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Old 02-14-2011, 12:36 AM
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Default Fulton M1 Carbine, an initial review



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Took a long time for them to get here however I picked up both of my new Fulton M1 Carbines on Wednesday last week.

Let me start by talking a bit about Fulton and my experience. Worked with Richard over there and they were very easy to put the order in with and get status. Order went in the week of Halloween,... yeah, October. Originally the order was meant to be in for Christmas, 1 for me and 1 for the wife. I was asking for updates every 2 weeks and the reason for the delay was the availability of barrels. Richard did not get frustrated with my questions and status requests and I will do business with them again.

Once the barrels were in the build went very quickly. Nice touch,... they gave me Winchester receivers. Although they are all pretty much the same it was nice of them to find a couple of Winchesters to match them up and give them a bit more intrinsic value.

On to the guns.



Went to my FFL to pick them up. Opened up the boxes and was really shocked seeing them in person. Excellent shape, great build and like my Pop said, "They look like they just came off the production line." Wood is very high quality, well shaped and smooth. The parkerizing is exceptionally smooth and uniform. There is a slight greenish tint which looks a lot like older rifles that have already developed a patina. The parts were lightly oiled and looked like a well taken care of firearm.

We went to the range today to break them in. Kept the irons on mine and put an AimPoint Mini on the Wife's. I ordered both with the Ultimak forward rail. This is now listed on the Fulton site as their scout configuration. Used the first 50 or so shots to just plink around and get a feel for the rifles.



Brought a number of ammo types including a few reloads. Realized though that until I get to know the rifles and they are broken in that trying too many ammo types now could be misleading. Stuck with a few hundred BVAC bulk ammo rounds, 1 box of Remington and 20 or so military surplus to test.

Used (10) round Fulton mags and (15) round GI original mags.

One thing I noticed, 3 out of 10 rounds would eject and smack me in the upper right forehead. Got to the point where it actually cut me a few times. Only did this when in a rest on the bench and my face forward. Since I am left handed, I was making it easier for this to happen it seems. This was one of the few times I was not wearing a hat while shooting so it is mandatory with these rifles it seems (if I plan on getting on a rest that is).

With all of the ammo and magazines, in both guns, first shot and last, not 1 FTF/FTE or any other kind of failure. The triggers have a slight creep and then a stiff break. Pretty common military style trigger that should get better over time. The recoil is what is to be expected, a quick sharp snap with a shake and mild push. I shot most of the rounds off hand and using the irons. The wife shot using the red dot.

Performance wise, I could hit a 6" spinner plate off hand at 100 yards with irons 100% of the time in a fairly rapid ROF. This is using any of the 3 types of ammunition above.

After playing around on gongs and spinners I started to put the rounds on paper. The first few groups of 10 were just within 3 moa with the occasional flyer that would have made the whole thing ~5 moa. I was having a hard time actually controlling the rifle from a basic rest. It is pretty lightweight, the shells were hitting my head and since it is small getting a good grip on it left handed is not all that easy.



This is one of the pictures of the targets. Irons at 100 yards, 10 total shots. Not sure when I did this set in particular however this is about what I was experiencing. I would get a fairly decent grouping of 2.5 moa or so then in that group 1-2 flyers that opened it upped.

My Pop brought his Universal (first gen with GI parts). I had just gotten him the same Ultimak front mount and Leuopold IER with low quick release mounts.



After he had gone through enough shots to satisfy him I took the IER off and mounted it on my M1.

I did not try to sight it in, just wanted to see what I could group.



This is a 1.5 moa (center to center furthest apart) 5 shot grouping at 100 yards using BVAC bulk ammunition. As this was the last shots I took today, I decided to stop while I was ahead. It also convinced me that I will be getting an IER for my M1 soon.

Overall I am more than pleased with these rifles from their performance to their looks. The wait was more than worth it and these are now my go to rifles. 500 more rounds from now I hope that I am proficient enough to safely shoot to 200 yards and keep it under 6".

Time to finish wiping them down and putting them by the bed where they belong.

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Old 02-14-2011, 12:51 AM
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what kind of ammuniton do these shoot ? and how many in a full magazine /
Old 02-14-2011, 01:02 AM
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You can read up about them here,...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_carbine
Old 02-14-2011, 01:16 AM
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Nice review Jida Very sweet carbines you have there! Can I ask how much Fultons are running....
Old 02-14-2011, 10:00 AM
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http://fulton-armory.com/m1carbinerifles.aspx

From $1,299 to $1,399 depending upon what you get (stock and mounts). Pricey however if what you want is an M1 Carbine that performs and looks great then this is the way to go.

I had thought originally to get some surplus models and then restore them myself. Once I had put in the costs for the tools, the replacement parts and barrels together I was over the costs for the Fultons.

Took a risk on their workmanship since I did not see a Fulton beforehand. Only had internet postings, reviews and pictures to go off of. So far, they are worth every penny and since these are now family guns the costs end up being immaterial.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:55 PM
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Fulton's work is always top notch. They're my favorite builder. If I could afford more of their guns, I'd own a bunch of them. Especially their M1As. I won't buy a Springfield.
Old 02-14-2011, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
Fulton's work is always top notch. They're my favorite builder. If I could afford more of their guns, I'd own a bunch of them. Especially their M1As. I won't buy a Springfield.
Man, M1a's from fulton are expensive.

you could probably buy a full auto mac-10 for those prices.
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:36 PM
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have you shot the Auto ordinance m1 carbine? How does it stack up to the Fulton in reliability?
Old 02-14-2011, 11:39 PM
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The Auto Ordnance is a hit or miss build. Even the good ones will be behind the Fulton in quality.

It is not to say that they won't shoot bullets forward and if you squint they look like any other gun,... they are just not up to the same quality levels.

I have held them, inspected them apart, however I have not shot one. After looking at it I did not like the quality levels and with the reviews online the general consensus is that they are lacking in some areas. There are 'good ones' that you can luck out on though if you have that patience.
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:24 AM
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I have an original Underwood built M1 carbine, the barrel stamped 10-43 from my G-pa. My urban defense rifle. So much fun at the range, although my reading into its use on the battle field it was a less than stellar performer with its dinky little bullet.
Old 02-15-2011, 09:37 AM
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There is a lot of information on why the M1 Carbine got a bad reputation. From soldiers simply missing and thinking the round could not stop someone to people that never shot it but heard that it was weak.

There are tons of accounts of very effective shots taken up to 200 yards on targets even with the FMJ round.

This does not even take into account a modern SP or HP round.
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jida View Post
There is a lot of information on why the M1 Carbine got a bad reputation. From soldiers simply missing and thinking the round could not stop someone to people that never shot it but heard that it was weak.

There are tons of accounts of very effective shots taken up to 200 yards on targets even with the FMJ round.

This does not even take into account a modern SP or HP round.
I completely agree with this.... By the way, sound a little like the bad press that Minis get

The newest self-defense/hunting round out for the M-1 Carbine looks to be the best yet.... This review has it at 2000fps at 10ft. Another review I can't find had it at 2050fps.... Not bad and a little new life for a old carbine


http://www.speer-ammo.com/products/gold_dot_prsnl.aspx

http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_De...#.30%20carbine
Old 02-15-2011, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
Man, M1a's from fulton are expensive.

you could probably buy a full auto mac-10 for those prices.
Yeah, they're really pricey. But they're a top notch build, using high quality receivers and parts, hand fitted and tuned. They're worth it, just out of my price range.

In the old days, they used to LOVE to build on Norinco receivers. Apparently these were better steel, better machining and tolerances, even than GI receivers. But of course that supply dried up.
Old 02-15-2011, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
Yeah, they're really pricey. But they're a top notch build, using high quality receivers and parts, hand fitted and tuned. They're worth it, just out of my price range.

In the old days, they used to LOVE to build on Norinco receivers. Apparently these were better steel, better maching and tolerances, even than GI receivers. But of course that supply dried up.
why don't you want to get a Springfield?
Old 02-16-2011, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CZDiesel View Post
I completely agree with this.... By the way, sound a little like the bad press that Minis get

The newest self-defense/hunting round out for the M-1 Carbine looks to be the best yet.... This review has it at 2000fps at 10ft. Another review I can't find had it at 2050fps.... Not bad and a little new life for a old carbine


http://www.speer-ammo.com/products/gold_dot_prsnl.aspx

http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_De...#.30%20carbine
Yeah irony at its best eh?

I am a little frustrated with the lack of light .30 cal bullets for the defensive platforms (usually the hand gun bullets). Hopefully the Gold Dots and others will be around for people to purchase. That is unless you guys have a source now

I have some work ups using the 110gr Lapua HP rounds. Mostly for the accuracy of the bullets themselves as the HP aspect may not really expand all that much on them.
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:15 PM
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I love .30 carbines too!
Old 02-16-2011, 09:12 PM
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Thanks for sharing the pics and range report here. We have had M1 Carbines in our clan spanning a few generations here.

A few questions for you...

How is the ultimak rail working out for you? Any wobble noticed yet, or are they rock solid?

Are both or your bbls chrome lined, or non chrome? Twist rate? ( I have been looking into the FA bbls as a possible route to go for a rebuild of one of my M1 Carbines.)

11B
Old 02-17-2011, 12:44 AM
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The rail mounts directly to the barrel using 2 "U" shaped rings. They don't move even a bit. Not even near the action as it is overbuilt and very stiff. You can force it to move if you want but not under normal circumstances. They also dissipate heat very well like a built on heat sink. You may have to inlet the barrel channel a bit to make room for the U connectors (not a lot, maybe an eraser's worth). After getting the Ultimak mount I definitely have an interest in getting a Mini setup with one.

Barrels are not chrome lined from anything I can tell. I do not know what the twist rate is honestly, it is 'whatever they are supposed to be' I suppose.

EDIT - Asked Fulton this morning about the barrels, will get an update soon.

EDIT2 - just got the response, 1in20 twist which is the same as the G.I. twist. They do not currently have chrome lined barrels however they are looking into a supplier that has them and are going to do some tests.
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