M1 Carbine Run and Gun

To fall in love with an M1 Carbine, you simply need to pick one up. These guns are so light and handy that it boggles the mind, and millions were made to serve the allies in WWII. Chambered in .30 carbine, the little war baby is a very sweet little shooter, but how will it perform on the run and gun course?

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Transcript …

– [Voiceover] Hey guys, it’s Alex C. with TFB TV, and for today’s run and gun we are going to be featuring an M1 carbine chambered in the standard.30 carbine.

This particular carbine was made by IBM, aka International Business Machines, but they were produced by a number of other manufacturers including General Motors actually.

The M1 carbine is a very very handy little rifle.

There’s a great book about them actually called War Baby!, and war baby is a very suiting name for these.

There was also an M2 carbine and so on, but the M2 carbine had something that this rifle doesn’t, and that is select fire capabilities.

I wish that I had an M2 carbine to do a run and gun with, ’cause that would add a little bit of extra fun to this video, but until such time as I can borrow one again from my friend Steve, we’re going to have a problem there.

But anyways, to go on with the show here, we’ve got the M1, this is, like I said a standard WWII M1 with the flip sight and without the bayonet lug on the front.

Something cool about these is the way the sling attaches is actually on to the oiler that you set into the stock.

Now if you’ve ever fired or handled an M1 Garand rifle, this will seem very familiar to you, except for the fact that they have 15-round detachable box magazines, which is nice.

That makes it a little more modern and quicker.

The safety is also in a natural place that’s very intuitive to use as well.

As for the sights, the early sights were just a simple flip arrangement, you’ve got two settings, one for a close engagement and one for a far out target, not unlike an M16 actually.

And of course, later on a 30-round magazine was introduced, but for this run and gun we’re going to use three magazines with 10 rounds each, at an engagement distance of about 70 to 75 yards, and let’s see how the M1 carbine performs on the course.

Alright guys, here we go with the M1 carbine.

I’ve been looking forward to this one for awhile, hope it goes alright.

(gun cocks) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun cocks) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun cocks) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun cocks) Alright guys, let’s go downrange and talk about that one a little bit.

Alright guys, so that one was kinda weird.

You’ll notice I’m standing not next to the target, because the sun is coming right over the berm.

So as I was looking through the little bitty peep sight on the carbine, I really couldn’t see that well.

I know a poor carpenter blames his tools, but yeah so that happened.

But still, the amount of hits versus misses, pretty decent for a rapid fire in a semi-auto.

I’ll put the total hits versus misses here.

I really feel I could do better with this gun, especially if I revisit it at a later date.

It’s just hard to not like these.

They’re so light, they’re so handy, they’re very short.

All in all, I mean realistically if I found another one for a good price, I’d buy it just to keep as a truck gun, or something like that.

Very cool, reasonably accurate I guess, I’ve shot them at 100 yards with some luck from a static position but all in all, I’d recommend that you shoot one if you have the opportunity but, let’s go back to the room and finish this video up.

So if there’s one run and gun that I’d like to revisit, it would actually be this one.

I would like to take a day, correct the sights, get more familiar with the rifle, and then be able to show you guys what it’s capable of.

The low recoil and the nice peep sights should make this a great gun to do this with, and I really was disappointed with how I personally performed.

I’m going to absolutely blame myself and not the gun on this.

I’ve seen people make these things dance.

I’ve seen people take them to two gun and three gun matches before.

Because realistically you’re not that far behind other people with 30-round magazines and a very low bore axis and things like that.

Anyways, we appreciate you guys watching.

Special thanks to Ventura Munitions for providing the ammunition for this video.

We hope to see you next time.

(gun fires)


Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • Darkpr0

    It’s true. The first M1 Carb I picked up (an Underwood/Inland rearsenaled) took about 20 seconds before I decided “I need this.”

    I still have it. It’s not leaving.

  • USMC03Vet

    ENDO Blog swag!

  • Lance

    What didnt use Korean war era 30rd mags…. Come Alex you must upgrade… LOL

  • iksnilol

    Ohmigawd, they should make a .50 BMG M1 Carbine. I mean, it is so light that when scaled up it should be merely unwieldy.

  • Bub

    Gotta love those little m1 carbines. This is one you really need to run again. I picked one up last summer and it’s becoming one of my favorite guns to shoot. I have the one with adjustable sights which didn’t adjust enough so a little KY windage is required, but works well once I learned my holds. Also my sight wants to slide around sometimes so you have to keep an eye on that. Otherwise keep it wet and runs like a champ and we are talking about something 70 years old with mixed parts.

  • Surfgun

    I bellieve there was a company that made carbines in .45 Wichester Magnum. If the round did not beat the guns up too bad, that would have been a nice thumper to have.

  • The_Champ

    “Handy” is definitely the right word to describe it. Shouldering and carrying the ultra light M1 carbine is comparable to no other 20th Century combat rifle that I can think of. Let’s take a moment to appreciate that it isn’t significantly heavier than a modern Ruger 10/22!
    While there is plenty of room for debate about its round, and reliability, I’d argue that it was very capable for it’s era.

  • De Facto

    It makes me sad that so many of these are stuck in S. Korea. Hopefully they’ll be reimported someday.

  • Southpaw89

    Closest I’ve gotten is the Chiappa M1-9 I picked up a while back, its a fun little gun, especially since I resolved most of the reliability issues, but if I had it to do again I’d buy a proper M1 carbine, it only would’ve set me back about $100 more for an Auto Ordnance repro.

    • Blake

      I looked at the Chiappa a while back & most of the reviews I saw seemed to indicate that it was of poor quality. Jams due to magazine issues, FTEs, stovepipes, etc. etc.
      Also they mentioned the complete lack of a bolt hold-open mechanism makes using a chamber flag an absolute necessity, & might violate some range rules.

      – what did you do to fix yours?

      – & can you run 100 rounds through it without a jam?

      • Southpaw89

        The fix I discovered was fairly simple, one issue was the mags that were included with it, their feed lips were too short causing the round to jump too high and jam, so a used mag from the local gun shop with slightly longer lips took care of that part of it. The other one took some figuring but came to a very simple fix, and that is that the bolt wasn’t traveling back far enough to pick up the next round, and was instead pushing it forward from the front of the extractor groove. The source of this problem was that the firing pin was impacting the silicon buffer at the rear of the receiver preventing full travel of the bolt, so drilling a hole in the buffer just large enough to clear the pin resolved that issue. The rifle will now fire through a full mag without jamming, but occasionally still has a failure to eject on the last round, so I guess you could say I got a last round hold open as well. 😛 Sadly this relegates it to the “plinking only” category for me, but that’s what I bought it for in the first place, at least its fun to shoot now, before that multiple failures per mag were the norm.

        • Blake

          Wow, thanks.

          You should submit that to Chiappa, along with TAOFLEDERMAUS’ review:

          • Southpaw89

            No prob, been meaning to share the info somewhere but was waiting until I could include pictures, and maybe some video. As soon as I get my camera working I’ll try to spread the word. Actually it was Taufledermaus’ review that showed me I hadn’t gotten a lemon, and the issue was with the design.

  • Keith Denigan

    I had one 40 years ago after I got out of the Military. Wish I still had it. Fun little rifle for sure..

  • LG

    What is even more fun were the conversions that M. Johnson did to them after Korea. He necked the 30 carbine round down to 22 caliber, 22 Spitfire – 5.57 mm Johnson. These were super fun.

    • Daniel M. Ramos

      Was there a significant advantage?

      • LG

        The round was much flatter shooting than the 30 carbine round. In the field, it’s performance approached that of the .222 Remington. I can remember M. Johnson demonstrating it by shooting filled tomato juice cans. The velocity of the 22 Spitfire would explode the cans, while the hard ball GI 30 carbine rounds would merely split them open. I believe what really killed it was the dirt cheap GI surplus carbine ammo. It was ALL non corrosive and could be purchased by the sealed can at 2-3 cents per round. By the time the GI ammunition effectively dried up, the M1 carbines were getting scarcer and the AR15 was starting to really become accepted by the civilians. I remember seeing Johnson with an M2 version in 22 Spitfire. For it’s day, before the rise of the AR, it was awesome.

  • ExMachina1

    “Car-bine” or “car-bean”? Which is correct

    • M.M.D.C.

      Mirriam Webster has it both ways, so apparently it’s a matter of preference.


      I prefer car-bean.

      • ostiariusalpha

        Car-bine is the original pronunciation; car-bean is a hick word. Which doesn’t invalidate it entirely, if that’s the affect your going for.

        • M.M.D.C.

          I see, so “hick word” would be the King’s English, then?

          • Paul White

            damn hillybilly King of England.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Yes, it would since the word “hick” comes from jolly old England.

          • M.M.D.C.

            No one is questioning the derivation of “hick.”

          • ostiariusalpha

            LOL! Okay, then what exactly are you questioning?

    • kyphe

      I class car-bine as the official English pronunciation with car-bean being the french from the french word Carabine pronounced Kara-bean. But coming from the UK with so many regional and colloquial dialects crammed together I never set pronunciations in stone or make a big deal out of how someone chooses to say something.

    • Dave

      Tomato tomahto, potato, potahto?? Or tatties, praties, erdäpfel, kartoffel, papa?

      Personally, as a shaky portuguese and spanish speaker, I say car-bean, since it is “carabina” after all, and from the Middle French carabin/ carabine, presumably with Latin roots.

      The late Col. Cooper stated emphatically–in fortîsimo as was his style–that it was “Car-Bine” period, so one sees U.S. gun cognoscenti ape the late Col.’s preferences stated as doctrine: “Carbine NEVER carbean.” Whatever dude.

      On the other hand, John Cantius Garand’s last name is actually pronounced “Garand” like “gerund” and NOT “GUH-Rand.” Obviously, in Texas, this is an uphill sort of battle. I once was discussing W.E.B. DuBois, and noted that he anglicized his name as “Du-Boys” whereupon an attendee of the lecture interrupted to make the correct claim that his name, being French, should be “DuBwah.” I conceded the French origin, but then proceeded to pull up the W.E.B. DuBois website, which stated categorically that he anglicized his French-derived last name to “DuBoys.”

      As for the M1 carbine: These are truly awesome little rifles, I’ve enjoyed mine a great deal, and have finally settled on a Saginaw Inland as my “truck gun.” Great introductory rifle to move a new shooter from rimfire to centerfire. Oh. Alex: When you do your next run n’ gun with the carbine, why not do it as a demonstration of what the army was getting at by running it alongside the M1911A1? Just a thought.

    • D.M. Williams insisted upon “car-bine.” His favorite explanation was along the lines that you don’t make “wean” from a grape “vean.”

      • ostiariusalpha

        And you really didn’t want to contradict him to his face.

  • codfilet

    You could have done like just about every WW2 GI, and carried two magazines in a pouch that slipped over the buttstock.

    • I need to buy one of those!

      • Daniel M. Ramos

        Alex, the cows mooing in the background was a nice touch.
        BTW, I’m in Austin and grew up in South Texas. It reminds me of shooting on my father’s farm land down in the Rio Grande valley. Sounds like home, guns and cows. HA!

        Speaking of home, my Mama used to send me pressed orange blossoms when I was in the Navy (gulf war I). The smell of orange blossoms and gunpowder in the morning, ahhhh.

        Keep up the awesome work bro.

    • Daniel M. Ramos

      Yeah, those are soooo cool.

  • Mike

    What I find frustrating that the US came so very close to having the first real assault rifle with the M1 Carbine. Just every so slightly larger perhaps a half pound heavier and a slightly more powerful cartridge say a 120 grain at 2200 fps with a 20 or 30 round mag and select fire . I love the little Carbine

    • Georgiaboy61

      Particularly in the case of the M2 (select fire) variant of the .30-caliber carbine, a decent case can be made that the design was one of the first practicable assault rifles. Kenneth Royce (a.k.a. best known as the author of “Boston’s Gun Bible”), to name one, has made that argument. Despite its drawbacks, the rifle remained popular with the troops who used it – well into the Vietnam era and beyond.

    • Jrggrop

      I’ve seen the Savage .250-3000 cartridge bandied about as an alternate, though I’m not sure if the M1 could have handled the additional pressure.

    • Daniel M. Ramos

      It makes me wonder what would have happened if the feds would have gone the route of adopting the M1 carbine and evolving it instead of what actually happened. What would a modern version of the M1 carbine look like if it had evolved into a model current to 2016 standards? Hmm?

  • kyphe

    I heard the M1 always likes to shoot high with factory zero, which could explain a lot of the mythology that surrounds the rifle as having an ineffective cartridge, when really they were just missing high.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Alex C., be sure to use the M2 for the re-run…