Scope for a M-1 Carbine
But, if you feel yours is mounted solid with any/all screws lock-tighted then you should probably consider a red dot sight. First of all most M1 Carbines suffer from poor accuracy with the possible exception of the new Kahr's and the Isreally AIA's.
The M1 Carbine was never really set up to receive a riflescope. It was a replacement for the 1911 handgun, meant for use by non-combat troops; although it ended up seeing a whole lot of combat in WWll, Korea and Vietnam. It uses an oversized handgun bullet in .30 caliber that leaves the muzzel at less than 2000 fps which tends to limit it's effectiveness to 100 yards. It's been called the perfect urban weapon (when used with soft point bullets). But it's definately not a target grade weapon, nor is it appropriate for further than 120 yards (max), although it's original design specs called for it to be used up to 300 yards.
Red dot sights are very appropriate for a semi-auto carbine as they allow for fast target acquisition. I like the Sightron S33-4R ($230), it has 4 reticles (33mm tube, 1x and comes with good weaver rings), but I only use the smallest dot (best for accuracy). Do not expect inexpensive red dot sights to remain zeroed, if you switch from one reticle to another reticle. Others, less expensive, that I've read good things about: Mueller MX1 Red dot sight ($120, 4 Dot reticles, 1x, 35mm tude & Weaver rings - I think); Bushnell Trophy Red Dot, 4 Pattern Reticle ($90, 30mm tube, 1x & Weaver rings; Bushnell Trophy Red Dot, 6 MOA Dot Reticle ($70, 1x, & Weaver rings and the Millett Compact Red Dot Sight ($60-$90, 1" tube, 3 MOA Dot Reticle & Weaver rings. Remember these are all made in China, thus, except for the Sightron at twice the cost, they probably have spotty quality control. I've not used any of these, other than the Sightron which I've found to be excellent!
Also check the NcStar mount for ring locations, compare these deminsions to the various sights you are considering as this will be your primary limiting factor. You should probably use the shortest sight that will work with your NcStar mount as you do not want to interfer with ejection (you do not want cases bouncing off your new sight. Also, larger diameter is generally easier to quickly find your target (faster target Acquisition). While smaller diameter is less bulky, a big plus! Stay away from cheap sights with built-in attachments as these always fail.
Good luck, you will probably need it.
Thanks for the response. The NcStar mount installs in the same place as the original military sight and has to be drifted into place. It then uses a single set screw for tightening an stability. It was the first mount I found that did not require drilling and tapping but after I ordered this one I found out S&K makes a similar one that may be better. At least it costs a lot more but still installs in the same place. The NcStar scope base is about an inch above the receiver and appears to have ample room for spent cartridge ejection. I had hoped for a scope with some magnification perhaps up to 4X but I will certainly take a look at the red dots you suggested. I have never owned a rifle with a scope before and have only used someone else's a few times so I am a real novice in this respect. The M-1 Carbine was my issued weapon for several years while in the Army and I qualified with it annually at up to 250 or 300 yards. Maybe its native inaccuracy was why I never made Expert with it. I later was issued the M-14 but didn't make Expert with it either. The military peep sight is tough if you only use a weapon occasionally.
Thanks again for your input
Most of the Military M1 Carbine's made in the 40's and early 50's (there were about 6 million of them made) were good for 8" to 12" groups at 100 yards, so you were doing great! Generally at that time the Military cared less about precision than they did about making them fast and as inexpensively as possible ; I guess that really has not changed.
Have you shot yours yet? Can it group 2" (out to out) at 50 yards? That's pretty much the minimum level of accuracy needed to get much benefit out of a 4x scope. If your's is a Military Surplus, one of those that has recently come on the market it may exhibit only so-so accuracy? I had an AIA that shot 1.5" to 2" groups (out to out) at 50 yards and 2" to 3" groups at 100 yards using the standard military peep sight which I kept on the 200 yard setting. It shot a bit high at 50 yards and a bit low at 100 yards. I liked that peep sight.
Anyway even if yours is a bit less accurate you will still get benefit from a red dot sight. Fast target acquisition, ease of use (it might be easier for you to use than a peep sight) and good out to 200 meters. You just have to remember to turn off the sight after use so you do not waste/use up the little button battery. Better, more expensive, red dot sights (Zeiss, Aimpoint) do not have this problem. One more thing, do not consider the very cheap "Leapers" 4x scopes; they are junk and will give you a headache (eye strain).
Again, good luck and safe shooting.
I may have exaggerated on the maximum range for qualifying with the carbine, it may have only been 250 yards, after all that was in the early '60s and I've slept a few times since. I did go back and check my awards and I have an Expert badge for the carbine. My first issue weapon was a M-1 Garand in basic training. I did not do as well with that weapon but late in basic learned that the elevation setting often dropped a click when it was fired, makes it tough to shoot accurately with that. The M-1 Carbine I have now, I picked up in the early '70s for deer hunting in Arkansas. Whomever owned it before me had removed the military peep sight and installed an open sight just ahead of the bolt on top of the receiver. I never took it to the range for formal sighting in but informally checked it at 100 yards and it seemed accurate enough at the time for hunting. After college my work kept me so busy and the woods seemed to be filled with idiots during hunting season so I gave up deer hunting completely. I have just hung on to it since for home defense. These days home defense seems to be getting more important and I want a scope that will aid in target acquisition and accuracy. I also have an old Enfield 303 British and a Spanish 7mm Mauser that I would like to mount scopes on for longer range targets. Both have been "sporterized" but I have found that S&K makes nounts for these if one can figure out the precise model. I realize these may be "junk" rifles. I will only need to fire them enough initially to get them zeroed in. I am interested in getting back into shooting for fun but will probably do most of it with 22LR due to the cost of ammo and occasionally firing the larger calibers for familiarization.
Anyway your recommendation of the Red dot scope seems good but I may want to check it out with an inexpensive "throwaway" scope before spending big bucks on a quality one.
You asked about the NcStar mount. Well the overall length of the mount is a little over 3 inches. It has three ring slots in it I guess. Two slots are at the rear on each side of the set screw. The rearmost slot is about 3/4" from the rear of the mount, the next one is 1/2" toward the front and the last one is 2 3/8" in front of the middle slot. The rear of the mount is almost flush with the rear of the rifle metal but not quite. I hope this is a large enough footprint for a stable scope mount.
.30 caliber Carbine ammo has certainly gone up $$$ a good bit the last two years as has all ammo. I'm shooting 22lr more often, both long gun and handgun. It's comparitively inexpensive, yet still fun! You might find that both the Enfield and the Spanish Mauser are both still very accurate, if so, while they may have been inxpensive they certainly will not be junk. Unfortunately, their ammo is expensive.
Good luck and safe shooting. Let us know which way you go (sightwise) and how you fare.
BSA, Simmons, Tasco, Barska, Leapers are just not well made. They look great from 10 feet. But they either never work properly or they quickly fail. It's unfortunate, but with optics, you generally get what you pay for. There are exceptions, but they require all the forces of nature comming together to produce a single good unit and then it's back to the same old junk. However, a cheap red dot sight can be used very succesfully to determine if you like red dot sights. If you don't then you have saved the money of buying a "decent" one and if you do, then you can go on to find a better one at your leisure. If your new sight/scope does not work properly, then return it - promptly.
When sighting in your new scope/sight start out at 25 yards, if you can, then move out to 50 yards and then on to 100 yards. The trick is getting on the paper. Once you're punching holes on the paper then you can begin the proces of zeroing-in on your target. That is, maybe - providing your mount is not misaligned, causing you to miss the paper. Ah-ha, that where a good bore site can be usefull). Thats why you start out at a short distance - because it's esier to hit the paper at a short distance. Makes sense, errors (sighting and alaignment) are magnified at greater distance.
Again, good luck!
Well, after much teeth gnashing and looking at lots of scopes and their reviews, I made my initial jump into the world of scopes.
i have ordered a TruGlo TG80302B2 a 2X red dot scope for the carbine. I also ordered a Nc Star Long Eye Relief scope for a Savage Model 64 auto 22 LR. I haven't sunk a lot of cash and can spend some time learning about what I need versus what I have. Thanks much for your input. I let you know what I learn after shooting some rounds in both.