By B.B. Pelletier

Now here’s an airgun you can really get used to! Not only does it resemble the real M1 Carbine very closely, it’s also one of the most powerful spring-piston BB guns around.

Inspired by the real thing!
The M1 Carbine was a re-skinning of Crosman’s successful model 350 BB repeater – so-named because that was the muzzle velocity. Careful attention was paid to make the M1 Carbine a close copy of the real thing.

The Crosman M1 Carbine is a realistic copy of the World War II carbine.

A springer in deep disguise!
For more than 20 years, I had assumed this BB gun was powered by CO2. First, because it was a Crosman, and they made so many CO2 guns at the time the M1 Carbine came out. The second reason was because I could not figure out how it could be cocked if it was a springer. At the time, I knew nothing about Quackenbush spring guns.

How it cocks
To cock the carbine, you grab the barrel and pull it back toward the receiver. Or, you can push the barrel back, but be careful not to put your hand in front of the muzzle when you do. This takes some real muscle, making the carbine a gun for older teenagers and adults, and even then not everyone will be able to cock it. The Daisy model 25 is somewhat hard to cock, but this gun is quite a bit harder.

Because a hand was on the barrel at the muzzle every time the gun was cocked, most M1 Carbines I’ve seen have well-worn finish in that area. Therefore, a gun with pristine finish should be worth a good premium.

The neatest thing
What looks like a magazine hanging down is actually a detachable box for carrying BBs. You have to remove them and load them into the gun or they’ll just be ballast for your gun. More than half the carbines now in existence have lost their magazines, and an actual magazine is worth about as much as the gun, itself.

What looks like a magazine is
just a box for storing BBs.
The plastic lid slides back to open.

The powerplant in this gun is unique in the annals of airguns. As far as I know, only the Crosman 350, 3500 and M1 Carbine airguns have the poppet-type valve air control device. A flexible poppet valve very reminiscent of an automotive-type valve gives the gun its extra power. The air virtually explodes out when the valve is finally overcome.

The wood stock is best!
The gun was made with a wooden stock during the first year, then Crosman introduced a plastic stock with realistic wood grain pattern. They called the material Croswood, and it went on to become their stock material of choice for many years.

While the gun has a very fancy peep sight in the rear, accuracy is about standard for a BB gun. I can keep five shots in an inch and a half at 20 feet.

You should be able to find one in shootable condition for $50 to $60 without the magazine. With the mag, they’re going for $90 to $100 today.