Today we look at the Old West at touch on a bit of reloading. It was my birthday a few months back. I am thankful to my wife and to my father for this really nice gift. This video illustrates the inner workings of the 1873 lever action carbine. It also illustrates how clean the .44-40 versions (which the gun was originally designed for) stay when firing Black Powder and Black Powder substitutes. Very impressive weapon.
The M-1 Carbine. “Oh yeah!” says the modern movie buff, “that’s what the men at Iwo Jima and Omaha beach used in WW2! Big rifle that shoots a .30-06 round.”
*Wink* Yes and no. Yes it’s what many men at Iwo Jima and Omaha beach carried, though it wasn’t a main battle rifle. It was a Personal Defense Weapon for auxiliary units, officers and NCOs that needed something lighter than a M1 Garand or Thompson and something with a bit more firepower than a .45 Automatic 1911. It looks like the M1 Garand and the AK-47 got married and had a little boy and his name was M1 Carbine.
It shoots a .30 Carbine round with a 110 gr. bullet. Significantly less powerful than the .30-06. In the years following WW2 a select fire version designated the M2 Carbine was built which allowed for full automatic fire.
Most gun enthusiasts who do know what this weapon is often downplay it as “just a puny toy” or “something somebody carried when they didn’t really need a weapon.”
But the fact is: these people are looking at it the wrong way. It’s not an assault rifle or a battle rifle and was never meant to be.
The best way I can describe it is this: It is a cross between an assault rifle and a sub-machine gun. And has a lot of advantages too.
It is smaller and more compact than an AK47 or M16 (and even the M4 or AR Carbine) and is more powerful than a sub-machine gun.
Often people will laugh at the M1/M2 Carbine and turn around and talk about how great the Thompson submachine gun is. The M1/M2 Carbines are actually more powerful and have longer range than the Thompson. The .30 Carbine fires a 110 gr. 30 caliber bullet with a velocity of 1900 ft per second, more or less, out of a 16 inch carbine rifle barrel. That’s roughly equal to a .357 Magnum in a rifle.
For myself, the gun makes an excellent vehicle carry gun whether I am in the truck traveling or on the lawn tractor mowing in the woods. Doesn’t have the bulk or weight of an AR or Shotgun. Almost feels like a part of my arm. The recoil isn’t any different than a an AR-15 .223 Remington.
People often view the M1 Carbine as taking a 15 round magazine weapon (not bad capacity really) with two extra 15 round magazine pouch on the butt stock. However, what many people don’t realize is that the M1 Carbine actually has available for it 30 and even 40 round banana magazines (it’s there where you see the AK47 relation.) The .30 round magazine was developed around the time when the select fire M2 Carbine was introduced for added capacity with the full automatic. (As a side note, it’s one of the easiest guns for me to bump fire from the shoulder and still keep a tight pattern. Almost like playing a guitar with your trigger finger. However, this is, more or less, more for fun than anything else.)
The M-1 Carbine I believe is a very serious weapon and definitely has a place among those interested in history as well as those interested in a Personal Defense Weapon for the home, car or woods.
Originals can often be found in sporting goods stores as well as gun shows. New ones, however, are made by Auto Ordinance and can be viewed on their website. They cost around $700, more or less, new and in the box.*
*The Auto Ordinance versions come in the box very basic. They have no bayonet lug, they have no adjustable rear sight. The rear sight is a flip sight that adjust from high or low (and is very easy to get bumped from one way to the other or in between). HOWEVER, adjustable rear sights, bayonet lugs as well as additional magazines can be found at Fulton Armory as well as from sites such as Midway and CheaperthanDirt for very reasonable prices.
We all know Joe Biden’s famous “expert” advice about how shotguns are preferable to AR-15s and how we don’t really need AR-15s. We are expected to go outside and fire a shotgun in the air so problems go away. Ha, ha and ha.
I’m not here to advocate such silliness (and irresponsibility) and I’m certainly not here to even advocate the dangerous practice in the above video (much as it makes a good point in and of itself) of handing a powerful shotgun to your wife or girlfriend and letting her shoot it without any understanding of how to handle it causing her to fall down or dropping it the gun…in fact, on the side, I’m going to illustrate how Biden shoots himself in the foot (no pun intended).
A shotgun is something a lot of modern people tend to think is “obsolete” (unless they’ve watched all the Terminator movies). An AR-15 is preferable and the shotgun is outdated. You’re outgunned if all you have is a shotgun, they say.
Actually, the man with a pump or semi-automatic shotgun has an edge at close range against a man with an AR-15. Think about it. We are talking about 9-15 buckshot 00 (which is right around .33 caliber) being fired each time the trigger is pulled and entering the target and do far more damage to the target putting the enemy down quickly thus saving your life and the life of someone you care about. I’m surprised all the hysterical leftists aren’t screaming about shotguns being banned or demanding police cease using shotguns.
This was demonstrated about 3 years ago on FOX New’s Sean Hannity’s talk show when the left started screaming about banning AR-15s again. As shown here, the shotgun is noticeably more effective than a single shot from an AR15:
Remember the scene from “Terminator 2” where Arnold first meets the cop played by Robert Patrick, aims his shotgun with one hand down a long hall and fires revealing that the cop is actually a non-human Liquid Terminator because the shotgun blast shows a single big crater in his chest. Arnold continues to advance and fire creating more big craters all over the Liquid Terminator.
As we said as kids: Pretty cool scene huh! Fun movie. Unfortunately, this is how many people tend to think of shotgun performance. Unlike what you see in the movies, the projectiles fired from a shotgun (unless it is a rifled slug) will begin to spread out from the time they leave the bore of the shotgun. They will not all land on target at long distances and make big craters in them (as seen in Terminator 2). Know what your shotgun’s spread pattern is by testing it at the range. See Hickok45’s youtube video:
You are responsible for what comes out of your gun and you don’t want to harm innocent people and property. Be aware of these things before you decide on where and when to use your shotgun.
While 12 gauge buckshot is not going to throw men across the room or blow up cars or destroy engine blocks or shred shape shifters and blow aliens apart the way it does in movies, it’s still going to do a lot more damage than a single shot from an AR and end a fight. A shotgun is a simple fundamental defense weapon that presents more firepower at close range than a handgun or a rifle. There is a reason police have been depending on them for over 100 years. Shotguns are sometimes called “Trench Guns” (referring to Trench Warfare in the Great War or WW1) or “Riot Guns”. These two terms alone should tell you something about the potential effectiveness of a shotgun.
I’m not saying “don’t get an AR, you don’t need it”, I’m just saying: don’t underestimate a shotgun because it is in fact a more effective weapon for close range fighting. If you feel you need an AR-15, by all means get one (heck even if you don’t feel you need one, go ahead and get one, they are fun to shoot)
A final note, as the hilarious Joe Biden youtube clip above illustrates, a 12 gauge shotgun may be a big much for your wife to handle, but if that’s the case, you might consider getting her a 20 gauge. It’s a little easier to manage.
It is an excellent weapon to keep near the bed at night or in the car while ing or are unable to avoid a dangerous area.