The M1 Carbine is a classic semi-auto rifle that was developed for the military to serve as a carbine that was easier to carry than a full size M1 Garand but more than just a pistol. It served that role very well throughout WWII and into Korea and Vietnam.
It was almost half the weight and size of the Garand and it sacrificed quite a bit of range and power, but was a better option than a mere pistol.
The M1 Carbine is no longer in use by the US military. For many, it is a fun shooter or even their home defense gun.
Because of their lightweight, they are extremely easy to carry.
Recoil is fairly mild as well. The .30 Carbine cartridge is on the very lowest end of rifle rounds, getting the 110gr bullet going somewhere just around the 2000fps range at the muzzle. Maximum range is listed as 300 yards but it's really not much more than a 100-200 yard round for most practical defensive purposes. Granted, that is well within the most likely engagement ranges.
I wasn't particularly impressed with this M1 Carbine for the price. The gas piston nut came loose because it was not staked and the rear sights came loose as well because they were not staked properly.
Other than those issues though, it functioned fine.
You can get milspec M1 Carbines now from CMP for less than what I have seen these AO Carbines going for. These are all staked properly in all of the right places and you know that the manufacturers had standards to measure up to before they were acquired by the military. Not to mention the collector's value.
If they were priced lower than the M1 Carbines from CMP than I would see the appeal but with milspec carbines at the prices they are available at right now, that is the way to go.
If you could find one new-lightly used for around $500 (or less), I would do it. But I wouldn't pay much more than that considering the prices the milspec ones are going for from CMP.