With the CMP getting ready to sell surplus M1 carbines again, here’ s some information on where to buy some things you’ll need.
As with anything gun-related and old, you can find some things at Gunbroker, eBay, and CheaperThanDirt (click on the categories to drill down to specific products). CTD has some original GI parts and some reproductions, and they’re pretty good about making clear which is which.
I always thought the M1 carbine stock magazine pouch was a cool idea. There’s a Leapers reproduction for seven bucks. (Or you can buy the same thing from this guy for twelve bucks on eBay.) For the real thing check eBay and Gunbroker, where they seem to go for $15-20.
Indications are that the CMP received carbines with no magazines. Even if they scrounge some up to include with the guns you’ll need some extras.
A lot of people seem to think the original GI magazines are the best. GI issues came in 15 and 30 round (sometimes called M2) versions, with 15 being the more common by far.
J and G Sales has GI mags. They’re $24.95, which is high, but they’re advertised as new condition still in the wrapper. They’ll also hand pick by manufacturer for an extra $2. If you want, say, a Rock-Ola magazine to go with your Rock-Ola carbine that’s not a bad way to go.
I bought the last two carbine magazines at Coal Creek Armory. They were $9.99 each, with some bluing wear and light surface rust which both seem to be common on surplus mags.
I noticed numbers stamped on the back of the magazines. After Googling around I discovered the M1/M2 Carbine FAQ by James Wesley, Rawles. According to the FAQ those are manufacturer codes. That’s how J&G Sales knows who manufactured the magazines they have in stock. My magazine marked OI-S’G’ was made by Saginaw (a division of GM). The other one is marked OI-Q and doesn’t appear in the FAQ.
(Side note: When I saw “James Wesley, Rawles” I knew I had seen a name written that way recently, along with an explanation. Sure enough, I had seen a link to Rawles’ FAQ on hard-core survivalism. The way he writes his name is intended to separate his Christian and family names. People who are into hard-core, the end of the world as we know it type survivalism strike me as a bit out there. Then again, some people think I’m out there because I’m into guns and believe in being prepared for short-term emergencies like blizzards and earthquakes, so I try not to judge.)
I didn’t realize it before, but there are stripper clips for M1 carbines.
If you’re interested in using a carbine for self-defense, you many to consider the Cor-Bon DPX. From John Farnam’s informal tests:
28May06 30M1 Carbine At an Urban Rifle Course in PA this weekend, we again shot ballistic gelatin through the standard, four layers of denim. This time, I wanted to compare 223 DPX (53gr Barnes bullet) with the new 30M1 Carbine DPX round (100 gr Barnes bullet). Mike Shovel from Cor-Bon was on hand with a supply of both. The 30M1 Carbine round is now available from Cor-Bon, and I, for one, made sure I have an adequate supply! Interestingly, the 30 M1 Carbine bullet penetrated nineteen inches, while the 223 penetrated fifteen! Both bullets expanded in the classic Barnes way. Four layers of denim doesn’t retard Barnes bullet expansion at all, in any caliber. Who have and use an M1 Carbine will benefit immensely from this round, the first new round in this caliber in a long time, and the most effective one of all available, by far. Recommended!
Guns and Ammo classic tests: M1 Carbine
Denise’s M1 Carbine
Thibodeaux’s history of M1 designer David “Carbine” Williams and a visit to the North Carolina Museum of History and its Carbine Williams exhibit. And get this: Williams was portrayed by Jimmy Stewart in the movie Carbine Williams.