Firearms / Assault rifles / M1 Carbine

M1 Carbine

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Self-loading rifle

  • ORIGIN
    United States

  • NICKNAMES
    Selbstladekarabiner 455(a) (Nazi German designation for captured weapons)

  • DESIGNED
    1938 - 1941

  • DESIGNER
    Winchester

  • PRODUCTION
    1941 - ?

  • PRODUCERS
    Japan - Howa
    United States - General Motors
    United States - Winchester

  • QUANTITY
    Over 6.25 million, including:
    150.000 M1A1
    600.000 M2
    3.000 M3

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Small size and limited weight
    Large magazine capacity compared to conventional rifles
    Limited recoil
    Semi-automatic
    Limited effective range
    Limited lethality

Introduction

The M1 Carbine is a self-loading rifle of US origin. It was developed during the early stages of World War 2 to provide US forces with a weapon that filled the gap between a sub machine gun and a full size rifle. It was deemed that many frontline troops that are not riflemen, such as officers, engineers and drivers, could use weapon that was less cumbersome but yet adequate for combat.

Design

The M1 Carbine is based on the Winchester M2 rifle designed by John Browning. The Browning design was finished by David Williams who started to develop a short stroke gas piston design. The M1 Carbine is gas operated and uses a tapped-and-slide gas mechanism. Externally the M1 Carbine looks like a classic rifle with its wooden furniture and lack of a pistol grip. The .30 Carbine round used in the M1 Carbine was specifically designed for this weapon. Unlike most intermediate powered rounds developed in World War 2 it is not of a spitzer design.

Firepower

The M1 Carbine is a semi-automatic weapon that fires the intermediat power .30 Carbine round. At first only the 15 round magazine was available. With the introduction of the select-fire M2 Carbine the 30 round magazine was introduced. The M2 has a high cyclic rate of fire of about 900 rpm. The maximum effective range is 200 to 300 meters. Most M1 Carbines have an accuracy of 3 to 5 MOA, which is adequate at such ranges.

Users

The main user of the M1 Carbine was the US military. US forces used it as a standard issue weapon alongside the larger and more powerful M1 Garand. After the Korean war the M1 Carbine was replaced. The M1 Carbine was widely exported and equipped many European forces right after World War 2. The M1 Carbine was also widely used by gendarmerie and police forces of many nations. By today's standards the M1 Carbine is obsolete but remains in use in various nations, mostly in the reserve role.

Variants

M1 Carbine

The M1 Carbine is the original and most produced version. The M1 is semi-automatic and has a fixed wooden stock. The M1A1 was developed for airborne troops needing a more compact weapon. It is a M1 that is fitted with a metal skeleton folding stock.

TypeSelf-loading rifle
Caliber.30 Carbine
Magazine15, 30 rounds
OperationGas operated, tappet and slide
Fire selector0-1
Rate of fireSemi-automatic
Barrel length458 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 508mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity607 m/s
StockFixed
Length904 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight2.36 kg with empty magazine
SightsIron sights, blade front and flip aperture rear, 0, 150, 300 m gradation, 546 mm sight radius
Remarks-
TypeSelf-loading rifle
Caliber.30 Carbine
Magazine15, 30 rounds
OperationGas operated, tappet and slide
Fire selector0-1
Rate of fireSemi-automatic
Barrel length458 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 508mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity607 m/s
StockFoldable
Length905 mm / 648 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight2.53 kg with empty magazine
SightsIron sights, blade front and flip aperture rear, 0, 150, 300 m gradation, 546 mm sight radius
Remarks-

M2 Carbine

The M2 is a select-fire version of the M1 Carbine. The M2 also introduced 30 round magazines that are compatible with the M1 Carbine. The M1 could be converted into the M2 with the use of a parts kit. The M3 is an M2 fitted with an infrared searchlight and infrared scope. The M3 was produced in very limited numbers.

TypeAssault rifle
Caliber.30 Carbine
Magazine15, 30 rounds
OperationGas operated, tappet and slide
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire850 - 900 rpm
Barrel length458 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 508mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity607 m/s
StockFixed
Length904 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight2.36 kg with empty magazine
SightsIron sights, blade front and leaf slide rear, 546 mm sight radius
Remarks-

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