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The M1 Carbine in Service

Bill Trexlar 99th infantry Division, ETO WWII 

“During combat, I chose which weapon to carry depending on conditions. I liked the M1 while we were fighting in the hedgerows. When we got in the forest I liked the carbine. In the towns I had a Thompson, which was good but heavy to lug around.”

David Clymer 26th Division ETO, WWII

“The carbine was reliable at close ranges, but I’d say was good out to three hundred yards. I’d shoot at Germans with it that far away and I’d see them duck, but I couldn’t be sure if I hit them. “

Henry Turner 29th Div ETO

“I never had any trouble with the carbine. We were always on the line for at least ten days at a time. I don’t think I cleaned it till I came off the line. “

Ralph Carmicheal, 1st Infantry Division, ETO

“The M1 was a good gun, but it got too cumbersome. I traded mine for a carbine. It was lighter, but didn’t have the distance. If you go out beyond 200 yards, it wasn’t any good. We didn’t do too much longer shooting in combat. Most of the engagements were no more than 150 to 200 yards. For the type of fighting we were doing, the carbine did OK.”

Howard Gaertner 78th Div ETO

“Everybody had a carbine. I thought the carbine was a fine gun. It was reliable and it was a lot lighter than the M1. “

“With the carbines we could move and act more like infantrymen.  We used the carbines out to no more than 100 yards.”

Gerald Gwaltney 25th Marines, PTO

“I particularly liked the Winchester carbine. “

“We only fired them at two three hundred yards. At two hundred yards it did real well, at three hundred yards it did OK, but the rounds were a little scattered. The carbine didn’t have the knocking down power that a .45 or a full-sized .30 calibre round had, but it was good enough.”

Tom Bartelson, 7th Marines  PTO

“A lot of guys would say “a Jap was coming at me with his bayonet and I shot him three times in the belly with the carbine and he kept on coming”. If you shoot someone in the belly with a .22 long rifle, he ain’t going be coming at you; he’s going to be holding his belly. I thought the carbine was a good weapon, I never had any problems with mine. I killed Japs with the damned thing!”

Paul Cane 24th Division, PTO

“I carried a carbine; it was a very good weapon. I remember the M1 and the carbine were both good.  I’ve seen them get dunked in the water or dragged through mud and they still work very well.”

Walter Klink 25th division Korea

“The basic word back then was the carbine didn’t have the knockdown power of the M1. I remember one squad leader who refused to carry a carbine as he wanted the knockdown power of the M1. I never really noticed the difference and I didn’t have any bad experiences with the carbine.”

John Taylor, 40th inf Div Korea

“We often had to lend our carbines to the infantry because when they went out on patrol, they didn’t want to go with their M1s. On the patrols, everything was close up and the M1s were not good for close up. They were too bulky and hard to handle. You wanted all the firepower you could get. They didn’t have enough carbines of their own and needed ours.”

Jack Walentine 25th division Korea

“In Korea, we all had M2 carbines. I used to take a M2 carbine if we went out on night patrol. “

“You hear stories about the Chinese being shot with carbines in all their winter clothing and they just brushed it off.  I have shot Chinese in all their winter gear with an M2 carbine, and those rounds have gone completely through them, in front and out the back. I know because I had to search them for maps and documents.”

Continue reading

The M1 carbine – A brief history

The M1 Carbine – a collectors guide

The M1A1 Carbine – a collectors guide