Carbine Williams and the M1 Carbine

    Justin Taylan, founder of (a site well worth visiting), recently visited the South Carolina Military Museum and took these photos of the displays dedicated to David Marshall Williams aka. Carbine Williams. The information below was kindly provided by Chris Webb.

    Korean War era M1 Carbine with Infra-red optic

    You probably know “Carbine” Williams, he’s a legend! He was expelled from the Blackstone Military Academy and serving time at the Caledonia State Prison Farm in Halifax County, North Carolina during the ‘30’s for second degree murder! His sentence was cut short so the the could design firearms for the US military.

    “Williams related that the superintendent, H.T. Peoples, noted his mechanical aptitude and allowed him access to the prison’s machine shop where he demonstrated a knack for fashioning replacement parts for the guards’ firearms from pieces of scrap and automobile parts. In prison, he would save paper and pencils and stay up late at night drawing plans for various firearms. His skills in the machine shop permitted him to stay ahead of his assignments and allowed him time for his own hobby.”

    Williams also designed several .22 cal versions issued firearms including the Browning machine gun and Colt automatic pistol for use during training exercises.

    The U.S. patents for the highly successful Benelli Shotgun (U.S. Patent 4,604,942) reference Williams’ U.S. Patent 2,476,232 for a recoil operated semi-automatic shotgun with a non-recoiling barrel.

    In 1952, MGM released a film loosely based on his life starring James Stewart and Jean Hagen as his wife Maggie; Williams served as a technical advisor. The film was appropriately titled “Carbine Williams”.

    a wooden model of the T-machine gun chambered in .22. signed by “Carbine”
    two pistol grip short barrel variations of the M1
    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!