The M1 Carbine was developed to provide better protection to service troops than standard issue pistols, when caught under surprise attack during envelopment movements by enemy forces.
The Carbine filled a need for a weapon heavier than a pistol, but lighter than a rifle for issue to company-grade officers and NCOs. The Carbine proved to be such an effective light weight weapon that it was also carried for protection by heavy and light weapons teams. All models used a .30 cal. Carbine cartridge in 15-round and 30-round magazines.
- M1 could be fired only as a semi-automatic.
- M1A1 was also a semi-automatic, but featured a folding metal buttstock, an excellent light weight weapon for use by paratroops.
- M2 was selectible for either semi- or fully-automatic fire.
- M3 had a specially modified grooved receiver for mounting an infrared 4X "Snooper Scope" sniperscope.
Information on this page courtesy of U.S. Army TACOM-Rock Island.
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