Springfield Armory M1 Carbine Part 3

Springfield Armory M1 Carbine Part 3

An American Military Classic

By Dennis Adler

Troops training with the M1 Carbine had the most advanced weapon American soldiers had ever used. These are Type 1 models c.1942. Also note the soldier in the background practicing with a Colt 1911A1.

One of the true requisites for a firearm being deemed a classic design is that no matter how old it is, no matter how many firearms are regarded as superior in design or capability, it is still being manufactured to this day. Reproductions of firearms from the past are similar validations, but with the M1 Carbine, like the Colt Model 1911A1, the design is still being used and current models still manufactured. How this relates to CO2 models is much the same; today we have Colt Peacemakers, multiple versions of the Colt Model 1911, and now, the beginning of M1 CO2 models. And yes, that raises the question “are there other versions forthcoming?” Perhaps, given that there were different variations of the original M1 Carbine.

The Springfield Armory M1 Carbine is the Type 3 design with improved windage adjustable rear sight (the .30 caliber models were also elevation adjustable), and improved magazine release and rotating safety.

The Type 3

As with most firearms, the later versions offer a few refinements born of experience in the field; the M1 Carbine being a prime example. The best improvements for the M1 were copied in developing the Springfield Armory CO2 model. Given the already impressive accuracy of the gun during velocity testing, the absence of an elevation adjustable rear sight has not proven a detriment and, as set by the factory, the windage has not required any adjustments at 21 feet. The original WWII M1 Carbine used an L-type or “flip” rear peephole site with no windage adjustments and two settings (flipping the one peephole to the other) changing elevation from 100 to 300 yards. The Type 3 introduced toward the end of the war had a cast rear sight that was adjustable for both elevation and windage, the design duplicated for the CO2 model without the elevation feature.

The locking mechanism for the M1 magazine is a cross bolt design (top arrow) that uses two seating lugs on the magazine (lower arrow) and a locking notch (underneath lower arrow) to firmly lock the 15-round magazine into the receiver.

The seating screw is easy to unscrew and thread back in after loading CO2. I averaged 45 rounds without any significant loss of velocity and around 60 total shots to empty.

The front sight design remained the same on all three M1 Carbine versions. The CO2 model uses the Type 3 handguard design, front sling mount but the stock is actually somewhere between the earlier flatter straight stock and the late rounded or “pot belly” stock. The handguards also changed and the Type 3 used four rivets on the underside to secure the separate wood handguard to the receiver. The look is copied for the CO2 model but no rivets are used to secure it. When the hardwood stock is available for the CO2 Carbine it will use the same flange mounts as the plastic handguard but the look will be more authentic. Bear in mind that parts for the WWII era M1 Carbines were supplied by different manufactures (for handguards as an example, there were 15 different suppliers). While there were 10 companies (actually 11, as there were two Saginaw Divisions of GM, one in Saginaw and the other in Grand Rapids, as well as the Inland Division) assembling M1 Carbines during the war, the parts for those guns came from hundreds of different contract suppliers. At least with the CO2 model there is only one manufacturer.

Here you can see the locking mechanism engaged with the top of the magazine. Combined with the two inner lugs this is a very solid magazine lockup. I was comfortable resting the base of my support hand palm and wrist against the magazine for a secure hold. Some of the soldiers in the training photo at the opening of the article are using this same hold; a few others are almost cupping the magazine for support.

Velocity and accuracy

Having established Umarex Precision steel BBs at just under 400 fps, I decided to run the same test with Hornady Black Diamond, and lighter weight Air Venturi Dust Devils. Unfortunately, Dust Devils did not work well in the magazine feed system so that’s out of the picture for now. Black Diamond BBs are the same weight as Umarex steel BBs so they should do about the same. Ten rounds averaged 400 fps with a high of 426 fps, and a low of 387 fps, so almost identical performance. My 10-round group with Black Diamond measured 1.18 inches with a best 5-shot group clustered at 9 o’clock measuring 0.62 inches. Again there were no windage adjustment and the sights held at the bottom of the bullseye at 6 o’clock.

My 21 foot test firing from the shoulder with Hornady Black Diamond gave me two tight 5-shot groups. The top group measures 0.62 inches.

I ran a second test with Umarex and this 10-shot group had a spread of 0.875 inches with seven out of 10 almost all overlapping and close enough to cover with a dime. The 7-shot group (too close to measure only five) was 0.53 inches.

The best result with Umarex Precision steel BBs fired from the shoulder at 21 feet delivered a dime-sized cluster of seven overlapping hits at 0.53 inches, one a fraction of an inch to the left and a pair below clipping the bullseye.

Knowing how well this gun can do fired from the shoulder at 21 feet, I decided to move back to 10 meters and fire 10 rounds using a Hyskore gun rest. Shooting at a 10-meter pistol target, my first 10-shot group with Umarex measured 0.56 inches with either seven or eight rounds inside one ragged hole measuring 0.437 inches. At 10 meters the gun shot a little high and right, with shots in the eight ring at 10 o’clock. I ran a second target with Hornady Black Diamond, corrected my POA elevation and adjusted windage three clicks right. This gave me 10 shots in the 10 ring and bullseye measuring 0.625 inches with 8 of 10 at 0.4 inches. I doubt I could do that shooting without the gun rest, but it does prove that the M1 Carbine is a straight shooter even at 10 meters.

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 accuracy at that competitive range, I shot it from a bench rest using a Hyskore gun rest. My best 10-shot group with Umarex measured 0.56 inches with either seven or eight rounds inside one ragged hole measuring 0.437 inches. The gun shot a little high and left.

Using Hornady Black Diamond and correcting POA and adjusting the windage three clicks right, I put 10 rounds into 0.625 inches with 8 into a ragged tear measuring 0.4 inches. The M1 has the chops to center punch a 10-meter target.

Trigger pull on the test gun averaged 4 pounds, 6.4 ounces, with light stacking, a take up of 0.25 inches and quick reset, which makes it a light enough trigger for consistent shots. As for accuracy, the M1 Carbine is a winner. The next time we see this gun it will have a hardwood stock.

3 thoughts on “Springfield Armory M1 Carbine Part 3

  1. Were there any versions of the M1 Carbine with a scope mount?

    Does the rear sight on this replica M1 Carbine appear to be mounted on a dovetail and removable?


    • As a matter of fact there was, the Inland Division of GM, which produced the largest number of M1 variations, developed thr T3 Sniper rifle version in 1944. It was a modified M1 Carbine with a welded on scope mount that used Redfield style scope rings. The rear sight on the CO2 model is in a dovetail but I have not tried to remove it. I’ll find out and get back to you on that.


  2. Springfield did a pretty good job here , but I would change some things . The sights should have been exact replicas of the later sights, adjustable for both windage and elevation. I would have included a sling and Oiler, filled with a tube of pellgun oil. For the difference I will wait for the wood stock model . Does shoot well which is a big plus


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