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All,

Since there are many serious Carbine fans on this site, I thought I'd share my background. I'm one of the many who worked for Old Sacramento Armory, but chiefly I worked for Pacific International/ARMEX/Inter-American Import Co; who were importers of large number of M1 Carbines in the '80's.

I was the M1 Carbine guy in '84-'85 so I can only speak to what went on during the year I was there, but I'm still good friend with some of the key players who worked for "Fast Eddie". We had two large batches, one from China which was just over 7,000 Carbines, and one from Israel which was 4,000 carbines. The Israeli carbines were the nicest I've ever seen, which included at least 3 brand new guns with no evidence of haven ever been fired, an one still in the wax wrap. The vast majority of the Israeli Carbines were mid-late WWII first arsenal upgrade with the milled rear sight. Many still had the push button safety and most had the first style recoil plate. Most had flat bolts, and 1st or 2nd style slides.

The Chinese carbines were well used, but serviceable; many of those were re-parkerized before we sold them. These all appeared to be very late guns with a hodge podge of first and second arsenal upgrades, a good half of them had stamped rear sights and round bolts. We did come across one with a serial number in the 6.9 million range. The boss walked away with that one, and I don't have a clue whatever became of it. Kinda funny, but many of the Chinese carbines retained the flat bottom stocks; I always thought that was kinda weird given the mix of other parts. "I" cut stocks were not common to either batch.

My job was to de-greas them, tear them down, bead blast them and give them over for re-finishing. Then I was the guy who put them all back together and made sure they worked. I have to say, the M1 Carbine is an impressive rifle, there wasn't a one we weren't able to make work. About a handful had to have their gas ports opened up a smidge, and every now and then we'd run across a part that was toast that we didn't notice at first. Parts interchangeability was absolute…you could assemble them with a blind fold and a bin of parts and come out with a rifle that worked perfectly. In my experience, the ones that shot really poorly typically could be greatly improved upon by switching to the later style recoil plate. (always remember to check for loose sights - get ya every time)

Needless to say, I'm pretty handy at fixing Carbines to this day. There were very few "collector" carbines in the sense of all original, but we did find a handful. The Chinese carbines had to be very closely inspected as it was not uncommon to find home-made, hand-made parts. There was one particular M2 Carbine we all got a huge kick out of. It had a hand built replacement bolt. But when they made it, they put the ejector and extractor in the wrong place. None of us had the nerve to shoot it, but we were all convinced it would have ejected brass at a rate of 775rpm straight into your forehead; could this have been the first weapon fired gangsta style?

Every last carbine I worked on which was about 11,000 was pneumatically stamped on the under-side of the barrel between the front sight band and bayo-lug "IA-CO. SAC. CA." That's my recollection.

The Carbine I bought from Pacific International is still in my possession. It's an Israeli import that somehow never got an import stamp (not sure how that happened) in excellent condition. It's an Inland with a matching Inland trigger housing, and the most beautiful burly birch stock and handguard you've ever seen, with the serial number stamped in the stock. In the past 25 years much of the green color on the Parkerizing has faded to black, but my flat bolt is still rather green. Being able to sort through 4,000 carbines and pick out the best looking was the one perk of the job.

If you're interested, here's a link to my little piece on the M1 Carbine, that's my Inland in the photos…my apologies, I didn't photograph the nice looking side: Putting the M1 Carbine in the Right Context | Shooters' Journal
 

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Thanks, Kevin. Great post, and really enjoyed the link to your article. And the photo of your carbine...Beautiful! What a great looking gun. That stock is just gorgeous!

I am a fan of the carbine too. I bought an M-1 carbine from a local Pawn Shop for $300 way back in '96. Seemed like an outrageous amount at the time, but it was in great shape. Couldn't tell you what brand it was. It did have a flat bolt. I ended up trading it and an M-1 Garand with a shot out barrel for a new Savage Model 110 "sniper" rifle. Oh, well....

Anyway, that carbine was my patrol rifle for a couple of years. I knew from range work that I could take a head shot at 50 yards with that little gun and have a damn good chance of connecting. Loaded with .30 caliber soft points, and felt pretty well armed.

Lotta words to say that I agree 100% with your assessment of the little ol' M-1. A most capable weapon when used within it's design parameters.
 

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Kevin - thanks for sharing with us. I particularly enjoyed reading the article and would have to agree with your point about extractors since the only piece I've replaced was a worn extractor.
 

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Carbines are interesting...
My carbine experience started in the early '90s when Clinton was first elected. I swapped a Marlin .44mag lever gun for a beat-up ROK return. It turned out to be all Rock-Ola, both receiver and barrel. The stock was well-beaten up as well.
When I shot it, I found that the barrel was apparently bent; I had to run the rear sight all the way to the left to get it sighted in. In fact, I was beginning to think I was going to have to jam the muzzle into something to try to bend the barrel back. What the hey, it shot reliably, though.
Fast-forward a few years, and I was working for a wholesaler and we got in a batch of carbines from Austria; beautiful rifles! We sold a Rock-Ola to a gent on the west coast who wanted to give it to his dad, who had built carbines at Rock-Ola during the war. When they found the carbine had a Winchester barrel, they returned it, wanting an all-Rock-Ola carbine. We didn't have any at the shop, so I offered to swap mine, even. Since it was to be a wall-hanger only, the gent was happy to swap. Replace stocks and send. I got a really sweet carbine, albeit in a really beat-up stock. Next gunshow, I'll take care of that--at least until I'm willing to spring for a repro paratrooper stock.
 

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Guys, if anyone is looking for magazines for your carbine, I ordered 15 and 30 round mags made in South Korea from Cheaper Than Dirt. They were VERY reasonable ($7.95 for 15 rounders and $9.95 for 30 rounders). They have functioned flawlessly and I have shot the heck out of that gun since I bought it.

Since the ROK issued M1 Carbines until recently, I figure they made their own mags, and they seemed to have all the bugs worked out of them.
 

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Carbines are interesting...

When I shot it, I found that the barrel was apparently bent; I had to run the rear sight all the way to the left to get it sighted in. In fact, I was beginning to think I was going to have to jam the muzzle into something to try to bend the barrel back. What the hey, it shot reliably, though.
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My Inland is about 6-8" to the right at 100 yards with the sight pretty much to the L but for me upon inspection the barrel is not index to the receiver properly.I would say maybe .010"+ off and have attributed the problem to that and just learned aim just a little further L or just use the front sight after the first shot under 100yds.
 

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My Inland is about 6-8" to the right at 100 yards with the sight pretty much to the L but for me upon inspection the barrel is not index to the receiver properly.I would say maybe .010"+ off and have attributed the problem to that and just learned aim just a little further L or just use the front sight after the first shot under 100yds.
Sounds like yours might have been messed up at an arsenal during rebuild. A good 'smith should be able to reinstall the barrel correctly. On the carbine I described, it's most likely the bent barrel was a result of negligence by a careless soldier.
 

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I am not sure about the rebuild part Shep Inland barrel and receiver and last I remember one of the fellas here on the fornum said they appeared to match time frame wise maybe haste of wartime :dunno:
 

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I am not sure about the rebuild part Shep Inland barrel and receiver and last I remember one of the fellas here on the fornum said they appeared to match time frame wise maybe haste of wartime :dunno:
If it came that way from the factory, I wouldn't doubt the soldiers it was issued to had bad things to say about carbines!!:censored: ;)
 

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Kevin

Neat story. Thanks for your post.

Did you ever see any Chinese SKS? I have one I bought in '89 with the Old Sacramento Armory import marks. I looked to be new condition and unfired.
The wood furniture appeared to be coated with dark brown paint!
 
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