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Springfield M1 Carbine

The original rifle and history

The M1 carbine (formally the United States Carbine, Caliber .30, M1) is a lightweight semi-automatic carbine that was a standard firearm for the U.S. military during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The M1 carbine was produced in several variants and was widely used by paramilitary and police forces around the world, and also became a popular civilian firearm after World War II.

The M1 carbine entered service with a simple flip sight, which had two settings: 150 and 300 yards. However, field reports indicated that this sight was inadequate, and in 1944, it was replaced by a sliding ramp-type adjustable sight with four settings: 100, 200, 250 and 300 yards. This new rear sight was also adjustable for windage.

At 100 yards (91 m), the M1 carbine can deliver groups between 3 and 5 inches, sufficient for its intended purpose as a close-range defensive weapon. The M1 carbine has a maximum effective range of 300 yards (270 m). However, bullet drop is significant past 200 yards (180 m). Therefore, the M1 has a practical effective range of about 200 yards.

The M1 Carbine

The .30 carbine cartridge is essentially a rimless version of the then-obsolete .32 Winchester Self-Loading cartridge introduced for the Winchester Model 1905 rifle. The propellant was much newer, though, taking advantage of chemistry advances. As a result, the .30 carbine cartridge is approximately 27% more powerful than its parent cartridge. A standard .30 carbine ball bullet weighs 110 grains (7.1 g), a complete loaded round weighs 195 grains (12.6 g) and has a muzzle velocity of 1,990 ft/s (610 m/s) giving it 967 ft¬∑lbf (1,311 joules) of energy, when fired from the M1 carbine’s 18-inch barrel.

In comparison, the .30-06 Springfield ball round used by the M1 Garand is almost three times more powerful than the .30 carbine, while the carbine round is twice as powerful as the .45 ACP-caliber Thompson submachine gun in common use at the time. As a result, the carbine offers much better range, accuracy and penetration than those submachine guns. The M1 is also half the weight of the Thompson, and fires a lighter cartridge. Therefore, soldiers armed with the carbine can carry much more ammunition than those armed with a Thompson.

TV and film

The M1 is a serious film and tv star with hundreds of entries listed, some of my favourites being The Monuments Men, Inglorious Basterds, Saving private Ryan, The Shawshank Redemption and Goldfinger, TV showings include Mash and Mission: Impossible.

Specifications

  • Calibre: .30 Carbine
  • Capacity: 15 or 30 rounds
  • Weight: 2.4kg
  • Length: 900mm

The CO2 replica

The springfield M1 Carbine CO2 replica is available in plastic or wood stock versions, I went for the wood version and was very pleased with the finish of it. It’s a light and comfortable rifle to hold or carry, the sling and bag are not included though – I ordered these from an on-line repro military kit suppliers.

The appearance is very accurate, it just lacks that ‘worn in’ look of a real firearm, the edges of the stock parts are a little square and too tidy etc. There are many collectors that have successfully aged an M1 and the result is next-level realism.

The M1 carbine left side

The sling is held in the butt end of the stock with a little brass oil tube, this is supplied with the sling and the fact that it fits perfectly on the replica stock shows an attention to detail.

The blowback bolt action is very good and the trigger is light, the M1 will fire BB’s as fast as you can pull that trigger. Magazine retention is positive and precise, I have not had one jam or misfire yet. The bayonet hook will also accept the real item although I don’t think i’ll get one. There is a little white lettering on the right side of the action but it’s not too prominent.

The M1 carbine right side

The magazine holds a single 12g CO2 cartridge. Loading BB’s is very easy – the plunger is large and easy to grip and has a lock-down position. Speed-loaders work well on this magazine.

The BB and CO2 carrying magazine

The M1 is fantastic rifle, its accurate, powerful and a pleasure to shoot those pesky tin cans with. The woodwork feels very nice in the hands and with its light weight you can get a real idea of why they were so popular.

Specifications

  • Calibre: 4.5mm BB
  • Capacity: 15 rounds
  • Weight: 2.5kg
  • Length: 910mm
  • CO2 Usage: around 60 shots at good power