M1 Carbine Part 10: Using the M1 Carbine bolt tool (disassembly)

In M1 Carbine Part 1, we took a look at the external condition of the new old CMP M1 Carbine.

In M1 Carbine Part 2, we disassembled the M1 Carbine into its major groups.

In M1 Carbine Part 3, we disassembled the Trigger Housing Assembly into its individual components.

In M1 Carbine Part 4, we disassembled the bolt without using the M1 Carbine Bolt Tool (don’t try this at home kiddies).

In M1 Carbine Part 5, we removed the components from the stock and receiver that were necessary to remove for inspection and discussed those items not removed.

In M1 Carbine Part 6, we examined the component markings and determined whether the parts are correct for the period and manufacturer.

In M1 Carbine Part 7, we reassembled the trigger housing group.

In M1 Carbine Part 8, we reassembled the bolt without the benefit of an M1 Carbine bolt tool.

In M1 Carbine Part 9, we reassembled the components removed from the stock and receiver and debuted my major groups reassembly video.

In this edition of the series, we are going to explore using the M1 Carbine bolt tool to disassemble the bolt.

In part 4 we discovered that disassembly of the bolt without the bolt tool is not advisable. There are just some things that you need the right tools to do properly. Considering that the tool is available for about $25 it just makes sense to invest in one.

I actually ordered mine from the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s E-store but they don’t seem to carry them any more.

At first the tool looks a little daunting, but it’s really pretty straightforward. The only thing that took some “figuring out” was the two ended chicken head looking deally-bob at the top.

Based upon my experience in disassembling/assembling the bolt without the tool, it is apparent that the flanges are designed to compress the extractor spring plunger…therefore, this component will be referred to as the extractor plunger compressor…but why are there two flanges on a rotating base? Ahhh! they’re different.

The solid flange is designed to be used during disassembly.

The forked flange is for assembly.

With that mystery solved, let’s begin.

First, loosen the threaded “screw” on the side of the tool to retract it out of the way (I put “screw” in quotes because I would normally call such a piece of hardware a “bolt”; however, considering the nature of what we are doing, I think calling it a “bolt” would be confusing so I’m going to call it a screw).

Rotate the extractor plunger compressor so that the solid flange is pointing toward the body of the tool.

The bolt is placed into the tool with the bolt face toward the closed end of the tool. The tab on the firing pin that protrudes from the side of the bolt should be toward the tool when putting them together.

The bolt lugs should sit flat against the sides of the tool with the large lug above the threaded screw.

Next, press the extractor plunger compressor so that the flange is forced in between the plunger and the extractor.

The closed end of the tool also has a pin that will compress the ejector while removing the extractor. That pin is adjustable but I did not have to adjust it on my tool, it worked perfectly “out of the box” (it came in a bag but you know what I mean).

Hold the bolt into the tool to keep the ejector compressor pin aligned with the ejector, at the same time maintain a slight pressure on the extractor plunger compressor so that it doesn’t slip off the plunger. Turn the threaded screw so that it presses against the large lug.

Continue tightening the screw until the extractor plunger is completely compressed into the well in the bolt lug.

At this point, the extractor should be loose in the bolt. If it isn’t, you may need to jiggle it, the extractor plunger compressor, or the bolt. If all else fails, turn the assembly over. There is a hole in the bottom of the tool for the express purpose of using a punch to drive the extractor out of the bolt. I have yet to have to use it. Once the extractor plunger is completely compressed into its well, the extractor just falls out of the bolt.

After the extractor has been removed, the firing pin will slide out the rear of the bolt.

Then, release the bolt from the tool by backing out the threaded screw. Be careful, with the tool installed, both the extractor plunger spring and the ejector spring are compressed. If you pop the tool off the bolt without completely removing the pressure, one or both of these springs could fire small but important parts across your working area.

Also, the extractor plunger is TINY. If you drop it, you may be in for quite an adventure trying to find it. It is ferrous so you can use a magnetic pickup tool to help you track it down, but better to be careful and not lose it in the first place if you ask me.

One completely disassembled M1 Carbine bolt.

I was originally going to do disassembly and assembly as one post but blogger seems to be on the fritz and I can’t upload any more pictures at the moment.

I’ll go ahead and post this one and then do assembly as another post after I can get the pix uploaded. It may be later on today or possibly tomorrow. It all depends upon when I can get blogger to cooperate again.


8 thoughts on “M1 Carbine Part 10: Using the M1 Carbine bolt tool (disassembly)

  1. Happened upon your site after an agonizing 4 hours of trying to re-assemble the M1 Carbine bolt. The 1st time I got it toether I had the ejector spring plunger facing down and couldn't find any
    reference on the web or otherwise as to its proper position until I happend on your site !! After taking it apart and re-assemblin it the proper way I might suggest a couple of ideas for you to add. When you do the dis-assemble procedure do it inside a large baggie(Ziploc Easy Zipper 9.5 X 10.5 works well) and this will prevent parts from becoming airborne ! It works well with the trigger housing as well. Even when using the dis-assembly tool when I would get to the point of installing the extractor it would not insert all the way. I used a light and drift pin in the bolt hole to assure proper alignment but wont go in all the way ! Ejector cutout alligned properly and firing pin also proper (firing pin would move front and back a little so extractor had the parts locked in). After experimenting with the pressure by the tool on the bolt and 20 or 30 tries the extractor seated properly as if by magic. I still don't know why. The forks of the tool didn't seem to be holding up the extractor but may have been the cause. I can't imagine anyone attempting this without the tool unless they had 5or six arm with extra fingers !!!
    This was a late production round bolt.
    An Old Airdale
    USN 1958-1966

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  4. Using the tool, is it possible to remove only the firing pin and then remove the tool from the bolt leaving the bolt intact and ready to install in the carbine?

  5. Sort of…you can’t just pull the firing pin because it’s held in by the extractor, but pull the extractor, pull the firing pin, then put the extractor back in and take the bolt out of the tool.

    Easy Peasy.

  6. The shank of the ejector has a flat spot. You can see it in the picture above with the ejector still on its spring sticking out of the bolt (second picture from the bottom). The pin part of the extractor engages that flat spot which holds the ejector in place.

    Basically, everything in the bolt is held in place by the extractor. Once the extractor comes out, everything else falls out with it. The whole point of the disassembly tool is nothing more than to keep all the springs compressed while you pull the extractor to release everything.

    By the way, when reassembling, it’s important to get the flat part of the ejector facing the right way or the extractor won’t go in because it will hit the ejector.

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