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Old February 8, 2005, 12:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: January 4, 2005
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M1 Carbine Single Shot Only?

I'm new to the forum and realize the M1 Carbine in its original form was not a full auto, however it didn't really fit into the other categories either. At any rate, my father-in-law acquired a .30 cal M1 Carbine a few years back. I believe it was through a Civilian Marksmanship Program but am not sure. It is in very nice condition, however you must eject the shell manually as it does not function as a semi auto. Anyone know why/how this is? In digging around on the net/forums all I can find are books (for purchase) on coverting it to full auto. All I am looking to do is determine how and if it is feasible to convert to its original abilities as a semi-auto.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old February 8, 2005, 12:38 PM   #2
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This should go in the rifle forum. I'm guessing something is wrong with the gas system but my M1 is still in the mail.
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Old February 10, 2005, 11:00 PM   #3
Johnny Guest
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Belongs in Rifle Forum, actually

Shoulder arm with rifled barrel, non full auto.

No problem, really, but I'm moving it to Rifle Forum, where you're more likely to get helpful replies.

Anyway, you'd probably like to have a copy of the US Military technical manual, TM 9 1276. I bought my copy at a Dallas Market Hall Gun Show. There's almost always some dealer in military manuals at any large gun show. You might try there.

Also, there's a copy up for auction on e-bay right now. See:

You might also want to run a Google or Yahoo! search for that TM number. Might try Paladin Press. They got their start doing reprints of various manuals. Unless you also collect militaria or books in general, you'll probably get just as much use from a reprint. Cheaper, too.

At a guess, I'd say either the gas piston is missing or is frozen in place. Also, about 35 years ago, when I got my first .30 carbine, a gunsmith pal told me you could fit a wooden block in the fore end of the stock, to keep the op rod from going all the way forward, while still having the bolt in the fully locked position. This keeps the gas piston from smacking the op rod rearward, transforming the carbine into a straight pull bolt action arm. You might want to take the stock off and see if there's such a block in this particular carbine.

Good luck to you
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Old February 10, 2005, 11:42 PM   #4
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I don’t know about the Milspec M1 but the Universal model could be converted to single shot.
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Old February 11, 2005, 12:15 AM   #5
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You probably have a gas problem of some sort, see manual info below.

Go to this page:

Scroll down the page to the list of manuals, you will see the M1 Carbine manual listed, when you click on the link it asks you for a user name and password.

User name: manuals
Password: chipin

NOTE: Bandwidth warning, the M1 Carbine Manual is around 15 mb in size, after you download the .pdf file you can save it to your computer.
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Old February 11, 2005, 09:15 PM   #6
po boy
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several years back 10-15 years they were selling a short gas piston
for use in states that did not allow semi auto use mainly with mags
of 15-30 rounds and with the short piston it would not allow the system to completely cycle the action..pull the action out of the stock and check for the piston to be free and if not sticking when fully out past the piston nut
it should be about 3/8 inch if much shorter than that you may have a short piston installed. proper parts can be found at most gunshows for about 10.00
also remember to get the proper piston nut wrench also about 10.00.
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Old February 12, 2005, 12:53 AM   #7
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I've been told that getting the gas system adjusted right is not a beginner's task. I myself would take it to a smith to do that kind of maintenance. It all depends on your skill level.
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Old February 13, 2005, 11:43 PM   #8
4V50 Gary
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Location: Colorado
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If you can work on a car or motorcycle, know a left hand from a right handed monkey wrench, or played with Lego as a child, you can work on the M-1 Carbine piston. If it's not one of those short, non-functioning pistons and is a regular full size one...

See if it moves and if it doesn't, drop some hoppes or oil down it for a couple of days. Tap the housing lightly with a wood block and see if you can jar it loose. If that doesn't work, get the special gas piston wrench and then remove it for cleaning. Inspect for pitting and if pitted replace. Clean barrel thoroughly and then reassemble.

Hey Johnny, thanks for that tip. I never would have thought of making a M-1 Carbine California approved.
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Old February 14, 2005, 02:53 PM   #9
Nestor Rivera
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Surplus Rifle


very nice site with good info.
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