M1 Carbine Questions

Discussion in 'Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion' started by JiroZero713, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. JiroZero713

    JiroZero713 Active Member

    I am currently looking for a semi-auto rifle and I have always adored the m1 Carbine. The reason behind this is because of video games like Day of Defeat...among others made me research the gun a bit.

    Now I'm not a gun wiz at all and this will be my first rifle purchase. I was thinking about getting a .22 for a while since the ammo is cheap but while the rifles are good and all I was something with a little more kick to it since I won't fire my rifle a lot anyway.

    Today I went with my father to a place called Mark's Outdoors down here in Alabama and I happened upon 2 M1 Carbines there...and something else that impressed me by the looks of it.

    The 1st M1 carbine had very dark wood and featured a heat shield on it. I can't really find much information on heat shields on m1 so I suppose you guys can fill me in on the ups and downs of it.

    I will be going back possibly on Friday or Saturday of this week to look upon it some more to get the serial code and all that stuff but then again I'm not a gun whiz so I don't really know much about guns.

    The 2nd Carbine had very light colored wood and did not feature the heat shield upon it and it looked fairly wared down...decent but not to eye catching like the first one that had hardly a scratch on it and was stable as hell.

    On both of them the wood seem pretty stable on them and felt well in place but the one with the dark wood was fairly nice and I liked the sights on it.

    The first carbine was marked down from 600 bucks to 395 dollars and he said it was chambered in .30-30 (which makes no sense because I think that all are chambered in .30 carbine so I think that guy didn't know what the hell he was talking about.)

    The 2nd one was only 350 but I'm leaning more to the 395 one because it looked much much better by the looks of it.

    Now for the third gun. A Ruger Mini-14.....this one I saw first because I was like "Man that looks like a good rifle...reminds me of the m1 almost." And then the guy showed me those previous 2....now the Ruger...man that thing had a scope with it....and just look fan****ingtastic and was on par with the dark wooded m1 in my eyes.

    Chambered in .223 I believe he said and man....I just loved the way the thing looked.....the light colored wood contrasted with the shining silver metal parts of it and just looked fabulous and was about 600 bucks....

    He tried to sell me ARs and an MP5 knock off but that wasn't my taste.

    So in conclusion can someone tell me what to look for in m1 carbines and Ruger's in particular? This includes the average price of ammunition and serial codes I should look for and manufacturers.

    Particularly about the Heat Shield as well since that just made the m1 carbine more modern looking and nice looking...I loved it....I almost bought it right then and there....I mean 395 bucks? That's cheap for me lol.
  2. beeman

    beeman Guest

    Given the sparse information you've posted here, my caveat is that all info I give concerning the one of the two firearms you describe should be taken with a grain of salt...

    Be that as it may, the carbine with the heat shield sounds like a Universal or other post-war replica. Oftentimes these used some or no USGI parts and almost always a commercially made receiver. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but USGI is preferrable and the commercial ones have had their problems. If it is a Universal, check if it has one or two recoil springs...one of those models has had problems. USGI .30 M1 carbines never came with heat shields.

    Otherwise, US M1 carbines can't be made to chamber 30-30 cartridges...the mechanism for operation universally (except for a few .22 models) needs an "auto" case...a rimmed 30-30 case just won't operate unless it's a spectacular one-off. M1 carbines have been refitted as wildcat cartridges (5.7 spitfire, 256 Win Mag, etc) and as a casual shooter these are tough to maintain & feed unless you are a reloader.

    Aside from that...I have 2 USGI carbines; a handstamped late-war Inland and an earlier IBM. I love both...one is a mix-n-match (varied grouping of USGI parts after an arsenal refit) and the other is mostly original. Both are lookers and a joy to shoot, hold and collect.

    Rockola, Standard Products, Saginaw, National Postal Meter, Underwood, Winchester (and maybe another manufacturer or so) all produced USGI carbines. All the aforementioned will be USGI. There are original models and arsenal refitted models...this depends on bayo lugs, rear sights (slide vs. flip), M1 vs. M2 stocks, etc. High wood and low wood stocks also have an impact on price as do arsenal and inspector marks. So many variables to list here...it's tough to do without sounding like a pompous bore.

    IMI, Kahr/Auto Ordnance, Universal, Iver Johnson/Plainfield and a few others are all commercial. Most shoot the .30 carbine round, which is roughly on par with the .357 and has a very moderate recoil. All around fun weapon to play with and most in good condition operate well up to 200 yards with commercial ammo...original USGI and equivalents (Greek for one) are hard to find.

    Long story short (too late for that!), get one in .22 or .30 carbine that works well and is in great shape and have fun with it. All USGIs have collector value, as do some of the earlier commercial/USGI mixes. Prices range from $300 to $3000, so that's little help to you.

    Mags for the .30 carbine are commonplace...stick with the 15 round USGI models. the 30 round versions are usually commercially produced and can have problems.

    I know, I am long winded yet far, far from an expert. Ask me any questions you may have but I heartily recommend the Jouster site for the .30 carbine and doing some research.

    Good luck and have fun!

  3. JiroZero713

    JiroZero713 Active Member

    Well the 2nd m1 looked kind of crappy and had a banana 30 round clip so I think both of the rifles are commercial.

    That suits just fine with me but I don't know if they are any good or not.

    I really like the Heat Shield one so could you explain to me what the problem is for those versions that you mentioned? I'm no gun expert as mentioned....actually I hardly know crap lol.

    I also actually liked the look of the Ruger Mini-14 which gave off an m1 look to it since it is a cousin of the m-14 apparantly.


    Ah I see the problems at bay here.

    I researched a bit more and found that the 1st Generation Universals are rather solid most of the time. Not completely sure.

    When it gets the the 3rd Generation they go down in quality.

    And since i'm a gun newb...on these Universals where can I find the Serial code. I'm going to go out tomorrow and go gun shopping because I want an m1 carbine dearly or possibly one of those Rugers.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  4. janikphoto

    janikphoto New Member

    The 30 round clips can be tough to keep working properly, from what I've heard. I only have 15 rounders for mine. They load just fine. And just because a rifle looks rough, it doesn't mean it's not GI issue. You need to check the maker and serial number.

    And because of your location, why don't you think about planning a trip to the CMP storefront? I think they are in your state, and they are now selling carbines to people who qualify. Oh, and if you can find it, the best ammo to feed your carbine with is the lake city stuff.
  5. JiroZero713

    JiroZero713 Active Member

    Yeah. I forgot about that store. Anniston really isn't all that far away from where I am. I might take a trip out there sometime but meh. I should be cool.

    I may still get this Rifle since it's rather close and cheap for now and then later on when I get some more case going all out and buying a well made to order rifle from CMP in Anniston.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  6. ScottG

    ScottG Active Member

    Well, I'd say why buy the postwar commercial model instead of the original? You're in Alabama, Orest and the CMP are nearby. Go to Anniston and buy a piece of history that's also fun to shoot. Of course, it's your choice, but when you purchase from the CMP you help the shooting sports.
  7. JiroZero713

    JiroZero713 Active Member

    I decided against the M1 Carbine and decided instead to get this dirty nasty looking Yugoslavian SKS instead..... because it was only 189 bucks and only put me in the hole 220 dollars which is half of what I would spend on the Carbine.

    I'm also since I am a gun newb....will be purchasing a .22 rifle so I can practice and get up to par with the SKS.

    I'll be posting another thread about SKS cleaning and manuals soon but I'm just going to gaze at this little number right here....had a dull bayonett and a grenade tip thing on it so I could fire grenades as well.

    I'm ready for Zombies I tell you what lol.


    But I'll save up and also buy an m1 carbine and further expand my soon to be vast gun collection.
  8. janikphoto

    janikphoto New Member

    That is a fair price for an sks. You'll have a LOT of fun with it! They are easy to maintain and easy to shoot. Plus, you can get ammo for about twenty cents a round, which is cheap compared to other calibers...
  9. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Active Member

    The prices you quote for the M1 Carbines seem reasonable. If you want a M1 Carbine, then nothing will satisfy you until you get one, there is no "equal" to owning an M1.

    The M1 Carbine is a military rifle ( My contention is that it is not a true "carbine" but a light rifle) and replacement parts are readily obtainable. The M1 carbine is easily disassembled for parts replacement. As a firearm, it's not too practical, there are better rifles for hunting and/or target shooting. And, a .22 r.f. is much cheaper for plinking.

    But, for week-end plinking, nothing beats an M1 for low noise, light recoil can-popping fun. If the stock is beat up, it can be replaced or refinished to make the thing look sharp.

    You pays your money, you takes your choice.

    Bob Wright
  10. merlin

    merlin Guest

    M1 Carbine

    About 10 years ago I was given a M1 Carbine by an old WWII vet. He was an officer in the Navy during he war. He brought the M1 home with him at the end of the war in the Pacific. This gentleman is still alive at the age of 88. The gun is stamped National Postal Meter. The barrel is stamped Marlin. The S/N is 1979xxx. I would have to say it is in pretty good shape. I am no gun expert though.

    Do any of you think this should be insured beyond the $600.00 range. When i was given the gun, it never occurred to me that it would have any real value. I figured the U.S. military had manufacture millions. I was surprised to see that it could be worth even $600.00

  11. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

    You should probably pursue a true GI carbine.

    I bought the brand-new, highly over-priced AO imitation (my first gun purchase, at age 52) over a year ago and after a month of tender care, the bolt got stuck during normal shooting-jammed. Have never tried to bump-fire my guns and never will. Even moving the bolt back and forth on real GI rifle feels more solid than the bolt on the gun which I had bought (out of sheer, dumb ignorance).

    Anyway, such a malfunction might be very rare, but it was such a turn-off to a late-bloomer, despite a good free factory repair, that I sold it at a real loss and bought a Mini 14, then a 30. Very happy with those and the rest.

    My friend who is an actual sharpshooter, and retired from the Naval Reserve Rifle Team, highly recommends joining the CMP and visiting their "racks and racks" of shiny M-1 Garands (& Carbines?) in Anniston, AL.
    He said it must be M-1 heaven.
    Excuse me-need to go clean the Mini 14 and check the SKS. Happy shopping out there.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009