Springfield Armory M1 Carbine Part 2

Springfield Armory M1 Carbine Part 2

An American Military Classic

By Dennis Adler

At 4.9 pounds, Springfield was able to come within 9.6 ounces of the military M1 Carbine which weighed 5.5 pounds (as light at 5.2 pounds). Of course that is with the plastic stock CO2 model vs. hardwood on the actual M1 stocks.

Why a Springfield Armory M1 CO2 Carbine and not an M14? Considering that Springfield Armory builds the M14, that is an even better question. The answer is simply that the M1 Carbine is an historic WWII firearm, the M14 is not. One reason Springfield builds the M14 today is that it was developed at the original Springfield Armory with the legendary John Garand. The M14 is essentially a modernized select-fire M1 Garand with a detachable magazine. The M2 Carbine (with a 30-round magazine) was a select fire version of the M1 Carbine developed in 1944 and used toward the end of WWII and again in Korea and during the early years of the Vietnam War. WWII M1 models were also converted to M2 variations with a kit (“Kit, Carbine, T17”) developed at the Inland Division of GM, which built the greatest number of M1 Carbines.

Although Inland built the most M1 Carbines, it was a Winchester design…
…and Winchester was never shy about letting Americans know. They earned the right; the M1 Carbine was a Winchester no matter who built it, just like a Colt 1911A1. 

By any other name…

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The M1 name is forever associated with the WWII Carbine, while the M1 Garand is most often referred to simply as the “Garand” just to make it easier to separate the two. When most military arms enthusiasts say M1, they are talking about the Carbine with no disrespect to the M1 Garand. The Air Venturi Springfield Armory CO2 model is referred to as the M1 Carbine.

The looks are right on the Air Venturi Springfield Armory model, as well they should be; in the 1990s Springfield Armory also built .30 caliber M1 carbines.

Springfield and Air Venturi worked closely on the M1 just as they did for the XDM CO2 pistols and it again shows in the fine attention to detail. And will be even more so with a full hardwood stock version like the .30 caliber WWII models.

The rear sight on the CO2 model is based on the 3rd Type adjustable peep sight, but it is only adjustable for windage on the air rifle.

Having come close to the 5.2 to 5.5 pound average weight of the WWII era models, and very close with overall dimensions, the attention to fine detail is again very important. The Springfield is based on the late 3rd variation of the WWII model with the bayonet mount under the barrel. The majority of M1 Carbines did not have a bayonet mount. There were also changes in the sights between Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 version M1 designs, and the CO2 model uses the Type 3 cast rear sight, though it is not adjustable for elevation on the air rifle, only for windage. The later Type 3 design is also used for the manual rotary safety on the right side, which is identical to the .30 caliber models. The Type 3 magazine release was another modified design, and this too, is reflected in the CO2 model. The airgun also uses a Type 3 style barrel band and forward sling mount, oval stock oiler recess, late model bolt design and “low wood” stock (around the bolt handle) introduced early in 1944. The Springfield is as close to a late model M1 Carbine as possible.

The CO2 model has the same bolt design as the Type 3 M1 Carbine developed toward the end of WWII. It also has the “low wood” stock which has more space between the top of the stock and handguard for the bolt handle. You can see the molded-in rivet holes that were used to attach the handguard on the .30 caliber guns. The plastic handguard for the CO2 model is held by flanges behind the barrel band and breech block. It tends to wobble if you push against it. Not a big issue but it is the only part that looks and feels plastic compared to the rest of the stock.

Air and .177 caliber BBs vs. the .30 caliber model

The looks are right on the Air Venturi Springfield Armory model (and in the 1990s Springfield Armory also built M1 carbines, so they have first hand knowledge). Of course, comparing velocity or range between a .30 caliber cartridge and a steel BB is impractical but the factory specification for the CO2 model is 425 fps. That’s a fair clip downrange from the 17.75-inch smoothbore barrel.

The bolt has a hold open catch like original M1 Carbine models, which allows locking the bolt back (as shown) by pushing the pin on the bolt down into a notch in the receiver. Pulling the bolt all the way back releases it. The bolt reciprocates like the centerfire models.

Before I get into loading the CO2 BB magazine, which holds 15 rounds to match the capacity of the original .30 caliber M1 Carbine magazines, let’s look at the use of a plastic stock and handguard for the standard model vs. the hardwood stock and handguard. Plastic has worked well for models like the Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action and the Gletcher Mosin-Nagant rifle and cut down pistol version. Plastic also worked well in the 1960s when Crosman developed its synthetic Croswood stock for their variation of an M1 Carbine. That was 1968 to 1976; prior to that they used wood in 1966 and 1967. Although it looked like an M1 it used the Model V350 push barrel cocking system and a gravity fed 22-shot magazine with a 180 round reservoir. It looked good for the 1960s, but no comparison to today’s Springfield M1 model.

The magazine release is copied from the Type 3 design, as is the swiveling safety.
The safety is easy to swivel on and off with the trigger finger exactly like the WWII models. The white S and F were added for the CO2 model.

The magazine releases easily and is very quick to load with both CO2 and BBs. Unlike some seating screws which can be a bear to thread back in, the M1’s finds its way back home pretty easily. As for BBs, the magazine has a large follower tab and it locks well below the loading port which allows all 15 rounds to be easy poured in. Lots of plus points for the magazine design!

The CO2 mags weigh 1 pound, 2 ounces empty with a capacity of 15 rounds to match the .30 caliber model’s standard magazine. The magazine has a locking follower that is easy to work and a large loading port well above the follower (arrow).

To wrap up today, the velocity test was done with a fresh CO2 and 10 rounds fired at 15 second intervals. The M1 clocked an average of 397 fps with a high of 423 fps, and a low of 389 fps on the 10th round. The distance from the target for the velocity test was 21 feet and all 10 rounds grouped inside 0.93 inches, three in the bullseye and seven grouped in the 8 and 9 rings center of aim at 0.59 inches. No corrections for elevation or windage. Not a bad start!

During the velocity test a 10 meter pistol target was set out at 21 feet. The sights were very close to POA with the front post centered in the peephole and the front post at the bottom of the black. The total 10-shot group is under an inch.

In Part 3 it is off to the test range for 21 foot and 10 meter comparisons.

3 thoughts on “Springfield Armory M1 Carbine Part 2”

  1. Nice shooting .Am surprised about relatively low velocity in a semiauto Carbine . My MP 40 does better in both semi and auto mode. The barely 400 fps may be stretching it at 10 meters but at 21 feet grouping nicely. Out of the tank , shoulder fired weapons!

    • I thought the fps was a little low myself. The MP40 does have two 12gram CO2 cylinders though. It could also be due to cooler firing tempatures, summer temps always improve performance in my guns.

      Very detailed review! I based many of my purchases from your reviews and have not been disappointed. I enjoy the history of the true firearm, and its variants, that you always include.

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