M1 Carbine


Introduction To The M1 Carbine:

M1 .30 Caliber Carbine

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Parts, Disassembly, & Maintenance:

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.30 Carbine Ballistic Trajectories

With the exception of early M1 Carbines that had a rear sight that could flip between a 150 yard setting and a 300 yard setting, most M1 Carbines found today have the newer style (late WWII / Korean War era) sights. These sights have settings for a 100 yards, 200 yards, 250 yards, and 300 yards (as pictured right).

This ballistic data and graphs are provided to give you a visual representation of the ballistic trajectories that you can expect when firing a properly zeroed M1 Carbine with the rear sight set with the different settings. This will allow you to find the most efficient setting for the type of shooting that you expect to be doing with your rifle.


100 Yard Zero Trajectory:

Photo and description coming very soon.

With the rear sight set to the 100 yard setting I can easily hit a 12×18″ steel plate at 100 yards, but the bullet splashes short of the target when shooting the same size plates at 200 and 300 yards.


200 Yard Zero Trajectory:

Photo and description coming very soon.

With the rear sight set to the 200 yard setting I can easily hit a 12×18″ steel plates at 100 yards and at 200 yards, however the bullet splashes well short of the same target at 300 yards.


250 Yard Zero Trajectory:

Photo and description coming very soon.


300 Yard Zero Trajectory:

Photo and description coming very soon.

With the rear sight set to the 300 yard setting the bullet passes well over the target at both 100 yards and at 200 yards.  While experimenting at the rifle range I aimed at the upper chest area of a IDPA target at 100 yards away and the bullet flew completely over the top of the target, missing the bad guy completely.



Use the 100 yards setting if all of your shooting is going to be less than 125 yards.

Use the 200 setting if you have to shoot a targets that vary from close range out to 225 yards.

Only use the 300 yard setting if you are going to be shooting that far.

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.30 Carbine Ammunition:


Non Expanding, Full Metal Jacket Ammunition:

The Hague Convention of 1899, Declaration III, prohibited the use in international warfare of bullets that easily expand or flatten in the body. Used during WWII, the Korean War, and the early part of the Vietnam War, the M1 carbine was used exclusively with full metal jacketed ammunition as limited by the Hague Convention. The non-expanding ammunition gained a reputation as a poor man-stopper during the brutal winters in the Korean War when US troops witnessed the round fail to immediately stop charging Chinese troops in their thick, quilted winter uniforms. This type of ammunition is fine for training and target practice, but for self defense you will be better served with high quality expanding ammunition.


Expanding, Jacketed Hollow-Point and Soft-Point Ammunition:

The two best offerings in .30 Carbine expanding self-defense ammunition are offered by Speer and Hornady.


img_1593I test fired a round of Hornady’s 110 grain Critical Defense ammunition (discussed in the second and third videos above) at three one-gallon water jugs lines up together at 100 yards away.  The bullet burst the first jug and passed completely through the second and third jugs.  The bullet was not recovered.  In the near future I will test the ammunition at 100 and 200 yards with more jugs to see just how many the bullet can penetrate.

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M1 Carbine Magazines:


M1 Carbine Magazine Wisdom:

M1 carbines were originally designed to use straight, 15-round magazines.  Select fire M2 carbines used larger, curved, 30-round magazines.  Some M1 carbines have reliability problems with 30-round magazines because the heavier 30-rounders can rock too much within the magazine well and cause feeding problems.  Replacing the original M1 carbine magazine catch with a M2 catch can remedy that problem.


G.I. Issue Magazines:

Original WWII or Korean War G.I. issued magazines are considered the best, however they are very hard to find, and when you do, they are very expensive.


Keep Shooting Brand Magazines:

Keep Shooting’s M1/M2 Carbine magazines have developed a fantastic reputation. The internet is full of rave reviews of their 10-round, 15-round, and 30-round magazines. Not only do their magazines have a great reputation, but they very reasonably priced, and they are backed up by a no-questions money back guarantee.

I recently purchased six 15-round and six 30-round magazines from Keep Shooting. I planned to shoot these with a carbine that has historically exhibited dismal reliability with two no-name 30-round “gun show” magazines. I was hoping for reliability from the 15-rounder, but as I hadn’t had a chance to replace the M1 magazine catch with the M2 magazine catch (as discussed on Savannah Arsenal’s M1 Carbine Page), I didn’t really expect any different performance from the new 30-rounders from what I had experienced from the old magazines.

Since purchasing the magazines I have had a chance to shoot 350 rounds, divided equally between all twelve magazines, using the same clean and properly lubricated rifle discussed above, with Georgia Arms “Canned Heat” bulk packed 100-grain FMJ ammunition. All of the magazines performed 100% without any malfunctions, including all six of the 30-rounder magazines, even without the magazine catch upgrade. I will continue monitoring magazine reliability with these magazines as I get a chance to shoot the carbine again. I will update this post with any future experiences.

My current opinion is that with Hornady’s 100-grain Critical Defense ammunition and these magazines, that this rifle is a viable <200 yard defense tool.

* If the 30-round magazine is not shown on the link above then they are sold out. You can submit your email to be notified when they are back in stock. When you receive notification, be sure to order soon as they will sell out very fast.


Korean Military Magazines:

Currently (as of July 2015) Korean manufactured magazines are plentiful and inexpensive on the internet.  Most people report good results with the 15-round magazines.


Unmarked Aftermarket Magazines:

Don’t waste your money. They won’t work. Order from Keep Shooting as discussed above.

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M1 Carbine Sling & Oiler:

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M1 Carbine Stock Magazine Pouches:


Keep Shooting’s Reproduction GI Stock Magazine Pouch:

Many aftermarket reproduction M1 Carbine stock magazine pouches fit so snug on the carbine’s stock that you won’t be able to actually insert the two 15-round magazines.  Keep Shooting’s magazine pouch is guaranteed to fit the stock correctly and still allow you to store two magazines in it.


Olongapo Outfitters’ Stock Magazine Pouch:

Based on the M1 Carbine belt pouch that GIs used to slide onto the stock of their weapon, this M1 Carbine Stock Pouch is made out of modern materials that save weight and last longer. The M1 Carbine Stock Pouch holds two 15-round M1 carbine magazines on the stock, ready to go. They have added a pigtail to be threaded through the sling slot on the stock that will keep the M1 Carbine Stock Pouch from sliding on the stock.  Because of the location of the pigtail, this stock pouch comes in right-hand or left-hand.

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M1 Carbine Stocks:

Coming soon.

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M1 Carbine Spare Parts:

Coming soon.

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M1 Carbine Ammunition Load Bearing Gear:

I own their M1 Carbine Grab & Go that holds 8 30-round magazines, and their modernized version of the dual 15-round magazine pouch that attaches to an M1 Carbine stock.  Very high quality.

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Savannah Arsenal’s Related Pages:

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