The M-1 carbine is a weapon that is constantly overlooked as a survival
weapon. It really deserves a closer look. While it is considered a rifle,
it isn't on the same scale as a battle rifle firing a full power rifle
round. It is chambered for a pistol round equal to the .32 Winchester,
a round that was
obsolete 60 years ago. It does however compare very favorably to the current trend of carbines chambered for the 9mm, .40, & .45ACP rounds. It has several things going for it that are often ignored. Let's take a closer look at this weapon.
PRICE: Today, carbines are listed as selling anywhere from $300-450. I have seen them cheaper in pawn shops, or through private sales. How does this compare to an AR-15 or a pre-ban AK-47 clone? If you are knowledgeable about firearms, you could build your own. In today's SHOTGUN NEWS I see that M-1 receivers are listed at $123 retail from Rock Island Armory. Centerfire has parts kits listed for $109. I assembled a carbine on an old IVER JOHNSON receiver and then took it to a smith to check for proper head spacing. I also used one of Ramline's synthetic stocks. It weighs about 6 pounds empty, and I have all of $140 invested in it. No! It is not for sale!
WEIGHT: The carbine is listed as weighing only 6.5 pounds with a wooden stock. That is a full 2 pounds lighter than an AR-15 or an AK-47. The use of a Ramline synthetic stock cuts this down to about 6 pounds. This makes it a good weapon for women, children, and those of smaller statue.
AMMUNITION: Let's compare the carbine to the other 2 popular pistol calibers currently being sold. 9mm; 115 grain bullet propelled at 1200 fps. This gives us 368 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle, and 243 f/p at 100 yards. .45ACP; 230 grain bullet traveling at 900 fps. This gives us 414 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle, and 323 f/p at 100 yards. .30 carbine; 110 grain bullet at 1970 fps. This gives us 977 foot pounds at the muzzle, and 583 at 100 yards. At 200 yards we still have 345 f/p of energy. .357 magnum; 110 grain bullet at 1500fps ( the old SUPER VEL load ). This gives us 550 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle, and 279 f/p at 100 yards.
Foot/Pounds of Energy
Military ammunition is between $189 and $229 per 1000 rounds. This compares favorably to the .223. Not bad for reloadable ammunition. And cheaper than .45ACP, .40,or .357 magnum.
REPUTATION: The carbine has a reputation as being a poor fight stopper. A reputation that it might not deserve. The problem is that the full metal jacket bullet does not expand. It has a tendency to drill straight through a soft target. This is can be solved by using soft or hollow points while reloading.
MAGAZINES: 15 round magazines can be found for under $10, usually about $8. Less if you buy a small quantity. 30 round magazines are priced higher. I have seen them for a low of $10 for 'used' to a high of $30 at gun shows.
PARTS: The U.S. produced 6,500,000 carbines during WW2. Several thousand were given away to friendly governments after the war. They were sold through the NRA, and dealers for less than $50. Parts are available from several sources in the U.S. Complete kits, less stock, receiver, hammer are available for less than $125.
HISTORY: After the war, several companies assembled carbines from spare parts. Plainfield, Universal, Iver Johnson to name a few. When the supply of military receivers dried up, they all started making their own receivers. Universal was the only one that tried to improve the carbine. They used 2 recoil springs in their version. This caused the receiver, slide, bolt, and trigger group to be different from the rest. Thus parts would not interchange with the rest of the carbines. In later years Iver Johnson bought up all of the other manufacturers. They continued to offer Universal carbines. They even offered them chambered in 9mm. IVER JOHNSON has since gone out of business, ending production of the M-1 carbine.
CONCLUSION: I live in a suburban area with a non shooting spouse and 2 children. For my situation, this is a good choice of weapons. When the urchins are fully grown and have left the nest, they will be given to the grand kids. I currently own 2 of these rifles. Both are of military style. I now own an INLAND carbine and an IVER JOHNSON carbine. The carbine is not currently on any "banned" list of firearms, so it is easier to posses. It is easy to maintain, light recoiling, and fast shooting. For the price of an AR-15 clone, I can own an M-1carbine, cleaning kit, spare parts, 20 magazines (15 rd.), and a couple thousand rounds of ammunition. Please give this weapon another look. Do it for the children!
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