View Full Version : Questions on original M1 Carbines . . .

July 23, 2012, 12:06 PM
I'm getting ready to do a 10/22 Rugrer build of a M1 Carbine. It's been years since I've had a chance to handle one and have a couple of questions in regards to them that hopefully someone on here can answer.

There are two different M! Carbine stocks available (from what I'm seeing for doing a "10/22 Ruger M1 carbine build" - unfortunately not walnut). One utilizes a barrel band with an attached sling swivel. The other utilizes an inletted sling swivel just behind the barrel band. I've tried reading up on the different models but was wondering. Were any original M1 Carbines made where the upper sling swivel was inletted in the stock or were all of them attached to the barrel band?

Question 2 - with the butt end of the sling being retained by the oiler in the slot - was this just a "friction fit" and did it ever create a problem with the originals after wear - i.e. the assembly sliding out and the oiler dropping out?

Question 3 - What was the approximate "length of pull" on a M! Carbine?

I know that I will have to make some "concessions" in this build but would like to make it as original looking as possible - thus the question on the sling swivel placement. Ill be using the TechSisghts on it which closely resemble the original GI sights.

Thanks for any info that will help and also sastify my curiosity! Greatly appreciated.

James K
July 23, 2012, 04:23 PM
All original M1 Carbine front sling swivels were on the band, though there were two different ways of actually attaching the swivel.

The sling is attached with the front tab through the sling swivel, then around so its catch snaps onto the stud. The other end goes through the inside of the buckle, through the stock, around the front of the oiler and back into the stock, then out and through the front of the buckle. The oiler can't fall out becaue the stock won't let it.

FWIW, the original stock hole dimensions were spec'ed against the WWII thin tan sling. When the thicker post-war slings were issued, it became difficult to get the sling and the oiler in without effort. In civilian hands that resulted in bent oilers, ground out stocks, slings smashed with a hammer, etc.

FWIW2, a field expedient if the oiler was lost was to use a fired .30-'06 case.


July 23, 2012, 05:41 PM
Thank you Jim - greatly appreciate the information. Also interesting on the "field fix". Of all the WW II vets that I have known, I never ran across one that actually carried the M1 Carbine. My father-in-law was the BAR man - others that I talked with carried the regular M1 and several who were Marines started out with O3A3s.

Your explanation is helpful and thanks for the sling information. When I do mine, I'll look for one of the earlier khaki slings.


James K
July 23, 2012, 06:09 PM
You will pay a lot for an original WWII tan sling; they have been reproduced so if a repro is good enough, you should be able to find one easily. Just do your homework so you don't pay the price of an original and get a repro.

BTW, I forgot your length of pull question. It is 13", give or take a smidgen.

Carbines were issued to company grade officers and to some others whose job was other than fighting. I note in pictures a lot in the hands of MP's. Many folks thnk they were issued to airborne, but parachute and glider troops usually carried M1 rifles, again with the exception of company grade officers and some others.


July 23, 2012, 07:05 PM
Thanks Jim. I will look for a repro sling as that would be fine.
I read a post not long ago about a fellow who made up one of these and he had difficulty getting the oiler seated in the slot - his solution was a hammer - same solution that you talked about - just a different generation no the end of the hammer!

In my reading, I saw references to a 15 and a 30 round magazine and also to the adaptation of a "clip" that was developed to fasten two clips together to allow for faster reload. I know that the stock or belt pouch held two 15 round clips - was there a longer pouch developed for the 30 round clip? Also, do you know what would have been the customary "issue" in regards to the number of rounds carried? I'm assuming that most of these fellows probably also carried a sidearm (1911) and due to their job assignment, most would not have required an extensive about of ammo. I believe it was on Wikipedia that I read about the night vision scopes utilized in the Pacific in order to spot infiltrating troops at night. For use on "the front" how would the ammo have been issued - in a type of bandolier as the M1 rifle or were larger ammo pouches utilized?

I recently got back in to shooting rimfire after primarily shooting black powder for 50 years. I ran across these Ruger 10/22 M1 carbine builds and have become intrigued with them as I've always admired the lines of the carbine - I think it will make a nice "plinker" and be a little bit different.

Thanks for any info - greatly appreciated!


James K
July 23, 2012, 10:10 PM
The 30 round magazines came in with the M2 (selective fire) carbine. The 30 round magazine had a small lug on the side that mated with the lug on the Type 3 magazine catch to support the extra weight of the 30 round magazine. 30 round magazines all have the T18 follower that holds the bolt back when the magazine is empty. (The carbine has no bolt stop. The follower simply lets the soldier know the magazine in empty; he must lock the bolt back manually if he wants it back while he installs a loaded magazine.)

Very few M2 carbines and 30 round mags were used in WWII, they came along too late, but many were used in Korea.

There was a pouch that held (IIRC) four 30-round magazines. In WWII, ammo was issued in 50-round boxes in ammo cans; magazines were shipped unloaded to prevent springs from "setting". In Korea and later, ammo was issued in bandoliers of 12 10-round clips, with the "spoon" that fit down over the magazine and allowed the rounds to stripped into the magazine. At first, there was one "spoon" pre bandolier; later each clip had its own spoon. (The carbine magazine cannot be loaded with stripper clips while in the gun like the M14 can.)

For anyone with an interest in the Carbine, I strongly suggest purchasing "War Baby" and "War Baby II" by Larry Ruth; between them, those books will answer questions you didn't even know you had.


July 24, 2012, 10:15 AM
Thank you Jim . . . very interesting information. I'll look for those books. As you know, the more you learn, the more you want to know! Thanks!

Bob Wright
July 24, 2012, 07:40 PM
I carried an M2 Carbine at times. I was in charge of all weapons in the company so I carried what I wanted to.

As to the oiler, we never removed them from the stock. If we needed oil, we simply used the issued gallon can or the little 4 oz. (or so) cans. That oiler couldn't have held more than a thimble full, anyway.

Bob Wright

James K
July 25, 2012, 10:19 PM
FWIW, I never saw anyone use the oiler for the Carbine, M3 SMG (same oiler) or the M3A1 SMG (oiler in the pistol grip). Or, for that matter, the thong or oiler of the M1 rifle. The M10 jointed rod later (post war) issued with the M1 rifle is convenient and fairly easy to use, though. Oil and bore cleaner were issued in sizes convenient to put in an ammo belt pocket. (The ammo belt was rarely used for ammo, since ammo was issued in bandoliers; the ammo belt was used for cigarettes, candy bars, and oil/bore cleaner.)

In fact, in my post-WWII service time I told the troops NEVER to use the thong for cleaning the rifle, as they were old and would almost always break and leave one end stuck in the barrel. Before the M10 came out, a barracks rod could always be found and in combat some squad leaders carried them on their packs.


July 26, 2012, 07:51 AM
Jim- the kind of information that you are willing to share are the things that should be preserved . . . I find them very interesting.

I've never served in the military but have always been interested in such things. I'm 60 and collected Civil War for 50 years. When I was 16, I interviewed all of our local World War I veterans and spent hours talking with them. These were the types of things that I tried to draw out of them . . . not what the regulations called for but what was actually practiced. I have several of the 10 pocket ammo belts that a couple of these old WW I vets gave me. In regards to use with the Garand - I always assumed that they were "filled" and the bandoleers were additional rounds.

Let's face it . . . our WW II vets are dwindling every day and the Korean War vets are on their coat tails. I think it would be wonderful if things such as you are sharing were compiled and preserved for future generations. To me, it's the "personal recollections" that are the "true history".

I worked over thirty years as a professional storyteller doing "first person - living history" storytelling programs. I had several Civil War programs, Michigan History programs and a World War I program based on the stories of the veterans that I knew and their stories. Included with the programs were displays of historical artifacts from my collection from the respective time periods. The audiences (kids and adults) loved them as they were hearing about personal recollections which were the "true history" - not the usual boring textbook history of generals, dates, etc.

My father-in-law was in the 34th Division in WW II - he was overseas 36 months - North Africa - Italy - he had a rough dime of it and never talked about it to his kids. He did share a few things with me but I could never get him to open up. Sadly, he is now gone and his kids know very little of what he went through or his experiences. Hopefully, you fellows who proudly served in the military are writing some of these things down so they'll be preserved.

Many thanks again for sharing this information - it is greatly appreciated. And by the way - I'll share just WHY I'm working on building this M1Carbine from a 10/22. I had a very good friend that I knew all my life. He owned the Hardware store in my hometown. After Pearl Harbor, he grabbed a bus to Detroit and enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was like a second "Dad" to me - taught me to shoot, helped me with my "work" when I joined the Masons many years ago and I sort of watched over him in his last years - taking him to Dr. appts., etc. I'm doing the 10/22 M1 Carbine build in his memory - he would have loved it. If he were still alive and able to shoot - it would be his.

Thanks again!

James K
July 26, 2012, 11:09 AM
Since I mentioned the M10 rod, I will provide a small tip to those who use one for cleaning a rifle. Before using the rod, take each section and round off the female end, and round the shoulder of the male end. That way, the edges won't hit the end of the barrel and possibly nick it, affecting accuracy.

The rod is softer than the barrel steel, but repeated use can affect the muzzle end. Use of a plastic rod guide is also good, and I recommend it if you can get one.