October 31, 2011

Fulton Armory Service Grade M1 Carbine 30 US Carbine

The M1 carbine was the most prolific U.S. weapon of the WWII era, with six-odd million made, and it’s still very popular today. It employs an anemic round by rifle standards, but—per its design—its cartridge is at least as powerful as most handgun rounds. Today’s buyer of a genuine WWII-era or Korean War era carbine will probably need to spend around a thousand dollars, give or take a few hundred, for a reasonable example. Gun Tests magazine saw prices on GunBroker.com from $750 to $1,400, depending on condition and rarity. However, if you’re qualified, and if you hurry, you may be able to get a decent carbine for about $420-675, through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) sales. This outlet used to be called the DCM, Director of Civilian Marksmanship, run by the U.S. government, but that program is now in private hands. However, due to the nature of the program, the CMP carbines may be in very short supply.

Do you qualify for a CMP firearm purchase? Taking the CMP requirements straight from the website (www.TheCMP.org), "By law, the CMP can sell surplus military firearms, ammunition, parts and other items only to members of CMP-affiliated clubs who are also U.S. citizens, over 18 years of age and… legally eligible to purchase a firearm." For more information, visit the website.

Gun Tests acquired four carbines for a test. The staff had on hand a Fulton Armory carbine, with an original Underwood barrel in near-perfect condition. But if you want a Fulton-built M1 carbine today you’ll have to get it with the new Fulton barrel ($1,300). All of the original mil-spec barrels are apparently now gone. Two of the carbines came from the CMP, both "Service Grade." One was an Underwood (CMP-1, $565) and the other an Inland (CMP-2, $ 495). The so-called "Rack Grade" carbines are a bit less expensive. Finally, they acquired a new Auto-Ordnance AOM130 M1 Carbine ($899) with beautiful walnut stock and newly manufactured metalwork.

Gun Tests December 2009

The Gun Tests crew liked the Fulton Armory carbine the best, and some would have put up the extra money to get one that didn’t need anything else other than lots of shooting enjoyment. Others of the staff were taken aback by its cost and would take their chances with the CMP surplus guns.

In the testing of four M1 carbines, they found many similarities and a few differences. There were two types of safeties. One was the swinging-arm or "flip" type, which requires pulling a small lever rearward to put the gun into the firing position. This is easily accomplished with the right index finger, by right handers, and fairly easily by the trigger finger of lefties. The second safety type was the crossbolt, similar to that found on many pump shotguns. This required pressing to the left to fire, which they found could not be done as easily by lefties.

They tested with three types of 30 US Carbine FMJ "ball" ammunition, all of it 110-grain loads. It was from Sellier & Bellot, American Eagle, and original U.S. Mil-Spec ball (head stamped LC71). Because the two CMP carbines came without magazines, they used an original Winchester 15-round magazine for all they testing.

Generally speaking, here’s what they think. Those who like shooting military type firearms really owe it to themselves to have an M1 carbine. They’re a lot of fun. Good ones need not break the bank, but in an era where the SKS rifles that used to go begging at gun shows for $85 now bring upwards of $400, the price of an M1 carbine is not outlandish, even at the over-a-grand mark. They suggest you act soon, particularly if you want one from the CMP. They’re going fast.

Gun Tests December 2009

The Fulton Armory had this milled-base sight. Note the serrated adjustment knob and also the adjustable plate for zeroing the windage.

The carbine you can buy today from Fulton Armory features all of the attributes of the test rifle but one. Today’s Fulton carbine has a new barrel, made to G.I. specifications by Fulton. All the rest of the parts are genuine G.I., all tested and matched and carefully fitted as the gun is built. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are dissatisfied in any way. You can add various accessories, including a hand guard with scope mount, extra magazines, bayonet, and many more. Also, Fulton has a full line of M1 carbine parts, if you should need anything to repair your own. Check their website for details (www.Fulton-Armory.com).

While $1,300 for a carbine will open some eyes and close some pocketbooks, what you get will not require any replacement parts, or retesting, or special fitting, nor will it require a better-grade stock. The bolt will stay open when you push down on the little button, unlike many arsenal-redone carbines. The finish will be crisp, clean newly done Parkerizing, and the whole thing will not only work to perfection, it won’t take a back seat to any carbine, old or new, with the possible exception of some museum specimens. You’re paying for the careful hand fitting done by the folks at Fulton Armory, and you can take that to the bank.

The test gun came with a sling, oiler, and a magazine in a heavy, well-padded cardboard box. The flawless walnut stock had a linseed-oil finish. The operation of the weapon was noticeably slicker and crisper than any of the other three carbines. The test gun was fitted with the milled rear sight, and a bayonet lug. The magazine noted many collectors like to display the carbine with a bayonet attached. They said they’ve also commonly seen the two-magazine pouch on the stock. A 30-round magazine inserted into a carbine set up with the bayonet and two spare mags makes an impressive display.

Gun Tests December 2009

Gun Tests tested with three types of ball ammo, all 110 grain FMJ, which gave slightly differing results in accuracy. They really liked the Fulton carbine shown. It was the slickest, with all original G.I. parts, well matched, well fitted, and newly finished. It had no compromises other than its high cost.

On the range they had exactly no problems with the Fulton. The functioning was perfect, and accuracy was about as good as any of the others. They noted a slight preference for one type of ammo over another with all the carbines, despite its all having the same general specification. To their surprise, the Fulton and one of the CMP carbines did not like the old original Mil-Spec ball ammo at all.

The Gun Tests Team Said: They could not fault the Fulton, despite its high price. If you are lucky, you might be able to buy a decent rifle from the CMP, or may have to spend a bit more for either a commercial one, or for a decent sample from GunBroker or at a gun show, but you’ll never go wrong with the Fulton product. In their experience, they said, the company stands by its products, and their products are among the very finest in the business.

Comments (30)

Have fun with it, my friend, it really IS a good shotgun!

Posted by: canovack | November 15, 2011 4:11 PM    Report this comment

Hey canovack, just this morning I got hold of Remington and found Out that M 11 is one that they made and it was made in early 1905 by the serrial number and it coast a wopping $18.00 at the time to buy it. He also informed that even with cracked but stock that in good shape other wise it could be worth some good money.
God Bless America and Our Troops Past Present and Future. Keeping to My Oath Locked Loaded and keeping My Powder Dry.
Get the US Out of the UN and the Un Out of the US.
Think I will be Taking it Down to the Gun Smith for a Check Up.

Posted by: bear1 | November 15, 2011 1:33 PM    Report this comment

Hey Bear1! You got one of my favorite semi-auto shotguns! A lot of people don't like the old hump back receiver on these guns, but for me, the thing acts like a rear sight. To my knowledge the old hump back was produced by Browning as their Automatic Five, and Remington produced it as the Model 11. Savage had a go at it too, but I cannot quite remember the model designation for the Savage variant. I have two Remington M-11s, both in 12 gauge x 2.75" One has a 26" barrel with vent rib, and the other has a solid rib on the barrel. I cut back the barrel to 18.5" for use "around the house".

Cracked stocks are pretty common on this gun, especially the forearm stock, because of the recoil mechanism operating back and forth under the relatively thin wood of the for-end. My "tactical" model has been the beneficiary of a composite black for-end, so the risk of further splitting is minimized. I also screwed a side saddle to the right side of the butt stock, allowing me to carry six additional rounds on the gun. $200.00 sounds about right as long as the bore is good, and the metal finish is OK. I picked my standard model up back in 2001 for $165.00; the other one was inherited from my father-in-law.

I can recall when I was stationed in Alaska back in 1967, we shot skeet quite a bit on the Fort Richardson Skeet Range. I was in love with my Browning Superposed, but some of the guys did quite well with there Auto Fives. I was always amused at some of the odd ways they used to cock the actions on their guns by resting the butt on the ground and pressing the barrel downward into the receiver. I thought that wasn't particularly safe, considering that many of them put their hands over the muzzles as they pressed the barrels back.

Anyway, enjoy your M-11.....It's still a pretty neat gun.

Posted by: canovack | November 14, 2011 6:42 PM    Report this comment

I hope canovack gets this one. Because I got me a ump back 12 gauge Model 11-A, with both Browning and Remington Patents on the brarrel. Now trying to find out how old it is. I think it is a good deal for 2 Hundred, has cracked stock that has been repaired hope I can get a new stock for it.

God Bless America and Our Troops Past Present and future.

Keeping to My Oath Locked Loaded and Keeping My Powder Dry.
Get the US Out of the UN and the UN Out of the US.

Posted by: bear1 | November 14, 2011 5:39 PM    Report this comment

Has anyone out there tried reloading with the Hornady 10gr. fmj pointed bullet?? I have an older reload book that lists it. Never got any further than getting a couple sets of dies and stuff no powder or primers.

Posted by: knucklehead | November 14, 2011 3:40 AM    Report this comment

Congrats Knucklehead, I just hope you kept enough ammo for at least one load for home defence, cause it don't do ya any good to just throw the gun at an intruder, lol.
I for one that is always glad to hear about someone getting a good gun fixed and keep it on line for when it is needed.
God Bless America and Our Troops Past Present and Future.
Keeping to My Oath Locked Loaded and Keeping My Powder Dry.
Get the US Out of the UN and the UN Out of the US

Posted by: bear1 | November 13, 2011 9:09 PM    Report this comment

Found a couple metal hand guards for top of forearm Going to try and see if I can get them drilled by smith for scout scope. had to replace recoil spring in one no problems after that cept dun shot up all the ammo st#t!!! Both are Universals but one has 2recoil springs and the other has only one????? Both pretty near point of aim and when I stop talking and just aim I love those expired cans of fruit blow up. Maybe I'll keep em around if I can get more ammo then keep at least some of it.

Posted by: knucklehead | November 13, 2011 6:00 AM    Report this comment

This info. is for the guy with the 5K rnds. of .30. Ruger only makes a SA Blackhawk for the .30 carbine, I have one and it'll do 1" to 1 1/2" @ 25yds with anything I've ever fed it. I also have had my original Winchester drilled & tapped years ago for a mount that fit flat against the side of the receiver. I did have to modify the stock by removing app. 1/8 x 4" on the left side about 3/4" forward of the bolt. It can shoot sub 3/4" groups all day long. The good thing about this type of mount is that with it removed, I had made a strip of walnut to fill in the gap when the mount is gone, no one has ever noticed. Point is, these are still fine shooting weapons, as good or better than the stuff that's made today.

Posted by: tdarnett | November 13, 2011 12:51 AM    Report this comment

Hey, bear1, if the climatologists are correct, Texas could see more of this drought on to the year 2020. At this rate, a good stockpile of guns and ammo might be worth their weight in water. BTW, somewhere along the line, post your intended travel dates and locations, and I'll give you a call.

Posted by: canovack | November 6, 2011 11:27 AM    Report this comment

May God bless you guys for your services and may He help us get what's left of our country back under His blessing. Gathering what I can.

Posted by: knucklehead | November 6, 2011 6:48 AM    Report this comment

Hey, bear1, old friend, your bedside companion sounds pretty workable. I confess, that my approach is an old model Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 Special stuck in a holster that is screwed to the bed frame right under where my hand can drop to get it. Your approach to #2 and #4 buck sounds good. I recently read somewhere that shot size wasn't real important at in-the-house ranges. Even #8 and #9 bird shot work pretty well, because the shot column does not open up into much more than a fist-sized pattern which leaves a ragged hole in which all of the energy of the shot has been dissipated. It will definitely keep the ER guys busy tweezing out all of the pellets......or perhaps that might be the mortuary guys.

Posted by: canovack | November 5, 2011 1:50 PM    Report this comment

I like to keep what is call a Home defence round in 38 in my 357 bed side gun. It has at least one if not 2 number 4 buck and some bird shot in each round. These are extremly good for home defence I have found out because it still has the knock down power needed, because here in Commiefornia Republic of, if you only wound the intruder and he gets back out side you can bet your bootis granny youare going to be sued for everything you own by the bad guy, so when you shot them you need to make damn sure they don't get back out side the house.Thats why the old saying came about that if they fall out side the window drag them back in.
God Bless America and Our Troops Past Present and Future.
Keeping to My Oath Locked Loaded and Keeping My Powder Dry.
Get the US Out of the UN and the UN Out of the US

Posted by: bear1 | November 5, 2011 1:26 PM    Report this comment

Knucklehead, it sounds like you are well on the way to maintaining an effective home defense.

Posted by: canovack | November 5, 2011 10:47 AM    Report this comment

My ideal bedside is 38 bird shot as we live in a trailer home with a 17 yr.old at the other end.These walls might just as well not even exist.Otherwise I tote around a 45 and a couple 22s around the house.

Posted by: knucklehead | November 5, 2011 6:00 AM    Report this comment

Also after I get my mini 30 I might try and get me a m1 carbine If I can find one at good price.

Posted by: bear1 | November 5, 2011 1:15 AM    Report this comment

Knucklehead like canovack I have several different guns for home defence, depending on the situation, including shotguns rifles and handguns. the one thing I prefer for night time and when sleeping is my snub nose 357 mag revolver mainly because not having to fumble around when being wokin up, and I have found out less chance of accadental discharge the only thing I wish I hand on the Mrs. and my bed side handguns is laser sites for two reasons fast targeting and letting the moron bad guy its to late to do somthing stupid. another thing ya have to think of is they don't make walls like they used to.
God Bless America and Our Troops Past Present and Future.
Keeping to My Oath Locked Loaded and Keeping My Powder Dry.
Get the US Out of the UN and the UN Out of the US

Posted by: bear1 | November 5, 2011 1:13 AM    Report this comment

First I thank yall for your responses. Problem besides-limited funds-is I like both the M1 & SKS. However I just returned from Frontier Firearms and they said while most everyone likes the carbine it's not much more than a pistol round OK for limited range but the 7.62 would be better for all around so I guess I'll try to trade the carbines for ammo or maybe a side arm or two. Thanks to all for your help.

Posted by: knucklehead | November 4, 2011 4:20 PM    Report this comment

Well, knucklehead, as one who is pushing 71, I may have some of the same concerns as you. I've been at this business of collecting firearms for a long time, so I have some favorite handguns, favorite rifles, and favorite shotguns for the function of home defense. If you don't have a lot of firearms from which to choose, you may wish to first decide whether you want to obtain a handgun, a rifle, or a shotgun for home defense. Most folks agree that a short barreled shotgun is a great home defense piece.....preferably a pump action. If you're looking for a rifle, the M1 carbine is a good choice, although I really like my Beretta CX-4 in .45 ACP. I have a number of handguns that are kept in readiness in different locations of my home. They include a S&W Governor loaded with .410x2.5 shot shells in 000 buckshot, a S&W Sigma in .40 S&W with a light on the rail, and a couple of DA/SA .45 ACP pistols. When relaxing at home, in the evening, I always have a S&W BG38 in a Crossbreed holster on my hip. Approaches to home and personal defense usually are a matter of personal preference, but one thing is certain..... The basic rule of gunfighting is that if you are going to a gunfight, bring a gun.....any gun is better than none. There is also another quote that is appropriate....."Better to have and not need than to need and not have".

Posted by: canovack | November 4, 2011 11:10 AM    Report this comment

I got mine from pawn at $400 for defense. Really enjoy shooting them. Dug out SkS after moving here and now don't know what gun to rely on when the SHTF? SKS mags are captured type.Don't like that as stripper clips are stiff and hard for an old man to use.Need advice what wld be bestt for battle/defense?

Posted by: knucklehead | November 4, 2011 6:12 AM    Report this comment

The AUTO ORDNANCE M1 Carbines are of the first generation type, in that they have the flip up rear sight, and NO bayonet lug. They do use the round bolts of the last generation M1 & M2 carbines.

Posted by: lotoofla | November 4, 2011 12:52 AM    Report this comment

Yes. The Auto Ordnance M1 Carbines are pretty nicely done, and they are newly manufactured as well. They run between $500-$600, which is about the same as a real GI model, but they are new guns.

Posted by: canovack | November 3, 2011 7:38 PM    Report this comment

Doesn't Auto Ordnance sell new ones now?

Posted by: JEAN F R | November 3, 2011 7:03 PM    Report this comment

I have a Plainsfield M1 Carbine bought off a Police Dept. The CMP Carbines are auctioned off and too rich for my blood. I guess I'll just have to be satisfied with mine.

Posted by: Hawkeye1936 | November 3, 2011 5:47 PM    Report this comment

Love the carbines if you still have the non-eject ammo you could get a companion Black Hawk single action from Ruger. Don't know if they make a double action in 30 carbine but sure would like one for my little ones.

Posted by: knucklehead | November 3, 2011 4:15 PM    Report this comment

I own a bunc of these - 1943 to 2004. The are very ammo sensitive. I have about 5,000 rounds that will not retract. If anyone wants 'em, pay the freight - 903-756-8878. y the way, if you have problems, Fulton is the place to go.

Posted by: jmturner | November 3, 2011 2:46 PM    Report this comment

I own two GI carbines, one and Underwood barrel with Ouality Hdwe. receiver and the other a complete IBM. Both went for tech check-ups to Fulton and both are terrific. A light, small, low-recoil weapon with a cartridge of 44 magnum energy makes for a home defense weapon that even the smallest lady could use effectively and reliably. The history of the carbine's birth is a testament to industrial patriotism.

Posted by: techfan | November 3, 2011 2:19 PM    Report this comment

I would LOVE to own a WWI-era carbine, but I can't. Even though it "It employs an anemic round by rifle standards, but—per its design—its cartridge is at least as powerful as most handgun rounds." I live in NJ, where nothing concerning guns laws is logical. I'd move if I could!

Posted by: jamo | November 3, 2011 1:43 PM    Report this comment

M1 Carbines, by their nature, are not going to be tack drivers. They certainly fulfilled their mission objectives insofar as they provided lightweight, handy, weapons with relatively high capacity magazines at a time when the weapons of their adversaries were mainly bolt action Mausers, Arisakas, Mosin-Nagants, and some SKS semi-auto carbines. In the early stages of the Vietnam war, the M1 Carbine and its' variants were well suited to duty in the hands of ARVN soldiers of small stature, and they even found favor among American forces. If one was to desire a small, handy, low recoiling carbine as a home defense piece an M1 carbine could easily fill the need.

Posted by: canovack | November 3, 2011 1:37 PM    Report this comment

Accuracy is somewere between 3-6" @ 100Yds. depending on how well the action fits in the stock. Worked up reloads do better, but not by much

Posted by: lotoofla | November 3, 2011 12:58 PM    Report this comment

so, how small a group size was there and with what ammo. this article tells me nothing.

Posted by: paxv1 | November 3, 2011 12:09 PM    Report this comment

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