Auto Ordnance AOM160 Folding Stock .30 Caliber M1 Carbine


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

November 13th, 2008




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The M1 Carbine has been with us for many decades now, serving our fighting forces well through several conflicts. Introduced by Winchester in 1941, it beat out other contenders for the US military contract for a weapon to replace the service pistol among certain support personnel. Loved by some and hated by others, the handy little carbine, while certainly not a main battle rifle, did the job that it was hired to do; that of being a handy defensive weapon for rear echelon troops. The little M1 also found favor with paratroopers, tank crews, and others who needed a lighter weapon than a full-sized battle rifle, or for use in close-quarters combat. Some have maligned the little cartridge which the M1 Carbine fires as being too weak for anything larger than a muskrat, but those who used the carbine seem to agree that it does the job, within its limitations. In the US, the .30 Caliber M1 carbine has been retired from military service, but it is still in use around the globe in third-world countries which were friends of the US in years past.

Today, the .30 M1 Carbine is enjoying a resurgence of popularity, not only among military collectors, but with shooters as well. Vintage carbine prices are steadily rising, and shooters who want an M1 Carbine in excellent condition can now buy brand new, American made carbines built by Auto Ordnance Corporation of Massachusetts. Auto Ordnance is already famous for their Thompson sub machineguns and carbines, as well as their 1911 pistols. Making the .30 Carbine was a natural for them, as it fits well into the battery of other vintage-type firearms which they manufacture. They have been building the M1 Carbine for a couple of years now, and the one received here for this review differs from their other M1 Carbine styles. The AOM130,140, and 150 Models are replicas of military issue carbines, but the AOM160 has a more modern look and feel to its stock. The stock is made by Choate, and is a black synthetic folding design which makes for compact storage and transportation of the weapon, but the carbine can also be fired with the stock folded as well, for use in tight quarters such as a small room or a vehicle. The upper handguard is of ventilated steel. The AOM160 weighs in at just over six pounds with an empty magazine, and has an overall length of just 27 3/8 inches with the stock folded and 36 ½ inches with the stock extended, making for a very handy little weapon. The barrel length on the AOM160 measures just under eighteen inches. The front sight is a protected post, and the rear has two apertures for short and long ranges, and is adjustable for windage correction. There are three sling attachment points, and the buttstock wears a synthetic rubber recoil pad, which yields a good non-slip contact point with the shooter’s shoulder. The length of pull with the stock extended is fourteen inches. The trigger pull on the sample carbine measured five pounds, nine ounces. The safety is of the crossbolt type at the front of the trigger guard, and the carbine ships with one fifteen-round GI magazine. Thirty round mags are readily available at gun shows or from CDNN Investments -

The M1 Carbine is a useful little tool, much more than just from a nostalgic point of view. Recoil is almost nonexistent from the handy little carbines, and a shooter can lay down a lot of fire quickly and with plenty of precision to serve well as a home defense gun, as well as an around-the-farm predator rifle. The military ball 110 grain bullet at about 1975 feet-per-second is no screamer, but it can be effective against small game and such. A much better choice for social work or for harvesting small deer at close range is the Cor-Bon load that uses the Barnes 100 grain X bullet. These bullets are made to expand at low velocities, and from the Auto Ordnance Carbine, the velocity registered 2158 feet-per-second at twelve feet from the muzzle over my chronograph, and again, recoil is minimal. Accuracy from the AOM160 was about what I have come to expect from an M1 Carbine. The limitation is the combination of the sights and my old eyes. About two inches at fifty yards is all that I can do with such sights, and that is plenty good enough for social work and whitetail hunting. I had no scope mount available to me at the time, but I would love to mount a Trijicon Reflex dot sight on this little carbine. It would greatly enhance my ability to precisely place my shots.

Functioning of the sample AOM160 was dependent upon the ammunition fed into it. I have a case of Eastern European ball ammo that has hard primers, and the M1 would not reliably fire these, giving about sixty percent misfires. That is no fault of the gun, just an advisory to try out any cheap ammo before buying a large quantity. I use this ammo in my Ruger Blackhawk, and it lights off just fine in that revolver. Lake City US surplus ball ammo performed perfectly in the little carbine, and is a good choice if you can find it. The Cor-Bon 100 grain DPX fired perfectly, but had a few feeding problems when the gun was brand new. After about a dozen rounds through the gun, the Cor-Bon performed flawlessly as well, feeding, firing, and ejecting perfectly.

The M1 Carbine is somewhat of a unique weapon. It is not an “assault rifle”, a deer rifle, varmint gun, or target rifle, but it is also much more than a plinker. It is a fun little carbine that has almost no recoil, is pleasant to shoot, and can harvest small game and deer reliably if the shooter does his part, and knows its limitations. For a handy carbine for home defense that anyone in the family over the age of ten can use, it is almost perfect. Some detesters of the carbine mistakenly malign its cartridge as being too weak for personal defense, but it is more powerful than a .357 magnum revolver, and much easier to shoot well with little training. I particularly like the Cor-Bon load for serious purposes, The AOM160 is a well-built carbine, and will accept mil-spec accessories such as scope mounts and surplus magazines. Sitting here hammering out this review one week after our 2008 Presidential election, shooters, hunters, and homeowners are buying up semi-auto rifles, carbines, and handguns in record numbers, anticipating that our newly elected President will try to make good on his promise to ban such weapons from civilian ownership. If you want one, now is the time to buy, as next year will most likely see soaring prices for quality semi-auto firearms, if they are still available at all. Now is also a good time to join the National Rifle Association, and do anything else that you can to protect our gun rights.

For more information on the M1 Carbine and other quality firearms, go to

For the location of an Auto Ordnance dealer near you, click on the DEALER LOCATOR icon at

To order the M1 Carbine online, go to

To order the Cor-Bon DPX ammunition, go to

Jeff Quinn


For a list of dealers where you can buy this gun, go to: To buy this gun online, go to:


Choate folding stock.



Rubber recoil pad.



Sling attachment points.



Cor-Bon's DPX 100-grain high performance ammo.

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- Boge Quinn



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Auto Ordnance AOM160 Folding Stock .30 Caliber M1 Carbine.





Ventilated steel handguard.





Sights consist of a protected post front (top), and windage-adjustable rear with flip-up apertures.





Safety & magazine release button.





Bolt hold-open catch.