Review: Auto-Ordnance M1 Carbine
The lightweight and easy handling of the Auto-Ordnance M1 Carbine makes it a pleasure to shoot
The Auto-Ordnance M1 .30 Caliber carbine is produced in Kahr's state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Worcester, MA. (Photo courtesy of Down Range TV)
Some years ago I was sitting around drinking with some Border Patrol and SEAL buddies when someone spotted an advertisement for M1 carbines in Shotgun News. These were genuine U.S. military carbines being re-imported from Korea where they had been since the Korean War. The price was pretty good – something like $136 each – so, fueled by alcohol and testosterone, we all ordered one and I was elected to make the arrangements.
Why me? Well, our Border Patrol office had a Federal Firearms License. A week or two later I was out “patrolling the border”, which probably meant goofing off, shooting and having fun, when a radio call summoned me to sector headquarters and the office of the Chief Patrol Agent. The Chief was known to be a man not kindly disposed towards the antics of junior agents so I ran down my list of recent sins and transgressions while driving to his office. Arriving there I was greeted by a blast of hot air that roughly translated meant, “What are you up to now? Planning a revolution? Equipping your private army?”
You see, stacked in the corner were boxes containing the dozen M1 carbines I ordered without bothering to notify anyone what to expect when they arrived. After I performed a lively and sincere Matame the Chief ran out of steam and ordered me to take the offending boxes from his office. What’s a Matame, you ask? Well, in Spanish it means, “kill me.” It comes from the antics of very drunk or drugged up illegal aliens who, when confronted, wave their tequila bottle about, rip their clothing and scream, “Matame, matame, pero no me pegas!”, which translates to, “Kill me, kill me but don’t hit me!” As a result, what might otherwise be referred to as a rug dance is called “doing a Matame” among border denizens.
Okay, back to the carbines, since I had picked up the order I assumed the privilege of rooting through them to pick one for myself. Spying a genuine Winchester I latched onto it and have it to this day.
The M1 carbine was conceived during World War II as a lighter, smaller semi-automatic alternative to the M1 Garand battle rifle. Some dimwit also surmised that tankers, drivers, officers, clerks and others should be stripped of their 1911 pistols and given carbines instead. That plan didn’t work out too well, as anyone with half a brain in combat did their best to latch on to a pistol, but the carbine went into production and gazillions were made by a number of manufacturers. As a matter of fact, more M1 carbines, some 6 million of them, were manufactured in the United States during the war period than any other small arm.
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