Make Mine an M1 Carbine — Inland MFG.

Shooting the M1 rifle offhand

The M1 Carbine was one of the most widely produced of all U.S. Military rifles and served during World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam War. Millions were produced and at one time surplus models were not only commonly found, they were inexpensive. Today, things are different. A well-used, vintage M1 Carbine is expensive, and the cost will vary dramatically depending on which manufacturer produced the M1 Carbine and the model. I collect, but I shoot what I collect, and that’s why the M1 Carbines from Inland Mfg. and Auto-Ordnance are important to me—and other shooters who favor the M1 Carbine.

TulAmmo ammunition box and M1 rifle on a red and white paper target
This 3-shot group was fired with the A-O at 25 yards with inexpensive TulAmmo.

The Inland Mfg. M1 1945 Carbine ($1,062) and Auto-Ordnance M1 Carbine Paratrooper ($805) are reproductions of carbines built in the mid 1940s. The Inland is a copy of the last style of Carbine built for the military. The Auto-Ordnance (A-O) is a copy of the Model M1A1 designed for Paratroopers with a folding wire stock. These reborn Carbines offer a lot for collectors, competitive shooters, and home defenders.

The Inland Mfg. M1 1945 Carbine is made with an investment cast receiver mated to an 18-inch barrel with 4 grooves and a 1:20-inch twist rate. Features that make the Inland historically accurate are numerous and include the type 3 bayonet lug and barrel band, a rear sight with a siding ramp, and a push button safety. Original M1s had a flat bolt—basically the top of the bolt was milled flat. Late models used a round bolt to reduce manufacturing time.

These features are also incorporated into the Inland carbine. The walnut stock is also referred to as a “low wood” stock, which means it is relieved next to the operating slide. Early M1s had wood nearly covering the slide and the wood was prone to splitting in this area. From a historical perspective, the Inland was a good copy of the original carbine.

The A-O is a reproduction of the Model M1A1, which was a model variant specifically designed for paratroopers who required a shorter weapon. Like early original M1A1s, the A-O had no bayonet lug and the stock was close to originals—even down to the brass rivets that attached the leather cheek rest to the wire stock. Sights were per the original—a simple flip up aperture with a two settings, one for 150 yards and the second for 300 yards. Windage was drift adjustable.

The stock does not lock in an open or closed position. A detent keeps the stock in position, and when I fired using the stock, I could easily knock it out of the open position. This is a feature of this older design. The rest of the stock was plain walnut, and pistol grip was thick and filled my hand.

Magazines are easy to find and inexpensive from $8 to $35 depending on manufacturer and capacity. Carbines were originally issued with a 15-round magazine, and 10-, 15- and 30-round magazines are the most commonly available.

paper target abd 3 rounds of .30 caliber rifle ammunition
This was a typical groups with both Carbines at close range; at 100 yards the groups naturally increased.

There is no shortage of .30 Carbine ammo. I had on hand quite an assortment: Hornady Critical Defense with 110-grain FTX bullets ($33/20-rnds), Hornady 30 Carbine with 110-grain Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) bullets ($39/50-rnds), Aguila 110-grain FMJs ($24/50-rnds), and steel-case TulAmmo also with 110-grain FMJs ($15/50-rnds). If you see the trend, the .30 Carbine’s sweet spot is the 110-grain bullet.

These modern reproductions are lithe and fast handling. Using the Inland Mfg. M1 1945 Carbine at 100 yards, the Aguila ammo performed well and I fired my tightest 3-shot group which measured 2.05 inches. The TulAmmo ammo and Hornady Critical Defense also gave good accuracy averaging close to 2.75 inches. I was quite pleased with the results since I was using iron sights and a MIL SPEC-style trigger. The trigger is a single stage with some creep that broke at 6.1 pounds. Typical service style trigger.

Recoil is mild with not a lot of muzzle blast. At 25 yards, fast follow-up shots were quick since recoil was minimal. Since the rifle is only 36 inches long, it is easy to maneuver.

In my opinion, the Inland is well suited for CMP M1 Carbine Matches. These matches are fired at 100 yards in 4 stages with slow and rapid fire and from prone, standing, sitting, or kneeling positions.

At 25 yards, I shot a near perfect, 3-shot cloverleaf with the A-O using the inexpensive TulAmmo. Recoil was more noticeable with the A-O, since the cheek piece on wire stock was not as comfortable. I was able to shoot a 2.0-inch 3-shot group at 100 yards with the TulAmmo; 2.1-inch best groups were obtained with Aguila and IWI. On average, I achieved 2.3- to 2.8-inch groups at 100 yards with three shots.

With the stock folded, I fired from the hip and found it quite easy to walk in hits on clay pigeons set out on a bank at 25 yards. The A-O was also light enough that I could shoot it one handed. It is a fun carbine to shoot.

As a home defense weapon or truck rifle, the new breed on M1 Carbines from A-O and Inland Mfg. are good choice. There are less expensive options available, but they are not M1 Carbines.

Have you fired the Inland Mfg. M1? What was your impression? Would your prefer the the A-O or paratrooper model? Share your answers in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (15)

  1. I have the carbine nobody talks about. The “Universal”. It gave itself a bad reputation by using inferior or mix-match parts. Mine is a 5 digit S.N. early model. All Mil-Spec and in great condition. It is a “shooter”, and that is what I use it for. I keep a loaded bandolier handy, and a couple 30 round “banana mags”.If the SHTF, I will trust this weapon for personal protection without a second thought. I keep it clean, oiled, and loaded!

  2. Understand the difference between a “Real” and a copy. Where do I go to buy a real M1 Carbine. I got my Garand by total accident and I love it and I went through a lot of trashed Garands before I found it. I don’t want to just to hang it on the wall, I want to shoot it.

  3. Have had many carbines and not one civilian production has been equal to originals, none, even the Israeli versions.
    The last model, actually two of them, were of the folding stock variety and they were tras.
    Both stocks cracked, with even a replacement I well seasoned with warm linseed oil cracked.
    I like the carbine a lot but recognize its limits, and for the cost of repros I would prefer the same cost AR variety that is far superior in every catagory
    As to cost of ammo I can reload the 223 at damn near same cost as the 30 cal.
    History is history not some cheap representative of it
    Odd but there is a feel of history with an original , even a flawed one, that makes the bearer wonder what part of history he is now part of.
    Real weapons are not airsoft toys, and toys are what these repros are.
    Place one of mine in my hands and I remember the American men who once defended this nation.
    I also remember our Hmong and Yards, Korean and Vietnamese allies that packed them as well.
    It is too sad to think that American macho 2nd Amendment hypocrite boys let a Bitch like Hillary Clinton say we could not import a part of our history

  4. My comment is the m1 carb is a great, great little round. I reload about 20 calibers. A friend wanted some squib loads for his son to get used to his new 308. So, I loaded 200 of the 308 cases, with the original 110 grain load, Speer calls it the plinker load. I loaded them down to about 1,950 same as the M1. The goal was to get the kid used to the gun without recoil. A month later, the daddy reported that my particular plinking load had proven to be the best hog load they had ever used. The kid saw a sounder (herd) of hogs at about 200 yards, 2 shots, 2 DRT. Pretty funny when I explained to him, he was actually shooting the little 30 carb ballistics. Now, 200 yards is the far range for them because of bullet design, but they actually have about 750 foot pounds at 100 yards, more than any 10mm or 357 handgun at the muzzle. SO when someone says they may be questionable for defense, you should ignore that idiot. Look it up.

  5. @Rick ,
    Agree 100% i have a winchector 43 nov S/N i got from my uncle .Still fires perfectly i even use my handloads at times with HP bullets always shoots dead on .I use a non-GSing mount now and a 4x scope i am near 60 yrs old and iron sights just do not work well for me now .But the money they want for these REPRO rifles same as the REPRO M1 GARANDS at over 1200.00 it just makes no sense to buy a REPRO i would hold out and spend the extra money they come up for sale on GB’S a lot in original condition and post korean reworks is still better then a RERO @ those prices .And i prefer the full stock model over the folder they are so light n handy just dont matter much and just shoot better for me with the full stock .

  6. I have been disappointed with the inland. I have shot older cmp guns. The Inland was a weak sister to the originals. It is a pity that in a time of cnc manufacturing precision is lacking in a product priced to compete with historical artifacts. I hope that someone someday will do right by the design. My veteran M1 was my favorite truck gun along with a nylon 66, until stolen from my home.

  7. I purchased an M1 carbine in 1967. I went to an NRA convention in Chicago, Il. I picked up a brochure which had information as to how to get this carbine.

    I filled out the application, sent it to the Rock Island Armory. I received information as to how to purchase this rifle. $17.50, $2.50 S&H.
    This rifle was to be serviceable. REA express delivered my prize possession, a 1943 Winchester. I told my grandson, one day it will be his and to keep it in our family as this heirloom will be handed down to future family. Along with my M1 Garand.

  8. Why pay this much for a reproduction when you can get an original for half that price. Also Tula .30 carbine ammo is pure trash. Never shoot that garbage in an original Carbine.

  9. I used one when a shot in a CMP match. The sights came loose and ended up shooting a nice hole in the ground instead of the target. It was a lot nicer to shoot than my friends .303 Enfield that he was shooting in the match, but on the other hand, his sights didn’t come loose when shooting. I can remember when you could pick up an M1 Carbine for less than $300 in pretty good condition.

    Might be interesting to see one in 10mm. I just saw where a company is coming out with one in 9mm.

    1. I just got the HI- POINT 10MM carbine very nice ,light and hard hitting little carbine i can see a 10 mm M1 that maY be cool for some if not highly overpriced as these repro rifles are . I plan to use the HI-POINT and a silencer on for coyote hunting .I like the .30 M1 cartridge if handloaded with HP’S it is equal to the 30-30 winchester to me on deer size game and great pig guns and the FMJ ammo will penetrate most anything far as on the market body armor out to 150 yards it is a power packed little cartridge hits what you aim at .

  10. Carried the M-2 in 1967. Same carbine with select fire. Loved it then. Love it still. M-1s were practically given away after WW2 and a great many GIs turned them into deer takers. Like many rifles, GIs often introduced them into the civilian world after they had used them in combat and found them to be great. This is why M-14s and AR-15s are so plentiful today. Millions of GIs had used them and liked them. Granted, mine is not the M-2 I carried. It is the M-1 semi-auto version (although with a piece of a beer can I could make it into a full auto version.

    It’s light, easy to carry with nothing to get hung up in the brush, and if the stock get’s scratched, I don’t worry about it. I just use a little sand paper.. It’s much like taking an old military jeep off road versus taking a brand new Ford F-150 with a virgin paint job and worrying about every twig and branch.

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