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Is the M1 Carbine a swell home defense gun?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Justin, Nov 16, 2003.

  1. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Ok, here's a question- Is the M1 Carbine a good choice for home defense?
    You see all sorts of arguments about how the .30 Carbine round is ineffective at long distances, and really isn't much of a penetrator. This may not be the ideal setup if you're storming the beaches of Normandy, but what about inside your own home at 0-dark-thirty? Seems to me that the M1 Carbine would have quite a bit going for it in this regard:

    1)It's a longarm which makes it easier to handle than a pistol.
    2)The round isn't a full-blown rifle round, which means it's less likely to go through three walls and into the neighbors' place.
    3)Higher capacity than a shotgun- 15 and 30 round magazines are readily available.
    4)Low recoil adds to ease of controllability, especially for those who might balk at shooting a 12 guage.
    5)It's fairly light, which makes it quite handy.

    The biggest mark against the M1 Carbine for a HD weapon is that there doesn't seem to be any provision for attaching a light.

    So whaddya think?
  2. Kaylee

    Kaylee Moderator

    Dec 19, 2002
    The Last Homely House
    sounds about right to me.. one of these days I may have to buy one. :D

    The other neat thing about 'em is that they seem -- at least through muffs-- significantly easier on the ears than a .223. Now granted I still wouldn't want to touch one off inside, but I suspect there'd be less long term hearing damage than from an M4 knockoff or suchlike.

    and of COURSE you can attatch a light.. never heard of duct tape?:p

  3. willyjixx

    willyjixx Active Member

    Jun 3, 2003
    kaylee beat me too it!:D

    duct tape!

    a dremel an some time can make a neat little groove

    who was it that said necessity was the mother of invention?
  4. ChairborneRanger

    ChairborneRanger New Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    The M1 Carbine is the original fun gun----light----cute to look at----just a ball to shoot----great plinking gun!! The manufacturing 'story' relative to the Carbine is captivating, as well. However, the majority of the USGI Carbines are also 60 years old----and counting----great Curio & Relic class firearm----but I don't know if I'd want to stake my life on it. The Carbine is plainly not a good platform when it comes to either optics or lights. Furthermore, the .30 Carbine round is not exactly the most sophisticated----kind of like a .22 on steroids-----yet, to the extent that one tries using either HP or SP cartridges in the Carbine, the gun is notorious for developing feeding problems.

    When it comes to home defense, I'd be prone to use something just a little more modern---in a rifle, something like an AR in .223/5.56 would seem to do the 'trick'----better yet, a shotgun----a 12 or 20 in a double, pump or autoloader. Don't think there is anything quite as threatening thing to any criminal/home-invader than the sound----in the dark----of someone racking a shell into the chamber of a 12 gauge pump shotgun.
  5. natedog

    natedog Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Bakersfield, California
    .30 Carbine has twice the muzzle energy of the .45 ACP (I know, I know, it isn't JUST muzzle energy that determines effectiveness) and it is almost as powerful as a .357 Magnum out of a rifle barrel.
  6. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    North Central Florida and Miami Florida
    the .30 M1 Carbine is a bang up good HD weapon. I have two, both WW II vintage, a RockOla and an Inland. One 15 round in the magwell, and two on the butt stock, make a handy, and effective weapon. For HD, I load up with Remington 110 Gr SP ammo. Personally, I have no use for optics or lights on a HD rifle. I look at all that 'tactical' stuff as just an affectation.
  7. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

    Dec 20, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    Those dissing the accessorization potential of the carbine haven't been keeping up with my half-dozen threads 'bout the UltiMAK forward mount:

    Ultimak M6-B Forward Carbine Weaver Mount

    I'm putting a leopold M8 2.5 x 28 scout scope on mine... everything is here, but I was shipped the wrong rings so I'm going to have to wait a bit further. For a HD scenario, a Trijicon reflex site might be good (always on) or for the SWAT scenarios, a red dot.

    In California, we cannot own ARs unless purchased before 97... for those just getting into this, the carbine is a fun gun and a viable HD gun. Never had a jam with mine. All that said, racking the 870 would send Goblins running faster than displaying my Carbine, me thinks... either way, the Goblin would be in trouble if he pressed on further.

    Georgia Arms "canned heat" hollowpoints have never let me down.


    Edit: the rings worked... see my post here
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2003
  8. Larry

    Larry New Member

    Nov 16, 2003
    The M1 Carbine was issued to officers and sargeants and was to be used in close quarters combat.

    Sounds like a ticket for home defense. I shot one in the military and considered it a good plinking gun, very reliable and field stripping was one screw and the whole thing came apart. The instructions said you could use an empty shell case or a coin if you did not have a screw driver to remove the band where the wood meets the barrel.

    The model I used was the M2, full auto with a selector lever. I thought the gun was very simple and reliability. It shot after being dropped in a river and dripping with mud.

    Don't be swayed by the big bullet fans. Yours is big enough. I use a Winchester 94 in 30-30 for home defense. I practice a lot, work at different ranges, light conditions and target shapes. I am very accurate with my home defense gun and think a home defense weapon choice has to be what works for you. The choice is only one step. If you can handle the carbine well and put bullets on target you're on your way to having a home defense package.

    What have you desided?
  9. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    As far as using a .223 for HD, I think that's a bad idea. I've seen tests stating that yes, .223 will penetrate many layers of drywall, and that no, it won't. I'd much rather err on the side of caution and stay away from higher-pressure rounds.

    At the very least, it seems that touching an AR off indoors without hearing protection would be tres loud, as compared to the (I assume) lower pressure .30 Carbine. (Yes, I realize that the M1 is still going to be really loud.)

    I can take or leave the red-dot sites. While I am sure that they are useful, I don't have enough experience with them to make a judgement.

    Might be interesting to see if someone developed an attachment for that Ultimak rail that would allow you to hang a Surefire off to one side.

  10. Glock Glockler

    Glock Glockler Participating Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Southern NH
    One option could be one of those Timberwolf .357 pump actions. Out of a small rifle like that the .357 is absolutely devestating and I think you'll have less penetration issues than with the smaller .30 caliber. It also helps as far as standardization goes, that's if you aleady own a .357 pistol or plan to.
  11. Crimper-D

    Crimper-D Member

    Jan 21, 2003
    Sierra Nevada Foothills
    Works fer Me!

    I mounted an Aimpoint Red Dot sight on my little Civilian made Universal Carbine, and it makes a NASTY little defense gun in low light conditions.
    I load and shoot HP's and SP's in mine with no feeding problems.
    I hope I never encounter a situation where I Need 10, 15 or 30 rounds at close range, but better something fast, quiet and combat proven.
  12. JimJD

    JimJD Active Member

    Oct 2, 2003
    My Dad has one of those universal carbines.
    He's pretty happy with it.
    The reason he purchased it back in the seventies was for HD.
    Some have low opinions of that particular version, but it has'nt failed yet.
    Hope it never does.
    I just wish the ammo was as cheap as .223
  13. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    I don't have a fancy Leupold LE relief scope. Got a cheapie Tasco. Should look for a red dot though.
  14. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Elder

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    I have shot a man with an M2 carbine. The carbine wound up getting wrapped around a tree, and I bummed an M1 Garand off the ARVN unit I advised, and carried it from then on.

    With ball cartridges, I would never trust my life to a carbine. With softnose ammo, I'm not sure -- no experience.

    But a .357 magnum, from a 6" Colt Model 357 is why I'm able to tell the story.
  15. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Senior Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    M1 Carbine for HD

    The M1 Carbine is a "collector item," meaning that while there used to be plenty of 'em, for cheap, now the collectors have snapped most of 'em up and driven the prices up beyond where a body can justify buying one for ordianry purposes, like shooting. Therefore I'd hesitate to buy one, if you want a HD weapon, or to modify one in any way at all. They used to be real nice plinking weapons, a kid's first deer rifle, etc. etc.

    For HD, if you need a rifle, the carbine would be about right. But for today's cheap, fun-to-shoot, low-powered, low-recoil rifle, perfect for plinking and a kid's first deer rifle, I'd suggest an SKS. As an added plus, they aren't quite as old as the M1 carbines, and they were built like a brick pizzeriaÑutterly reliable. Any way you want to modify it is fine, there are millions of 'em available. Some day the collectors will have snapped up all of those, too, I suppose, and priced us USERS out of the market, and we will have to turn to something else.

    You can get US made after-market mags for the SKS if you want more than 10 rounds. My SKS digests everything I feed it, milsurp, Russian, US commercial, my handloads, everything. It isn't real accurate at 100 yd, but at in-house range, no probbie.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2003
  16. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Good enuf for my home defense gun this month

  17. OH25shooter

    OH25shooter Participating Member

    Nov 10, 2003
    IMHO a M-1 Carbine IS NOT a home defense weapon. Think about it. You start firing that rifle in the middle of the night inside a wooden structure with other family members inside...I don't think so. Now, if you live alone in a concrete block home...maybe. Seriously, you should probably ask yourself, how do I react when awakened out of a deep sleep at 3:30 a.m. Are you even alert enough to grab a long gun (rifle) and wheel it around inside your bedroom. Where would it be stored? A handgun is more feasable. Take your carbine to the range and have a fun time shooting it. That's my answer to your original question.
  18. Newton

    Newton Participating Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    The M1 carbine as a fighting weapon is all about suitable ammunition.

    The soft points out there are better than ball, but with an average velocity hovering around 1900fps or so, a heavier hollowpoint would be a great load.

    Corbon is rumored to be looking at marketing one, but they are uncertain as to just how many they would actually sell, I don't think they have got over the big surprise they had with the poor sales of their excellent 9x18 load, so designing new rounds for milsurps may be questionable.

    FMJ in 30 Carb is a poor load, but it is easy to shoot and follow ups can be made quickly.

    Jim Cirillo was a great fan of this gun when loaded with SPs, I believe the comment he made in his book was that he never saw anyone go down faster than a perp hit with a 30 Carbine soft point.

    I would think that a shotgun will always be the best HD weapon, I find it hard to agree with those who use an SKS or AR for HD, the M1 carbine is a better, but less than ideal choice. As ever YMMV.
  19. Jiles111

    Jiles111 New Member

    Oct 20, 2003
    "The other neat thing about 'em is that they seem -- at least through muffs-- significantly easier on the ears than a .223. Now granted I still wouldn't want to touch one off inside, but I suspect there'd be less long term hearing damage than from an M4 knockoff or suchlike"

    With hearing protection I can hear my M1 cycling the next round (mechanical sounds). It is pretty quiet, and with softpoints it would make a good HD weapon. A handgun would be more ideal, but a carbine would have bigger scare factor in my opionion. Plus with a 30rnd clip you will have plenty of shots if you need them. The softpoints will not penatrate to much, making this a good HD weapon, but the ball ammo rounds are hard to stop.
  20. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    South Carolina
    I wouldn't worry much about the noise. I was in a room when someone fired a .30-30 once. Some ringing, but no disorientation or anything.

    Other than the issue of overpenetration, the M1 should work fine.

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