M1 Carbine

The M1 Carbine


M1 Carbine was a semi-automatic rifle used extensively by the marines in WWII

Usage by the MarinesEdit

The M1 carbine was developed for troops who needed more firepower than a pistol could offer, but who could not be burdened with the weight of the service rifle. It was intended primarily to equip officers, heavy weapons crewmen, communicators, etc. The U.S. Army first issued a requirement for a light rifle in June 1940.

The Army specified that the new rifle would fire a .30 caliber rimless cartridge. Nine companies submitted prototypes and extensive tests were conducted in the Spring and Fall of 1941. On 30 September 1941 the Army Ordnance Department accepted the Winchester design as the winner, and this weapon became the M1 carbine. The Marine Corps adopted the M1 carbine almost immediately.

The carbine did not have the range or penetrating power of the service rifle's ammuntion. It was never intended to replace the M1. Still, its light weight and ammuntion capacity made it an attractive weapon for many Marines. Table of Organization F-100 of May 1944 authorized 10,953 carbines in the Marine division. The weapon has been used by many Marines in the series who are officers, sections leaders and mortar crewmen, including Eugene Sledge, Merriel "Snafu" Shelton, Andrew Haldane, John Basilone, and many others.

In the field Marine armorers modified Carbines to fire fully automatic. This was so sucessful that it lead to the official adoption of a selective fire (semi/fully automatic) version designated as the M2 Carbine. These modifications also fueled demand for a higher capacity magazine, resulting in the introduction of 30 round magazines late in the war. (The standard magazine held only 15 rounds.) In the late 1950's the M1 Carbine began to be phased out for more modern weapons, although some continued to be used through the Viet Nam war. It is a valuable collectors item today along with the M1 Garand.

More interesting is that there are more allotment for the Marine Corps T/O for M1 Carbines than M1 Garands. Around 10,953 carbines are allotted for use in contrast to 5,436 M1 Service Rifles(T/O F-100).


See AlsoEdit

Eugene Sledge

John Basilone