Today we look at the Old West at touch on a bit of reloading. It was my birthday a few months back. I am thankful to my wife and to my father for this really nice gift. This video illustrates the inner workings of the 1873 lever action carbine. It also illustrates how clean the .44-40 versions (which the gun was originally designed for) stay when firing Black Powder and Black Powder substitutes. Very impressive weapon.
Here is Part 1 of a demonstration video I made of two great .38 Special revolvers last weekend. Enjoy and feel free to comment.
This is part two of first video. Just changed positions a little before demonstrating the Colt Official Police. My first shooting presentation video (of many to come). Enjoy and feel free to comment!
The M-1 Carbine. “Oh yeah!” says the modern movie buff, “that’s what the men at Iwo Jima and Omaha beach used in WW2! Big rifle that shoots a .30-06 round.”
*Wink* Yes and no. Yes it’s what many men at Iwo Jima and Omaha beach carried, though it wasn’t a main battle rifle. It was a Personal Defense Weapon for auxiliary units, officers and NCOs that needed something lighter than a M1 Garand or Thompson and something with a bit more firepower than a .45 Automatic 1911. It looks like the M1 Garand and the AK-47 got married and had a little boy and his name was M1 Carbine.
It shoots a .30 Carbine round with a 110 gr. bullet. Significantly less powerful than the .30-06. In the years following WW2 a select fire version designated the M2 Carbine was built which allowed for full automatic fire.
Most gun enthusiasts who do know what this weapon is often downplay it as “just a puny toy” or “something somebody carried when they didn’t really need a weapon.”
But the fact is: these people are looking at it the wrong way. It’s not an assault rifle or a battle rifle and was never meant to be.
The best way I can describe it is this: It is a cross between an assault rifle and a sub-machine gun. And has a lot of advantages too.
It is smaller and more compact than an AK47 or M16 (and even the M4 or AR Carbine) and is more powerful than a sub-machine gun.
Often people will laugh at the M1/M2 Carbine and turn around and talk about how great the Thompson submachine gun is. The M1/M2 Carbines are actually more powerful and have longer range than the Thompson. The .30 Carbine fires a 110 gr. 30 caliber bullet with a velocity of 1900 ft per second, more or less, out of a 16 inch carbine rifle barrel. That’s roughly equal to a .357 Magnum in a rifle.
For myself, the gun makes an excellent vehicle carry gun whether I am in the truck traveling or on the lawn tractor mowing in the woods. Doesn’t have the bulk or weight of an AR or Shotgun. Almost feels like a part of my arm. The recoil isn’t any different than a an AR-15 .223 Remington.
People often view the M1 Carbine as taking a 15 round magazine weapon (not bad capacity really) with two extra 15 round magazine pouch on the butt stock. However, what many people don’t realize is that the M1 Carbine actually has available for it 30 and even 40 round banana magazines (it’s there where you see the AK47 relation.) The .30 round magazine was developed around the time when the select fire M2 Carbine was introduced for added capacity with the full automatic. (As a side note, it’s one of the easiest guns for me to bump fire from the shoulder and still keep a tight pattern. Almost like playing a guitar with your trigger finger. However, this is, more or less, more for fun than anything else.)
The M-1 Carbine I believe is a very serious weapon and definitely has a place among those interested in history as well as those interested in a Personal Defense Weapon for the home, car or woods.
Originals can often be found in sporting goods stores as well as gun shows. New ones, however, are made by Auto Ordinance and can be viewed on their website. They cost around $700, more or less, new and in the box.*
*The Auto Ordinance versions come in the box very basic. They have no bayonet lug, they have no adjustable rear sight. The rear sight is a flip sight that adjust from high or low (and is very easy to get bumped from one way to the other or in between). HOWEVER, adjustable rear sights, bayonet lugs as well as additional magazines can be found at Fulton Armory as well as from sites such as Midway and CheaperthanDirt for very reasonable prices.
I would say “happy” Memorial Day, but somehow, wishing “happy” on a day when we remember good men who have died in battle just doesn’t sound right.
Please remember the good men that have fallen in battle marching with Geo. Washington across grassy fields or shot down while ambushing British patrols. Please remember the good men that marched with Andrew Jackson to defend New Orleans. Please remember the good men that helped keep Texas free and independent from Mexico. Please remember the good men that fell defending Vicksburg or fell marching across the field in Pickett’s Charge. Please remember the good men that fell at Little Big Horn. Please remember the good men that fell charging up San Juan Heights in Cuba. Please remember the good men that fell charging from trench to trench in the Great War of Europe. Please remember the good men that exited landing craft and even their lives on Iwo Jima and Normandy beaches in WW2. Please remember the good men that fought under General MacArthur against communism in Korea. Please remember the good men that died in the jungles and rice fields of Vietnam against communism. Please remember the good men that fought in the Iraq deserts and didn’t come home. Please remember the good men that fought in the Afghanistan mountains in search of Osama Bin Ladin and didn’t come home.
We can argue about the politics and morality of these wars and the competency of those running the show from Washington. But we should never have anything but respect for the men who fought in them and certainly those who didn’t make it back.
Something to ponder while enjoying loved ones over Bar B Q and Burgers in the backyard today.
Shooting Snakes: Always know where your bullet is going to go once it goes through that snake. If you’re out in the middle of nowhere it’s not so much a concern. However, you don’t want it to ricochet off gravel or even hard ground to hit a house, car, etc. and certainly not a person. You can, of course, always carry snake/rat shot by CCI if you don’t think you need the gun for self-defense against larger problems. STAY SAFE and SHOOT STRAIGHT this spring/summer
DAILY NOTE: Well, it’s that time of year again. Spring is here. The birds are out, the trees are green again, the flowers are blooming. It’s time to put on your hiking boots, put gas in the riding mower, tractor, 4 wheeler and saddle your horse.
It’s also the time Snakes are on the move. This includes Water Moccasins, Copperheads, Corral Snakes and Rattlers.
Make sure you strap a good handgun that you trust on your hip when you’re out and about in the rough. Some folks like to load their favorite revolver with .38 Snake Shot while others just stick with what’s in the gun. While others carry a shotgun.
Whatever you choose. STAY SAFE.
Daily Note: My father, who served in the Marines and grew up handling guns all his life, taught me when I was young in regard to the “modern technique” (two handed weaver or isosceles gun stance): “it’s a handgun, not a handsgun. Learn to shoot with one hand….and you can do all the better with two if you need to.” I’ve founding this advise to be true.
I’m sure quite a few Law Enforcement and gun range enthusiasts are amused reading this and while everyone is entitled to their opinion and two handed feels instinctively easier, I’m sure they wouldn’t laugh at the likes of Ed McGivern, Jelly Bryce, Elmer Keith, Rex Applegate and Bill Jordan who were all notable pre 1970s one handed shooters at short ranges.
I almost feel like I don’t even need to write an article on the 1911 because it has more than managed to keep it’s proper place as a contemporary handgun. The 1911 (whether Springfield Armory, Kimber, the original Colt, or some other manufacturer) is right up there with Glock and Sig Sauer handguns.
It and it’s famous .45 ACP cartridge was developed in the early 20th century as a response to the U.S. Military’s demand for a more powerful service weapon (in contrast to the .38 Long Colt revolvers issued at the time) as well as a semi automatic weapon that could be loaded from a magazine. This stemmed from U.S. Marines fighting drugged up Moros in the Phillippines.
There is a reason the 1911 has been around for over 100 years. It was on the belt of men from the trenches of Europe to the beaches of Europe, the Islands of the Pacific and southeast Asia and, if given their choice, is still on the hips of U.S. servicemen in the middle east. While I understand many police departments are uneasy about the 1911 due to it’s single action design, i’ve seen more than a few on the belts of Texas lawmen.
Most of us already know this, but what I really want to highlight here is this: Most people think that in order to have a 1911 you have to go out and spend a minimum of $1000 for a pistol that has all the bells and whistles and is perfect. The answer is: you don’t.
A plain jane fundamental G.I. model will serve just fine for average needs and does not cost an arm and a leg. (under $500) It doesn’t have to be stainless, it doesn’t have to have a guide rod, it doesn’t have to have a laser pointer, it doesn’t have to have adjustable rear sights and it doesn’t have to be a Colt or Kimber (which can be $1000+). I’m not badmouthing the Colt or Kimber and they are great guns (I’d love to have a Colt Series 70 blued). But a Rock Island or Springfield Armory built G.I. or Mil-Spec model will do what you need it to do as a self defense handgun goes. I’ve even seen used Colt 1911s for as low as $700. My own 1911 is a Springfield Armory G.I. model and it is a fine weapon that I often carry outdoors or concealed.
Also of the 1911, it does not have to be a compact model either. Chic Gaylord, in his book Handgunners Guide 1960, correctly describes the .45 Automatic as “An extremely rugged destructive and compact defense weapon for those who prefer automatics.” He’s still right even in 2016
Many people pick up the 1911 and say “gee that’s heavy.” Yes it is. But when you put it on your belt or slip it in the small of your back you won’t even notice it.