It’s Saturday, I’m watching Forgotten Weapons

And so are you.

Today’s rabbit hole is the M1 Carbine, an influential rifle in ways less famous than the M1 Garand perhaps, but more far reaching and sustained. Variations on the M1 Carbine gas system are used in several modern rifles, including my favored FN SCAR.

The M1 Carbine rolled out of Winchester, who weren’t even looking to participate in the ‘Light Rifle’ competition the military was running, as an adapted downsized concept of their ‘M2’. This occured after US Army Ordnance looked at the Winchester M2 rifle and said, “Neat, make it Smol.”

So William Roemer and Fred Humiston, with their team, did. David Marshall “Carbine” Williams was mostly involved by having done preparatory work on other projects, like the M2, and didn’t participate in the actual arms competition portion of it actively.

Now, the Winchester M2 rifle is not to be confused with the M2 Carbine, which Winchester also did participate in making.

The low digit ‘M’ markings are a rough time…

But, back to the M2… Carbine, M2 Carbine. While the M1 Carbine was a nice little 5lb PDW type weapon, similar to how M4’s were utilized in early GWOT especially by the Marine Corps, the M2 was seen as a way to add easy select fire capability and ammo capacity for troops who could utilize that to effect. Supply guy might get an M1 Carbine but the light mortar section would get M2’s and that sort of thing.

It was a simple conversion requiring a little mod work and a few parts, not a different receiver. That is something we are unused to seeing in our AR centric gun culture and, as Ian points out, makes it a little weird legally.

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.