The American M1 Carbine

    The M1 Carbine is a terrific long gun designed to bridge the gap between pistol and rifle, and it went above and beyond that simple expectation. Troops loved the light weight, high capacity, and handiness of this little gun and it often made it onto the front lines despite having been designed for other purposes.

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    Transcript ….

    (gun fires) – [Narrator] If I were an American combatant in World War II, I would probably take an M1 carbine if it were up to me.

    Not because it was the most powerful, or the most accurate, but because it was plenty powerful and accurate enough.

    All while weighing 4.5 pounds, with sling and oil bottle attached.

    The M1 carbine was the result of the military’s desire to bridge the gap between a 1911 handgun and full powered rifle as a small arm to distribute to personnel who were not front-line combatants, such as officers, artillery men, drivers, and so on.

    But the advantages of a small, lightweight semi-auto rifle that held 15 rounds in the magazine were soon recognized.

    And they were generally very well-favored among troops in World War II.

    The M1 carbine is a brilliant piece of hardware.

    It’s the product of many talented designers including the famous Carbine Williams.

    And it shoots brilliantly.

    But let’s take a look at a few of this gun’s features.

    As mentioned, these are exceptionally lightweight and quite small.

    The length of pole is very short, but a person with a large wingspan can adapt to a short length of pole.

    Whereas a person with shorter arms may be unable to use a weapon effectively if one is too excessive.

    So there is a bit of a compromise here, I suppose.

    The M1 carbine has a simple aperture sight with a 150 yard setting and a 300 yard setting.

    Detachable 15 round magazines are present, although later on a 30 round magazine was developed, and these work quite well in the select-fire M2 carbine, which is a rifle I really wish I had.

    The safety is a simple cross bolt design, and you can go from safe to fire with a simple press of a button.

    It’s very easy to do for right-handed users.

    It has the same style operating rod and horizontally opposed dual lug rotating bolt of the M1 grand.

    And there is a provision to manually lock the bolt to the rear.

    Interestingly, this gun was made by IBM Corp., as indicated by the rear of the receiver.

    And here you can see the flip adjustable sights.

    The front side is a simple post, but with wings to guard it, as present on many American firearms.

    Also cleverly, in the back of the stock, what retains the sling is the oil bottle.

    But let’s do a little bit more shooting.

    (gun cocks) (gun fires repeatedly) The gun shoots 30 caliber 110 grain projectiles at an impressive 2,000 feet per second.

    But even still, the gun generates very low recoil, and is incredibly fun to shoot.

    In fact, it’s my girlfriend’s favorite rifle, and she’s gotten pretty handy with it.

    Really I’ve found that these are just great rifles to teach new shooters with as well, due to the low recoil and weight.

    The rapport is also significantly quieter than an AR-15 or AK type rifle.

    (gun cocks) (gun fires repeatedly) While a bit less than ideal given modern options, if you had to use an M1 carbine in a self-defense situation, well, you could do a lot worse.

    With 30 rounds of a zippy and reasonably potent cartridge on tap, the humble M1 carbine could hold it’s own in a skirmish.

    Typically they group about three to four inches at 100 yards, which isn’t great, but these guns were not designed to replace the 1903 or M1 rifle.

    They were designed to hit man-sized targets at short distances.

    And for that, they are perfectly adequate.

    If you’d like to own an M1 carbine yourself, ProxiBid has a lot of auctions coming up this weekend as well.

    And, one of these would look great in any firearm collection.

    They really are great pieces of American history.

    Thanks as always to Ventura Munitions for helping us out with the ammunition in our videos.

    And a special thank you to you all for watching.

    We sincerely hope to see you next time.

    (gun firing)

    Alex C.

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