M1 Carbine FAQ

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1) When was the M1 Carbine designed?
A: Work on designing the Carbine began in 1938. The final model was finished in 1941.

2) Who designed the M1 Carbine?
A: Several people are credited with designing the M1 Carbine including; engineers from Winchester, Jonathon Browning and David “Carbine” Williams. Interestingly, Williams, who receives much of the credit for the design, actually designed only the short-stroke gas system used on the Carbine.

3) When did the M1 Carbine first see service?
A: The “United States Carbine, Caliber .30, M1” was officially adopted by the U.S. Army in October 1941. The first units were delivered to troops in the field in mid-1942.

4) What round does the M1 Carbine fire?
A: The M1 Carbine fires the .30 Carbine cartridge. This round is much smaller than the .30-06 Springfield cartridge fired by the M1 Garand and has an effective range of about 200 yards. It received many complaints from troops due to its limited range and lack of stopping power.

5) What capacity magazines can I get for my M1 Carbine?
A: The original Carbine used a 15-round, detachable-box magazine. A 30-round magazine was introduced with the M2 Carbine. Some 30-round magazines were cut down to 5 rounds after the war to be legal for hunting in the U.S. Currently the 15- and 30-round GI mags can be found along with numerous aftermarket 5-, 15- and 30-round offerings.

6) What is a M2 Carbine?
A: The M1 Carbine was designed as a semi-automatic only firearm. The M2 is a selective fire version of the M1 Carbine. It could fire in semi-automatic or fully automatic modes.

7) Were there any variants of the M1 Carbine?
A: Aside from the M2 (selective fire model), only two other versions saw service in the U.S. Army. One was the M1A1. Called the “Paratrooper Model”, this version had a folding metal buttstock that made the gun lighter and more compact. The other, the M3, was a M2 with a night vision scope mounted on it.

8) What companies built the M1 Carbine?
A: Wartime Carbines were built by: Inland, Winchester, Underwood, National Postal Meter, Quality Hardware, IBM, Saginaw, Standard Products and Rock-Ola. Post-war commercial Carbines have been produced by Universal, Plainfield, National Ordinance, Iver Johnson, Israel Arms, Howa, Auto-Ordinance and Alpine. Auto-Ordinance still produces new commercial Carbines while others, such as Fulton Armory, assemble Carbines using USGI receivers and a mix of new and used USGI parts.

9) Is there any way to attach accessory rails to my Carbine?
A: Yes. Pro Mag manufactures a rail system that attaches to the barrel ahead of the stock. This allows you to mount a variety of accessories like tactical lights and lasers on your Carbine.

10) Does anyone make a synthetic stock for my M1 Carbine?
A: Yes. Ram-Line and others manufacture synthetic stocks for the M1 Carbine. These should be drop-in and require no or little fitting to install.

11) Can I add a muzzle brake or flash hider to my Carbine?
A: Yes. There is a clamp-on flash hider and a clamp-on muzzle brake available for the Carbine. These are easily installed and fairly inexpensive.

12) My Carbine seems a bit short for me. Is there a way to make the stock longer without permanently altering the gun?
A: Yes. There are a couple of pre-fit, screw-on recoil pads manufactured for the Carbine. These will add up to one inch to the length to the stock.

13) Can I mount a scope to my Carbine?
A: Yes. You can have the receiver drilled and tapped for a base, but this will harm the collector value of a USGI Carbine. There are no gunsmithing mounts available from companies like S&K Manufacturing that will not permanently alter the firearm and harm its value.