The M1 carbine. Loved and hated in equal parts it seems. Meant to replace the pistol for rear line troops. officers and the GIs that did not need a rifle, the M1 carbine is well known. In recent years a few companies have started to make new “clones” of the m1 carbine to satisfy the every growing demand of out Grandfather’s weapons from WW2. When I was younger it was no big deal to buy a surplus carbine or M1 rifle. I paid 150 for my first carbine and 315 for my first M1 Garand. Then Saving Private Ryan came out, followed by Band of Brothers and all that ended.
Since then, I have taken a look at most of the new made clones of WW2 arms. The carbine in its new life has had some really crap copies made. Sadly enough in my opinion, the most atrocious of some of these clones have been the ones made in within the last few years. The one I am going to show you is not in that class. It is superb. the Inland MFG M1 carbine is the gold standard for new made M1 carbines. Inland even picked up serial numbers ranging after original production numbers in Gov. owned guns as a very cool touch. Now, there are a few features that may not look exact to the discerning M1 collector and expert, but all features on the gun are present to reflect the carbine over its history and retain that broad general look so iconic to us all.
One thing every one I have let handle the gun has mentioned is the wood and how it looks. This is because Inland’s personnel had a relative who worked on the original war production guns and gave all the information on the original wood stain with pictures, the formula and all steps how to attain it. That may not impress you, but that is a very neat continuation of a lost method from the original time period, that I think really ads a great touch. And it looks great indeed.
Unlike some of the other new production M1 carbines or poor attempts at said carbine, the Inland comes with the adjustable rear sight. The rear is the same as found on the M1903A3, adjustable for wind and elevation. I have seen this site reproduced on the 22LR carbines meant to look like the M1 but they are cheap near useless things. This one is robust and well made with positive returning clicks.
As expected , the makers name and serial number is on the rear of the receiver behind the rear sight. You can see how well made the sight is and how the peep sight travels to the rear to raise your elevation.
The front of the receiver and its markings. The excellent parkerizing can be seen in the picture but my camera does not do justice to the pleasant color of the park. Its that grey matte finish we all know and love.
Some of the efforts of other companies produced wood that fit poorly with edges bordering on splinters. The Inland has no such problem. You can run your hand all over it and not get cut. The only sharp corners are the ones that need to be, such as the sights,
One of the give a ways of the old universal carbines is the cut away on the op rod. Not on the Inland. It works smoothly and is robust. It also makes that wonderful metal on metal sound I love when being cycled by hand. Irrelevant, but I still love that sound.
Maybe a sticking point for some of the stickier sticklers. The bayonet lug is the late war and Korean war era. The carbine can be had with or without, The M1A1 paratrooper model from the company does not have it. I think its not really something to complain about really. as I can see most buyers wanting to mount one of the many surplus bayonets on the market. It is well done and made with the great park’ed finish.
The sling attaches at the front with the usually sling swivel. Inland supplies a brand new M1 carbine sling with the rifle as well as the stock oiler bottle.
Sling attaches to the rear and is held in place by the oil bottle. I did not set it up that way because the sling is brand new and tight and I did not want to force it in place since it’s a loaner form the maker. Inland tells me the method to get it in place the first time is to wet the sling, then use a rubber mallet with a gently tappy tap or roller to press the sling and oil bottle in place to break it in. I felt no real need to put it in place so I just assemble the sling around the stock the same way most owners of M1 carbines do minus the oil bottle. It works. Good enough for me.
A matching stock and top hand guard. If you have not spent a life around surplus firearms, you have no idea how rare that is and how nice it is to see.
The magazine that comes with the gun is the standard capacity original. Of course the gun will take the later 30 round magazines. It locks into place and has the mag release button. The safety is also the button just to the rear of the magazine release. This has cause some problems for a lot of people over the years who hit the wrong one at the wrong time when it matters most. Other carbines had a switch or selector lever for the safety that was less likely to cause you to mistakenly dumb your ammo at the worst time if you are not careful. This type I think is faster but something to be aware of. Not the best safety position but it is correct for the carbine.
As you can see, the gun is made well and looks great. Better than any other new made M1 carbine I have seen. In the next part I will be giving the accuracy testing results and reliability of the gun.