Ww2 carbines

Ww2 carbines DEFAULT

M1 carbine

M1 Carbine. U.S. Army photo.

A Need for an Effective Personal Weapon for Support Troops

The M1 Carbine proved to be the right answer to a problem facing the Army just before World War II: the need for a personal weapon, more effective than the .45 pistol, for the increasing ranks of special military personnel whom it was not practicable to arm with the standard rifle...Only those who mistake it for a rifle will find it wanting.1

M1 Carbine carried over shoulder while setting up mortar.

Mortar team soldier with M1 Carbine carried over shoulder. National Archives photo.

During Hitler's aggressive actions in Europe, Germany's new mobile form of warfare, the Blitzkrieg, caused the U.S. Army to reconsider (among other things) the defense weapons of second tier troops. An effort was made to find a more effective weapon to replace the pistol - the usual selection for the troops supporting the front line. The search focused on a light rifle which would be small and easy to carry, have at least semiautomatic fire, weigh five pounds or less, and be effective at 300 yards.

Winchester had the winning design, and the self-loading, gas operated M1 Carbine began seeing service in the U.S. military by the middle of 1942. The new weapon fired a .30 caliber rimless cartridge with a 110 grain bullet.

The M1A1 Carbine with Folding Stock

M1A1 carbine

M1A1 Carbine with folding stock. U.S. Army photo.

The M1A1 version was the same as the M1 Carbine, except the former had a folding metal stock and could be carried in a scabbard strapped to the leg. This model was designed for airborne units in particular, allowing the paratrooper quick access to his weapon upon landing.

M2 Carbine with Automatic Fire Capability

The M2 version was designed in an attempt to replace the submachine gun. It differed from the M1 Carbine in that it had selective fire capability allowing it to be used as a semi-automatic or automatic weapon. It used a 30 round magazine which could also be used by the M1 Carbine as well. The M2 was actually more versatile and more effective – due to its longer range capability –than any submachine guns, which fired pistol cartridges.3

T3 and M3 Carbines

Another variant was the T3 Carbine which was developed late in WWII. An M2 Carbine with the receiver modified to mount an infrared night vision scope, the T3 maintained the M2 Carbine's capability of semi-automatic or automatic fire. The T3 variant saw only limited service, however, it was the forerunner of night sniper scopes used by today's infantry.2 Further improvements to the T3 resulted in the M3 Carbine which arrived too late for service in World War 2 but saw later service in Korea and a short time in Viet Nam.

The M1 Carbine could also be mounted with M8 grenade launcher, which worked in conjunction with the semiautomatic fire of the Carbine.4


The performance of the M1 Carbine has been much debated. It certainly lacked the power and range of the M1 Garand and did not have the Garand's stopping power. At shorter distances such as jungle fighting, it was appreciated for its ease of handling. However, the M1 Carbine was designed to replace the Colt M1911 pistol and the Thompson submachine gun, and here is where the comparisons should be made.

Some felt that the M1911 pistol had greater stopping power than the Carbine at close ranges. At distances of over 100 yards the Carbine was considered more effective than both the pistol and submachine gun. Support troops with jobs other than carrying a rifle, liked the M1 Carbine's small size and weight. And in the end it came down to a compromise between handiness and stopping power.5 Many felt that the Carbine proved to be successful as a personal defense weapon.

Success of the Carbine

Although the M1 Carbine was designed with the intention of replacing the pistol and submachine gun, it never succeeded in completely doing so.

The Carbine was successful, however, in its role as a defense weapon for support troops, and much appreciated for its portability and ease of handling. In great demand, over 6,250,000 Carbines were manufactured during World War II.

Later improvements enabled the M1 Carbine to be used in U.S. military service for twenty years beyond World War II.

1 Paul Wahl, Carbine Handbook: the complete manual and guide to U.S. Carbine, cal. 30. New York: Arco Pub. Co. 1964, p.77.
2 Leroy Thompson, The M1 Carbine. Oxford; Long Island City, NY : Osprey, 2011, p.68.
3 Ibid, p. 6.
4 Bruce N. Canfield. U.S. Infantry Weapons of World War II. Lincoln, RI: Andrew Mowbray Publishers. 1998, p.118.
5 Ibid, p. 115.



Demand was great for the M1 Carbine during World War 2, and several manufacturing companies and contractors were used from 1941 to 1945 to produce sufficient numbers.

Of the ten firms which received contracts to produce the Carbine, Inland Manufacturing Division of General Motors produced the most (47%), with Winchester Repeating Firearms Company next, producing 13.5% or the total.

The M1 Carbine's gas-piston system proved very reliable, to foul less, and need less cleaning. This system would have an impact on arms design for the next 70 years.2

Sours: http://worldwar2headquarters.com/HTML/weapons/american/m1Carbine.html

M1 carbine

Type of carbine

  • M1, Semi-automatic carbine * M2/M3, Selective-fire carbine
Carbine, Caliber .30, M1
M1 Carbine Mk I - USA - Armémuseum.jpg

M1 carbine

  • M1, Semi-automaticcarbine
  • M2/M3, Selective-firecarbine
  • Place of originUnited States
    In service
    • 1942–1973 (United States)
    • 1942–present (other countries)
    Used bySee Users
    Unit costAbout $45 (WWII) (equivalent to $670 in 2020)
    • July 1942 – August 1945 (U.S. military)
    • 1945–present (commercial)
    No. built6,121,309 (WWII)[6]
    VariantsM1A1, M1A3, M2, M2A2, M3
    Mass5.2 lb (2.4 kg) empty 5.8 lb (2.6 kg) loaded w/sling
    Length35.6 in (900 mm)
    Barrel length18 in (460 mm)

    Cartridge.30 Carbine
    ActionGas-operated (short-stroke piston), rotating bolt
    Rate of fire
    • 60–70 aimed rounds/min (M1/A1)
    • 750 rounds/min (M2)[6]
    Muzzle velocity1,990 ft/s (607 m/s)
    Effective firing range300 yd (270 m)
    Feed system15- or 30-round detachable box magazine
    SightsRear sight: aperture; L-type flip or adjustable, front sight: wing-protected post

    The M1 carbine (formally the United States Carbine, Caliber .30, M1) is a lightweight[7]semi-automaticcarbine that was a standard firearm for the U.S. military during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The M1 carbine was produced in several variants and was widely used by paramilitary and police forces around the world, and also became a popular civilian firearm after World War II.

    The M2 carbine is the selective-fire version of the M1 carbine, capable of firing in both semi-automatic and full-automatic. The M3 carbine was an M2 carbine with an active infraredscope system.[8]

    Despite having a similar name and physical outward appearance, the M1 carbine is not a carbine version of the M1 Garand rifle. On July 1, 1925, the U.S. Army began using the current naming convention where the "M" is the designation for "Model" and the number represents the sequential development of equipment and weapons.[9] Therefore, the "M1 carbine" was the first carbine developed under this system. The "M2 carbine" was the second carbine developed under the system, etc.


    • 1Development history
    • 2Features
    • 3Production
    • 4U.S. combat use
    • 5Foreign usage
    • 6Users
    • 7Variants
      • 7.1Carbine, Cal .30, M1A1
      • 7.2Carbine, Cal .30, M1A2
      • 7.3Carbine, Cal .30, M1A3
      • 7.4Carbine, Cal .30, M2
      • 7.5Carbine, Cal .30, M2A1
      • 7.6Carbine, Cal .30, M2A2
      • 7.7Carbine, Cal .30, M3
    • 8Derivatives
    • 9Military contractors
    • 10Commercial copies
    • 11Hunting and civilian use
    • 12Related equipment and accessories
    • 13See also
    • 14Notes
    • 15Further reading
    • 16External links

    Development history[edit]

    Limitations of weapons in the U.S. arsenal[edit]

    The M1 Rifleand M1 Carbine share only a buttplate screw and use different sized .30 caliber ammunition
    Briefing for staff personnel. Note: Folding stock M1A1 carbine on the table
    A U.S. anti-tankcrew in combat in the Netherlands, November 4, 1944. The soldier on the far right is holding an M1 carbine

    Prior to World War II, the U.S. Army Ordnance Department received reports that the full-size M1 rifle was too heavy and cumbersome for most support troops (staff, artillerymen, radiomen, etc.) to carry. During pre-war and early war field exercises, it was found that the M1 Garand impeded these soldiers' mobility, as a slung rifle would frequently catch on brush or hit the back of the helmet and tilt it over the eyes. Many soldiers found the rifle slid off the shoulder unless slung diagonally across the back, where it prevented the wearing of standard field packs and haversacks.[citation needed]

    Additionally, Germany's use of glider-borne and paratrooper forces to launch surprise ‘blitzkrieg’ attacks behind the front lines generated a request for a new compact infantry weapon to equip support troops.[10][11] This request called for a compact, lightweight defensive weapon with greater range, accuracy and firepower than a handgun, while weighing half as much as the Thompson submachine gun or the M1 rifle.[10] The U.S. Army decided that a carbine-type weapon would adequately fulfill all of these requirements, and specified that the new arm should weigh no more than 5 pounds (2.3 kg) and have an effective range of 300 yards (270 m).[12][13] Paratroopers were also added to the list of intended users and a folding-stock version would also be developed.[citation needed]

    Designing the M1 carbine[edit]

    In 1938, the Chief of Infantry requested that the Ordnance Department develop a "light rifle" or carbine, though the formal requirement for the weapon type was not approved until 1940.

    Winchester developed the .30 Carbine cartridge for the Ordnance Department. Winchester at first did not submit a carbine design, as it was occupied in developing the .30-06 Winchester M2 military rifle. The M2 rifle originated as a design by Jonathan "Ed" Browning, brother of the famous firearm designer John Browning. A couple of months after Ed Browning's death in May 1939, Winchester hired David Marshall "Carbine" Williams who had begun work on a short-stroke gas piston design while serving a prison sentence at a North Carolina minimum-security work farm. Winchester, after Williams' release, had hired Williams on the strength of recommendations of firearms industry leaders and hoped Williams would be able to complete various designs left unfinished by Ed Browning, including the Winchester .30-06 M2 rifle. Williams incorporated his short-stroke piston in the existing design. After the Marine Corps semi-automatic rifle trials in 1940, Browning's rear-locking tilting bolt design proved unreliable in sandy conditions. As a result, Williams redesigned the M2 to incorporate a Garand-style rotating bolt and operating slide, retaining the short-stroke piston. By May 1941, Williams had shaved the M2 rifle prototype from about 9.5 lb (4.3 kg) to a 7.5 lb (3.4 kg).

    Ordnance found unsatisfactory the first series of prototype carbines submitted by several firearms companies and some independent designers.[13] Winchester had contacted the Ordnance Department to examine their rifle M2 design. Major René Studler of Ordnance believed the rifle design could be scaled down to a carbine which would weigh 4.5 to 4.75 lb (2.0–2.2 kg) and demanded a prototype as soon as possible. The first model was developed at Winchester in 13 days by William C. Roemer, Fred Humeston and three other Winchester engineers under supervision of Edwin Pugsley, and was essentially Williams' last version of the .30-06 M2 scaled down to the .30 SL cartridge.[14] This patchwork prototype was cobbled together using the trigger housing and lockwork of a Winchester M1905 rifle and a modified Garand operating rod. The prototype was an immediate hit with army observers.[15]

    After the initial Army testing in August 1941, the Winchester design team set out to develop a more refined version. Williams participated in the finishing of this prototype. The second prototype competed successfully against all remaining carbine candidates in September 1941, and Winchester was notified of their success the next month. Standardization as the M1 carbine was approved on October 22, 1941. This story was the loose basis for the 1952 movie Carbine Williams starring James Stewart. Contrary to the movie, Williams had little to do with the carbine's development, with the exception of his short-stroke gas piston design. Williams worked on his own design apart from the other Winchester staff, but it was not ready for testing until December 1941, two months after the Winchester M1 carbine had been adopted and type-classified. Winchester supervisor Edwin Pugsley conceded that Williams' final design was "an advance on the one that was accepted", but noted that Williams' decision to go it alone was a distinct impediment to the project,[14] and Williams' additional design features were not incorporated into M1 production. In a 1951 memo written in fear of a patent infringement lawsuit by Williams, Winchester noted his patent for the short-stroke piston may have been improperly granted as a previous patent covering the same principle of operation was overlooked by the patent office.[14]

    In 1973, the senior technical editor at the NRA contacted Edwin Pugsley for "a technical last testament" on M1 carbine history shortly before his death on November 19, 1975. According to Pugsley, "The carbine was invented by no single man," but was the result of a team effort including: William C. Roemer, David Marshall Williams, Fred Humeston, Cliff Warner, at least three other Winchester engineers, and Pugsley himself. Ideas were taken and modified from the Winchester M2 Browning rifle (Williams' gas system), the Winchester Model 1905 rifle (fire control group and magazine), M1 Garand (buttstock dimensions, and bolt and operating slide principles), and a percussion shotgun in Pugsley's collection (hook breech and barrel band assembly/disassembly).[16]


    WW II M1 carbine with a magazine pouch mounted on the stock that held two spare 15-round magazines
    Closeup of M1 carbine receiver. Note: original flip sight and push button safety.
    Comparison of M1 carbine magazines. Original 15-round magazine on left and 30-round on right.
    U.S. Army Rangers resting in the vicinity of Pointe du Hoc, which they assaulted in support of "Omaha" Beach landings on "D-Day", 6 June 1944. Note Ranger in right center, apparently using his middle finger to push cartridges into a M-1 carbine magazine. The carbine and a backpack frame are nearby.
    Paratrooper armed with a folding stock M1A1 carbine fires a bazooka at an enemy pillbox on Greary Point, Corregidor.


    The .30 carbine cartridge is essentially a rimless version of the then-obsolete .32 Winchester Self-Loading cartridge introduced for the Winchester Model 1905 rifle.[17] The propellant was much newer, though, taking advantage of chemistry advances. As a result, the .30 carbine cartridge is approximately 27% more powerful than its parent cartridge. A standard .30 carbine ball bullet weighs 110 grains (7.1 g), a complete loaded round weighs 195 grains (12.6 g) and has a muzzle velocity of 1,990 ft/s (610 m/s) giving it 967 ft·lbf (1,311 joules) of energy, when fired from the M1 carbine's 18-inch barrel.

    In comparison, the .30-06 Springfield ball round used by the M1 Garand is almost three times more powerful than the .30 carbine, while the carbine round is twice as powerful as the .45 ACP-caliber Thompson submachine gun in common use at the time. As a result, the carbine offers much better range, accuracy and penetration than those submachine guns. The M1 is also half the weight of the Thompson, and fires a lighter cartridge. Therefore, soldiers armed with the carbine can carry much more ammunition than those armed with a Thompson.[10]

    Categorizing the M1 carbine series has been the subject of much debate. Although commonly compared to the later German StG 44 and Russian AK-47, the M1 and M2 carbines are under-powered and outclassed by comparison.[18] Instead, the carbine falls somewhere between the submachine gun and assault rifle, and could be called a precursor of the personal defense weapon since it fulfilled a similar role.[10]

    One characteristic of .30 caliber carbine ammunition is that from the beginning of production, non-corrosive primers were specified. This was the first major use of this type of primer in a military firearm. Because the rifle had a closed gas system, not normally disassembled in the field, corrosive primers would have led to a rapid deterioration of the function of the gas system.[19] The use of non-corrosive primers was a novelty in service ammunition at this time.[20] Some failures to fire were reported in early lots of .30 caliber carbine ammunition, attributed to moisture ingress of the non-corrosive primer compound.[21]

    Sights, range & accuracy[edit]

    The M1 carbine entered service with a simple flip sight, which had two settings: 150 and 300 yards.[22] However, field reports indicated that this sight was inadequate, and in 1944, it was replaced by a sliding ramp-type adjustable sight with four settings: 100, 200, 250 and 300 yards. This new rear sight was also adjustable for windage.[6]

    At 100 yards (91 m), the M1 carbine can deliver groups between 3 and 5 inches, sufficient for its intended purpose as a close-range defensive weapon. The M1 carbine has a maximum effective range of 300 yards (270 m). However, bullet drop is significant past 200 yards (180 m).[17] Therefore, the M1 has a practical effective range of about 200 yards.[23]


    The M1 carbine entered service with a standard straight 15-round box magazine. The introduction of the select-fire M2 carbine in October 1944[24] also brought into service the curved 30-round magazine or "Banana Clip".[25] After WW2, the 30-round magazine quickly became the standard magazine for both the M1 and M2 carbines, although the 15-round magazine remained in service until the end of the Vietnam War.[18]

    Perhaps the most common accessory used on the M1 carbine was a standard magazine belt pouch that was slid over the stock, and held two extra 15-round magazines. This field adaptation was never officially approved, but proved an efficient method to supply extra ammunition in combat. After the introduction of the 30-round magazine, it was common for troops to tape two 30-round magazines together, a practice that became known as "Jungle style". This led the military to introduce the "Holder, Magazine T3-A1" also called the "Jungle Clip", a metal clamp that held two magazines together without the need for tape.[26]

    The 30-round magazines introduced for use with the selective-fire M2 carbine would not be reliably retained by the magazine catch made for the original M1 carbine which was designed to retain a 15-round magazine, so the much heavier 30-round magazine would not be properly seated in the M1 carbine magazine well. The loaded 30-round magazine would typically slant (impairing feed reliability) or even fall out, which contributed to the poor reliability record of the 30-round magazines. Because of their thin steel construction, they were also more prone to damage due to their added length and weight when loaded. In response to these issues, early production M1 carbines had to be fitted with the type IV magazine catch used on the M2 carbine (and late production M1 carbines) if they were to be used with 30-round magazines in order to ensure reliable loading and feeding. The type IV magazine catch will have a leg on the left side to correspond with the additional nub on the 30-round magazines.[27]

    Initial combat reports noted that the M1 carbine's magazine release button was often mistaken for the safety button while under fire.[6] When this occurred, pressing the magazine release caused the loaded magazine to drop into the dirt, while the safety remained in the off position. As a result, the push-button safety was redesigned using a rotating lever.[6][28]


    Originally the M1 carbine did not have a bayonet lug, but personnel equipped with it were often issued with an M3 fighting knife. Due to requests from the field, the carbine was modified to incorporate a bayonet lug attached to the barrel band starting in 1945.[29] However, very few carbines with bayonet lugs reached the front lines before the end of World War II. After the war, the bayonet lug was added to many M1 carbines during the arsenal refurbishing process. By the start of the Korean War, the bayonet lug-equipped M1 was standard issue. It is now rare to find an original M1 carbine without the bayonet lug. The M1 carbine mounts the M4 bayonet, which was based on the earlier M3 fighting knife and formed the basis for the later M5, M6 and M7 bayonet-knives.

    A folding-stock version of the carbine, the M1A1, was also developed after a request for a compact and light infantry arm for airborne troops. The Inland Division of General Motors manufactured 140,000 of them in two product runs in late 1942.[24] They were originally issued to the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions but were later issued to all U.S. Army airborne units and the U.S. Marine Corps.[24] The folding-stock M1A1 is an unusual design in that the stock is not locked in the open or closed position, but is instead held in place by a spring-loaded cam.

    As carbines were reconditioned, parts such as the magazine catch, rear sight, barrel band without bayonet lug, and stock were upgraded with current standard-issue parts. Also, both during and after World War II, many semi-automatic M1 carbines were converted to select-fire M2 carbines by using the T17 and T18 conversion kits. In this configuration they can now be called true assault rifles.[30] The conversion included a modified sear, slide, and trigger housing, and added a disconnector, disconnector lever, and selector switch that could be set for semi-auto or full-automatic fire.

    During World War II, the T23 (M3) flash hider was designed to reduce the muzzle flash from the carbine, but was not introduced into service until the advent of the M3 carbine.[31] With the exception of T23 hiders mounted on M3 carbines, few if any T23 flash-hider attachments saw service during the war, though unit armorers occasionally hand-built improvised compensator/flash-hiders of their own design.[31][20]

    Combat tests of the M2 carbine resulted in an Army Ground Forces request that lead to development of the T13 recoil check adopted September 1945.[32]

    The M1 carbine was used with the M8 grenade launcher (see M7 grenade launcher), which was developed in early 1944. It was fired with the .30 caliber carbine M6 Grenade Blank cartridge to launch 22 mm rifle grenades. However, the stress from firing rifle grenades could eventually crack the carbine's stock, and it also could not use the launcher with the M7 auxiliary "booster" charge to extend its range without breaking the stock. This made the M1 carbine with M8 grenade launcher a type of emergency-use weapon.


    American infantrymen of the 290th Regiment fight in fresh snowfall near Amonines, Belgium. Soldier in foreground is armed with an M1 carbine.

    A total of over 6.1 million M1 carbines of various models were manufactured, making it the most produced small arm for the American military during World War II (compared with about 5.4 million M1 rifles and about 1.3 million Thompson submachine guns). Despite being designed by Winchester, the great majority of these were made by other companies (see § Military contractors below). The largest producer was the Inland division of General Motors, but many others were made by contractors as diverse as IBM, the Underwood Typewriter Company, and Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation. Few contractors made all the parts for carbines bearing their names: some makers bought parts from other major contractors or sub-contracted minor parts to companies like Marlin Firearms or Auto-Ordnance. Parts by all makers were required to be interchangeable. Often one company would get ahead or behind in production and parts would be shipped from one company to the other to help them catch up on their quota. When receivers were shipped for this purpose the manufacturers would often mark them for both companies. Some of the strangest combinations were the M1's made by the combined efforts of Underwood and Quality Hardware, resulting in the manufacturer mark UN-QUALITY.[33] The receiver was subcontracted from Union Switch and Signal, not Underwood. Many carbines were refurbished at several arsenals after the war, with many parts interchanged from original maker carbines. True untouched war production carbines, therefore, are the most desirable for collectors.[34]

    The M1 carbine was also one of the most cost effective weapons used by the United States military during World War II. At the beginning of World War II the average production cost for an M1 carbine was approximately $45, about half the cost of an M1 rifle at approximately $85 and about a fifth of the cost of a Thompson submachine gun at approximately $225. The .30 Caliber carbine ammunition was also far cheaper to produce than the standard .30-06 ammunition; used fewer resources, was smaller, lighter, faster and easier to make. These were major factors in the United States military decision to adopt the M1 carbine, especially when considering the vast numbers of weapons and ammunition manufactured and transported by the United States during World War II.[citation needed]

    U.S. combat use[edit]

    World War II[edit]

    U.S. Marine in combat at Guam.
    M1 carbine at first Iwo Jima flag raising.

    The M1 carbine with its reduced-power .30 cartridge was not originally intended to serve as a primary weapon for combat infantrymen, nor was it comparable to more powerful assault rifles developed late in the war. However, it was markedly superior to the .45 caliber submachineguns in use at the time in both accuracy and penetration,[10] and its lighter .30 caliber cartridge allowed soldiers to carry more ammunition. As a result, the carbine was soon widely issued to infantry officers, American paratroopers, non-commissioned officers, ammunition bearers, forward artillery observers, and other frontline troops.[35] The first M1 carbines were delivered in mid-1942, with initial priority given to troops in the European Theater of Operations (ETO).[10]

    During World War II a standard U.S. Army infantry company was issued a total of 28 M1 carbines.[36] The company headquarters was issued nine carbines (for the company commander, executive officer, first sergeant, mess sergeant, supply sergeant, bugler, and three messengers), the weapons platoon was issued sixteen carbines (for the platoon leader, platoon sergeant, two platoon messengers in the platoon headquarters, one messenger in each of the two mortar and machine gun section headquarters, and ten for the mortar and machine gun ammunition bearers), and the three rifle platoons were issued one each (for the platoon commander).[36]

    The M1 carbine gained generally high praise for its small size, light weight and firepower, especially by those troops who were unable to use a full-size rifle as their primary weapon.[21][37] However, its reputation in front-line combat was mixed and negative reports began to surface with airborne operations in Sicily in 1943,[38] and increased during the fall and winter of 1944.[39]

    In the Asiatic-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.[40] However, soldiers and Marines engaged in frequent daily firefights (particularly those serving in the Philippines) found the weapon to have insufficient penetration and stopping power.[20][41] While carbine bullets would easily penetrate the front and back of steel helmets, as well as the body armor used by Japanese forces of the era[42][43] reports of the carbine's failure to stop enemy soldiers, sometimes after multiple hits, appeared in individual after-action reports, postwar evaluations, and service histories of both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps.[20][41]

    The carbine's exclusive use of non-corrosive-primer ammunition was found to be ideal by troops and ordnance personnel serving in the Pacific, where barrel corrosion was a significant issue with the corrosive primers used in .30-06 caliber weapons.[20] However, in the European theatre, some soldiers reported misfires attributed to moisture ingress of the non-corrosive primer compound.[21]

    Selective-fire version[edit]

    U.S. Marines fighting in the streets of Seoul, South Korea. September 20, 1950. The M1 carbine in the foreground has the bayonet mounted.

    Initially, the M1 carbine was intended to have a select-fire capability, but the requirement for rapid production of the new carbine resulted in the omission of this feature from the Light Rifle Program. On 26 October 1944, in response to the Germans' widespread use of automatic weapons, especially the Sturmgewehr 44assault rifle, the select-fire M2 carbine was introduced, along with a new 30-round magazine. The M2 had a fully automatic rate-of-fire of about 750-775 rounds-per-minute. Although actual M2 production began late in the war (April 1945), U.S. Ordnance issued conversion-part kits to allow field conversion of semi-auto M1 carbines to the selective-fire M2 configuration. These converted M1/M2 select-fire carbines saw limited combat service in Europe, primarily during the final Allied advance into Germany. In the Pacific, both converted and original M2 carbines saw limited use in the last days of the fighting in the Philippines.[20]

    Infrared sight versions[edit]

    The M3 carbine was an M2 carbine with the M2 infrared night sight or sniperscope.[8] The M3 did not have iron sights.[8] It was first used in combat by Army units during the invasion of Okinawa, about 150 M3 carbines were used on Okinawa. For the first time, U.S. soldiers had a weapon that allowed them to visually detect Japanese infiltrating into American lines at night, even during complete darkness. A team of two or three soldiers was used to operate the weapon and provide support.[35] At night, the scope would be used to detect Japanese patrols and assault units moving forward. At that point, the operator would fire a burst of automatic fire at the greenish images of enemy soldiers.[35] The M3 carbine had an effective range of about 70 yards (64 meters), limited by the visual capabilities of the sight.[44] Fog and rain further reduced the weapon's effective range.[35][44] However, it is estimated that fully 30% of Japanese casualties inflicted by rifle and carbine fire during the Okinawan campaign were caused by the M3 carbine.[35]

    The system was refined over time, and by the Korean War the improved M3 infrared night sight was in service. The M3 sight has a longer effective range than its predecessor, about 125 yards (114 meters). However, it still required the user to carry a heavy backpack-mounted battery pack to power the scope and infrared light. They were used primarily in static defensive positions in Korea to locate troops attempting to infiltrate in darkness. M3 operators would not only use their carbines to dispatch individual targets, but also used tracer ammo to identify troop concentrations for machine gunners to decimate.[6] In total, about 20,000 sets were made before they became obsolete, and were surplussed to the public.[citation needed]

    Korean War[edit]

    M1 carbine in action during Korean War. Note: 30-round magazine, stock pouch for two 15-round Magazine and grenade launcher. Note the captured Soviet DP-27 machine gun.
    U.S. Marines holding captured Chinese Soldiers during fighting on the central Korean front. Note: M1 carbine with mounted bayonet

    By the Korean War, the select fire M2 carbine had largely replaced the submachine-gun in U.S. service[45] and was the most widely used carbine variant.[6][46] However, the semi-auto M1 carbine was also widely used- especially by support troops. However, in Korea, all versions of the carbine soon acquired a widespread reputation for jamming in extreme cold weather,[47][46][48] 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.[49][50]

    There were also many complaints from individual soldiers that the carbine bullet failed to stop heavily clothed[51][50][52][53] or gear-laden[54][53][55] North Korean and Chinese (PVA) troops even at close range and after multiple hits.[46][49][56] Marines of the 1st Marine Division also reported instances of carbine bullets failing to stop enemy soldiers, and some units issued standing orders for carbine users to aim for the head.[50][51] PVA infantry forces who had been issued captured U.S. small arms disliked the carbine for the same reason.[57]

    A 1951 official U.S. Army evaluation reported that ..."There are practically no data bearing on the accuracy of the carbine at ranges in excess of 50 yards. The record contains a few examples of carbine-aimed fire felling an enemy soldier at this distance or perhaps a little more. But they are so few in number that no general conclusion can be drawn from them. Where carbine fire had proved killing effect, approximately 95 percent of the time the target was dropped at less than 50 yards."[49] The evaluation also reported that ..."Commanders noted that it took two to three engagements at least to settle their men to the automatic feature of the carbine so that they would not greatly waste ammunition under the first impulse of engagement. By experience, they would come to handle it semi-automatically, but it took prolonged battle hardening to bring about this adjustment in the human equation."[49]

    Despite its mixed reputation, the M2 carbine's firepower often made it the weapon of choice, when it came to night patrols in Korea.[49] The M3 carbine with its infrared sniperscope was also used against night infiltrators, especially during the static stages of the conflict.[citation needed]

    Vietnam War[edit]

    ARVN soldiers with M1 carbines and U.S. Special Forces with M16s

    The M1 and M2 carbines were again issued to U.S. forces were first given to American military advisors in Vietnam beginning in 1956,[58] and later, the United States Air Force Security Police and United States Army Special Forces. These weapons began to be replaced by the M16 in 1964, and they were generally out of service by the 1970s. By the war's end, it was estimated that a total of 1.5 million M1 and M2 carbines were left in Vietnam.[58]

    At least 793,994 M1 and M2 carbines were given to the South Vietnamese and were widely used throughout the Vietnam War.[59] A number were captured during the war by Viet Cong,[60] with some made compact by shortening the barrel and/or stock.[6] "While the carbine's lighter weight and high rate of fire made it an excellent weapon for small-statured Asians, these guns lacked sufficient hitting power and penetration, and they were eventually outclassed by the AK-47 assault rifle."[18] The M1/M2/M3 carbines were the most heavily produced family of U.S. military weapons for several decades. They were used by every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.[citation needed]

    Foreign usage[edit]

    Winston Churchillfires an American M1 carbine during a visit to the U.S. 2nd Armored Division on Salisbury Plain, 23 March 1944.
    British officers: Brigadier "Mad" Mike Calvert (left) gives orders to Lieutenant-Colonel Shaw, while Major James Lumley stands with M1 carbine under his arm, after the capture of Mogaungin Burma during the second Chindit expedition, June 1944.

    After World War II, the M1 and M2 carbines were widely exported to U.S. allies and client states (1,015,568 to South Korea, 793,994 to South Vietnam, 269,644 to France, etc.),[59] they were used as a frontline weapon well into the Vietnam War era, and they continue to be used by military, police, and security forces around the world to this day.

    British Army[edit]

    During World War II, the British SAS used the M1 and M1A1 carbines after 1943. The weapon was taken into use simply because a decision had been taken by Allied authorities to supply .30 caliber weapons from U.S. stocks in the weapons containers dropped to Resistance groups sponsored by an SOE, or later also Office of Strategic Services (OSS), organizer, on the assumption the groups so supplied would be operating in areas within the operational boundaries of U.S. forces committed to Operation Overlord.[citation needed] They were found to be suited to the kind of operation the two British, two French, and one Belgian Regiment carried out. It was handy enough to parachute with, and, in addition, could be easily stowed in an operational Jeep. Other specialist intelligence collection units, such as 30 Assault Unit sponsored by the Naval Intelligence Division of the British Admiralty, which operated across the entire Allied area of operations, also made use of this weapon.[citation needed]. The carbine continued to be utilized as late as the Malayan Emergency, by the Police Field Force of the Royal Malaysian Police, along with other units of the British Army, were issued the M2 carbine for both jungle patrols and outpost defense.[61][62][63] The Royal Ulster Constabulary also used the M1 carbine.[64]

    German Army[edit]

    Small numbers of captured M1 carbines were used by German forces in World War II, particularly after D-Day.[65] The German designation for captured carbines was Selbstladekarabiner 455(a). The "(a)" came from the country name in German; in this case, Amerika. It was also used by German police and border guards in Bavaria after World War II and into the 1950s. The carbines were stamped according to the branch they were in service with; for instance, those used by the border guard were stamped "Bundesgrenzschutz". Some of these weapons were modified with different sights, finishes, and sometimes new barrels.

    Japanese GSDF[edit]

    A variant was produced shortly after World War II by Japanese manufacturer Howa Machinery, under U.S. supervision. These were issued to all branches of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, and large numbers of them found their way to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Howa also made replacement parts for US-made M1 carbines issued to Japanese police and military.[citation needed]

    Israel Defense Forces[edit]

    The M1 carbine was also used by the Israeli Palmach-based special forces in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. And, because of their compact size and semi-auto capabilities, they continued to be used by Israeli Defence Forces after the creation of Israel. The Israeli police still use the M1 carbine as a standard long gun for non-combat elements and Mash'az volunteers.

    French Army[edit]

    The U.S. provided France with 269,644 M1 and M2 carbines from World War II to 1963.[59] The carbines were used by the French Paratroopers and Legionnaires, as well as specialists (e.g., drivers, radio operators, engineers), during the Indo-China War,[66] the Algerian War[67] and the Suez Crisis.

    South Vietnamese Popular Force members on patrol with M1 carbines.

    South Vietnam[edit]

    The U.S. provided the Army of the Republic of Vietnam with 793,994 M1 and M2 carbines from 1963 to 1973.[59] Along with tens of thousands of carbines left behind by the French after the First Indochina War, the M1 and M2 carbines were the most widely issued small arm during the early stages in the Vietnam War and remained in service in large numbers until the fall of Saigon. The South Vietnamese would also receive 220,300 M1 Garands and 520 M1C/M1D rifles,[68] and 640,000 M-16 rifles.

    The Việt Minh and the Viet Cong also used large numbers of M1 and M2 carbines, captured from the French, ARVN and local militia forces of South Vietnam, as well as receiving many thousands of carbines from the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), China and North Korea. Over time, the SKS and eventually the AK-47 would replace the carbine to become the dominant weapons used by the Viet Cong.

    South Korea[edit]

    The Republic of Korea Armed Forces received 1,015,568 M1 and M2 carbines from 1963 to 1972.[59] Along with hundreds of thousands of Carbines and M1 Garands provided by the United States Army before, during and shortly after the Korean war, South Korea would become the largest single recipient of American M1 and M2 carbines.

    South Korea also took an active role in the Vietnam War. From 1964 to 1973, South Korea sent more than 300,000 troops to South Vietnam armed primarily with M1 and M2 carbines, as well as M1 Garands.


    The government of the Philippines still issues M1 carbines to the infantrymen of the Philippine Army's 2nd Infantry Division[citation needed] assigned in Luzon Island (some units are issued just M14 automatic rifles and M1 carbines) and the Civilian Auxiliary Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and Civilian Volunteer Organizations (CVO)spread throughout the Philippines. Certain provincial police units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) still use government-issue M1 carbines as well as some operating units of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). In many provinces of the Philippines, M1 carbines are still highly valued as a light small arm. Elements of the New People's Army and Islamic Secessionist movement value the carbine as a lightweight weapon and preferred choice for mountain and ambush operations.

    The M1 carbine has become one of the most recognized firearms in Philippine society, with the Marikina-based company ARMSCOR Philippines still continuing to manufacture .30 caliber ammunition for the Philippine market.

    Latin America[edit]

    The M1 and M2 carbines were widely used by military, police, and security forces and their opponents during the many guerrilla and civil wars throughout Latin America until the 1990s, when they were mostly replaced by more modern designs. A notable user was Che Guevara who used them during the Cuban Revolution and in Bolivia where he was executed by a Bolivian soldier armed with an M2 carbine.[69] Guevara's fellow revolutionary Camilo Cienfuegos also used an M2 carbine that he modified with the pistol grip and foregrip from a Thompson submachine gun. Cienfuegos' carbine is on display in the Museum of the Revolution (Cuba).

    In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a police battalion named Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (BOPE, or "Special Police Operations Battalion") still uses the M1 carbine.[citation needed]


    The unit data provided below refers to original U.S. Ordnance contract carbines the United States provided these countries. Many countries sold, traded, destroyed, and/or donated these carbines to other countries and/or private gun brokers.[59]

    Current users[edit]

    South Korean soldiers training with M1919A6s. Note: ROK soldier armed with M1 carbine to the left. Photo taken August 13, 1950.
    •  Bolivia: 13,438 units.[59] Still in use with Garras del Valor[citation needed]
    •  Brazil: (1944–1945, Brazilian Expeditionary Force - 1945-1986, Brazilian Air Force).[citation needed] In service with BOPE from Rio de Janeiro[70][failed verification]
    •  Republic of China: 115,948 units[59] (1950s–present)
    •  Indonesia: Used by Indonesian Armed Forces in 1950s and 1960s (received from the United States). Fielded during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation[71] Still in service of Indonesian National Police[72]
    •  Israel: 10,000 units[59](1945–1957, Israel Defense Forces). (1970s–present, Israel Police; 1974–present, Civil Guard)
    •  Philippines: 8,831 units[59](Pre and Post-World War II, 1942–1970s) Reserve with Philippine navy
    •  South Korea: 1,015,558 units[59] (1950s–present, Reserve Force)
    •  Suriname: (?-present, Army)
    •  Thailand: 73,012 units[59] Still in use by Territorial Defense Student for drilling. Locally known as the ปสบ.87 (Self-Loading Type 87). HK 33 or the Armi Jager are used for marksmanship exercises.

    Former users[edit]

    •  Algeria: (Captured in large numbers from French military personnel during the Algerian Independence War)
    •  Angola: 12,215 units[59]
    •  Argentina: 12,621 units[59]
    •  Austria: 39,005 units[59][75](1950s–70s, Austrian Army and Police)
    •  Myanmar: 28,792 units[59]
    •  Cambodia: 115,568 units[59] (Khmer Republic)[76] (1967–1975)
    •  Canada: 230 units,[59] M2 variant seen in use by Canadian law enforcement personnel responding to the 1984 Quebec National Assembly Shooting.[77]
    •  Chile: 2,877 units[59]
    •  Republic of China: 361 units[59]
    •  Colombia: 7,037 units[59]
    •  Costa Rica: 6,000 units[59]
    •  Cuba: 118 units in 1963.[59] M1 carbines were used by Batista forces, by Castrist militias and by Brigade 2506.[2]
    •  Democratic Republic of Congo[78]
    •  Ecuador: 576 units[59]
    •  El Salvador: 5,000 M1s and ~156 M2s until 1965, more delivered during the 1960s and 1970s.[79]
    Ethiopiansoldiers deployed with U.S.-made weapons somewhere in Korea, 1953. Note the M1 carbine with two 30-round magazines taped together "Jungle style".
    •  Ethiopia: 16,417 units[59][80]
    •  France: 269,644 units[59](1954–1962, Algerian War) Classified as the Mousqueton Américain M1 Calibre .30 ("M1 Carbine, American, .30-caliber") in Metropolitan French service.
    •  Germany:
      •  Nazi Germany: No recorded issue.[81][dubious – discuss] Captured M1 carbines were classified as the Selbstladekarabiner 455(a) ("Self-loading carbine #455 (American)").[24] There are staged pictures of late-warFallschirmjäger troops and SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler ("Adolf Hitler's SS Bodyguard Regiment") soldiers armed with them.[24]
      •  West Germany: 34,192 units[59] German Border Guard, some Police forces and German Army paratroopers (1950s–1960s)
    •  Greece: 38,264 units[59](Hellenic (Greek) Air Force until mid-1990s)
    •  Guatemala: 6,063 units[59][83]
    •  Honduras: 5,581 units[59]
    •  Iceland: Icelandic Police. No longer in service.
    •  Iran: 10,000 units[59]
    •  Ireland: (1969–1980s, Used by the Provisional IRA, Official IRA, INLA and IPLO during the early years of their campaign and beyond.[84][85] Over 50 of which were smuggled by Harrison Network.)
    •  Italy: 146,863 units.[59] First used by Italian partisans.[86] Later classified by the Italian Army as the Carabina «Winchester» M1 cal. 7,62 and Carabina «Winchester» M2 cal. 7,62. In service until the 1990s with the Carabinieri.[87][88]
    •  Japan: 3,974 units[59](National Police Reserve)(1950–1989)
    •  Jordan: 1912 units.[59] Fielded during the Six-Day War[89]
    •  Kingdom of Laos: Received 74,587 units during Vietnam War and Laotian Civil War 1955-1975.[59][90]
    •  Lebanon: 900 units[59]
    •  Liberia: 80 units[59][91]
    •  Libya: 106 units[59]
    •  Malaysia[92]
    •  Mexico: 48,946 units[59](police departments and security forces)
    •  Morocco: 945 units[59]
    Dutch police officer shoots teargas ammunition from the muzzle of an M1 carbine, during a blockade and demonstration against the nuclear power plant Dodewaard. September 18, 1981
    •  Netherlands: 84,523 units[59](1940s–1970s, Army, Korps Mariniers and Police)
    •  Nicaragua: 121 units[59]
    •  Nigeria: 100 units[59]
    •  Norway: 98,267 units[59](Norwegian Army 1951–1970, with some Norwegian police units until the 1990s)
    •  Pakistan: 45 units[59]
    •  Panama: 917 units[59]
    •  Peru: 821 units[59]
    •  Saudi Arabia: Used by the Saudi Army.[citation needed]
    •  Tunisia: 771 units[59]
    •  Turkey: 450 units.[59] Used in Korean War.[citation needed]
    •  United Kingdom: 200,766 units[59] (Limited use by the British military from 1943 to the 1960s and by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Northern Ireland until the 1980s) .
    •  United States: 6,110,730 units[59](1940s–1960s/1970s, Armed Forces and 1940s-present, various law enforcement agencies, and the Tennessee Valley Authority)
    •  Uruguay: 32,346 units[59]
    •  Soviet Union: 7 units[59]
    •  Vietnam: (Largely captured and/or inherited from now-defunct Army of the Republic of Vietnam)[59][93] Some used by the Viet Cong and the Viet Minh, taken from American, French and South Vietnamese forces/armories with a few modified to make them compact.[6]
    • Kingdom of YugoslaviaChetniks (OSS-supplied during WW2)[94]


    The standard-issue versions of the carbine officially listed and supported were the M1, M1A1, M2 and M3.[95]

    M1A1 Carbine. Paratrooper model with folding buttstock and late issue adjustable sight and bayonet lug.

    Carbine, Cal .30, M1A1[edit]

    The M1A1 was designed in May 1942 for paratrooper units, and came with a folding stock, but was otherwise identical to a standard M1.[96] M1A1 carbines were made by Inland, a division of General Motors and originally came with the early "L" nonadjustable sight and barrel band without bayonet lug. Inland production of M1A1 carbines was interspersed with Inland production of M1 carbines with the standard stock. Stocks were often swapped out as carbines were refurbished at arsenals.

    Carbine, Cal .30, M1A2[edit]

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

    Carbine, Cal .30, M1A3[edit]

    • Underside-folding pantograph stock, 15-round magazine.
    • Type standardized to replace the M1A1 but may not have been issued.
    • Pantograph stock was more rigid than the M1A1's folding stock and folded flush under the fore end. A more common name for this type of stock is an underfolder.

    Carbine, Cal .30, M2[edit]

    M2 Carbine, note: the selector lever on the left side, opposite the bolt handle.
    Exploded view of the M2 Carbine.
    • Early 1945
    • Selective fire (capable of fully automatic fire)
    • 30-round magazine or 15 standard issue
    • About 600,000 produced

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

    Research into a conversion kit for selective fire began May 1944; the first kit was developed by Inland engineers, and known as the T4. Inland was awarded a contract for 500 T4 carbines in September 1944. Although the conversion was seen as satisfactory, the heavier 30-round magazine put greater strain on the magazine catch, necessitating the development of a sturdier catch. The slide, sear, and stock design also had to be modified. On fully automatic fire, the T4 model could fire about 750 rounds per minute, but generated a manageable recoil.[6]

    Although some carbines were marked at the factory as M2, the only significant difference between an M1 and M2 carbine is in the fire control group. The military issued field conversion kits (T17 and T18) to convert an M1 to an M2. Legally a carbine marked M2 is always a machine gun for national firearms registry purposes.[97]

    These M2 parts including the heavier M2 stock were standardized for arsenal rebuild of M1 and M1A1 carbines.

    A modified round bolt replaced the original flat top bolt to save machining steps in manufacture. Many sources erroneously refer to this round bolt as an 'M2 bolt' but it was developed as a standard part for new manufacture M1 and later M2 carbines and as a replacement part, with priority given to use on M1A1 and M2 carbines.[13] The slightly heavier round bolt did moderate the cyclic rate of the M2 on full automatic.[98]

    Despite being in demand, very few M2 carbines saw use during World War II, and then mostly in the closing days against Japan.[6] The M2 carbine was logistically compatible with the millions of M1 carbines in U.S. service, and offered longer range, better accuracy and better penetration than (pistol caliber) submachine guns like the M1 Thompsons and M3 Grease Guns.[99] Therefore, after World War II, the M2 carbine largely replaced the submachine-guns in U.S. service, until it was itself replaced by the M16 rifle.[45]

    The M2 model was the most widely used Carbine variant during the Korean War.[6] A detailed study of the effectiveness of the M2 in the war was assembled by S. L. A. Marshall. He found that many troops complained on the lack of effective range of the gun, which allowed the enemy to get close enough to throw hand grenades. A more detailed analysis showed however that most troops who complained actually tended to run low on ammo, because they fired their M2 on fully automatic too soon. Troops who fired their guns on semi-automatic at distance generally complained less about the M2's effectiveness. Generally, the more seasoned troops used the latter approach. The carbine was usually given to second line troops (administrative, support, etc.), who had little combat experience and also did not have much training in small-unit tactics, but who usually had to engage the enemy at some critical moment, like a breakthrough or ambush. Marshall noted that almost all killing shots with carbines in Korea were at ranges of 50 yards or less. It was unsurprising therefore that the M2 was a preferred weapon for night patrols. The M2 was also used in the early stages of the Vietnam War by special forces, ARVN advisers, and air crews.[6]

    Contemporary authors have struggled to categorize the M2 carbine. On one hand, it is more powerful than a submachine gun and is considered by some to be an assault rifle, even though it fires a projectile considerably less powerful than the StG 44's 7.92×33mm Kurz. On the other hand, the M2 can also be considered a precursor of the modern personal defense weapon (PDW) concept, even though contemporary guns in that category, like the FN P90, fire substantially different cartridges like the 5.7×28mm.[6]

    Carbine, Cal .30, M2A1[edit]

    M2 with an M1A1 folding stock. Like the M1A1, it was made for paratroopers.

    Carbine, Cal .30, M2A2[edit]

    • Arsenal-refurbished (over stamped M2) model

    Carbine, Cal .30, M3[edit]

    • M2 with mounting (T3 mount) for an early active (infrared) night vision sight
    • About 3,000 produced
    • Three versions of night sight (M1, M2, M3)
    Original Korean War era USMC M3 Night Vision Scope

    The M3 carbine was an M2 carbine fitted with a mount designed to accept an infrared sight for use at night. It was initially used with the M1 sniperscope, and an active infrared sight, and saw action in 1945 with the Army during the invasion of Okinawa. Before the M3 carbine and M1 sniperscope were type-classified, they were known as the T3 and T120, respectively. The system continued to be developed, and by the time of the Korean War, the M3 carbine was used with the M3 sniperscope.

    The M2 sniper scope extended the effective nighttime range of the M3 carbine to 100 yards. In the later stages of the Korean War, an improved version of the M3 carbine, with a revised mount, a forward pistol grip, and a new M3 sniperscope design was used in the latter stages of Korea and briefly in Vietnam. The M3 sniperscope had a large active infrared spotlight mounted on top of the scope body itself, allowing use in the prone position. The revised M3/M3 had an effective range of around 125 yards.[44] Eventually, the M3 carbine and its M3 sniperscope would be superseded by passive-design night vision scopes with extended visible ranges; the improved scopes in turn required the use of rifle-caliber weapons with flatter trajectories and increased hit probability.


    Ingram SAM[edit]

    The Ingram SAM rifles are M1 carbine derivatives in 5.56×45mm NATO (SAM-1), 7.62×39mm (SAM-2) and 7.62×51mm NATO (SAM-3). The 5.56×45mm versions accept M16 magazines, the 7.62×39mm accept AK magazines and the 7.62×51mm versions use FN FAL magazines. They did not catch on in competition against the Ruger Mini-14 in both the police and civilian markets. The Ingram SAM rifles are occasionally found on auction sites for collectors.[citation needed]

    9×19mm Parabellum[edit]

    Iver Johnson's 9×19mm Parabellum Carbine was introduced in 1985 until 1986 using modified Browning High Power 20 round magazines.[citation needed]

    Chiappa Firearms produces a 9mm M1 carbine derivative called the M1-9 which uses Beretta M9/92FS magazines. The Chiappa is not gas operated and instead relies on blowback operation.[citation needed]

    Military contractors[edit]

    • Inland Division, General Motors (production: 2,632,097). Receiver marked "INLAND DIV." Sole producer of the M1A1 Carbine.
    • Winchester Repeating Arms (production: 828,059). Receiver marked "WINCHESTER"[100]
    • Underwood Elliot Fisher (production: 545,616). Receiver marked "UNDERWOOD"
    • Saginaw Steering Gear Division, General Motors (production: 517,213 ). Receivers marked "SAGINAW S.G." (370,490), "SAGINAW S'G'" (for weapons manufactured in Grand Rapids) and "IRWIN-PEDERSEN" (146,723 )
    • Irwin-Pedersen (operated by Saginaw Steering Gear and production included with Saginaw total)
    • National Postal Meter (production: 413,017). Receiver marked "NATIONAL POSTAL METER"
    • Quality Hardware Manufacturing Corp. (production: 359,666). Receiver marked "QUALITY H.M.C." or "UN-QUALITY" (receivers subcontracted to Union Switch & Signal.)
    • International Business Machines (production: 346,500). Receiver marked "I.B.M. CORP." Also barrel marked "IBM Corp"
    • Standard Products (production: 247,100). Receiver marked "STD. PRO."
    • Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation (production: 228,500). Receiver marked "ROCK-OLA"[101]
    • Commercial Controls Corporation (production: 239). Receiver marked "COMMERCIAL CONTROLS". Formerly National Postal Meter.

    Commercial copies[edit]

    Several companies manufactured copies of the M1 carbine after World War II, which varied in quality. Some companies used a combination of original USGI and new commercial parts, while others manufactured entire firearms from new parts, which may or may not be of the same quality as the originals. These copies were marketed to the general public and police agencies but were not made for or used by the U.S. military.[102][page needed]

    In 1963, firearms designer Col. Melvin M. Johnson developer of the M1941 Johnson rifle offered a conversion of US Military M1 Carbines to his new Johnson MMJ 5.7mm Spitfire Cartridge, while also introducing a newly manufactured version of the M1 carbine called the "Spitfire" made by his Johnson Arms, Inc. business that was designed and built specifically for this new 5.7 mm (.22 in) wildcat cartridge (also known as the 5.7 mm MMJ or .22 Spitfire).[17] The Spitfire was advertised firing a 40-grain (2.6g) bullet with a muzzle velocity of 3050 ft/s (930 m/s), though handloaders with careful selection of modern powders and appropriate bullets consistently safely exceed those numbers while remaining within the M1 Carbine's Maximum Pressure rating of 38,500 psi (265 MPa).[17] In comparison, the "standard" load for the .30 Carbine has a .30 Carbine ball bullet weighing 110 grains (7.1 g); a complete loaded round weighs 195 grains (12.6 g) and has a muzzle velocity of 1,990 ft/s (610 m/s), giving it 967 ft⋅lbf (1,311 joules) of energy when fired from the M1 carbine's 18-inch barrel.[17]

    Johnson advertised the smaller caliber and the modified carbine as a survival rifle for use in jungles or other remote areas. It provided for light, easily carried ammunition in a light, fast handling carbine with negligible recoil. While the concept had some military application when used for this role in the selective-fire M2 carbine, it was not pursued, and few Spitfire carbines were made.

    An Auto-Ordnance AOM-130 Carbine manufactured in 2007.

    More recently, the Auto-Ordnance division of Kahr Arms began production of an M1 carbine replica in 2005 based on the typical M1 carbine as issued in 1944, without the later adjustable sight or barrel band with bayonet lug. The original Auto-Ordnance had produced various parts for IBM carbine production during World War II, but did not manufacture complete carbines until the introduction of this replica. The AOM110 and AOM120 models (no longer produced) featured birch stocks and handguards, Parkerized receivers, flip-style rear sights and barrel bands without bayonet lugs. The current AOM130 and AOM140 models are identical except for American walnut stocks and handguards.[103][104]

    In 2014, Inland Manufacturing, LLC in Dayton, Ohio introduced the reproduction of the "Inland M1 Carbine". Inland Manufacturing, LLC is a private entity that is producing reproductions of the M1 Carbine and M1A1 Paratrooper models that were built by the original Inland Division of General Motors from 1941 to 1945. The new Inland M1 carbines feature many of the same characteristics of the original Inland Carbines and are manufactured in the USA. The M1 carbine is modeled after the last production model that Inland manufactured in 1945 and features a type 3 bayonet lug / barrel band, adjustable rear sights, push button safety, round bolt, and "low wood" walnut stock, and a 15-round magazine. A 30-round mag catch was utilized to allow high-capacity magazines. A "1944" M1 Carbine is also available that has the same features as the 1945 only with a Type 2 barrel Band and 10-round magazine and is available for sale in most states with magazine capacity and bayonet lug restrictions. The M1A1 is modeled after a late production 1944 M1A1 Paratrooper model with a folding "low wood" walnut stock, Type two barrel band, and includes the same adjustable sights which were actually introduced in 1944.[105]

    An Israeli arms company (Advanced Combat Systems) offers a modernized bullpup variant called the Hezi SM-1. The company claims accuracy of 1.5 MOA at 100 yards (91 m).[106]

    Commercial manufacturers[edit]

    Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_carbine
    1. Dragon color palette
    2. Lined floral curtains
    3. Kenilworth patch
    4. Louis tomlinson twitter
    5. Phone serial number


    M1 Carbine was a semi-automatic rifle used extensively by the marines in WWII

    Usage by the Marines[]

    The M1 carbine was developed for troops who needed more firepower than a pistol could offer, but who could not be burdened with the weight of the service rifle. It was intended primarily to equip officers, heavy weapons crewmen, communicators, etc. The U.S. Army first issued a requirement for a light rifle in June 1940.

    The Army specified that the new rifle would fire a .30 caliber rimless cartridge. Nine companies submitted prototypes and extensive tests were conducted in the Spring and Fall of 1941. On 30 September 1941 the Army Ordnance Department accepted the Winchester design as the winner, and this weapon became the M1 carbine. The Marine Corps adopted the M1 carbine almost immediately.

    The carbine did not have the range or penetrating power of the service rifle's ammuntion. It was never intended to replace the M1. Still, its light weight and ammuntion capacity made it an attractive weapon for many Marines. Table of Organization F-100 of May 1944 authorized 10,953 carbines in the Marine division. The weapon has been used by many Marines in the series who are officers, sections leaders and mortar crewmen, including Eugene Sledge, Merriel "Snafu" Shelton, Andrew Haldane, John Basilone, and many others.

    In the field Marine armorers modified Carbines to fire fully automatic. This was so sucessful that it lead to the official adoption of a selective fire (semi/fully automatic) version designated as the M2 Carbine. These modifications also fueled demand for a higher capacity magazine, resulting in the introduction of 30 round magazines late in the war. (The standard magazine held only 15 rounds.) In the late 1950's the M1 Carbine began to be phased out for more modern weapons, although some continued to be used through the Viet Nam war. It is a valuable collectors item today along with the M1 Garand.

    More interesting is that there are more allotment for the Marine Corps T/O for M1 Carbines than M1 Garands. Around 10,953 carbines are allotted for use in contrast to 5,436 M1 Service Rifles(T/O F-100).



    Basilone carrying a Carbine in Iwo Jima.

    600px-Pac07 001

    Burgin with his Carbine while checking out a "secured" bunker in Peleliu

    600px-Pac05 005

    Sledge with his Carbine after debarking from his LVT in Peleliu.


    Snafu with his Carbine while preparing to assault the airfield in Peleliu.


    Haldane with his M1 carbine climbing up Bloody Nose Ridge.

    See Also[]

    Eugene Sledge

    John Basilone

    Sours: https://thepacific.fandom.com/wiki/M1_Carbine
    Paratroopers Sidekick: The M1A1 Carbine

    WW2 Rifles

    Military Factory site logo image


    Military Factory site logo image


    Military History | Second World War

    Despite the growing use of automatic weapons in the conflict, World War 2 infantry combat still incorporated proven long guns of previous wars.

    There are a total of [ 67 ] WW2 Rifles entries in the Military Factory. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily primary operator.


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    Carbines ww2


    For other uses, see Carbine (disambiguation).

    Not to be confused with carbyne, carbene, or carabiner.

    Shortened version of a standard firearm

    A carbine ( or )[1] is a long gun that has a barrel shortened from its original length.[2] Most modern carbines are rifles that are compact versions of a longer rifle or are rifles chambered for less powerful cartridges.

    The smaller size and lighter weight of carbines make them easier to handle. They are typically issued to high-mobility troops such as special-operations soldiers and paratroopers, as well as to mounted, artillery, logistics, or other non-infantry personnel whose roles do not require full-sized rifles, although there is a growing tendency for carbines to be issued to front-line soldiers to offset the increasing weight of other issued equipment. An example of this is the U.S. Army'sM4 carbine, which is standard issue. A firearm does not require a stock or arm brace in order to be considered a carbine.


    The name comes from its first users — cavalry troopers called "carabiniers", from the French carabine,[3] from Old French carabin (soldier armed with a musket), whose origin is unclear. One theory connects it to an "ancient engine of war" called a calabre;[4] another connects it to Medieval Latin Calabrinus 'Calabrian';[4][5] yet another, less likely, to escarrabin, gravedigger, from the scarab beetle.[6]


    Carbine arquebus and musket[edit]

    Harquebusier, carbine-armed cavalry, 17th century

    The carbine was originally developed for cavalry. The start of early modern warfare about the 16th century had infantry armed with firearms, prompting cavalry to do the same, even though reloading muzzle loading firearms while moving mounted was highly impractical.[7] Some cavalry, such as the German Reiters, added one or more pistols, while other cavalry, such as harquebusiers, tried various shorter, lightened versions of the infantry arquebus weapons – the first carbines. But these weapons were still difficult to reload while mounted, and the saber often remained main weapon of such cavalry. Dragoons and other mounted infantry that dismounted for battles usually adopted standard infantry firearms, though some favored versions that were less encumbering when riding – something that could be arranged to hang clear of the rider's elbows and horse's legs.

    While more portable, carbines had the general disadvantages of less accuracy and power than the longer guns of the infantry. During Napoleonic warfare, pistol and carbine-armed cavalry generally transitioned into traditional melee cavalry or dragoons. Carbines found increased use outside of standard cavalry and infantry, such as support and artillery troops, who might need to defend themselves from attack but would be hindered by keeping full-sized weapons with them continuously; a common title for many short rifles in the late 19th century was artillery carbine.

    Carbine rifle[edit]

    As the rifled musket replaced the smoothbore firearms for infantry in the mid 19th century, carbine versions were also developed; this was often developed separately from the infantry rifles and, in many cases, did not even use the same ammunition, which made for supply difficulties.

    A notable weapon developed towards the end of the American Civil War by the Union was the Spencer carbine, one of the first breechloading, repeating weapons.[8] It had a spring-powered, removable tube magazine in the buttstock which held seven rounds and could be reloaded by inserting spare tubes. It was intended to give the cavalry a replacement weapon which could be fired from horseback without the need for awkward reloading after each shot – although it saw service mostly with dismounted troopers, as was typical of cavalry weapons during that war.

    In the late 19th century, it became common for a number of nations to make bolt-action rifles in both full-length and carbine versions. One of the most popular and recognizable carbines were the lever-actionWinchester carbines, with several versions available firing revolver cartridges. This made it an ideal choice for cowboys and explorers, as well as other inhabitants of the American West, who could carry a revolver and a carbine, both using the same ammunition.

    The Lee Enfield Cavalry Carbine, a shortened version of the standard British Army infantry rifle was introduced in 1896, although it did not become the standard British cavalry weapon until 1903.[9]

    World Wars[edit]

    In the decades following World War I, the standard battle rifle used by armies around the world had been growing shorter, either by redesign or by the general issue of carbine versions instead of full-length rifles. This move was initiated by the U.S. Model 1903 Springfield, which was originally produced in 1907 with a short 24-inch (610 mm) barrel, providing a short rifle that was longer than a carbine but shorter than a typical rifle, so it could be issued to all troops without need for separate versions.[10] Other nations followed suit after World War I, when they learned that their traditional long-barreled rifles provided little benefit in the trenches and merely proved a hindrance to the soldiers. Examples include the Russian Model 1891 rifle, originally with an 800 mm (31 in) barrel, later shortened to 730 mm (29 in) in 1930, and to 510 mm (20 in) in 1938, the German MauserGewehr 98 rifles went from 740 mm (29 in) in 1898 to 600 mm (24 in) in 1935 as the Karabiner 98k (K98k or Kar98k), or "short carbine".

    The barrel lengths in rifles used by the United States did not change between the bolt-action M1903 rifle of World War I and the World War IIM1 Garand rifle, because the 610 mm (24 in) barrel on the M1903 was still shorter than even the shortened versions of the Model 1891 and Gewehr 98. The U.S. M1 carbine was more of a traditional carbine in that it was significantly shorter and lighter, with a 457.2 mm (18.00 in) barrel, than the M1 Garand rifle, and that it was intended for rear-area troops who could not be hindered with full-sized rifles but needed something more powerful and accurate than a Model 1911 pistol (although this did not stop soldiers from using them on the front line). Contrary to popular belief, and even what some books claim, in spite of both being designated "M1", the M1 Carbine was not a shorter version of the .30-06 M1 Garand, as is typical for most rifles and carbines, but it was a wholly different design, firing a smaller, less-powerful cartridge. The "M1" designates each as the first model in the new U.S. designation system, which no longer used the year of introduction but a sequential series of numbers starting at "1": the M1 Carbine and M1 Rifle.

    The United Kingdom developed a "Jungle Carbine" version of their Lee–Enfield service rifle, featuring a shorter barrel, flash suppressor, and manufacturing modifications designed to decrease the rifle's weight[11] Officially titled Rifle, No. 5 Mk I, it was introduced in the closing months of World War II, but it did not see widespread service until the Korean War, the Mau Mau Uprising, and the Malayan Emergency as well as the Vietnam War.

    Post World War II[edit]

    FN FALrifle - (left) full size, (right) carbine/paratrooper variant with a folding stock and shortened barrel

    A shorter weapon was more convenient when riding in a truck, armored personnel carrier, helicopter, or aircraft, and also when engaged in close-range combat. Based on the combat experience of World War II, the criteria used for selecting infantry weapons began to change. Unlike previous wars, which were often fought mainly from fixed lines and trenches, World War II was a highly mobile war, often fought in cities, forests, or other areas where mobility and visibility were restricted. In addition, improvements in artillery made moving infantry in open areas even less practical than it had been.

    The majority of enemy contacts were at ranges of less than 300 metres (330 yards), and the enemy was exposed to fire for only short periods of time as they moved from cover to cover. Most rounds fired were not aimed at an enemy combatant but instead fired in the enemy's direction to keep them from moving and from firing back. These situations did not require a heavy rifle, firing full-power rifle bullets with long-range accuracy. A less-powerful weapon would still produce casualties at the shorter ranges encountered in actual combat, and the reduced recoil would allow more shots to be fired in the short amount of time an enemy was visible. The lower-powered round would also weigh less, allowing a soldier to carry more ammunition. With no need of a long barrel to fire full-power ammunition, a shorter barrel could be used. A shorter barrel made the weapon weigh less, was easier to handle in tight spaces, and was easier to shoulder quickly to fire a shot at an unexpected target. Full-automatic fire was also considered a desirable feature, allowing the soldier to fire short bursts of three to five rounds, increasing the probability of a hit on a moving target.

    The Germans had experimented with selective-fire carbines firing rifle cartridges during the early years of World War II. These were determined to be less than ideal, as the recoil of full-power rifle cartridges caused the weapon to be uncontrollable in full-automatic fire. They then developed an intermediate-power cartridge round, which was accomplished by reducing the power and the length of the standard 7.92×57mm Mauser rifle cartridge to create the 7.92×33mmkurz (short) cartridge. A selective-fire weapon was developed to fire this shorter cartridge, eventually resulting in the Sturmgewehr 44, later translated as "assault rifle" (also frequently called "machine carbines" by Allied intelligence, a quite accurate assessment, in fact). Very shortly after World War II, the USSR adopted a similar weapon, the ubiquitous AK-47, the first model in the famed Kalashnikov-series, which became the standard Soviet infantry weapon and which has been produced and exported in extremely large numbers up through the present day.

    Although the United States had developed the M2 Carbine, a selective-fire version of the M1 Carbine during WW2, the .30 Carbine cartridge was closer to a pistol round in power, making it more of a submachine gun than an assault rifle. It was also adopted only in very small numbers and issued to few troops (the semi-automatic M1 carbine was produced in a 10-to-1 ratio to the M2), while the AK47 was produced by the millions and was standard-issue to all Soviet troops, as well as those of many other nations. The U.S. was slow to follow suit, insisting on retaining a full-power, 7.62×51mm NATO rifle, the M14 (although this was selective fire).

    In the 1950s, the British developed the .280 British, an intermediate cartridge, and a select-fire bullpup assault rifle to fire it, the EM-2. They pressed for the U.S. to adopt it so it could become a NATO-standard round, but the U.S. insisted on retaining a full-power, .30 caliber round. This forced NATO to adopt the 7.62×51mm NATO round (which in reality is only slightly different ballistically from the .308 Winchester), to maintain commonality. The British eventually adopted the 7.62mm FN FAL, and the U.S. adopted the 7.62mm M14 rifle. These rifles are both what is known as battle rifles and were a few inches shorter than the standard-issue rifles they replaced (22-inch (560 mm) barrel as opposed to 24 inches (610 mm) for the M1 Garand), although they were still full-powered rifles, with selective fire capability. These can be compared to the even shorter, less-powerful assault rifle, which might be considered the "carbine branch of weapons development", although indeed, there are now carbine variants of many of the assault rifles which had themselves seemed quite small and light when adopted.

    Bullet drop of the M16A2 rifle (yellow) vs M4 carbine (red)

    By the 1960s, after becoming involved in war in Vietnam, the U.S. did an abrupt about-face and decided to standardize on the intermediate 5.56×45mm round (based on the .223 Remingtonvarmint cartridge) fired from the new, lightweight M16 rifle, leaving NATO to hurry and catch up. Many of the NATO countries could not afford to re-equip so soon after the recent 7.62mm standardization, leaving them armed with full-power 7.62mm battle rifles for some decades afterwards, although by this point, the 5.56mm has been adopted by almost all NATO countries and many non-NATO nations as well. This 5.56mm NATO round was even lighter and smaller than the Soviet 7.62×39mm AK-47 cartridge but possessed higher velocity. In U.S. service, the M16 assault rifle replaced the M14 as the standard infantry weapon, although the M14 continued to be used by designated marksmen. Although at 20 inches (510 mm), the barrel of the M16 was shorter than that of the M14, it was still designated a "rifle" rather than a "carbine", and it was still longer than the AK-47, which used a 16-inch (410 mm) barrel. (The SKS – an interim, semi-automatic, weapon adopted a few years before the AK-47 was put into service – was designated a carbine, even though its 20-inch (510 mm) barrel was significantly longer than the AK series' 16.3 inches (410 mm). This is because of the Kalashnikov's revolutionary nature, which altered the old paradigm. Compared to previous rifles, particularly the Soviets' initial attempts at semi-automatic rifles, such as the 24-inch (610 mm) SVT-40, the SKS was significantly shorter. The Kalashnikov altered traditional notions and ushered in a change in what was considered a "rifle" in military circles.)

    In 1974, shortly after the introduction of the 5.56mm NATO, the USSR began to issue a new Kalashnikov variant, the AK-74, chambered in the small-bore 5.45×39mm cartridge, which was a standard 7.62×39mm necked down to take a smaller, lighter, faster bullet. It soon became standard issue in Soviet nations, although many of the nations with export Kalashnikovs retained the larger 7.62×39mm round. In 1995, the People's Republic of China adopted a new 5.8×42mm cartridge to match the modern trend in military ammunition, replacing the previous 7.62×39mm and 5.45×39mm round as standard.

    Later, even lighter carbine variants of many of these short-barreled assault rifles came to be adopted as the standard infantry weapon. In much modern tactical thinking, only a certain number of soldiers need to retain longer-range weapons, serving as designated marksmen. The rest can carry lighter, shorter-ranged weapons for close quarters combat and suppressive fire. This is basically a more extreme extension of the idea that brought the original assault rifle. Another factor is that with the increasing weight of technology, sighting systems, ballistic armor, etc., the only way to reduce the burden on the modern soldier was to equip them with a smaller, lighter weapon. Also, modern soldiers rely a great deal on vehicles and helicopters to transport them around the battle area, and a longer weapon can be a serious hindrance to entering and exiting these vehicles. Development of lighter assault rifles continued, matched by developments in even lighter carbines. In spite of the short barrels of the new assault rifles, carbine variants like the 5.45×39mmAKS-74U and Colt Commando were being developed for use when mobility was essential and a submachine gun was not sufficiently powerful. The AKS-74U featured an extremely short 8.1-inch (210 mm) barrel which necessitated redesigning and shortening the gas-piston and integrating front sights onto the gas tube; the Colt Commando was a bit longer, at 11.5 inches (290 mm). Neither was adopted as standard issue, although the U.S. did later adopt the somewhat longer M4 carbine, with a 14.5-inch (370 mm) barrel.

    Modern history[edit]

    Contemporary military forces[edit]

    Steyr AUGrifle (508 mm (20.0 in) barrel)

    Steyr AUG carbine (407 mm (16.0 in) barrel). Carbine conversion is achieved by changing to a shorter barrel.

    Two M4 carbines stowed ahead of the flight instrumentpanel of a US Army OH-58D reconnaissance helicopter, over Iraq in 2004

    By the 1990s, the U.S. had adopted the M4 carbine, a derivative of the M16 family which fired the same 5.56mm cartridge but was lighter and shorter (in overall length and barrel length), resulting in marginally reduced range and power, although offering better mobility and lighter weight to offset the weight of equipment and armor that a modern soldier has to carry.

    In spite of the benefits of the modern carbine, many armies are experiencing a certain backlash against the universal equipping of soldiers with carbines and lighter rifles in general, and are equipping selected soldiers, usually designated marksmen, with higher-powered rifles. Another problem comes from the loss of muzzle velocity caused by the shorter barrel, which when coupled with the typical small, lightweight bullets, causes effectiveness to be diminished; a 5.56mm gets its lethality from its high velocity, and when fired from the 14.5-inch (370 mm) M4 carbine, its power, penetration, and range are diminished. Thus, there has been a move towards adopting a slightly more powerful cartridge tailored for high performance from both long and short barrels. The U.S. has experimented with a new, slightly larger and heavier caliber such as the 6.5mm Grendel or 6.8mm Remington SPC, which are heavier and thus retain more effectiveness at lower muzzle velocities.

    While the U.S. Army adopted the M4 carbine in the 1990s, the U.S. Marine Corps retained their 20-inch (510 mm) barrel M16A4 rifles long afterwards, citing the increased range and effectiveness over the carbine version; officers were required to carry an M4 carbine rather than an M9 pistol, as Army officers do. Because the Marine Corps emphasizes "every Marine a rifleman", the lighter carbine was considered a suitable compromise between a rifle and a pistol. Marines with restricted mobility such as vehicle operators, or a greater need for mobility such as squad leaders, were issued M4 carbines. In 2015, the Marine Corps approved the M4 carbine for standard issue to front-line Marines, replacing the M16A4 rifle. The rifles are issued to support troops while the carbines go to the front-line Marines, in a reversal of the traditional roles of "rifles for the front line, carbines for the rear".

    Special forces[edit]

    Special forces need to perform fast, decisive operations, frequently airborne or boat-mounted. A pistol, though light and quick to operate, is viewed as not having enough power, firepower, or range. A submachine gun has selective fire, but firing a pistol cartridge and having a short barrel and sight radius, it is not accurate or powerful enough at longer ranges. Submachine guns also tend to have poorer armor and cover penetration than rifles and carbines firing rifle ammunition. Consequently, carbines have gained wide acceptance among United States Special Operations Command, United Kingdom Special Forces, and other communities, having relatively light weight, large magazine capacity, selective fire, and much better range and penetration than a submachine gun.


    The smaller size and relative lighter weight of carbines makes them easier to handle in close-quarter situations such as urban engagements, when deploying from military vehicles, or in any situation where space is confined. The disadvantages of carbines relative to rifles include inferior long-range accuracy and a shorter effective range. These comparisons refer to carbines (short-barreled rifles) of the same power and class as the regular full-sized rifles.

    Compared to submachine guns, carbines have a greater effective range and are capable of penetrating helmets and body armor when used with armor-piercing ammunition.[12] However, submachine guns are still used by military special forces and police SWAT teams for close quarters battle because they are "a pistol caliber weapon that's easy to control, and less likely to over-penetrate the target."[12] Also, carbines are harder to maneuver in tight encounters where superior range and stopping power at distance are not great considerations.

    Firing the same ammunition as standard-issue rifles or pistols gives carbines the advantage of standardization over those personal defense weapons that require proprietary cartridges.

    The modern usage of the term carbine covers much the same scope as it always had, namely lighter weapons (generally rifles) with barrels up to 20 inches (510 mm) in length. These weapons can be considered carbines, while rifles with barrels longer than 20 inches are generally not considered carbines unless specifically named so. Conversely, many rifles have barrels shorter than 20 inches, yet are not considered carbines. The AK series rifles has an almost universal barrel length of 16.3 inches (410 mm), well within carbine territory, yet has always been considered a rifle, perhaps because it was designed as such and not shortened from a longer weapon. Modern carbines use ammunition ranging from that used in light pistols up to powerful rifle cartridges, with the usual exception of high-velocity magnum cartridges. In the more powerful cartridges, the short barrel of a carbine has significant disadvantages in velocity, and the high residual pressure, and frequently still-burning powder and gases, when the bullet exits the barrel results in substantially greater muzzle blast. Flash suppressors are a common, partial solution to this problem, although even the best flash suppressors are hard put to deal with the excess flash from the still-burning powder leaving the short barrel (and they also add several inches to the length of the barrel, diminishing the purpose of having a short barrel in the first place).

    Pistol-caliber carbines[edit]

    The typical carbine is the pistol-caliber carbine. These first appeared soon after metallic cartridges became common. These were developed as "companions" to the popular revolvers of the day, firing the same cartridge but allowing more velocity and accuracy than the revolver. These were carried by cowboys, lawmen, and others in the Old West. The classic combination would be a Winchester lever-action carbine and a Colt Single Action Army revolver in .44-40 or .38-40. During the 20th century, this trend continued with more modern and powerful smokeless revolver cartridges, in the form of Winchester and Marlin lever action carbines chambered in .38 Special/.357 Magnum and .44 Special/.44 Magnum.

    Modern equivalents include the Ruger Police Carbine and Ruger PC Carbine, which uses the same magazine as the Ruger pistols of the same caliber, and the (discontinued) Marlin Camp Carbine, which, in .45 ACP, used M1911 magazines. The Ruger Model 44 and Ruger Deerfield Carbine were both carbines chambered in .44 Magnum. The Beretta Cx4 Storm shares magazines with many Beretta pistols and is designed to be complementary to the Beretta Px4 Storm pistol. The Hi-Point 995TS are popular, economical and reliable alternatives to other pistol caliber carbines in the United States, and their magazines can be used in the Hi-Point C-9 pistol. Another example is the Kel-Tec SUB-2000 series chambered in either 9mm Luger or .40 S&W, which can be configured to accept Glock, Beretta, S&W, or SIG pistol magazines. The SUB-2000 also has the somewhat unusual (although not unique) ability to fold in half.

    The primary advantage of a carbine over a pistol using the same ammunition is controllability. The combination of firing from the shoulder, longer sight-radius, 3 points of contact (firing hand, support hand & shoulder), and precision offer a significantly more user-friendly platform. Carbines like the Kel-Tec SUB-2000, Hi Point 995TS, Just Right Carbines (JR Carbine) and Beretta Cx4 Storm have the ability to mount user friendly optics, lights and lasers thanks to them having accessory rails, which make target acquisition and engagement much easier.

    Just Right Carbines (JC Carbine) in 9×19mm Parabellumwith 3-9 X 42mm scope and red dot sight

    The longer barrel can offer increased velocity and, with it, greater energy and effective range due to the propellant having more time to burn. However, loss in bullet velocity can happen where the propellant is utilised before the bullet reaches the muzzle, combined with the friction from the barrel on the bullet. As long guns, pistol-caliber carbines may be less legally restricted than handguns in some jurisdictions. Compared to carbines chambered in intermediate or rifle calibers, such as .223 Remington and 7.62×54mmR, pistol-caliber carbines generally experience less of an increase in external ballistic properties as a result of the propellant. The drawback is that one loses the primary benefits of a handgun, i.e. portability and concealability, resulting in a weapon almost the size of, but less accurate than, a long-gun, but not much more powerful than a pistol.

    Also widely produced are semi-automatic and typically longer-barreled derivatives of select-fire submachine guns, such as the FN PS90, HK USC, KRISS Vector, Thompson carbine, CZ Scorpion S1 Carbine and the Uzi carbine. In order to be sold legally in many countries, the barrel must meet a minimum length (16 inches (410 mm) in the US). So the original submachine gun in given a legal-length barrel and made into a semi-automatic, transforming it into a carbine. Though less common, pistol-caliber conversions of centerfire rifles like the AR-15 are commercially available.

    Shoulder-stocked handgun[edit]

    Some handguns used to come from the factory with mounting lugs for a shoulder stock, notably including the "Broomhandle" Mauser C96, Luger P.08, and Browning Hi-Power. In the case of the first two, the pistol could come with a hollow wooden stock that doubled as a holster.

    Carbine conversion kits are commercially available for many other pistols, including M1911 and most Glocks. These can either be simple shoulder stocks fitted to a pistol or full carbine conversion kits, which are at least 26 in (660 mm) long and replace the pistol's barrel with one at least 16 in (410 mm) long for compliance with the US law. In the US, fitting a shoulder stock to a handgun with a barrel less than 16 inches (410 mm) long legally turns it into a short-barreled rifle, which is in violation of the National Firearms Act.

    Legal issues[edit]

    United States[edit]

    Under the National Firearms Act of 1934, firearms with shoulder stocks or originally manufactured as a rifle and barrels less than 16 in (410 mm) in length are classified as short-barreled rifles. Short-barreled rifles are restricted similarly to short-barreled shotguns, requiring a $200 tax paid prior to manufacture or transfer – a process which can take several months. Because of this, firearms with barrels of less than 16 in (410 mm) and a shoulder stock are uncommon. A list of firearms not covered by the NFA due to their antique status may be found here[13] or due to their Curio and Relic status may be found here;[14] these lists includes a number of carbines with barrels less than the minimum legal length and firearms that are "primarily collector's items and are not likely to be used as weapons and, therefore, are excluded from the provisions of the National Firearms Act." Machine guns, as their own class of firearm, are not subject to requirements of other class firearms.

    Distinct from simple shoulder stock kits, full carbine conversion kits are not classified as short-barreled rifles. By replacing the pistol barrel with one at least 16 in (410 mm) in length and having an overall length of at least 26 in (660 mm), a carbine converted pistol may be treated as a standard rifle under Title I of the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA).[15] However, certain "Broomhandle" Mauser C96, Luger, and Browning Hi-Power Curio & Relic pistols with their originally issued stock attached only may retain their pistol classification.

    Carbines without a stock and not originally manufactured as a rifle are not classified as rifles or short barreled rifles. A carbine manufactured under 26 in (660 mm) in length without a forward vertical grip will be a pistol and, state law notwithstanding, can be carried concealed without creating an unregistered Any Other Weapon. A nearly identical carbine with an overall length of 26 in (660 mm) or greater is simply an unclassified firearm under Title I of the Gun Control Act of 1968, as the Any Other Weapon catch-all only applies to firearms under 26 in (660 mm) or that have been concealed. However, a modification intending to fire from the shoulder and bypass the regulation of short-barreled rifles is considered the unlawful possession and manufacture of an unregistered short-barreled rifle.

    In some historical cases, the term machine carbine was the official title for submachine guns, such as the British Sten and Australian Owen guns. The semiautomatic-only version of the Sterling submachine gun was also officially called a "carbine". The original Sterling semi-auto would be classed a "short barrel rifle" under the U.S. National Firearms Act, but fully legal long-barrel versions of the Sterling have been made for the U.S. collector market.[citation needed]

    See also[edit]

    Look up carbine in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.


    1. ^"Carbine". Dictionary.com. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
    2. ^Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Carbine". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
    3. ^"Carbine". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
    4. ^ ab"Carabin". Oxford English Dictionary.
    5. ^"Carbine". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
    6. ^"Carbine". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Fifth ed.). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2018 – via thefreedictionary.com.
    7. ^Black, Jeremy, Cambridge Illustrated Atlas, Warfare: Renaissance to Revolution, 1492-1792, (Cambridge University Press: 1996)
    8. ^Pritchard, Russ A. (1 August 2003). Civil War Weapons and Equipment. Globe Pequot Press. pp. 49–41. ISBN .
    9. ^Skennerton, Ian (2007). The Lee–Enfield. Gold Coast QLD (Australia): Arms & Militaria Press. p. 90. ISBN .
    10. ^Sheehan, John (1 October 2006). "Battlefield tack driver: the model 1903 Springfield in WWI". Guns Magazine. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
    11. ^Wilson, Royce (May 2006). Jungle Fever- The Lee-Enfield .303 Rifle. Australian Shooter Magazine
    12. ^ abGurwitch, Jeff (December 11, 2011). "Submachine Guns (SMG's): Outpaced by Today's Modern Short-Barreled Rifles (SBR's)/Sub-Carbines, or Still a Viable Tool for Close Quarters Battle/Close Quarters Combat (CQB/CQC)?". Defense Review. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
    13. ^"Curios or Relics List — Update March 2001 through May 2005". Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
    14. ^"Curios or Relics List — Update January 2009 through June 2010". Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
    15. ^"ATF Rule 2011-4 pertaining to Carbine Conversion Units". Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Retrieved November 16, 2015.

    Further reading[edit]

    • Beard, Ross E. Carbine : the story of David Marshall Williams. Williamstown, NJ: Phillips, 1997. ISBN 0-932572-26-XOCLC 757855022
    • Carbines : cal. .30 carbines M1, M1A1, M2 and M3. Washington, DC: Headquarters, Departments of the Army and the Air Force, 1953.
    • McAulay, John D. Carbines of the Civil War, 1861–1865. Union City, TN: Pioneer Press, 1981. ISBN 978-0-913159-45-3OCLC 8111324
    • McAulay, John D. Carbines of the U.S. Cavalry, 1861–1905. Lincoln, RI: Andrew Mowbray Publishers, 1996. ISBN 0-917218-70-1OCLC 36087526
    Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbine
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