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M1 Carbine Buyer's Do's and Don'ts

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Tominator93, Dec 5, 2008.

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  1. Tominator93

    Tominator93 Member

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    I am interested in buying myself an M1. I'm not looking for anything fancy, doesn't have to be 100% original war-era parts or anything. I just want a reliable M1 for plinking on a saturday afternoon.

    However, I've been looking at the multitude of brands and models, and was wondering if there are some particular brands or generations of M1s that I should steer clear of. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. jacobhh

    jacobhh Member

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    Unless you REALLY know what you're doing, only buy from CMP.
     
  3. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

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    Good advice. :)
     
  4. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    DO: Buy a USGI M-1 Carbine

    DON'T: Buy a commercial clone *especially* do NOT buy a Universal.

    Right now the best source of GI M-1 Carbine is the CMP. Just order one of their guns and be done with it.
     
  5. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Thats not good advice, in fact, I think it is really bad advice. I agree that CMP is the best bet, but there is no reason to feel that you can't pick out a decent M1 Carbine without going through the CMP. With a little knowledge, you will do fine. The carbine is not hard to understand.

    A few general guidelines would be:

    Don't stray into commercial reproductions, and avoid the Universals, Auto Ordance, Plainfield, etc. If you don't know what you are doing, USGI is safer, and are the only ones that will go up in value generally.

    Check and see if the carbine is an import. These were guns that were sold or loaned to other governments after WWII and then reimported. Some are in bad shape. They are general marked with the name of the importer on the barrel. Be careful of these. Some are fine, but if you don't know what you are dong, you can get burned on an import, and they are not as desireable as non imports. If you know what you are doing and can find a decent import, it is ok to get it, but it is not worth as much as a non import.

    There are very few "all original" M1 Carbines out there. Most were rebuilt several times while in Army possession, and most have mismatched parts. My general rule of thumb is that any M1 Carbine being touted as "all original" is a fake until proven otherwise. For example many people will take a mix-matched Inland, and swap out the small parts so they are all Inland made, then try to pass that gun off as "original". Its not.

    Expect the parts on an M1 Carbine not to match, for reasons mentioned above.

    Otherwise, assess a carbine as you would any other used gun. Look at the bore. Check the finish. Check the small parts.


    There are many many finer points, and they are the subject of many books on the subject. But these guidelines will get you off to a fair start.
     
  6. KODB

    KODB Member

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  7. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    At this point the CMP has nothing but Rack Grades to offer. There will be some service grade Winchesters next year though I believe.

    I would not buy one of their Rack grades unless I could visually inspect it. Some are pretty rough.
     
  8. KODB

    KODB Member

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    Agreed, I would pass on buying a carbine if only rackers are left. I have gotten several Service grades that are good to go. Hopefully more will materialize in the SG category.

    Bob
     
  9. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    My rack grade NPM runs just fine.
     
  10. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I am sure it does, but it doesn't have as much life left in it as one with less muzzle and throat erosion.
     
  11. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    True enough
     
  12. carbine85

    carbine85 Member

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    Get a set of Go / No Go guages and check the chamber.
    Look at the rifling and cycle the action. The bore should be shinny with good lands.
    See if the seller will let you take the rifle apart.
    Don't worry to much about the stock unless you are looking for a collector grade, you can pick up nice stocks or refinish what you get.
    As far the CMP goes, you will probably get a good rifle but I've seen some pretty rough rifles coming out of there.
    Early Plainfeilds are built with mostly USGI parts, so if the price is right I wouldn't have a problem buying one.
     
  13. finfanatic

    finfanatic Member

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    CMP has Service Grade Inlands

    I just checked and CMP has Service Grade Inlands they are still accepting orders on according to the website.

    The Winchester M1 Carbines went on sale on 12-01 and sold out on 12-05!
     
  14. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Member

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    Would someone be kind enough to explain why the Universal is not a good choice?
    I'm not a firearms novice, (have a bunch of them and shoot a lot, reload a lot, etc), but I'm not an M1 Carbine aficionado. The only one I have is a Universal. I realize it's not a "real" M1, as in it's not from a military contract. Mine does shoot fairly well though, at about 2 1/2" at 100 yd, and I've put many thousands of rounds through it with no problems, ever.

    I'm not trying to defend the manufacturer. Just looking for some reasons that these are to be avoided.

    Dean
     
  15. Paladin_Hammer

    Paladin_Hammer Member

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    Don't: Buy a M1 Carbine.
    DO: Buy a Ruger Mini-14. :D
     
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