Length: 35.5” (or 90 cm)
Barrel Length: 18” (or 45.5 cm)
Weight: 6.5 lbs (or 3 kg)
Magazine Capacity: 15 or 30 rounds.
Calibre: 0.30” (or 7.7 mm)
Range: 300 yds maximum, 100 yds effective
Developed by the US during World War II in response to a need for a short light firearm. The M1 Carbine looks like a rifle, but in many respects it a sort of compromise between a rife and a handgun. It was designed by David M. Williams with engineers at Winchester. The rifle fires semi-automatically and is gas operated.
The design of the gun was altered slightly to produce the M1-A1 Carbine, which featured a folding tube metal stock. This made it ideal for use by paratroops as it was lightweight, could be folded to a relatively small size, and slipped easily into a special leg scabbard. It was much easier to jump onto the battlefield with the M1-A1 than with the heavier and longer M1 Garand rife. The M1-A1 was used almost exclusively by American Paratroops, usually assigned to officers and the crews of heavier weapons such as machine guns and mortars.
But the M1 Carbine suffered from problems and was not much liked by the men who used it. It did not have the range and power of the far superior M1 Garand rifle. At longer ranges, shots from the M1 Carbine would sometimes be unable to penetrate thick layers of clothing. One paratrooper in Normandy in 1944 had to hit an enemy with five shots before any noticeable effect. He promptly turned in his M1 Carbine in disgust. Such a lack of stopping power at even short ranges was a serious drawback, which wasn’t made up for by its light weight and portability.
There were millions of these guns made, including some later models post-war. The post-war models were more effective.