I'm looking at buying one of these as a light weight PDW to compliment my M14. Is the Auto Ordanance brand any good? I like their paratrooper model. I did not hear Underwood mentioned by Sooch00 but have been seeing some for sale for around $2900
What do you recommend Hero as a first time buyer of this weapon?
The commerical copies presently being made by AutoOrdnance/Khar have proven to be problematic at best. There should still be a ready source of USGI carbines available. If you want a shooter try an import marked carbine. Collectors tend to look down their noses at these carbines and as a result they may go for less money although there is no difference in function or reliability. Of course the problem being that condition of many 'used' USGI carbines may be in question and someone who is familiar with the weapon should check it out. Look at local pawn shops and funstores.
High dollar carbines are usually unaltered, originals that demand high dollars OR carbines that have been 'made correct' by restoring them to original condition.
There are also some earlier commercial copies that make good shooters. I've had several Plainfield carbines that were commerical receivers with mostly USGI parts. Stay away from Universals, mostly junk.
+ 1 on what Mercman posted. 1 st ? is why/what purpose is your carbine to fulfill ? if for a collection then spend big $ for a great no to low blemish with low me/te wear with the correct parts. if it is to be a shooter or truck/woods gun the spend less, but buy usgi manufaturer (alot of company's did this)during the 1940's over 6,000,000 built. keep looking here in the bx or join the cmp forum and look in the marketplace thread m-1 carbine specific. alot of rifles sold thru both forums most are good to great sellers who will shoot you straight (pun intended) the will have alot of photos of disasembled rifle parts with made by who names with muzzel / throat erosion listed and any blemishes/imperfections. most if not all carbines will have mixed parts called mixmasters not a problem with this platform this is how they were delivered to our troops to win WW l l ! now the $ has went very high by most standards but will go higher soon so buy now. $500 to 600 is a steal/deal on good to verygood m1carbine now verygood to excellent will bring $ 800 to 1200 and paratroopers folding stock ones go over $2k for v/g to excellent. you can always buy 1 with cosmectic problems cheaper and buy parts to correct problem or have metal reparked or stock refinshed for eye candy rifle. now some will have bayo lug some will not both can be converted. alot of G I's filed the sights so look or ask if they were modified.you can buy 1 with barrel issues and put new barrel on it for a shooter find a smith that works on milspec rifles and make him a friend for life !
I love the little carbine, if I werent so AR heavy thats all id have, sadly I decided years ago to consolidate calibers so my carbine had to go. Great little rifle though
Now you're bringing back unpleasant memories for me!! Back in the late 60's carbines could be had for about $75 with spam cans of USGI ammo for about the $35. My first centerfire rifle was one picked out of a barrel-O-carbines at a local fishing gear store. I had carbines off and on without really paying any attention to who made them or what the originality of them was until I got my first AR, an SP1, back in the late 70's. I figured at that time "who needs these little plinkers when I have a REAL rifle'? So I dumped all my carbines, mags and ammo. I had bought out the sporting goods section of a Sears & Roebuck and as part of the deal ended up with a few K of Alpine .30 Carbine ammo. It all went...............................Still have that SP1, though. Now I once again have several carbines and their accessories.
I tell you what, for my Big 5 special, I am really impressed with its functionality. Once I figure out how to aim it, this thing is going to be big fave in the stable. Its just too handy.
I think if you can get one between $500 and $700 you are doing good. Just don't expect much in the way of a decent stock.