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Definitive Guide to Springfield Armory M1 Carbine

When a company brings a replica airgun to the drawing board, they need to decide right upfront if they will go for max authenticity or "close enough." For those who know the legacy of Springfield Armory, there was only one way they were going to put their name on this airgun.

The Springfield Armory M1 Carbine was born out of necessity. Our military needed a lightweight and compact weapon that was more effective than the Thompson .45, but not as long and heavy as the M1 Garand. From this, the M1 Carbine was born. There was heavy competition for this new rifle, and in 1941 the M1 Carbine was officially adopted by the US Military. Springfield Armory took the iconic firearm and turned it into a BB version.

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Detailed Review

The Springfield M1 Carbine bb rifle comes in two models, a model that uses a faux wood stock and a real, hardwood stock. For this guide, we are testing the faux wood model.

Out of the box, you are almost fooled by the stock, as it feels very good in the hand. If it were not for the seam lines, you'd almost take a few double takes to make sure that it was not some sort of real wood. The weight is on point with the real deal, coming in at a hefty 5.7 pounds. It feels great pulled into the shoulder and has excellent balance.

All the bits and pieces that you'd expect to find on the real firearm are there. For example, you'll find the old style side sling mount with matching hole through the stock, traditional military peep sight, and the solid feeling semi-automatic blowback action. The receiver and action are full metal; as is the 15 round magazine also holds a 12-gram CO2 cartridge used as the propellant.

The M1 Carbine BB rifle shoots, you guessed it, .177 caliber bbs. It does so from a 17.25" smoothbore barrel, at velocities up to 425 FPS. The sights are excellent, with the rear sight adjustable for windage. One very cool and functional feature is the bolt locking pin.

Getting the M1 Carbine up and operational is very simple. You need to install and seat your 12 Gram CO2 Cartridge into the magazine using the provided allen wrench. It's a good idea to add some silicone or Crosman Pellgunoil to the tip of each cartridge to help maintain the seals in your CO2 airgun. With the CO2 installed, it's time to load the BBs.

We want to say "Thank you" to the magazine designers for putting in a catch for the bb pusher, which makes loading the magazine much more manageable. To load the mag, simply pull the bb pusher down and over to the left to lock it into place. Carefully load 15 bbs into the mag. Be sure to release the bb pusher slowly to apply tension to the stack of bbs. Next, simply insert the magazine into your rifle and prepare to have fun.

You will want to "charge" your rifle by pulling back on the bolt and then letting it slam forward. It's a very satisfying sound if you like semi-automatic firearms. Your safety is on the right-hand side of your trigger guard. Aim your rifle in a safe direction, release the safety, and squeeze the trigger. There's a satisfying clickity-clack of the blowback action with every pull of the trigger. It just makes you want to keep shooting. Adding to the experience is some recoil as the metal bolt works back and forth with each shot. This M1 Carbine is undoubtedly a fun airgun to shoot.

Accuracy & Power

On paper, the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine should be pushing up to 425 FPS with standard bbs. We are getting 421 with a fresh CO2, which then quickly drops and settles at 360 FPS or so for the duration of the 15 shots. Regarding shot count per co2, the manufacturer claims that you will get up to 40 shots per fill. Forty shots would be great, but in all our testing, we were not able to get more than 30 shots per CO2. That was only achieved provided we shot very slowly and allowed the CO2 to recover between shots. Fortunately, you can get extra mags and keep them loaded and ready to go, keeping the fun rolling. But do remember, if you rapid-fire, you'll burn through the CO2 very quickly and may only get 15 shots per cartridge.

So how does our little Carbine do for accuracy? It does really, really well. We are shooting the Precision Ground Zinc Coated Daisy BBs at a range of about 20 feet into our Air Venturi Quiet Pellet Trap. This range seemed reasonable given we are shooting bbs from a low powered, smoothbore CO2 rifle. A small side note, the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine is an excellent option for target practice indoors, provided you have space and can do so safely. We shot three, five-shot groups and our first group shows our out-of-the-box results. The next two groups reflect our adjustments to the rear sight to bring our shots left and into the center of the target. The last group was a little bit high but seeing there's no adjustment for elevation, it would only take a small change to our sight picture to hit dead center. The bottom line is that this little carbine is very accurate and very fun to shoot.

Summing Up

The Springfield Armory M1 Carbine is worthy of the name Springfield Armory. It does a good job bringing this iconic firearm to the airgunning community. While the faux wood model is good, we can only imagine how much better the hardwood stock version would feel to shoot. It may be worth the extra cash if you are looking at the M1 Carbine as a realistic replica for your airgun collection. Regardless, it feels really good to shoot and it drives BBs with some pretty decent accuracy. The snappy blowback and clickity-clack of the all-metal action bring this airgun to life.

If you have more questions about this or any of our other airgun replicas, just give us a call here at Airgun Depot. We are always here to help.