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

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Lone_Gunman, May 21, 2006.

  1. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. albanian

    albanian member

    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.
  3. justashooter

    justashooter member

    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.
  4. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    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.


    MICHAEL T Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. hillbilly

    hillbilly Well-Known Member

    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!
  8. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. grendelbane

    grendelbane Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    It would definitely be faster, but the lighter projectile would shed velocity faster than the heavier bullet.
  12. bratch

    bratch Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Well-Known Member

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

    swingset Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. Croyance

    Croyance Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. Limeyfellow

    Limeyfellow Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Well-Known Member

    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 and discussion forum
  18. jjohnson

    jjohnson Well-Known Member

    The Main Idea

    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...
  19. mrmeval

    mrmeval Well-Known Member

    I like the idea of a .30 carbine necked down to .22, that would be a very nice rifle.
  20. Grump

    Grump Well-Known Member


    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?

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