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Old 10-12-2012, 10:00 PM   #1
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.30 CARBINE-WHAT is going on here?

What is going on with the M1 Carbine these days? I just spent the last three nights searching for ammo, brass, bullets, and even the gun itself... the gun itself seems to have completely disappeared, brass is VERY expensive, Bullets aren't cheap either, and the ammo is pretty much GONE. I've hit Midway, Natchez, J&G, Sportsman's Warehouse, Midsouth, and even a few "small" sites- it seems all that's left is the junky MagTech pop-and-drop stuff, and the really expensive Remington ammo. And, IF you can find the gun itself, be prepared to pay an average of $700-800 for it, in just barely better than parts condition, and low-book of about $1500 for an average one.

WTF is going on here? Did this gun just "platinum-record," or is something else going on?
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:16 PM   #2
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They've always been extremely (and unreasonably) popular. Kind of a rabbits foot thing if you don't want to carry a real gun*. Seriously, the days of $37.50 carbines have been gone for more than 50 years. Auto Ordnance makes several versions with a MSRP starting around $800 for brand new. Street price should be less.

* In a two week period in my early 20's I met 3 guys who lost varying parts of their left hands to Japanese soldiers with swords who weren't impressed with their injuries from said carbines. One even had photos showing the alleged deceased and where the bullet hit. (the Tommy gunner who saved his butt was a remarkably good shot) The carbine didn't excell as a quarterstaff. I say "bullet" because the early carbine had a mag release just like the safety. It was rapidly redesigned for obvious reasons.

Should you actually buy one, smile while you buy the expensive Remington ammo if it uses an expanding bullet. The $9/100 ammo went away 50 years ago too, and it was ball-just like those GIs used. BTW-remember the carbine was intended to replace the 1911, not the M1 or other battle rifle.

Last edited by William R. Moore; 10-12-2012 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:41 PM   #3
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Heard that. I can remember when this was a $99 gun, and parts were overwhelmingly available, and dirt cheap! Ammo- 45 years ago, $16/box was expensive ammo! LOL

I gotta say, I must be doing something right with mine. I'm pegging 1/2" groups at 75 yards, and yes, it's wearing a scope. I do like the gun as a "zombie-gun," but the fun ends when the mags are empty...

I guess if a guy finds anything M1-related, he'd better snag it now, even if he can't afford it...
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:48 PM   #4
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Lets face facts folks, Walmart will sell you a cheap AR clone for less than AO will sell you a new carbine (if you can find one and if it works) and 5.56mm is a more powerful round and cheaper.

Geoff
Who is sticking with his old Ruger Mini version of the carbine, in 5.56mm.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:56 PM   #5
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True too- then again, that goes for just about every box-store that sells guns these days...

I really gotta say that it's just KRAZY that even the ammo is getting hard to come by. Guess that's why I say to my kids- SAVE YER BRASS! And brass-catchers have just become standard equipment for me...
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:53 AM   #6
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Captain Ogre, are you the same as used to post under the moniker "Ogre," late of Utah? If so, welcome back. If not, welcome to the Gun Hub.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:10 AM   #7
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No Ed, that's not me... then again, there's a few Ogre's out there... LOL And thanks for the welcome!
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:19 AM   #8
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Captain Ogre,

I'm about to "get into trouble" with the carbine lovers.

imVho, the .30cal M1 carbine is nearly WORTHLESS for anything but "a piece of history".

My first cousin is the BEST shot with a rifle that i've ever known & a MASTER as a deerhunter. My guess is that he's taken at least 100-150 WTs in the last 40+ years.
(Randy has a "typical" 12-pointer AND a "highly UN-typical" 19-pointer on the wall. Thus, these days he mostly is a "hunter for the freezer" AND also is "a hunter for the hungry".)

The afternoon (it was nearly dark by then) that he came back to the camp, after a day of hunting, and "wrapped his 20 dollar DCM carbine around" a good-sized oak tree (SEVERAL TIME, breaking it into pieces), then poured himself a LARGE Scotch & sat down on the porch, i knew that "something was seriously amiss".
After he sat there for a few minutes "cooling off" (Randy IS "just a bit high tempered" = CHUCKLE!), i asked him "What the H happened".

Randy said (No quotiation marks as this is just "an approximation of" his comments.): i shot a little four-pointer for camp meat at about 40 yards. He didn't fall so i shot him "on the fly" four more times & i thought that some thing had happened to the gun & that i had repeatedly missed him cleanly. Then i found lung blood & knew that i had to trail a wounded deer. I looked & looked, until it got too dark to see what i was doing down in the river-bottom, but never found him.

As soon as it got light the next morning we headed out to find his buck. - We found him, finally, "bled out" about 3/4 of a mile from where Randy had shot him AND found that the coyotes "had been at him" during the night.

Looking at what was left, we discovered that Randy had hit him FOUR TIMES in the chest & once in the neck.

I have NOT shot a .30cal carbine at anything except varmits since & i don't think that Randy has even HELD a carbine since, since that BAD DAY in 1974.
(These days he generally hunts the river-bottoms with a Remington pump-rifle in .35Remington.)

NOTE: Randy was using Remington "factory" SP ammo that day.

just my OPINION on the "worth" of the M1 carbine as a "hunting gun".

yours, satx

Last edited by stand watie; 10-13-2012 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:46 PM   #9
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The M1 carbine is what it is. It was meant to replace the 45 Government model pistol, although that didn't happen. Korea is full of dead Chinese that were shot with the carbine. Most of them probably killed by multiple shots from M2s. I do agree it's a puny round for a battle rifle, but it wasn't meant to be a basic battle rifle.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:27 PM   #10
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Captain Ogre, you are in the wrong part of the country. I was at a gunshow here in Birmingham, AL today, and carbines (and parts) were EVERYWHERE!
I was looking for something else (period grips for my S&W 1917 revolver), so didn't look at prices too closely, but I did see $600 and up.
Next show, I think I will start stocking up on springs and high-wear parts, as well as a nice fixed stock. The one on my carbine is a really beat-up Korean item, holding a nice Austrian return action.
----
Second what Bearcat Six said; if you compare the M1 carbine to a full-power rifle, you will be badly disappointed. If a hunter uses one as if he were handgun or bow hunting, and waits for a close shot, it will do its part. After all, many deer have run off after a poor hit with a .30-'06! Still, if one lacks confidence in any arm, leave it alone! I once knew a man who was totally convinced that the .30-30 Win. was not enough for deer.
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:00 PM   #11
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Just to put prices in perspective, back in the late 1960s I was a (very) lowly participant in a deal involving, IIRC, 30,000 M1 carbines and several million rounds of ammo. The purchaser paid $15 per rifle and 1.5 cents per round. And whined.
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stand watie View Post
Captain Ogre,
I'm about to "get into trouble" with the carbine lovers.
imVho, the .30cal M1 carbine is nearly WORTHLESS for anything but "a piece of history".
My first cousin is the BEST shot with a rifle that i've ever known & a MASTER as a deerhunter. My guess is that he's taken at least 100-150 WTs in the last 40+ years.
(Randy has a "typical" 12-pointer AND a "highly UN-typical" 19-pointer on the wall. Thus, these days he mostly is a "hunter for the freezer" AND also is "a hunter for the hungry".)
The afternoon (it was nearly dark by then) that he came back to the camp, after a day of hunting, and "wrapped his 20 dollar DCM carbine around" a good-sized oak tree (SEVERAL TIME, breaking it into pieces), then poured himself a LARGE Scotch & sat down on the porch, i knew that "something was seriously amiss".
After he sat there for a few minutes "cooling off" (Randy IS "just a bit high tempered" = CHUCKLE!), i asked him "What the H happened".
Randy said (No quotiation marks as this is just "an approximation of" his comments.): i shot a little four-pointer for camp meat at about 40 yards. He didn't fall so i shot him "on the fly" four more times & i thought that some thing had happened to the gun & that i had repeatedly missed him cleanly. Then i found lung blood & knew that i had to trail a wounded deer. I looked & looked, until it got too dark to see what i was doing down in the river-bottom, but never found him.
As soon as it got light the next morning we headed out to find his buck. - We found him, finally, "bled out" about 3/4 of a mile from where Randy had shot him AND found that the coyotes "had been at him" during the night.
Looking at what was left, we discovered that Randy had hit him FOUR TIMES in the chest & once in the neck.
I have NOT shot a .30cal carbine at anything except varmits since & i don't think that Randy has even HELD a carbine since, since that BAD DAY in 1974.
(These days he generally hunts the river-bottoms with a Remington pump-rifle in .35Remington.)
NOTE: Randy was using Remington "factory" SP ammo that day.
just my OPINION on the "worth" of the M1 carbine as a "hunting gun".
yours, satx
With all respect to your cousin's marksmanship;

While I would not suggest the M1 Carbine as a hunting rifle, the last time I spoke with someone who'd used it as such I was told it put a good size deer down real quick.

As said it was intended as a rear-echelon weapon not a true battlerifle. A lot of soldiers thought a lot about it and brought it into battle anyway.
It got a good degree of praise in the jungle fighting in the Pacific Theater from marines who were used to close quarter combat.
In the european theater and where it was used at long distance it proved less effective.

I don't think I'd really want to use it on an animal while hunting ..... but to be honest I just think it's mainly because I don't think of the carbine as a hunting implement. A Winchester 1892/94, Model 70, Remington 700, or any similar bolt/lever rifle or even semi auto in .270, .30-'06, 7mm. mag......or nice centerfire round; those are "hunting" rifles--to me. YMMV.

Last edited by TommyGunn; 10-13-2012 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:43 PM   #13
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bearcat6,

Understood. As a rear echelon weapon (especially in M2 dress) it would be a FINE "wounder".
(it is said that it takes SIX people to care for ONE wounded soldier. otoh, a deceased soldier is a military problem for graves registration.)

fwiw, i'd sooner have a M1A1 TSG in that role instead, despite its weight. - the .45ACP round is a GREAT stopper.

yours, sw

Last edited by stand watie; 10-13-2012 at 09:17 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:55 PM   #14
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and who the heck didn't "convert" the issued carbine to an "enforcer pistol/the m2 enforcer was sheer poetry when one knew how to use it properly- but brother , did it jam- anyway, you ask anyone that didn the vn thing what they thought of the carbine and a funny glow comes into the eyes- and the beauty of it was all it took was about 5 minutes and a hacksaw- i used to carry one under the seat ( full size, m1a1 stock) in the rig way back when,picked it up in havre, montana,, dumped it when we went back across the border, and like you said, 37.50 - cheap "insurance"
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:19 PM   #15
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TommyGunn,

fwiw, i've taken several of our quite small, but very numerous, TX deer with a Marlin carbine in .357Mag or the .351WSL out of a Winchester carbine & did not feel "underarmed" at up to 60-75M with either one.
(in most places, you cannot SEE much farther than that in the swamps.)

Under the right circumstances, a .22LR WILL kill a deer BUT it's not suitable as a deer rifle either. - I just think that the .30cal carbine is INHUMANE as a hunting rifle on anything larger than a coyote under MOST real-life situations.
(otoh, IF all that was available, in a survival situation, i would try to take a deer with either one.)

one of the reasons that i am so fond of the Model 1910 Winchester carbine is that the .401WSL is compact in size, while still being an EXCELLENT stopper out to 150M.
240-250-260Grains of JHP or JSP at >2000FPS works well & makes little noise in the woods.
(otoh, don't try to "fib your way out of" a MISS in deer camp, as the .401 sounds like nothing else. - it goes: BLAMM.)

btw, I was told by a senior USA Ordnance Corps WO3 at Aberdeen Proofing Ground (perhaps 20 years ago) that Winchester offered the US military the .351WSL AND the .401WSL as chamberings for the carbine, without cost, but the "powers that be" wanted a .30 caliber.

yours, sw
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Old 10-13-2012, 05:32 PM   #16
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t-star,

fwiw, in '73, i knew a "gun-bunny jockey", who routinely carried a "cut-down M2 carbine" (made into a pistol) gunfighter style in a "made down in the ville" cross-draw holster.
I'm told that he was quite good with it.
(otoh, I never saw him even fire it.)

yours, sw
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:18 PM   #17
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@Stand:
I can "almost" agree with your assessment of the M1 as a hunting rifle (although my son got his first deer with one, in one shot to the head). That's why I called it a "zombie" gun- it's great for rodents and coyotes, but I'd prefer to use my Winchester 30-06 for anything larger. Then again, I've found that ammo itself will make a difference with the M1- FMJ's don't shred as good as soft-points, powder charges, etc. are the arguments. But, as Bearcat says, "It is what it is." And, for a fun practice gun and a kid trainer, it works just fine.

But, to bring it back on topic: Maybe I am in the wrong part of the country right now, but it just seems rather sudden that these guns are seemingly disappearing from the market, as well as the ammo. I was chatting with my brothers about this, and they don't seem to believe it, until I showed them who (supposedly) has (or HAD) what- they couldn't believe it's starting to disappear as well. And, it just seems to me that this has happened VERY recently, like since the beginning of this month or so. For example, I had looked at CMP in about July, and they still had some rifles. Now they don't. They're about completely out of rifles! Did they simply run out of their original stock, or is something else going on?

And so, to the original question, What is going on here? Politics (again?) Collector value that went into overdrive? Or is there something else driving this market that we don't know about that maybe we should? Hmmm...
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:24 PM   #18
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Captain Ogre: For what it's worth, Max Brooks, who wrote "The Zombie Survival Guide" said a while back that he considered the M-1 Carbine the ultimate Zombie defense gun. Scope the book's cover here:

Max Brooks and How to Survive a Zombie Attack | Third Point of Singularity

Sadly I have heard similar stories of the M-1 carbine in combat with the Japanese, though less stories from European veterans. Different experiences, maybe. It seems a quite capable round, I know five round magazines for hunting were made for many years, so maybe it was used for deer and medium sized game.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:41 PM   #19
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Gaaah CRAP! Now you went and did it! I gotta go order that one for my wife's Kindle! LOL LOL

But, as far as the M1 itself goes- Mine's a 1965 Universal, made in Hialeah, FL. So, it doesn't really qualify as a battle relic. Pushbutton mag release, roll-type safety (similar to the M16, without the "full" setting.) Guess I have a "thing" for the 60's- my amp is a 1962 Blonde Fender Tremolux, too... LOL LOL
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:54 PM   #20
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I have a 1965 Gun Digest, and there's a listing for the Universal in that. Neat find, Captain! I wonder how many of those rifles Universal made in the 60s? It is neat to see one still going strong. (Also, congrats on the amp! Tube-era stuff is fun.)
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