SOLD FOR: $4,075.59
Make: Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation
Model: M1 Carbine
Serial Number: 4553590
Year of Manufacture: January to March, 1944 (page 30 of Scott Duff’s book The M1 Carbine Owner’s Guide) No Barrel Date
Caliber: .30 Carbine
Action Type: Semi Auto, Detachable Magazine
Markings: There is no visible import mark. The top of the receiver is marked “U.S. CARBINE / CAL. .30 M1” on the front and “ROCK-OLA / 4553590” on the rear. The barrel is marked “ROCK-OLA” and “P”. The gas piston housing is marked “ROCK-OLA” on the right. The trigger group is marked “ROCK-OLA” on the right rear which is a Rock-Ola mark (page 78 of Craig Riesch’s book, U.S. M1 Carbines Wartime Production 7th Edition). The hammer is marked “KR” which is a Rock-Ola mark (page 89). The magazine release is marked “BR” which is a Rock-Ola mark (page 100). The plain push button safety is unmarked which is consistent with Rock-Ola and others (page 95). The bottom of the operating slide is marked “ROCK-OLA” which is a Rock-Ola mark (page 65). The bolt is marked “ROCK-OLA” on the left lug which is a Rock-Ola mark (page 36). The extractor is marked “R” which is a Rock-Ola mark (page 40). The front sight is marked “RP” which is a Rock-Ola mark (page 56). The Type I rear sight is marked “S” on the left. All Type I sights are marked “S” (page 27). The right side of the sight and the face of the front aperture are both marked “BR” which are Rock-Ola marks (page 29). The Type I barrel band is marked “M-R” which is a Rock-Ola mark (page 59). The inside of the handguard is marked “RMC” which is a Rock-Ola mark (also used by Quality Hardware and IBM, page 138). The right side of the stock is marked “RMC in a box” next to an Ordnance Department “crossed cannons” cartouche. These are Rock-Ola markings (page 124). The Type II stock sling well is marked “RMC” which is a Rock-Ola mark (pages 108 – 109). The recoil plate is marked “SG” and “ROCK-OLA” which combined is a Rock-Ola mark (page 135). The canvas carrying case is marked “U.S.” on the exterior and “M.-D. MFG. CO. / 1944” on the interior.
Barrel Length: Approximately 18 Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a post set between two protective wings. The Type I rear sight is a flip up dual aperture assembly.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The two piece hardwood stock has a pistol grip, Type I barrel band with sling loop, sling well, sling pass through and a metal buttplate. The buttplate shows light scrapes, discoloration from oxidation, and apatch of light surface erosion. The wood shows scrapes & light scratches which have been oiled over. The LOP measures 13 1/4 inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in about Very Good Plus to Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: Parkerized
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright. The grooves near the muzzle are light grey. The rifling is deep. There is some light erosion in the grooves near the muzzle. The bore shows an M.E. of 1.4.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 70% of its metal finish. The barrel (from the gas piston forward) has lost most of its finish to cleaning. It shows scrapes and a freckling of discoloration from oxidation. The right side of the receiver shows thinning consistent with cycling. The remaining metal shows scuffs and light handling marks. The screw heads show light use. Most of the markings are deep. The barrel markings are light. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good Plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork& Accessories: The rifle comes with a green canvas carrying case and a green canvas sling. The sling shows scrapes on the metal as well as a small amount of light fading on the canvas. It is in about Very Good Plus to Fine condition. The carrying case shows areas of light soiling, fading, and light fraying on the canvas. The canvas zipper pull strap is missing. The leather at each end of the zipper shows scrapes & discoloration. Overall the carrying case is in about Very Good Plus condition.
Our Assessment: This Rare All Matching Rock-Ola M1 Carbine was built back in 1944. It has lots of “ROCK-OLA” markings on the metal parts including the receiver, barrel, gas piston housing, operating slide, trigger group, bolt, and recoil plate. The remaining metal parts, including the extractor and sights, are coded to Rock-Ola. The stock is also coded to Rock-Ola and has a nice large Rock-Ola cartouche on the butt. Rock-Ola M1 Carbines are hard to find as they produced far fewer M1 Carbines that most manufacturers. An All Matching Rock-Ola is a Rare find that will be envied by collectors.
Here is some history on the Rock-Ola company from m1family.com/topic16.html: “The Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation was, along with Wurlitzer, a top maker of jukeboxes. The company, which originally made slot machines, scales and pinball machines, was founded in 1927 by Coin-Op pioneer David Cullen Rockola…During the 1920s, Rockola was linked with Chicago organized crime and escaped a jail sentence by turning State’s Evidence. Starting in 1935, Rock-Ola sold more than 400,000 jukeboxes under the Rock-Ola brand name, which predated the rock and roll era by two decades, and is thought to have inspired the term…Rock-Ola was also one of the producers of the M1 carbine for the US Military during WWII, making 3.7% of the 6,221,220 made. Due to both the relative rarity of Rock-Ola carbines and the distinctive name, they are highly prized among collectors.”