Stock Exchange

Stock Exchange

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.

Springfield was able to come within six ounces of the military M1 Carbine with a weight of 4.9 pounds, vs. 5.5 pounds. The overall length of the centerfire model was 35.58 inches and the CO2 model is 35.8 inches with a smoothbore internal barrel of 17.25 inches, compared to the military model’s 18 inch rifled barrel length. The CO2 model also comes with an exceptionally well detailed instruction book.

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The Springfield CO2 model comes with an excellent wood grained plastic stock, but to make this airgun even more authentic, there is a hardwood stock version, and at some point, the hardwood stock will be offered as a separate item (as shown) to upgrade any existing gun with a plastic stock. The conversion is neither difficult, nor does it take more than about half an hour working slowly and carefully.

Presently, the M1 can be ordered as a complete gun with a wood stock, but there will also be a wood stock kit that will allow refitting a plastic stocked M1 with a genuine hardwood stock.
The hardwood stock kit is a full swap out for the wood grained plastic stock. One other plus, aside from the improved look of real wood, is that the weight of the CO2 model increases to 5 pounds, 13.0 ounces, which is almost identical to the centerfire M1 Carbine.

There are nine steps in the disassembly, which is removing the action from the plastic stock, along with the metal stock insert and the metal buttplate. So here we go.

Step 1: Remove the screw from the front band with a flat head screwdriver.

Step 2: Slide the band over the retaining pin in the stock and forward onto the barrel.

Step 3: Pull the retaining pin out from the right hand side of the fore-stock.

Step 4: Slide the bayonet lug forward.

Step 5: Pull the handguard (top part of the stock) forward and up. And remove it.

Step 6: Remove the screw on the right side of the barrel retaining strap (as shown).

Step 7: Pull the action up, forward and out of the stock. This may take some effort.

Step 8: Remove the screw holding the metal buttplate and lift it off.

Step 9: Remove the flathead screw holding the metal stock insert from the rear of the plastic stock and remove the insert.

The flathead screw holding the barrel band is the first thing that is removed.
The barrel band needs to be spread slightly to release from the retaining pin and then slipped forward and off the barrel.
Pull the retaining pin out from the right hand side of the fore-stock, remove it and set it aside for reuse on the wood stock.
The bayonet lug is pulled forward, which releases the front of the plastic handguard from the bayonet lug’s rear collar.
The handguard is pulled forward to release from the front of the receiver and removed. As you can see it is hollow and with the ribs to rest it on top of the gun, the plastic handguard tends to be a little loose. The wood handguard sits tight and stays put.
Remove the screw on the right side of the barrel retaining strap. This is actually a bolt that fits into a nut fixed inside the plastic stock. When the gun is reassembled on the wood stock, the wood screw that comes with the kit is used to secure the assembly.
Pull the action up, then forward and out of the stock. This may take some effort clearing the action and triggerguard. It fits into the wood stock easier than it comes out of the plastic one. In this photo you can also see the nut inside the stock used to secure barrel retaining strap in the plastic stock. When it is reattached to the wood stock a wood screw provided with the kit is used.
Unscrew the Phillips head holding the metal buttplate and remove it. You will have to screw it down tighter on the wood stock.
Remove the flathead screw holding the metal stock insert from the rear of the plastic stock and pull out the insert. When you replace it on the wood stock slide it into the channel and be sure the rim is flush with the wood. There is a replacement wood screw that is used when reattaching it.
This is everything you should have after disassembling the M1 from the plastic stock.

With all of the parts removed from the plastic stock, reverse the order and reassemble the M1 on the new hardwood stock. The metal stock insert is hard to get into the wood stock, so take your time and start by pressing it in from the front and pushing it into the channel, rather than trying to set it into the stock. There is also a replacement wood screw for tightening it down. If you happen to scratch the collar on the stock insert when unscrewing the old screw on the plastic stock, or tightening the new screw on the wood stock, (I did) don’t worry about it, Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black will touch it right up as good as new. Also note that when putting the action in the stock, slip it in under the lip of the insert and press it down. Also, there is a replacement retaining strap screw that will screw into the hardwood stock, (the plastic stock has a nut inserted for the bolt that you removed). When replacing the handguard, it slips under the retaining collar on the part where “US Carbine” is printed. Replace the retaining pin in the right side of the stock and then slide the bayonet lug back in place. Put the barrel band back over the barrel and secure it on the retaining pin. Then replace the flathead screw into the front of the band and secure it tightly. The job is done, and your M1 is in a proper hardwood stock, as authentic as any M1 replica.

Looking like an actual M1 Carbine just in time for Armed Forces Day, the Springfield model with hardwood stock is an impressive air rifle. I gave the wood stock a light rubdown with Seeds’ Wood Dressing, one of the oldest polishes for fine wood. It gives the M1’s hardwood stock a little more depth and helps preserve the wood finish.

4 thoughts on “Stock Exchange”

  1. This is the gun that introduced me to firearms back in 1960, I guarded many a B52, F106 Delta Darts, F102 Delta Daggers, KC135 Tanker Jets, we are all alive and well today thanks to my relentless guard duties at Minot AFB, Barksdale AFB, Keesler AFB and several others….You are welcome….

  2. Anyone who owns an M1 Carbine, or wishes they could, has to get at least one if these. Next up should be an M1a paratrooper stock version. These historical replicas are the justification for replica airguns. Umarex should offer a parkerized WW2 series of 1911s to go with the Carbine

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