Investing in Springfield Armory’s M1 Carbine
By Dennis Adler
Plastic or wood, the Springfield Armory M1 in any stock is a highly accurate blowback action semiautomatic air rifle. With an average velocity close to 400 fps (anywhere from 387 fps to 426 fps) I was comfortable shooting the 17.75 inch barrel length M1 Carbine at 10 meters. To get a sense of the gun’s true accuracy at that competitive range, I shot it from a bench rest using a Hyskore gun rest. My best 10-shot group with Umarex Precision steel BBs measured 0.56 inches with either seven or eight rounds inside one ragged hole measuring 0.437 inches.
Today, May 18th, is Armed Forces Day, which was established by President Harry S. Truman after WWII as a day to pay special tribute to the men and women of America’s Armed Forces. Traditionally celebrated on the third Saturday in May, the first official Armed Forces Day took place on May 20, 1950 and next year will mark the event’s 70th anniversary. While Armed Forces Day events usually last an entire week it always kicks off on a Saturday. For WWII, Korean War and early Vietnam era veterans, the M1 Carbine and its variations were the most familiar arms in use, aside from the Colt Model 1911A1 pistol. The M1 was referred to as a “light rifle” and was originally designed for the military by the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. It was based on a design by Ed Browning (John M. Browning’s brother) and originally known as the “Caliber .30 M2 Browning Military Rifle. That fact is somewhat of a footnote because the telling of the M1 story has always focused mostly around the improved firing mechanism used by Winchester, which was developed by David Marshall Williams, better known today as “Carbine Williams” and famously considered the creator of the M1 Carbine. While he did a lot of the work with Winchester’s design team, the M1 Carbine was a Winchester and Browning design, combined with the gas piston system invented by Williams. His design, which used the exhaust gases from the fired cartridge to power the piston running a rotating bolt and operating rod to eject the spent shell casing and load a fresh round from the magazine, is pretty much the heart of the M1 and why it is often regarded as his design. To commemorate the M1, Springfield Armory offers its new CO2 model, which is a very accurate reproduction of the WWII guns, with a magazine fed blowback action and, as my initial test of this gun revealed, it is also very accurate downrange, putting a dime-sized cluster of overlapping hits on target at 10 meters.