one for chasing cans and bowling pins.

After doing a lot of research on the different makers and re-makers of the carbine I've settled on either a Plainfield or GI (assuming I can find one cheap enough). This will essentially be a knock-about truck gun to sacrifice to the dent and ding gods in order to preserve my nicer guns.

My priorities are (in order):
1) reliable function
2) accuracy (2" groups at 50 yards is perfect for one of these)
3) cost
4) adjustable rear sight
5) all wood furniture that won't fall off (character marks welcome)

What are the bad things to look out for and what are bonuses? I do understand that 99.99999999% of these are parts guns with mixed manufacturer parts.

I would appreciate all relevant input.

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June 3, 2011, 09:21 PM
I had a Kahr/Thompson M1 carbine awhile back...god I miss that little rifle.

I paid about $800 new for it a few years back, and they threw in 2-10 round magazines and one 15-rounder.

It was as fun as my dad's AR, maybe moreso. I had to sell it when .30 Carbine dried up around here.

Do get one. You won't regret it.

June 3, 2011, 09:28 PM
I've had a Plainfield for eons. Never had any problems a bath didn't fix. Never had to change a single part either. However, they will take issue parts should you ever need 'em. Shoots far better than 2" at 50 with my handloads. Speer 110 grain HP's with IMR4227.
Milsurp carbines have gotten stupid expensive. Supply and demand thing, of course. Really too expensive to use as a truck gun.

June 3, 2011, 09:33 PM
Check the muzzle for defects and the barrel for wear, make sure the bolt isn't cracked, check the stock out and make sure the rifle fits tight. Look for signs of re-welded parts. Most parts are readily available to fix it up. I love my Carbines. They are great little rifles.

June 4, 2011, 12:41 AM
Well, your 2nd requirement strongly points toward the Kahr/AO M1 Carbine.
Barrels on these carbines are new as is everything else, so it does tend to have a significant edge over most rack grade M1 Carbines.

I purchased mine (Kahr/AO) around 5 years ago and really couldn't be happier with it. My only concerns with it is scratching or dinging the stock as it's so gorgeous. Sometimes "too pretty" really can cause issues in and of itself.

From a reliability standpoint, mine functions flawlessly with FMJ, all JSP I've tried so far (PRVI/PPU, Magtech and Federal) and Corbon DPX.

June 4, 2011, 12:57 AM
The only useful advice I can give, is don't put it off, in 30 yrs they have never gone down in price, they will always cost more tomorrow. The first one I bought cost $175 for a Nat'l Postal Meter. The last one I sold was $550, for an early Universal.

June 4, 2011, 05:58 AM
As long as you buy GI you can't go wrong. Most have gone through rebuild and well have type 3 parts.

Smokey Joe
June 4, 2011, 12:28 PM
Feets--Another vote here for you getting yourself a "real" M1 Carbine, i.e. a military one. Suggest you get yourself signed up with the CMP, so as to be notified when/as/if they ever get another shipment of Carbines; jump through the none-too-demanding hoops to qualify for purchasing it, and enjoy what you get.

Cost would be a factor too; the last batch of Inlands they sold for ~ $500; the rarer makers were higher of course, but like you I wanted a shooter, not a collectors' item, so that was what I went for.

CMP was most obliging, quick, and they have a special dispensation to ship firearms--at least long guns--directly to you w/o going through an FFL, a nice touch.

CMP website: www.odcmp.org

June 4, 2011, 12:52 PM
I've been watching the CMP. They changed the message "we will get more soon" to "we will not be receiving any more" so I guess they're out of the carbine business. :(

June 4, 2011, 02:21 PM
Historical, fun, handy, effective short-range (100-150 yds) weapon...

Ammo availability problem, too expensive...

Hope you find a good one. ;)


June 4, 2011, 02:39 PM
Feets, I agree with with the the rest of the folk here, M1 Carbines are just great fun to shoot!! I have three, two Gi's and an after market.

To solve the ammo cost problem try reloading. I use RCBS dies, for mine. sbs

June 4, 2011, 02:43 PM
I understand that we have Obama and his cohorts for the no more expected from CMP. (In some ways it is a sorry country we live in nowadays.) sbs

June 5, 2011, 09:56 AM
Feets; email sent. Have some GI carbines you might like.

June 5, 2011, 10:48 AM

Its easy to blame the current president for everything, I really think it is more of a lack of semi only carbines, we probably have close to 50k M2s in arsenals (from a C2 builder mind you)

June 5, 2011, 12:21 PM
Ammo availability problem, too expensive...

Not really. I'm able to load them for the price of .22 rimfire.:)



June 5, 2011, 12:39 PM
I load mine with a 120grn hard lead bullet at 1450-1500 fps. cycles fine. Fist sized 10 round group at 50 yds off a sandbag. (between my reloads, a rather worn barrel, iron sights and the fact I'm just not a great shot I don't expect any better accuracy)

But I spend most of my time hunting for the brass. It's scarce and I hate to lose it.

June 5, 2011, 03:25 PM
Try some Russian. Works just fine, its cheap, and you don't have to chase brass.
Don't believe all the crap you hear about it "ruining" your gun. Have used it several of mine with no issues.

Tim the student
June 5, 2011, 10:09 PM
I understand that we have Obama and his cohorts for the no more expected from CMP.

Please do tell. If you're referring to the Korea thing, check out what Orest has to say about that.

June 6, 2011, 08:08 AM
I really wish people here could keep politics to themselves, obviously we all have differing opinions, so stop hijacking this thread with useless blather.

My gunsmith just told me, regarding your questions to check the receiver ring for warping

June 6, 2011, 11:00 AM
My apology to all, for the Obama post. Promise not to ever talk politics again. sbs

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