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SoCal1911
Starting Member


USA
2 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2018 :  8:33:07 PM  Show Profile Send SoCal1911 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello from California, Newbie here.
My (2) M1 Garands that I got many years ago from CMP are my favorite rifles. I am looking into buying a USGI M1 Carbine to go with them, but don't know my a** from a hole in the ground about these rifles. I know this is a very much a newbie question, but what should I be looking for to find a good shooter M1 Carbine? Here is what I think I want:
USGI M1 Carbine, No reproductions, prefer a non-imported, good condition shooter grade. Local gun show had "parts guns". I assume made up from left over parts, for $750-$800, worth it? Not a collector, but would like to have solid value to what I end up buying. How do I tell if one is imported? What do I look for to determine if it has any problems? What do I stay away from? What is a high stock?
Thanks for any insight and information you would be enlightening me with.
Tom
SoCal1911




SoCal1911

Jackp
Veteran Member



USA
1065 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2018 :  10:49:34 PM  Show Profile Send Jackp a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Tom and welcome to the forum from New Mexico!

It sounds like you already have a pretty good idea what to look for. A parts gun may turn out to be a good shooter. Really, most carbines are "parts guns" as they were reassembled from random parts during arsenal refurbishment after the war. We call them mix masters. Sights, barrel bands, safeties, etc were switched out necessitating the complete disassembly and reassembly of the carbine. Barrels might be switched out if they were excessively worn or pitted. Even receivers would be replaced if the headspace was excessive. You just need to make sure all the parts are USGI.

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$700-$800 is probably a fair price for a mix master assuming it's in decent condition. Check headspace, muzzle erosion, bore pitting, wear on cam and lug surfaces, etc. just like you would do on any used firearm.

Imported carbines are usually marked by the importer with a permanent stamp on the barrel or side of the receiver. An import stamped carbine can be a good shooter but usually sells for $50-$100 less than one that is unmarked.

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One thing to look for is a welded receiver. Demilled receivers sold for scrap were sometimes welded back together, re-machined and refinished. You can usually see the evidence of this if the weld is pitted or if the finish appears discolored. It's very hard to achieve an even finish after welding because of the dissimilar material and hardness in the area of the weld. These receivers may be very dangerous.

Earlier carbine stocks had a very thin cross section on the right side in the operating slide area. This thin section was easily damaged and so later stocks were made with this area removed. It really only important if you are a collector trying to match the stock to an early carbine. There is no real difference to be concerned about on a shooter carbine.

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Tom, I would recommend that you check out the links I have included. I would also recommend you get the book "U. S. M1 Carbines, Wartime Production" by Craig Riesch. It's a good value and will give you the information you need to recognize proper USGI parts markings and how to identify the different variations of the various parts of the carbine.


JackP
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COSteve
Advanced Member



USA
102 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2018 :  2:49:54 PM  Show Profile Send COSteve a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Welcome from Colorado!! Got the Mil bug I see. Me too. However, I started the other way. I've had my '43 NPM M1 Carbine since 1973. Decades later we got a couple of M1 Garands, another M1 Carbine, an M1A, and lastly even a Mini-14. All are great fun and real 'wood and steel' rifles.

Steve

“Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” - Confucius
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SoCal1911
Starting Member



USA
2 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2018 :  8:38:02 PM  Show Profile Send SoCal1911 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Jackp Thanks for the warm welcome, and for the links and advice, Much appreciated! I will do my homework before stepping into the deep end of M1 Carbines. Do you reload for your M1 carbine? I reload for all of my rifles and pistols except 22LR. Would you know what the USGI ammo was made up from: Bullet weight, Powder, speed? Do you know a source for brass? I would like to duplicate the standard ammo as much as possible. Again, Thanks !

COSteve- Thanks for the welcome !

SoCal1911
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jimb16
Moderator



USA
3159 Posts

Posted - 02/12/2018 :  9:39:44 PM  Show Profile Send jimb16 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Almost all GI carbines available today are rebuild done by the military. That means that they will be a mix of parts from a bunch of different contractors; some WWII and some post WWII. They are NOT "put togethers". They are normally all GI with upgrades done mostly during the Korean war era. Don't get too excited about mixed parts. That is just the way they are. All original/correct carbines are going to be VERY expensive. Upgraded carbines are also likely to be more accurate sine they have the late type barrel bands and adjustable rear sights. GI ammo was 110 gr RN and trotted along right around 1950 FPS. Most used WC820 powder/H110. Almost any carbine brass will work, but I would stay away from AMERC and any steel cases. 40,000 psi was standard.

OGCA Lifer,NRA Life member, son of a 325th GIR Glider Rider
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Tuna
Moderator



3325 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2018 :  12:54:23 PM  Show Profile Send Tuna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
AND beware of the length of your brass when reloading. The brass made for carbines stretches like crazy when it is resized. It needs to be trimmed when it gets to 1.90 inches in length back to at least 1.85 inches. It's just the nature of the beast so to speak. You do need to check the length each time a case is sized and not before being sized. Carbines are a lot of fun to shoot. So much fun you might forget about your M1 Garand's being your favorite rifles.
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Satanta
Advanced Member



USA
177 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2018 :  9:08:50 PM  Show Profile Send Satanta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
First off, welcome from AZ. Great starting post.
Which brings me to asking the question per the replies.
The rebuild process?
I have two GI carbines and both have arsenal stamps. BA and AA Both are USA rebuilds. No import stamps.
The mention of post war rebuilds for the Korean War stirred my attention.
Did any carbines get picked up and rebuilt during the WW2 era? Or were they stocked piled for later?
If indeed they were put back into service during WW2, were they stamped or marked in any way?
This question belongs elsewhere in the forum, but seems fit for my knowledge and the new member from SoCal.
SoCal; I envy your M1 Garands. My next step if I can get over my addiction to the carbine.
You have entered a great site. Good luck with your search.
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COSteve
Advanced Member



USA
102 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2018 :  09:31:08 AM  Show Profile Send COSteve a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I handload for all my center fires, 16 calibers in all so yes, I do for my M1 Carbine as well. Tuna's caution about trimming is spot on as many think it's a straight walled case and doesn't stretch. It isn't and it does. As to components, I use a combination of 3 different bullets, all 110grn; fmj, Speer JSP for HD and hunting, and for plinking I like X-Treme's plated bullets.

All work well with either H110 or lately I've switched to Lil'Gun powder in both my 30 Carbine and 357mag loads because of it's significantly lower peak pressures for almost the same velocities as the H110/W296 standbys. (Much easier on the brass, especially my Starline 357mag.) As to brass, there is always Starline or Winchester or I have friends who have had good luck buying PPU brass cased ammo and then reloading the empty brass.

I recently finished up my Winter handloading to refill my supplies and part of my 8,400rds in 6 calibers was a total of 2,460rds of 30 Carbine for my 2 M1 Carbines. (I should be set for awhile!!) Most of it was the 110grn X-Treme plated plinking rds that I've found to be economical and decently accurate when coupled with a full charge of 15.0grns of Lil'Gun, CCI 400 primers, and Starline brass trimmed as Tuna suggests to 1.85"

Steve

“Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” - Confucius
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HB of CJ
Junior Member



USA
77 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2018 :  4:10:51 PM  Show Profile Send HB of CJ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Welcome to the fun and madness of USGI M1 Carbine ownership. Much fun. More madness. Guess what ... right now you can EXPLOIT the Internet and have much enjoyment just learning up on your new desired soon to be acquisition.

All this would take ONLY YOUR TIME. Very little or no money RIGHT NOW. Very cheap to do. Save all the money and giggles for later. You are in the PERFECT position. Use the net. Educate yourself. Join or lurk Forums. Engage.

This forum is excellent. Just cruise the topics. Slowly or quickly you will educate yourself. THEN you can make a KNOWLEDGEABLE decision on your first USGI Carbine purchase. BEWARE ... once you get infected ... THERE IS NO KNOWN CURE!

IF YOU decide to go with this, quickly or eventually you will spend some time and money. No more or less than other fun hobbies. The amount of time and money spent depends upon you. Some of us here have been at this hobby for OVER 60 years.

Our USGI M1 Carbine addiction has probably gone overboard. Too much. Eighteen, (18) different gages, tools and fixtures so far. Over 10 books. Probably scores of spare parts. Very expensive BATFE Tax Stamps. We have it bad. SO MIGHT YOU!

Have fun. Smile. Enjoy. Giggle. Welcome to the Forum.

All Oregon State Laws, US Code Laws And BATFE and NRA Rules Apply.
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BEYU
Advanced Member



USA
311 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2018 :  4:46:20 PM  Show Profile Send BEYU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HB of CJ


Have fun. Smile. Enjoy. Giggle. Welcome to the Forum.



Not too much giggling going on here. — Just big fat grins!

BEYU

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

- Benj. Franklin
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