So, Wally's wrapping up long-overdue repairs on my M1 Carbine, and sending it off for refinishing (trust me. It needed it). He's sent in pictures of the repair, and folks, I've got to tell you, the man is an artist in metal. The receiver was in rough shape prior to sending, certainly not unusable but with dings, dents, etc. and something that looked like a weld over a crack but didn't go all the way through. Wally patched her all up, put in new springs, and she should be all better shortly (and he has a newfound hatred for telescoping stocks...)
With that in mind, I started looking into M1 Carbine ammo. While it's on the pricier end, it's about what .45 ACP is running these days - not something I'd bring every range trip, but definitely priced where a trip or two a year would be doable. Hmmm. .30 Carbine is placed somewhere between hot .38 Special and low .357 Magnum for stopping power, roughly, and having many 30 round magazines for it (and knowing how compact they are), the little carbine's got a lot of appeal.
Here's the tough part. Right now it's sitting in an aftermarket stock with telecoping wire:
which certainly makes the little rifle even smaller and more compact, but is slow and cumbersome to employ and doesn't offer the best support on the shoulder. Now, .30 Carbine isn't the hottest round out of a handgun, let alone a rifle, but the M1 Carbine is a great rifle for an introduction to centerfire, and having that wire stock is less than ideal.
Part of me wants to buy a USGI stock for it and be done with it. Historical accuracy, appeal, etc. makes it a very logical choice. Add in the correct sling - which will match the USGI mag pouches I have in abundance - and it's a historically accurate piece that matches my USGI 1911. In original configuration the M1 Carbine is an excellent rifle for a new shooter, younger shooter, or anyone who enjoys shooting a light-recoiling rifle.
I live in Massachusetts. We are laboring under an "Assault Weapons" Ban (signed by Mitt Romney, remember). The idea of taking a perfectly fine "assault weapon" and turning it back into a non-"assault weapon" is fundamentally flawed in my assessment. I know this gun is "pre-ban" - it was in our family prior to September of 1994 and was in "assault weapon" configuration (pistol grip, collapsible stock, detachable magazine) prior to the ban. I can add a folding stock, adjustable stock, etc. - even a bayonet - all day long and still be 100% within the parameters of the law.
So... With that said, what's a gunnie to do? I won't do anything to alter the M1 Carbine, so it can be returned to original configuration at any time. There's a reasonable folding stock from Choate available from MidwayUSA for under $100 that's a possibility:
There's also a mod available for that stock to turn the handguard cover into a rail for a red dot sight which is rather appealing. The .30 Carbine round is just about perfect for engagements out to 50 yards or so (not that it's not suited for longer distances, just that anything greater than 50 yards is work for a different rifle IMHO).
Other than that, though, there are few choices available for the M1 Carbine for aftermarket stocks, which is somewhat of a puzzler given the availability of the rifle. Oh, sure, it's not as HSLD as the AR-15, but it's still a rock-solid little gun that's handy, light-recoiling, and is even more compact in the ammo department. It's surprising it never quite got the same traction, but it is what it is.And I won't even go into the difficulty encountered in finding parts for my Universal M1 Carbine...
So, what's a gunnie to do? I fully admit that the only reason I don't return it to original configuration is that I'm thumbing my nose at the AWB. I'm not keen on dropping a lot of coin on a custom stock or anything, especially when I'd rather have it original. I like the utility of the folding stock, though, especially on a smaller rifle as it makes for simpler transport, etc.
Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions on how the M1 Carbine should be configured?
That is all.