Harrell on the US M1 Carbine: Effectiveness, Accuracy, Relevance

   07.15.19

Harrell on the US M1 Carbine: Effectiveness, Accuracy, Relevance

In this video, Paul Harrell takes a close look at the US M1 Carbine, that handy and fast-handling short rifle that was adopted specifically to replace the 1911 in its role as a smaller alternative to a full-size battle rifle.

After a short intro, he begins by talking about the power (or lack thereof) of the 30 carbine cartridge, which is a diminutive round about the length of a 357 magnum, but considerably smaller in diameter.

This brings to mind a conversation I had with my father nearly 40 years ago. We were talking about the 30 carbine and I asked about using it for hunting. Dad said it was underpowered for deer. I thought it odd that a round designated for people-killing was not powerful enough to reliably take whitetail deer, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget his reply:

Son, people are easy to kill.

He expounded some on the toughness of deer and the psychiatric effect of being shot if you’re a human, and his point was made… especially as time went by and I grew up hunting and killing deer and learned how truly tough they can be.

Back to the video: After much discussion and point-making — all of which is worth listening to — Paul gets down to comparing actual effectiveness using his own personal yardstick: The meat target.

With comparable jacketed hollowpoint bullets, his carbine showed good effectiveness; with hardball (FMJ, or full metal jacket), it did not. So he decided to compare hardballs: 30 carbine vs 5.56 NATO.

The 5.56, which is essentially .22 caliber, produced much more damage with less penetration than the .30-cal carbine FMJ. This is of course due to the 5.56 bullet moving at a much faster speed than the 30 carbine slugs.

Next comes accuracy, and the 30 carbine did pretty well.

More facts follow: Weight of rifle, weight of ammo, and a bunch more stuff that gun people ought to be interested in.

So what’s the bottom line? Well, the M1 carbine is a nice little firearm which can get the job done with the right ammo, but if you’re shopping for a defensive rifle in a “military” caliber, you’re probably better off finding an AR in 5.56/223.

Enjoy the video.

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