Gun of the Week #3: Rockola M1 Carbine with aftermarket folding stock


My M1 carbine with aftermarket folding stock.


M1 with non-folding stock. What my Rockola originally looked like.

This is not an original configuration. I want to say that right up front, before people correct me.  This is a an original WWII Rockola. Someone modified to use a aftermarket stock.  The gun is original. The stock is not. Rockola did not make a folding stock. The original M1-carbines had a sold stock. The M1A1 were the paratrooper models with the folder stock. And Yes this gun was originally made by the Rockola June Box company during World War II. Over 20 companies made the M1 carbine for the US Government including the Underwood Typewriter Company, National Postal Meters, and IBM.  After the war continuing until today, many other companies have offered M1carbines in both the original .30 carbine caliber and .22 LR.

History of the M1 Carbines

Between June 1942 and August 1945 ten primary U.S. contractors manufactured over 6 million U.S. .30 Caliber Model M1, M1A1, M2, and T3 Carbines. During World War II these carbines were issued to U.S. soldiers in every theater of war around the world. M1 Carbines were supplied to a number of Allies via the Lend/Lease Program during WWII. Carbines were smuggled into, or parachuted to, resistance groups in a number of different countries during the war.

After the end of WWII many of the carbines were returned to America, where they were inspected, refurbished, and/or rebuilt to the latest standards. Many of the carbines did not return to America. Instead, they were stockpiled in various countries in case they were needed.

With the onset of the Korean War in 1950, the .30 Caliber Carbines once again served American troops and America’s Allies. However, during this war the decision was made to offer the .30 Caliber Carbines as a main battle rifle, a role it was not designed for. It’s not surprising the carbines used in Korea received a reputation as totally inadequate. The wrong tool for the job at hand. City fighting at distances of less than 200 yards, the carbines were usually adequate, which would later make them popular with police departments around the world.

Of the over 6 million carbines built, over half were at some point provided or sold to other nations as military assistance (see below). Many of these nations sold part or all of their carbines to other countries around the world.

I know the stock is not original and I don’t mind.  I have a picture of dead father holding a M1 carbine with a folding stock taken in Korea during the War.  When I saw it in a local gun store, I had to have it. It gave me some connection to my dead father.

5 thoughts on “Gun of the Week #3: Rockola M1 Carbine with aftermarket folding stock

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    I like the original better and that is only my opinion. In fact, if the OEM stock were sanded down some or steel wooled with 0000, mineral oil could be applied by pouring a few drops onto the stock and with a small chunk of beeswax, rub the oil and move it out thinly and evenly. You will feel the beeswax drag if too thin, and you will feel the beeswax too slick if oil is not spread enough. Then go over the whole stock rubbing with beeswax. Take paper towel fold or wad without sharp edge and start removing the oil and wax mix. Then go over with paper towel until burnishing. Later, a piece of cotton T-shirt to buff and luster. It’s more labor intense but the finish comes out wonderful.

  2. Enjoy owning a piece of history, and never let it go. Question: How was it modified to fit in the folding stock? I thought the action would just drop in.

    I too have a Rock-ola M1 Carbine, and love it! I purchased it from a WW2 Reenactor who was getting a divorce and had to sell some of his collection to pay off debts that the ex wife had racked up. He was sad to see it go, but I told him he could visit it anytime.
    My Great uncle fought in WW2 in Italy with the elite 10th Mountain Division. He was KIA on April 14th 1945 by a German sniper as he was digging in on a hill with his company under heavy fire. I of course never knew him, but I had the honor of opening up the boxes of his personal affects still sealed from the War Dept, and have read hundreds of his letters, so I feel a strong connection. Owning the Rock-ola strengthens that connection for me. It has the early stock, and type 1 barrel band, push button safty, and flip sight. It’s not mint, the high wood stock is pocked and pitted (but solid) and the metal has an old patina. There are numerous scuffs and scrapes on it, but the bore is bright and clean! It looks like it was dragged through the mud and sand and humped countless miles, but seldom fired. It can shoot tight 2″ groups at 50 yards still, and works very reliably. It’s a beauty of an old warhorse and is my favorite gun. I wish it could tell me where it’s been and what it’s done.

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