Oh Beautiful For Mystery Gun, With Epic Waves of Engraving

My gunsmith is a serious expert with M1 Garand and M1 Carbine models. When someone gets a nifty or especially rare example they’ll often bring it to him for a little show and tell as well as to have him run up a build-sheet for the gun. His build-sheets tell you which generation of every part, manufacture years, and even some history on the individual rifles.

One day one of his customers came in with a really odd bird. The exact pedigree of the rifle was held back so my GS could do his research. We’ll let you peruse the pictures and make up your mind on what you think it is. At the end, we’ll spill the beans on exactly what kind of rifle it is. The answer might surprise you.

Have you figured out what it is yet? It has had actual experts confuzzled so don’t get down on yourself.
Now you think you’ve got it but you’re still doubting yourself.
Look closely and you’ll see this baby wasn’t a safe queen. Someone took it out and shot it judging by the patina on the pistol grip area.
A minimum amount of fine engraving that sends the message that, when pulled from its scabbard this rifle will elegantly and definitively settle disputes.
It’s the extremes that the gun maker did not go to that really make this example shine. You can take elegance too far and you can take it not far enough. Taking it just far enough so as to not sacrifice utility for beauty without holding back on the beauty is a tough balance to strike.

The Answer is (drum roll)….A U.S. Cal. .30 M1 Carbine.

A very little history: The owner of this fine rifle purchased it in Panama in the early 70’s. The seller was a field officer in the U.S. military and told the current owner that the custom work was done in Japan. It isn’t certain how the rifle got to Japan, but barrel numbers indicate it probably saw use/action in Viet Nam before being relocated to Japan and subsequently customized and engraved.

When you look it over you will see there was a tremendous amount of modifications and some wonderful engraving done on this rifle. Normally my gunsmith, being a specialist in M1’s, gets upset when at finding an M1 Carbine that has been changed from its original configuration but not in this case. Everyone agrees that this is a work of art and the sacrificing of a very nice example to create an absolute work of genuine ballistic art is forgivable.

Tell us below how you feel about someone chopping up an M1 Carbine to build this beauty. If you have a particularly special gun you’d like us to feature, send pics and some details to ballisticxlr@gmail.com. If we feature your rifle we’ll send you a free gift.