30 M1 Carbine - Why?

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by redscho, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. redscho

    redscho New Member

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    We were wondering what drove the U.S. Ordiance Dept. in 1940, to adopt the 30 M1 Carbine round rather than the more powerful 357 Magnum. Seems the 9 mm Parabellum with double stack magazine even would have been a better choice for the intended purpose. There was no other weapon chambered for the 30 Carbine, and few have been since WWII. Was it because the 357 Mag was a rimmed cartridge and difficult to make a reliable magazine for? :confused:
     
  2. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    The .357 Magnum was never even considered. Contenders were the 351 Win. Self Loading and .35 WSL, among a few others. Smith & Wesson had made the 9mm Light Rifle for the British, but that was doomed from the start for the US.

    Winchester had several different designs, but the Williams piston arrangement took the attention of the Army Ordanance. The M1 carbine was designed for officers in rear areas where the chance of encounter was considered slight.

    I had the opportunity several times to carry the M2 Carbine and at close range it seemed to be pretty effective.

    I still don't consider the M1 Carbine to be a carbine, as it does fire a pistol cartridge. As such, according to my definition, it should be classed as a light rifle. The characteristics of a carbine is that it fire the standard rifle round, as the 1892 Krag carbines. While the 1873 carbines fired the reduced carbine load, they were capable of firing the standard infantry round.

    Just my thinking on the matter.

    Bob Wright
     

  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    firstly it takes a long time to produce a revolver or semi auto pistol. it takes very little time to produce a m1 carbine. speed of production.

    secondly the 30m1 carbine is a more powerful round than a 357 magnum in fmj format, by a lot. the closest a 357 round comes to a 30carbine in performance is a few loadings from buffalo bore and those still fall short by about 100ft lbs of energy...

    thirdly range, the 30 carbine has better terminal ballistics than a 357 at range means its easier to get hits.

    lastly it was intended for crew served items of combats and non combat personal. but due to the shortage of m1 garand m1903 m1917 m1a1 it was pressed into frontline service because it was available and better than sending troops off with a sharp stick.

    i wouldnt feel unarmed with one they are damn fast with extremely quick followup shots little to no recoil and at cqb range DAMNED effective. the 30 carbine only loses its chow once you get to 100+ yards. troops that fought in cities loved it troops that fought across fields hated it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  4. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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  5. redscho

    redscho New Member

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    Not hard to see why after this report on the S&W Light Rifle.
    http://www.guns.com/2013/04/05/smith-and-wesson-light-rifle-model-1940/
     
  6. redscho

    redscho New Member

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  7. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  8. redscho

    redscho New Member

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  9. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    yes and the need wasnt for yet another rifle that was time consuming and difficult to produce. hence no levergun in ww2 chambered in 357mag. at the time we were pressing every revolver we had into service and backstocks werent enough.

    a major requirement was simplicity of production.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  10. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Also, add the fact that most revolver ammunition has a "roll" crimp.
    To use that in a semi-auto can lead to jams.
    (Yes, I am aware that some semi-auto pistols were chambered in the .357 Magnum).
     
  11. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The War Dept was drinking the .30 caliber Kool-Aid. Remember, decisions are not based on effectiveness, but rather on cost, expediency, servicability, etc.

    There have been several decisions made that seem to make no sense in hindsight.
     
  12. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Very true. Ww2 was won because our top criteria as expediency. The germans and japanese focused on keeping effectiveness as top criteria and both were stuck using gear from ww1 to fight in ww2... they also had some high end stuff that was difficult to produce. We focused on easy to make gear that was servicable to not the best in trade for quantity.

    If you have time quality is great if you just need a gun, any gun, you take what you can get and get busy
     
  13. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    Bear in mind that in 1939-1940, the only .357 Magnum ammunition was the 150 gr. MP and 158 gr. SWC lead bullets.

    Bob Wright
     
  14. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    I have a Automag III that I shoot mostly reloads out of, 100gr. PSP running almost 2200 fps through the crono. your not going to get that from a .357 mag. even from a rifle.............
     
  15. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    The German gun crews and others units where rifles were cumbersome adopted the C-96 Mauser. These pistols with a removable shoulder stocks were equal to the M-1 Carb at the recommended 50 yard range. They were chambered in the very efficient 7.62X23 round. They like the M-2 Carb were produced in select fire models.
    Using a rim-fire in a Sub-Gun is not practical. Near the end of WWII there was an attempt to convert the 1917 U.S. Revolvers to .30 Carbine as well. There were 5 produced for testing at Dug Way Proving in Utah. The one surviving 1917 .30 Carb handgun was often displayed at the Salt Palace Gun shows in SLC. :)
     
  16. sandog

    sandog Member

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    My Dad fought in the Pacific the entire war, he was stationed at Schofield Barracks on the other side of Oahu when the Japs attacked Pearl Harbor. He did not return home until late in 1945, and was sent to Japan for occupation duty to Okinawa some 10 years later, and then near Tokyo where I was born. When discussing weapons used back then, I asked his opinion of the .30 carbine, as I had heard it was "anemic", the dictionary meaning being "lacking vitality, listless and weak". He said the .30 Carbine was nice and handy, but he was glad he had carried a Garand instead. He related two instances of the .30 carbine round. A Jap officer with a sword charged a man near my Dad, several hits with the .30 carbine slowed him down only slightly, another man shot him once with a Garand, and the Jap officer dropped instantly. I believe that was on Guadalcanal. Another time, I can't remember which island he said it was on, a Komodo dragon was crossing a dirt road. I remember my Dad saying that with the tail, the Komodo was as long as the road was wide. One of my Dad's buddies shot it behind the shoulder twice with the .30 carbine and he said it turned around and bit at the place where the bullets had entered, then kept walking. Probably died eventually but it did not seem too affected by the hits. I would not want to get shot with one, but had I been there , I would want something with a bit bigger round.
     
  17. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Plenty of stories of people shot multiple times with 30-06 8mm 7mm etc and continuing to fight. Lots of deer run off when shot with very powerful rifles. Instances of people being killed instantly with a pellet gun.

    Individual stories are just recounts of things that happened not proof of how good or bad certain things are.
     
  18. TLuker

    TLuker Active Member

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    I had always heard the .30 cal carbine was underpowered and I thought the Op had a pretty good question, which way didn't the ordnance department pick something with a little more ump to it? I understand it was never intended as a service rifle but the stopping power of a .30 cal always seemed a little week. :confused:
     
  19. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Jon is correct. I knew a WWII Army Ranger that scaled the cliffs at Normandy. Till his dying day he considered the M-1 Carb. affectionately known as the "War Baby" the best weapon. The "War Baby" was intended to replace pistols in the rear echelon operations. It was soon pressed into service. If you own a "War Baby" you know it is a lot of fun in a small package. :)
     
  20. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It would have been quite easy to produce a rimless 357 magnum equivalent. 150 grain fmj @1900 fps would have been much more powerful which also means more recoil.