M1 (etc) Carbine overhaul manual

… we may as well share with you the overhaul manual on the M1/2/3 carbines. You know, these things:

M2 Carbine

This edition of FM 9-1276 was published in 1947 and it contains a lot of useful information, including the overhaul flow chart we’ve already shown you, and the very interesting inspection and rebuilt-weapon serviceability standards.

Most gun-culture types have a certain fetish for MilSpec and seem to think that military specs are always higher that civilians’ standards. Well, it depends on the civilian! But the military has looser requirements than you might think, and one characteristic of these requirements is that a weapon in the hands of troops is not required to meet standards of a weapon freshly rehabbed, or one being mothballed (figuratively) for that matter. For example, when the M16A1 was standard issue, one could be turned in for higher-echelon maintenance if the barrel was shot out. How shot out? The depot didn’t want to see it if it could still achieve seven (!) minutes of angle. Needless to say, crappy-shooting M16A1s were pure hell for a unit armorer to get rid of.

There are a few examples of this very, very low bar attending to the M1 (and M2 and M3) carbines. One of the most interesting is the high tolerance for pitting in the inspection standards. A barrel was only unfit if the pits were wider than a land or a groove, or longer than 3/8″. Pitting across most of a groove? Well, that was OK, then. Just so long as it’s not all the way across.

Anyway, here goes:

M1_Carbine_TM9-1276.pdf

5 thoughts on “M1 (etc) Carbine overhaul manual

  1. Medic09

    I just wanted to say thanks for these M1 etc. posts. In Israel we used M1 carbines as the standard weapon for Civil Guard, a volunteer police auxiliary. I got my first M1 carbine for guard duty, etc. on campus at college. The rifle was issued to me (as opposed to signing it out for a specific shift) as part of the callout squad. Later, in seminary, I volunteered along with many of my classmates in the neighborhood Civil Guard. Like many such posts, it was set-up in the local school. I took the M1 on many hikes and trips when accompanying school groups as the armed medic. It was a rugged, reliable weapon and I have retained a fondness of it. Of course, the idea of actually facing off with a terrorist who would likely have a Kalashnikov was not very comforting; but I was sure the carbine would be reliable at least within its known limitations.

    1. Hognose Post author

      True story: in Korea in December 1950 the entire Chinese Army hit like a ton of bricks. And carbines didn’t kill them. Turns out, the thick quilted jackets the Reds had, especially if they were good and waterlogged, were pretty well .30 Carbine proof. The word quickly went around the Marines on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir: “Aim for the head!”

      Last carbine I saw in the wild was on a sling at the military HQ in Paramaribo, Suriname about 15 years ago. But I saw a picture recently of an Israeli schoolteacher shepherding her grade-school kids along, with an M1 over her shoulder. (Mind you, I don’t know if it was a recent picture).

      The Carbine has excellent ergonomics for a PDW that must be carried, and is a pound and a half or so lighter than an M16 (depending on model of 16 of course).

  2. McThag

    The mythical mil-spec.

    It just means it is in compliance with the written specifications. That does not imply or infer good design or quality of manufacturing or materials. It just means it’s made as specified.

    It’s also amusing to see how many mil-specs you need to acquire to get the complete specifications for a given rifle. There are numerous “see this other mil-spec” in every single one.

    1. Hognose Post author

      True. Some deviations from mil-spec are improvements. Some are negative in nature. Some of the negatives aren’t that bad. (I’ve got a few reject M16A1 lower forgings sitting around. Reject because they’re made of 6061T6, not of 7075 alloy, which is stronger. But the 6061 lowers will probably be durable enough).

      Of course, saying something is “mil-spec” doesn’t mean it really is, if it didn’t come with the paperwork. for example, I’ve seen non-chromed M16 barrels sold as mil-spec… which might be OK if it were an old 1:12 barrel made in 1965. But for an A2 barrel…

      I have drawings for the A1 lower around here, and I have drawings for the Sten MkII. For every single part: materials, dimensions, processes. Guess which doc packet is thicker?

  3. Oberndorfer

    Hognose Post
    author
    May 23, 2013 at
    22:42
    True story: in Korea
    in December 1950
    the entire Chinese
    Army hit like a ton
    of bricks. And
    carbines didn’t kill
    them. Turns out, the
    thick quilted jackets
    the Reds had,
    especially if they
    were good and
    waterlogged, were
    pretty well .30
    Carbine proof.
    Even before Bastogne, Metz and the Hürtgenwald the .30 Carbine wisdom was ‘it takes a few hits to make a German angry’.

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