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View Full Version : M1 Carbine as AR / AK alternative


smith357
April 25, 2010, 06:09 PM
I can see a certain need for a small light combat rifle, but because my Govt issue M16A1 left a bad taste in my mouth I really loath the AR platform. (personal issues :P) Also being a former US Marine I really can't see myself carrying a communist rifle.

I like the spartan lines of the M1 Carbine and I don't want or need any add on capability, the bayonett might be nice. :) Ammo may be an issue at start up, but I do plan on reloading and eventually will have enough. All I reaaly see myself needing is a hi capacity rifle, that is rugged and reliable, that with out glass or batteries can hit a dinner plate at 50

No here is the rub, I don't know squat about the M1 Carbine and will have to go to school. I'll have to seek out a serviceable shooter M1 and a parts supply chain for it. Any sourcing insight or other general information from the shooters here would be welcome.

Carryabigstick
April 25, 2010, 06:16 PM
The only issue I see is with the power of the .30 carbine round. It has quite a bit less punch than the .223 or 7.62x39mm. If that isn't a big deal then I think it would be a cool alternate. If you want more power then maybe a Mini-14?

Schneiderman
April 25, 2010, 06:44 PM
Yeah I would want more power too. I did go with an AK (converted saiga). Maybe a mini-14 or mini-30 would be a good option.

ohen cepel
April 25, 2010, 06:48 PM
You could do worse than a M1 carbine. However, it is a handy little rifle and if that is your choice then roll on.

If you want more power but not an AR platform there are other launchers for the 5.56 round. Robinson Arms, SIG, then new ACR from Remington (may need to sell a kidney for that one though).

Lots of options.

gak
April 25, 2010, 07:07 PM
With the modern SP ammo available now, the M1 Carbine is a great HD choice. I have owned and shot M1s for over 40 years. Accurate and decent punch "within their effective range," which certainly includes your dinner plate and then some. Stick with GI issue, preferably not "import" (re-import such as Blue Sky) as storage/use history is largely unkown with these that were given/sold/left with "friendly" countries, then brought back. The recent year(s) CMP issues generally should be fine however. Also stick with GI mags, though the new Korean ones are said to be ok too. Bayo-equipped carbines were very rare during WWII (having only been ordered and issued near the end), but virtually all were re-fit post war and, ultimately, for Korean War use....so most you see are so-equipped (lugs) as well a flip-switch/lever (vs button) safety from those re-fits. The safety was was re-done as some GIs confused the button with the mag release in the heat of battle. I mention this as the current commercial copy by Auto Ordinance/Kahr is equipped like early war versions--flip peep (vs 43-on ramp/windage adj/peep) sight and no bayo lug, plus the old button safety (on the ones I've seen).


The Kahr is another way to go--certainly better than most earlier Universals--but the GIs are better, IMO. Early Auto Ord models had a combo of late war (etc) adj sight, flip safety, bayo lug and non-GI perf handguard. "Old school" me much prefers the wood. Unless full-auto, repetitive fire M2s, barrels aren't particularly prone to overheating anyway, in my non-combat experience, so that's a non-issue IMO.


Price not an issue (and the best GIs run this anyway), look at Fulton Armory. These are "virtually" new GI spec--and parts for the most part...about $1,000 +/-. The closest you can get to a new-issue GI. Won't have the (specific) history of an old GI, but will have original factory (or better) tolerances, new pistons, etc, check and recheck of all function, and warranty. If you don't care if your otherwise GI carbine could not have been at Normandy, Iwo or Chosin, it's one--probably fail-safe--way to go.
There are others similar to Fulton, but they seem to be the most well known.


If, as some have mentioned, you don't feel the M1's range/punch fits your needs, the other "automatic" choice that comes to mind, as others also mentioned. Is Mini-14/30. If you are also averse to .223 (5.56) (or 7.62x39 in the case of the Mini 30) for the same personal reasons," then the same gun in 6.8 SPC/Mini 14, especially if - as you say - you're going to reload anyway, as the ammo is more expensive and scarcer than .223. The current Minis with heavier barrels (vs earlier years) are said to be more accurate. And Ruger has apparently addressed (aftermarket) mag finickyness --or downright lousy performance--with hi-caps of their own, albeit at a price.

zombieslayer
April 25, 2010, 07:25 PM
For what you want (and more), I'd look into a Mini 14.

Goldy
April 25, 2010, 09:01 PM
I gotta agree with 'gak' on this one. Soft point carbine rounds on gallon milk jugs are impressive! A lot bigger splash than FMJ .223 anyway. Only shot them at 50 yards, think I'll try 100 yards tommorow.

I have nothing against the AR type rifles but the carbine is so much handier. The Ar is in the safe while the carbine is in the bedroom, loaded.

Bamashooter
April 25, 2010, 10:31 PM
i think the m1 carbine is underestimated. my dad used one in korea and he said he never had any trouble dropping enemy soldiers. i think at 100yrds and closer it will do the job just fine. im with you smith357, i dont really care for the AR platform, thats why i have a modified ranch rifle in 223, and it shoots as good as any but the best AR'S. The only thing is i wish i would have gotten a 6.8spc. they pack a little more punch. i bought a hi-point 9mm as a closer than 100yrd. weapon and with a cheap red dot i can hit an empty cigarette pack at 50 yrds. every shot. there are alot of options out there, and i personally think the M1carbine is a fine choice. :)

Cheapshooter
April 25, 2010, 10:41 PM
Ruger Mini-14. Can be purchased new. Many very good to excellent used ones on the market. The 223 (5.56 NATO) round is far superior in performance to the 30 carbine.
Springfield M1A. More powerful 308 (7.62 NATO) round. Semi-auto civilian version of the M14 Rifle.

Nnobby45
April 25, 2010, 10:42 PM
My Carbine is from Kahr Arms/Auto Ord. I think the DPX I carry in mine should solve any "stopping power" issues.

It's also very accurate, though mine shoots 5" high at 50 yds, and 11" at 100. I'm not worried about that, since I consider it well suited for 50. yds on in.:cool:

NOTE:
I find myself taking the Carbine more and more in place of my Ruger 580 series, though the Ruger is still my primary gun to grab and head out when I shoot pistols on public land---sometimes out there all by myslelf.

I don't find myslef packing my Eotech equipped H-Bar along too much, unless I want to practice with it.

A note on the 580 series is that the heavier bbl. doesn't heat up as fast as the paper thin bbl of the 180 orig. series. I put 30 rds. thru mine in rapid fire yesterday, and kept rds. in about a 9" plate at 50 yds with Norinco and China Sport ball (yes, old stuff). Otherwise I carry 75 Horn. TAP FPD, or 62Gr. DPX.

DPX shoots the highest, 75 TAP in the middle, and ball ammo lower.

My 180 series heats up long before 30 rds, and changes impact low and left.:cool:

Quentin2
April 25, 2010, 11:59 PM
I love the M1 Carbine too, but can't see it as a serious alternative to the AR or AK. I know what you mean about the aversion to owning an AK, and I sometimes wonder why I have an AK and SKS when in 1968 they were being fired at me. Must be some kind of morbid fixation and a vet buddy of mine won't even look at them. But I can't fault the weapons, they're just tools.

Anyway I think a good AR is hard to beat, maybe not a 20" version like you had but 16" instead. I like my 16" middy a lot better than the M16 Uncle Sam issued back then.

ATW525
April 26, 2010, 12:20 AM
I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned already, but the late Jim Cirillo seemed to hold the M1 Carbine and soft point combination in high regard. While I'd prefer an AR-15, I don't think I'd feel underarmed with the old carbine.

Another option could be one of the so-called "tanker" Garands that have been cut down to just over the carbine's length. Capacity is only 8 rounds, but it will pack quite a bit more punch.

raftman
April 26, 2010, 01:47 AM
Just get a Saiga, that's not technically a communist weapon.

SmokyBaer
April 26, 2010, 04:06 AM
Agonized over same issue a while back and went "all-in" for the 18" M1A Scout Squad. Glad I did it. Turns out to be way more accurate than I needed but that's a good thing. 308 has PLENTY punch too. Bought mine used for under a grand.

IZZY
April 26, 2010, 09:19 AM
I too feel the carbine is a handy little rifle.

however when you can get AK's in the sub 500 range, cheap mags and cheap ammo....and better reliability ( on European and chinese made models), the AK is a better deal all around.

That being said....

When I get some more cash I too may get me one. :D

RKG
April 26, 2010, 09:47 AM
While I'm a great fan of the .30 US M1 Carbine, and love shooting the ones I own, I do not think it is accurate to weigh the Carbine and an AR in M4 configuration as essentially equal.

1) Accuracy: both rifles are useful at very close quarters, but the AR far outshines the Carbine when you want to hit something that is 100 yards or more away.

2) Power: the Carbine shoots what amounts to a hot pistol cartridge, with a bullet that has a poor ballistic coefficient. Even with 55-grain slugs, the AR is far more efficient at range.

3) Reliability: my Carbines are quite reliable when loaded with either factory FMJs or my FMJ handloads (13.5 gr. H110), but they can get finicky with slugs that have any exposed lead.

4) With the Carbine, you're stuck with the issue iron sights. Adding some glass to an AR even further enhances its dual function capability.

5) The Carbine does not lock open on empty, and empty magazines do not drop free. Reloads after running dry are far faster and more reliable with the AR.

6) Safety function: if you carry locked and loaded, safety on, the Carbine is far slower to move the safety to the "fire" position. With the AR, the move is almost reflexive, and your hand does not leave the grip.

7) Manual hold open: the manual hold open function on the Carbine is marginal, indeed, almost a safety hazard. Lock open a Carbine and then bump the buttplate on the ground. The bolt will slam closed 95% of the time. If there was a loaded magazine seated, the gun is now hot.

8) 30-round magazines for the Carbine are hard to find and sometimes problematic.

Quentin2
April 26, 2010, 10:02 AM
+1

Very well said, RKG.

Technosavant
April 26, 2010, 10:08 AM
The M1 Carbine is certainly a decent small longarm and would be plenty capable for self defense. As said, not as much punch as an AR or AK, but plenty good enough.

But I find myself going with Deerslayer:
For what you want (and more), I'd look into a Mini 14.

The Mini 14 (and Mini 30) has very similar handling characteristics to the M1 Carbine, fires the more powerful .223 round (or 7.62x39), albeit with slightly less accuracy than an AR-15. Larger capacity magazines are also more readily available, especially so now that Ruger has returned to the path of black rifle righteousness.

MrAcheson
April 26, 2010, 10:22 AM
4) With the Carbine, you're stuck with the issue iron sights. Adding some glass to an AR even further enhances its dual function capability.The Ultimak rail for the M1 carbine is great. Adding a lot of scope doesn't make much sense, but a red-dot or reflex certainly does.

Mike Irwin
April 26, 2010, 11:13 AM
Didn't someone once make a no gunsmithing scope mount for the M1 Carbine?

I could swear that I saw one at a gunshow years ago.

Palmetto-Pride
April 26, 2010, 12:51 PM
I had a M1 Carbine and while it was fun to shoot when it wasn't jamming. IMO it can't hold a candle to a AR.

kiwi56
April 26, 2010, 03:25 PM
I have a friend that has just rebarrelled an M1 Carbine and rebarrelled it in a .224 barrel using his his own wildcat developement of the .22 Spitfire cartridge. His case however has even more powder capacity than the old spitfire cartridge and even more powder capacity than the M1 Carbine round itself and with holding the pressures to around 40,000 cup he is achieving velocities of around 2900ft per second with a 50 grain bullet. This places the new cartridge about midway between the .22Hornet and the 223. the new heavier profile 20 inch barrel has certainly helped with accuracy as with using aperture sights from a bench was able to keep five shots into an inch and a half at 100yards.

TheRifleMan99
April 26, 2010, 03:39 PM
Get an M1A main battle rifle with a 22" barrel if your serious about self-defense. The AR-15 is a poodle shooter and the AK-47 is just an over sized poodle shooter. Pick something that was made for self-defense, the .308 was made for man stopping.

It's hard to imagine a better weapon for HD than a full size wood stock M1A fully loaded and ready to go.

Skans
April 26, 2010, 04:05 PM
I always thought of the M1 Carbine as a dissapointingly cheap replacement for the Tommy Gun.

kiwi56
April 26, 2010, 04:06 PM
While no one doubts the M1A'S ability to put a bad guy down and don't get me wrong the next rifle I buy will be an M1A but it would be a very brave or foolish person that fired one in a home defence situation in an urban area or for that matter discharged it out side. I have even seen bullets such as the 150 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips and patition bullets fully penetrate a deer and just keep on going. Would your house contain a 308 bullet after it had exited the bad guys body? or even in the heat of the situation you missed the target completely. While the 308 is an excellent round and no one disputes that a 308 discharged in an urban area would be just a court case waiting to happen. There are also more practical disadvantages to the M1A for use in home defence. It is long and heavy making it slow to point. This would be a cruicial point in my selection of a home defense weapon.

bumnote
April 26, 2010, 04:23 PM
I've got a WW2 Rock-Ola and one of the new AO models. While the AO is a good rifle, it doesn't hold a candle to the real GI models...plus the headspace on it was wrong when I got it.
IMO an M1Carbine is a great HD weapon. It compact, stupidly simple to operate and anyone can use it, which is what it was designed to be. As effective as a full size rifle, no and it was never meant to be. While I may have a difficult time against a platoon of SS with it, I think it'll kill a burglar fairly quickly. It packs a punch...and in spite of popular belief it can penetrate heavy cotton jackets. I'd feel no less well armed if I used it over my 357's if I had to defend myself with it.
The magazines on mine will also drop free, so that may vary from rifle to rifle. But I've only noticed on my 15 round mags, I rarely use the 30, IMO they can be a PITA to load and get in my way shooting prone or benchrest.
All I reaaly see myself needing is a hi capacity rifle, that is rugged and reliable, that with out glass or batteries can hit a dinner plate at 50
Then the M1 Carbine will suit those needs just fine. Parts are easy to get, 6 million were made for WW2 and it's still in use in some police forces around the world and by some security forces in Isreal. Yesterday I picked up a few newly made Korean magazines for $10 each at a local show. It's a good idea to try out several magazines, every FTF I've had is due to a magazine flaw.

kiwi56
April 26, 2010, 06:15 PM
Bumnote, you are quite right, most home defence takes place at ranges of less than six metres. In most cases if the bag guy is one hundered metres away it is no longer a home defence situation more like an urban or self defence situation which in this country usually involves a different set of legal ramifications.
However the M1 Carbine would still a good choice even at that distance with the addition of some suitable night sights and the advantages of quick follow up shots and a lower powered cartridge that will expend mostly all of its energy in the intended target. It would also be easier to contain the bullet within the house or property so risk of over penetration would be dramatically reduced.
One thing to be wary of in these type of situations is that you may have to appear in court not once but possibly twice as there could be not only a criminal case but the victim or the victims family may decide to take a civil case against you so if you decided to use a highpowered rifle or maybe hollow point ammunition they could argue that it was your intention to kill the victim not just wound. Remember in court cases nothing is clear cut and no guarrantee's of winning and even if you do win it could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollar to just prove you were justified in taking the action that you did.There is an old saying that th only people who win in court are the lawyers. I hope I am never put in that situation to find out.

Chris_B
April 26, 2010, 06:38 PM
I always thought of the M1 Carbine as a dissapointingly cheap replacement for the Tommy Gun.

???

The M1 carbine was never intended to fill that role. The M1 carbine was supposed to be a replacement for sidearm pistols, and certainly had it's place. The tommy is a very well made arm but your comparison seems to indicate that the M1 carbine is junk, which I would strongly disagree with

Are you perhaps confusing the M1 carbine with the M3 submachine gun?

In regards to 'power' from the .30 carbine round the M1 carbine spits out...I sure's heck don't want to be shot with one. That old story about the M1 carbine not penetrating the padded winter clothing worn by Chicoms and N. Koreans...easily tested. It's been done, and with the same clothing (it was the same as used by Soviets in WWII). The coats do not stop .30 carbine

IZZY
April 26, 2010, 06:47 PM
A Thomson is about 3X as heavy as a M1Carbine. Either way I agree with Chris it's not a fair assumption that it was cheap replacement for ANYTHING.

It is what we call today a PDW ( Personal Defense Weapon) for back line troops, and even some specialized front liners as well.

DMK
April 26, 2010, 08:45 PM
The M1 carbine actually has a couple advantages over the AR15. It has a folding stock and a more slender profile so it can be concealed in a vehicle or in a pack easier. It is lighter than an HBAR AR15. It has a longer sight radius than an AR15 carbine.

Load it with some premium softpoints and it will do just fine out to 150y, maybe even 200y. For additional capacity, you can use some Korean M2 mags. Add an Ultimak, an Aimpoint T1 and a flashlight mount to give it some more modern low light capability.

If you have worries about a worn out USGI surplus gun, buy a brand new Kahr repro (http://www.auto-ordnance.com/PA-1AO_m1.html).


http://mysite.ncnetwork.net/dmk0210/myarms/carbines.jpg
My AR15 lightweight Midlength and Inland M1 with a repro M1A stock.

Willie D
April 26, 2010, 09:57 PM
I was gonna pick up an M1 Carbine until I looked into ammo cost and availability. Got a mid-length AR instead and never looked backed.

I'd still like to get an M1 at some point but for now I feel like I got a better, more versatile gun for less money.

Nnobby45
April 27, 2010, 12:22 AM
I always thought of the M1 Carbine as a dissapointingly cheap replacement for the Tommy Gun.

It was actually developed to give officers in combat some offensive capability that the .45 Auto didn't provide.

It was also Audie Murphy's favorite weapon and many a German bit the dust as a result.

It was extremely popular for house to house indoor fighting by any soldier who get get a hold of one--for that purpose.

I don't consider mine a replacement for either the Mini-14 or Colt AR. It is, however a great car gun, with rifle some rifle capability. With two 15 rd. mag's on the stock, and one in the gun (legal in Nevada as long as no round is chambered), it's too handy to leave behind.

Loaded with DPX, it's HD capabilities are excellent.

Mike Irwin
April 27, 2010, 12:32 AM
"Get an M1A main battle rifle with a 22" barrel if your serious about self-defense."

What a wimpy little weenie rifle. Hardly suitable for shooting anything larger than a cocker spaniel. If you REALLY are serious about home defense, you get a .458 Winchester Magnum. :rolleyes:


"It was actually developed to give officers in combat some offensive capability that the .45 Auto didn't provide."

Actually, it was developed not for officers, but for support troops, such as truck drivers, couriers, artillery, etc., people who would be close to the front line and in combat situations, but who wouldn't be expected to be at the front trading shots regularly with the enemy. It was designed to give them a better defensive weapon that wouldn't take up the space of the M1 Garand and would help free up handgun production capacity so that it could be used to produce other, more vital products.

My great uncle was in the 82nd Airborne during WW II, and fought in just about every combat operation they were in. He was originally issued a M1 carbine, but after some event that he never revealed found a ground pounder with an M1 Garand who wanted to trade. His only telling comment was that he simply lost faith in the Carbine to stop an enemy.

cimarronvalley
April 27, 2010, 12:51 AM
+1 on the carbine for home defense. Quick, light, easy to clean with great point of aim. The other rounds (.223 & 7.62x39) could blow through your house.

Mike Irwin
April 27, 2010, 12:56 AM
I wouldn't be worried about the .223 blowing through your house.

Most .223 ammo on the market right now shows an amazing propensity to fragment when it starts to penetrate just about anything within about 75 yards of the muzzle.

You can't depend on either the .30 Carbine or the 7.62 rounds to do anything other than penetrate a lot.

HorseSoldier
April 27, 2010, 01:00 AM
Actually, it was developed not for officers, but for support troops, such as truck drivers, couriers, artillery, etc., people who would be close to the front line and in combat situations, but who wouldn't be expected to be at the front trading shots regularly with the enemy. It was designed to give them a better defensive weapon that wouldn't take up the space of the M1 Garand and would help free up handgun production capacity so that it could be used to produce other, more vital products.

+1 -- the carbine was more than just a substitute for a pistol, it went into niches where a rifle was too much and a handgun was too little.

A lot of contemporary forces at the time used SMGs for the same sort of roles, and the M1 carbine looks suspiciously like an SMG evolving into an assault rifle while the Germans were evolving service rifles into assault rifles.

NWCP
April 27, 2010, 01:29 AM
Love it, or loathe it you'd be better served by the AR platform than the M1 carbine. Instead of the AK I went with a CZ VZ58, but the 7,62x39 would cut through sheetrock and siding like butter. I have two ARs that are reliable and accurate. While I know I can depend on either one I prefer to keep a Mossberg 500 loaded with #4 shot for the home. Most rifle and pistol calibers will over penetrate and with neighbors on both sides that's not a good thing.

Old Grump
April 27, 2010, 02:59 PM
You basically have a .357 in a carbine and yes you are good on a man sized target at 100 yards and you will ruin his day inside your house unless you have one heck of a large house with 600' hallways. Ask the Chinese and the North Koreans what they thought of the M1 carbine and the men shooting them.

Get it, enjoy it, and shoot it every chance you can. its way to much fun to sit in a closet gathering dust. My toy shop owner has a revolver chambered for the 30 carbine and it's tempting but I need another gun like I need a hole in the head. Besides I just bought out his stock of 10 gauge ammo today and my wallet is flat.

Nnobby45
April 27, 2010, 08:08 PM
Actually, it was developed not for officers, but for support troops, such as truck drivers, couriers, artillery, etc., people who would be close to the front line and in combat situations, but who wouldn't be expected to be at the front trading shots regularly with the enemy.

Guess we don't agree with re: to exactly why it was developed. In any event, it was issued to front line combat officers, and it replaced the .45 Auto.

Could be they had all of the above in mind when they developed it.:cool:

blume357
April 27, 2010, 08:17 PM
looked to me like a 3rd of the guys in the ditches were carrying M1 Carbines... that and Garrands and Thompsons...

Mike Irwin
April 27, 2010, 08:32 PM
"In any event, it was issued to front line combat officers, and it replaced the .45 Auto."

No, it didn't replace the .45 Auto, and especially didn't replace the .45 auto with combat officers.

Per Small Arms of the World: "The carbine was developed to replace the pistols in use by noncommissioned officers, special troops, and company-grade officers."

In the US military corporals and sergeants are NCOs.

A company-grade officer in US parlance is a lieutenant (both grades) to captain. In that sense, yes they were combat officers, but during WW II so were majors and both grades of colonels.

Issuance of the carbine vs. pistol depended greatly on MOS and rank.

World War I showed that, with a rapidly expanding military, manufacture of handguns could barely keep up with demand, especially with the expansion and creation of new roles that made issuance of the standard rifle cumbersome to the point of impracticality.

As the US military moved forward towards World War II, this was again recognized to be a significant problem, which led to rapid development of the carbine.

As originally conceived by the Army, officers were not and never were intended to be the primary recipients of the M1. It was, in fact, never intended to become a front-line service weapon.

Manufacture, procurement, and issuance of handguns, both Colt 1911s and revolvers, reached levels never before seen.

Kmar40
April 27, 2010, 10:23 PM
I agree with Mr. Irwin, but the fact that Army Ordnance, the same people that apparently thought the box magazine was just some fad that had no place on the Garand, didn't intend the carbine to be a frontline weapon means little to me.

Poorly trained soldier (or a well trained soldier for that matter) were undoubtedly more likely to hit a target with a carbine than a pistol.

There isn't much doubt in my mind that what is basically a .30 caliber FMJ pistol round isn't much of a fight stopper, but it sure beats a mean stare.

I'd feel more than comfortable using a carbine with softpoints in my house. I'd rather have a real rifle of 223 or better or a shotgun, but it would certainly feel safe with one in my hand.

I think you are being pretty nitpicky Mr. Irwin. Afterall, company grade officers are the vast majority of the officer corp.

Mike Irwin
April 27, 2010, 11:04 PM
God is in the nitpicky little details, as the saying goes.

And given that the peripheral zone troops (i.e., support services like supply, transportation, etc.) for whom the M1 Carbine was originally intended VASTLY outnumbered combat troops, I'm not so sure that it is a nitpick.

gak
April 28, 2010, 09:07 AM
Quote (regarding 'The Pacific'):
looked to me like a 3rd of the guys in the ditches were carrying M1 Carbines... that and Garrands and Thompsons...
----

That's probably pretty accurate. The Pacific islands right up through Iwo and Okinawa saw a lot of front line carbine use (and Thompsons). Look at any combat footage. From '43 on but particularly in '44 and '45 in both theatres, despite what may have been original design or ordnance planning *intentions* for issuance, the carbine saw a lot more than incidental "rear echelon," "support" or even "just special mission" use. Anecdotal reports from the field are mixed depending on the conditions of the fight, but with far more favorable and quite a few "affectionate" characterizations given of its overall operation and performance than not. Those expecting/wanting/needing Garand-like range and power were likely sorely disappointed. Conversely, many a Garand toter also wished for the light weight, handy size and "superior firepower" (higher cap/reloadable stick mags) especially for close-in combat of which, sadly, there was much and as a result quite a few soldiers found wanting...of more everything.


+1 Especially regarding frontline troops--and anywhere for officers--no, it did not "replace" the .45 pistol. The carbine was what it was. There likely were a number of circumstances on Iwo or Okinawa, for example, when Thompson carrier Frank said to his Carbine buddy Joe. "See those palm tree fronds moving about 100-125 out? I think I saw a flash coming out of there too. Get your carbine over here and see if you can hit that, I sure as hell can't (or with luck I could lob a few in but don't want to waste rounds trying)." Similarly, Carbine Joe probably said to his Garand fox hole mate more than a few times "Harry, see that movement 200, maybe 250 out? Can you...?" And so it went.

Like all of these, M1 Carbines, Mini 14s/ARs, Garands...great guns within their ranges and spheres of intended (actual) duty. I don't feel a bit undergunned with 15 SP (or ball for that matter) 110s for HD or close-in (<150 or most forseeable circumstances) SD. "Basically a .357 rifle"? Never heard anyone turning their nose up about one of those--for SD/HD use, so...?


To the "cheap replacement for Thompsons" comment, the poster must have meant the M3 "greasegun," as that's exactly what that was. (Later Ed. It is interesting to note, however, that you saw a lot more M2s in Korea than Thompsons or M3s. This was true of the M1 carbine-to-Thompson (or, later, M3) ratio in WWII as well, but seemingly even moreso in Korea. Must've been the result of some post-war ordnance planning/analysis w.r.t. anticipated ranges, I.e., the ranges more likely to be encountered favored the lighter carbine's comparatively mid-range capabilities, and combined with the advent of the M2's selective fire function...therefore outweighing--for ordnance production purposes--the Thompson's/M3's primarily brute or blunt-force abilities closer-in.)

Mike Irwin
April 28, 2010, 10:03 AM
"From '43 on but particularly in '44 and '45 in both theatres, despite what may have been original design or ordnance planning *intentions* for issuance, the carbine saw a lot more than incidental "rear echelon," "support" or even "just special mission" use."

I don't think anyone is saying that it wasn't.

As I noted, the original intention was to issue the carbine to ""rear echelon," "support" or even "just special mission" use" troops.

Note that caveat... ORIGINAL.

What actually happened with carbine issuance was based more on reality, not pre-war plans.

Reality was that the Carbine was VERY useful for a LOT of front line troops, especially those attached to weapons platoons. It was a lot easier to carry a box of machine gun ammo, the tripod, and a Carbine than the first two and a Garand.

Another reality was that as the military ballooned in size, there were problems ramping up production of the M1 Garand to meet needs, whereas the Carine entered production a LOT more smooth. In addition, it was faster to manufacture, so it was often available in numbers, so more front-line troops got Carbines than was ever intended.

Finally, especially in the Pacific, it was recognized that the guys carrying the lighter Carbines and lighter ammo load out for it could carry a lot more other, very useful stuff, like TNT, fuses, igniters, that was needed to help deal with concealed bunkers.

While it was originally never intended to be a front-line weapon, the Carbine quickly made itself FAR too useful to not be a front-line weapon.

RockyMtnTactical
April 29, 2010, 02:16 AM
I considered buying an M1 Carbine for my wife (seems like a girly gun to me) but I went with an AR15 instead since it used a better round and I could build a lightweight AR15 that used the same mags as my other AR15's.

As for the AK being a commie gun. Who cares? The gun does not make the man. Many good guys have been killed by AK fire, but some bad guys have died by them to.

Mike Irwin
April 29, 2010, 08:08 AM
What I have always liked about the M1 Carbine is that it just handles so damned well for me.

Obviously it's just a feeling, but I feel that it balances far better than my AR-15, is faster to point, and overall fits me a bit better.

I'd love to have one, but I'm not going to pony up the money at the current prices, and cheap surplus ammo seems to be pretty much a thing of the past.

SR420
April 29, 2010, 08:15 AM
+1, SmokyBaer.

I did the same and picked up a 7.62 AK later, but smith357 wants
something different and I think the M1 Carbine is a good choice.

Shawn Thompson
April 29, 2010, 09:03 AM
Cor-Bon DPX is now available for the M1 carbine in a 100gr round. Initial feedback has been that the DPX (which is loaded with the Barnes solid copper XPB) has given considerable increased to the M1 carbine's viability as a home defense option.

DMK
April 29, 2010, 01:53 PM
What actually happened with carbine issuance was based more on reality, not pre-war plans.

Reality was that the Carbine was VERY useful for a LOT of front line troops, especially those attached to weapons platoons. It was a lot easier to carry a box of machine gun ammo, the tripod, and a Carbine than the first two and a Garand. I just read a story that illustrates that exactly. A soldier gets assigned to a heavy weapons platoon in Europe, 1944. His squad consists on a gunner (him) assigned to carry a .30 Browning machine gun with stock and bipod, one belt of ammo and a .45 sidearm, an assistant gunner who carries two ammo boxes and a .45 sidearm, two ammo carriers with an ammo box and an M1 Garand Rifle each. The gunner and asst. gunner ask the CO for a carbine since the normally engage the enemy at ranges of 100-200y, the .45 1911 is useless at anything over 50y. Request denied. You carry what you are issued. Gunner finally comes across a discarded carbine. Asks CO can he keep it. CO finally agrees as long as he keeps the .45. Gunner and asst. gunner share carbine, whoever is not shooting the LMG uses the carbine. They find the carbine to be a fine weapon.

Source:

US Infantry Weapons in Combat: Personal Experiences From World War II and Korea (http://www.amazon.com/US-Infantry-Weapons-Combat-Experiences/dp/1888722150/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272567186&sr=1-1), by Mark Goodwin

gak
April 29, 2010, 01:59 PM
Mike Irwin, +1 to your posts. Good ellaboration.
WRT "girly gun," it is certainly well sized for women and youth, but it is nevertheless a seriously capable and handy SD/HD weapon for any-sized person.

Big-Foot
April 29, 2010, 02:52 PM
A Kel-Tec SU-16 carries and points alot like a Carbine, just about the same weight too. I keep one with a 30rd PMAG in the magwell and a USGI 30 in the stock storage area, 60 rds of nasty 75gr TAP. Grab it and go.

I just don't feel right about talking a fella out of a M1 Carbine tho. Great little rifle.

ssblair
April 29, 2010, 03:36 PM
Relating to the stories from the Korean War about North Koreans being shot by a carbine, then getting up and running off, I've heard most of those stories were from the winter and at longer ranges. I've read that the M1 Carbine is plenty lethal within 200 yards or so (3 blocks I've also heard from a vet), even though the energy of the cartridge is anemic compared to the 7.62x39 or the .223 Rem, and I've heard that's because it uses a round nose bullet with lousy ballistic coefficient.

Anyway, for HD, the shorter range shouldnt be an issue for the M1 Carbine. I've heard--somewhere--of somebody using an M1 carbine to take deer with also.

One problem that may not be broadly known is that modern commercial M1 carbine ammo is way underpowered to the tune of 200fps or more. I've shot some Aguilla and it doesnt have enough power to seal the chamber when firing and makes all sorts of sooty mess. I havent started reloading it yet, but I'm told that that problem goes away when correct, full-powered handloads are used. Carbines and carbine ammo are available from the CMP (although you may be waiting for a few months to get it), but they sell the Aguilla ammo, so you'll want to get into reloading. Soft nose bullets might be in order for HD, but I've also read that M1 carbine will go through walls and across the street too.

For a HD scenario, I'm wondering how M1 carbine would do against an armored intruder? I've seen the video online of a failed SWAT breach into a vet's home where the lead man got lit up by 17 rounds of 5.56 out of the homeowner's M16... and the only one that did any damage was the round that shattered the LEO's EOTech sight and chewed up his hand. I wouldnt suggest 308 Win for a HD rifle in a densely populated area, but for SHTF rifle, something in 308Win, like the M1A SOCOM, might be in order. But good lord, you might be deaf for a week shooting one of those indoors without hearing protection! :(

kiwi56
April 29, 2010, 03:47 PM
As long as your pressures are kept to no higher than 40,000cup you should have no problems.

RockyMtnTactical
April 29, 2010, 09:46 PM
WRT "girly gun," it is certainly well sized for women and youth, but it is nevertheless a seriously capable and handy SD/HD weapon for any-sized person.

It wasn't personal. Nor was it meant to mean that it couldn't get the job done.

I just think with all of the other options out there available, it is a fairly weak round in a rifle. Perfect for a woman maybe, because of the small size and low recoil, but a little small for a man, IMO.

I agree that it is certainly capable in good hands though.

ishida336
April 30, 2010, 12:09 AM
I guess I'm not a man, even though my driver's license and all my other paperwork say otherwise, but I LOVE my Carbine. I wouldn't trade it for any other gorramed gun on the planet, unless it was something worth a TON of money, which I would then sell and buy SEVERAL Carbines. Or one and a ton of ammo.


I don't believe n that "too small for a MAN" crap. With modern ammo such as DPX, it more than gets the job done. It has ballistics similar to .357MAG, and I'm waiting for some gel tests of the DPX to see if they're worth the premium over softpoints. They're perfect inside of a building, with extremely light recoil, almost non-existent muzzle rise, extremely low weight, and short length. The M1 Carbine fits me perfectly, and I can operate all of the controls properly. I got it, 200 rounds, and 3 magazines for $500 flat. Can you find me an AR package for that much? That was in the middle of the Obama scare, to boot.

It's not a weak round in a rifle. It was never meant to BE a rifle! It's an honest-to-god CARBINE. Made to BE a carbine, and fill the carbine NICHE. It's the middle ground between a pistol and rifle, for close to mid-range combat. It is not meant to replace, or even compete with a rifle on the range. It was meant to replace or augment the PISTOL.


If I wanted a "manly" home defense gun, I'd use my M44. blow a hole through the next three houses, break my shoulder, and not be able to get it anywhere. I'd also have the bayonet extended, making maneuverability worse. I don't need "manly". I'd happily shoot a PINK M1 Carbine over an M44. I need effective for the job, which the M1 Carbine simple is. It's a blast to shoot, it's simple to shoot, and mine has been deadpan reliable over several thousand rounds in the year I've owned it (and it's probably seen closer to tens of thousands in its lifetime, since it was made in 1943 and I've only had it a year). I can reliably put rounds inside a head at 200 on a good day, a torso on an average day. I'm not going to be shooting farther until I leave for Basic, and then they'll ISSUE me a rifle, and I'll shoot to the distances they set.

Murdock
May 1, 2010, 10:15 AM
I own a Yugo AK under-folder, a short AR and an M1A1 carbine. I like and respect them all.

After reading this thread, and thinking again about the designed purposes and useful niches of these weapons, the AR is going back into the safe and I'm using the M1A1 as my home defense gun. It's short, light and has enough power (as least as much as a .357 with hot soft-point ammo) to get the job done indoors or on my 15-acre rural property. KISS.

The OP would be well served with a carbine for the purposes he has outlined, IMHO.

RockyMtnTactical
May 1, 2010, 02:24 PM
I guess I'm not a man

I never said that. No need to get offended.

IZZY
May 2, 2010, 06:58 PM
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/231/518248221_6d71498544.jpg

Deaf Smith
May 2, 2010, 08:26 PM
smith357,

The M1 Carbine will do fine to 150 or so yards. And if you reload, carbine ammo is not expensive either.

Oh, and here is trick. Get a Ruger 10/22 and a Ramline 16 inch polymer barrel. Add a Williams peep sight and 'vola', you have a .22 M1 carbine!

Yes I have my 10/22 set up just like that. I shoot it bunch with Butler Creek 30 round mags! And then shoot some with my M1 Carbine (and yes, I reload.)

For us civilians, the Carbine is fine. Good enough for the ranges we would fight. If we need more range, just keep a 30-06 deer rifle handy.

mavracer
May 2, 2010, 09:31 PM
The M1 Carbine makes a great defensive weapon.

johnwilliamson062
May 2, 2010, 10:01 PM
All I reaaly see myself needing is a hi capacity rifle, that is rugged and reliable, that with out glass or batteries can hit a dinner plate at 50
A commy gun, but a Saiga 20 or 12 seems to me to be the perfect answer here, although maybe ammo weight/bulk would be a problem.
Keep one mag of buck shot and one of slugs and anything within 50 yards is going to have a TERRIBLE day.

carbine_plinker
May 3, 2010, 02:51 PM
ishida336 +1

I currently own 1 carbine and plan on getting another, i love that weapon and wouldn't get rid of it for anything. It is fun to shoot, and i would trust my life with it any day, anybody breaking into my home is going to get several rounds of .30 soft point in them.

ssblair
May 3, 2010, 02:51 PM
Considering what munitions can be made for the 12ga. shotgun (re: the AA12 automatic shotgun--ie. 12ga. grenades, etc), that could be a fearsome option!

oilfieldguy
May 3, 2010, 03:55 PM
Wow...some great responses and interesting history to boot!

I own an AR and a Carbine, and they're both great and a lot of fun to shoot, but my AR is more of a technical shooter and not something to bump around with. The great thing about the carbine, especially in ranch country, is you don't have to worry so much about it. I works great in all weather @ what i would call reasonable ranges 75-120 yds.

The ammo price thing is a downer. The cost has doubled in the last few years and the darn thing is a little tricky to reload on account of its slight taper.

M1 Carbine is, in my opinion, best little ranch gun of all time!

Nnobby45
May 3, 2010, 10:39 PM
No, it didn't replace the .45 Auto, and especially didn't replace the .45 auto with combat officers.


All right. Let's try it this way. Many officers who actually served in combat opted for the Carbine over the .45 auto. Especially Lt.'s at the Company or platoon level (who wouldn't?). As pointed out, Audie Murphy's favorite weapon was a Carbine---not the Thompson he used in the movie "To Hell and Back".

Considering that many officers kept their .45's as well, maybe I should have said replaced the .45 as their primary weapon in many but not all instances. :cool:

johnwilliamson062
May 4, 2010, 12:41 AM
Can we say many officers realized that, due to company grade officers increasing direct role in combat, a pistol of any sort was not sufficient and opted for a carbine.

Nnobby45
May 4, 2010, 03:15 AM
Can we say many officers realized that, due to company grade officers increasing direct role in combat, a pistol of any sort was not sufficient and opted for a carbine.


Yes, we can, John.:D

Mike Irwin
May 4, 2010, 08:28 AM
Yep, now we're talking!

Remember Band of Brothers?

Dick Winters chose the M1 Garand (or was issued one), Buck Compton and Spiers both had Thompsons, and I THINK Peacock or Shames had M1 Carbines.

But Winters apparently went back to a Garand even after losing his in the jump into France.

That, of course, was a different dynamic given that they were Airborne.

Art Eatman
May 4, 2010, 10:34 AM
Home defense? What's not to like about the Carbine?

I have my father's bring-back M1 Carbine. He was a motor pool officer from D-Day on. His vehicle of choice was a truck. Unfortunately, he couldn't bring back the Ma Deuce he'd scrounged for the ring-mount on top. :D He also toted a 1911. Not a 1911A1; a 1911. He was quite proficient with both.

At any rate, nowhere is it written that in a defense situation you shoot once and then stop and look to see what happened. I note that most GI Carbine magazines hold at least fifteen rounds...

Deaf Smith
May 4, 2010, 06:52 PM
Audie Murphy used the M1 Carbine quite often and liked it.

Lt.Col. George John, who wrote the book, "Shots Fired in Anger", and was in the 5307th as well as a Guadacanal vet, felt the M1 Carbine was an ace weapon. He carried the Carbine AND an much modifed Springfield '03 scoped competition rifle (and in India a Winchester M70, also scoped.) Did I mention before the war he was a competition rifle shot? Picked off alot of Japanese with that '03, and in Burma used that Carbine to shoot his way out of a company sized trap.

Don't sell the Carbine short. Unless you are in sub freezing cold and don't lub the gun right, you will be ok with the Carbine.