Ballistic gelatin test results : .30 Carbine


Brass Fetcher
March 30, 2007, 11:00 PM
Firearm : US M-1 Carbine with 18" barrel length

Ammunition : Federal 110gr Power-Shok SPRN and 110gr M1 ball

Block calibration : 10.6cm @ 597 ft/sec

Both shots fired from a distance of 10' between the muzzle face and the front face of the rifle-size gelatin block.

Shot 1 - Federal 110gr Power-Shok Soft Point round nose. Impacted at 1954 ft/sec, penetrated to 16.3" and exited the rear face of the block. Bullet was recovered at unknown distance in a polyester bullet arresting box. Recovered average diameter was 0.461".

Shot 2 - Lake City 1952, M1 ball. Impacted at 1910 ft/sec, penetrated to 16.3" and exited the rear face of the block. Bullet began to yaw at 4.0" penetration and righted itself (apparently continued on in nose-forward orientation) at 11.9". This action of the bullet created significant wounding potential, as may be evident in the second picture below. Bullet was not recovered.

Please note that the damage to the upper portion of the block in the second photo happened sometime during removal from the mold. It was not an effect of a bullet penetration.

Thank you.

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March 30, 2007, 11:26 PM
So what does this two-shot test tell us?

March 31, 2007, 12:01 AM
Well it would appear to support the idea that a .30 Carbine will shoot right through me.


March 31, 2007, 12:20 AM
It appears as though this round does transfer energy fairly well to the block of gelatin.

I'm sure this would make a great home defense rifle for women and children who cannot handle the recoil of a shotgun or handgun.


March 31, 2007, 08:04 AM
I sort of thought that it was already well known that the M1 Carbine was good for close range self defense.

March 31, 2007, 08:55 AM
I sort of thought that it was already well known that the M1 Carbine was good for close range self defense.

Yes, but I would not have expected nearly that amount of penetration/damage.

March 31, 2007, 09:56 AM
Very intersting..........thanks.......:D

GunNut.....I guess I am a woman or child. I use a M1 Carbine for my Home defense weapon. I really wouldn't critize the weapon unless you have used one. I am very comfortable with it and what it will do if needed. Just think....All the guys in WWII that used them were women and children.

Brass Fetcher
March 31, 2007, 10:51 AM
Sounds like M1 Carbine is use-able by women and children, just like a Ruger 10-22 finds use with shooters of all ages and gender.

I got to shoot the gun because the owner had to work when I could get to the range (the owner of the gun usually shoots it at the blocks)... so I got some FMJ ammo that he told me to 'use up'. I'd shot a Garand before but not the Carbine. What a nice gun! The recoil was between and AR15 and an AK47, not bad at all.

RE the terminal effects - what I was looking for was: adequate penetration and then 'what did it do to the block'. In both respects, I am satisfied with its performance. Much better results should be possible with a bullet that goes ~ 12.0" and stops ... but that test will have to be sometime in the unforseeable future... :)

March 31, 2007, 02:43 PM
Thank you for the test!:)
For a little field data on the Carbine: I've used it for 25 years to slaughter sheep, goats,steers and hogs that I couldn't catch for some reason. My experience has been the Remington softpoint is the best bullet for this job. I've used ball for a decade before the softpoints appeared. A goat or sheep with a classic behind the front shoulder thru the lungs and heart shot from less than 50 yards goes down in a heap 90% of the time with the Rem soft point. The same shot with ball they usually run 50 yards or so and pile up. The softpoints they are usually dead when you walk up , the ball loads they are normally still concious, either way the throat is cut. ;)
Ball or soft point a brain shot is instantaneous on all the animals including horse, donkeys,cattle and the smaller stuff, only diffewrence being the ball always is a thru and thru penetrator where the softpoint SOMETIMES is not and the eyeballs are blown out a bit:barf:

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
March 31, 2007, 02:48 PM
My Ruger Blackhawk in .30 Carbine does a fine job on hogs, close-up coyotes, and cinderblocks. With a 110 grain FNHP on top of a stout load of H110 or 4227 (especially H110) it knocks mosquitoes down with the muzzle blast.


March 31, 2007, 02:52 PM
Wow. Count me surprised. That pup packs more of a punch than I would have expected. Esp. the FMJ! Now we just need a .45 ACP test out of a Thompson-length barrel and some of the old WWII arms debates might have to be revisited.

March 31, 2007, 05:27 PM
Hogwash. These are obviously fakes. Everyone knows that .30 carbine ball bounced off the coats that the Chicoms wore. :rolleyes:

March 31, 2007, 06:15 PM
Nice work. Have you done a 7.62x54 yet?

Brass Fetcher
March 31, 2007, 06:41 PM
Unfortunately, the local fabric store was out of 'Chi-Com winter jacket' fabric to face the block with :D .

The gentleman who lent me the rifle said that a lot of the failures to stop were due to the non-corrosive priming compound of the ammo that I was shooting - he said that the chemicals in corrosive priming compounds lends itself better to the extreme cold?

In any case... the idea behind this test was to evaluate the defensive capability of this gun, using quality soft points. The FMJs were just a baseline (and I know that people are interested in the performance of this particular round because of performance during Korea)... I wouldn't recommend FMJ for defense except under very limited circumstances.

john paul
March 31, 2007, 07:13 PM
right after rita i found out that the m1 carbine fits perfectly in the folded up rear seat of a f250 extended cab and no one panics if they don't see it. better to have it and not need it...

March 31, 2007, 11:54 PM
All I know is I'd love to be able to get a CMP M1... but they'll probably be out of them by the time I get my US citizenship in 2010 :banghead:

April 1, 2007, 12:12 AM

All I gotta say is M1 Carbines are MM mm good. :)

50 Shooter
April 1, 2007, 11:38 PM
Thanks for the pics and the thread, good stuff. Just got my copy of VHP and read the article on the .50 BMG gel test.

April 2, 2007, 10:16 AM
thanks for posting these excellent pics and doing the write up.

April 2, 2007, 10:40 AM
This is why I own M1 Carbines, not AR's. Plenty of penetration and a bigger hole. I wish someone would shoot some blocks with the 95gr XTP, I think it would work even better than the softpoints. I'm going to get some and try them in mine.

Brass Fetcher
April 2, 2007, 08:35 PM
You're welcome. Thank you for posting.

@50 Shooter - Thank you - I just read the article myself... I'm published!!! But my last name is misspelled - it's Ervin, not Irwin. :(

I thought about sizing down the heavier 0.312" XTP bullets - problem is, I don't have the dies to reload the ammo. Tomorrow I will ask the owner of the gun to see if he has the dies - if he will let me borrow the gun again, expect a lot more M1 carbine tests.

The gun is outstanding for several reasons - the short distance between the top of the front sight and the centerline of the muzzle (mechanical offset) allows a shooter to make better use of cover, if forced to shoot over the barrier. Many head injuries are attributed to the large mechanical offset of modern assault rifles...

The other reason I like it is for the safety - keeping a straight trigger finger alongside the triggerguard, you can, in one smooth motion, disable the safety and mash the trigger. Not a great trigger pull in that case, but good enough at close range. 2 "Brass Fetcher thumbs up" for the M-1 Carbine!

Dave Markowitz
April 3, 2007, 07:53 AM
Great test, thanks for posting this. It makes me happy to see the M1 Carbine feeling the love on THR. :)

April 3, 2007, 08:18 AM
Great info! I agree that the "little carbine that could" should command more respect than it does. When compared to its big brother the Garand, of course it comes up short - it's not a full-power battle rifle and was never intended to be. As a replacement for a pistol, it offers greatly enhanced hit probability, increased range and much more wounding potential than any service handgun. One of my uncles actually spoke very highly of the one he used in Korea; he used to say that everyone he shot with it suddenly became "fully cooperative". Didn't Jim Cirillo also report 100% success with the carbine on the NYPD stakeout team?

I love my carbines. I have little doubt that the carbine would be an effective defensive tool inside of 150 yards. I still prefer a lightweight AR as a fighting gun, but the M1 carbine is a viable choice.


Carl N. Brown
April 3, 2007, 06:12 PM
I believe Preacherman pointed out that the reason
the.30 carbine did not kill well in winter time in Korea
or during the Battle of the Bulge is cardiovascular
constriction due to cold weather: gunshot wounds
just don't bleed as quickly in cold weather.

Another poster who searched dead enemy soldiers for
maps and other intel in Korea said that soldiers wearing
the Chinese winter coats who were shot with .30 carbine
usually had complete through-and-through penetration.

I suspect that enemy soldiers shot at with M2 carbines
in Korea simply were not hit: the M2 on full auto just
is not very accurate.

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