Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

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Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by raptor » Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:09 pm

A friend recently asked for my help. She wanted advice on a rifle for self defense. She asked for my advice and during the discussion she told me about an M-1 Carbine that she had inherited but that it was inoperative.

Long story short I was able to determine that all it really needed was a good cleaning. By cleaning I mean diassembling and soaking the damn thing to get 30+/- years of old grease, cosmoline and dust bunnies out of it.

Once cleaned up it appears to be a WW-2 vintage mixed parts rifle that was probably obtained in the 50's or 60's.

I reassembled and function tested it and seems to work fine with 50 rounds going through it without a problem.

I was considering replacing the extractor and recoil spring but since it works well and I doubt it was seen much use I was going to leave it alone.

My M-1 Carbine knowledge is somewhat limited. Since this is going to used for self defense and thus reliability is vital, any suggestions on parts that may need replacement. The one thing it needs is a new magazine since it has only 1 fifteen round magazine.

I am doing this pro bono so I am not looking to spend money, but by the same token I do want it to be reliable.

I used some cheapo ammo for the test but I was going to buy her a magazine of the Hornady Critical Defense ammo in .30 carbine and do a final function test with that ammo.
Any other suggestions on the ammo?

Edited to add: Just to be clear it is going back to the lady for her use not mine. She wants it for self defense.
Last edited by raptor on Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by jor-el » Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:17 pm

There's a default plan on any suspect firearm. First, find a manual. No point screwing up the gun by fiddling with it when you can read the directions and get it right.
Disassemble, clean, examine muzzle and barrel. May need to recrown, if there's no rifling or it's been worn at the muzzle by excessive cleaning (with Garand variations that's common), barrel replacement is in order.

If the barrel is GTG, look at the bolt for cracks or bolt face damage. Extractor, ejector, firing pin. Any firearm you plan to keep, you should have spares of those three parts.

Magazines. Most important and neglected part of the gun. Bad mags, no gun works with them. Check feed lips, mag interior, spring. Mags are cheap, relative to what happens when you don't have one working.

From what I remember, there's not a lot of difference performance wise between hollow and soft points that are largely unchanged since the 60's from the big three. Use what runs in it. You may have to do some polishing work on the feed ramp. Check the site described below.

BTW, 40 cents per round. http://www.sgammo.com/product/30-carbin ... artizan-am

Also, peruse this site; http://savannaharsenal.com/armory/rifle/m1-carbine/
Pay attention to the video on M1 operation.
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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by TacAir » Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:50 pm

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref ... FM23-7.PDF

Manual for the carbine, 30 Cal, US, M1. The original PDW.

Promag makes magazines in different capacities (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/150613 ... steel-blue) In steel.

https://www.gunpartscorp.com/Categories ... -37261.htm
USGI mags, still in the ordinance wrapper - 49.95
New replacement - 39.95
You choose.

As for ammo - hollow point would be my choice.

The projectile of a 30 carbine round travels at about 2,000 feet per second, equating to about 970 foot pounds of muzzle energy when fired from an 18-inch barrel.
For comparison sake, the 357 Magnum caliber fires the same weight bullet from a four-inch barrel at about 1,500 feet per second. And a carbine is easier to control....

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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by Stercutus » Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:05 pm

There were a lot of commercial rebuilds of M1 carbines after WWII built on surplus receivers. These tended to be of mixed quality often with "non-standard" parts. I have seen some examples where the bolt can be removed from the weapon simply by pulling it back and away from the weapon. This should not happen and indicates either poorly fitting parts or excessive wear.

Some of the rebuilds are perfectly fine with some clean up.

The rebuilds tend to have a much lower collector value as well but are often sold as "original" or "surplus" at a premium to the unsuspecting. After you get it cleaned up I'd test it extensively for reliability and accuracy. You definitely want to check for erosion at the muzzle. Those rifles tended to be cleaned to death by the support troops with steel rods and some don't have any rifling left at the end. That can be corrected but only if you know about it.
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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by woodsghost » Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:30 pm

What I have continually read is that ProMag makes suspect mags. Probably the most accurate thing to write here is to say: if using mags by ProMag, "check each mag and run maybe 100+ rounds to check reliability." Sometimes the mags work fine. Sometimes they simply need some fitting and hand work. Sometimes they suck. Presumably, any product which has been around a while has had the kinks worked out of it?
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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by RickOShea » Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:42 pm

I bought a couple of these a while back (currently out-of-stock, though :? ) for an old M1A1 I inherited from my Grandfather. I've only used them a couple of times, but they worked.

http://www.keepshooting.com/m1-carbine- ... azine.html
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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by raptor » Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:29 pm

Thanks everyone.

The bore had some rust but once cleaned it appears to adequate for the intended purpose. I wouldsay the clean bore is better than shooter grade. When function tested the grouping was consistent though larger than I would have preferred but satisfactory out to the 50 yards I was limited to for the test.( Minute of Paper Plate :D )

I obviously looked for any damaged parts during the cleaning part and would not have fired it if I had any doubts.

I plan on buying another magazine for it and then running another 100 rounds through it, disassemble it and then reinspect it for any damage.

I think what I will do is let the lady shoot most of the 100 rounds through it. That way she can learn it's function while doing the testing.

This thing is not going to see much shooting once I give it back to the lady. It will likely gather dust in a corner. BTW she lives in a rural setting with coyotes and crack heads being the most likely threats. She is not a shooter but rather a person living in a rural setting on a tight budget and wants to be self reliant.

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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by Neville » Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:05 pm

Thank you for helping a new or inexperienced shooter. More folks like you would make for more folks able to exert their right to self-defense.

The .30 carbine is an excellent choice as a home defense weapon. As another poster mentioned, ammo is a consideration - soft point or hollow point is preferred. Ball rounds just punch clean holes through without making much of a fuss... the soft points mushroom and kick up quite the ruckus going through soft tissue.

Hornady makes their Critical Defense ammo in 30 carbine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tquUyY74O6Y



Get her set up with a 15 round magazine, and two spares in a pouch on the buttstock.

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Avoid 30 round magazines. There's nothing wrong with the mags per-se, but the mag catch wasn't designed to support the weight of 30 rounds and you will likely have malfunctions. If you absolutely need 30 round magazines there is a replacement mag catch that can be installed which will do the job.

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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by raptor » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:05 pm

Thank you.
I just ordered 2 gi spec 15 round magazines. I also found a buttstock pouch with the rifle so she has one already.
Last edited by raptor on Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by jor-el » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:17 pm

One little thing about the GI pouch. Inside the sleeve where the stock goes through there's a male half of a snap, originally to secure the pouch to a belt or possibly to the sling. This should be removed or flattened before mounting onto the stock so it doesn't mar the stock.

Eventually you want to have a dozen mags at least just to account for loss or damage.
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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by raptor » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:19 pm

Thanks I did not know that abut the pouch. :D

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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by TacAir » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:19 pm

How not to mount the carrier...
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Correct
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Actually just an excuse to post a pic of a good looking woman with a carbine....
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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by Langenator » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:14 am

jor-el wrote: BTW, 40 cents per round. http://www.sgammo.com/product/30-carbin ... artizan-am

Also, peruse this site; http://savannaharsenal.com/armory/rifle/m1-carbine/
Pay attention to the video on M1 operation.
That's a lot cheaper than the Georgia Arms that I didn't find at the gun show this weekend (54.5 cents/round listed on their web site).

Out of stock at the moment, but I signed up for email when back in stock.
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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by raptor » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:55 am

These guys have it in stock for $.34/round

http://www.munireusa.com/armscor-30-car ... box-50101/

Armscor .30 Carbine ARMSCOR 110 Grain FMJ 1965 fps 50 Round Box 50101
$25.64 $16.98
(You save $8.66)
SKU:
4806015501015

Ammoseek is your friend. :D

http://ammoseek.com/ammo/30-carbine

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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by Langenator » Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:35 am

I was specifically looking for soft points...which are incredibly hard to find in stock. Of the many places that list them as Out of Stock (google is also your friend), SG Ammo had the best listed price.
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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by raptor » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:18 pm

Langenator wrote:I was specifically looking for soft points...which are incredibly hard to find in stock. Of the many places that list them as Out of Stock (google is also your friend), SG Ammo had the best listed price.
My bad; sorry. :oops:

I already ordered 3 boxes of these for function testing purposes (after we run 100 rounds of the cheap stuff through it) and to keep 30 in the loaded magazines:

http://www.ammunitionsupplycompany.com/ ... lick=30236

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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by Langenator » Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:32 pm

Mine will be for my SHTF ammo stockpile. I've got two Italian return M1s through the CMP, and 1,000 rounds of Aguila FMJ (so far) from same.
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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by 400 Grains » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:38 pm

jor-el wrote: From what I remember, there's not a lot of difference performance wise between hollow and soft points that are largely unchanged since the 60's from the big three. Use what runs in it.
Until the last few years that was pretty much the case. But the introduction of the Hornady Critical Defense and the Speer Gold Dot in 30 Carbine changed that. They both get the 30 Carbine well into the serious defense round category with modern bullet technology. Too late to really revive the cartridge unfortunately. A modern, quality M1 Carbine made by a company like S&W, Ruger, etc., and sold for a reasonable price, would be a great choice for a lot of people.

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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by Sheriff McClelland » Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:29 pm

The Federal #30CA Power-Shok load was for years the go to ammo for the police back in the day . It's still a good option today .

Here's a well done youtube test .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrIWhoDMXuI
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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by aikorob » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:50 pm

TacAir wrote: Correct
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Actually just an excuse to post a pic of a good looking woman with a carbine....
No excuses needed---post away :mrgreen:

a good quality M1 is on my want list---near the top
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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by Mad Mike » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:04 am

In the past I was most impressed with WW hollow points, closely followed by Federal soft points. :wink:

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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by emtmark » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:28 pm

I had the hornady hollow points and my sewing machine turned into a jam o matic federal soft points only for me.


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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by Asymetryczna » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:58 pm

Check-clean-check again-work-fire. You did everything right. If it functions safely and properly it works. There are paratrooper stocks (easier to conceal) and one might consider a cheap, off market flash-hider. The carbines spit fire. Your friend could benefit by putting a range day on the schedule quarterly, seeing what a bullet does to an interior wall, etc.
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Re: Fixing an Older M-1 Carbine

Post by teotwaki » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:04 pm

Kudos for helping out on getting the M-1 functional again! I did not see any mention of a plan for zeroing the sights. The Hornady Critical Defense ammo might be good for that.
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