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Old September 25, 2012, 03:26 PM   #1
Olympus
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Underwood M1 Carbine Value

Local shop has one on consignment for $650. Seems a little high to me. It says Blue Sky on the side of the barrel. The read sight has numbers, but they don't seem to match the action or the barrel. The trigger guard and mag well seem pretty loose in the stock. The metal has no finish, but the stock is in good shape. Makes me think replacement stock. Gun has a sling and mag pouches.

I'm interested in buying an M1 Carbine for a shooter, not for a collector. I wouldn't mind having the metal reparkerized. But should I pass on this one? I don't know much about what to look for in terms of condition, numbers, brands, or values. I just know I had a lot of fun shooting a friends and I could reload the ammo to help with ammo cost.

Any advice or opinions would be welcomed.
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Old September 25, 2012, 04:15 PM   #2
hardhat harry
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IF I was in the market for an M1 Carbine as a shooter, I would like that one. You do know Underwood was a typewriter/business machine company building guns on contract....just that would make it cool (for me) to own. I can't speak to the price, but if I was comfortable in negotiating with the LGS guys, I'd lowball 'em and see what happened.
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Old September 26, 2012, 02:49 AM   #3
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I've never had much luck talking down consignment sales myself, but it never hurts to try. The thing with those Blue Sky stamped rifles is that (I don't think) they went through any sort of servicability or arsenal repair facilities prior to being boxed up in whatever country they came from and further dispersed to various retailers. I have one that shot and ran as well as any I'd ever seen. But the one's I was able to eyeball at a local Big 5 Sporting Goods store were in truely awful shape. I think they were selling for $699 at the time.

The numbers on the sights and parts have nothing to do with the serial numbers- those are drawing numbers that only have meaning to the folks who built the rifles (maybe higher echelon armorer/repair facilities).

I kind of doubt you'll find one any cheaper any time soon. And on that note- most minor parts and springs are still quite available. And, you can still get brand new barrels installed if you happen to develop a true attachment to the rifle as a shooter.
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Old September 26, 2012, 10:29 PM   #4
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I bought an Underwood Carbine from the CMP 4-5 years ago for $595. While the Blue Sky is an import rather than an CMP carbine. If you are after a shooter I see no problem with it being a Blue sky, or $630. I sure do like my M1 Carbines.
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Old September 26, 2012, 11:58 PM   #5
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Just one of many things to check: recommend you pull the bolt the rear, with no magazine in the rifle, and press the bolt-open retaining pin (might be called "stop") to be sure it firmly holds the bolt open. Some heavily-actioned carbines have the forward edge of that retention groove so worn that it is near impossible to keep the bolt open with it. If that is the case, I'd pass on the carbine, but that is just me. I don't recall these carbines being used as "inspection arms" type weapons in ROTC or Guard programs, so my assumption is that if the stop slot is worn smooth, the rifle may well be pretty shot out. No expert on this - just my guess.

Down here in FL, good-condition serviceable M-1 carbines with no significant flaws seem to sell for $800-$1,000 at the gun shows. That is for ones that appear to be 100% original, regardless of maker. Underwood was second only to Inland (GM) in production, so is not a "rare" brand, not that you care about rare if you are looking for a shooter. $595 for a CMP one, in retrospect, was a darned good deal.

I've had mine (IBM) since the early 1960s and my son will get it, but it will be the last one to go, except maybe for my '70 series Combat Commander.
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Old September 27, 2012, 08:26 AM   #6
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I know this is probably blasphemy, but since I'm looking for a shooter and not a collector, should I be looking at the new production Auto Ordnance guns?
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Old September 27, 2012, 12:30 PM   #7
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I do not see a problem with that. It sure eliminates getting a carbine with worn out part(s). I have heard as many complaints about AO malfunctions/problems from buyers after their purchase as I have heard malfunctions/problems from folks that bought CMP carbines. I bought 3 Inland and 2 Underwood carbines off CMP (one for each of my grandchildren and one for me). I have not had any problem with any of them, though I did need to clean the carbines, get a bolt tool to clean the bolt, and replace the springs. The new AO certainly avoids that effort. I see your choice as 6 of one, a half dozen of the other. Definitely your call.
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Old September 29, 2012, 05:01 PM   #8
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As the owner of an original (and not even refit) Inland, I used to pooh pooh the Blue Skys due to their generally rougher condition and unknown (but probably iffy) specific storage/use/abuse history overseas, 'til I picked up what I thought was another non-import Inland. It was such a faint marking--my smith pointed out to me--on the underside of the barrel--not the usual side location (and fairly clear/more obvious stamping). Anyway, I was a bit embarrassed for having missed that as I thought I'd found a "good" one. Turns out I did. . Not a thing wrong with that little carbine. Used but not abused and perfectly serviceable. Though a post WWII refit--and not really germane just as an intended shooter but even matching Inland barrel and receiver--both '43s--and most other major pieces, and original-type (but Underwood) walnut stock. Not everyone's story with those for sure, but ever since, when helping friends look for their "find," the Blue Skys don't get passed over so readily...especially these days as they are usually that much cheaper than the non-imports.

Last edited by gak; September 29, 2012 at 05:13 PM.
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