Would the M1 Carbine had been a better performer if....


May 21, 2006, 10:10 AM
it had been chambered for a modified 357 magnum round?

I think the 357 magnum had been invented by the time of the M1 Carbine, hadnt it?

If so, why not make essentially an unrimmed version of it, and then build the carbine around that?

Wouldnt this have had basically the same exterior ballistics, and better terminal ballistics than the 30 carbine round?

Why did the army specify 30 caliber bullets for the carbine?

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May 21, 2006, 10:23 AM
I don't know about the .357mag thing but from the guys that I have met that carried a M-1 Carbine, they didn't have any complaints. All of them seemed to really like the gun.

May 21, 2006, 10:35 AM
it was called a 35 winchester, and later, a 351 winchester. used by prison guards and deer hunters in the model '05 and '07 winchester automatics.

May 21, 2006, 11:20 AM
Why bulk it up?
I believe the .30 Carbine performed just fine for what it was designed for. It wasn't designed with the idea that someday it would be released to the civilian market and the new users might want it to do something else.


May 21, 2006, 11:26 AM
M-1 carbine works fine. It was for people than didn't need a full size battle rifle cooks, clerks , drivers ect. Longer range and more fire power than a 45 auto.
Today the M-1 is still a good little Carbine Their is Better ammo than the ball out their and almost no recoil. Also isn't the evil black rifle so not noticed as much. I have a WWII and will not part with it.

May 21, 2006, 11:34 AM
OK, to get the question back on track.

I am not saying the M1 Carbine doesn't work just fine. I know most people who carried a carbine loved it. However, many of those same people didn't every actually have to use it in combat. I have a couple of uncles who served in Korea as officers, and they ditched the M1 carbine in favor of the Garand. But the effectiveness of the 30 carbine is not really what I am asking.

I am asking if it would have been better (almost anything can be made better, right?) if it had been chambered in a non-rimmed 357 magnum.

I don't think the gun would have had to be "bulked up" in order to do that.

May 21, 2006, 12:16 PM
In a short answer, no.

Here's something I found on another bulletin board.

I've heard the following more than once, and read it over and over.


Let's compare the two, shall we?

The .357 Magnum fires a 125-grain projectile at 1450 fps, producing 584 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle. At 100 yards, this drops to 1102 fps and 337 ft-lbs of energy.

The .30 Carbine fires a 110-grain projectile at 1990 fps, producing 967 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle. At 100 yards, this drops to 1564 fps and 597 ft-lbs of muzzle energy.

Thus, as you can see, the .30 Carbine load is more powerful at 100 yards than the .357 Magnum is at the muzzle!

May 21, 2006, 12:52 PM
Let's compare the two, shall we?

You might start by comparing either 357 out of a rifle length barrel (where velocities of 1800-2000 FPS are par for the course), or a 30 Carbine out of a pistol length barrel. Otherwise, we're talking apples and oranges.

May 21, 2006, 04:13 PM
I believe that a cartridge similar to what you describe was considered for adoption. It would have made the carbine slightly heavier, and the ammunition would obviously have been heavier. Terminal effectiveness would have been slightly better, but the weapon would not have been quite as handy as in its .30 caliber configuration.

The carbine was an early experiment in what has come to be known as PDW's. Personal Defense Weapons are for people who might accidentally need a weapon, but whose normal duties make it difficult to carry an actual rifle.

After WWII, the 5.5 mm Johnson was offered. This was a .22 caliber on the carbine case, and a simple barrel change was the only thing required for the conversion. It was way ahead of its time! Compare the ballistics of this cartridge with the new FN 5.7x28mm. The Fn offering is much more compact, and is short enough to be used in pistols. I understand FN used the .30 carbine case for development of its 5.7x28.

Body armor was not the consideration in WWII that it is today. The design of the carbine is sound, but the ballistics of the cartridge, especially in FMJ form, leave some thing to be desired.

May 21, 2006, 09:28 PM
Here's a Winchester 158gr 357 out of a rifle:


1830 fps / 1175 ft lbs at the muzzle

1427 fps / 715 ft lbs at 100 yards

A 110 gr. projectile would be even faster and wouldn't bleed off velocity as fast. It certainly could be loaded a little hotter than .30 carbine.

Of course, maybe .30 carbine could be loaded hotter than we see in commercial ammo too.

I always wondered why nobody ever made a 125gr or 150gr bullet for .30 carbine.

May 21, 2006, 11:09 PM
A 110 gr. projectile would be even faster and wouldn't bleed off velocity as fast. It certainly could be loaded a little hotter than .30 carbine.It would definitely be faster, but the lighter projectile would shed velocity faster than the heavier bullet.

May 21, 2006, 11:55 PM
How about the Carbine in 762x39? I think that would make a dandy little rifle. I know this wasn't possible then but a modern version.

I've only handle a couple but they all felt nicer than my SKSs or AKs. I guess they would be similar to a Mini30.

May 22, 2006, 12:57 AM
An M1 Carbine in .223 came to mind when I saw this thread, but then I thought that might just be a mini-14. :)

May 22, 2006, 01:41 AM
One huge problem in fielding the M1 Carbine in .357 mag is the limited stacking ability of the ammo in a magazine.

Rimmed cartridges don't work well past 8 or 10 rounds in a box magazine.

The .30 Carbine is more powerful than a .357 Mag anyway, by a tiny bit.....so it's academic anyway.

May 22, 2006, 01:57 AM
Better has a lot to do with its intended use.
So no, I don't think it would have been better.
Initially it was intended for soldiers who were not front line soldiers. The nature of warfare became a lot more mobile than that of a generation ago and what was a rear area could quickly become the enemy's rear area. So a weapon more effective than a sidearm was needed.
For this, the M1 Carbine is well suited. It has greater range and more practical accuracy than a 1911. It is simply easier to be accurate and to train somebody to be accurate with a rifle.
Would greater weight, less ammunition, and a small increase in effectivenes helped it become more useful in that role? I don't think so.

Now the M1 was later used by paratroopers and other mobile troops. Some of them were quite satisfied with the performance, some wanted a harder hitting rifle. Argueably this change would have helped some. But a paratrooper only has what they carry. Again, the factor of greater weight of weapon and weight of ammunition leading to having less available on each trooper would have been a factor. Then I'd be reading comments about paratroopers bitching about lugging the thing around.
So in this case, by special use front line soldiers, the answer is maybe.

May 22, 2006, 02:22 AM
Most the complaints with the M1 Carbine tend to be for troops it shouldn't have been issued for anyway. They got it because it was cheaper and quicker to manufacture. Alot of infantry complained, some liked it. My wife uncle was issued it to go into Iwo Jima as a forward observer. Picked up a M1 Garand at the first chance. Others he worked with loved the lighter weight and the recoil is much gentler than a 30-06 from the Garand. I hear similar stories from other veterans.

As a personal defense rifle and for alot of civilian security, police work and so on it works fine. The Israelis still issue it to the police there for instance. As a frontline combat rifle it had its flaws, but that was foreseeable and economics and logistics came into effect.

Tony Williams
May 22, 2006, 04:02 AM
If you want a bigger cartridge for the Carbine, then justashooter had it right. The .30 Carbine cartridge was based on the Winchester .32 SL (self-loading) round which had emerged in the first decade of the century in some blowback self-loading rifles. Two bigger rounds in the family were the .351 SL and the .401 SL. So the simplest thing to do would have been to adopt the .351 SL instead - it was a semi-rimmmed cartridge which would have been easier to stack in a magazine. Otherwise, dimensions were similar to the .357 Magnum.

Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website (http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk) and discussion forum (http://forums.delphiforums.com/autogun/messages/)

May 22, 2006, 08:48 AM
I think as posted, the Carbine did what it was designed to do. IF you were a cook or a driver, and needed a "sidearm" instead of a battle rifle, likely enough you weren't really much of a great shot with a .45 either, and just maybe you could actually hit something with the Carbine in a pinch. A .351 or other more effective cartridge just puts you on the slippery slope towards a real battle rifle. Sure, maybe more effective.... and the .223 or 7.62 x 39 would have been on the slope.... hey, better yet a 7.62 x 54 (.308)... you get the idea. Each step would have been a little better, a little heavier... and at some point, somebody would have to say something like "what the hell, why not make it same ammo as the main battle rifle?" and you'd miss the original idea. It is what it is, and did okay for what it was designed for. I'd have loved to seen it in something like a .30 cal version of the 8mm Kurz, but hey, that's on that slope again...

May 22, 2006, 09:02 AM
I like the idea of a .30 carbine necked down to .22, that would be a very nice rifle.

May 22, 2006, 11:08 AM

Commonality of production parts. Same barrel-drilling and rifling equipment used for both the rifle and carbine, just put different barrel stock in.

Downrange energy, balanced with a bullet small enough to NOT compromise our ability to churn out regular .30 Ball and AP ammo. Use less of the strategic metals supply with a 110-gr bullet. To equal the downrange retained energy of the .30, a .357 round would need to be either much heavier, or pointed. Pointed could have and should have (IMO) been done with the .30 Carbine.

BTW, don't trust Winchester's pistol-caliber velocity data. It is the most wildly optimistic I have EVER encountered. What do YOU get out of YOUR gun with Winchester powders?

May 22, 2006, 11:41 AM
I'll even go farther than Grump on keeping a standard bore size for the rifle and carbine at .308", and include the BAR, the various .30 caliber machine guns, and barrels for the '03 Springfields. Once you have the tooling and gaging for making .308" bores, you could tackle any of the above.

Also, it was only logical for Winchester to draw on its experiences with self loading cartridge design to come up with something, rather than collaborate with Remington and the .357 magnum.

May 22, 2006, 06:54 PM
Winchester developed the .357 Magnum cartridge. They could just as easily developed a rimless version with a full metal jacket bullet for the military.

Such a carbine would have been a little heavier than the .30, and with full metal jacket bullets would have only been slightly more effective at close range.

A few more years would have to pass before people would accept a smaller caliber bullet in that role. Some people still don't!:p

May 23, 2006, 02:13 AM
I think it would have been way better!

Heavier bullets are a good thing.

May 24, 2006, 01:09 AM
Two points:

- .357 Mag carbine terminal performance is great, with soft/hollow-point bullets. With Hague-Accord FMJ ammo, I'm not sure a ".357 Carbine" would have performed all that much better than the .30 Carbine did - especially given that the velocities of both rounds fall a few hundred FPS short of what is needed to cause "hydrostatic wounding" by stretching tissue beyond its yield strength via the temporary wound cavity. Since both cartridges in Hague-friendly, reliable-feeding FMJ-RN format could only wound via the permanent crush cavity, the only way to increase their terminal performance would be with either a frangible/expanding bullet(in violation of the Hague agreements), a semi-wadcutter bullet profile(that would decrease feed reliability and aerodynamics/bullet trajectory/retained energy beyond 200yds), or a long bullet designed to yaw on impact(which would reduce available case volume for the powder charge). On the flip-side of the equation, the NYPD Stakeout Squad found that the M1 Carbine loaded with softpoint ammo was a highly effective combination for stopping violent felons in urban police work.

- Iver Johnson actually chambered and sold commercial M1 Carbines in a proprietary caliber, 5.7mm Johnson, which in fact was the .30 Carbine case necked down to take a .22 bullet. IIRC ballistics approximated a low-middle .223 loading.

May 24, 2006, 01:39 AM
I think for its intended use and even beyond that, worrying about retained energy beyond 200 yards isn't very meaningful. Maybe not for the paratroopers, but even the guys in tanks and all the jungle fighting wouldn't have looked at those ranges, I'm guessing.
For the rear echelon guys, 200 yards was probably more that their skills reasonably allowed.

May 24, 2006, 03:35 AM
"...many of those same people didn't every actually have to use it in combat..." Met a guy, while in the Queen's Service, who was with 2PPCLI at Kap Y'ong. He said he didn't care if it took two rounds to put a ChiCom down, he loved the carbine. 2PPCLI(2nd Batt Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry) won a U.S. Presidential Unit Citation for stopping the ChiCom advance in Korea. That was with USGI .30 Carbine ball ammo. All the whining about the .30 Carbine round is based on ball ammo. Ball ammo is not made for spectacular terminal performance. It's made to go bang every time.
110 grain HP's with IMR 4227 will make a hole the size of a grapefruit in a soft target with outstanding accuracy.
Production machinery had nothing whatever to do with it. Most of the makers of carbines didn't make rifles of any kind before or after W.W. II.

May 24, 2006, 07:26 PM
Most of the makers of carbines didn't make rifles of any kind before or after W.W. II.

What about DURING? "Most"--who are the exceptions?

But who made their tooling? All on-site, or some provided by other Gov't subcontractors?

Regardless of whether IBM or Inland ever made component barrels for rifles, there is still the factor that specifications (bore, rifling, tolerances, etc.) were just copied from the existing rifle standards.

I don't know, but suspect that some tooling was made outside by specialists who were *good* at what they did--just like how TRW did NOT bother with making certain parts for the M14.

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