M1 Carbine, by Inland Manufacturing. What was old is new again.
Originally the United States Carbine, Caliber .30, M1 was developed to be issued to soldiers with a more specialized training than the standard infantryman who was issued the M1 Garand. The M1 Carbine was smaller and easier to wield for soldiers such as tankers, paratroopers, mechanics, and so forth. In 1938 the chief of infantry formally requested the development of a light rifle and in 1940 the official requirements for the carbine was approved and manufacturers began to develop prototypes.
The initial prototypes failed from various manufactures so Winchester submitted it’s M2, design by Jonathan “Ed” Browning, brother of the famous firearm designer John Browning. After Ed Browning’s death in May 1939, Winchester hired David Marshall “Carbine” Williams who was working on a short-stroke gas piston design while in prison at a North Carolina work farm. Winchester, hired Marshall Williams’ release, to complete designs left unfinished by Ed Browning, including the Winchester .30-06 M2 rifle. The M2 was too large but it was to be scaled down by Winchester and a prototype submitted which showed promise. Marshall Williams aided in finishing of the second prototype submitted while working on his own design. Though it has been said Marshall Williams’ design was better suited, the second Winchester prototype was adopted in October of 1941. Marshall Williams’ design was still a few months away from testing.
Though very similar in operation to the M1 Garand, it fires the .30 Carbine round (7.62×33) from a detachable box magazine instead of the En Bloc clip. The .30 Carbine cartridge fires a 110gr bullet around of 2000 fps. It is very similar to the .32 Winchester Self Loading cartridge.
The M1 Carbine, as other variations, were issued in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
There were just over 6,500,000 carbines built in it’s variations ranking it as the most produced American small arm during WWII. Though several companies other than Winchester produced carbines and parts, such as Rock Ola jukebox company and IBM, the Inland division of General Motors produced the majority of carbines during the effort.
Well, 2013 brought Inland Manufacturing back, so to speak. We have a new Inland that is not associated with GM and it is still based in Dayton Ohio. The new Inland is located just two miles from the original Inland headquarters. With Inland now producing firearms, it is logical they reintroduce the M1 Carbine and it debuted at 2015 SHOT show. I was able to get my hands on a test sample not long after that and have been spending some time with the new old rifle.
A closer look
The charging handle worked well but for the first couple magazines I would be sure to keep the bolt well lubricated.
The rear sight, adjustable for windage and elevation
The magazine release, worked well. The trigger broke clean at six and a half pounds. It had a bit of take up and minimal overtravel.
The crossed cannons cartouche, as in the original. A nice touch.
Factory bayonet lug, though a model is available without the bayonet lug and a ten round magazine for people who do not live in free America.
The front sight blade.
Beautifully finished wooden stock and a flat parkerized finish on the steel parts and receiver which is cast. The small parts speced to the original parts close enough they are interchangeable with the older M1 Carbines, but the new parts are marked as such so folks cannot swap in new parts on an older M1 to enhance value.
Initial Range Trip
I initially tested the new M1 Carbine at twenty yards to just to get used to the way the rifle shot and to see if it was reliable before we went to the 100 yards line for accuracy testing. After running about fifty rounds through the rifle there were no issues and the sights worked as they should. I was satisfied enough to begin accuracy testing and really wring out the rifle.
Second Range Trip
Accuracy chart, 5 rounds, iron sights, from a rest at 100 yards. Please click on the chart for a larger version
After about 250 flawless rounds, here are my thoughts.
There is a great deal of US history wrapped up with the United States Carbine, Caliber .30, M1, with it long out of production and surplus rifles commanding premiums it was not a bad idea to bring back Inland Manufacturing and the M1 Carbine. As carbines go it is not a powerhouse but the little .30 Carbine can get the job done. I have a ballistic test in the works now that Hornady has introduced a Critical Defense in .30 Carbine. I can see this carbine at home with WWII enthusiasts as well as a handy truck or ranch rifle. It is plenty accurate even with iron sights and with very little recoil, it is controllable. The ammunition is not that difficult to find and is relatively inexpensive.
The M1 carbine is modeled after the last production model that Inland manufactured in 1945 and features a type 3 bayonet lug / barrel band, adjustable rear sights, push button safety, round bolt, “low wood” walnut stock, and a 15-round magazine. A 30 round mag catch was used to allow high-capacity magazines.
Caliber: .30 carbine
Magazine capacity: 15
Barrel length: 18″ 1 in 20″ twist
Total length: 35.75″
Barrel groove: 4
Twist rate: 1 x 20″
Weight: 5lb 3oz