Why the 30 Carbine Semi-Auto Instead of 45 Full Auto?


Why the 30 Carbine Semi-Auto Instead of 45 Full Auto?

InRangeTV recently took a look at the 30 carbine cartridge, in response to a question from a Patreon sponsor.

Here’s the question:

I was wondering if you could address the choice by the US Army of the M1 Carbine in 30 Carbine, over a full-auto weapon like the Thompson or the grease gun, and in a new and otherwise un-used cartridge, instead of something already in production and in the supply chain.

What practical real world benefit would the 30 Carbine round offer that would offset the nightmare of getting yet another item to troops in all theaters of the war?

Why go to a semi-auto carbine, when the Russians and Germans were proving the effectiveness of full auto SMGs that could also be fired single shot from the shoulder?

While the M1 Carbine is a handy little rifle, it seems like there would have been better options available to the Americans when it was adopted.

The 30 carbine was actually created in order to more or less replace the 1911A1 pistol. Most soldiers had a hard time hitting anything with a handgun — and I mean any handgun, not specifically the 1911 — so the search was on for a light, handy firearm that could hold more rounds and deliver more hits on target, all while taking ammunition that weighs a lot less per round than the 45 ACP.

In the video they diss the 1911 as “an expert’s weapon” at ranges beyond seven yards, but millions of handgun lovers have disproven that old myth.

Back to the 30 carbine: It’s a cute, handy little carbine (pronounced kar-bean) with peep sights, making it arguably one of the easiest-to-shoot small arms the USA has ever fielded.

Interestingly, this subject brings me back to my youth, when I was receiving a firearms education from my father. He’d taught me some about the 30 carbine and back then he had one. I’d asked him about using it for hunting and he advised that the cartridge was really too weak for hunting deer or other big game. I was probably in my early teens.

I thought it was odd to select a round too wimpy to reliably kill deer in order to fight a war, and I said so. I have never forgotten his reply:

Well son, people are easy to kill.

With that, here’s the video.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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