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by Alf
Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:38 am
Forum: Rifles & Shotguns
Topic: The Much-Maligned, Under-powered 30 U.S. Carbine
Replies: 22
Views: 15471

Re: The Much-Maligned, Under-powered 30 U.S. Carbine

The Annoyed Man wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:42 am
dlh wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:30 am
I read somewhere that Garand men in WW2 derisively referred to the 30 carbine as a "supply clerk's gun."
Regardless, I would love to have one too!
Supply clerk's gun. :roll: Tell that to my dad, who carried one ashore as an infantry Lt at Iwo Jima. That’s just ignorance talking. The reason the M1 Carbine was issued to officers and some NCOs was as a substitute/replacement for the 1911 pistol. There weren’t enough 1911s to go around. In fact, when my dad went ashore at Iwo Jima with his issued carbine, he also carried a personally owned, nickel plated (because that’s all they had left at the hardware store in Glendale, California where he bought it) Colt Gov’t 1911A1. There were not enough 1911s in service in the USMC at the time for everyone who was supposed to have one, to get one. A lot of them had been scarfed up by enlisted personnel. So dad carried an issued carbine and a personal 1911 when he went he went ashore on D-Day+3. I’m sure that, when he was laying on the ground of Cushman's Pocket, wounded with a rifle round through the chest, and the bodies of a couple of already dead marines which he had pulled on top of himself to soak up the shrapnel from Japanese mortar rounds which were landing literally just a few feet away, I’m sure his thought at the time was, "Boy, I’m sure glad I’m not a supply clerk'! Those poor bastards have it really hard!"

If anyone ever tells you something ridiculous like the M1 Carbine was a supply clerk's gun, don’t let him continue to abuse the honor—sometimes bought at a terrible price—of the men who carried the carbine into the teeth of the enemy's bullets. They even made and issued a paratrooper's version of the carbine, with a folding stock, to be carried by intrepid men whose job it was to jump behind enemy lines and fight. I would dare anyone to call them supply clerks to their faces.

It is true that the carbines were issued to some service troops who either didn’t need the full sized rifle, or for whom the rifle would have hindered them in the performance of their jobs. They were issued to truck and APC drivers who regularly brought ammo resupplies forward to the lines while under fire. They were issued to crew-served weapons crews. THEY were in the thick of things. They were issued as personal defense weapons to artillery crews. And yes, they were also issued to supply clerks, without whom, front line infantrymen would have soon run out of beans, bandages, and bullets. Everybody had a part, and no small number of those supply clerks chafed at being kept in the rear, always asking to be transferred to combat units.

"Supply clerks", :mad5 Ignorant comments like that do a huge disservice to all that served.

Just like all but 10 men out of four assault platoons that went into Cushman's Pocket and didn’t come out, my dad's carbine did not survive the action. The stock was shattered and the action disabled when my dad landed on it diving out of a crater he’d been taking cover in, when an enemy soldier threw a grenade into the crater. Undoubtedly, my dad was tending to his supply clerk duties at the time. :roll: It was immediately after landing on his carbine that he was shot by a Japanese rifleman. 36 hours later, he was relieved of his personally owned 1911 at the aid station, and he never saw it again. After recovering from his wounds on Guam, he was given command of a rifle company, which was training for the assault on the Japanese mainland which never came. During that time, one of the men in his company shot himself in the hand with a 1911—a 1943 Ithaca—and my dad confiscated the weapon. Figuring that the USMC owed him the price of a nickel plated Colt Gov’t 1911A1, he kept the pistol and brought it back with him when he was shipped home. That pistol sits in my gun safe right now, and about once a year, I take it out, put a few rounds through it, clean it it, and put it away.

6 or 7 years ago, maybe a little longer, my son's employer at the time had a really nice example of a 1943 Inland M1 Carbine for sale, and he bought it for me for Christmas. It made me cry. The one my dad carried at Iwo was an Inland. So I now have my dad's pistol, and a carbine just like the one he carried.

The M1Carbine is a fine weapon, and if it was the only gun you owned, you would not be underarmed for 99% of any situations calling for a gun. The cartridge may not be a .30-'06, but it’s a darn sight more powerful than a .45 or a 9mm. And out of the carbine, it’s more powerful than a .357 out of a pistol. The ROK army kept the carbines in service for quite a long time, and the Korean-made 15 round magazines are of superior quality to the GI mags. I keep mine stoked with Hornady Critical Defense. I don’t even use the GI mag that came with the gun because it’s garbage. The little gun is a joy to shoot. It’s pretty accurate for what it is. I’ve experienced no malfunctions with it. My only complaint is that the detents on the rear sight ramp are loose, so it sometimes changes elevation setting while firing. A dab of RTV silicone will fix that, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

The military specifications for the cartridge called for an effective range of 300 yards, if I recall correctly. Most people think that’s optimistic, but I just ran the numbers through the JM Ballistics calculator, assuming a MV of 1950 FPS (which is right in the midrange of the numbers Paul Harrel got for the loads he tested), and that would produce a 300 yard velocity/energy of 1059.7 FPS/274.2 Ft-lbs. Those are still potentially lethal numbers. But, if you decide you want to zero for point blank with a 10” target circle, your Maximum Point Blank range is 200 yards. The trajectory would be 5" high at 100 yards, and 3.6" low at 200 yards. At 200 yards, your V/E would be 1251.2 FPS/382.3 ft-lbs. Those are certainly enough to make the .30 Carbine cartridge a viable contender for personal and/or homestead defense out to 200 yards. In today’s terms, other than shooting at 4-legged predators going after livestock, you would have a hard time justifying shooting at humans 200 yards away. The point is, the little carbine is MORE than enough gun for any lawful use of a firearm in self defense.

Coincidentally, I had watched that Paul Harrell video just yesterday, and before seeing this thread. I don’t use my Carbine for self defense use. I own it largely for sentimental reasons. There are two reasons I don’t use my Carbine for that purpose. One is that I own firearms which are even more effective. The other is that, because I own mine for sentimental reasons, I would hate to see it get beaten up by being flogged around in a vehicle, or confiscated by police in the wake of a lawful shooting. That said, if it was the only long gun I owned, I would not feel like it’s not enough gun, any more than feeling like a .357 lever action is not enough gun.

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