My '44 Underwood M1 Carbine

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by BudrowBob, Apr 15, 2022.

  1. BudrowBob

    BudrowBob Member

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    I bought this M1 back in 1990, still have the receipt, it was $139.00 through shotgun news.

    It's a Korean re-import by Blue Sky, and other than the barrel and receiver, everything else is pretty mismatched. The metal parts of the Carbine look good thanks to the refinish job done by Blue Sky, but I remember the stock looked terrible when I got it, so I refinished it.

    I fired it a few times back when I got it, and it was OK, but it's mostly been in the safe.

    Now that I'm retired, I actually have the time to get out and shoot some of my firearms.
    This one has been getting my attention lately.
    I know carbines are not known for great groups, but this one seemed really bad, I began to suspect the barrel was worn out or damaged by the Blue Sky import stamp.
    M1_Carbine.jpg
    I found a great article on the CMP website about accuracy of the M1 Carbine.
    My recoil plate was probably 80% of my accuracy problems. It was too loose and the barrel did not hang as it should. I followed their advice on tightening it up and group size got much better.
    The other 20% was my astigmatism which makes the rear sight look like an oval instead of a circle.
    I also installed the Unimak rail (Christmas present from my wife) and mounted a Romeo5 red dot.
    M1-Carbine-reddot.jpg
    I refuse to make any permanent modifications to any of my surplus firearms.
    It's been a great upgrade, really brings the Carbine into the 21st century.

    I can now consistently hit a 6" plate at 100 yds which is not bad for me and my old eyes.
    I'm glad I stocked up a lot of reloading supplies for it over the years.

    *** NOTE: I have read a lot over the years and I am now familiar with Blue Sky imports reputation or lack thereof. lol
     
  2. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Nice Carbine, the wood looks great!

    Before shooting any of mine for the first time, I always removed the stock and checked the piston nut staking among other things, so the plate and hang get adjusted during reassembly. Perhaps because of this, Ive never had one that WASN'T a tack driver, lol.

    Kinda like the AKs reputation for inaccuracy, which Ive never really experienced- dont believe everything you read on the internet.:)
     
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  3. BudrowBob

    BudrowBob Member

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    My recoil plate was very loose, the barrel was just laying in the stock. Back in the 90s, I didn’t know that was a problem. Not much internet back in those days.
    I hammered it back into shape and it tightened up nicely. I never knew the barrel is supposed to hang above the stock and the barrel band pulls everything together.
     
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  4. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    I think that Peter Lynch would classify that as a "ten-bagger" today.
     
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  5. BudrowBob

    BudrowBob Member

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    Yes, although for years it was not particularly collectible or considered worth much.
     
  6. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Interesting. I bought an Underwood M1 Carbine at B&B Sales in Westminster, CA in 1991 for $139 that was a Korean “Lend / Lease” as well. It was a wonderful little shooter. Very accurate with Federal American Eagle ammo. It was a fun gun. I sold it to a friend of mine for $250. A week later Clinton banned the sale of them and prices shot up to over $700.

    Oh well, I enjoyed it very much.
     
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  7. ECVMatt
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    ECVMatt Contributing Member

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    I have a Blue Sky Winchester and it is a good shooter. I bought it from the same batch as you guys. I am glad you are enjoying your carbine.
     
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  8. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    My Blue Sky Garand had a really awful stock, broken op rod spring and worn bore, but she also cleaned up nice. The stock wasn't worth the effort of refinishing, so I bought an Italian walnut job from Sarco; I also had the barrel replaced at the CMP Custom Shop. I gather Blue Sky imports were a crap shoot -- with the emphasis on crap -- but given today's prices for M1 Garands and Carbines they seem more and more like prudent investments.

    MyGarand.jpg
     
  9. BudrowBob

    BudrowBob Member

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    The Garand is one rifle I regret not buying when they were inexpensive.
    Now I'm old and Garand's have gotten really heavy. :rofl:
     
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  10. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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  11. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    Wow Dave! We must have gotten the same rifle! Mine had same problems!
    I only replaced the spring, but it gives me great pleasure in shooting it.
     
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  12. lightman

    lightman Member

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    Thats a nice refinishing job on the stock. Glad you got it to shooting better.
     
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  13. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Looks great!

    My Dad and I both have Blue Sky Garands. His looks almost unissued, but is probably just a really good arsenal rebuild. Mine had excellent metal, but the stocks were so/so with a really ugly Chui wood upper, which I quickly replaced with GI walnut. Mine also had a nasty dent in the muzzle and needed recrowned, but has been a great shooter since.
     
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  14. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    I’d rather have a Garand (and do).
     
  15. BudrowBob

    BudrowBob Member

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    That’s nice. I was concerned.
     
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  16. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    You got a bargain. In the 1980's, the going price for a run-of-the-mill Carbine was in the $200 range. Perhaps the "Blue Sky" stamp depressed the price.
     
  17. BudrowBob

    BudrowBob Member

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    They imported a bunch and for years that ugly “blue sky” stamp on the barrel seemed to be a problem to others. But I bought it to shoot, not resell.
    I'm not a collector, I'm a shooter. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2022
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  18. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Supposedly some of the Blue Sky barrel stamps were heavy enough to actually deform the barrel. I don't doubt it, since Ive seen more than one Carbine with bent barrels, so I assume they are somewhat soft steel.
     
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  19. BudrowBob

    BudrowBob Member

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    I have read the same thing and mine has what i considered a pretty deep stamp.
     
  20. trackskippy

    trackskippy Member

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    I have a Blue Sky Winchester. Got it a couple years back, but it had an extra zero in the price. Even the Blue Sky's aint cheap these days. :( Although after bitching about the stamp on the barrel, they did drop the price $300. :)

    Of the three I currently have, its actually my favorite and the one that gets shot the most.

    Of course, the charging handle sheared off the slide the first time out. o_O Appears it was a Korean replacement at some point, and Numrich got it fixed right back up with a GI replacement. If you need parts, they are a great resource. Other than that, and the usual fixes these guns seem to need addressed (bolt rebuild, springs, sight restaked, proper mags, etc), its been fine since.

    Once I got the rear sight restaked properly, it shot a lot better. Seems a lot of people must think you're supposed to drift them in the dovetail for windage, as the 5 carbines Ive had, all had the rear sights loose, and knocked out of the stake.

    The CMP is a good resource for info on them. They go into pretty good detail on getting the sights properly rezeroed. Many, if not most of the rearsenaled guns did not have the front sight properly rezeroed when the gun was through the arsenal after the war, and the rear sight markings wont always pan out. As long as the front post is "tall", you can usually get them properly adjusted with a little careful filing and measuring.

    Most seem to have been through the arsenal (the bayo lug and adjustable rear sight are a good indication), but Ive seen a number of them that came back and were kept, and still have the original rear sight and no bayo lug.

    Fun and accurate shooters. My only real complaint is, they randomly chuck their brass in a 360 degree "group" and anywhere from at your feet to 15'-20' away. Once you have the brass, they are cheap to reload for, but the brass isnt cheap, and having to always hunt for it is a PITA.
     
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  21. BudrowBob

    BudrowBob Member

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    I have not really done anything to mine over the years,
    I have not had to replace any parts, I accumulated lots of spare parts for the Carbine over the years "just in case"

    I had to foresight to stock up on a lot of reloading components when I saw the cheap surplus drying up.
    One of the few times i got things right.

    The front sight on mine is tall, but I could never bring myself to file it down,
    I simply moved the rear sight up to get it on target at 100yds and honestly, that's about as far as I can shoot with iron sights and my old eyes.
    Glasses are no substitute for young eyes.

    When I was in the army, I remember shooting my Kar98k Mauser at 300M with iron sights with no problems, consistently hitting steel plates, not happening these days.
    But adding the Romeo 5 has been a real game changer for me and shooting this carbine.
     
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  22. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    For the Blue Sky folks.
    Import%20Markings.png

    The above was a take off years ago. I never saw a barrel M1 Garand or Carbine where the barrel import stamp was deep enough to effect form, fit or function of the barrel. That includes dozens of Blue Sky rifles (mostly Garands) which passed through me. So if I rebarrel a Blue Sky import is it still a Blue Sky import? :)

    Ron
     
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  23. BudrowBob

    BudrowBob Member

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    I consider my "Blue Sky" stamp just another battle scar.
     
  24. The Happy Kaboomer

    The Happy Kaboomer Member

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    I like shooting my Carbines and Garands. I have an Underwood-Elliot-Fisher that was a lend-lease return from Germany. It is marked "Bavarian Forestry Police. Also shown is one of my Garands. A Springfield. Both purchased from the CMP in Anniston alabama. I also shoot cast bullets in both rifles with Zero problems.
     

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  25. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    I have an original 100%, I think, Underwood. Some dumbazz filled in the sling/oiler hole with plastic wood and built up a Weatherbyesque pistol grip out of the same crap and replaced the buttplate with a recoil pad. I have a replacement plate and sling and am about to dig out the dremel, chisel and light hammer to see if I can reclaim it. I do have a Winchester stock if all else fails. It shoots great. I guess I'd better check the internals after reading this thread. I have the govt classified publications on the M1, M2 carbine and the Thompson. Friend of a friend...
     
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