The M1 Carbine was the most produced infantry weapon manufactured by the United States for World War II. It was developed by Winchester for the troops that needed something more powerful than a pistol but easier to manage than a rifle.
It was intended for noncombat and line-of-communications troops. It became popular with officers, non-commissioned officers, and specialists who were already carrying a multitude of gear.
The M1 Carbine spread to tankers, artillery crews and mortar crews. Eventually, an updated version with a folding stock was created for airborne soldiers.
Delivery of the M1 Carbine began in 1942. Soldiers in the European theater were the first to receive the new weapon. By the end of the war, five million had been produced. They were manufactured so quickly and in such quantities that the government cancelled all contracts by the end of the war and the factories had to lay off the workers.
The M1 Carbine remained very popular after the war. It was still used by the US Army in the 1960s during the Vietnam War. Ironically, the Viet Cong had obtained M1 Carbines from some of the countries that the US had sold their surplus, meaning US forces were facing enemies using weapons produced in America.
Into the 1960s, the US government would sometimes release a quantity of stockpiled M1 Carbines for purchase by the American public. After that point, stockpiles would be located around the world and liquidated to the public. But lately, collectors and enthusiasts have had a harder time tracking down an authentic WWII M1 Carbine.
Now, Royal Tiger Imports has announced that they have located a trove of M1 Carbines in Ethiopia. The M1 Carbine was manufactured by a number of manufacturers during WWII and Royal Tiger has obtained models from every one of them except Irwin-Pederson and Quality Hardware Manufacturing Corp.
The weapons were part of the stockpile the Ethiopian government obtained from various governments around the world.
Royal Tiger was able to purchase a number of these weapons and import them into the US. They are listing the weapons on their web site, https://www.royaltigerimports.com/Default.asp, beginning at $999.99 for a standard model and up to $1,699.99 for and excellent to unused condition model. Some are offered with original magazines, slings, and/or oilers.
Other rifles include British SMLE Lee-Enfield .303 rifles, pre-WWI rifles from countries like France and Belgium, unmodified German 98Ks, Italian Carcano rifles and even many made in the 1800s.
Most of the rifles are in great shape due to the dry arid climate that lacks the moisture to damage the wooden stocks or metal components. The M1 Carbines in particular are unmodified versions shipped in 1945.
The M1 Carbine fires a .30 caliber M1 Carbine cartridge at 566 m/s and up to 2,000 fps. Originally, they were produced with static sights but later models offered adjustable rear sights.
The barrel is 18 inches long. The overall length of the gun is 35.6 inches. They weigh 5.2 pounds when empty and can carry either 15 or 30 rounds depending on the magazine you use. Length of pull is 13.1 inches. They come with a wooden stock.
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Since the M1 Carbine was never intended to replace a full-sized rifle, it works best within 100 yards. Using modern expanding ammunition, it can be used for personal protection or for hunting game up to the size of deer within 100 yards.