...that arrived out of nowhere following the last post. There are apparently a lot of M1 Carbine fans out there! Who'd'a thunk it?
Here are a couple of quick histories of the little gun, and here are some answers to questions.
1) As near as I can tell, the 5.7 MMJ wildcat and the 5.7 Johnson are the same cartridge masquerading under different names — in any case, a necked down .30 Carbine cartridge.
2) Yes, as a matter for fact, you can still get Carbines in the 5.7 caliber. Try Fulton Armory for a "lovingly restored" version. Fulton also offers a 5.7 barrel for $169 and installation services if you've got a Carbine stuffed in the gunsafe.
3) IAI, the Israeli company, had 5.7 M1 Carbines for sale a couple of years ago (I handled one at a SHOT Show a while back). Here's an ad from 2003, but I can't find them now and there are posts to the effect that the company is out of business. There are still IAI versions (usually the .30 caliver versions) around for sale...here's one for sale currently at gunsamerica.com.
4) The best news for M1 Carbine fanciers is that Kahr Arms is now producing an M1 Carbine through their Auto-Ordnance division, which they purchased a couple of years back. Kahr did a hell of a job overhauling A-O's Thompsons (one of my all-time favorite guns; watch for a SHOOTING GALLERY special on 'em!); the currently available versions are very nice. The Carbines I saw at SHOT this year were excellent, and after this post I'm thinking of getting one for myself and putting it through the wringer. Unfortunately, there's no 5.7 version yet.
5) And, yes, there are WWII original M1 Carbines around for sale, but I have not seen an original 5.7 for sale in the proverbial coon's age, which is actually two years younger than me. And PLEASE, if you've got a WWII vintage M1 Carbine in excellent condition, don't modify it! Ship it directly to my FFL dealer, and I will, in return, send you my thanks.
3) Quality Cartridge is offering components and loaded ammo for the 5.7 MMJ. Redding lists both forming dies and reloading dies, and I'm sure all the other major reloading companies can provide you with dies. Tank's Rifle Shop does a lot of work on M1 Carbines and offers a 5.7 case-length gauge, an indispensible tool for reloaders. BTW, here's an article on the .30 Caliber wildcats from The Gun Zone that's definitely worth reading.
I think the interest in the little Carbine is that it has always had the potential to be an excellent self-defense rifle while flying under the "assault weapon" nonsense. I've always heard that the old New York Police Department Stake-out Squad made excellent use of the .30 Carbine loaded with hollow-points (I'll ask Stake-out Squad legend Jim Cirillo when I talk to him for the show in May). Essentially, you're getting jacked up .357 Magnum ballistics in a rifle that has barely any recoil. Five, 10, 15 (the mainstay) and some original 30 round magazines are readily available (read this article before you buy 30-rounders!). There are zillions of accessories; heck, you can even get an Airsoft M1 Carbine for simulations!
I'd really like to see an M1 Carbine in 5.7 X 28...that would be, as Cartman is fond of saying on South Park, hella-cool!