The M1 Carbine has been with us for many decades
now, serving our fighting forces well through several conflicts.
Introduced by Winchester in 1941, it beat out other
contenders for the US military contract for a weapon to replace
the service pistol among certain support personnel. Loved by
some and hated by others, the handy little carbine, while
certainly not a main battle rifle, did the job that it was hired
to do; that of being a handy defensive weapon for rear echelon
troops. The little M1 also found favor with paratroopers, tank
crews, and others who needed a lighter weapon than a full-sized
battle rifle, or for use in close-quarters combat. Some have
maligned the little cartridge which the M1 Carbine fires as
being too weak for anything larger than a muskrat, but those who
used the carbine seem to agree that it does the job, within its
limitations. In the US, the .30 Caliber M1 carbine has been
retired from military service, but it is still in use around the
globe in third-world countries which were friends of the US in
Today, the .30 M1 Carbine is enjoying a
resurgence of popularity, not only among military collectors,
but with shooters as well. Vintage carbine prices are steadily
rising, and shooters who want an M1 Carbine in excellent
condition can now buy brand new, American made carbines built by
Auto Ordnance Corporation of Massachusetts. Auto Ordnance is
already famous for their Thompson
sub machineguns and carbines, as well as their 1911 pistols.
Making the .30 Carbine was a natural for them, as it fits well
into the battery of other vintage-type firearms which they
manufacture. They have been building the M1 Carbine for a couple
of years now, and the one received here for this review differs
from their other M1 Carbine styles. The AOM130,140, and 150
Models are replicas of military issue carbines, but the AOM160
has a more modern look and feel to its stock. The stock is made
by Choate, and is a black synthetic folding design which
makes for compact storage and transportation of the weapon, but
the carbine can also be fired with the stock folded as well, for
use in tight quarters such as a small room or a vehicle. The
upper handguard is of ventilated steel. The AOM160 weighs in at
just over six pounds with an empty magazine, and has an overall
length of just 27 3/8 inches with the stock folded and 36 ½
inches with the stock extended, making for a very handy little
weapon. The barrel length on the AOM160 measures just under
eighteen inches. The front sight is a protected post, and the
rear has two apertures for short and long ranges, and is
adjustable for windage correction. There are three sling
attachment points, and the buttstock wears a synthetic rubber
recoil pad, which yields a good non-slip contact point with the
shooter’s shoulder. The length of pull with the stock extended
is fourteen inches. The trigger pull on the sample carbine
measured five pounds, nine ounces. The safety is of the
crossbolt type at the front of the trigger guard, and the
carbine ships with one fifteen-round GI magazine. Thirty round
mags are readily available at gun shows or from CDNN
Investments - www.cdnninvestments.com.
The M1 Carbine is a useful little tool, much
more than just from a nostalgic point of view. Recoil is almost
nonexistent from the handy little carbines, and a shooter can
lay down a lot of fire quickly and with plenty of precision to
serve well as a home defense gun, as well as an around-the-farm
predator rifle. The military ball 110 grain bullet at about 1975
feet-per-second is no screamer, but it can be effective against
small game and such. A much better choice for social work or for
harvesting small deer at close range is the Cor-Bon load
that uses the Barnes 100 grain X bullet. These bullets
are made to expand at low velocities, and from the Auto Ordnance
Carbine, the velocity registered 2158 feet-per-second at twelve
feet from the muzzle over my chronograph, and again, recoil is
minimal. Accuracy from the AOM160 was about what I have come to
expect from an M1 Carbine. The limitation is the combination of
the sights and my old eyes. About two inches at fifty yards is
all that I can do with such sights, and that is plenty good
enough for social work and whitetail hunting. I had no scope
mount available to me at the time, but I would love to mount a Trijicon
Reflex dot sight on this little carbine. It would
greatly enhance my ability to precisely place my shots.
Functioning of the sample AOM160 was dependent
upon the ammunition fed into it. I have a case of Eastern
European ball ammo that has hard primers, and the M1 would not
reliably fire these, giving about sixty percent misfires. That
is no fault of the gun, just an advisory to try out any cheap
ammo before buying a large quantity. I use this ammo in my Ruger
Blackhawk, and it lights off just fine in that revolver. Lake
City US surplus ball ammo performed perfectly in the little
carbine, and is a good choice if you can find it. The Cor-Bon
100 grain DPX fired perfectly, but had a few feeding problems
when the gun was brand new. After about a dozen rounds through
the gun, the Cor-Bon performed flawlessly as well, feeding,
firing, and ejecting perfectly.
The M1 Carbine is somewhat of a unique weapon.
It is not an “assault rifle”, a deer rifle, varmint gun, or
target rifle, but it is also much more than a plinker. It is a
fun little carbine that has almost no recoil, is pleasant to
shoot, and can harvest small game and deer reliably if the
shooter does his part, and knows its limitations. For a handy
carbine for home defense that anyone in the family over the age
of ten can use, it is almost perfect. Some detesters of the
carbine mistakenly malign its cartridge as being too weak for
personal defense, but it is more powerful than a .357 magnum
revolver, and much easier to shoot well with little training. I
particularly like the Cor-Bon load for serious purposes, The
AOM160 is a well-built carbine, and will accept mil-spec
accessories such as scope mounts and surplus magazines. Sitting
here hammering out this review one week after our 2008
Presidential election, shooters, hunters, and homeowners are
buying up semi-auto rifles, carbines, and handguns in record
numbers, anticipating that our newly elected President will try
to make good on his promise to ban such weapons from civilian
ownership. If you want one, now is the time to buy, as next year
will most likely see soaring prices for quality semi-auto
firearms, if they are still available at all. Now is also a good
time to join the National Rifle
Association, and do anything else that you can to
protect our gun rights.
For more information on the M1 Carbine and other
quality firearms, go to www.auto-ordnance.com.
For the location of an Auto Ordnance dealer near
you, click on the DEALER LOCATOR icon at www.lipseys.com.
To order the M1 Carbine online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
To order the Cor-Bon DPX ammunition, go to www.cor-bon.com.
|For a list of dealers where you can
buy this gun, go to:
||To buy this gun online, go to:
Choate folding stock.
Rubber recoil pad.
Sling attachment points.
Cor-Bon's DPX 100-grain high performance ammo.
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