M1 - M1 Carbine/WWII Question

My gut tells me the Carbine was issued/used more in the So. Pacific and the M1 was issued/used more in Africa and Europe. Anyone know for sure?

Because of the jungle conditions the carbine was preferred,


The Carbine is a nice, attractive, light, ergonomic weapon. It has a devoted cult following - but it’s relatively expensive. Its ammunition is also expensive.

If anyone from a gun company is reading this: guys, make an M1 Carbine clone in 9mm. You will sell a lot of them.

I wouldn’t say I’m a cultist, but I do have two of them.

I’m not on board with 9mm. It just wouldn’t be the same. Besides, if you want 9mm there’s the Marlin Camp 9, which has similar ergonomics and even a vague resemblance to the M1 Carbine. Or if you want cheap, you can shoot .22LR out of a Ruger 10/22.

You’re right that a clone would be successful with a cheaper, more-available round. But 9mm just doesn’t seem ‘right’ to me.

Virtually any other common cartridge would be more practical for the average shooter than .30 Carbine.

Not sufficiently familiar with firearms to know the answer to this, but why is this so? What is impractical about the .30? Why is it more expensive? Because it is less common so economies of scale in manufacture don’t kick in? If it is anything like the .303 round, I could see that it is bigger overall (though not in calibre) than a 9mm, but the stopping power and muzzle velocity was presumably thought necessary in the war.

Why would the average shooter who went to the trouble of getting an M1 replica not want the full experience with the original ammunition?

Realistically, there’s not much practical about poking holes in paper from a distance. :wink:

Except for the expense, the .30 Carbine is a fine round for casual shooting. My M1s are pretty accurate, and the round produces little recoil. The M1 Carbine is a joy to shoot.

Do you know who made the M1 Carbine clone in the '70s? Iver Johnson? Universal? I remember seeing them at Kmart and such places. Cheap-looking wood, and a blued (not Parkerized) finish. The rear sights seemed a little tentative. IIRC, (virtually?) none of the parts were interchangeable with genuine M1 Carbines.

Ha! From the link:


Well, hell. I posted a reply, and then edited it instead of quoting myself. :smack:

Let me try again…

The .303 is a much more powerful round than the .30 Carbine. The .303 is more comparable to the .30-06 (7.62 x 63 mm) and 7.92 x 57 mm Mauser. The .30 Carbine was not intended as a general issue infantry rifle. It’s less powerful than the 7.62 x 51 mm NATO and 7.62 x 39 mm Russian rounds, and is probably less lethal than the 5.56 x 45 mm.

In decades past, there were zillions of surplus .30 Carbine rounds leftover from WWII and Korea. Now, not so much. You pretty much have to buy commercial rounds that are more expensive than surplus anyway, and which are not made in quantities as large as more popular rounds.

In my original attempt at posting, I said that I see the .30 Carbine as useful for small game, like my .32-20. There are other, more popular rounds and rifles for that.


My Dad has a Marlin Camp 9. Don’t really see the point of it. The 30 puts out twice the muzzle energy.

The one time I handled an authentic M1 carbine, it seemed way to small for me. The stock seemed incredibly too short.

The M1 Carbine is very light, and rather short – which was the point. It doesn’t really feel ‘substantial’. Loads of fun, though.

I shoot .30 Carbine out of an Automag III. Nice little cartridge.

My understanding is, yes, the Pacific theater is where most were issued.

Universal made the clone. Avoid it.

I bought mine from the US government via the Civilian Marksmanship Program and the FedEx driver delivered it right to my front door, no FFL needed.

That must be the one I was thinking of.

Several commercial companies made M1 clones in the postwar period when there were not enough surplus ones released onto the market. These included Iver Johnson, Plainfield and Universal Firearms. Most began by using GI surplus components in some measure. As time went on most of them began making modifications to the design in the direction of cheaper manufacture. Many carbine users have bemoaned the little cartridge’s lack of power as a man-killer (let alone a deer-killer) and some firms have attempted to offer them in other calibers to increase the rifle’s marketability.

Just an anecdote: when I was going through military training in about 1968, they were still ramping up to full transition to the M-16. As a consequence, none were available for training units such as ours (although I’m sure the Army and Marines had them). As a consequence, we were fam-firing older weapons such as the M-14 and the M-1 carbine. I remember thinking what an effective little weapon it was and wishing I owned one. The really fun part about all this is that when I arrived in Vietnam, somebody handed me an M-16 and told me they were expecting a possible ground assault that night. Great! How do I load this thing?

As I recall, the M1 Carbine was designed with support troops in mind. Guys who would need to be able to defend themselves from attack, but whose primary duties would make contact with the enemy rare. They were a compromise between effectiveness and ease of carry (they may have also been cheaper than the M1911 handguns, I don’t know though). For reasons of ease of carry and weight, they were also pretty well suited to airborne operations.

In the days before effective body armor, they were probably just fine for fights at shorter ranges. I would be curious to see how they stack up against the 5.56 NATO that the M-16 rifles and M-4 Carbines use.

Here’s something that always bugged me, actually. Why the M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine? Why not the M2 Carbine? Or the M-anythingotherthan-1 Carbine? The name kinda suggests that it’s a cut-down Garand, which it most certainly is not.

The M2 Carbine was the selective-fire variant of the M1 Carbine.

You see a lot of M1 carbines here in Israel. The police has a big stock, and they like to issue them to people like Civil Guard volunteers and tour guides.

It was the long gun of choice for the Danish police well into the 1980s, as well. Apparently a WWII stockpile was acquired on the cheap and the weapon is excellent where a pistol isn’t sufficient, but a full-blown rifle is overdoing it. (They’ve since been replaced with MP5s.)