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Posted: 12/31/2015 3:04:36 PM EDT
Would love to get an M1 carbine, preferably as close to USGI as possible, but I can't drop $900+ for one.
So which of the commercial carbines are the best? What to look out for?
Thanks.
Link Posted: 12/31/2015 4:16:16 PM EDT
Commercial carbines are a crap shoot at best. Keep an eye out for a USGI Inland. They made more of them than anyone else and you should be able to find a shooter for $600-700.
Link Posted: 12/31/2015 5:17:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2015 5:18:09 PM EDT by BigTom111]
I have had good luck with Iver Johnson and Plainfield. But the price now a days is not much different then USGI
Link Posted: 12/31/2015 8:15:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2015 8:16:28 PM EDT by tep0583]
The new Inland and Jame River carbines are VERY nice and well-reviewed.

Unfortunately, they'll also run you at least as much as a USGI carbine in decent or better condition will.

Fulton has some really nice examples, too, but they're even more expensive.

Realistically, that leaves AO/Kahr as your only option for a new commercial carbine, at less than $900. With some searching, you can probably find one for $650 or slightly less.

Iver Johnson would be your best bet of the "old school" commercial carbines. Plainsfield seems to have had a decent reputation, too, but I don't hear much about them. Earlier is better (and closer to USGI) with the commercial carbines. Early Universals used a lot of USGI parts, too and were reputed to be pretty good carbines. I would recommend you do some reading, however, if you decide to do the IJ/Plainfield/Universal route, so you know what to look for  in these carbines. Do some research as to what USGI carbines are going for in your area. At some point, it's going to make more sense to buy a USGI over an over-priced commercial carbine.
Link Posted: 1/1/2016 12:15:31 PM EDT
Good USGI carbines can still be found for $750-$800 "if" you take your time and scour all the For Sale sections on various Gun Forums
Link Posted: 1/1/2016 1:26:13 PM EDT
Just get a GI Carbine and pay a little more.

Ours is a great shooter and very accurate.

It's an awesome piece of history to hold in your hand whenever you want.
Link Posted: 1/1/2016 8:01:18 PM EDT
I'm pleased as can be with my Auto Ordmamce M1 Carbine I got NIB from Bud's back in Feb. 2012. It's an accurate copy of the M1 Carbine set up like it was issued in
1944 (no bayo lug, push button safety, and flip rear sight), however,
the stock is more like the Koren War versions with subtle differences
from the WWII stocks (not a pot belly design so most won't notice the difference without a correct WWII version along side).  Another small difference from the WWII version is that it reliably feeds from a
30rd mag because it comes with an M2 mag release found on the M2 carbines (full auto switch).



It's much more accurate than
my pristine '43 NPM GI Carbine with it's almost new barrel, especially after I swapped out the flip
sight for a Type II adjustable rear sight (my only mod on it). It
does 2" groups at 100yds with irons and my 110grn handloads which is better than any
Mil-Spec carbine I've ever seen as mine does more like 2½-3".   Not as good of groups as that Fulton Armory version with it's
Criterion barrel, however, it costs less than 1/2 as much as the FA one does.  It's plenty accurate enough for me and feeds 110grn FMJ, 110grn plated, and even 110grn Speer JSP bullets with ease.



It's a reliable shooter with
over 4K trouble free rds through it.  And best of all, I can (and do) shoot the
heck out of it without worrying about ruining a piece of history. I also don't worry letting some new shooters and women try it out as their first centerfire after they learn on 22lr bolts during our training sessions at our range because it's not a $1,500 original GI version. All in all, I'm tickled to death with mine.





Link Posted: 1/1/2016 8:09:24 PM EDT
Another option is ever now and then you can come across an import marked g.i. in pretty good shape but the import will lower the price some.  I came across one of these last year and should have gotten it.  It was listed for $600 so it probably sold for 50 or 100 less.
Link Posted: 1/3/2016 10:40:39 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By COSteve:
I'm pleased as can be with my Auto Ordmamce M1 Carbine I got NIB from Bud's back in Feb. 2012. It's an accurate copy of the M1 Carbine set up like it was issued in 1944 (no bayo lug, push button safety, and flip rear sight), however, the stock is more like the Koren War versions with subtle differences from the WWII stocks (not a pot belly design so most won't notice the difference without a correct WWII version along side).  Another small difference from the WWII version is that it reliably feeds from a 30rd mag because it comes with an M2 mag release found on the M2 carbines (full auto switch).

It's much more accurate than my pristine '43 NPM GI Carbine with it's almost new barrel, especially after I swapped out the flip sight for a Type II adjustable rear sight (my only mod on it). It does 2" groups at 100yds with irons and my 110grn handloads which is better than any Mil-Spec carbine I've ever seen as mine does more like 2½-3".   Not as good of groups as that Fulton Armory version with it's Criterion barrel, however, it costs less than 1/2 as much as the FA one does.  It's plenty accurate enough for me and feeds 110grn FMJ, 110grn plated, and even 110grn Speer JSP bullets with ease.

It's a reliable shooter with over 4K trouble free rds through it.  And best of all, I can (and do) shoot the heck out of it without worrying about ruining a piece of history. I also don't worry letting some new shooters and women try it out as their first centerfire after they learn on 22lr bolts during our training sessions at our range because it's not a $1,500 original GI version. All in all, I'm tickled to death with mine.


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I'll second this opinion - picked mine up in 2009 and have never had a problem with it: true, it's just a 'shooter' but it serves me right.
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