View Full Version : It Worked-M1 Carbine for home defense

April 12, 2012, 10:22 AM
Homeowner uses a M1 Carbine to shoot home invader.

Not a fan of warning shots but in this case (and location) I think it fit, as in helping the shooter establish he didn't want to hurt the bandit, just wanted to stop him. Warning shot didn't do it but shooting him in the leg did.


April 12, 2012, 11:38 AM
Not a very good idea of firing through a door.

Don H
April 12, 2012, 11:45 AM
French doors are usually glass, so unless they were curtained, the homeowner likely had a good view of the intruder. I haven't kept up on California's household self-defense laws but as I recall from when I lived there, this would probably be ruled as a good shoot...if the reporting is accurate.

April 12, 2012, 11:51 AM
I'm well aware of what french doors are. Still not a good idea to shoot through them.

April 12, 2012, 11:56 AM
the suspect began breaking through the French doors on the back porch of a nearby home. The 54-year-old owner, said Harwood, told the man to leave, but he continued trying to get in. The homeowner grabbed a WWII-era M1 carbine and fired a warning shot into the ground near the suspect. It had no effect. Approximately 10 seconds later he fired through the door at the suspect,

Don't know, I wasn't there, but sounds to me like there wasn't any glass in the door any more.

44 AMP
April 12, 2012, 12:49 PM
Not sure about his particular location, but in many places telling authorities that you intentionally shot the intruder in the leg will lead to more problems than it solves. A smart lawyer and sympathetic jury and that intruder could wind up owning that poor man's house. And it will the civil case that does it (if it happens).

The police or prosecutor might consider it a good shoot, (or at least one they think they cannot win a conviction on - which is apparently what originally happened in the Martin-Zimmerman case), BUT a resulting civil suit has a much lower standard for conviction. And, in this case, both sides are alive to tell their stories (and embellish them as they see fit).

The warning shot is actually more acceptable to me than telling the cops you meant to shoot him in the leg, "only" wounding him.

The reason is that by "shooting to wound" you are admitting (in the eyes of the court) that you did not think deadly force was needed. Its all about the4 difference in what language means in ordinary conversation, and what it means in court.

For example, its common to say "I pulled up to the stop sign, waited a minute, looked both ways again, then pulled out." But what that says in court is that you waited at the stop sign a full 60 seconds, then pulled out. And, if there is another witness or two who says you only waited 30 seconds before pulling out, you have lied to the court, or at the least, your credibility is shot, over this simple statement, which makes ALL your testimony suspect.

IF you "only" shoot to wound, then this implies that you did not think deadly force was necessary. And, if deadly force was not necessary, you should NOT have shot at all. Because using the gun at all (shooting) IS deadly force in the eyes of the law..

Again, this may not be critical in the criminal case (or it may be), but in a civil case, it might be the ammo that lets the other side eat you for lunch. With stand your ground/castle doctrine laws under such attack currently, its uncertain exactly how "good" this shooting may turn out to be. Depending on the specific wording of the law, it might protect the homeowner from criminal conviction, and still leave him liable for civil penalties, if found guilty in civil court. And civil courts standards are much less ..rigorous than a criminal court.

I believe that if one has to shoot, one shoots to "stop" the attack. WHERE the bullet hits, and what effect it has on the attacker is irrelevant to you, so long as it stops the attack. Stick with that. Shoot to STOP. Never shoot to kill, or shoot to wound. Shoot to stop. Tell the cops anything else, and down the line some lawyer type will try their best to twist your statement into an "admission of guilt". And they might just be sucessful, if they can convince 7 people (majority of a jury) that their version of what happened is the truth, and your's is not.

Good Luck to the homeowner, I hope his local laws protect him from losing everything to his attacker. He still might lose everything though, even if he wins. His defense attornies will insist on being paid, most likely.

April 12, 2012, 12:50 PM
I'm well aware of what french doors are. Still not a good idea to shoot through them.

Yeah, those doors are expensive.

April 12, 2012, 01:08 PM
Must be nice to be able to legally own an M1 carbine :( stupid NJ.

I'm a big fan of light semi auto carbines for HD situations.

April 12, 2012, 03:06 PM
I'm sorry, but if I ever had to shoot someone in a SD situation I will be aiming for the center mass.. And if there was some bizzaro highly unlikely happenstance where I did for whatever reason deem a warning shot the right thing to do (maybe a 12 year old with a knife or something) I wouldn't go around telling the cops that. Like others here have said, that is a great way to lose big time in a civil court. Civil court too often comes down to emotion and a permanently disabled bad guy who's momma is there to swear he was a "good boy" and "never did nobody wrong" can sturr up a lot of it.

April 12, 2012, 03:20 PM
It Worked-M1 Carbine for home defense
Not sure what the title of this thread implies...was there a doubt that a M1 Carbine wouldn't work?

Don H
April 12, 2012, 04:01 PM
I'm well aware of what french doors are. Still not a good idea to shoot through them.

Would you care to expand on why it was not a good idea to shoot through them?

April 13, 2012, 11:51 AM
my story would have been something along the lines of, My first shot missed because he kept coming toward me my second shot missed but hit him in the leg because he was moving toward me but when I hit him in the leg he stopped coming at me so I stopped shooting.

Deaf Smith
April 13, 2012, 06:14 PM
The M1 Carbine is my preferred HD and truck rifle.

Yes I have AR-15, AK, etc..and have owned M1A (Springfield), Mini-14, as well as FAL.

The M1 Carbine just as so many good attributes it works well at conflicts from zero to 100 or more yards and the 'significant other' can shoot it well.

Plus a Ruger 10/22 works well as a understudy with peep sight. No need for those $400-500 .22 ARs!


April 13, 2012, 06:31 PM
M1 Carbine ammo now available in CorBon DPX. I suspect that should alleviate any "stopping powe"r concerns that some may have about the little Carbine.

My Auto Ord. carbine feeds it fine. Run a bunch of practice ammo thru to make sure it works-- run some carry ammo thru, then practice with less expensive stuff. And lube it good.

April 13, 2012, 06:33 PM
my story would have been something along the lines of, My first shot missed because he kept coming toward me my second shot missed but hit him in the leg because he was moving toward me but when I hit him in the leg he stopped coming at me so I stopped shooting.

Might be more story than a good attorney would recommend. ;)

April 13, 2012, 06:33 PM
That prowler was darn lucky the homeowner was using a M1 carbine and not a M1 Garand.

April 13, 2012, 07:39 PM
Not a very good idea of firing through a door.Assuming that the defender is certain that the person on the other side of the door is attempting to illegally enter an occupied dwelling and that there's no other reasonable way to prevent that from occurring, AND assuming that shooting to prevent such a crime from occurring is legal in the area in question, then it's an excellent idea to do so from a tactical standpoint.

Basically, it provides an opportunity to neutralize the threat while minimizing the risk to the defender. That's a pretty valuable opportunity.

There are clearly some safety issues involved that should be weighed, and those issues may dictate a different course of action depending on the circumstances.

April 13, 2012, 08:13 PM
44amp, I didn't know it only took a simple majority of jurors to convict.


April 13, 2012, 08:16 PM
Would you care to expand on why it was not a good idea to shoot through them?

If the glass was still in the doors, there are obvious problems. First, shooting through glass is a bad idea, as even a warning shot will throw glass at the person outside the door.

case in point, a raid on a drug house involved a glass door in the county south of here. Back sliding door was locked. Deputy smashed it with his shotgun a couple times, but gee, recoil pads won't break glass. He fired the shotgun through the door, which was curtained, and blasted glass into a resident that was just inside the door. The guy was disciplined for that shot and the department was sued, iirc

Not an absolute comparison, I know.

In this case, if I understand, the invader was outside. firing a warning shot at an invader outside your home, when there is plenty of opportunity to move away, no weapon presented, and no definite imminent threat of danger, is not good. If the door was open or the glass broken, it would have been a whole lot smarter of the old guy to wait at least until a weapon was presented or the guy broke the external line of that door, and actually entered the home with at least a hand or foot, and then, used deadly force. No warning shots at the guy outside, let him in, and engage in defensible deadly force.

Use of deadly force does not HAVE to lead to a fatality. He had a carbiine. He could have stuck it in the guys mouth and pulled the trigger as he stood there screaming, or he could have jabbed it into his belly and double tapped him in the navel, or he could have even knocked loose a knee or femur with a joint shot.

Shooting outside the home and hitting an unarmed man was a bad idea, no matter the outcome. Inside the home the legal situation changes astronomically. The way it reads, there would have been no significant change in the tactical situation either way if the guy had waited until the intruder actually passed into or through the door.

Don H
April 13, 2012, 09:02 PM
The scenario as presented is very defensible in this state since it is legal to use deadly force to prevent a burglary, robbery or to prevent an unlawful entry, made in a "violent and tumultous manner", into a habitation. But then, as we all should know, laws vary greatly among the states as regards self-defense situations and generalizations may be quite invalid in some situations.

April 13, 2012, 11:49 PM
That right there is the ultimate point. Armed or unarmed, and inside or outside.

It seems obvious that the guy was attempting entry, and did present a threat, but in either a criminal trial against the homeowner or shooter, the jury is going to be the ulitmate arbiter for or against guy. I wouldn't want to be in his position for that one reason.

Without a solid legal basis for deadly force without entry, like your state law or the texas property invasion law, or even the stand your ground laws, his position is a little iffy.

April 13, 2012, 11:52 PM
many years ago, my dentist heard someone outside his home, and found a guy rummaging through his car. he grabbed his M1 carbine and confronted the burglar with it. He has never given me full details, but in the end, he was stabbed in the chest, and the guy got away.

as he waggishly puts it, he's the only person stupid enough to take a gun to a knife fight, and still lose.

Really bright guy. Got a lot of respect for him. I don't think, however, that he handled this well.

Frank Ettin
April 14, 2012, 12:16 AM
many years ago, my dentist heard someone outside his home, and found a guy rummaging through his car. he grabbed his M1 carbine and confronted the burglar with it. He has never given me full details, but in the end, he was stabbed in the chest, and the guy got away....Glad your dentist recovered. But unfortunately, his story helps illustrate that it's not necessarily enough to have a gun. One must also be able to use it effectively.

April 14, 2012, 07:34 AM
yes, I've been seeing him for over 30 years. an old friend of my family. I first heard the story from my mother in law; he spent 3 days or so in the hospital from the chest wound.

It utterly floored me that he would have taken a rifle outside to confront a thief, let the guy draw a weapon, and then NOT MANAGE TO FIRE for whatever reason.

Like I said, I never got the entire story from him. I just saw him a couple weeks ago, and it came up in conversation again, and he still ain't gonna tell the whole story. I kinda wonder if he went out with an unloaded gun. :confused:

April 14, 2012, 07:55 AM
This just shows that lawyers will spin anything to win their case. If the defender had shot & killed the intruder, the howl would have been, "Why didn't the defender just shoot him in the leg to stop him?":rolleyes:
Anyway, a leg shot is a poor stopper, unless you are able to break a major bone.
"One must also be able to use it effectively."--Frank Ettin
And be prepared to use it effectively. If that horrific 'crunch time' comes, can you pull the trigger? If you don't think you can, don't get a gun for HD.

April 14, 2012, 08:42 AM
Glad your dentist recovered. But unfortunately, his story helps illustrate that it's not necessarily enough to have a gun. One must also be able to use it effectively


Lot of good people out there who are more then adequate in the use of a firearm but WON'T DO IT, when actually faced with the ideal of shooting another human being, regardless of what that person is doing.

Big difference is "knowing how" and actually "using" using a firearm.

April 14, 2012, 02:32 PM
Warning shots and "shooting to wound" are not best practice in a situation involving lethal force. From the available information about this anecdote, it seems like a very solidly justifiable use of force, but in other instances things may be less obvious, so in general, the best advice is to avoid using lethal force (i.e., ANY use of a firearm), except as a terrible last resort, but then, shoot with the intent of ending the threat...YMMV.

From the facts available in this case, it is clear the attacker was engaged actively in a felony, and the homeowner stayed inside his home which was tactically and legally wise. There are many factors that affect the outcome of the (inevitable) civil suit, that really have no impact on the actual decision to use lethal force (like if the attacker turns out to be a 17-year-old kid...). The lawyers will throw up a bunch of smoke, usually to try and get a settlement from someone with deep pockets (the gubmint, the insurance company), who doesn't want to risk a jury award and for whom it may cost less to settle than adjudicate...but I digress.

The M1 Carbine was, of course, designed as basically a self-defense weapon for soldiers whose duties precluded them from carrying a rifle. They are not considered assault weapons in Kalifornia, although you are limited to 10-round mags (which should be adequate for home defense), unless you have "grandfathered" hi-cap mags already in your possession.

IMHO, one weakness of the carbine is that the mags are not sturdy enough and the mounting not secure enough, for consistent reliability. Especially with commercial 10 round mags, it is important to make sure the ones you have are reliable. GI 15 rounders are reputed to be the best, the extended 30- or 40- rounders the worst, but I think it depends on the mag and the gun.

The other weakness of the carbine is the caliber. .30 Carbine is ballistically on a par with .357, but with the FMJ bullet has a reputation as a poor stopper. Fortunately, the aforementioned Corbon DPX rounds with the Barnes solid copper HP bullets seem to unlock the full potential of the caliber. They cost about a buck a piece, though...

I keep my CMP War Baby ready with an Ultimak hand guard mounted tac light. The light precludes the use of the sights, so I have an occluded-eye sight mounted in back. I also swapped out for new Wolf springs. Don't worry, though, I kept everything and can put it back to GI...

I worked rounds through the action (barrel pointed in a safe direction) until I found some mags that were reliable. I used mostly FMJ rounds, but also included some of the DPX rounds to ensure they would feed reliably. I inspected the rounds to ensure none were damaged, then fired them at the range. I ended up with three mags that I was confident would work.

Avoid the Universal Carbine. I had one years ago, but it was never reliable. I suppose if you have one that works for you, it would be OK, but I would never buy one again. Maybe you could fix one with Wolf springs (which is a good idea in any carbine), but you're better off laying out for a GI model.

Never run anything in your home-defense weapon not legal in your location. One good thing about the Universal for me is that because of it, I had several pre-ban 15- and 30- round mags that I could use when I got my GI carbine from the CMP a few years ago.

April 14, 2012, 08:03 PM
yep, a lawyer will tell any sort of lie, and spin anyway he can, because that is the only reason he has to live.

To gather a little perspective, take the example you just gave.

"why didn't he just shoot him in the leg and be done with it, so my client would have lived? A shot in the leg is nonlethal and would have ended the confrontation."

That is an absolute lie, because he is putting out as a fact that a leg shot would have changed the situation for the better, that the homeowner had a responsibility, and that the homeowner had information that only god had, and now, a lawyer with the files.

Stating a case in these terms is, in fact, a LIE. Nobody but the almighty god knows the future outcome of a decision as it is being made.

Any time facts are withheld, and only favorable information is presented, a person is lying, because the presented "facts" are incomplete and distorted.

The caliber/firearm war threads here are full of low level lies, usually known as "BS."

You know,

"12 gauge slug is the best bear round on the planet because (blah blah blah blah)" and everything that could possibly be better is dismissed with all the other stuff out there, and anything that may have other attributes that are equally or even more important are pushed aside as irrelevant.

TRUTH IS A MOVING TARGET. that's the simplest, truest thing you could ever learn, and it is the most important thing to know in your lifetime.

What was true there, in that home, at that very second, was changing with every passing second. The guy used his weapon based on history, even if only 5 seconds of actual history, and his lifetime of experience.

The lawyer is going to do everything in his power to rewrite the truth of that moment by adding unavailable information to that decision process, and prove that the decision was totally wrong.

That's what we all have to remember as situations like this unfold.

There will be LIES told. We have to minimize personal risk not only in the moment, but in the future, by using our brains and making the best possible decisions, ones that will be defensible in court.

Not all juries are gullible, but everyone who walks into a courtroom takes the risk of being put in the hands of morons.

April 14, 2012, 08:18 PM
another bit to add is that the fact that there are "good" and "bad" lawyers, ones who can strongly affect the outcome of a trial is almost a good proof that the jury system isn't working properly.

A strong willed and persuasive lawyer who can pull out all the stops and sway a jury to a decision that a "lesser qualified" lawyer could not get has managed to present the same case facts as any other lawyer would have had, and convince the jury that the facts that he presented were the most relevant and accurate.

Guilt being determined by manipulation of the presentation of facts by lawyers, and the understanding of facts by juries is something that we should all be afraid of. we have plenty of well pulblicized cases of convictions being overturned upon appeal, or even decades later, because information was not presented correctly, and the "proof of guilt" was completely false.

there are also many, many cases where the guilty have walked free because "proof of guilt" could not be established strongly enough to overcome "reasonable doubt."

I fear the courts, and so should everyone else on this planet, whatever country you live in, because even the best system cannot be perfect.

April 15, 2012, 12:11 AM
I think a jury in San Francisco will come up with a different decision than one in Dallas when considering the same presentation of 'The facts'. I think the same is true in Miami, Columbus, Minneapolis, .... That said I personally prefer the jury system to a trial a single individual, or tribunal. Yes sometimes the guilty go free, and the innocent suffer loss, but overall I have found the personal prejudices of one, or a close knit few, to be more a detriment. I can support this feeling simply by considering my experiences on gun boards like this one. I notice a significant bias on many issues that I find appalling, and scary. Personally I prefer a blend of biased opinions in dealing with matters involving guilt, or innocence, and a good lawyer.

Frank Ettin
April 15, 2012, 12:40 AM
Lots of unsupported opinions about the law and juries, but that's not what this thread was about. So it's over now.