The M1 Carbine is one of America’s most iconic rifles. It served our country faithfully in the hands of GI’s through several wars over a service lifetime that spanned many decades. Soldiers liked it because it was compact, portable, had a high capacity and low recoil.
The M1 Carbine was created as a solution to a serious problem. After World War I, it was determined that handguns were not very effective for typical engagements. The U.S. Army wanted a weapon that could replace the handguns to enhance a soldier’s effectiveness but still have reasonable weight and portability.
The M1 Carbine was prototyped by Winchester engineers in only two weeks, and after a few minor tweaks, the threat of war in Europe and the Pacific expedited its production.
The M1 Carbine is a perfect example of American ingenuity and economic might. Almost a dozen companies that made car parts, sewing machines and juke boxes came together to produce just over 6 million rifles. It’s a testament to capitalism as a foundation to freedom.
Ruger celebrates the classic M1 with a special Talo-edition 10/22 M1 Carbine. It combines the iconic silhouette of the M1 carbine with the reliability of the storied 10/22 platform and fun of the .22LR cartridge. The Ruger M1 is not meant to be an exact replica but to capture the spirit of the original carbine so it can be enjoyed by all. It’s cheap to shoot, simple to maintain and much easier to acquire than a surplus model.
In a world that is increasingly plastic, Ruger’s M1 Carbine is refreshingly built with a matte-finish wood stock and beautiful bluing. It captures the nostalgia of World War II, Korean War and Vietnam-era guns with the sling cutout, barrel band and clamshell forend.
At just over 5 pounds, the stock is trim without being dainty, fast handling, warm to the touch and mirrors the weight of the original. The inletting on my gun is perfect, and the oiled finish looks like an original.
At 5 feet, 8 inches, I am the average height of a World War II soldier, and the stock fits me perfectly. Original and replica canvas slings and double mag pouches, the most common accessory used on M1s, fit the Ruger well.
Like the original, the Ruger M1 is topped with an effective peep sight and a protected front sight. Even without the historical value, I find peep sights very natural, accurate and quick to acquire on the target. They are easier than most types of sights for aging eyes and simpler for beginners.
In my mind, Ruger should put the Talo M1’s peep sight on all 10/22s. The front sight post on the Ruger is very fine and allows the shooter to take exacting shots on tiny targets at distance. I had originally planned to mount a scope, but the gun was so deadly shooting pop cans at 100 yards with the peep sights that I decided against it.
The rail, though not time period specific, doesn’t look out of place and offers plenty of real estate for mounting a variety of optics. A simple red dot would make it a speed-shooting wonder, tracking through targets and ringing steel with ease.
The fire controls are simple and easy to use. The trigger breaks clean and crisp at a nice 3 pounds, and the push-button safety is right in front of the triggerguard along with the magazine release where it is on the original M1. Ruger updated the 10/22 magazine release a few years ago, replacing the small, flush tab with a longer lever that is much faster and easier to manipulate.
The beauty of the 10/22 is the plethora of aftermarket accessories available. The 15-round magazine that ships with the gun gives it a similar silhouette as the M1 with a 30-round magazine, but it is very easy to increase the Ruger’s capacity by inserting a 25-round or higher capacity magazine.
Ruger 10/22 M1 Carbine Talo Specs
- Type: Blowback semiauto
- Cartridge: .22LR
- Barrel Length: 18.5 in.
- Overall Length: 36 in.
- Weight: 5.2 lbs.
- Magazine: 15 rds.
- Finish: Blued
- Stock: Wood
- Sights: Ghost ring
- MSRP: $352
- Manufacturer: Ruger; ruger.com
1,000 Rounds Later
Like every other Ruger 10/22 I have shot, the M1 didn’t disappoint. It was accurate, with most ammo types clustering just over an inch at 50 yards. The crisp trigger helped with that, and I could have probably shrunk the groups even more with a scope.
Of all the loads, it loved the Eley Match ammo. Federal’s Auto Match shot very well, too, as did the Federal Champion hollowpoints, which are my choice for hunting, as they are deadly on the local Jackrabbits yet still cost effective.
This rifle excels at shooting from field positions, laying down a high rate of fire and transitioning between targets. After the accuracy testing was finished, I just kept loading the mag and using the ghost-ring peep sights to mow down shards of clay pigeons, pop cans, scraps of wood, dirt clods and a 100-yard metal plate with ease.
Just like what was specified in the 1940 solicitation request, I can shoot the Talo M1 so much better than a pistol. Everyone at the range noticed the distinct M1 profile and thought its retro looks were cool. We finished off a box of 350 AutoMatch bullets and then moved on to drain the 550-round carton of Champions. Adding the Eley and the CCI Mini-Mags, that’s over a thousand rounds through the gun in an afternoon, which proved great reliability. All that fun only cost me about $40.
If someone walked into a sporting goods store with no knowledge of firearms history or World War II, they might still buy the Ruger 10/22 M1 on nothing but its own merit. I wouldn’t mind tossing it behind the seat in the truck and getting a few scratches on it because the more patina it gains the more authentic it looks.
I feel like this special-edition Ruger 10/22 does a great job of capturing the indomitable, fighting spirit of our ancestors and allows me to own and enjoy a slice of history that saved the world. Its accuracy and quick handling make it a pleasure to use, and the quality Ruger construction and infinite warranty mean it will be enjoyed by my grandkids many years in the future.