Fulton Armory M1 Carbine : Worth the Money? ~ VIDEO

Terril takes a brand new, out of the box, Fulton Armory M1 Carbine to the range.

USA –-(Ammoland.com)- The popularity of military-style rifles with the American shooting public indeed didn’t start with the AR-15.

In generations, previous, ex-service rifles like the Springfield Trapdoor, the Krag, and bring-back Mausers were a common sight. Before AR-15 prices came down to a reasonable level, a readily available offering was the M1 Carbine of World War II fame.

Despite its checkered service record, the M1 Carbine remains popular for recreation and hunting with some viability for self-defense. It is worth noting that the Carbine is still in production, something that isn’t true of many ex-military rifles. That must attest to the gun’s popularity, especially when faced with stiff, good competition today. It is no longer one of the few viable semi-auto carbines. We live in the era of the affordable, buildable AR-15. Advantages and disadvantages discounted, both systems are made by some companies, and not all are created equal.

My initial experiences with the M1 Carbine platform were disappointing. Some brands are notoriously unreliable so that a vintage World War II carbine would seem like the ticket. But I couldn’t fathom riding one of those hard and putting it up wet without some guilt.

Fulton Armory M1 Carbine

 

Fulton Armory M1 Carbine
Fulton Armory M1 Carbine

I heard about Fulton Armory out of Savage, Maryland and after seeing their wares, I decided to bite on their M1 Service Carbine.

 

When the rifle arrived, I was impressed by the scent of boiled linseed oil. The semi-pistol grip walnut stock was excellently finished with this oil—not the easiest and fastest product to work with. However, it has been the go-to since the days of muskets. The stock had no gooeyness or wet spots from a rushed job, but a smooth matte finish on a very refined piece of wood.

Fulton Armory M1 Carbine Cartouche
Fulton Armory M1 Carbine Cartouche
Fulton Armory M1 Carbine Sling Stud
Fulton Armory M1 Carbine Sling Stud

Through and through, Fulton’s rifle is an M1 Carbine. The butt plate is legitimate checkered steel. The sling studs are mounted right where they are supposed to, and a sling is included.

The action is a machined forged steel billet; heat treated to USGI specs. Pulling back the charging handle operates the rotating bolt out of its exposed locking surfaces. It glides smoothly, though there is no last-shot hold open. The bolt may be retracted to the rear, and a detent on the charging handle pushed down to lock the bolt.

Operationally, the Fulton borrows from the late-war produced carbines with an adjustable peep rear sight graduated out to from 100 to 300 yards with left-to-right adjustment accomplished by a knurled dial on the right side. It is mated to a shrouded front blade sight.

Fulton Armory M1 Carbine Magazine Release
Fulton Armory M1 Carbine Magazine Release

The magazine release is of a push button variety. The safety is a lever just behind the magazine release—a late war addition to replace a traditional cross bolt safety. With two buttons, it was common for soldiers to accidentally put the gun on safe instead of dropping the magazine, or vice-versa. The magazine, by the way, is the same neat fifteen shot stamped steel type common during World War II, though it will take thirty-round magazines as well. The addition of a bayonet lug is a nice touch, another late-war feature and sholud fit current bayonets like the OKC3S Bayonet.

Fulton Armory M1 Carbine Caliber Markings
Fulton Armory M1 Carbine Caliber Markings

Like its forbearers, the Fulton is chambered for the mild-shooting 30 Carbine cartridge, but barrel options do vary. The Carbine can either come with a standard barrel or one with a chrome-lined bore from Criterion—both eighteen inches in length and both made to National Match standards.

With a pedigree like this, accuracy wouldn’t be my primary concern. Reliability, which I questioned heavily in my previous experiences, was what concerned me. After stocking up on three hundred rounds of ammunition and a few extra magazines, I got to work—if you can call it that.

Fulton Armory M1 Carbine On The Range

Shooting the Fulton Armory M1 Carbine
Shooting the Fulton Armory M1 Carbine
Fulton Armory M1 Carbine Shooting PPU 110 grain full metal jacket ammunition.
Fulton Armory M1 Carbine Shooting PPU 110 grain full metal jacket ammunition.

I burned through those three hundred rounds through several range trips—part dumping ammunition to test reliability, part accuracy, and a small sliver of ballistic gel testing. Most of the ammunition used was PPU 110 grain full metal jacket ammunition with some Hornady Critical Defense mixed in.

With a Shoot-N-See silhouette at fifty yards, I stood off to the target, shoved a magazine into the carbine’s well, and retracted the bolt handle. I let go, and the handle flew forward, seating with a metallic clink. As I aimed, I was amazed that the sight picture was clear. The wooden handguard didn’t cover up the front sight—something I have seen on other replicas. The rifle fired with a loud pop, rather than a bang and the low recoil of the 30 Carbine didn’t rattle me or leave me off target for long for follow-up shots. The trigger pulled crisply with only a hair of take-up before a predictable break. I was out of ammo in no time, and I got through it without any malfunction.

A few more drills like this did finally produce a malfunction. One empty case caught between the bolt and the receiver on ejection on round 49. The show had to go on, and as it turned out, round 49 was a fluke. I had no malfunctions of any kind. No hesitation. No cleaning. The gun ran and is still running now.

Fulton warranties their rifles to shoot 3 MOA or 3 inches at 100 yards with Federal Premium 30 carbine ammunition. I approach such warranties with suspicion, and I was sure I couldn’t come close given my mediocre shooting ability and lack of Federal ammo.

Fulton Armory M1 Carbine Rear Sight
Fulton Armory M1 Carbine Rear Sight

As it turns out, my bottom dollar PPU ammunition could come close with some careful shooting and that Criterion barrel. My best effort at 100 yards from a rest measured out to 4 inches with most of my effort coming out to 5-6 inches. At that distance, the front sight blade covers up a fair amount of my target. At fifty yards, one to two inches is typical for me. All shooting was done at the lowest sight setting of 100 yards, and the rounds shot to the point of aim except for some limited shooting at 200 yards. Adjusting windage and elevation is a breeze, which made the initial sight-in easy.

Worth The Money?

The Fulton Armory M1 Carbine honors the originals to the tee. The Fulton is hand fit, and it shows in function and form, but also in its premium price. This quality is hands-down superior to other brands, but is the price tag worth it when you can get an original World War II rifle for less money? Aesthetically, the Fulton is spot on and can be a little more accurate. But when we get down to it, the M1 Carbine isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Match shooting, popping shots in the countryside, and hard use in the brush is hard on rifles, like driving will wear a car.

Those war-time guns are collectible now and worth preserving. In short, if you like the M1 Carbine and don’t want to feel wrong about using it, the Fulton Armory M1 Carbine is worth a look.


Terril Hebert
Terril Hebert

About Terril Hebert:

Terril Hebert is a firearm writer native to south Louisiana. Under his motto-Guns, Never Politics-he tackles firearm and reloading topics both in print and on his Mark3smle YouTube channel, where he got his start. Terril has a soft spot for ballistics testing, pocket pistols, and French rifles. When he is not burning ammo, he is indulging his unhealthy wildlife photography obsession or working on his latest novel. Scourge of God, published in 2017. See more from Terril on youtube under Mark3smle.

  • 25 thoughts on “Fulton Armory M1 Carbine : Worth the Money? ~ VIDEO

    1. The M 1 carbine was the original pistol caliber carbine
      Short, handy, low recoil, just a joy to shoot
      All my kids started on my M 1 carbine when they first learned to shoot as they reached age 10
      No last round bolt hold open and no way to easily attach a scope or red dot
      Nowadays you can buy a CZ Scorpion with a folding brace for $800
      It’s better in every way except the nostalgia factor

    2. During Nam era, my supply Sgt was able to secure a M2 Carbine for me. I loved that rifle. As a Plt Ldr is was the perfect weapon.

      1. I carried an M2 in Nam as well. Thankfully I didn’t have any of the issues some of the other guys had with their Mattel rifles.

    3. i own an Inland M1 Carbine and a Winchester M1 Garand.
      both are great rifles and Shooters.
      i also bought extra Bolts for both as well.
      have had them for years, think i paid $300.00 for the carbine.

    4. The point of the article is whether this gun is worth the money but nowhere can I find the price listed in the article. Is it mentioned in the video? Am I not seeing it?

    5. I love the M1 carbine… Had a WW2 carbine years ago ,paid $150.00 for it,sorry I sold it..Now you can’t touch one for under a grand..
      Though the Fulton one is very nice.There is no way I would spend that kind of money when I can build a AR-15 for less than $400.00 from PSA- Palmetto State Armory. Along with a more potent cartridge ammo choices for the AR are more than the carbine….

    6. Take a tour of Israel and you will find security chaperones with M-1 carbines slung over their shoulder. Some will have a bandolier of magazines. Any group of people from school kids to family and friends celebrating a bar mitzvah.will have a security chaperone with an M-1 carbine or maybe an AR.
      Maybe we need more M-1 carbines carried by the open carry crowd to show that wood stock rifles are not so scary. Psychologists call it exposure therapy.

      1. Back in 1979 when I was living in country for 6 months, you could take a proficiency course and then sign out at any post office.

      2. Sadly guns are the only thing that will stop the bad guys with whatever weapons they choose. Fifty years ago it was common to see men and women carrying guns down the roads in my rural state, and it was common for men and women to carry revolvers on their hips while going about their daily business. I don’t recall ever being “traumatized” by good people carrying guns. Of the thousands of law-abiding folks I’ve seen carrying guns over the years I have only seen one or two criminals carrying guns: this is why our state has very low violent crime. I remember the first time I witnessed an officer carrying an M9 in the 1980’s it was the first semi-automatic pistol I had seen openly carried, he was a good officer an upstanding member of our community. He protected and served our town well. I later found out an old timer friend of the family had an old Colt semi-auto he kept under his belt at all times. My grandfather also carried a pocket pistol that no very few knew about, he was the head selectman of our town for 27 years: he was treasurer, road commish, etc. he ushered our town into the 21st Century. We have been shamed into carrying concealed (or not at all) in today’s society, the anti-gun globalists have done a great job brainwashing much of America into believing guns are evil and people are just unstable and too nefarious to wield them. What a load of nonsense.

    7. I’ve got a Winchester m 1 carbine and I tapped the peap sight and put me a 3/9/40 scope on it.i got it brand new I 2011 paid a little over 800.00 dollars.i have 1 inch groops at 100 yards.i killed a doe this past hunting season at 230 yards right 230 and I’ll keep my winvheste m1 great back up gun.plus I use you 110 soft points.try a Winchester you will like it better.

      1. From the Fulton Armory website regarding the M1 Carbine reciever:

        “Machined from a forged steel billet to GI specifications…”

        An article correction is warranted.

    8. Got to brag….I Got mine for $17.50, $2.50 S/H $20.00 in 1966. the Rock Island Arsenal Illinois. Went to an NRA convention at the EdgeWater hotel, they had application form to receive the M1 carbine (1 per customer) I filled out the form and I was lucky to get this beautiful rifle that was used in some conflict, either WW2 or Korean. It is one of my treasure’s along with my M1 Garand.

    9. I have a M1 carbine that was put together from surplus parts, and it is terrific. After the US government was no longer going to issue the M1 carbine, they sold a bunch of parts to National Firearms (I think) Company. NFC put the parts together much better the the US government did.
      It shoots about an inch at fifty yards. So I put a circa 1960s Bosch and Lomb 3-9X scope on it, the kind that has no internal adjustments. The adjustments are in the bases, and a pain to work with. After about a month of, off and on, adjusting, in the fine Texas weather, I finally got the whole system working together. I would not call it a tack driver but it shoots about two inches + from a rest at 100 meters (110 yards). When it hits the NRA small bore steel Ram target, it hits with a lot more authority than a .22 LR.

    10. Just went to their web sight. WOW, $1599.00. I bought a IMI mil spec 15 years ago for $499.00 and I get 3″ group @ 100 yrds.

      1. Have to agree with you on the sticker shock. The panic pricing of the Obama days has seen very little return to price easing. No justifiable reasons. The quality of many firearms that should warrant more mid-range prices is also more prevalent but it seems firearms manufacturers think we should pay whatever the market will bear. Sad to see such usury in an industry we all care about. Quality and value on the down slope.

    11. Great review and video! This one has been on my wish list for a while, glad to see Fulton featured more and more. I’d go with the updated version that has a picatinny rail so I could add a red dot.

    12. I just saw an ad for Blue Sky Imports and the prices were around $1500-2200.00. If this thing is anywhere below that price it would be a bargain. I love shooting the carbine…..besides, you can buy a Ruger Blackhawk in the same caliber and have a one caliber rifle/pistol combo.

    13. $1,600.00 to $1,700.00, minimal cartridge, 4+” groups at 100 yards….And it’s made in the anti gun, lib/Dem operated stronghold of MARYLAND !
      I’ll pass, no thank you,

    14. Worth the money ? WHAT MONEY ????? Always put the price of what you are reviewing in the article, otherwise the possible interest is NILL…

    15. There are carbines, and there are carbines. I’d rather shoot a WW2 gun in the field than this. No, I’m not talking about a pristine bring-back. But there are many out there that appear to have been handled roughly and rebuilt privately. Unless a modern copy costs a lot less, I’ll choose the real thing.

    Leave a Comment 25 Comments

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *