Auto-Ordnance .30 Carbine

Since 1941, the M1 carbine has been manufactured in various…

Since 1941, the M1 carbine has been manufactured in various forms to the tune of 6 million units. It was used throughout World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and produced by several commercial makers in the past three decades.

auto-ordnance2.jpgThe carbine’s greatest attributes have always been its compact dimensions and lightweight, its greatest weakness has always been the original 110-grain FMJ .30 carbine government-issued round. Those in support assignments found the carbine infinitely easier to manage in daily non-combat roles than a Garand, and it was carried to a lesser extent by officers and some combat troops who employed it for certain uses.

But, it was often cussed for its relatively low stopping power when it actually did have to engage, particularly in Korea. The gun was willing but the ammo was weak. Today, ammunition choices are much wider and more effective. And, you don’t have to chase down a questionable beat-to-hell war relic to find a perfectly usable M1 carbine for duty use.

About The Gun
Auto-Ordnance Corporation offers three versions of the M1 Carbine, all brand-new and built in-house, no surplus parts here. They include a standard military configuration with walnut stock, a paratrooper model with folding wire stock and a tactical model with synthetic furniture and modern folding stock.

The one probably best suited overall for today’s patrol car is the AOM160. This trim carbine uses an 18-inch barrel, “winged” front sight, dual-position rear flip-up aperture sight (100 to 300 and 300+ yards), Choate synthetic folding stock, ventilated steel upper handguard, crossbolt safety button, and a 15-round AO steel magazine. Very light in hand at 5.8 pounds empty, the AO carbine’s side-folding stock reduces transport length to a short 27.25 inches. Fitted with a soft non-slip rubber recoil pad, this stock locks open solidly with very little joint wobble, and also locks in place when folded. 

The carbine’s operating rod hook on the right side and rides high enough to allow the carbine to be operated with stock folded, if necessary. The carbine’s fitted with three sling swivels, up front on the left side of the barrel band, on top of the steel stock hinge joint housing, and at the bottom of the pistolgrip.

On The Range
For many years after the M1 left government inventories, carbine buyers were able to plink all day long for pennies burning up cheap stocks of ball ammunition. Most of that’s long gone, but today there are several ammunition makers with FMJ practice rounds, and soft and hollow points that are more effective in terminal performance for duty applications.

Winchester’s generic USA white box 110-grain FMJ and Remington’s 110-grain jacketed soft point rounds are representative of the current traditional commercial loads, and CorBon has jumped aboard with their advanced 100-grain solid copper DPX hollow points. With the right bullet construction, the .30 carbine can be a relatively potent caliber easily out to 100 yards, covering most law enforcement rifle confrontations.

At 100 yards using the lower rear aperture, elevation averaged 3 to 4 inches low on the short aperture with standard loads, about 2 inches low with the DPX. The bolt closed on an empty chamber once each with the Remington and CorBon rounds, and the CorBon DPX would not feed reliably with the AO magazine. Feed lips are slightly different between it and a GI magazine, the DPX will feed from a surplus magazine. Use magazines that function perfectly with your chosen load.

The Perspective
The M1 has always been a highly portable and easily maneuverable proposition. With modern ammunition, it handles close combat chores with a minimum of fuss and bother. Nearly anybody can tolerate the recoil, the carbine can be operated well by physiques ranging from munchkins to mammoths, muzzle blast is low, spare ammunition is also light to carry, and surplus magazines in new condition are available all over the Internet. 

The Auto Ordnance carbine uses the latter magazine catch designed for the 30-round full-auto M1 magazines, but many carbine owners find the 15-rounders are more reliable. Most will not lock the action open on the last shot, incidentally. It’s normal, not a defect in the gun, and the bolt can be locked open manually. Auto-Ordnance sells 30-, 15-, and 10-round magazines for the .30 carbine separately.

The Choate folder is one of the best. The pistol grip allows a more natural straight-wristed one-hand hold on the gun with stock tucked under the armpit through areas where the off hand is used for doorknobs and so on. Much less fatiguing with a pistol grip than angling the wrist on a conventional stock. The only real downside of the pistol grip is that you have to break the stronghand firing hold to reach the magazine latch button. A few moderately sharp edges on the grip itself are easy to round off with sandpaper or a fine file.

Load Comments
  • Ryan

    I own the exact gun and its very tempermental with the mags and the extractor is so small and sharp it chips and wont work iv replaced it 4 times if anybody has info on a new updated stronger extractor plz let me know.

  • Tom

    I personally believe the Marines who fought in Korea who have said that the M1 carbine did not have the penetrative power they wanted at times.
    I also believe John George who fought with Merrill’s Marauders in WW2 in a much different environment who praised the carbine for its utility and effectiveness against the Japanese. More likely the Marines were not missing their targets but that the extreme cold was affecting the primer and powder in the ammo that gave a reduced muzzle velocity and energy. This along with the range that they were engaging the enemy led to the complaints of its effectiveness. 300 yards appears to be about all one could expect for the round to be effective under ideal circumstances. Other factors could have been an enemy that was drug induced who wore some type of protective vest. I have read that North Koreans or Chinese fashioned some type of ballistic vest made out of wood and rope or something similar. I don’t believe any current carbine round would not penetrate a frozen quilted jacket especially at close range. A bb gun can do that.

  • Tom

    I have a NRA excellent Winchester m1 carbine which shoots hard ball and soft point reloads without a problem. The action is very smooth and comes apart readily for cleaning and lubrication. My buddy recently bought a new Auto Ordinance 30 carbine with folding stock. I was afraid he would have malfunctions after reading so many negative blogs on this rifle.
    Fortunately, for the first 150-200 rounds of both factory hard ball and two different soft point reloads, the Auto Ordinance shot fine with no malfunctions. I noticed that the Auto Ordinance is noticeably less smooth
    than the Winchester when operating the bolt. The following day after firing the Auto Ordinance, I noticed my right cheek bone was bruised which I assume came from shooting the Auto Ordinance with the folding stock. I am use to recoil as I regularly shoot 3 different 1903s and M1 garand. When I took the Auto Ordinance apart or tried to, I could not get the operating handle to disengage from the bolt and rail. Therefore,
    I cleaned and lubed it as is. The rifle with its fixed flip sight shot several inches to the right for me at 50 yards. A sight pusher ($100) is recommend to move the sight or remove it for an adjustable. The barrel retaining band that holds everything together is thin stamp metal and what I would describe as lame. It was hard to get back on and I never did get it flush.
    The spring clip that the barrel band slips over was extremely stiff and took
    two of us to push it in to get the barrel band to move into position.
    Next time we shoot it, I will try again to get the op handle to disengage and get the bolt out. The trigger was fine and similar to the Winchester. Even though the
    Auto Ordinance is new, it is not the quality of the Winchester in my view but did shoot fine with the quirks I listed above. My buddy likes the folding stock for its portability. We are both LEO.

    One last note-the supplied 15 shot mag with the Auto Ordinance was not
    very positive when trying to seat it in the mag well. I tried some of my mags including some GI and new South Korean manufacture which worked fine and clicked into the mag well better. My buddy will probably ditch the
    supplied mag after he receives the Korean ones he ordered from Cheaper than Dirt.

  • Craig Kerns

    There is too much personal opinion being passed off as fact and some factual mistakes, too. 1, the stopping power was only in question in Korea with the M2 spray & pray shooting technique. It has the same energy at 100 yds. that a .357 Mag. has at muzzle. 2, No surplus parts? G.I. surplus parts are the best, bar none. 3, The type 2 flip-up sight is poor and inaccurate when compared to the type 3 G.I. sight. 4, The 30 round mag was for the M2, it can be used in both M1 & M2. Hence the M2 mag catch. Dennis should study up before talking.