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M1 Garand Or M1 Carbine?

Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by Allied-vs-Axis, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    The carbine is described as a 'pistol round' but it's actually more than that. The Intermediate Cartridge concept such as the STG44 or AK47 are centered around rifles firing a .30 (.32 in the STG) caliber slug with a velocity in the 2,300 fps range. That's only marginally ahead of the carbine at 2000 fps. Of course, that carbine has a lighter slug and lacks the spitzer shape so range suffers, but still, it's closer to that concept than any pistol cartridge.
     
  2. Allied-vs-Axis

    Allied-vs-Axis New Member

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    I think this video might add a bit more insight on the type of weapons that were being used by the U.S:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QgXuhv7-54
     
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    From the Youtube clip above, Atwater states, "If you shoot me with one [Carbine, M1] and I find out about it, I'm going to be pissed."

    To use a couple of my favorite Limey expressions, bollocks and utter tosh. The appraisal makes for good TV copy and ratings but if you get hit by a..30 cal, you're going to most decidedly know it. In my previous line of work, I've seen people killed by smaller rounds and I am certain that the LEOs in the forum will concur.
     
  4. Allied-vs-Axis

    Allied-vs-Axis New Member

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    I agree with you. This video has a good bit of bull crap. I'm pretty sure this is where the 'If I hit the en bloc clip on my helmet the German will pop out' myth came from. It is true the .30 carbine wasn't the best at taking someone down, the .30 carbine round weighs 110 grams and the .45 acp round weighs 185 grams, but you have to remember that at close range (which is when the carbine would usually be used anyways) the shock would at least the very least stun you for a good amount of time (and that's if your a huge guy and you don't get shot somewhere important).
     
  5. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Don't be fooled by the bullet weight. It's all about velocity Well, not all, but mostly. E=MV^2. The .30 carbine has a lot more energy than the .45 ACP., 9 mm parabellum or 7..62 x 25 Tokarev round and unlike those is accurate well past 100 yards. More than most .357 magnum loading too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVgX2zLO_Jk
     
  6. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    When he says stuff like that I get the impression he was star stuck about being filmed. I'm sure he ran those lines past the producers first and they got all excited about how it would be good entertainment and reved him up even more.

    I was among a group of people asked to drive and give their impressions of the Ford EXP for a car magazine when they came out. They told us they were looking for "memorable quotes". I bet they did a similar thing to him.

    Or maybe not :)
     
  7. Allied-vs-Axis

    Allied-vs-Axis New Member

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    I understand that. But I though he was talking about knock down power, which in that case the weight of the bullet does take a pretty big part of. I understand that a lot of the damage done by bullets can be from bullet wound entrench because of the velocity, like the 5.56 round. But thanks for the insight :) I'm always open to learn something new.
     
  8. harolds

    harolds Member

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    The Carbine round had a round nose and it's been shown those rounds have good penetration but don't do a lot of internal damage. That's why the Germans abandoned their long-for-caliber 318J round and went to the lighter spritzer .323S round for their 8X57. Not only did it have better ballistics, spitzer bullets usually tumbled and yawed when they hit. Most other countries followed suit. For example, the USA went from the 30/03 cartridge with its 220 grain round nose bullet to the 30/06 that sported a 150 grain spitzer. I've always thought that the M1 carbine would have been better had the cartridge case been of slightly larger diameter and then bottle-necked down to 308 caliber (or less)with a 125 grain spitzer. It would then have been the technological leader in the small arms race.
     
  9. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    I've been doing some firearms and ammo research for something I am writing, and as best I can tell after reading a huge amount of stuff there is no final answer to the velocity-vs-knockdown power debate. I feel the same way about the Garand vs Carbine debate or question. There is no one perfect weapon; weapons are designed to fulfill different roles and no one weapon can do everything equally well. As harold said here earlier, it all depends on a lot of things. How much other weight do you have to carry besides arms and ammo, what is your assignment in combat, what tactical situation are you likely to encounter, etc. I am short and not hefty but despite that I would still prefer an M1 Garand for most WWII combat and definitely for medium or longer ranges. If weight is at a premium and ranges are likely to be short the case might be different and I would opt for the carbine--if I was a company runner or weapons crewman, say, or if I had to clear a house. I would much prefer the M2 version of the carbine to the M1.
     
  10. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    No it's been around for much longer. Even back when history programs were actually geared towards accuracy and research was of more important than entertainment value.
     
  11. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Velocity counts. You have merely to watch two identical slugs fired at different velocities, then view the resulting damage to know that. A good example of that is a .38 special vs a .357 magnum. A .30 Carbine is not a pistol round (if measured by velocity against typical pistol cartridges), but it is a pistol "style" slug, a round nosed FMJ from a straight walled case similar to typical military pistols. Even so, a hit at 2000 fps vs a hit at 1100 fps (9mm) is a dramatic difference. The other big plus is that both the additional velocity and the ease of shooting from the shoulder (through excellent aperture sights) give you far greater hit probability at longer ranges than any pistol.

    One also has to remember that if you beefed up the slug to 125 grains (like the AK round) with additional powder in a bottle-necked case, then you also have to beef up the receiver to handle it, and such a round would require a longer barrel to burn that powder. You no longer have a 5 pound carbine, but something more resembling a rifle. Thus you are no longer producing an alternative to the sidearm, but an alternative to the battle rifle.

    The idea to produce such an alternative to the pistol is rather brilliant, and some unknown drone in the ordnance department prior to the war deserves a lot of credit for birthing that concept. If one looks at the structure of a typical US Division of any era you realize that there are about as many support elements as riflemen, in effect; Service Companies, HQ elements, Ordnance, Quartermaster, Signals, plus a hodge-podge of drivers, runners, AT guns, mortars, artillerymen, etc, who may suddenly find themselves with no guns to shoot in a battle. All of those men were issued the Carbine and when things went bad, all of those men could be put on the line with a shoulder fired weapon instead of a pistol. I can cite examples of just that happening (Mortain is a perfect example) which in effect doubled the rifle strength of the Division. No other army of the period could do that. The Carbine made that possible.

    The Carbine was designed as an intermediate between the main battle rifle (the Garand) and a sidearm. In that niche, it's perfect.

    What would I choose? I think, the Garand. Why? Because a 30.06 will penetrate masonry and other types of cover that a Carbine round wouldn't. Firefights are generally between opposing sides shooting from whatever cover they can find. I want a round that penetrates any sort of makeshift barrier the enemy is behind.
     
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  12. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Yes, KB, velocity counts but since the carbine was also issued to front-line troops, such as airborne units, it would have helped had it had a better punch. The bullet in the 30 carbine round had a poor ballistic coefficient compared to 7.92X33 cartridge, its nearest rival. This meant that it shed velocity quicker and had a more rainbow-like trajectory. As you pointed out, it has a pistol type bullet that would make a narrow wound channel. A spitzer bullet likely would have yawed and tumbled, resulting in a quicker energy dump, more tissue damage and thus incapacitating an enemy quicker. I believe the carbine could have handled a somewhat higher loading or could have been made to do so.

    I do agree that the carbine was superior to the pistol at ranges beyond 30 yards. The pistols had an advantage in close because their bullets had a larger frontal area. This is especially true with the 45acp cartridge. The carbine's real advantage was that handguns are the hardest type of firearm to become proficient with. Thus, the carbine was easier to master and become adequately proficient with-a big selling point for a mass-produced army.

    So, do I think the Carbine was a good idea? I sure do but I feel it could have been better without it losing it's advantages of light weight and portability.
     
  13. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Yes, but the alternative (such as the 7.92x33) would have required a much heavier rifle, which pretty much defeats the purpose.

    No, I didn't point out such a thing. A spitzer would have given it better range, but a blunt nosed bullet creates more damage than a spitzer at the same velocity. A spitzer does not "yaw and tumble" unless designed to do so. Its aerodynamic shape tends to zip right through flesh, creating less damage. The history of the modern 5.56x45 is a study in that frustrating field of endeavor. Originally, Stoner designed the rifle with rate of twist that barely stabilized the traditional lead filled spitzer slug so that it was likely to yaw. However, that twist rate was discarded because it affected accuracy. It was many years before they developed the SS109/M855 NATO slug that had a soft steel core at the front and a lead rear, so that it might (under perfect circumstances) yaw and tumble when it hit flesh - the heavier lead rear designed to cartwheel the slug upon hitting flesh. This only worked at the highest velocities and rarely did so at any range. That has recently been replaced with the M855A1 slug which improves performance at lower velocities/longer range.

    At any rate, at the same velocity, weight, etc, a round nosed slug creates a larger wound cavity than a traditional lead core spitzer. I doubt manufacturers could have developed and produced such a complex spitzer slug amid the demands of WWII.
     
  14. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    I agree, and the structure of the average division was even more extreme than that. In TO&E 7-17 of 26 February 1944 (including Change 1 dated 30 June 1944) in the 193-man Rifle Company there were 143 Rifle, U.S., cal. .30 M1 (plus 3 Rifle, U.S., cal. .30 M1903A4 (snipers)), so 74% were equipped with the battle rifle. In the 41-man platoon there 36 "riflemen", so 88%. However, the battalion consisted of three such companies, plus a Heavy Weapons Company and a HQ & HQ Company with a total of 860 men...of whom only 429 were Riflemen, so 50%, and the division consisted of nine such rifle battalions, so 3,861 Riflemen versus a division aggregate of 14,027, so less than 28%.

    Corps and Army is even smaller. :cool:
     
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  15. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Better is the enemy of good. They had a weapon that fulfilled the requirement. How much development time would have been needed to make the changes how long would it have delayed introduction to the units needing it? Not disagreeing with you, Harold, just throwing things out. I feel it served it's role well as a good "sidearm" for men who's primary weapon was something else. The fact that infantry types adopted it does not detract from it being very good at what it was intended.

    Mr. Sanford carried one and loved it. He knew it did not have the stopping power of the Garand, but he didn't need it. That was what the .30 or .50 cal MG on his half track was for.
     
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  16. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    An example of such an alternative with a bottle necked case and a spitzer would be the Russian SKS. It's a semi-automatic "carbine" designed around the Soviet 7.62x39 round using the 'short stroke' gas system stolen, er, borrowed, from the M1 Carbine. The SKS is a perfectly adequate rifle, but it weighs 8 1/2 pounds, has a 20 inch barrel and overall length of 40 inches The M1 Carbine weighs 5 pounds, has an 18 inch barrel and an overall length of 35 inches.

    That's quite a difference, but you can't defeat physics no matter how smart the engineering. If you put more steam in the cartridge, you have to beef up the receiver, bolt group, etc, and lengthen the barrel. It's hard to imagine cooks and mortarmen hauling around an SKS, but the M1 Carbine was just small enough to do so.
     
  17. harolds

    harolds Member

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    After the war Ruger put out his mini-14. It started out with the 5.56 cartridge but also chambered it in 7.62X39. The mini-14's action was based on the m-1 carbine. The mini-14 is not a heavy rifle. I have a SKS and a lot of its weight is indeed in the action but it is a much longer action than the carbine. This is due to the recoil spring being behind the bolt. My point being that I don't think you'd have to add much weight if you upped the power of the carbine cartridge slightly.

    I definitely remember reading a report that showed (with ballistic gel and slo/mo photography) that the 7.62X39 did indeed tumble and yaw. Long heavy bullets with spitzer shape such as our 30/06 are less prone to do so, but they can and do tumble under the right circumstances. The shorter bullets have more of their weight toward the rear so have more of a tendency to tumble and yaw. A good example indeed being the original 5.56 bullet. The M855 bullet was longer, thus less prone to displace. They would have just had to design the bullet and the rifling twist before hand.

    So, if the weapon was kept in the hands of "cooks and mortar men" and shots were kept und 100yds, it would have been ok. However, this wasn't the case and that was where it got a bad rep.

    As pointed out in this thread, the carbine was asked to do the job of battle rifle. The cartridge was designed to be more like a pistol cartridge and indeed has been chambered in at least one revolver. Lots of G.I.s (and German soldiers too) liked its weight and handiness but was out of its league much beyond 100yds.
     
  18. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    I think you meant "the carbine was [NOT] asked to do the job of battle rifle"? It was "asked" to do the job of the pistol for all those personnel other than O4 and above who had previously been assigned a pistol only in the TO&E. In World War II it was not the "battle rifle" of any American Rifle organization that I am aware of? The Rifle .30 cal. M1 was also the "battle rifle" of the Armored Infantry, Parachute Infantry, Glider Infantry, and Ranger Infantry riflemen.
     
  19. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Any slug might yaw given ideal circumstances, but I've already explained the long and tedious issues with the 5.56 in trying to make it yaw. It's not something you can count on in a typical lead core slug.

    The only person who ever asked the M1 Carbine to replace the Garand was General Gavin of the 82nd Airborne, and he only tried that once, in their first engagement in Sicily. He then spent the rest of the war denigrating the Carbine instead of his own poor judgment in that decision. The Carbine, and its cartridge, is a pretty good intermediate between a battle rifle and a sidearm. That was what it was designed for and that was its place in the TOE. The only person who thought differently was Gavin, and he didn't think that for long.
     
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  20. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I still have a hard time thinking of the carbine round as a "good" intermediate cartridge. The 7.92x33 or Soviet M-35 (7.62x39) rounds are to me good intermediate cartridges. The 30 M1 carbine round, not so much. As I've said, it was easier for a soldier to be a competent shot with the carbine than a pistol, plus it carried more rounds than a 45 so the concept has merit. I'm not disputing that. I'm focusing on the round. If the powers that be wanted a close range replacement for the pistol then a larger caliber carbine round, good out to 100 yds. would have done that. If they'd wanted something with more range then a cartridge such as I described above would have been better. But what we got was a cartridge that had neither long (read 300yds. point blank) range or substantive shock value inside of 100 yds. Most military rounds go on to have long civilian careers but except for Ruger's pistol, which was not a great success, the only firearms the carbine round has chambered in is M1 carbine reproductions.
     

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