Deepest Depths of Uselessness: Excel Arms X-30R in 30 Carbine

There were days when you could buy cheap Israeli 30 Carbine ammo by the crate and shoot it all day long with nary a worry about price. My Dad loves telling me about it, specifically his long lazy afternoons with a M1 Carbine plinking tin cans off a fence. Those days are long gone, cheap Israeli ammo having dried up ages ago and the only thing left these days is Prvi, S&B and some other rather expensive ammo. So why you would want a rifle in 30 Carbine that isn’t an M1 or an AR-15 conversion is beyond me. But then again, it appears to be selling.


  1. avatar APBTFan says:

    Some fellas simply have an affinity for certain cartridges. Personally if I was to go the .30 Carbine route I’d love to have an old Automag III.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I’ve been next to one of those on a range several times.

      Muzzle bloom like an artillery piece. Holy crap, do they light up the noontime sky…

      1. avatar APBTFan says:

        H110/W296 type powders do a great job of that don’t they?

  2. avatar ensitu says:

    An M-2 used to be my EDC, it, along with some Purple Haze was handy for breaking contact in deep cover and tacticly superior to a handgun but now, 40 years later, it is a round whose practicality is in question. The same design in a pistol cartridge like 10mm seems to be a more realistic choice.

  3. avatar Mark N. says:

    I always thought an M1 carbine would make a nifty home defense weapon, and a lot less expensive than many ARs.

    1. avatar APBTFan says:

      For HD Hornady makes a Critical Defense load in .30 Carbine. Not cheap but I bet it performs well.

  4. avatar Totenglocke says:

    $15 for a box of 50 rounds of .30 carbine is expensive?

    1. avatar Cameron S. says:

      This. I have an M1 carbine, and I can find some Tula .30 carbine for $17/50 online. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than 7.62 and 5.56 these days…

      1. avatar Totenglocke says:

        Depending on where I buy from, Tula and Aguila are about $15 per box (plus a few bucks for shipping multiple boxes). For something bigger than a pistol caliber cabine, I’d say it’s the best bang for your buck you’re going to get.

        1. avatar R says:

          .30 carbine ammunition is widely available online and as cheap as 9mm ammo.

  5. avatar Rokurota says:

    Love the M1 Carbine. Someone should make an authentic WW2-style model in a common pistol cartridge.

    1. avatar DisThunder says:

      Hear hear. I’ll echo what was said above, somebody ought to crank one out in 10mm. I’d say 38 Super too, but all these calibers are a little a little pricier and harder to find than most us us would like.
      Then again, the cheapest box of 9mm I’ve seen lately, and not easily, was $16, so everything is relative…

  6. avatar 4thestars says:

    I love the M1 Carbine, and I love the .30 Carbine round. Such a peppy little round. M1 Carbines are like big overgrown pistols. I also like the Ruger Blackhawk in that round.

    And yeah, .30 Carbine has (until the panic) been easier and cheaper to find than it was for awhile. Not too bad to reload, just needs trimmed once in awhile.

  7. avatar Johnny says:

    They released some new M1 Carbines up here with the appropriate barrel lengths but there were very few. Something like this is much more interesting to me.

  8. avatar Jeff says:

    I love the M1 Carbine. Former Marine here. I actually shoot better with the iron sights than with a scope for the range of this rifle. The reloading of this cartridge is easy and once in a while I need to trim. I anneal the brass occasionally and that keeps the brass going. The price of .30 carbine is not what others are showing any longer so I am guessing these entries a bit old. Now-a-days the price of FMJ 110 grain .30 carbine is closer to $34/box of 50. That’s why I reload now. Reloading is ez pz with this cartridge and I use IMR 4227 for the powder. I’m now trying to hunt down a hand-gun. I’ve looked at the blackhawk but just saw the Excel Arms 30p and thought that was pretty nifty.

  9. avatar Harry says:

    The 30 carbine round doesn’t have the energy of the 223/5.56 or shoot as flat, but it will still mess you up bad even with fmj’s up to 150+ yards. The 30 carbines light weight mild recoil and simple compact design make it ideal for youngsters and small fframed adults. 30 carbine ammo is also not all that expensive considering it comes in boxes of 50 instead of 20 like most other rifle cartridges. Reloading is the way to go though. Components are cheap and the brass lasts a long time but frequent trimming is to be expected like a previous poster mentioned. The AR15 is better nobody is denying that, but the M1 30 carbine is not useless like the author seems to think it is.

  10. avatar Norman Keith says:

    Deepest Depths of Uselessness ?
    I realize I’m finding this article almost two years after the fact but I’d say the article is what’s useless, and produced in an attitude that the gun world doesn’t need. Anything made to fire the 30 carbine round is welcome.

  11. avatar scott giblin says:

    Hold on!! 30 carbine ar WHERE?!?!?

    1. avatar John says:

      Olympic Arms use to make an AR upper in 30 Carbine. It used a special mag well adapter so you could use M1 Carbine mags. Not sure if it’s still being made…..haven’t seen it on their website. Not even sure if it was released….maybe it was just a prototype…’s been a while.

  12. avatar Dan says:

    “So why you would want a rifle in 30 Carbine that isn’t an M1 or an AR-15 conversion is beyond me. But then again, it appears to be selling.”

    Well, the only problem is they haven’t made ANY to sell. They are producing the 5.7x28mm, none in 30 carbine. I looked up their distributors (none available) and then called Excel (left messages) and e-mailed them. I got a response that it was not in production and they’d notify me when it was. gee…that was over a year ago? So a item presented at SHOT show in 2012 is not yet available as of April 2015.

    Don’t hold your breath.

  13. avatar James Kemp says:

    Why do I want anything that will shoot .30 carbine? Because the Plainfield M1 I just bought does not shoot the cheaper brand that I just happen to now have almost 500 rounds of ( American Quality Ammunition). The Plainfield also does not like the magazines (5 each) that I also just bought. I know all about the cleaning and the bolt problems. I also know that the Hornady shoots just fine in an old magazine. Cool gun, that gives me something to look forward to fix on when and if I get to retire. I can afford something else too, I just don’t want to pay over $750.00.

  14. avatar dave groff says:

    What a dickish article, maybe the author should pull the dick out of his ass before writing one paragraph hit peices.

  15. avatar NRLY WRX says:

    What an uninformitive crappy “review” IF you want to call it that….

    This guy has no business reviewing anything.
    Just saying.

  16. avatar Robert says:

    Ive got a Gen 1 Universal M1 Ive been buying steel case Tula ammo from cheaper than dirt for about 85$ for 250 rds after shipping. I love this old rifle. I got the snob treatment at the range from this guy with a PlainField. His rifle wasnt any more accurate than the Universal and his rifle wouldnt cycle anything but the brass rounds. So far the universal has cycled anything I tried.
    Anyways he was talking trash about the Universal being a jamomatic and blowing up in my face. fact is the Gen 1 is 99% USGI. I replaced the aluminum trigger group with USGI. So the only left that isnt USGI is the barrel.

  17. avatar Dan says:

    Well, its mid-2016. Here’s the response I got from them earlier this year:

    Currently this item is not yet in full production as other projects are

    in process ahead of it. We do have you on our interest list and will let you

    know when they become available. Expect to have it sometime this year.

    1. avatar John says:

      Wow, so they showed it back in 12/13, yet it is STILL not in production?! Wow.

      I would have bought one just because it uses M1 Carbine mags. Heck, I would bought the Olympic Arms 30 Carbine upper, if it was ever made. It too used an adapter for it to use M1 Carbine mags in the AR15 mag well….

      But I suppose, as stated, the cost of M1 Carbine ammo & the rise of the 300 BLK round for the AR15 platform (and the 300 has better velocity and versatility), the investment in producing a dedicated 30 Carbine weapon might not pay off as fast….

      But then, I am also one that loves odd ball stuff…and that shows since I have a Taurus Hunter 30 in 30 Carbine (w/ a 12 inch barrel).

  18. avatar R says:

    The .30 carbine fills an inexplicable void in firearm options. Show me another semi-automatic rifle option that delivers around 1000 ft/lbs of energy per round and I’ll concede. It largely does not exist. Other than the .30 carbine filling that middle role, the options jump from .45 ACP carbines to .223.

    If there were reliable 10mm or .357 semi-auto carbines available, then those could about fill the same role. But they aren’t available. The best one can currently do with those chamberings are carbine conversion kits for 10mm pistols and lever action rifles for the .357.

    The .30 carbine seems to define usefulness, as its the only game in town for its ballistics profile on a semi-auto carbine platform.

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