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Old 12-14-2019, 03:59 PM
pbshooter1217 pbshooter1217 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 75
Default What to look for?

I'm thinking about buying a M1 when they cash out my PTO at the end of the the year at work. I'd like to get a shooter grade, but I have no idea what to look for. At the gun show today, they had them from $850 to $1,600.

What should you look for so you don't buy a hunk of junk?
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Old 12-14-2019, 04:30 PM
6 Ring 6 Ring is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: South of Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 3,095

From my experience at gun shows, whether priced at $800 or $2,000, it will still be junk.
Anything nice was bought before the show opened to the public.
They do come up for sale on the forum here at a fair price.
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Old 12-14-2019, 04:34 PM
cali201 cali201 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Jasper, Georgia
Posts: 1,431

Gunbroker may be another venue but tread carefully and avoid Sami-T-Bob.
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Old 12-14-2019, 05:08 PM
eightyduece eightyduece is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 119

I think the best thing to do is decide on which manufacturer you want then put a WTB in the Market Place. Gunbroker is a good place to study them but most are marked too high. Look for ones with no reserve and a low starting price.
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Old 12-14-2019, 05:36 PM
RDS RDS is offline
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Eastern Pa
Posts: 105

If you want a M1 Carbine to just have one look for an Inland. Inland made the most, are the easiest to find and generally less expensive than the other makers.
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:05 PM
bonnie bonnie is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 129

What I look for.....

A USGI rebuilt carbine with adjustable rear sight and bayonet lug barrel band. Good overall parkerized finish. No rust, no pitting.

Get and use a muzzle gauge. My carbines go from less then 1 to 1.5. Anything reading a 2 or above I pass on. A bright bore which most carbines have anyway.

The maker is not important. Import marked is acceptable to me if everything else looks good and the price is good.

There is more but those are the basics for me.
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Old 12-15-2019, 12:56 AM
austintexas austintexas is online now
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 85

I bought many from CMP when they were selling them, Last two I bought in the parking lot from people headed to the show. I ask is their carbine for sale? how long have you had it? Did they know where it came from. How much, usually in the parking lot they ask $600 to $700. look it over, If it is GI, finish condition and decent wood then remind them that the dealers at the show are gonna low ball them. Offer $100 less cash and see what happens. One thing you should do is read a little history and get basic knowledge before you go looking. Knowledge is power. The very first carbine I bought was an IBM. The things I found wrong after the fact: It was polished and blued, stock sanded and tru-oiled and shot a foot high at 100 yards. I didn't pay a huge amount for it but it was an adequate shooter. Best bet is buy "Collecting The M1 Carbine" by Jessie C Harrison, I don't know what they sell for now, I paid $35.00 for mine years ago. A wealth of easy to understand information.
Didn't mean to go on so long
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:26 AM
vagrant vagrant is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 581

It's similar to Garands. Look for welding or smeared marks hiding welding.

(1) Then look at the finish for evidence of refinishing and how old it is if so. Look how crisp the receiver and barrel markings are. Does everything look similar in color and wear?
(2) Look for import marks on the barrel. Assure it isn't counter-bored. High readings on a gauge means cleaning taper.
(3) Inland should usually be cheaper because you can't escape finding them everywhere.

Locally, very few people know what makes a valuable Carbine, even dealers. If it's not 6-700, they don't want to talk about it. Some walk in the door at 1000 or 1200 and eventually walk out having gotten offers of 700, which is close to what they're worth. One per show might have a decent value price. Buy that one. BUT (!), often times none are a decent value and you need to go home without one. Try to find one with ammo and magazines to lower the overall price.
When a woman asks you what you were thinking, it's a setup. Have a prepared reply ready.
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:05 PM
Tuna 1 Tuna 1 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 953

The M1 carbine by Jesse Harrison is the worst book to buy. He wrote the book decades ago and never update it so most of his data is not just outdated but wrong too. The book is obsolete and of little value now. If you must have a book then start with Craig Riesch's M1 Carbines Wartime Production. 7th or 8th edition by now. He has updated it when he finds new information on carbines. It sells for around $22.
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