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 And Yes this gun was originally made by the Rockola June Box company during World War II.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.