M1 Carbine
Overview
 
The M1 carbine is a lightweight, easy to use semi-automatic
Semi-automatic firearm
A semi-automatic, or self-loading firearm is a weapon which performs all steps necessary to prepare the weapon to fire again after firing—assuming cartridges remain in the weapon's feed device or magazine...

 carbine
Carbine
A carbine , from French carabine, is a longarm similar to but shorter than a rifle or musket. Many carbines are shortened versions of full rifles, firing the same ammunition at a lower velocity due to a shorter barrel length....

 that became a standard firearm for the U.S. military
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 and the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, and was produced in several variants. It was widely used by U.S. and foreign military, paramilitary and police forces, and has also been a popular civilian firearm.

In selective fire
Selective fire
A selective fire firearm has at least one semi–automatic and one automatic mode, which is activated by means of a selector which varies depending on the weapon's design. Some selective fire weapons utilize burst fire mechanisms to limit the maximum or total number of shots fired automatically in...

 versions capable of fully automatic
Automatic firearm
An automatic firearm is a firearm that loads another round mechanically after the first round has been fired.The term can be used to refer to semi-automatic firearms, which fire one shot per single pull of the trigger , or fully automatic firearms, which will continue to load and fire ammunition...

 fire, the carbine is designated the M2 carbine.
Encyclopedia
The M1 carbine is a lightweight, easy to use semi-automatic
Semi-automatic firearm
A semi-automatic, or self-loading firearm is a weapon which performs all steps necessary to prepare the weapon to fire again after firing—assuming cartridges remain in the weapon's feed device or magazine...

 carbine
Carbine
A carbine , from French carabine, is a longarm similar to but shorter than a rifle or musket. Many carbines are shortened versions of full rifles, firing the same ammunition at a lower velocity due to a shorter barrel length....

 that became a standard firearm for the U.S. military
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 and the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, and was produced in several variants. It was widely used by U.S. and foreign military, paramilitary and police forces, and has also been a popular civilian firearm.

In selective fire
Selective fire
A selective fire firearm has at least one semi–automatic and one automatic mode, which is activated by means of a selector which varies depending on the weapon's design. Some selective fire weapons utilize burst fire mechanisms to limit the maximum or total number of shots fired automatically in...

 versions capable of fully automatic
Automatic firearm
An automatic firearm is a firearm that loads another round mechanically after the first round has been fired.The term can be used to refer to semi-automatic firearms, which fire one shot per single pull of the trigger , or fully automatic firearms, which will continue to load and fire ammunition...

 fire, the carbine is designated the M2 carbine. The M3 carbine was an M2 with an active infrared
Infrared
Infrared light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light, measured from the nominal edge of visible red light at 0.74 micrometres , and extending conventionally to 300 µm...

 scope
Telescopic sight
A telescopic sight, commonly called a scope, is a sighting device that is based on an optical refracting telescope. They are equipped with some form of graphic image pattern mounted in an optically appropriate position in their optical system to give an accurate aiming point...

 system. Unlike conventional carbines, which are generally a version of a parent rifle with a shorter barrel (like the earlier .30-40 U.S. Krag rifle and carbine
Springfield Model 1892-99
The Springfield Model 1892-99 Krag-Jørgensen rifle is a Norwegian-design bolt action rifle that was adopted in 1892 as the standard United States Army military longarm, chambered in U.S. caliber .30-40 Krag. All versions and variants were manufactured under license by the Springfield Armory between...

 and the later M16A2
M16A2
M16A2 is a designation for two pieces of military hardware:* M16A2 rifle* M16A2 mine...

 rifle and M4 carbine
M4 carbine
The M4 carbine is a family of firearms tracing its lineage back to earlier carbine versions of the M16, all based on the original AR-15 designed by Eugene Stoner and made by ArmaLite. It is a shorter and lighter variant of the M16A2 assault rifle, with 80% parts commonality.It is a gas-operated,...

), the M1 carbine has only one part in common with the M1 rifle
M1 Garand
The M1 Garand , was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S...

 (a short buttplate screw) and fires a different cartridge.

Limitations of weapons in the U.S. arsenal

Prior to World War II, Army Ordnance received reports from various branches (infantry, armor, artillery, supply) that the full-size M1 Garand
M1 Garand
The M1 Garand , was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S...

 rifle was unsuitable as issued for an increasing number of soldiers with specialized training (mortar
Mortar (weapon)
A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

 crews, machine gun crews, radiomen, tankers, artillerymen, forward observers, signals troops, engineers, headquarters staff etc.) who did not use the service rifle as a primary arm. During prewar and early war field exercises, it was noticed that these troops, when issued the rifle, often found their individual weapon too heavy and cumbersome. In addition to impeding the soldier's mobility, a slung rifle would frequently catch on brush, bang the helmet, or tilt it over the eyes. Many soldiers found the rifle slid off the shoulder unless slung diagonally across the back, where it prevented the wearing of standard field packs and haversacks. Alternate weapons such as the M1911 pistol and M1917 revolver
M1917 revolver
The M1917 Revolver was a U.S. six-shot revolver of .45 ACP caliber. It was adopted by the U.S. Army in 1917 to supplement the standard M1911 .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol during World War I. Afterwards, it was primarily used by secondary and non-deployed troops...

, while undeniably convenient, were often insufficiently accurate or powerful, while the Thompson submachine gun
Thompson submachine gun
The Thompson is an American submachine gun, invented by John T. Thompson in 1919, that became infamous during the Prohibition era. It was a common sight in the media of the time, being used by both law enforcement officers and criminals...

, though reliable, was heavy and limited in both practical accuracy and penetration at typical combat ranges.

Additionally, Germany's use of glider-borne and paratroop forces to infiltrate and attack strategic points behind the front lines (Blitzkrieg
Blitzkrieg
For other uses of the word, see: Blitzkrieg Blitzkrieg is an anglicized word describing all-motorised force concentration of tanks, infantry, artillery, combat engineers and air power, concentrating overwhelming force at high speed to break through enemy lines, and, once the lines are broken,...

 tactics) generated a request for a compact, selective-fire infantry small arm to equip support units and line-of-communications troops who might find themselves engaged in combat without prior warning. U.S. Army Ordnance decided that a selective-fire carbine would adequately fulfill all of these requirements, but specified that the new arm should add no more than five pounds to the existing equipment load. The requirement for the new firearm called for a compact, lightweight defensive weapon with an effective range of 300 yards, with greater range, firepower, and accuracy than the pistol, while weighing half as much as the Thompson submachine gun
Thompson submachine gun
The Thompson is an American submachine gun, invented by John T. Thompson in 1919, that became infamous during the Prohibition era. It was a common sight in the media of the time, being used by both law enforcement officers and criminals...

 or M1 rifle. Parachutists were added to the list of intended users after Ordnance received a request for a lighter and more compact infantry arm for airborne forces, and a folding-stock (M1A1) version of the carbine was introduced in May 1942 to meet this requirement. The first M1 carbines were delivered in mid-1942, with initial priority given to troops in the European Theater of Operations
European Theater of Operations
The European Theater of Operations, United States Army was a United States Army formation which directed U.S. Army operations in parts of Europe from 1942 to 1945. It referred to Army Ground Forces, United States Army Air Forces, and Army Service Forces operations north of Italy and the...

.

Designing the M1 carbine

In 1938, the Chief of Infantry requested the Ordnance Department develop a "light rifle" or carbine, though the formal requirement for the weapon type was not approved until 1940. This led to a competition in 1941 by major U.S. firearm companies and designers. The prototypes for the US M1 carbine were chambered for a new cartridge, the .30 Carbine
.30 Carbine
The .30 Carbine is the cartridge used in the M1 Carbine introduced in the 1940s. It is an intermediate round designed to be fired from the M1 carbine's 18-inch barrel.-History:...

, a smaller and lighter .30 caliber (7.62 mm
7.62 mm caliber
7.62 mm caliber is a nominal caliber used for a number of different cartridges. Historically, this class of cartridge was commonly known as .30 caliber, the Imperial unit equivalent, and was most commonly used for indicating a class of full power military main battle rifle cartridges...

) round very different from the .30-06 in both design and performance. The .30 Carbine cartridge was intermediate in muzzle energy
Muzzle energy
Muzzle energy is the kinetic energy of a bullet as it is expelled from the muzzle of a firearm. It is often used as a rough indication of the destructive potential of a given firearm or load...

 (ME) and muzzle velocity
Muzzle velocity
Muzzle velocity is the speed a projectile has at the moment it leaves the muzzle of the gun. Muzzle velocities range from approximately to in black powder muskets , to more than in modern rifles with high-performance cartridges such as the .220 Swift and .204 Ruger, all the way to for tank guns...

 (MV). Essentially a rimless version of the obsolete .32 Winchester Self-Loading
.32 Winchester Self-Loading
The .32 Winchester Self-Loading is an American rifle cartridge.Winchester introduced the .32SL and .35SL cartridges in the Winchester '05 self-loading rifle, a centerfire version of the Winchester '03...

 cartridge, the .30 Carbine had a round-nose 110 gr bullet. From the M1 Carbine's 18 in (45.7 cm) barrel
Gun barrel
A gun barrel is the tube, usually metal, through which a controlled explosion or rapid expansion of gases are released in order to propel a projectile out of the end at a high velocity....

, the .30 Carbine cartridge produced a muzzle velocity of approximately 1970 ft/s (600 m/s).

Winchester
Winchester Repeating Arms Company
The Winchester Repeating Arms Company was a prominent American maker of repeating firearms, located in New Haven, Connecticut. The Winchester brand is today used under license by two subsidiaries of the Herstal Group, Fabrique Nationale of Belgium and the Browning Arms Company of Morgan, Utah.-...

 at first did not submit a design, as it was occupied in developing the .30-06 Winchester M2 Military Rifle. The rifle originated as a design by Jonathan "Ed" Browning, brother of the famous firearm designer John Browning
John Browning
John Moses Browning , born in Ogden, Utah, was an American firearms designer who developed many varieties of military and civilian firearms, cartridges, and gun mechanisms, many of which are still in use around the world...

. A couple of months after Ed Browning's death in May 1939, Winchester hired ex-convict David M. "Carbine" Williams, a convicted murderer and former bootlegger who had begun work on a short-stroke gas piston design while serving a prison sentence. This story was the loose basis of the 1952 movie Carbine Williams
Carbine Williams
Carbine Williams is a 1952 American drama film directed by Richard Thorpe and starring James Stewart. The film follows the life of its namesake, David Marshall Williams, who invented the operating principle for the M1 Carbine while in a North Carolina prison...

starring James Stewart
James Stewart (actor)
James Maitland Stewart was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive voice and his everyman persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films widely considered classics and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition and receiving one Lifetime...

. Winchester hoped Williams would be able to complete various designs left unfinished by Ed Browning, including the Winchester .30-06 M2 rifle. Williams incorporated his short-stroke piston in the existing design. After the Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 semi-automatic rifle trials in 1940, Browning's rear-locking tilting bolt design proved unreliable in sandy conditions. As a result, the rifle was redesigned to incorporate a Garand-style rotating bolt
Rotating bolt
Rotating bolt is a method of locking originally developed by Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher and found in his Steyr-Mannlicher M1895 straight-pull bolt-action rifle designed for and issued to the Austro-Hungarian Army...

 and operating rod, retaining Williams' short-stroke piston. By May 1941, the M2 rifle prototype had been shaved from about 9.5 lb (4.3 kg) to a mere 7.5 lb (3.4 kg).

From prototype to completion

Winchester contacted the Ordnance Department to examine their rifle design. Ordnance believed the design could be scaled down to a carbine which would weigh 4.5 to 4.75 lb . In response, Major René Studler demanded a carbine prototype as soon as possible. The first model was developed at Winchester in 13 days by William C. Roemer, Fred Humeston and three other Winchester engineers under supervision of Edwin Pugsley, essentially Williams' last version of the .30-06 M2 scaled down to the .30 SL cartridge. This patchwork prototype was cobbled together using the trigger housing and lockwork of a Winchester M1905 rifle and a modified Garand operating rod. The prototype was an immediate hit with Army observers.

After the initial Army testing in August 1941, the Winchester design team set out to develop a more refined version. Williams participated in the finishing of this test prototype. The second prototype competed successfully against other carbine candidates in September 1941, and Winchester was notified of their victory the very next month. Standardization as the M1 Carbine was approved on October 22, 1941. Contrary to popular myth, Williams had little to do with the carbine's development, with the exception of his short-stroke gas piston design. As a matter of fact, Williams went about creating his own design apart from the other Winchester staff, which was not ready for testing until December 1941, two months after the Winchester M1 Carbine had been adopted and type-classified. The supervisor of the carbine project at Winchester, Edwin Pugsley, conceded that Williams' final design was "an advance on the one that was accepted", but noted that Williams' decision to go it alone was a distinct impediment to the project, and none of William's additional design features were incorporated into later M1 production. Further, in a memo in response to a possible lawsuit by Williams, in 1951 Winchester noted his patent for the short-stroke piston had been improperly granted as a previous patent covering the same principle of operation was overlooked at the patent office.

The first M1 carbines were delivered in mid-1942, with initial priority given to troops in the European Theater of Operations
European Theater of Operations
The European Theater of Operations, United States Army was a United States Army formation which directed U.S. Army operations in parts of Europe from 1942 to 1945. It referred to Army Ground Forces, United States Army Air Forces, and Army Service Forces operations north of Italy and the...

.

Combat use

World War II

The M1 carbine with its reduced-power .30 cartridge was not originally intended to serve as a primary weapon for combat infantrymen, nor was it comparable to more powerful assault rifles developed late in the war. Nevertheless, the carbine was soon widely issued to infantry officers, American paratrooper
Paratrooper
Paratroopers are soldiers trained in parachuting and generally operate as part of an airborne force.Paratroopers are used for tactical advantage as they can be inserted into the battlefield from the air, thereby allowing them to be positioned in areas not accessible by land...

s, NCOs, ammunition bearers, forward artillery observers, and other frontline troops. Its reputation in front-line combat was mixed. The M1 carbine gained generally high praise for its small size, light weight and firepower, especially by those troops who were unable to use a full-size rifle as their primary weapon. However, negative reports began to surface with airborne operations in Sicily in 1943, and increased during the fall and winter of 1944.

In the Pacific theater, soldiers and guerrilla forces operating in heavy jungle with only occasional enemy contact praised the carbine for its small size, light weight, and firepower. Other soldiers and marines engaged in frequent daily firefights (particularly those serving in the Philippines) found the weapon to have insufficient stopping power and penetration. Reports of the carbine's failure to stop enemy soldiers, sometimes after multiple hits, appeared in individual after-action reports, postwar evaluations, and service histories of both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps. Aware of these shortcomings, the U.S. Army, its Pacific Command Ordnance staff, and the Aberdeen
Aberdeen Proving Ground
Aberdeen Proving Ground is a United States Army facility located near Aberdeen, Maryland, . Part of the facility is a census-designated place , which had a population of 3,116 at the 2000 census.- History :...

 small arms facility continued to work on shortened versions of the Garand throughout the war, though none was ever officially adopted.

While the .30 Carbine cartridge used in the M1 Carbine could not penetrate small trees and light cover as well as the standard U.S. .30-06 rifle cartridge, it was markedly superior to the .45-caliber Reising and Thompson submachineguns in both accuracy and penetration, while its lighter .30 cartridge allowed soldiers to carry more ammunition. Lt. Col. John George, a small arms expert and intelligence officer serving in Burma with Merrill's Marauders
Merrill's Marauders
Merrill’s Marauders or Unit Galahad, officially named the 5307th Composite Unit , was a United States Army long range penetration special operations unit in the South-East Asian Theater of World War II which fought in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations, or CBI...

, reported that .30 carbine bullets would easily penetrate the front and back of steel helmets, as well as the body armor used by Japanese forces of the era.

The carbine's exclusive use of non-corrosive primered ammunition was found to be a godsend by troops and ordnance personnel serving in the Pacific, where barrel corrosion was a significant issue with the corrosive primers used in .30-06 caliber weapons. However, in the ETO some soldiers reported misfires attributed to moisture ingress of the non-corrosive primer compound.

Select-fire and infrared sight versions

Initially, the M1 Carbine was intended to have a select-fire capability, but in order to speed development of the final design, a decision was made to omit this feature. On 26 October 1944, in response to increased use of automatic fire weapons on the battlefield, the select-fire M2 carbine was adopted, along with a new 30-round magazine. The M2 had a fully automatic rate-of-fire of about 850-900 rounds-per-minute. Although actual M2 production began late in the war (April 1945), US Ordnance issued conversion part kits to allow field conversion of semi-auto M1 carbines to the selective-fire M2 configuration. These converted M1/M2 select-fire carbines saw limited combat service in Europe, primarily during the final Allied advance into Germany. In the Pacific, both converted and original M2 carbines saw limited use in the last days of the fighting in the Philippines.

The M3 carbine (a selective-fire M2 with the M1 infrared night sight or sniperscope) was first used in combat by Army units during the invasion of Okinawa
Battle of Okinawa
The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II. The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945...

. For the first time, U.S. soldiers had a weapon that allowed them to visually detect Japanese infiltrating into American lines at night, even during complete darkness. A team of two or three soldiers was used to operate the weapon and provide support. At night, the scope would be used to detect Japanese patrols and assault units moving forward. At that point, the operator would fire a burst of automatic fire at the greenish images of enemy soldiers. The M3 with the M1 sight had an effective range of about 70 yards (limited by the visual capabilities of the sight). Fog and rain further reduced the weapon's effective range. It is estimated that fully 30% of Japanese casualties inflicted by rifle and carbine fire during the Okinawan campaign were caused by the M3 carbine and its M1 sniperscope.

Korean War

The M1, M2, and M3 carbine all saw service during the Korean War, although the M2 armed the majority of U.S. Army and Marine units deployed there. In Korea, all versions of the carbine soon acquired a widespread reputation among both soldiers and marines for jamming in extreme cold weather conditions, eventually traced to inadequate recoil impulse and weak return springs. A 1951 official U.S. Army evaluation of scores of individual after-action combat reports for all small arms usage in Korea by the Eighth Army from 1 November 1950 to 1 March 1951 documented the weapon's cold-weather shortcomings, as well as noting complaints from individual soldiers that the carbine bullet failed to stop heavily clothed or gear-laden North Korean and Chinese (PLA
People's Volunteer Army
The Chinese People's Volunteer Army was the armed forces deployed by the People's Republic of China during the Korean War. Although all units in the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army belonged to the People's Liberation Army , the People's Volunteer Army was separately constituted in order to...

) troops at close range after multiple hits. Soldiers reported that their "reaction to the weapons family was almost universally to the point that what they have is good and adequate to the tactical need...The one exception was the carbine. One company in the 38th Infantry Regiment expressed its satisfaction with this weapon; but it was alone in the Eighth Army. In all other units, bad experience in battle had made troops shy of this weapon." Marines of the 1st Marine Division also reported instances of carbine bullets failing to stop enemy soldiers, and some units issued standing orders for carbine users to aim for the head. Ironically, PLA infantry forces who had been issued captured U.S. small arms disliked the carbine for the same reason.

The M3 carbine with an improved M2 (later, M3) infrared sniperscope also returned to combat, and was used principally during the static stages of the conflict against night infiltrators. The M3 with the improved M3 night sight had an effective range of approximately 125 yards.

Vietnam

The M1 and M2 carbines were again issued to U.S. forces during the Vietnam War, particularly with United States Air Force Security Police and United States Army Special Forces. These weapons began to be replaced by the M16
M16 rifle
The M16 is the United States military designation for the AR-15 rifle adapted for both semi-automatic and full-automatic fire. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from ArmaLite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 fires the 5.56×45mm NATO...

 and by M16A1 in the early to mid-1960s and were generally out of service by the late 1960s. Although they were used in limited numbers by U.S. troops and security personnel until the fall of Saigon in 1975. At least 793,994 M1 and M2 carbines were given to the South Vietnamese
Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The Army of the Republic of Viet Nam , sometimes parsimoniously referred to as the South Vietnamese Army , was the land-based military forces of the Republic of Vietnam , which existed from October 26, 1955 until the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975...

 and were widely used throughout the Vietnam War. A number were captured during the war by Vietcong.

The M1/M2/M3 carbines were the most heavily produced family of U.S. military weapons for several decades. They were used by every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and are one of the most recognised firearms in the world.

Design and operation

The M1 carbine's bolt mechanism is similar to the M1 rifle, though the carbine has a different gas system and trigger mechanism design. The gas system is a lightweight tappet-and-slide gas system. Initially fed from a 15 round magazine
Magazine (firearm)
A magazine is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. Magazines may be integral to the firearm or removable . The magazine functions by moving the cartridges stored in the magazine into a position where they may be loaded into the chamber by the action...

, a 30 round magazine was introduced for the M2.

The very first carbines, those made before mid-1943, were originally equipped with a "V-cut" extractor for removal
of the fired round from the chamber. The "V-cut" design was found to be flawed and unreliable. In the field "V-cut" extractors were reground to a straight configuration, which enhanced reliability, until factory production was able to supply the better design.

The .30 Carbine cartridge was intermediate in both muzzle energy
Muzzle energy
Muzzle energy is the kinetic energy of a bullet as it is expelled from the muzzle of a firearm. It is often used as a rough indication of the destructive potential of a given firearm or load...

 (ME) and muzzle velocity
Muzzle velocity
Muzzle velocity is the speed a projectile has at the moment it leaves the muzzle of the gun. Muzzle velocities range from approximately to in black powder muskets , to more than in modern rifles with high-performance cartridges such as the .220 Swift and .204 Ruger, all the way to for tank guns...

 (MV). It is essentially a rimless version of the obsolete .32 Winchester Self-Loading
.32 Winchester Self-Loading
The .32 Winchester Self-Loading is an American rifle cartridge.Winchester introduced the .32SL and .35SL cartridges in the Winchester '05 self-loading rifle, a centerfire version of the Winchester '03...

 cartridge. The .30 Carbine had a round-nose 110 gr bullet, in contrast to the spitzer
Spitzer (bullet)
A spitzer, also commonly referred to as a spire point bullet, is an aerodynamic bullet design used in most intermediate and high-powered rifle cartridges...

 bullet designs found in most full-power rifle cartridges of the day. From the M1 carbine's 18 in (45.7 cm) barrel
Gun barrel
A gun barrel is the tube, usually metal, through which a controlled explosion or rapid expansion of gases are released in order to propel a projectile out of the end at a high velocity....

, the .30 Carbine cartridge produced a muzzle velocity of approximately 1970 ft/s (600 m/s), a velocity between that of contemporary submachine guns (approximately 900 to 1,600 ft/s and full-power rifles and light machine gun
Light machine gun
A light machine gun is a machine gun designed to be employed by an individual soldier, with or without an assistant, as an infantry support weapon. Light machine guns are often used as squad automatic weapons.-Characteristics:...

s (approximately 2,400 to 2,800 ft/s . At the M1 carbine's maximum effective combat range of 300 yards (274.3 m), its bullet has about the same energy as pistol rounds like the 8mm Nambu
Nambu pistol
was a semi-automatic pistol used by the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy during the First and Second World Wars. The pistol had two variants, the Type A , and the Type 14 .-History:...

 do at the muzzle. Bullet drop is significant past 200 yards (182.9 m).

One characteristic of .30 Carbine ammunition is that from the beginning of production, non-corrosive primers were specified. This was the first major use of this type of primer in a military firearm. Because the rifle had a closed gas system, not normally disassembled, corrosive primers would have led to a rapid deterioration of the gas system. The use of non-corrosive primers was a novelty in service ammunition at this time. Some misfires were reported in early lots of .30 Carbine ammunition, attributed to moisture ingress of the non-corrosive primer compound.

Categorizing the M1 carbine series has been the subject of much debate. The M1 is sufficiently accurate at short ranges. At 100 yards (91.4 m), it can deliver groups of between 3 and 5 minutes of angle, sufficient for its intended purpose as a close-range defensive weapon. Its muzzle energy and range are beyond those of any submachine gun of the period, though its bullet is much lighter in weight and smaller in diameter than that of .45 caliber weapons, and much less powerful than those of other service rifle
Service rifle
The service rifle of a given army or armed force is that which it issues as standard to its soldiers. In modern forces, this is typically a highly versatile and rugged assault rifle suitable for use in nearly all theatres and environments...

s of the period. The M1 and later M2 carbines were never designed to be assault rifles, such as the later German StG44
Sturmgewehr 44
The StG 44 was an assault rifle developed in Nazi Germany during World War II and was the first of its kind to see major deployment, considered by many historians to be the first modern assault rifle...

 and Russian AK-47
AK-47
The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is officially known as Avtomat Kalashnikova . It is also known as a Kalashnikov, an "AK", or in Russian slang, Kalash.Design work on the AK-47 began in the last year...

, and the .30 Carbine cartridge gives up significant muzzle velocity (roughly 350 ft/s (106.7 m/s)) to both. Additionally, the bullets used in the cartridges of the AK-47 and StG44 are spitzer
Spitzer (bullet)
A spitzer, also commonly referred to as a spire point bullet, is an aerodynamic bullet design used in most intermediate and high-powered rifle cartridges...

 designs, and suffer less energy loss and trajectory drop at distances beyond 100 yards. Most authorities list the effective combat range of the M1 carbine at around 200 yards, compared to 250-300 yards for the AK-47 and StG44.

Accessories

Perhaps the most common accessory used on the M1 Carbine was a magazine pouch that was mounted to the right side of the stock and held two spare 15-round magazines. At first, these were standard belt pouches that were modified by the troops in the field to fit on the M1 Carbine's stock. However, the military soon recognized the value of these stock pouches and made them a standard-issue item. After the introduction of the 30-round magazine, it was common for the troops to tape two 30-round magazines together. This led the military to introduce the "Jungle Clip", which was a metal clamp that would hold two magazines together without the need of tape. A folding stock version of the Carbine was also developed after a request was made for a compact and light infantry arm for airborne troops.

The M1 carbine was used with the M8 grenade launcher, which was fired with the M6 cartridge to launch 22 mm rifle grenades
22 mm grenade
The 22mm rifle grenade is inserted over the firing mechanism on the front of rifles that are equipped with the appropriate launcher, either in the form of an integral flash suppressor or a detachable adapter. As with most rifle grenades, it is propelled by a blank cartridge inserted into the...

. It also accepts the M4 bayonet, which was based on the M3 knife. The M4 bayonet formed the basis for the later M6
M6 Bayonet
The M6 Bayonet is a bayonet used by the U.S. military for the M14 rifle. It was introduced in 1957, at the same time as the rifle itself. It is the only type of bayonet made for the M14, and the only other rifle it fits is the civilian version of the M14, the M1A.Like its predecessor, the M5...

 and M7 bayonet
M7 Bayonet
The M7 Bayonet is a bayonet that was used by the U.S. military for the M16 rifle, it can also be used for the AR-15 rifle. It was introduced in 1964, when the M16 entered service during the Vietnam War....

-knives. The carbine was modified from its original design to incorporate a bayonet, due to requests from the field. Very few carbines with bayonet lugs reached the front lines before the end of World War II. This modification was made to nearly all carbines during arsenal rebuild following World War II. By the time the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 began, the bayonet-equipped M1 was standard issue. It is now rare to find a non bayonet lug-equipped original M1 carbine. As carbines were reconditioned at arsenals, parts such as the magazine catch, rear sight, barrel band with bayonet lug, and stock were upgraded with the current standard issue parts, usually parts as redesigned for the M2 carbine. During World War II, the T23 (M3) flash hider
Flash suppressor
A flash suppressor, also known as a flash guard, flash eliminator, flash hider, or flash cone, is a device attached to the muzzle of a rifle or other gun that reduces the visible signature of the burning gases that exit the muzzle. This reduces the chances that the shooter will be blinded in dark...

 was designed to reduce the muzzle flash from the carbine, but was not introduced into service until the advent of the M3 carbine. With the exception of T23 hiders mounted on M3 Carbines, few if any T23 flash hider attachments saw service during World War II, though unit armorers occasionally hand-built improvised compensator/flash hiders of their own design.

Production

A total of over 6.5 million M1 carbines of various models were manufactured, making it the most produced small arm for the American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 military during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 (compared with about 6 million M1 rifles and under 2 million Thompson submachine guns). Despite being designed by Winchester, the great majority of these were made by other companies (see list of Military contractors below). The largest producer was the Inland division of General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

, but many others were made by contractors as diverse as IBM
IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

, the Underwood Typewriter Company, and the Rock-Ola
Rock-Ola
The Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation was, along with Wurlitzer, a top maker of jukeboxes. The company, which originally made slot machines, scales and pinball machines, was founded in 1927 by Coin-Op pioneer David Cullen Rockola....

 jukebox
Jukebox
A jukebox is a partially automated music-playing device, usually a coin-operated machine, that will play a patron's selection from self-contained media...

 company. Few contractors made all the parts for carbines bearing their name: some makers bought parts from other major contractors or sub-contracted minor parts to companies like Marlin Firearms or Auto-Ordnance. Parts by all makers were required to be interchangeable. Irwin-Pedersen models were the fewest produced, at a little over 4,000. Many carbines were refurbished at several arsenals after the war, with many parts interchanged from original maker carbines. True untouched war production carbines, therefore, are the most desirable for collectors.

The M1 carbine was also one of the most cost effective weapons used by the United States Military during World War II. At the beginning of World War II the average production cost for an M1 carbine was approximately $45, about half the cost of an M1 Garand
M1 Garand
The M1 Garand , was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of any nation. Called "the greatest battle implement ever devised" by General George S...

 at approximately $85 and about a fifth of the cost of a Thompson submachine gun
Thompson submachine gun
The Thompson is an American submachine gun, invented by John T. Thompson in 1919, that became infamous during the Prohibition era. It was a common sight in the media of the time, being used by both law enforcement officers and criminals...

 at approximately $225. The .30 Carbine ammunition was also far cheaper to produce than the standard .30-06 ammunition; used less resources, was smaller, lighter, faster and easier to make. These were major factors in the United States Military decision to adopt the M1 carbine, especially when considering the vast numbers of weapons and ammunition manufactured and transported by the United States during World War II.

Foreign usage

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the British SAS
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 used the M1 and M1A1 carbines after 1943. The weapon was taken into use simply because a decision had been taken by Allied authorities to supply .30 caliber weapons from US stocks in the weapons containers dropped to Resistance groups sponsored by an SOE
Special Operations Executive
The Special Operations Executive was a World War II organisation of the United Kingdom. It was officially formed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton on 22 July 1940, to conduct guerrilla warfare against the Axis powers and to instruct and aid local...

, or later also Office of Strategic Services
Office of Strategic Services
The Office of Strategic Services was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency...

 (OSS), organizer, on the assumption the groups so supplied would be operating in areas within the operational boundaries of U.S. forces committed to Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...

. They were found to be suited to the kind of operation the two British, two French, and one Belgian Regiment carried out. It was handy enough to parachute with, and, in addition, could be easily stowed in an operational Jeep. Other specialist intelligence collection units, such as 30 Assault Unit sponsored by the Naval Intelligence Division of the British Admiralty, which operated across the entire Allied area of operations, also made use of this weapon.. The Carbine continued to be utilized as late as the Malayan Emergency
Malayan Emergency
The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army , the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party, from 1948 to 1960....

, by the Police Field Force of the Royal Malaysian Police
Royal Malaysian Police
The Royal Malaysia Police is a part of the security forces structure in Malaysia. The force is a centralised organization with responsibilities ranging from traffic control to intelligence gathering. Its headquarters is located at Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur. The police force is led by an...

, along with other units of the British Army, were issued the M2 Carbine for both jungle patrols and outpost defense. The Royal Ulster Constabulary
Royal Ulster Constabulary
The Royal Ulster Constabulary was the name of the police force in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 2000. Following the awarding of the George Cross in 2000, it was subsequently known as the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC. It was founded on 1 June 1922 out of the Royal Irish Constabulary...

 also used the M1 carbine.

Small numbers of captured M1 carbines were used by German forces in World War II, particularly after D-Day. The German designation for captured carbines was Selbstladekarabiner 455(a). The "(a)" came from the country name in German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

; in this case, Amerika. It was also used by German police and border guard in Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 after World War II and into the 1950s. The carbines were stamped according to the branch they were in service with; for instance, those used by the border guard were stamped "Bundesgrenzschutz
Bundesgrenzschutz
Bundesgrenzschutz was the first federal police organization in Western Germany after World War II permitted by the Allied occupation authorities. In July 2005, the BGS was renamed Bundespolizei to reflect its transition to a multi-faceted police agency.It was established in 1951...

". Some of these weapons were modified with different sights, finishes, and sometimes new barrels.

A variant was produced shortly after World War II by the Japanese manufacturer Howa Machinery, under U.S. supervision. These were issued to all branches of the Japan Self-Defense Forces
Japan Self-Defense Forces
The , or JSDF, occasionally referred to as JSF or SDF, are the unified military forces of Japan that were established after the end of the post–World War II Allied occupation of Japan. For most of the post-war period the JSDF was confined to the islands of Japan and not permitted to be deployed...

, and large numbers of them found their way to Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 during the Vietnam War.

The M1 carbine was also used by the Israeli Palmach
Palmach
The Palmach was the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Yishuv during the period of the British Mandate of Palestine. The Palmach was established on May 15, 1941...

-based special forces
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

 in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

. And, because of their compact size and semi-auto capabilities, they continued to be used Israeli Defence Forces after the creation of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. The Israeli police still uses the M1 carbine as a standard long gun for non-combat elements and Mash'az volunteers.

The M1 carbine was also used by the French Paratroopers and Legionnaires during the Indo-China War and Algerian War.

The M1 and M2 carbines were widely used by military, police and security forces during the many guerrilla and civil wars throughout Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 until the 1990s when they were mostly replaced by more modern designs.

In Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, a police battalion named BOPE
BOPE
Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais , mostly known by its acronym BOPE, is a special forces unit of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil....

 (Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais, or "Special Police Operations Battalion") still uses the M1 carbine.

The government of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 still issues M1 carbines to the infantrymen of the Philippine Army's 2nd Infantry Division
2nd Infantry (Jungle Fighter) Division
The 2nd Infantry Division, Philippine Army, known officially as the Jungle Fighter Division, is the Philippine Army's primary Infantry unit specializing in jungle warfare....

assigned in Luzon Island (some units are issued just M14 Automatic Rifles and M1 Carbines) and the Civilian Auxiliary Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and Civilian Volunteer Organizations (CVO)spread throughout the Philippines. Certain provincial police units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) still use government-issue M1 carbines as well as some operating units of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). In many provinces of the Philippines, M1 carbines are still highly valued as a light small arm. Elements of the New People's Army and Islamic Secessionist movement value the carbine as a lightweight weapon and preferred choice for mountain and ambush operations.
The M1 carbine has become one of the most recognized firearms in Philippine society, with the Marikina City-based company ARMSCOR Philippines still continuing to manufacture .30 caliber ammunition for the Philippine market.

After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the M1 and M2 carbines were widely exported to U.S. allies and client states (1,015,568 to South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, 793,994 to South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

, 269,644 to France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, etc.), they were used as a frontline weapon well into the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 era, and they continue to be used by military, police and security forces around the world to this day.

Users

The unit data provided below refers to original U.S. Ordnance contract carbines the United States provided these countries. Many countries sold, traded, destroyed, and/or donated these carbines to other countries and/or private gun brokers.
  • Allies of World War II
    Allies of World War II
    The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

     (1940s): (Captured in large numbers from French military personnel during the Algerian Independence War): 12,215 units: 12,621 units: 39,005 units(1950s–70s, Austrian Army and Police): 14,647 units(1945–early 1950s, Border Guard): (present, BOPE
    BOPE
    Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais , mostly known by its acronym BOPE, is a special forces unit of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil....

    ): 13,438 units: 28,792 units: 115,568 units (Khmer Republic) (1967–1975): 230 units: 2,877 units: 361 units: 7,037 units: 6,000 units: 118 units: 576 units: 156 units: 16,417 units: 269,644 units(1954–1962, Algerian War)

}: 35,429 units: 34,192 units(German Border Guard, some Police forces and German Army paratroopers (1950s-1960s): 38,264 units(Hellenic (Greek) Air Force until mid 90s): 6063 units: 5,581 units: 10,000 units: (1969-1980s, Used by the Provisional IRA during the early years of their campaign. Over 50 of which were smuggled by Harrison Network.): 10,000 units(1945–1957, Israel Defence Forces; 1970s–present, Israel Police
Israel Police
The Israel Police is the civilian police force of Israel. As with most other police forces in the world, its duties include crime fighting, traffic control, maintaining public safety, and counter-terrorism...

; 1974–present, Civil Guard): 146,863 units(Carabinieri
Carabinieri
The Carabinieri is the national gendarmerie of Italy, policing both military and civilian populations, and is a branch of the armed forces.-Early history:...

, as of 1992): 3,974 units(National Police Reserve
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
The , or JGSDF, is the army of Japan. The largest of the three services of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, the Ground Self-Defense Force operates under the command of the chief of the ground staff, based in the city of Ichigaya, Tokyo. The present chief of ground staff is General Yoshifumi Hibako...

)(1950–1989): 1912 units: 74,587 units: 900 units: 80 units: 106 units: 48,946 units(police departments and security forces): 945 units: 84,523 units(1940s-70s, Army and Police): 121 units: 100 units: 98,267 units(Norwegian Army 1951-70, with some Norwegian police units until the 1990s): 45 units: 917 units: 821 units: 8,831 units(Post-World War II): 1,015,558 units(1950s-Present, Reserve Force): 793,994 units (1960s–70s): (?-Present, Army): 115,948 units (Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

) (1950s-present): 73,012 units Locally known as the ปสบ.87.: 771 units: 450 units(Used by Troops in South Korea): 200,766 units (Limited use by the British military from 1943 to the 1960s and by the Royal Ulster Constabulary
Royal Ulster Constabulary
The Royal Ulster Constabulary was the name of the police force in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 2000. Following the awarding of the George Cross in 2000, it was subsequently known as the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC. It was founded on 1 June 1922 out of the Royal Irish Constabulary...

 in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 until the 1980s): 6,110,730 units(1940s–60s/70s, Armed Forces
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 and 1940s-present, various law enforcement agencies): 32,346 units: 7 units: (Largely captured and/or inherited from now-defunct Army of the Republic of Vietnam
Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The Army of the Republic of Viet Nam , sometimes parsimoniously referred to as the South Vietnamese Army , was the land-based military forces of the Republic of Vietnam , which existed from October 26, 1955 until the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975...

)

Variants

The standard issue versions of the carbine officially listed and supported were the M1, M1A1, M2 and M3.

Carbine, Cal .30, M1A1

  • Folding stock
    Stock (firearm)
    A stock, also known as a buttstock or shoulder stock, is a part of a rifle or other firearm, to which the barrel and firing mechanism are attached, that is held against one's shoulder when firing the gun. Stocks are also found on crossbows though a crossbow stock is more properly referred to as a...

    , 15-round magazine
    Magazine (firearm)
    A magazine is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. Magazines may be integral to the firearm or removable . The magazine functions by moving the cartridges stored in the magazine into a position where they may be loaded into the chamber by the action...

  • Paratrooper
    Paratrooper
    Paratroopers are soldiers trained in parachuting and generally operate as part of an airborne force.Paratroopers are used for tactical advantage as they can be inserted into the battlefield from the air, thereby allowing them to be positioned in areas not accessible by land...

     model
  • About 150,000 produced


Carbines originally issued with the M1A1 folding stock were made by Inland, a division of General Motors. Inland production of M1A1 carbines was interspersed with Inland production of M1 carbines with the standard stock. Stocks were often swapped out as carbines were refurbished at arsenals. An original Inland carbine with an original M1A1 stock is rare today.

Carbine, Cal .30, M1A2

  • Proposed variant with improved sight adjustable for windage and elevation
  • Produced only as 'overstamped' model (an arsenal-refurbished M1 with new rear sight and other late M1 improvements)

Carbine, Cal .30, M1A3

  • Pantograph stock
    Stock (firearm)
    A stock, also known as a buttstock or shoulder stock, is a part of a rifle or other firearm, to which the barrel and firing mechanism are attached, that is held against one's shoulder when firing the gun. Stocks are also found on crossbows though a crossbow stock is more properly referred to as a...

    , 15-round magazine
    Magazine (firearm)
    A magazine is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. Magazines may be integral to the firearm or removable . The magazine functions by moving the cartridges stored in the magazine into a position where they may be loaded into the chamber by the action...

  • Type standardized to replace the M1A1 but may not have been issued.
  • Pantograph stock was more rigid than the M1A1's folding stock and folded flush under the fore end.

Carbine, Cal .30, M2

  • Early 1945
  • Selective fire (capable of fully automatic fire
    Automatic firearm
    An automatic firearm is a firearm that loads another round mechanically after the first round has been fired.The term can be used to refer to semi-automatic firearms, which fire one shot per single pull of the trigger , or fully automatic firearms, which will continue to load and fire ammunition...

    )
  • 30-round magazine
  • About 600,000 produced


Initially, the M1 carbine was intended to have a selective-fire capability, but the decision was made to put the M1 into production without this feature. Fully automatic capability was incorporated into the design of the M2 (an improved, selective-fire version of the M1), introduced in 1944. The M2 had a revised wood stock and featured the late M1 improvements to rear sight, a bayonet lug, and other minor changes.

Although some carbines were marked at the factory as M2, the only significant difference between an M1 and M2 carbine is the fire control group. The military issued field conversion kits (T17 and T18) to convert an M1 to an M2. Legally a carbine marked M2 is always a machine gun for national firearms registry purposes.

Other changes developed for the M2 were a 30 round magazine with three catch nibs (as opposed to two on the fifteen round magazine); and a magazine catch with a third retaining surface. These M2 parts including the heavier M2 stock were standardized for arsenal rebuild of M1 and M1A1 carbines.

A modified round bolt replaced the original flat top bolt to save machining steps in manufacture. Many sources erroneously refer to this round bolt as an 'M2 bolt' but it was developed as a standard part for new manufacture M1 and later M2 carbines and as a replacement part, with priority given to use on M1A1 and M2 carbines. The slightly heavier round bolt did moderate the cyclic rate of the M2 on full automatic.

Carbine, Cal .30, M3

  • M2 with mounting (T3 mount) for an early active (infrared) night vision sight.
  • About 3,000 produced.
  • Three versions of night sight (M1, M2, M3)

The M3 carbine was an M2 carbine fitted with a mount designed to accept an infrared sight for use at night. It was initially used with the M1 sniperscope, an active infrared
Infrared
Infrared light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light, measured from the nominal edge of visible red light at 0.74 micrometres , and extending conventionally to 300 µm...

 sight, and saw action in 1945 with the Army during the invasion of Okinawa. Before the M3 carbine and M1 sniperscope were type-classified, they were known as the T3 and T120, respectively. The system continued to be developed, and by the time of the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, the M3 carbine was used with the M3 sniperscope.

The M2 sniperscope extended the effective nighttime range of the M3 carbine to 100 yards. In the later stages of the Korean War, an improved version of the M3 carbine, with a revised mount, a forward pistol grip, and a new M3 sniperscope design was used in the latter stages of Korea and briefly in Vietnam. The M3 sniperscope had a large active infrared spotlight mounted on top of the scope body itself, allowing use in the prone position. The revised M3/M3 had an effective range of around 125 yards. Eventually, the M3 carbine and its M3 sniperscope would be superseded by passive-design night vision scopes with extended visible ranges; the improved scopes in turn required the use of rifle-caliber weapons with flatter trajectories and increased hit probability.

Ingram SAM-1

The Ingram SAM rifles are M1 carbine derivatives ranging in calibers from 5.56x45mm NATO
5.56x45mm NATO
5.56×45mm NATO is a rifle cartridge developed in the United States and originally chambered in the M16 rifle. Under STANAG 4172, it is a standard cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries. It is derived from, but not identical to, the .223 Remington cartridge...

, 7.62x39mm and 7.62x51mm NATO.

Military contractors

  • Inland Division, General Motors
    General Motors
    General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

     (production: 2,632,097), sole producer of the M1A1 Carbine. Receiver marked "INLAND DIV."
  • Winchester Repeating Arms
    Winchester Repeating Arms Company
    The Winchester Repeating Arms Company was a prominent American maker of repeating firearms, located in New Haven, Connecticut. The Winchester brand is today used under license by two subsidiaries of the Herstal Group, Fabrique Nationale of Belgium and the Browning Arms Company of Morgan, Utah.-...

     (production: 828,059) Receiver marked "WINCHESTER"
  • Irwin-Pedersen
    John Pedersen
    John Douglas Pedersen was a prolific arms designer who worked for Remington Arms, and later for the United States Government. Famed gun designer John Moses Browning told Maj. Gen. Julian S. Hatcher of U.S...

     (operated by Saginaw Steering Gear and production included with Saginaw total)
  • Saginaw Steering Gear Division General Motors
    General Motors
    General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

     (production: 517,213 ) Receivers marked "SAGINAW S.G." (370,490) and "IRWIN-PEDERSEN" (146,723 )
  • Underwood Elliot Fisher (production: 545,616) Receiver marked "UNDERWOOD"
  • National Postal Meter (production: 413,017) Receiver marked "NATIONAL POSTAL METER"
  • Quality Hardware Manufacturing Corp. (production: 359,666) Receiver marked "QUALITY H.M.C."
  • International Business Machines (production: 346,500) Receiver marked "I.B.M. CORP." Also barrel marked "IBM Corp"
  • Standard Products (production: 247,100) Receiver marked "STD. PRO."
  • Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation
    Rock-Ola
    The Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation was, along with Wurlitzer, a top maker of jukeboxes. The company, which originally made slot machines, scales and pinball machines, was founded in 1927 by Coin-Op pioneer David Cullen Rockola....

     (production: 228,500) Receiver Marked "ROCK-OLA"
  • Commercial Controls Corporation (production: 239) Receiver marked "COMMERCIAL CONTROLS"

Commercial copies

Several companies manufactured copies of the M1 Carbine after World War II, which varied in quality. Some companies used a combination of original USGI and new commercial parts, while others manufactured entire firearms from new parts, which may or may not be of the same quality as the originals. These copies were marketed to the general public and police agencies but were not made for or used by the U.S. military.

In 1963, firearms designer Melvin M. Johnson introduced a version of the M1 Carbine called the "Spitfire" that fired a 5.7 mm (.22 in) wildcat cartridge
Wildcat cartridge
A wildcat cartridge, or wildcat, is a custom cartridge for which ammunition and firearms are not mass produced. These cartridges are often created in order to optimize a certain performance characteristic of an existing commercial cartridge.Developing and using wildcat cartridges does not...

 known as the 5.7 mm MMJ or .22 Spitfire
.22 Spitfire
The .22 Spitfire is an American rifle cartridge.Designed by Melvin M. Johnson of Johnson Guns Inc. for their conversion of the M1 carbine, this wildcat was introduced in 1963...

. The Spitfire fired a 40-grain (2.6 g) bullet with a muzzle velocity of 2850 ft/s (870 m/s) for a muzzle energy of 720 foot-pounds (976.2 J). Johnson advertised the smaller caliber and the modified carbine as a survival rifle for use in jungles or other remote areas. While the concept had some military application when used for this role in the selective-fire M2 Carbine, it was not pursued, and few Spitfire carbines were made.

More recently, the Auto-Ordnance division of Kahr Arms began production of an M1 Carbine replica in 2005. The original Auto-Ordnance had produced various replacement parts for IBM during World War II, but did not manufacture complete carbines until the introduction of this replica. The AOM110 and AOM120 models (no longer produced) featured birch stocks and handguards, Parkerized
Parkerizing
Parkerizing is a method of protecting a steel surface from corrosion and increasing its resistance to wear through the application of an electrochemical phosphate conversion coating...

 receivers, flip-style rear sights and barrel bands without bayonet lugs. The current AOM130 and AOM140 models are identical except for American walnut stocks and handguards.

An Israeli arms company (Advanced Combat Systems) offers a modernized bullpup
Bullpup
Bullpups are firearm configurations in which the action is located behind the trigger group and alongside the shooter's face, so there is no wasted space for the buttstock as in conventional designs. This permits a shorter firearm length for the same barrel length for improved maneuverability, and...

 variant called the Hezi SM-1. The company claims accuracy of 1.5 MOA
Minute of arc
A minute of arc, arcminute, or minute of angle , is a unit of angular measurement equal to one sixtieth of one degree. In turn, a second of arc or arcsecond is one sixtieth of one minute of arc....

 at 100 yards (91.4 m).

Other commercial manufacturers have included:
  • Alpine of Azusa, Calif.
  • AMAC or Jacksonville, Ark. (acquired Iver Johnson Arms)
  • AMPCO of Miami, Fla.
  • Bullseye Gun Works of Miami, Fla.
  • Crosman
    Crosman
    Crosman Corporation is a leading, worldwide designer, manufacturer and supplier of products for the shooting sports. The company has a long standing presence in airgun design and a proud tradition of producing high quality pellet and BB air rifles and pistols...

     Air Rifle; produced an M1 Carbine look-a-like
  • ERMA's Firearms Manufacturing of Steelville, Mo.
  • Erma Werke
    Erma Werke
    Erfurter Maschinenfabrik was a German weapons manufacturer founded in 1922 by Berthold Geipel. Prior to and during World War II they manufactured many firearms, including the K98k, MP40, and several other SMGs....

     of Dachau, Bavaria serviced carbines used by the West German police post World War II. Manufactured replacement parts for the same carbines. Manufactured .22 replica carbines for use as training rifles for police in West Germany and Austria. Also for commercial export worldwide.
  • Federal Ordnance of South El Monte, Calif.
  • Global Arms
  • H&S of Plainfield, NJ (predecessor of Plainfield Machine)
  • Howa
    Howa
    ) is a Japanese machinery manufacturer. The company is known internationally for their production of military and civilian firearms. However, they also manufacture civilian products such as industrial tools, construction vehicles and windows and doors....

     of Nagoya, Japan, made carbines and parts for the post-World War II Japanese and Thai
    Thailand
    Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

     militaries, and limited numbers of a hunting rifle version
  • Israel Arms International (IAI) of Houston, Texas assembled carbines from parts from other sources
  • The Iver Johnson
    Iver Johnson
    Iver Johnson was a U.S. firearms, bicycle, and motorcycle manufacturer from 1871 to 1993. The company shared the same name as its founder, Norwegian-born Iver Johnson .- Iver Johnson :...

     Arms of Plainfield, NJ and later Jacksonville, Ark., (acquired M1 Carbine operations of Plainfield Machine) and followed the lead of Universal in producing a pistol version called the "Enforcer".
  • Johnston-Tucker of St. Louis, Mo.
  • Millvile Ordnance (MOCO) of Union, N.J. (predecessor of H&S)
  • National Ordnance of Azusa, Calif. and later South El Monte, Calif.
  • NATO of Atlanta, GA
  • Plainfield Machine Company of Plainfield, N.J. and later Middlesex, N.J. (P.O. Box in Dunellen, N.J.), M1 Carbine manufacture later purchased and operated by Iver Johnson
  • Rock Island Armory of Geneseo, Ill.
  • Rowen, Becker Company of Waterville, Ohio
  • Springfield Armory of Geneseo, Ill.
  • Texas Armament Co. of Brownwood, Tex.
  • Tiroler Sportwaffenfabrik und Apparatenbau GmbH of Kugstein, Austria manufactured an air rifle that looked and operated like the M1 Carbine for use in training by Austria and West Germany.
  • Universal Firearms of Hialeah, Fla. - Early Universal guns were, like other manufacturers, assembled from USGI parts. However, beginning in 1968, the company began producing the "New Carbine", which externally resembled the M1 but was in fact a completely new firearm internally, using a different receiver, bolt carrier, bolt, recoil spring assembly, etc. with almost no interchangeability with GI-issue carbines. Acquired by Iver Johnson in 1983 and moved to Jacksonville, Ark. in 1985.
  • Williams Gun Sight of Davison, Mich. produced a series of 50 sporterized M1 Carbines

Hunting and civilian use

After World War II, the M1 Carbine became a popular target and ranch rifle, until it was replaced in that role by more modern semi-automatic rifles; such as the .223 caliber Ruger Mini-14.

The M1 Carbine can be used for big-game hunting, such as white-tailed deer
White-tailed Deer
The white-tailed deer , also known as the Virginia deer or simply as the whitetail, is a medium-sized deer native to the United States , Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America as far south as Peru...

 and mule deer
Mule Deer
The mule deer is a deer indigenous to western North America. The Mule Deer gets its name from its large mule-like ears. There are believed to be several subspecies, including the black-tailed deer...

 at close range (less than 100 yards), but is definitely underpowered for larger North American game such as elk
Red Deer
The red deer is one of the largest deer species. Depending on taxonomy, the red deer inhabits most of Europe, the Caucasus Mountains region, Asia Minor, parts of western Asia, and central Asia. It also inhabits the Atlas Mountains region between Morocco and Tunisia in northwestern Africa, being...

, moose
Moose
The moose or Eurasian elk is the largest extant species in the deer family. Moose are distinguished by the palmate antlers of the males; other members of the family have antlers with a dendritic configuration...

, and bear
Bear
Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern...

. A standard .30 carbine soft-point round weighs 110 gr and has a muzzle velocity of about 1900 ft/s (579.1 m/s) giving it about 880 ftlb-f of energy. By comparison, a .357 Magnum
.357 Magnum
The .357 S&W Magnum , or simply .357 Magnum, is a revolver cartridge created by Elmer Keith, Phillip B. Sharpe, Colonel D. B. Wesson of firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson, and Winchester. It is based upon Smith & Wesson's earlier .38 Special cartridge. The .357 Magnum cartridge was introduced in...

 revolver fires the 110 gr hollow-point bullet from a 4 inches (101.6 mm) barrel at about 1500 ft/s (457.2 m/s) for about 550 ftlb-f of energy. 30 Carbine sporting ammunition is factory recommended for hunting and control of large varmints like fox
Fox
Fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium-sized canids , characterized by possessing a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail .Members of about 37 species are referred to as foxes, of which only 12 species actually belong to...

, javelina or coyote
Coyote
The coyote , also known as the American jackal or the prairie wolf, is a species of canine found throughout North and Central America, ranging from Panama in the south, north through Mexico, the United States and Canada...

. Some U.S. states prohibit use of the .30 Carbine cartridge for hunting deer and larger animals due to a lessened chance of killing an animal in a single shot, even with expanding bullets. The M1 Carbine is also prohibited for hunting in several states such as Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 because of the semi-automatic function, and Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 which prohibits all non-muzzleloading rifles for big game hunting. Five round magazines are commercially made for use in states that limit the capacity of semi-automatic hunting rifles. Ten round magazines are made for use in jurisdictions that limit the capacity of defensive weapons.

The M1 Carbine was also used by various law enforcement agencies and prison guards, and was prominently carried by riot police during the civil unrest of the late 1960s and early 1970s; until it was replaced in those roles by more modern .223 caliber semi-automatic rifles such as the Ruger Mini-14 and the Colt AR-15 type rifles in the late 1970s.

The ease of use and great adaptability of the weapon led to it being used by Malcolm X
Malcolm X
Malcolm X , born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz , was an African American Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its...

 (as a self-defense tool) and Patty Hearst
Patty Hearst
Patricia Campbell Hearst , now known as Patricia Campbell Hearst Shaw, is an American newspaper heiress, socialite, actress, kidnap victim, and convicted bank robber....

 (as a bank robbery weapon). Both were featured in famous news photographs carrying the carbine.

The M1 Carbine is still in use today by many civilian shooters around the world. The M1 carbine is used in military marksmanship training and competitive target matches conducted by rifle clubs affiliated with the Civilian Marksmanship Program
Civilian Marksmanship Program
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a U.S. government-chartered program that promotes firearms safety training and rifle practice for all qualified U.S. citizens with special emphasis on youth. Any U.S. citizen who is not legally prohibited from owning a firearm may purchase a military surplus...

(CMP) and is also prized as a historically significant collector's item.

Ammunition types

The ammunition used by the military with the carbine include:
  • Cartridge, Caliber .30, Carbine, Ball, M1
  • Cartridge, Grenade, Caliber .30, M6 (also authorized for other blank firing uses, due to a lack of a dedicated blank cartridge)
  • Cartridge, Caliber .30, Carbine, Dummy, M13
  • Cartridge, Caliber .30, Carbine, Ball, Test, High Pressure, M18
  • Cartridge, Caliber .30, Carbine, Tracer, M16 (also rated as having an incendiary effect)
  • Cartridge, Caliber .30, Carbine, Tracer, M27 (dimmer illumination and no incendiary effect)

Sources

  • Barnes, Frank C., Cartridges of the World, Iola, WI: DBI Books Inc., ISBN 0873490339, 9780873490337, (6th ed., 1989).
  • Dunlap, Roy F. Ordnance Went Up Front, Plantersville, SC: Small-Arms Technical Pub. Co., The Samworth Press, ISBN 1884849091 (1948).
  • George, John (Lt. Col.), Shots Fired In Anger, (2nd ed., enlarged), Washington, D.C.: NRA Press, ISBN 093599842X, 9780935998429 (1981).
  • Hufnagl, Wolfdieter. U.S.Karabiner M1 Waffe und Zubehör, Motorbuchverlag, 1994.
  • IBM Archives
  • Korean War cold weather malfunctions
  • Marshall, S.L.A., Commentary on Infantry and Weapons in Korea 1950-51, 1st Report ORO-R-13, Project Doughboy, Report ORO-R-13 of 27 October 1951 [Restricted], Operations Research Office (ORO), U.S. Army (1951).
  • Shore, C. (Capt), With British Snipers To The Reich, Mount Ida AR: Lancer Militaria Press, ISBN 0935856021, 9780935856026 (1988).
  • United States Government. Departments of the Army and Air Force. TM 9-1305-200/TO 11A13-1-101 Small-Arms Ammunition. Washington, DC: Departments of the Army and Air Force, 1961.
  • U.S. Army Catalog of Standard Ordnance Items. Second Edition 1944, Volume III, p. 419
  • Weeks, John, World War II Small Arms, London: Orbis Publishing Ltd. and New York: Galahad Books, ISBN 0883654032, 9780883654033 (1979).


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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