The M-1 Carbine .30 Caliber, Designed right before WWII and issued to U.S. Troops all the way through Vietnam. Made to be an intermediate caliber for rear echelon units to replace the handgun for self defense, they saw action in every theater of war. Light, Handy and a real classic. - From Sootch's video
Of all the small arms of the World Wars, the M1 Carbine turned out to be my favorite, and I would be thrilled if I ever received one as a present. The setup in this video--strap, slipover magazine pouch, no Bubba jobs--is how I want to run this incredible carbine.
The ammo is available where I am, and suitable for the same purposes that I'd use the CZ 527 Carbine, the SKS, or a lever-action rifle in .357 Magnum or .30-30 Winchester. Sure, I want a M1 Garand, a Gewehr 98, SMLEs, M1903 Springfield, etc. but nothing excites me like the M1 Carbine.
Sootch demonstrates all the reasons: light, recoil is not a factor, very handy, solid in its effective range, and (via replica makers) still available (and that means parts are not hard to come by). The costs Sootch quotes is not what I've seen at the local shows; it's been cheaper here, but I don't know how long that will last.
But if I got one, this would be my semi-auto of choice for most purposes. I may get others, especially an AR-15 and an AK-47, but this sweet classic carbine has my heart. Aesthetics, effectiveness (especially with good ammo usage), handiness, and a proven record of service appeal to me far more than the latest techno-wonders out of the SHOT Show. Give me ones of these and I am a happy man.