SHTF Carbine: 5.56㎜ versus .30 Carbine

5.56㎜ versus .30 Carbine

  • .30 Carbine; kick it old school.

    Votes: 7 6.5%
  • 5.56㎜ NATO for me.

    Votes: 85 78.7%
  • Neither.

    Votes: 10 9.3%
  • Being prepared isn't important and guns are scary.

    Votes: 6 5.6%
  • Eh ... (burp) wut? Lost ma train of thought.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    108

CLT65

Messages
3,593
Reactions
9,188
I've always loved the little M1 carbine, since I bought mine at a garage sale back in the late '80s. I have no idea how many thousands of rounds I've fired through it since. A couple years ago the extractor broke so I replaced all the springs too while I was at it. Wow, made a new gun out of it!

I would be fine with the carbine, since I have one already and am very comfortable with it and how it shoots. Mine is an original '43 Underwood that has always been very reliable with anything I shoot through it, FMJ, SP, and cast lead. I can see where for most people the 5.56 AR would be the logical choice though, for all the practical reasons mentioned.

One thing that I've always found humorously ironic, is the infamous "weakness" of the carbine round. I've been a carbine fan for a very long time, so I've heard all the stories and myths, including how the pathetic little carbine bullets wouldn't even penetrate the heavy winter coats that the Chinese soldiers wore in Korea. This myth is often repeated as fact, yet at the same time the armor-piercing power of the 7.62x25mm round is legend. The .30 Carbine bullet is significantly heavier and faster, yet it has the worse reputation somehow.

Yes, I know one is a pistol and the other is a rifle, so expectations are different. I've just always thought it was funny. Long ago I had an acquaintance who hunted deer with his carbine. He told me it worked fine in the brushy northwest woods, where shots over a hundred yards are rare. He said he chose his shots carefully and loved the light kick of the carbine that allowed for quick, accurate followup shots.
 
One thing that I've always found humorously ironic, is the infamous "weakness" of the carbine round. I've been a carbine fan for a very long time, so I've heard all the stories and myths, including how the pathetic little carbine bullets wouldn't even penetrate the heavy winter coats that the Chinese soldiers wore in Korea. This myth is often repeated as fact, yet at the same time the armor-piercing power of the 7.62x25mm round is legend. The .30 Carbine bullet is significantly heavier and faster, yet it has the worse reputation somehow.
Funny you mention it. A summer or two back I read the three book alternative history series The Hot War (Bombs Away, Fallout, and Armistice) by Harry Turtledove. Several of this American GI characters poo-poo the M1 Carbine and, from my recollection, at least two used captured PPSh-41s instead and extoll the virtues of the firearm. So the concept lingers on in print.
 

3MTA3

Messages
9,083
Reactions
35,874
I've always loved the little M1 carbine, since I bought mine at a garage sale back in the late '80s. I have no idea how many thousands of rounds I've fired through it since. A couple years ago the extractor broke so I replaced all the springs too while I was at it. Wow, made a new gun out of it!

I would be fine with the carbine, since I have one already and am very comfortable with it and how it shoots. Mine is an original '43 Underwood that has always been very reliable with anything I shoot through it, FMJ, SP, and cast lead. I can see where for most people the 5.56 AR would be the logical choice though, for all the practical reasons mentioned.

One thing that I've always found humorously ironic, is the infamous "weakness" of the carbine round. I've been a carbine fan for a very long time, so I've heard all the stories and myths, including how the pathetic little carbine bullets wouldn't even penetrate the heavy winter coats that the Chinese soldiers wore in Korea. This myth is often repeated as fact, yet at the same time the armor-piercing power of the 7.62x25mm round is legend. The .30 Carbine bullet is significantly heavier and faster, yet it has the worse reputation somehow.

Yes, I know one is a pistol and the other is a rifle, so expectations are different. I've just always thought it was funny. Long ago I had an acquaintance who hunted deer with his carbine. He told me it worked fine in the brushy northwest woods, where shots over a hundred yards are rare. He said he chose his shots carefully and loved the light kick of the carbine that allowed for quick, accurate followup shots.
I can say that the gel tests somewhere in this thread opened my eyes! I never thought it was a toy, but didn't think it was as good as what I saw there! I see it as a close quarters compliment to the M1 rifle. In a lot of ways US troops had the equivalent of the AK-47 long before it existed in the M1 Carbine.

The Speer Gold Dot in 30 Carbine looks intriguing: https://mygunculture.com/ammo-review-speer-gold-dot-30-carbine/

Ammo availability after SHTF is my only caution. Naturally, all ammo will be scarce and as valuable as gold, but the chance of finding it on a defeated attacker or such is pretty much nil. If I was depending on it I'd want my ammo stacked high and deep, and I'd want at least a backup carbine.
 

CLT65

Messages
3,593
Reactions
9,188
The little carbine has always been in a sort of a class of it's own. It's not a submachine gun, even the M2, because it's more powerful and accurate, and clearly meant to be a rifle.

Nor is it an "assault rifle", even the M2, because the round is more of a magnum handgun cartridge, not quite an "intermediate rifle" cartridge.

I suppose in some ways the closest thing would be a "pistol caliber carbine", because the round is more like a magnum pistol round than anything else. It's still more "rifle" than any PCC I know of.

Is there anything else out there that really compares with the M1 carbine? I love the carbine, but it really is a bit of an odd duck. :)
 
Messages
261
Reactions
524
My Father was a Master Sergent in the Eighth Air Force in WWII. They moved from base to base following the ground troops as they retook ground after D Day. He had his choice of weapons to carry. At night he carried a Thompson, as he said, you might not be able to fire accurately at a darkend target. But the Thompson would always have a positive effect. Durring the day he carried a M1 Carbine and his 1911. The Garand's were used by the guys up front for their range and firepower. Whenever they took over a pre-occupied base, the guys that cleared the buildings used the Thompson or the Carbine. He said that every gun had a purpous, you just had to choose the right one for the job at hand. Later in the early sixties, he bought an M1 at Sears & Roebuck for $30.00. A Rock-Ola, I still have it.

Bought at Sears.jpg
 
Messages
8,330
Reactions
16,848
The little carbine has always been in a sort of a class of it's own. It's not a submachine gun, even the M2, because it's more powerful and accurate, and clearly meant to be a rifle.

Nor is it an "assault rifle", even the M2, because the round is more of a magnum handgun cartridge, not quite an "intermediate rifle" cartridge.

I suppose in some ways the closest thing would be a "pistol caliber carbine", because the round is more like a magnum pistol round than anything else. It's still more "rifle" than any PCC I know of.

Is there anything else out there that really compares with the M1 carbine? I love the carbine, but it really is a bit of an odd duck. :)
My mistake. Ruger Model 44 it was, a semiauto carbine that shot .44 magnum and stopped being made in 1986ish
 

CLT65

Messages
3,593
Reactions
9,188
Yes, I suppose the closest commercial equivalent would be rifles like the Ruger Deerfield or various Marlin/Winchester/Henry lever-action rifles in 357/44 magnum.

In the military world though, there never really was any equivalent. It had it's place in time and served it's purpose well, until the intermediate caliber assault rifles came along, then it was pretty much obsolete for any kind of front-line military purpose.
 

Gunner3456

Messages
5,570
Reactions
2,052
I agree that the 5.56 is generally superior for all the reasons others have stated. I'll make three in favor of the M1 Carbine .30: 1) If you shoot it more in normal times, you'll be more proficient in a SHTF situation...and they are FUN to shoot! 2) The M1 Carbine is a little easier to get new shooters oriented to, so it could fill that role nicely. 3) In any "in between" phase before all law and order breaks down, I think an M1 Carbine would be easier to move around with, because it doesn't look "evil", but this a very minor point. (I have a couple AR's and got my first M1 Carbine a year ago...and it IS very handy and really fun to shoot.)
Good points.

For .223/5.56 that doesn't look evil how about a mini-14 in blue and wood? That's my M1 carbine with more punch and ammo availability.
 

CLT65

Messages
3,593
Reactions
9,188
Somewhat germane to the topic.

Interesting. They touched slightly on whether the carbine is a true assault rifle, or a PCC. I've always thought that it's not really either one. It's semantics of course, depends on the definition you use. At that time, it was definitely more powerful than any handgun other than the relatively new .357 Magnum. It was patterned after the .32 Winchester Self-Loading round, which was definitely a rifle cartridge, though a smaller one. I think the argument can be made that it's really a precursor "assault rifle", though nowadays we tend to look at it as more of a PCC, and the original intent was more of a PDW.

I know, semantics. It's interesting to me, but has no real bearing on the practicality of it. :)
 

CLT65

Messages
3,593
Reactions
9,188
One last note on the M1 carbine- a high school buddy of mine's dad was a Korean War vet. I used to talk to him about guns, and he would tell me how he carried an M2 Carbine in the war. I got the feeling that it was kind of a love/hate thing with the carbine. He loved it for what it was: a lightweight, fast shooting little gun, but hated it for what it wasn't: a powerful rifle that would knock down enemy soldiers several hundred yards away. He did say he always wanted to buy one as he got older. I don't think he ever did.

I just heard a few weeks ago that he passed away at age 91. Interestingly enough, I did a quick search and found this: https://theworldlink.com/bandon/new...cle_c98a6c79-bef2-5bdf-80fe-58443e91cc99.html

I know it's not really relevant to the subject at hand, and I apologize for that, but I found it interesting since I knew the guy fairly well.
 

DeanMk

Messages
4,429
Reactions
6,297
I don't think I would worry too much about BC as I don't see this cartridge being effect beyond a few hundred yards

When you look at the bullet ogive portion compare it to a factory round. It's probably as long as will work in both magazine and chamber

View attachment 1025868
View attachment 1025875
Ok, just to clarify, which bullet ogive am I supposed to be looking at?
As for BC, there will probably be a slight increase in effective range, but as you say, we're still only talking about a couple of hundred yards max. However, superior BC can also allow for a higher percentage of retained energy downrange and can aid in accuracy.
That Speer load you mentioned in a later post sounds like a winner, as well.
 

3MTA3

Messages
9,083
Reactions
35,874
Ok, just to clarify, which bullet ogive am I supposed to be looking at?
As for BC, there will probably be a slight increase in effective range, but as you say, we're still only talking about a couple of hundred yards max. However, superior BC can also allow for a higher percentage of retained energy downrange and can aid in accuracy.
That Speer load you mentioned in a later post sounds like a winner, as well.
Look at the FMJ ogive. It's short but easy to feed. It's a lot closer to a bullet designed for a 30-30 WCF than a nice slippery one for a 308. Main thing is that it keeps within the OAL and shaped to feed well. After that it's weight and BC, but you aren't going to get a very hard one within the constraints of the OAL.
 

RobMa

Messages
1,785
Reactions
2,232
Tried and true and no ffing around. 556; ammo would be "easier" to find in most instances among other things, no worrying about remembering to flip up the folding sight if main optic goes down in a stress situation. This may not be the "coolest or "newest innovation" but I would trust my life to it..

1630946760674.jpeg
 

Juniper9mm

Messages
347
Reactions
493
It would be difficult to find spare parts for the war babies as much respect and love as I have for the carbines, not to mention the ammo. I would expect in the SHTF that you would be running across more spare parts and ammo for the 5.56.
 
Recent find, ruger blackhawk chambered in 30 cal and man is it fun to shoot

View attachment 1041488
Super neat-o. I came across a few of those whilst exploring big-bore single-actions this year. (That fascination disappeared as fast as it arrived; no idea why and long since given up analyzing such. And I just lost my train of thought.)

Anywho, 'gratz on the fine Ruger. :)
 

officially5150

Messages
190
Reactions
136
Super neat-o. I came across a few of those whilst exploring big-bore single-actions this year. (That fascination disappeared as fast as it arrived; no idea why and long since given up analyzing such. And I just lost my train of thought.)

Anywho, 'gratz on the fine Ruger. :)
Thanks CountryGent, now just gotta find more ammo for it
 

Upcoming Events

Wes Knodel Gun Shows
Chehalis, WA
Wes Knodel Gun Shows
Redmond, OR

Latest Resource Reviews

New Classified Ads

Back Top