M1 confusion


November 19, 2004, 11:29 AM
What is a real M-1? Springfield has a M-1 that looks like our M-14 but then I saw the Auto-Ordnance/Kahr M-1. Neither looks alike and the Springfield is chambered in .308/.30-06 and the Kahr .30 carbine. So which one is a real M-1. :confused:

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November 19, 2004, 11:33 AM
They all are, actually.

There's an M1 Garand (the 30-06 rifle)
an M1 Carbine (in .30 Carbine)
an M1A (actually a civilian version of the M14 in .308)

Clear as mud! :)

November 19, 2004, 11:48 AM
And then, just to confuse things more, we also have the M1 Abrams chambered in 120mm. :evil:

November 19, 2004, 12:06 PM
I understand but why have 3 different M-1's with 3 different types of ammo?

November 19, 2004, 12:57 PM
It's a Military thing. You wouldn't understand. And neither would I ! :D

I've always asked the same thing to myself, but never came up with an answer. I guess I should have asked someone smarter!

November 19, 2004, 01:01 PM
The military had M1 designations for different weapon classes.

Rifle- M1 (Garand, 30-06)
Carbine- M1 (The War Baby, .30 carbine)
Subgun- M1 (Thompson .45 ACP)
Main Battle Tank- M1 (Abrams, 120mm sometimes)

They are all M1's, just of different weapon types.

November 19, 2004, 01:37 PM
Thank you all for the clarification but maybe I should clarify, I'm possibly looking at getting a civilian M-1 (.30 carbine) that's why I brought up Springfield and Kahr differences. So if I look for parts, mags or accessories, I know I'm getting the right stuff. I guess I should ask or look for M-1 carbine stuff. That's like this guy bought a new pistol and he asked for 357 ammo, got home and wondered why .357 mag ammo wouldn't fit in his 357sig magazine. Neither my co-worker at the time or he were too knowledgable about the difference. Thanks :)

November 19, 2004, 02:46 PM
And then, just to confuse things more, we also have the M1 Abrams chambered in 120mm. Another gotcha. The M1 Abrams had a Rheinmetall 105mm rifled cannon. The M1A1 was upgunned to the 120 smoothbore, and there are now M1A2 and M1A2 SEP models as well, that I know of.

Lets see - 30.06 fires a 150 gr bullet at around 2,750 fps. The M1An fires a 70,500 gr [roughly 10.5 lb] depleted uranium arrow at close to 6,000 fps. And a ballistic computer takes lead, cross wind, laser range, air density and other variables into consideration in aiming. These apply to the coax .30 cal in the turret, making the M1 tank the world's finest long range night deer hunting tool....

Now you know why rifles are called "small arms."

November 19, 2004, 02:47 PM
Ultrastar wrote:
I'm possibly looking at getting a civilian M-1 (.30 carbine) that's why I brought up Springfield and Kahr differences.

Okay. If you're looking for a rifle that take .30 Carbine ammo, then that's the M1 Carbine. The Springfield M1 Garand will NOT, it's chambered for the .30-06 round.

Everything you would look for would have the word "Carbine" associated with it.

That said, and were it me, I would forego the Kahr version and look for an original M1 Carbine. (Most just call it the "Carbine" for short.) They are so much cooler that the Kahr's - which are fine rifles - because they are from WWII. They're also not much more then the Kahr. You can find them around 550-600, and have the full wood foreguard, and a much better "cool factor" because they ARE the real deal.


November 19, 2004, 02:51 PM
I'll have to look into that, thanks.

November 19, 2004, 03:13 PM
does the M1 Abrams have compared to an M1 carbine?

November 19, 2004, 03:26 PM
Don't forget the M1A1 carbine. It was a M1 CARBINE with a folding stock.

C. H. Luke
November 19, 2004, 04:21 PM
A copy of my post re Carbines from another BB:

"But how do I tell an original WWII from one made after that?"

One thing to look for is the usualy, poorly cared for, re-import guns like "Blue Sky", etc. Like any other gun that comes back into the Country they have to be marked. On Carbines it's almost always stamped under the barrel close to the muzzle. Generally speaking import marked guns are selling for about $100.00 less than the equivelent.
Decent ones are around $400 to $500. If the one you mention is in good shape with a clean bore $300 is an exc. price!

These little carbines a Ton of fun to shoot!

Good info here:


Telling them apart:


Good Carbine BB:


November 19, 2004, 05:31 PM
"Like any other gun that comes back into the Country they have to be marked. On Carbines it's almost always stamped under the barrel close to the muzzle."

Sometimes they are marked on the receiver. Don't look just at the barrel.

November 20, 2004, 01:59 AM
Thanks for all the good info, it got me looking in the right direction. :D

George S.
November 20, 2004, 10:19 AM
A real M1 Garand is labeled on the back of the receiver as "US Rifle, Cal .30 followed by a manufacturer's name and a serial number. Some may look sort of ragged and some ahve been rebuilt. The part that makes them "real" means some of them may have helped defend our country in battle.

Springfield Armory makes a version of the M1 using a new receiver, barrel and stock, but the rest of the compoinents are USGI parts that have been carefully inspected. SA gives you a choice of .30-06 or .308 Winchester.

SA also offers an "M1A" which is their clone of the military M14. These are semi-auto only (no provision for the full-auto selectore switch) and come in a variety of configurations. They are chambered in 7.62x51 NATO which is a .308 round.

Milirary issue M1 rifles can be rebarreled in .308 and that is a fairly popular conversion as the cost of .308 ammo is less than .30-06 and still is an accurate cartridge.

You can get a "real" M1 Garand from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for around $550 for a good quality rifle to $300 for rilfes that have been returned from the Greek government. Go to www.odcmp.com and go to "Rifle Sales" for information on how to buy one.

November 20, 2004, 02:45 PM
The best defense against confusion is education.
Much of what is on the errornet is non factual or semi true, smattered with a bunch of "i think" or "i heard".

There is a US Rifle, Cal. .30 M1 (the term "Garand" is a nickmane, and not in any way official.

There is also a US Carbine, Cal. .30, M1.
The rifle fires a .30 round that can be identified metricallly as 7.62x63mm (the term 30-06 is not military nomenclature.
The Carbine fires a .30 round that can now be identified as a 7.62x33mm. Same bore diameter, different length.

US Rifles ran from M1 to US Rifle, Cal 7.62mm M14, M14A1 and M14E2 (the respective USMC and Army designators for the Squad Automatic Rifle).
The US Rifle, Cal. 5.56mm M16; M16A1; M16A2; M16A3; and M16A4 are the rifles that went from limited standard to the now current standard.

Besides the US Carbine Cal. .30 M1, there was also the M1A1 (the term "paratrooper" is a duffers term and not official), M2 (a select fire carbine) and M3 (for use with an IR optic).

The US Carbine Cal 5.56mm M4 and M4A1 are the current issue.

While many companies use military type terminology to hype their wares, there is no such animal as M4A2 or M4A3- except in the minds of advertising wienies.

Find youself a copy of Ezell's books- "Small Arms of The World- all out of print, but well worth it.

Hope this helps.

C. H. Luke
December 4, 2004, 01:31 PM
"What is a real M-1?"

General George S. Patton, Jr. proclaimed it:

"The greatest single battle implement ever devised by man."

As far as the moniker "Garand" goes, it' is one of distinct legend & long standing homage to Honor the designer/inventor of the rifle, John C. Garand.

It is not slang to refer to an M1 as a Garand nor is it to refer to a Thompson as a Thompson, etc. The same goes for Tommy Franks.

"Douglas MacArthur applauded the M1. George S. Patton, Jr. proclaimed it, "the greatest single battle implement ever devised by man." Even the normally passive Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly praised it. Renowned small-arms expert S.L.A. Marshall, in his highly detailed and critical evaluation of the performance of U.S. Infantry weapons during the Korean War, noted the phenomenal love of the American infantryman for the weapon, who, without reservation, candidly stated to him on over a hundred occasions that he could not think of replacing it with anything else."

December 4, 2004, 01:39 PM
It is NOT recommended that the 120mm M1 be fired from the sholder,or the hip,or one handed!!

Livin in TEXAS

December 5, 2004, 05:36 AM
Well I sure would like to know where SA is finding there GI parts...last I new it ws all made in Koreia parts.

December 5, 2004, 08:04 AM
Maybe this will help:

M1 Carbine:


M1A (M14) in Bush Rifle configuration:


M1 Garand:


December 5, 2004, 09:19 AM
A certain unnamed sergeant I knew in Fort Knox KY once killed a deer on a training range with a 120mm training round, fired by his gunner at a lased 1,200 yards or so (don't remember the exact distance, but it was around that). Blew a hole right through it, never even heard the round coming.

The M1 Garand was the U.S rifle of WW2 and into the 1950s.

The M14 (the Springfield M1A is a clone of this except the full auto bit) replaced the M1 and the M1 carbine in 1957, and is a modified Garand design, except with the 20 round magazine, different gas system, and chambered in 7.62X51mm (same performance inside 400 yards, smaller cartridge, lighter weight, better performance in automatic weapons).

The M1 carbine was developed in 1941 as a "other arm". Something to arm cooks, drivers, radiomen, typists, officers, people who normally would have been armed with a pistol. Since it's hard to hit anything with a pistol past 25 yards for most people, they gave them the M1 carbine, which shoots the .30 carbine round (basically a really hot pistol round). It's light and handy, and designed as a defensive weapon, lethal enough inside about 150 yards, but past that, not really. Enough to make the enemy stay away or kill them if they get close. More M1 carbines were made than any other weapon issued ever, and they were popular to carry, being light. However the .30 carbine FMJ rounds don't have the punch of a .30-06, so generally it took several hits to stop someone (this, coming from a WW2/Korea/Vietnam veteran Command Sergeant Major I knew, and a Korea vet Master Gunnery Sergeant who had one for a while).

Loaded with hollowpoint/softpoint rounds the .30 carbine round has the performance about like a .357 Magnum, so it's a respectable little round. :)

Jim K
December 5, 2004, 07:17 PM
Time for a tutorial. From the first days of U.S. military arms, the Army called weapons by their date of adoption. So we had the Model 1863 (rifle musket), Model 1873 (rifle and carbine), Model 1903 (rifle), Model 1911 (pistol), Model 1917 (rifle, machinegun and revolvers) and Model 1928 (submachinegun).

In the early 1930's, the U.S. Army decided to start all over and name each major item in a new series, each starting with M1. (The Army claims the "M" doesn't mean "Model", it is just a designator.)

From that point on, as a new item was adopted, it became the "(whatever) M1"; the second type became the "(whatever) M2", and so on.

Some confusion is caused by ignorance of the major type. For example, the Light Tank, M3, was the Lee; the Medium Tank, M3, was the Stuart. (The famous Sherman was the Medium Tank, M4.) The first M1 tank is better left unmentioned; even by the standard of the time, it was a bad joke.

So the first rifle adopted under the new system was the Garand, which became the Rifle, M1. The Winchester light rifle became the Carbine, M1. The old Thompson SMG was the Model 1928A1, but when modified, it became the SMG, M1. Everything got the same treatment - weapons, helmets, slings, bayonets, web belts, boots, mess gear, and so on.

But in later years, some numbers became cumbersome, so the Army started all over again, with items like the (new) M1 tank, a far cry from the original with its 37mm gun.

But the rifle adopted as the U.S. Rifle, Cal. 30, M1, became so ubiquitous that it became to the troops just "the M1". No soldier called it the "Garand" and no one bothered to say, "rifle"; the M1 was "the M1". If you meant an M1 carbine, you said "carbine". If you meant an M1 helmet, you said "helmet".

But the U.S. Army has no copyright on the term "M1". So I can produce a .22 pump rifle and call it the JK M1. Or I can make a hair dryer and call it an M1. Some combinations of manufacturer and model have been determined by BATF to identify machineguns, so to avoid legal problems makers of similar non-machineguns change part of the name. The best known example is the U.S. Rifle, Cal. 7.62mm, M14; as made by or for the Army it is a selective fire weapon and a machinegun. But a company may make a look-alike semi-auto rifle as long as it is marked with the name of the company which is not a government maker or as long the model number is changed.

Hope this helps or maybe just makes things more confusing.


4v50 Gary
December 5, 2004, 07:20 PM
And there was a beefed up M-1 Ball (30-06) cartridge for long range shooting. Then Ordnance toned it down to 150 grains and a lighter charge.

cracked butt
December 5, 2004, 07:36 PM
Then there's the Italian BM-59s which are neither M1 nor M14 but look like they could almost be either. :D

C. H. Luke
December 6, 2004, 10:34 AM
So what this all really means is the M1 Garand is a "Battle Rifle" and the M1 Carbine is an "Assault Weapon"!

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