A lot of M1 Carbines in circulation are quite old. The GI-issued models could be coming up on near a century of life. Young ones might be 60 or 70 years old at this point.
The guns were pretty reliable when they were issued, but 100 years can do a thing or two to a weapon, especially if it’s seen service, been fired heavily, and not seen too much TLC, as things go.
So, if you’ve just gotten an incredible deal on an M1 Carbine, here are some M1 carbine parts you may want to check up on or replace, and some things you can do to restore reliability.
Clean the Barrel
First things first, clear the carbine and take a bore light to the barrel. If it’s all pitted and corroded, you’ll need a new one.
Even if it isn’t, it should look pretty shiny and you should be able to clearly see the rifling. If you can’t it either needs a good cleaning or you need a new barrel altogether.
If the M1 Carbine has seen 10,000 rounds and it still has its original barrel, don’t expect accuracy. Make that one of the first M1 Carbine parts you replace.
Clean the Gas System
Damaged pistons, binding operating slides, and clogged gas ports will hamper an M1 Carbine’s ability to cycle.
Take these parts out of the rifle, inspect them for damage, and clean the ports. Also, the piston should be snug in the gas system and the piston nut should be pretty tight when you replace it.
If your operating slide binds but it is not due to fouling, you might need to replace another part on the gun – at that point, it’s wise to take it to a gunsmith and get a professional opinion unless you are confident you can diagnose the issue.
Replace All the Springs
All things being equal, these are the mission-critical M1 Carbine parts that honestly cause the most issues, more than the slide, the gas system, the barrel, and even the magazines.
These guns are old and if they have their original springs you shouldn’t expect much. Springs are often the weak point on a gun and commonly are the first things to do.
When you have the chance, take apart your M1 Carbine and inspect the trigger group’s springs, the extractor and ejector, and the recoil spring. Any of these can cripple the action of a gun when they fail to work.
Clean the Magazine (or Get a New One)
Another M1 Carbine part that’s prone to issues is a part that causes issues on other guns too – the magazine.
Whatever the reason, some gun owners just exhibit a bizarre antipathy towards taking care of their magazines.
Be it what it is, everyone cleans their rifle – but who can you say honestly cleans their mags? If you know one who does, consider it a good thing.
Before you fly off on a venture to discover what’s wrong with your gas system or trigger or recoil springs, just check the magazine. Does it need to be cleaned? Is the follower deformed? Is the spring fatigued?
Fixing these issues may make your M1 carbine run like a song.
Where Can You Get M1 Carbine Parts and Accessories?
Looking for M1 Carbine parts and accessories or parts for variants, like a folding stock for an M1A1? Visit SARCO, Inc., online at SarcoInc.com. They are one of the world’s largest suppliers of firearms and parts and they have plenty of parts for the M1 Carbine, as well as its progenitor, the venerable Garand.
Visit their website for more information or get in touch with them by phone at 610-250-3960 if you can’t see what you need on their website – they can likely source it for you.