22 January 2007

M1 carbines - You need one

OK - this is something slightly stronger than a product endorsement. I'm talking today about the M1 carbine. As the title implies, You Need One. And I don't care who you are. You do.

There's a ton of drawn-out info on these fine little weapons, so I'm not going to flog that specific dead horse. You can go here or here to find lots of handy specs and such.

I'm merely going to point out that this is a tremendously fun rifle to shoot (it IS a rifle, even though the round is really a glorified pistol round - see above technical links). It's good for what ails you out to 100 yards (beyond that in the right hands), and can easily be a tackdriver at 50 and 75.

ANYONE can shoot this rifle. It's gentle. It's short (as the term "carbine" would imply). It's semiautomatic. It's tough as nails. It's a great starter centerfire for young shooters. And if the whole world turns to shit around you, it's light and handy. Although the "End of the World As We Know It" crowd might gripe about its perceived lack of stopping power, it serves one well to remember it was good enough for the Screaming Eagles on D-Day.

Without getting too preachy, I firmly believe it behooves all of us to be prepared to defend ourselves and our loved ones should worse come to worse (Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Andrew, the LA Riots, etc etc). And if you really want to get philosophical, no matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on, you can probably imagine a doomsday scenario.

So get one of these, take it to the range a few times. Buy five 15-round magazines and four 50-round boxes of ammunition. Put these in your closet and hope you never have to take them out. Best case scenario, your decendents will inherit a piece of American history.

What brings this on, you say? A wonderful organization called the Civilian Marksmanship Program has received tens of thousands of these rifles from the U.S. Army. In a month or so, they will be available for purchase (to those who meet certain criteria). Even if you can't purchase from the CMP, this influx should push the open market prices down into the reasonable range.

So go forth and buy an M1 carbine. Or buy two and give one to me.

Well, yes. I already have one. But it's a Plainfield (not by one of the original military contractors). I got it for a song, rebuilt the bolt, and threw a composite stock on it. It's a shooter. I fully intend to purchase one from the CMP when they become available. I'd like to get my hands on a Saginaw carbine (it's a Michigan thing) or a Rock-ola. 'Cause who doesn't want a rifle made by a jukebox manufacturer?