As you may (or may not) know, for a long time now I have wanted a GI issue M1 Carbine. I have the Universal copy which works great, but its not the same. The GI is superior to the various copies (as I have pointed out before), but unfortunately there are just not that easy to find for a good price anymore.
|This was me for many a sad day....|
I just got back from meeting a guy that replied to my add for my Glock 34 on Gunlistings. Yes, I know, that is (was) a great pistol, but it had become a safe queen. I had originally bought it for steel plates but it only got used a few times for that and twice for indoor GSSF league matches and otherwise was one of those "eh, I'll shoot it later" guns I had in the safe. I had posted that I either wanted to sell it or trade it for a GI M1 Carbine and boy, talk about two pieces of a puzzle that just fall together. I wanted a M1 carbine and had a G34 that I didn't need. This guy (I will call him LB) is a gentleman who is just getting into the pistol sports and was looking for a G34 and had a M1 carbine laying around.....can you see how this works out? Perfectly!
We actually talked in the parking lot of a McDonalds for about 20 minutes before the M1 even came out for inspection. I approach every transaction that I do via one of these online sources with caution and care (meet in a public area, well lit, don't bring a lot of cash, ect), but after a few minutes talking to LB I found out we had a lot in common. He had gotten the M1 from his brother and didn't shoot it much. Matter of fact, he openly told me he didn't care for the design very much, but knew about its history none the less. I knew when I looked down the barrel that it was coming home with me right away. Even the import markings on the barrel ("Blue Sky, Arlington VA") from when it had been returned from Korea were cleanly stamped/engraved. I had done some quick research before the meet and found multiple people claiming this importer had used "20 ton presses" to stamp that on them that bent barrels and such, but all seemed to be hearsay as is normal on forums ("I knew a guy who knew a guy who's brother was a Navy SEAL that had one while a door gunner on the space shuttle...."). I also looked up the serial number that was visible in a pic LB sent to me and it indicates that this carbine was made between February and November 1944. The US cranked out a lot of these (as well as everything else) leading up to the Normandy invasions....hmmm...I wonder where this one has been!
Overall, the carbine is in great condition, seems that the metal was parkerized at some point during a rearsenaling of it as it is fairly uniform and without excessive wear as is seen on weapons that have seen field use. The wood is fair with the upper hand guard being of different coloring than the bottom, no big worry there...lets see what some boiled linseed oil will do for it. The bolt is of the later rounded design (stronger and sped up production times) and it incorporates the later style lever safety, rear ramp sights and a barrel band with bayonet lug that was added to these Korean models after WWII. It came with one mag (marked "SS" for the Seymour Smith Co. ) and a sling and oiler, although at this time I do not know if they are original or not. The bore looked shiny and clean and the land and groves of the rifling looked sharp to my untrained eye. The action moves a bit sluggish with the bolt almost hesitating before going forward when charged to the rear. A quick field strip when I got home revealed what I believe is the gremlin: old, dried up grease. The grease on the bolt (where it has any) looks old and dirty. Tomorrow I will totally take it apart, clean it with degreaser and rags and then properly give it a lube job with Slipstream grease and oil the metal with some CLP. That should take care of that problem.
My pal Otto has already made me a deal I couldn't refuse on an original M4 bayonet (www.ebayonet.com) and I will be ordering a few additional mags and (hopefully after Tuesday) some ammo.
Firing line review when I have time!