30 Carbine - that explains a lot!

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Glenn R. Latham posted this 23 December 2023

A few years ago I got a "steal of a deal" on an Underwood 30 M1 Carbine, re-imported by Arlington Ordnance.  It had new wood on it, but the recoil plate was apparently poorly fitted as there was a gap between it and the receiver when assembled.  I shot it a little, was unimpressed with the accuracy, found a cheap GI stock at a gun show (with the recoil plate attached), swapped stocks, was still unimpressed.  I read all the "accurizing" tips for the M1 Carbine, epoxy bedded the recoil plate in the GI stock and managed to get some "hang."  Took some Remington factory loads and some CB loads to the range and shot three 5-shot groups with each at 50 yards.  The factory loads averaged 3.18", the CB load averaged 3.37".

Finally got around to slugging the barrel.  I used .320" pure lead round balls.  The one driven all the way through measured .3097".  One tapped in flush with the muzzle and tapped back out measured .313", one driven about 1/2" down from the muzzle measured .3102".

Well it's gonna be tough to get much in the way of accuracy from that!  I realize the M1 Carbine is no target rifle, but a lot of folks get much better accuracy than this from theirs.  This one does have the bayonet front band.

Well, a Criterion barrel runs about $321, when they're in stock.  Fitting and headspaceing another who knows how much.  I understand Carbines were known to be counterbored by the arsenals if found with wallowed out muzzles.  Don't know what my best options are here.  Thoughts?

Glenn

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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 23 December 2023

Any consideration given to a soft fat gas check bullet with a soft wax bullet lube?

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Glenn R. Latham posted this 23 December 2023

The CB load was with .3115" GC bullets, pretty fat.  I may try a load with LDPE wads, but don't really think that will cure it.

Glenn

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9.3X62AL posted this 23 December 2023

The 30 U.S. Carbine.....in one form or another, I have played around with this caliber and its platforms for 40+ years.  

My first fun with the M1 Carbine was in the Mojave Desert in the mid 1960s.  My Dad took me hunting and shooting, and one of his partners at work became a mentor to my sister and I into the shooting and reloading communities in serious ways.  Among our mentor's war toys was an M1 Carbine, and in those days GI surplus ammo was plentiful and affordable.  No tin can or jackrabbit was safe within 50 yards!

C. 1984 I traded into my own M1 Carbine, a Rock-Ola example that ran wonderfully but grouped 'casually', if I'm being charitable.  At 50 yards the Carbine could manage 2.75"-3" groups using FMJRN/open-base bullets.  Using Sierra soft-points, the grouping tightened somewhat--into the 1.75"-2" category running 2400 or WW-296 powders into the 1800 FPS ZIP Codes.  I retained this little banger until about 1989, when a collector relieved me of it (aghast that I dared to SHOOT IT in its 'pristine state').  It takes all kinds to make the world go 'round, I suppose.  

I owned a couple Ruger Blackhawks in 30 Carbine during the 1990s and early 21st Century.  These revolvers were quite accurate, and my buddies talked me out of both of them for this reason.  Another factor at play is that I have rifles and revolvers in 32/20 WCF caliber that cover the same performance niche of the 30 Carbine.  

I owned a Marlin Model 62 levergun in 30 Carbine from about 2006 to 2011.  From the prior Blackhawks and now this Marlin item I got the idea that the 30 Carbine CARTRIDGE had some intrinsic accuracy potential.  Using Sierra soft-points or properly-sized Lyman #311316 castings, the M-62 was capable of 1.75"-2" groups at 100 yards.  From a levergun, that is pretty decent.....from an M1 Carbine, it would be stellar.  

Another collector-type came to the M-62's rescue like the Rock-Ola's savior had.  In 2012 I bought another/3rd 30 Carbine Blackhawk.  This one was factory-new, and it is a tackdriver.  Its internal dimensions are perfect--bore/groove is .300"/.308", and throats are pin-gauged '.308" PASS/.309" STOP.  I size a number of 32/20 and 30 Carbine-class bullets at .309" and this BH sends them into 1.5" to 1.75" groups at 25 yards religiously. 

Call this a long-winded way of saying 'BY ALL MEANS RE-BARREL THAT CARBINE'.  Yeah, it will cost some coin.  So will a new 30 Carbine BH, and look at the cost of M1 Carbines on the collector market--and those don't shoot for &^%$!  If it won't run you short of groceries and fuel, go for it.  I think the caliber has some accuracy to it that no one has bothered to exploit in a significant way.   

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linoww posted this 23 December 2023

In 1983 or 84 we had carbines donated to our club with a bunch of surplus ball ammo.

We used them for smaller ladies and kids to shoot our 200 yard NRA high-power matches.

They were less accurate than the Chinese SKS rifles and I'd say 4 moa on average. 

Now that they are "collectable " I hear guys claiming 1.5 to 2.5 MOA.Of the dozen I've played  with I'd not seen that.

 

The Marlin 62 30 Carbine was very accurate as the post above mentioned.My BH 30 carbine also was as accurate as any other BH I ever shot.I sold the pair off 25 years ago sadly!

"if it was easy we'd let women do it" don't tell my wife I said that!

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delmarskid posted this 23 December 2023

30 years ago I had my Garand rebarreled and I’m still glad I did it.

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Aaron posted this 23 December 2023

Well guys, it's a combat rifle with combat accuracy. A torso hit - is a hit. Enjoy it for what it is and vector that money into a more refined target rifle if pinpoint accuracy is what you seek. 2.5" - 4" groups at 50 yards is smoking hot for a combat rifle, especially a mass produced WWII carbine. That is not a rifle I would be seeking precision 1" groups with. I would just bang away with it and shoot "dog" targets all day at 50 yards. If I had one of course - which I don't.

cool

 

With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.

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RicinYakima posted this 24 December 2023

With all the others, our club had carbine matches for many years. Any that would shoot 4 MOA was a winner. Glenn, spend the dough and get a barrel. Or, except it for what it is, a 3 inch shoot them in the chest war rifle. 

Or find a 32/20 Savage, Browning, or Marlin 32/20.

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Glenn R. Latham posted this 24 December 2023

Thanks for all the comments guys.  I've owned two 30 Carbine Blackhawks, and I will admit they were quite accurate, and VERY LOUD!!!  I pulled the barrel off the second one and traded it for a 357 Mag. cylinder and fitted a barrel from a Douglas blank.  Much more practical, I think.

As Townsend Whelen is purported to have said: "Only accurate rifles are interesting."  In its current state, even rather large rocks on the hillside are safe.  I need to try something.

Glenn

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linoww posted this 24 December 2023

getting a rifle to shoot more accurate than expected is interesting to me.Even if the groups aren't tiny.

 

 

"if it was easy we'd let women do it" don't tell my wife I said that!

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 24 December 2023

WHAT about running a reamer down the muzzle about an inch or so.  that would leave the full depth rifling at the  last point of contact for the bullet.  Heck, a drill bit would do much the same.  SMALL investment and SOME potential ...

 

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Bud Hyett posted this 25 December 2023

WHAT about running a reamer down the muzzle about an inch or so.  that would leave the full depth rifling at the  last point of contact for the bullet.  

I've known several people who did this in the old days with CMP Springfield rifles worn from cleaning rod wear. They first used a new drill to have good cut. They next used a flat bottom drill to square up the cut and give a good square surface for crowning. They turned a solid brass bolt the same diameter as the drill and used lapping compound to crown the barrel. The lapping was done by hand with plenty of cutting oil taking plenty of time.

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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Ed Harris posted this 25 December 2023

Before spending the money for a new barrel and gunsmithing cost try running a .32 H&R Mag or .327 Federal reamer down the muzzle to counterbore. I have a Marlin 1894C in .357 which had muzzle bulge from being fired with snow in the barrel when I was at Ruger. Ran a .357 Mag reamer down the muzzle and it shoots better now than it ever did. FYI I sold my Inland M1 carbine because my Ruger Blackhawk shot  tighter groups at 100 yards with any ammo. Got a good price for it too and so bought another .30 Carbine Ruger which had been professionally shortened to 5-1/2". It is accurate too but sure is loud!!!!

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Glenn R. Latham posted this 25 December 2023

Cat, Bud & Ed,

   Thanks for the replies, that's the way I was leaning.  I have a 30 cal. throater, a 30 cal neck reamer, and (2) 32 H&R Mag reamers, one with a .2945" pilot (?) and one with a .302 pilot.  I'd prefer to do this in a lathe, but my little 9x20 is too small unless I remove the barrel (not!).  My buddy has a larger lathe that would work.  With much fear and trepidation I could do it by hand.  And since the "bore" of the counter-bore is not critical, I should do that.  Bud, I like your idea for finishing the new "muzzle."

Back in the '90s I worked with a tool maker that was also a gun nut and he crowned a few of his barrels with a throating reamer.  They shot good.

Glenn

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RicinYakima posted this 25 December 2023

Never done it with a rifle, but when Brazilian S&W 1917s were coming into the US, did a lot of barrels with a 45 ACP reamer. FWIW.

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Glenn R. Latham posted this 25 December 2023

Thanks Ric, good confirmation.

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sghart3578 posted this 25 December 2023

If you like the rifle then replace the barrel.  I caught the M1 carbine bug a few years ago.  After much testing and countless trips to the range I couldn't get accuracy that I was happy with.

Sold it with all of the dies, brass, etc.  Pretty much broke even.

 

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beagle6 posted this 26 December 2023

I,ve been an fan of the carbine for many years, ever since my godfather let me shoot the one he brought home from the Pacific. Rather than spend a lot of money on some battered wreck, I just bought a new one from Auto-Ordnance. Without doing anything to improve the accuracy, it has shot groups from 21/2 to 4 inches at 100 yds. with handloads and factory ammo and I'm happy with that as I didn't buy it to be a target rifle. Beside having fun, it is my final defense for home and hearth.

beagle 6

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