M2 carbine won't run

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms & Related Items' started by dartswinger, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. dartswinger

    dartswinger Member

    Jan 6, 2010
    SE Pa.
    Way back in 60's an uncle had an M1 carbine converted to M2 (leagally via Class 111) I think real cheap then. He passed and my cousin found this long forgotten thing (unc was sick a looong time) got all the paperwork done but it won't work. He came to me 'cause I'm sorta the family 'gun guy', tho I don't know much on autos. On semi auto this thing works great, when you flick that switch to auto, it don't! It will fire, eject; reload and the hammer will fall but not fire. With a magnifying glass you can barely see a tiny mark in center of primer. Do these things have to be timed? We dry worked it without stock to watch parts and everything seems to work. The lever levs, discon. goes down; sear releases and hammer falls, this all "seems" to work after the bolt is closed during that final bit of travel of the slide, 'course this is dry working, no round is fed or seated. Could the recoil spring be just weak enough that the action slows enough when going 'hot' that the hammer falls before it fits in the groove to hit the firing pin? I'm stumped on auto stuff, it looks like everything does what it should but it ain't goin' bang.

  2. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Yes they need to be timed. There is a couple of good milspec videos on the operation of the M2 on youtube. Its the original briefing videos presented to the military in the 1930s so they are in B&W and sound is very analog. But they are quite informative.
  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    Videos on the M2 from the 30's? I was under the impression that the M2 wasn't around that early.

    One problem with some of those built up M2's is that the parts were not GI and often didn't work right. Not to say that is your problem, but a very common problem is a thin and/or soft disconnector lever that is bent wrong. It will work fine when worked by hand, but could trip the disconnector too early (or not at all) in FA fire. Also, some of the folks who did the conversion couldn't get M2 op slides and machined M1 slides. You can easily see the problems if that were not done correctly.

    Do you know what is registered? If it is the serial number of the carbine, you can replace parts with no problem. But if a part (disconnector lever, disconnector or slide) is numbered and registered as the machinegun, you can't replace it.

    Also, I don't know if there are any GI M2 parts left any more. When I built mine, I used parts I knew were GI, including an RIA disconnector lever. It ran perfectly.

  4. glocknutt

    glocknutt New Member

    Mar 15, 2012
    the M1 wasnt even thought of in the 30s.
  5. Model60

    Model60 New Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    I saw a special on the Military Channel that said the M1 was first submitted to the DOD for inspection in 1938.
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    I was being sarcastic about the date. The first War Deparment circular indicating interest in a light rifle was dated 1 October 1940. Delivery date for test guns was postponed twice but nine rifles were submitted by 1 May 1941. Two were rejected for not meeting the specifications, the other seven were tested through May and into June, but no selection was made. Winchester did not submit a rifle, even though they had been involved in development of the cartridge, based on their .32 Wincheser Self Loading. They had, however, been working on a prototype built around the short stroke piston invented by David Marshall "Marsh" Williams. Submitted on 9 Aug 1941, and modified several times, it was ultimately selected as the Carbine, Caliber .30, M1.

    So, more or less as usual, the Military Channel got it wrong. (They once showed German tanks driving through the snow to invade France - in the hottest May in decades!)

  7. Model60

    Model60 New Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    They often re-use the same film clips, one show about the P40Warhawk showed a pic of an early P51 Mustang. Guess they think nobody will know the difference.
    The show I watched said 1938 for the Garrand and late 1942 for the Carbine. Some old vets told me that the Carbines didn't show up till late 1943.
    All I know is that with the military's reputation of supplying decent firearms in times of battle, GI's were lucky to get the M1 in time for WW2.
  8. medalguy

    medalguy Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    New Mexico
    Something important to know: Did the carbine ever work before? That will tell you a lot. Might also check the springs in it, disconnector spring might be bent or weak. Very likely the problem is with a single part being out of spec, but we need to know if it fired auto back in the 60's. Any idea?

    What kind of ammo are you using-- GI, commercial factory, reloads, overseas made steel cased stuff?
  9. dartswinger

    dartswinger Member

    Jan 6, 2010
    SE Pa.
    Sorry guys I didn't reply anymore, the problem was solved and I didn't think of following up. We had been taking it apart and reassembling it with the selector switch in the foreward position (A) and just for the heck of it I put it back in the stock with the selector in the rearward position, holding that thing in place with my thumb 'til the last fraction of an inch, and that little girl runs like a happy jackrabbit! That's real tricky, ain't it? Just nothing to hold that stuff in place while putting it together. That little spring and plunger on the disconnector is a whole 'nother headache!!
  10. Jim A.

    Jim A. New Member

    Jun 6, 2013
    I have a M2 made by Iver Johnson it would not run more than 2rds send it to the guys Ohio Ordinance it run fast now. :D
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