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Get a 9mm carbine, .357 lever, or stick with my M-1 carbine?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Frandy, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. Frandy

    Frandy Well-Known Member

    I usually don't ask for advice on what firearms I'm purchasing, because I know myself well and I'm pretty certain about what I want and don't want at any particular time. But, I'm feeling stuck on this one.

    Permit me to set the stage before I ask for your input.

    I have an M-1 carbine, a "modern" Auto Ordnance. It's fine. And I'm pleased with it. And, I have plenty of ammunition for it. I shoot it very well. No matter what, I keep the M-1.

    Now, unlike some folks here (and please, let's not hijack this into an argument on this point), I don't expect to be defending the US turf against invading enemies of any kind.

    Nevertheless, I'm just thinking that I want something else...just in case of sumpum...

    Many years ago I owned an AR-15, but I don't reload and I can't shoot .223 or 5.56 at the place I regularly shoot, which is indoors. And, perhaps .223 is getting too expensive (might be wrong on that). Am I off the mark on this? Is an M16 the best choice here anyway?

    So, I was thinking that a 9mm carbine-style weapon, such as the Beretta Storm might do the trick. After all, I do shoot 9mm in 4 different pistols and have plenty of ammo. But, is there any other advantage having such a weapon, given what I have? And should I get a .45 version instead? I also shoot 1911s.

    Another choice is to get either a Marlin or Winchester lever-action (I think Marlin) in .38/.357. Note that I'm not interested in a 30-30 or .44. I'd rather stick with calibers I currently shoot.

    Or, stick with the M-1 cause I'm not gaining much otherwise. I don't really believe that, but... I'm stuck!

    Suggestions? Any info to help me think this through better?

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2007
  2. ozwyn

    ozwyn Well-Known Member

    Which pistol caliber in your handgun collection is the most fun for you to shoot?

    then pick a carbine which matches the caliber and complements what you're best at. That's my free advice.
  3. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    First of all, don't get rid of the M1 if you like it. It sounds like to me that you are just getting bored with it. Even if you are getting tired of it now, later after not shooting it for a while, you'll regret that you got rid of it. Unless there is a good reason that you don't want it, always keep a good, reliable, proven weapon. Just put it in the back of the safe for six months or so. Then take it out and shoot it.

    I've always had a yearning for a .357 lever carbine. You can shoot .38 special in some of them(certainly Marlin's) allowing cheap plinking as well as having a pretty powerful carbine with full house .357 loads. You already have a semi-auto in the M1 so a levergun should compliment your collection nicely.
  4. Frandy

    Frandy Well-Known Member

    Oops... I should have stated that the M-1 carbine stays for sure!
    I'll add that to my original post.

  5. Geno

    Geno Well-Known Member

    For what it's worth...

    It seems that we think alike. I do not foresee a SHTF scenario. That said, when I purchase a new firearm, I want one that can be used for plinking on a daily basis, and in the very unlikely event of a SHTF situation, it could be brought to bare. That is what I think when I purchase a firearm. I also do no want to have to purchase new calibers of ammunition above what I currently own. That is another way of saying I already have too many calibers: .22LR; .22 Mag.; 5.56 NATO; 7.62 NATO; .300 Win Mag.; .45 ACP; 9MM Luger; .380 ACP; and 12 gauge. That’s a few too many already!!! Whatever I buy, I would want for it to fall within these calibers.

    A few months back I began thinking wouldn’t it be fun to have a carbine in a pistol caliber?! I was talking about this with one of my friends who works in a major sporting/firearms chain locally. Knowing that I have been interested in a Bushmaster or other 9MM carbine just for fun…plinking, my friend told me about the chain’s recent sale on the Hi-Point 9MM Carbine for $159.00! Myself, I have never fired one, seldom held one and always found them somewhat funny-looking. My friend told me, “They are American-made; have a life-time, no-questions-asked warranty and are as-accurate-as anyone would ask for in a close-quarters firearm. I did a search here at THR and could not locate very many for sale or trade. Could this be because few people buy them? Or could it be because those people who buy them, keep them? I don’t know.

    To me, the price difference between an AR-styled rifle at $1,000.00+ with a 1-year warranty, and the Hi-Point carbine at $159.00 with a life-time warranty, well, I just have to ask myself, how could I justify the difference to my wife? To me, it really depends on the budget. If someone can easily afford the AR-styled rifle, that’s sure what I would buy. Why? Simple…they look awesome, have history and high-capacity magazines! If I had a budgetary constraint and wanted a 9MM a carbine, I would at least look at the Hi-Point. By the way, they (have) manufacture(d) it in 9MM, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. My friend says that his Hi-Point, while ugly, has been 100% reliable. Edited to add the following information Re: Hi-Point:

    Advanced Technology:

    Centerfire Systems, Inc

    The Martialist com (Enhancements and accuracy)

    Mr. Completely (Info Re: Hi-Point)

    Combat Stocks

    The High Road (a thread)
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2007
  6. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Well-Known Member

    Since you shoot 9mm and 45 the only reason I can think of for buying one over the other is the 9mm is cheaper to shoot.

    Another Carbine you might consider is the Ruger PC9. I just bought a PC4 (40 S&W). They are cheaper than the storm, selling for about $400. I haven't had mine long enough to see if it has any bugs but it seems like a slick little Carbine.

    Too bad you don't have any place to shoot .223. The Kel Tec PLR-16 .223 pistol is an interesting, fun, small Carbine size gun, that's inexpensive at about $430 (stripped).
  7. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    9mm should gain velocity from the long barrel. 45ACP does not show much improvement in a carbine.
  8. B.D. Turner

    B.D. Turner Well-Known Member

    I cannot think of a job that the .30 carbine cannot do that the 9mm or .357 could do better. Sure you can hot load the .357 but for day to day shooting and plinking the carbine is a great rifle.
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Sure it does. Take your .45 Carbine to a gun fight and take your 9MM to the range for cheap fun. I have a Kel-Tec and a CX4 Storm in 9MM and they are both great. :)
  10. Red Tornado

    Red Tornado Well-Known Member

    Wow, tough choice. Both your choices are on my waiting (wish) list. For plinking, cheaper is better, so I'd go 9mm.

    However, I've got to agree with M2, if you're looking for a 9mm carbine, the Ruger's seem well made and feel great. However, I've not shot one, just handled several. (One day I won't put it back on the shelf) You might also consider a Marlin Camp 9. To me the real difference maker would be what kind of 9mm pistols you have. Any carbine that allowed interchangeability of magazines would catapult to the top.

    I'm a big fan of a handgun and carbine using the same mags.

    Of course, you can't go wrong with a .357 lever. Classic looks, good power, fun, reliable, relatively cheap plinking....hmmm. Okay I'm not helping.

    You could flip a coin and get a great answer either way. Just go ahead a decide to get both, and this thread becomes, "Which one first." :evil:
  11. kymarkh

    kymarkh Well-Known Member

    Sub 2000

    I went through the same thought process last summer and decided that until I can afford an AR (and it's ammunition costs!) I would go with a pistol-caliber carbine that uses the same magazines as my primary target/plinking pistol. Much easier to afford 200 or so rounds a week, and I already have plenty of magazines. I'm planning on purchasing a Keltec Sub 2000 carbine in Glock configuration because it shares magazines with my G34 and also accepts the Glock 30+ round magazines. Have not found one locally yet but plan on purchasing the first one I see.
  12. Squidward

    Squidward Well-Known Member

    Given the points you noted in your post the choice seems obvious; you want the .38/.357 lever action.
  13. RevolvingCylinder

    RevolvingCylinder Well-Known Member

    I guess I'll have to be the lone dissenter here but for the amount of money you'll be sinking into another carbine, you could have a decent reloading set-up. I don't foresee ammunition prices dropping soon and reloading will open more doors for you, so to speak.
  14. roscoe

    roscoe Well-Known Member

    I am gong to have to disagree with you there B.D. . At 100 yards the .357 shooting the Buffalo Bore 125 grain load has just slowed down enough to match the power of the .30 carbine at the muzzle. You can get hardcast ammo for the .357, or heavy softpoints up to 200 grains, that can take most any American animal within 100 yards. Or, you can plink with .38s. It is one of the most versatile rifle rounds out there.

    The carbine essentially only has the semi-auto cycling as its advantage. Ballistically speaking, that is. Nostaligia is powerful, I am the first to admit.
  15. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    If you like your 1911s alot - I love mine :D then do what I did and find a good used Marlin Camp Carbine in 45 ACP. They're out of production, but they use 1911 mags and they look like a traditional rifle with wood montecarlo stock. Their recievers are also drilled & tapped and use the same base as a Marlin 336 for optics.

    Otherwise, if you want a semi-auto, a Beretta or Ruger Carbine if you have a pistol for it to share mags with. Next would be Kel-Tec Sub 2000, they have a few variants for different pistol mags on those; or a Marlin Camp Carbine in 9mm which takes S&W twin column mags.

    Pistol caliber leverguns are also quite fun and in .357 Mag they're quite versatile.

    My suggested solution is to buy the .357 Mag lever gun to share revolver ammo, and get the carbine that will share mags with my favorite pistol. You could buy both for the same or probably less money than an AR or similar high end pistol cal. carbine.
  16. grimjaw

    grimjaw Well-Known Member

    Frandy, one of each! :)

    Since I sold all of my revolvers except one, and it's chambered for 9mm, the only reason I buy .38/.357 is for my Marlin 1894C. It's a fun gun, no doubt, but I don't get to the range with as much as the Ruger PC9. The Marlin is going to be more versatile than any of the 9mm carbines.

  17. 106rr

    106rr Well-Known Member

    The big advantage in having a second carbine is fun. The lever action Marlin 94 in 357 mag will be a barrel of fun to shoot. You can get cheap ammo anywhere, shoot it on an indoor range and carry it without looking like a militiaman. It also has an advantage in shooting at 100 yds or more. The 9MM runs out of steam but the 357 mag will still knock down steel.
    The secondary advantage is that occasionally you will see a shortage of your preferred ammo in one caliber or another. There seems to be a shortage of WWB .30 carbine right now. This is most accurate in my M1.
    There is good ammo available for both plinking and SD in both calibers. The 9 MM doesnt gain much in a carbine. The .45 gains nothing. The 357 gains plenty in a carbine. Specialty ammo like CorBon DPX is available for both 30 M1 and 357mag.
  18. davera

    davera Well-Known Member

    Add a .357 carbine

    I vote to add the .357 lever action carbine and at some point add a corresponding revolver to your armory. I also have the AO carbine but like my Marlin 1894 in .357 just as much. They overlap a bit in purpose, the AO excels in rapid fire, the 1894 may carry a little more thump with a 158 gr bullet.

    In the (truth be known, unlikely) SHTF scenario of roving bands of goblins either would do the job ... and who knows ... you might want your wife or neighbor to be using one of them.

    And besides ... what personal armory is complete without a lever action rifle?
  19. ilmonster

    ilmonster Well-Known Member

    Ok, I'm probably the wrong person to answer this because in the last two years I've purchased a Rock River 9mm AR and Marlin 1894C in .357! If you are looking for something for potential defensive use, the .357 from a carbine length barrel as others have said can approach .30-.30 balistics. But then again, for cheap fun the RRA AR is a hoot (Winchester 9mm white box from Wally for $14 per 100 rds), although the RRA costs $900+ and the Marlin costs $425. Maybe sell the M-1 and get both??
  20. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Well-Known Member

    I've had my 9mm AR for some time now. It's a fun cartridge to shoot and costs a fraction of what my .223 ARs cost to shoot.

    Here are some velocities for comparison that I chronographed some time ago.

    Remington 9mm bulk pack 115gr JHP.
    Kahr T9 4.0" barrel= 1146.6 FPS
    9mm AR15 14.5" barrel= 1305 FPS

    load #1 Winchester USA 115 Gr FMJ ( White Box 100rd count Value Pack)
    Kahr PM9 3.0" barrel : 1020 FPS
    9mm AR15: 1280 FPS

    Load #2 Speer 124 Gr +P Gold Dot
    Kahr PM9 3.0" barrel : 1093.4 FPS
    9mm AR15: 1374 FPS

    Load #3 Winchester USA 115 Grain JHP (White Box 50ct)
    Kahr PM9 3.0" barrel : 989.5 FPS
    9mm AR15: 1212.2 FPS

    Load #4 Winchester USA 147 Grain JHP (White Box 50ct)
    Kahr PM9 3.0" barrel: 863.82 FPS
    9mm AR15: 1002 FPS

    Load #5 Federal Personal Defense 135gr JHP

    Kahr PM9 3.0" barrel: 926.64 FPS
    9mm AR15: 1133.5

    As you can see, you will have some velocity gain, but they won't be "screamers".

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