About a month ago I gave you a first look at the new .30-caliber M1 Carbine, 1945 version. You can read that first look review here:
Firearms Review — First Look at the new Inland M1 Carbine
Seldom have I experienced as much anticipation in advance of test firing a weapon as with the new Inland. I simply could not wait to get it out to the range, and I finally had an excuse when a friend asked me to instruct him in firearms handling following his first gun purchase. So, I loaded up my two Beretta Cheetahs (Monday’s review), my Colt M1991A1 .38 Super +P (Wednesday’s review), and the recently acquired Inland M1 Carbine and headed to the indoor shooting range at my second favorite local gun store — Sportsman’s Elite.
I saved for last the firing of the Inland, and I was not disappointed. This is, quite simply, one of the most fun centerfire rifles I’ve ever had the pleasure to shoot, coming in right alongside the fantastically fun Beretta CX4 9mm Carbine.
I took with me this day four 15-round magazines — the one that came with the rifle, two after-market Korean-made KCI magazines, and another Inland magazine.
I initially set the target out to 25 feet and ran the magazine that came with the Inland. The rifle functioned flawlessly, and the aperture peep sight proved far too good for so short a range. Recoil was incredibly mild, with the rifle experiencing negligible muzzle rise. Target reaquisition was very rapid, and followup shots could be conducted on target in fractions of a second. Try that with a 30.06 Garand! It’s no wonder many G.I.s in WWII found creative ways to “lose” the M1 Garand when they came across the much lighter, faster to shoot, higher capacity M1 Carbine.
My friend ran the target out to fifty feet. Same result — incredible accuracy with a free-standing, unbraced hand hold. Groups for both of us measured under two inches even though neither of us were firing for accuracy and were more interested in function checking the weapon. No adjustment was needed to achieve this on the fully adjustable rear sight. This was out-of-the-box accuracy like you wouldn’t believe.
Now a word about magazines, and the one sour note on the range: The included Inland magazine and the two KCI Korean magazines all functioned flawlessly. The second post-purchase Inland did not. Despite repeated attempts to chamber a round from the fully loaded Inland magazine, nothing worked. I later read that another reviewer had a similar problem, but he had it narrowed down to a specific side. He pin pointed the problem as occurring when a round was being chambered from the left side of the magazine, which just so happens to be the side upon which a cartridge sits in a fully loaded 15-round magazine. I’m going to see if this happens when loading a cartridge from the right side . . . unless I can get Inland to exchange this magazine first. Until then, watch out on magazines. The KCI magazines from Korea ran flawlessly, whereas the Inland magazines were .500. That’s an unacceptable batting average for a firearm.
Trigger review: The Inland trigger is stiff, but no more so than other personal defense carbines such as the Beretta CX4. It’s more than adequate for the intended purpose, which is hitting your target inside 100 yards. Indeed, the trigger did not adversely affect either of us in staying on target and inside the bulls-eye. I suppose I could get it worked on and improved, but why bother? The rifle is probably more accurate than I as is out to probably 150 to 200 yards, but that test will have to wait for an outdoor excursion.
My rating: The new Inland M1 Carbine is a winner in nearly every regard. It’s pricey, but in my view the price of admission ($1,079 MSRP; an even $1,000 through my local favorite gun store) is worth having a faithful reproduction of the original GM Inland M1 Carbine. At 5.3 pounds, 15+1 rounds of .30 carbine (muzzle energy equivalent to .357 Magnum), in a compact, easy to maneuver package makes this a great rifle for everything from ranch to a home defense alternative.