The M1 Carbine was developed to be a lighter alternative to the M1 Garand rifle, for use by troops who either didn’t normally need a rifle, or whose role meant they didn’t have much space (such as tank crews). Although it looks like a scaled down of the Garand, it was actually an entirely new weapon, developed from scratch, and using a cartridge that was half the length and had about a third of the power of the similar calibre cartridge of the Garand. However the Carbine was also half the weight of the Garand, which made it a much more suitable weapon for the sort of troops who were meant to be using it.
The focus of this book is on the gun itself, rather than it’s users, so we get plenty of material on its development, the manufacturing process, the mechanism etc, but very little on how it was used in combat.
A large part of the book is aimed at the collector, and gives a detailed account of the different manufacturers who built the M1, which versions they built, and how each part was marked. My only quibble in this section is that the description of the changes made to the M1 during its production run comes after this section, so we read about ‘high wood’ and ‘low wood’ versions of the carbine before discovering what they actually were. Other than that the book is well organised.
The text is very well illustrated, with hundreds of photographs of the M1, and its various components, accessories and ammo. If you want a detailed description of the M1 Carbine then this will satisfy you – it’s one of the best examples of this genre that I’ve read.
1 – Origins and Development
2 – Presentation
3 – Contractors and Manufacturers
4 – Markings
5 – Variations and Development of the M1 Carbine Components
6 – Derivative Models of the M1 Carbine
7 – Accessories
8 – The M4 Knife Bayonet
9 – Ammunition
10 – A Controversial Weapon
Author: Roger Out