Rescue Gun

We all know about rescue dogs, cats, etc. — but what about guns?

Longtime Reader Dave L. sends me his story:

Hi Kim
About 2 weeks ago I told you that I’d ordered one of those ex-Italian M-1 Carbines from Midway. I finally got it cleaned up and ready for the range and I thought that you might enjoy seeing a couple of pictures.
The carbine in the picture is a 1943 manufacture Winchester. The wood was black with dirt and Cosmoline and the action was filled with Cosmoline as well. I cleaned the stock up with Simple Green and a nylon scrubbing pad and the dirt came off pretty well. As you can see the wood has some dings but I think that’s part of the character of this almost 80 year old rifle. I applied a couple of coats of tung oil and I think that it looks okay. I also used Simple Green and Gunk engine cleaner and degreaser on the metal. The bore is excellent and I’ll bet that the round count is very low. [One hopes not for long — K]

As you can see my rifle has the late production adjustable sight and late lever safety. The sling and mag pouch are reproductions that I found on Amazon (forgive me) for about $30. I have two 15 round and two 30 round magazines that are recent Korean production. I know that finding good magazines has always been a problem for the carbine but mine will just be a range toy due to the limited supply of ammunition. I have other rifles that I can use for serious social purposes.
Right now I have 100 rounds of Prvi that I found on the Net. I will eventually pick up some reloading dies should small rifle primers ever miraculously fall from heaven.
As I said earlier, sometimes a guy has to spend the money so that he doesn’t spend the rest of his life regretting his safe, sane and sensible actions.

You see?  An old, decrepit and sick gun has been restored to health, has found a good home and can now enjoy the rest of its life in loving hands.

If I may add just one thing, Dave:  long after you’ve forgotten how much you paid for it, you’ll still be enjoying it.

Well done.


  1. Nice rifle. Over time maybe original magazines can be found but for now the reproductions work.

    The only thing I’d say is wrong Is where he bought it. Not a fan of that retailer.

    The rifle is very nice. Great wood stock. Much better than modern stuff that all looks the same. And boring. This rifle has character.

    As far as money paid, any gun now is a good investment. There has been so much money printed that most any durable good is worth more than our currency.

    1. Serious, what’s the problem with Midway? I’ve spent several thousand there over the years and even have an order enroute for delivery right now, and never had a problem. So I’d like a heads up on what might be in store.

      1. Like you I’ve dropped quite a few bucks there on reloading components. I think that you have to watch their prices – sometimes they’re a bit on the high side, but I’ve also found some reasonably good deals. I always figure that if they’re too high on something I can always look elsewhere. I’ve also heard some people say that their customer service isn’t the best, but I’ve never had any problems with my orders They have never screwed up my orders and their stuff always gets to me in a reasonable time.

        The buying process for my carbine went extremely well. I ordered it on Tuesday morning and it was at my FFL on Friday. The rifle was probably in a little better condition than advertised after I cleaned it up. I always expect to do lots of clean up on a surplus rifle but that’s part of the fun.

        The ready supply of M-1 carbines has just about dried up and that’s why I ordered one. I could have hit the gun shows or spent lots of time on Gunbroker, but sometimes its just easier to buy from a supplier that you know and trust (at least I do). Yes I know that the price was probably a bit high but you always hear that somebody’s brother’s uncle’s cousin’s brother in law’s buddy could have gotten a better deal. I’m too old to chase those things down. I had the money in my safe and momma had no problem with me spending it.

        I’m happy with the rifle and I appreciate that Kim featured it on the blog.

      2. Ghost,

        If you want to do business with Midway, go ahead, here is why i will NEVER spend another dime with them. I have had more than one bad experience.

        Thats my experience. As always, your mileage may vary. I will NOT be doing business with Midway ever again.

        Everyone’s experience is different.

  2. In WWII my dad was a 1st. SGT for an ordnance company in the Pacific campaign. He always said the M1 carbine was his favorite firearm of the war. Funny though, I have a photo of him during the conflict sitting in a foxhole. There is a carbine on a sandbag next to him AND he is holding an M1 Thompson sub-machine gun!

  3. The price at Midway was high, but not outrageous, considering the market. Moreover, they had them and handled the sale remarkably well. I almost bought an Inland from them, but didn’t follow through. I will keep an eye out for them so, someday…

  4. Have hope. I follow ammo prices an availability every day. I am seeing more and more via ammoseek and targetsportsusa. Several weeks ago carbine ammo showed up on TS. Right now its shows on AS at .54 cents. 9mm had a burst in just the last week or two around .35 cents. I suspect the increase of manu capacity is now playing a part. In a yr we might be back to “normal”.

    1. I had to stop the weekly emails from 2 ammo manuf because I couldn’t stand watching the high prices all the time. I keep checking in at ammoseek and that’s as far as I’m willing to go. The shits got to come WAY down before I will buy again. 40 cents a rd for 9mm is insane, and I’m not hurting. Yet.

  5. I tried to get one, they wouldn’t ship to California. Asked my son in Nevada to help me. Thatdidn’t work either. Luckily, I have a 1943 Saginaw I bought several years ago. My Korean mags have worked perfectly over the years. Again, luckily, I bought bulk surplus ammo when it was cheap. Enjoy, one of the funest rifles to shoot ever.

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