All that has changed. Let’s start with a closer look at the “American” entrant.
The M1-22 is a dead ringer in the wood stock version to late war production “low wood” M1 Carbines. The stock is a very walnut appearing hardwood in a natural style low-gloss finish. The barrel and bolt are made of steel, while low stress components are polymer.
Seriously, there really is a difference between polymer and plastic-quality polymer is very durable and it works well in terms of appearance and function on the M1-22. The late war style also features a faux bayonet lug (I tried a real M1 Carbine bayonet on the gun, it didn’t fit but it looked good).
The magazine release is the correct style, and is in the correct location. The safety is the rotating lever style that replaced the original push button to avoid confusion with the magazine release button on early military M1’s. The charging handle can be locked to the rear with the small button found at the rear, just as the real M1. The bolt also stays open on the last shot.
The polymer magazine has the same profile as the original and is entirely enclosed due to its 10 round capacity limit. No loading assist button is needed. The magazine locks in place in the same manner as the original.
The rear sight is the same style as the late model adjustable carbine sight and the front sight is standard M1, plain blue-no fancy light gathering inserts. There is a slot in the stock that would accommodate an original carbine oiler and sling combo should you wish to add it, although the M1-22 is certainly no burden to carry as is.
Weight and feel is indistinguishable from the original M1 Carbine. This is about as exact a replica that could possibly be found with one exception. The receiver is grooved to accept a “tip-off” type .22 caliber scope and mount. This feature is very low profile and does not detract from the lines of the gun, but does allow the user to add a scope for hunting if they felt the need to do so and increases the versatility of the carbine. It actually took me awhile to notice it was there.
Operation, like any other semi-auto .22, is blowback, and the bolt doesn’t rotate during cycling like it does on the .30 caliber gun.