Schrödinger’s Rifle: The US . 30 Caliber, M1 Carbine, Part 1

The M1 Carbine is much like Schrödinger’s Cat; in a state known as a quantum superposition where it is neither alive nor dead. In the M1 Carbine’s case, it’s neither loved or hated. It is there. A constant in the known world of firearms that through random events may or may not be loved or hated depending on when, where, and by whom it is fired.

Sprung from the mind of David Marshall Williams; a man with a long criminal history who was convicted of murder in North Carolina and later released due to his natural talent to design firearms while in the prison workshop.

The M1 Carbine was designed between 1938 to 1941 and formally adopted by the US Armed Forces on October 22, 1941. It saw commendable service in World War II where 6,121,309 total were built by companies all over the US during the war in two major types, the M1 and M1A1.

The spunky little gun was loved by all in the European and Pacific theaters of operation. The M1 Carbine was a fantastic little rifle, loved by anyone who had to hump one on a march. It was considered by many service members to be superior to the .45 caliber submachine guns in use at the time in accuracy, weight, and penetration due to its lighter, but higher velocity .30 caliber cartridge.

The first M1 Carbines were delivered in mid-1942, with initial priority given to troops in the European Theater and the carbine was widely issued to infantry officers, American paratroopers, NCOs, ammunition bearers, forward artillery observers, and other frontline troops. The M1 Carbine gained generally high praise for its small size, light weight and firepower.

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. Especially since the carbine’s bullets would easily penetrate the front and back of steel helmets, as well as the body armor used by Japanese forces of the era.

Additionally, the carbine’s exclusive use of non-corrosive primered ammunition was a godsend by troops and ordnance personnel serving in the Pacific, where barrel corrosion was a significant issue.

At the later stages of WWII, the M1 Carbine was made full-auto and the M2 Carbine was born. It continued to see service with the US Armed Forces and other nations in such conflicts like the Hukbalahap Rebellion, Malayan Emergency, Suez Crisis, Korean War, Cuban Revolution, First Indochina War, Vietnam War, Laotian Civil War, Cambodian Civil War, The Troubles, Angolan Civil War, Lebanese Civil War, and the Mexican Drug War.

The M1 was less well loved during the Korean War. It had acquired a widespread reputation for jamming in extreme cold weather, this being eventually traced to weak return springs, freezing of parts due to overly viscous lubricants and inadequate cartridge recoil impulse as the result of subzero temperatures.

There were also many complaints from individual soldiers and marines that the carbine’s bullet failed to stop heavily clothed North Korean and Chinese solders, even at close range and after multiple hits.

The padded jacket most commonly encountered on DPRK and PRC troopers was the Soviet produced Telogreika like those seen on Chinese solders surrendering  to a Marine wielding a M1 Carbine.

Fellow Arfcommer and gun buddy, Old_Painless proved that the .30 Carbine can easily pierce frozen clothing and put a Nork or ChiCom down. But the rumor continued then and sadly to this day does so too.

During the Vietnam War, the US Armed Forces used the M1 Carbine as did the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Vietnam. It is stated that 793,994 M1 and M2 Carbines were given to ARVN forces between 193 to 1973 and that another 1,015,568 M1 and M2 Cabrines were given to ROK Forces between 1963 to 1972. South Korea deployed 300,000 troops during the Vietnam War and the M1 Carbine was their primary service rifle.

US Green Berets and ARVN Solders.

ROK troops armed with M1 Carbines during the Vietnam War.

During the war, US Forces, South Vietnamese Forces, South Korean Forces, and even the Vietcong loved the M1 Carbine for its light handling, compactness, high capacity due to the improved 30rd magazines, and overall reliability. They were so prized that even commercially produced M1 Carbines made for the US Civilian Market were used. But also during the same war, US troops tried to get their hands on M14 rifles in 7.62 NATO. Or, once the kinks were worked out, the M16.

So as far as the US Armed Services were concerned, The M1 as at times both loved and hated. It is as if we have yet to actually peer into the box, much like Schrödinger checking on his cat.

Stay tuned for part 2.

comments

  1. avatar Bearpaw says:

    I think your use of the metaphor with Schrödinger‘s cat is backwards. Schrödinger Postulated about the event that a cat in a box exposed to radiation could not have a probability of being alive or dead as the exposure continued. Rather the cat must be either 100% alive or 100% dead. Not 36% alive or 73% alive.

    The M1 however could easily exist in a dual state where it is simultaneously loved and hated. In Schrödinger‘s world the M1 would be completely loved unless or until it was completely hated. There is no middle ground. You know, like Glocks and Hi-Points.

    1. avatar YuGo HuGo says:

      For perhaps a better understanding of the physics relative to Schrödinger‘s cat, see the link below. Assuming Quantum Physics can be understood!

      https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/08/130812-physics-schrodinger-erwin-google-doodle-cat-paradox-science/

    2. avatar Brad Yaeger says:

      Righto! Hi-Points are great–they have safeties! I have (2).

  2. avatar Sheer Hawai'i says:

    I remember when M1s were sold in a Sears catalog…

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Shipped straight to your door thru usps. Mail order guns and no blood in the streets.

      1. avatar Sheer Hawai'i says:

        Right!

        1. Wow! My dad used to tell me about early 50s and 60s! He said the same thing. The mail-order firearms, kids with bows and arrows in school, ROTC with training rifles! Now, Authoritarianism, in the name of Public Safety! Simply referred to as tyranny! Just another daily infringement upon the u.s. Constitution / Bill of Rights.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Really? Was that before Democrats?

        1. avatar jwm says:

          It ended with the 68 gca. That’s what woke me up and got me started preaching against gun control. Prior to that you could send in a check or money order to different companies and have a rifle, shotgun or pistol shipped straight to your door.

          I honestly don’t remember what the rules about machine guns were. All you had to do for the rest was check a spot on the order form that confirmed you were legally allowed to own said gun and that was it.

        2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          That was before two Kennedy spawn were gunned down by their fellow lefties.

          After RFK was shot by some Pali nationalist (Sirhan claimed he was mad at RFK for his involvement in sending 50 jets to Israel), the Democrats decided that the US needed gun control to keep their fellow lefties from killing them.

          As Giffords’ shooting shows, gun control legislation hasn’t kept lefties from shooting other lefties.

    2. avatar ROBERT Powell says:

      I bought a m1a from golden state arms for the sum of 75.00 the highest that i paid was200.00 from heriers.,a ripoff.

  3. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    “Sprung from the mind of David Marshall Williams;”

    Umm, no. At least get the story right. The M1 carbine was already in development before he joined the team. His part of the design was the short stroke piston. To call him the designer of the M1 Carbine is denying the role of the people who were in the program BEFORE he came along and contributed ONE part to the design.

  4. avatar Dave Lewis says:

    Dad was a medic with the 1st Infantry in WW2. He drove a Dodge ambulance and said that a paratrooper carbine rode under the seat of his truck. Medics weren’t “officially” armed but they were willing to protect their patients with whatever it took. Dad said that he and his medic buddies had lots of unofficial gear from paratrooper boots to tanker jackets to Tommy guns. Many years later Dad shot a Mini 14 and said “This reminds me a lot of my old carbine.”

  5. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Love my little M-1.
    You just reminded me to take it out and shoot it again.

  6. avatar Southern Cross says:

    Two points about the carbine from watching historical documentaries. First the stamped bayonet lugs were all post-war (WW2) add-ons. And second the magazines were not all that reliable so when troops collected a new batch of ammunition they would also get new magazines as well.

  7. avatar Frank Wilson says:

    The US Air Force used the M1 Carbine as the primary arm for their Security Police at US bases up to at least the 70ies

  8. avatar Darkman says:

    Had mine going on 45 years now. Still runs like a champ and killed many deer over the years. Never understood the dislike. It is a fine weapon when used as intended. It may not be a long range killer but , it certainly can kill out to 100 yards.

  9. avatar Tom says:

    wish I had bought one when they were in cheap.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      They were inexpensive and the ammunition in surplus form was 3 to 4 cents per round,which made for a good time.

      1. avatar Darkman says:

        Damn skippy…I bought cans of it dirt cheap in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Still shoots great.

  10. avatar Charlie says:

    The M1 Carbine is an excellent tool to transition children from .22 LR to center fire rifle when training them. I had an M1 that served that role until the children were old enough to shoot .308 Win.

    Beyond that it’s an antique: No last round bolt stop. Poor options for a scope mount. Vanishingly few options for folding stock. Few to no modern cartridge loadings.

    I sold my M1 when Sig came out with the MPX Carbine, and it is in every way superior to the M1 carbine.

    Charlie

    1. avatar Bob says:

      Strange, the has more accessories today than ever before. Folding Stocks, Collapsing Stocks, Sight Mounts, etc… it does have a Bolt Hold Open and locks back with followers from the 30rd round mag followers. Which can be placed in the 15rd mags too.

  11. avatar Docduracom says:

    I agree with Charlie in the above response
    The M 1 carbine was he perfect gun to teach each of my kids in turn how to shoot
    Light weight, soft shooting and accurate enough at 50 and 100 yards to get them excited by repeated hits.
    It was the original pistol caliber carbine before pcc’s were even a thing.
    Now superseded by more modern designs.
    Sold mine and got a CZ Scorpion Evo

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “It was the original pistol caliber carbine before pcc’s were even a thing.”

      What pistols chambered the .30 cal M1 Carbine’s ammo?

      1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

        Ruger Blackhawk

        1. avatar Rimfire says:

          Yes, the Blackhawk in .30 carbine is a literal blast to shoot. That massive bloom, as mentioned by others here, is quite the fireworks show. and that distinctive sound sticks with you.

          I’ve always been partial to the carbine since my youth a long time ago. Watching the LT. carry one on the old TV series “Combat” made me get one. It’s not a do-all type gun and was never intended to be. Not designed nor meant to be a frontline battle rifle, in its place it was “way better than a sharp stick”

        2. avatar Kenneth Hinchman says:

          Auto Mag III, 8 shot semi auto with 6.375″ barrel.

        1. avatar Rusty Shackleford says:

          Kimball made an autoloader pistol in the 1950s and the AMT Automag III was produced through the 1990s.

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        AMT made a pistol in .30 Carbine for a short time, the “AMT Automag III.”

        This is the pistol I’ve seen fire with an incredible muzzle bloom and a ferocious report on an indoor range. The muzzle bloom makes .44 Mags and other big “magnum” rounds in handguns look tame by comparison. Lots of fun, but probably best fired out of doors.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      When firing the .30 Carbine cartridge from a barrel shorter than about 12″, you will get a fantastic muzzle bloom, and a fairly dramatic reduction in velocity.

      The powder burn rate in properly loaded .30 Carbine cartridges is well matched to the Carbine’s 18″ barrel. Ironically, the cartridge was designed before there even was a M1 Carbine.

      Everything about the M1 Carbine was a matter of urgency and “we need this as of yesterday.” For such a rushed effort, it’s a surprisingly well designed and reliable small arm. When you look at how long it took the Armory system to test, qualify, iron out the issues in the Garand, or the Thompson, or the 1911… the Carbine was practically designed, tested, and then put into mass production overnight.

      Sometimes, the “overnight” designs turned out to be war-winning weapons systems. The M1 Carbine and the P-51 Mustang stand out as two weapons systems that were finished and put into production much, much faster than other similar weapons.

  12. avatar James W Crawford says:

    According to FBI records, the .30 caliber M-1 carbine was commonly used by cop killers back in the 1960s and 1970s.
    Then the A TEAM was on TV so they switched to Ruger Mini-14s.
    The Clinton Assault Weapon ban inspired cop killers to favor 7.62x39mm (AK-47 caliber) weapons.
    After the ban was lifted, cop killers suddenly discovered the AR-15.
    Now everyone seems to be switching to ARs chambered in 300 Blackout which duplicates the external and terminal ballistics if…. the .30 caliber M-1 Carbine.
    I will stick to my Ruger Mini-14 for plinking and expedient self defense because the external and terminal ballistics are vastly superior to 300 Blackout. If I need a .30 caliber rifle when the SHTF, I will reach for a real .30 cal like my M-1A or HK-91.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      North Korea. I think.

  13. avatar robert says:

    The M-1 carbine is short and light but has been surpassed by the availability of rifle/pistols or carbines in 5.56 or 7.62 or even .330 blackout. now comes the armies new 6.8 . The main drawback is the reliability of magazines; it was a good weapon for its time. BTW comparing Glocks and Highpoints? Don’t see many Navy Seals or Marines or hundreds of police departments carrying hi-points. Really?

    1. avatar DrewR says:

      That whooshing sound was the joke going over your head. Glocks and Hi-Points were mentioned as examples of guns that are either loved or hated, with no middle ground, a point your knee jerk reaction demonstrated quite well.

      1. avatar Bearpaw says:

        Thank you DrewR.

  14. avatar Just some guy says:

    I would love to have a m1 but between price and ammo availablity it’s just not a practical choice for me. I was hoping that with the new reproductions someone would jump on the opportunity to make some budget friendly range ammo but it seems not

    1. avatar DrewR says:

      I can get Herters or S&B for $20-22 from Cabelas, that is similar to 556.

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      The Royal Ulster Constabulary was using M1 carbines well into the 1990s until the guns wore out and ammunition availability became an issue. They were replaced with Ruger Mini-14s.

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I think I’ll wait for the M2 repro.

  15. avatar Robman says:

    My stepdad was a PTO WW2 vet, US Army infantry. Fought primarily in the Philippines.

    He carried several different weapons but his hands-down favorite was the M-1 Garand. He didn’t like the M-1 Carbine; said you had to empty half a 15-round magazine to bring down a charging Japanese soldier, whereas one hit from the Garand would usually be sufficient.

    On the other hand, Audie Murphy used the M-1 Carbine to great effect; it was his weapon of choice.

    I always wanted one but if I got one, it would only be a fun novelty for the range. For any serious defensive use in a shoulder-fired arm, my 7.62x39mm AK clone is very pleasant to shoot and is much harder hitting.

    1. avatar Kountryboy says:

      My FIL once told me about the time he was in Belgium during WWII and was carrying the M1 carbine. He and some of his buddies were pinned down by a German sniper from around 100 yards away, but they didn’t have any luck taking him out with their carbines, even though they kept shooting at him. After someone with a Garand showed up, the sniper was soon taken out and they could proceed. My FIL said that when they checked the sniper he had around a dozen holes in his coat from their carbines, but the heavy wool from his winter coat prevented their bullets from penetrating deep enough to take him out. The .30-06 Garand didn’t have that problem.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I call bullshit. Another variation of that worn old chestnut ‘it was so underpowered it wouldn’t go through a layer of extra clothes’.

        1. avatar Kountryboy says:

          I don’t recall if my FIL mentioned what sort of cover the sniper was firing from, and he’s no longer around to ask, but I can imagine if the rounds were having to penetrate logs or dirt before they got to the sniper that it could be highly likely that they lost sufficient energy to be unable to incapacitate a heavily clothed sniper.

      2. avatar Non-believer says:

        Those were moth holes.

  16. avatar Roy Lofstrom says:

    Excellent weapon. I bought one from the National Rifle Association about 30 years ago. The ammunition is inexpensive and it’s fun to shoot. The carbine was originally designed to replace the pistol in combat and it’s sure far past that.

  17. avatar Tim says:

    Wish someone would re-make this great rifle in 9mm…..

    (I kid,…..I kid…..)……..

    1. avatar Joel IV says:

      Chiappa makes one.

  18. avatar adverse5 says:

    Just another opinion, a well maintained M1 Carbine is an all around firearm for civilian use as a defensive weapon for home/farm/vehicle/work. (always assuming familiar with firearm and practice/training). Owned one for years, didn’t love it, didn’t care about military opinion, didn’t play with it. Sighted in to 50 yards. It’s alive and well and living in Alaska, for now.

  19. avatar el Possum Guapo Standartenfuher " they think we're making pizza's Oberst von Burn says:

    I’m betting if cats been in the box for more then two weeks, its dead.

  20. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Really not that great a rifle or cartridge. A dead-end design with an oddball cartridge. Not very accurate either.

    The Mini-14 is the closest thing to a derivative work, an improvement on both and plenty of people even hate that.

    They were okay when they could be gotten as cheap surplus. With as many as there are, they’re now overpriced.

  21. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    The M1 Carbine is a very handy little rifle. They were one of the first small arms made in the US that was meant to be assembled from parts made by a host of different companies. Most small arms up to that point were made mostly or entirely in-house by the contracting company. eg, when Remington contracted to make 1903A3’s, they made everything – Remington shipped completed rifles.

    There were (if my memory is functioning correctly) at least 10 different companies making M1 Carbine parts. Some of the manufactures made only receivers, and some/most of the other parts to assemble a carbine came from other companies making M1 Carbines. Some of the companies making M1 Carbines are companies where you say “Huh? Whut? Why were they making a gun? Why were they allowed to make a gun?”

    The answer was: “There was a war going on. Anyone who could bid on the contract(s) was given a crack. Uncle Sammy couldn’t be picky. It’s the same reason why Ford Motor Company made B-24 bombers.”

    I’m talking about companies like IBM – who made tabulating machines. Underwood, who was known for making typewriters. Rock-ola, who was known for making juke boxes. National Postal Meter – known for making postal meters. They all made M1 Carbines or parts for M1 Carbines.

    Only Winchester, out of the 10 +/- companies making M1 Carbines, had any experience making small arms prior to the war. The company that made the most M1 Carbines was Inland.

    Over 6 million M1 Carbines were made during the short time between 1942 and 1945 that they were being made. The rate of production of the Carbine was nothing short of amazing. About a half-million more Carbines were made than total Garands – but you have to remember that Garands were still being made into the 1950’s. I think the last Carbines made were in August of ’45. As I said, the number of Carbines produced in such a short time, and by so many companies with no prior arms experience, is nothing short of amazing.

    The Carbines were not actually intended for front-line use; the original intention behind the Carbine was as a substitute for the 1911 or Thompson for support personnel. This is why they were light, small, handy little rifles. Infantry and Marines, however, found that the Carbine was often a very handy rifle, and since it had a magazine capacity that no other US small arm had (other than the Thompson, which was a heavy SOB when fully loaded), it was often used by front line troops as a primary weapon.

    There are two reasons why the Carbine has a rep for “not being accurate.” The first is the condition of the Carbines. Most people have carbines that are in various stages of “well used, and then used some more.” When WWII was over, the millions of Carbines in use flooded back into the US armory system, where they were stacked up, along with Garands, 1903/A3’s, Thompsons, M3’s, 1911’s, you name it. The armories started re-furbing light arms, but then in 1950, we suddenly were enmeshed in Yet Another War. The light arms in the best used condition(s) often came back out of the armories being only inspected, not rebuilt yet, and went back to the front lines of the Korean War, where they were used a whole lot more. Korea ended and the light arms came back into the Armories to start being rebuilt, only now there was a clock ticking: By the early 60’s, the armory system was done, thanks to McNamara’s whiz kids, and many Carbines were just surplused out into the civilian market – often through outfits like Sears & Monkey Wards. I remember as a kid marvelling at how, if I had $50, I could have bought a M1 Carbine through the mail. My mother said ‘no’ at the time, so I didn’t get one. I wanted one, but that was that. Many of those carbines were checked over, but not rebuilt. So they’re worn – often well-worn.

    The second reason why M1 Carbines have a rep for not being accurate is the mil-spec ammo wasn’t of the best quality. It fired reliably, but it wasn’t match-grade stuff. If you were shooting at a 100 yard NRA target with a in-spec carbine, you might keep them all inside the 7 ring.

    Now, if you reloaded, and you trimmed all your brass carefully, trickled all your powder charged, weighed all your bullets and sorted them…and you have a carbine in good in-spec shape, you could see a M1 Carbine keep ’em all in the 8 ring or under, sometimes even better.

    They’re nice little rifles. Even more than that, they’re testimony to how well American manufacturing worked together in WWII.

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “Rock-ola, who was known for making juke boxes.”

      Having been a juke box mechanic at one time, the reason they had the contract was that the mechanisms that handled the records were intricate little buggars with lots of cast and machined parts.

      Look inside an old 1930’s era juke box, and you’ll see it’s obvious why they had the contract…

      1. avatar Southern Cross says:

        And Saginaw gear box company as well.

        1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

          And the Singer sewing machine company…

        2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          I don’t think Singer made any Carbines. I think (again, my memory is fading on this particular topic) that Irwin or Irwin-Pedersen or some such was the “Singer” of the Carbine for collectors, the Holy Grail for carbine collectors.

          Ironically, Singer eventually did acquire National Postal Meter (or whatever company they had morphed into – something like Rochester Defense or some such as I recall) if my memory recalls some WWII history I learned in the year I worked in Rochester, NY. It was there, in my year in Rochester, that I learned quite a bit about the M1 Carbine’s production and history.

          Rochester’s contribution to WWII production was quite interesting. The local historical society and museums have displays of how many civilian Rochester companies converted to production of war materials almost overnight. One humorous example I recall was that the stocks for NPM’s carbines were made by a local maker of baby cribs in Rochester. The employees of the baby crib outfit were rather flummoxed by the sudden requirements to work wood to tolerance in thousandths of an inch. National Postage Meter had never made anything with precision machined parts in it – ever. It took them until (as I recall) the month that their M1 Carbines were supposed to be all delivered to just get all the machines they needed to make them. NPM eventually fulfilled their contract, but it wasn’t on-time.

          As for rare carbines: I’ve never, ever seen an Irwin or Irwin-Pedersen. I’ve seen only one IBM carbine in all the times I’ve handled them. Inland was the #1 producer, followed by Winchester. I used to have a Winchester, and foolishly sold it. Now they’re bid up higher than I want to pay, so if I want one, I guess I’m going to have to build one.

        3. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

          I see a reference to an M1 receiver being made :

          https://pre98.com/shop/gone-but-not-forgotten/us-ww2-underwood-m1-carbine-feb-1944-rare-singer-made-reciever-sharp/

          “One humorous example I recall was that the stocks for NPM’s carbines were made by a local maker of baby cribs in Rochester.”

          The Steinway piano company made components like the wing ribs for the plywood trooper gliders. Steam-formed wood, like the piano ‘shells’?

        4. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

          From Wiki (so questionable) :

          Not that I entirely trust anything on Wikipedia… But, this is a snip from the Singer report:

          During WWII, the company suspended sewing machine production to take on government contracts for weapons manufacturing. Factories in the US supplied Americans with Norden bomb sights, M1 Garand rifles and M1911 pistols while factories in Germany provided their armed forces with weapons.

          https://thefiringline.com/forums/archive/index.php?t-421694.html

          “UNDERWOOD-SINGER M-1 CARBINE”

          https://www.gunsamerica.com/976868110/UNDERWOOD-SINGER-M-1-CARBINE.htm

        5. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Geoff, I looked into the issue a bit. Singer Manufacturing made M1 Carbine receivers on a sub-contract for Underwood. I think Singer Mfg made only about 25K receivers for Underwood.

          There are several sub’s who made receivers for Underwood:

          – Singer Manufacturing
          – United Shoe Mfg
          – Intertype
          – Universal Windings

          They’ll have different letter codes on the receiver for who was the sub. All the receivers should have a rollmark of Underwood, however. None of these subs made anything more for Underwood that receivers, so far as I can find in my docs. Underwood made more of their own components for the Carbine than just about anyone else other than Winchester (I’m guessing on that last bit). This shows again just how far-flung a distributed manufacturing process the M1 Carbine was…

    2. avatar James W Crawford says:

      It is ironic that the National Postal Meter company made parts for M1 carbines because therifle became so handy for people who were GOING POSTAL.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Still upset about hillary? Things are going to get much worse for you.

    3. avatar Tom in NC says:

      DG – thanks for the history, as always. If you are ever in the Carolinas, there are a couple of places you might want to visit related to M1 carbines. One is the NC Museum of History in downtown Raleigh. When Marsh Williams died, he bequeathed his workshop to the state, who disassembled it from its place in Godwin down near Fayetteville, shipped it up to Raleigh and reassembled it inside the museum. Great place to visit and contemplate things – like why is there a Springfield M1 Garland on display that has no serial number ? Williams was a prolific inventor.
      https://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/exhibits/david-marshall-carbine-williams

      The second place is the little museum in Camden, SC, between Columbia and Florence. That’s where a fair portion of Ross Beard’s collection is – he became Marsh Williams’ friend and biographer, and he claimed to have collected one of every variety of M1 Carbine, including some given to him and signed by Marsh. Also other guns of historical note, such as owned by Melvin Purvis who was from Florence or the area around there. Here’s and old article about Ross and his collection. Looks like I need to stop by the military museum in Columbia.
      https://www.scnow.com/living/article_459d9556-5228-11e2-a1bc-0019bb30f31a.html

  22. avatar Big Daddy says:

    Japanese WWII body armor? Never heard of it. Unless you mean human skin and a shirt.

    Whomever wrote this article needs to go back to firearms journalism school. The articles all over the internet get worse and worse, inaccurate and unreadable.

    1. avatar ColoradoKid says:

      Maybe YOU should do a little research.

      1. avatar Big Daddy says:

        Oh sure all those Japanese running around the jungles of places like Burma in that armor, sure. Maybe you should try running around in body armor.

        Are you a veteran? Have you ever talked to any WWII vets? I have like my uncles, one who fought in the pacific theater.

        They were trying very hard just to have enough arms and aircraft the idea they gave their troops body armor is humorous. they may have had some but not in the field and not in any numbers. We also had body armor. I wore stuff based on WWII stuff of Vietnam issue while in the Army. Even in the cold of Germany I sweated my Arse off.

        You sound like the internet fool.

  23. avatar darkstar says:

    Say what you want about M1 carbines, they are seriously fun to shoot.

  24. avatar Odddave says:

    The M1 is perfect for my 5 foot tall (being generous) girl friend. She’s consistently in the X-ring at 50 feet with it.

  25. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    Although people like to bad mouth the MI carbines cartridge, I once tested it by shooting through old car windows with fjm ammo. The bullets went right through the window but failed to go through the window when I used an AR 15 and 55 fjm bullest that were not armor piercing. In this case the MI Carbine was superior to the AR15 but the newer 5.56 ammo is armor piercing so they should be ok on car windows.

    I never understood why they put such anemic recoils springs in the M1 Carbine as the article above confirmed and confirmed about failures in cold whether because of this. The first thing I did with my rifle was put Sarco’s extra strength recoil spring in it and it cured a lot of the failure to feed problems. One thing I have never been happy with is the cheap very thin stamped sheet metal magazines. If you bend the floor plate even a little when you disassemble the magazine for cleaning the floor plate will fly off the bottom of the magazine when firing it. Poor accuracy was another problem with the gun and Gen. Patton when testing it complained about it as well.

  26. avatar Joe says:

    I rebuilt at 60’s Alpine commercial model. It was originally built with surplus us army parts.
    I replaced everything but the bolt and the receiver. I also used Johnson springs for replacements. There are plenty of new in the wrapper covered with cosmaline. Parts on the web and eBay. Do your research and be careful cuz there are plenty of counterfeit parts around especially stocks!

  27. Unfortunately, the M1 Carbine is only 49-state legal. 🙁
    Despite its having absolutely no “evil features”, the M1 Carbine is illegal in the People’s Republic of New Jersey (banned by name!), even though it’s legal in Commiefornia (last time I checked) and the People’s Republic of New York. Why? Rumor has it that the ban is based on racism, that the M1 Carbine was a favorite of the Black Panthers, and that’s why it’s specifically banned in New Jersey.

    Strangely enough, its big brother, the M1 Garand, is legal in New Jersey, and so is the Springfield Armory M1A, but not the much less powerful M1 Carbine.
    At least the Marlin Model 60 (the “Boy Scout gun”) in .22 LR was finally officially legalized this year in the PRNJ (before that, it was a deadly “assault weapon” despite being a .22 LR “Boy Scout gun” with no “evil features”, just because its tubular magazine could hold more than 15 rounds). The Marlin Model 60 was the only concession that Governor Murphy made when passing a half-dozen more gun control laws in the PRNJ this year, including lowering the magazine capacity from 15 rounds to only 10 rounds (except for cops, of course). So, that’s an incentive to buy a Marlin Model 60, perhaps, if you live in the PRNJ, but I still like my Ruger 10/22 and Henry 22 rimfire.

  28. avatar Mikial says:

    The M1 Carbine filled a need for something with more range and capacity than the 1911. But it did have its limitations. My father was a tanker in WWII and they had M1 Carbines in the tank as a last ditch weapon in the event they had to bail out of a disabled tank. He had to bail out twice and told me that his crew had ditched their carbines and picked up M1 Grands at the first opportunity.

    Still, it is an iconic weapon and deserves its place in history.

    1. avatar Mike H says:

      Mikial,

      Many tankers weren’t issued personal weapons and got what they could, where they could. Any day where you gotta bail from your track and resort to some sort of sidearm or long gun is decidedly not a good one.

      I’m a volunteer member of a WWII armor non-profit. We’d love to hear any more stories you have about your father. And would love to see any photos you might have too. Check us out:

      https://www.facebook.com/ww2armor/?ref=bookmarks

  29. avatar Mike H says:

    Several months ago I had the opportunity to blow through several 30 round mags of blanks in an M2. It was a great experience. I was tasked with being a hidden noisemaker, using it and a BAR (in close coordination with an M4A1 Sherman) to pin down a couple of squads of WWII infantry reenactors as OPFOR during training.

    Though I’m still not in a position to personally vouch for ballistics effectiveness and accuracy, from a handiness standpoint I can see how an M1 might be a favorite of someone whose primary role was not that of an infantry joe.

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