M1 Carbine

M1 Carbine

This is a discussion on M1 Carbine within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; How many, if any, use or at least consider using the M1 carbine (Audie Murphy's favorite rifle) for home defense? I hear Hornady makes an ...

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    Distinguished Member Array Gaius's Avatar
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    M1 Carbine

    How many, if any, use or at least consider using the M1 carbine (Audie Murphy's favorite rifle) for home defense? I hear Hornady makes an excellent defensive load for this gun.
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    had any opportunity to buy one from a private source......but.....in NJ they are prohibited.....like everything else.
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    I am currently saving for a Garand, but not a carbine, full size battle rifle.
    Not sure will be using it for home defense. Too many other options out there.
    I still think the shotgun is #1 home defense in my opinion, with my 1911 as a backup.
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    I have an IBM made M1 in the gun safe. I think it would make a great home defense weapon, as long as you live somewhere where over-penetration isn't a worry. Right now, my defensive long gun is a Mossberg 12 gauge. But the carbine would be good to go.
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    Pretty sure @bmcgilvray does.
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    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    The M1 carbine is my all time favorite rifle, even though I've never owned one. My Dad had one. I think with modern ammo, it would be great for home defense. Just like what it was designed for, it fits a great niche between a handgun and a long gun. Compared to most handguns for most people, it is more potent, has more capacity, is more accurate, and has less recoil, but it is more maneuverable than most long guns. I think one with a folding stock would be ideal.
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    I think the one with the folding stock is a paratroopers model if not mistaken.
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    I own one, but haven't keep it by the bed in 35 years. About the time I mothballed it, I moved to a 12 ga. pump & ALL .40+ for defensive carry. Now, it's an AR pistol, & my Kriss in .45 acp for bedside duty.
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    Haven't considered it. Given the price and the issues reported over the decades with reliability in various makers versions I have stuck with a 12ga Mossberg riot gun.
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    I have carried and used M1 Carbines since the early 1970's, first as a back-up weapon while working as a city cop, later as a criminal investigator for a state agency working a territory of about 30,000 square miles. I still take a carbine along as a car gun on road trips. I have owned several WW2 surplus carbines; current carry carbine is a 1943 Inland.

    For what it may be worth, I have spent a great deal of time experimenting with different ammunition and bullet types, both factory and handloads, FMJ, HP, and cast bullets. Within the performance envelope of the .30 Carbine cartridge (nominal bullet weight 110 grains, nominal muzzle velocity ~1900FPS) there is very little difference in actual performance on hard or soft targets. I have never found any soft point or hollow point bullets that provided any significant expansion.

    I picked up a case of Lake City ball ammo (1967 production) years ago, and I also have several boxes of Norma 110 JHP. I doubt there is any great difference in performance with either of these.

    All of my practice ammo is homemade with 115-grain cast RNFP-gas check (.32-20 mold sized to .310" for the Carbine). Shoots just as well as any factory ammo and probably every bit as effective. Best thing that ever happened for the .30 Carbine was the carbide sizing dies; I still remember the old days of lubricating hundreds of carbine cases for resizing, then cleaning after resizing, a very tedious chore.

    There just isn't any way to gain much in performance. The .30 Carbine is what it was intended to be, essentially a side arm substitute with performance about on a par with .32-20 rifles (another reasonable comparison would be .357 magnum revolver with 110-125 grain bullets). I have never hunted with the carbines, but I have dispatched a couple of deer after traffic collisions, both clean kills with head shots at close range (20-30 feet). Similarly, I once put down a 300-lb. pig that had been hit by a car.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    Pretty sure @bmcgilvray does.
    I do.

    And, I think it whips the hooey of any AR 15 configuration for the purpose.

    There, I said it.


    My junker, but basically World War II correct Underwood M1 Carbine from 10-43 beneath my dad's undated, but all original 1943 production Quality Hardware & Machine Company M1 Carbine.

    Since my 93 year-old dad has passed his on to me I have two on hand.

    First firearm I ever "shot" was the M1 Carbine. I was six so he helped me hold the Carbine when I pulled the trigger for the first time. I grew up using the M1 Carbine. Got my own M1 Carbine as an adult and have made the M1 Carbine a part of my life for a long time now. I'm familiar with it and and know just exactly what the .30 Carbine cartridge is capable of which is more than the unknowing are willing to attribute to it.

    I've had an AR 15 since the late 1980s and am familiar enough with it and its cartridge to recognize that it is inferior for my purposes to the M1 Carbine. I particularly don't want a shorty AR 15, don't want to mix and match, play Barbie Dolls with the AR 15, swap out uppers, play with other calibers on it, or festoon it with accessory items. I've become militantly geezerly in my old age when it comes to the notion of "all things AR, all the time."
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    I'd like to have a carbine and 1911 simply because those are what my dad toted in WWII. I have neither.

    That's all the reason I need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KILTED COWBOY View Post
    I think the one with the folding stock is a paratroopers model if not mistaken.
    You are right. They were called that when originally issued with a folding stock. But the originals are really expensive collector's items. You can buy a modern M1 carbine and get an aftermarket folding stock for a lot less. Collectors would say that is not a true "Paratrooper" but it would work the same.
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    I almost bought an M1 and just couldn't stand to put something in the safe that I felt really needed to be out on display and not shot, or at least shot very little. Instead I bought a Ruger Mini-30 with the same basic design, but not for SD. Instead I got it to have the basic platform in a rifle for my rural property and perhaps to use hog hunting if I got the opportunity. It's in the safe so it's not handy for HD and neither would the M1 if I had bought it. BTW that's just my way of thinking and I'm not trying to say anyone else should feel that way too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by retired badge 1 View Post
    I have carried and used Ma Carbines since the early 1970's, first as a back-up weapon while working as a city cop, later as a criminal investigator for a state agency working a territory of about 30,000 square miles. I still take a carbine along as a car gun on road trips. I have owned several WW2 surplus carbines; current carry carbine is a 1943 Inland.

    For what it may be worth, I have spent a great deal of time experimenting with different ammunition and bullet types, both factory and handloads, FMJ, HP, and cast bullets. Within the performance envelope of the .30 Carbine cartridge (nominal bullet weight 110 grains, nominal muzzle velocity ~1900FPS) there is very little difference in actual performance on hard or soft targets. I have never found any soft point or hollow point bullets that provided any significant expansion.

    I picked up a case of Lake City ball ammo (1967 production) years ago, and I also have several boxes of Norma 110 JHP. I doubt there is any great difference in performance with either of these.

    All of my practice ammo is homemade with 115-grain cast RNFP-gas check (.32-20 mold sized to .310" for the Carbine). Shoots just as well as any factory ammo and probably every bit as effective. Best thing that ever happened for the .30 Carbine was the carbide sizing dies; I still remember the old days of lubricating hundreds of carbine cases for resizing, then cleaning after resizing, a very tedious chore.

    There just isn't any way to gain much in performance. The .30 Carbine is what it was intended to be, essentially a side arm substitute with performance about on a par with .32-20 rifles (another reasonable comparison would be .357 magnum revolver with 110-125 grain bullets). I have never hunted with the carbines, but I have dispatched a couple of deer after traffic collisions, both clean kills with head shots at close range (20-30 feet). Similarly, I once put down a 300-lb. pig that had been hit by a car.
    I have shot numerous critters, smaller than deer or hogs over the years with the .30 Carbine and it offers expansion characteristics and terminal ballistics that are startling out to 100 yards or so. I've had more experience with hand loaded soft points, favoring Sierra's 110 grain projectile than I have factory soft points. Shot a large 'coon once while sitting in a deer blind. At 40 yards he sorta "grenaded." Took one deer at 49 steps with the M1 Carbine a few years back with the hand loaded Sierra bullet. A good hit broke both shoulders and blew a silver dollar sized hole through the heart as well. The admittedly small buck collapsed right there, as effectively as if he'd been hit with a .30-06 ... or a freight train.

    My dad and his friends, my uncle and some cousins all shot deer with M1 Carbines when I was a kid. I have no idea what ammunition was used (I suspect military ball) and don't know just how effectively the deer were put down. I do remember that dead deer were in the beds of pickups when they returned. In some cases they used these M1 Carbines when proper, more powerful deer rifles were available. They just liked using 'em. My uncle particularly liked Carbines and gathered up several of them.

    My brother-in-law got on a kick of using an M1 Carbine after he got one and took five head of big game, both deer and exotics on cull hunts using the .30 Carbine with perfect satisfaction.

    Velocity performance can't be improved through hand loading for the .30 Carbine, but cartridge gives great practical performance within the original ammunition specifications. It is true that no meaningful velocity increase can be achieved in the .30 Carbine. It can reach toward 2000 fps with max hand loads, but about 1980 fps is all that can reasonably be achieved with the original bullet weight of 110 grains. I used to load the 100 grain Speer .30 "Plinker" bullet to 2100 fps, but my better sense told me that we weren't getting any more meaningful usefulness out of the cartridge and besides, my dad's Carbine didn't like feeding those loads and would occasionally hang up.

    Tried a 110 grain hollow point that Speer used to sell supposedly for the .30 Carbine, but it was a wonky shape and didn't feed well or expand reliably in my limited experience and non-tests.

    Based on watching other family members use of cast bullet hand loads in their M1 Carbines, I determined long ago to avoid them. One of their Carbines cracked the gas cylinder (block) with a load using 2400. I shot up a box of 100 cast bullets in my Carbine early on, but decided that cast bullet lube filth didn't need to be introduced to the Carbine's gas system so have never used cast bullets since.

    Cracked gas cylinder


    I also have a beloved .32-20 rifle on hand here and it's tough to get .30 Carbine performance from .32-20 hand loads. It can be done, but most reasonable .32-20 loads including those .32-20 high-velocity loads of long ago are a solid step beneath .30 Carbine performance.
    Last edited by bmcgilvray; January 30th, 2020 at 10:05 PM.
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