Erma EM1 and EGM1: A German copies of the M1 Carbine

ERMA EM1 and ERMA EGM1 Carbines are German like copies of the legendary M1 Carbine
ERMA EM1 and ERMA EGM1 Carbines are German like copies of the legendary M1 Carbine (Photo: XY)

The Erma EM1 and Erma EGM1 were lookalike copies of the legendary M1 Carbine. The U.S. Army’s M1 Carbine of World War II had a mysterious charisma which made people lust after it, even though it was a pretty dismal combat weapon at anything over 50 yards range. As a result, there have been numerous lookalikes over the years, and the German Erma company, renowned for military weapons in days gone by, have now produced a pair of .22 rimfire carbines which look almost like carbon copies of the M1 Carbine.

Design

There are two models that are mechanically identical; the Erma EM1; the Erma EGM1 is the ‘deluxe’ version fitted with a sporterized walnut stock. The receiver is of alloy, blackened to match the finish of the steel barrel, and the cocking handle operating rod vanishes forward into the woodwork just as did that of the M1 Carbine, but has nothing on the forward and except the return spring and its guide rod; the bolt is a straightforward blowback action.

Since there is thus no need to revolve the bolt, the connection between cocking handle and bolt is not so complex as that of the M1 Carbine. Firing is performed by a spring-driven firing pin which has a bent protruding below the bolt to be caught by the sear on the reloading stroke.

Unraveling the Erma Werke Model EM 1: Chart and Diagram of German M1
Unraveling the Erma Werke Model EM 1: Chart and Diagram of German M1 (Photo: XY)

The Erma carbines are equipped with replicas of the original sights; a front blade between protective ears, and a rear aperture ‘battle’ sight. They are efficient within their capabilities, and on the range, the carbine showed itself to be capable of sufficient accuracy for its purpose in life, which is eminently that of a ‘fun gun’ for casual plinking or vermin shooting at moderate ranges. It is light, handy, reliable if cleaned regularly of the grease and fouling which ‘shooting’ .22 ammunition generates, and good value for money.

The EM1 uses a 5 round, 10 round, or 15 round magazine. The lower half of the magazine fits inside a sleeve that makes the exposed part of the magazine look like the .30 caliber carbine magazine. The magazine is retained within the sleeve by a pin.

Accuracy and usage

The Erma EM1 receiver has a dovetail that runs the length of the top of the receiver. The dovetail is a standard .22 dovetail mount, present on many different.22 rifles. The EM1 Rear Sight Assembly is mounted on this dovetail and held in place by the Rear Sight Base Screw.

Erma EM1 and EGM1: A German copies of the M1 Carbine

ERMA EM1 chambered in .22 Long Rifle RF with mounted scope
ERMA EM1 chambered in .22 Long Rifle RF with mounted scope (Photo: XY)

The Erma Model EM1 has proven itself as an accurate rifle. Adding a scope or other optics takes advantage of this accuracy. Most scope mounts require the Erma EM1 Rear Sight Assembly to be removed to attach the mount. Most mounts do not leave enough vertical space for the Rear Sight Assembly to be reattached to the rifle (exceptions noted above). It’s not uncommon to find an Erma EM1 that does not have the Rear Sight Assembly and/or the Rear Sight Base Screw because someone mounted a scope and forgot to save the Rear Sight Assembly and it’s Base Screw.

The original Erma EM1 carbine was conceived as a military training rifle in Germany. However, the .22 caliber EM1 would become a very successful commercial carbine with sales in Europe, the Far East, North and South America.

Technical specifications: Erma EM1

Manufacturer:Ermawerke GmbH, Dachau, D-8080 Germany
Designed:1945
Service:1945-present
Type:blowback, semi-automatic
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle RF
Barrel:18 in (457 mm)
Weight (empty):5.5 lbs (2.49 kg)
Effective firing range:
Rate of fire:semi-automatic
Magazine capacity:5 round, 10 round, or 15 round magazine
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