From left-to-right: 8mm Mauser, two 8mm Lebels, and the .30 Carbine.

The .30 Carbine (7.62×33mm) is a cartridge used by the M1 Carbine, a semi-automatic World War II infantry carbine, and its other variants.

Design and PerformanceEdit

It is significantly smaller than the .30-06 Springfield, used by the M1 Garand. Unlike the .30-06 cartridge, it does not have a spitzer (pointed) bullet; the bullet is rounded, and the cartridge itself is much less powerful than the .30-06. The cartridge is still available for purchase and use today. A standard .30 carbine ball bullet weighs 110 grains (7.1 g), a complete loaded round weighs 195 grains (12.6 g)and has a muzzle velocity of 1,990 ft/s (610 m/s) giving it 967 ft·lbf (1,311 joules) of energy; fired from an 18" barrel. By comparison, a .357 Magnum revolver fires the same weight bullet from a 4-inch (100 mm) barrel at about 1,500 ft/s (460 m/s) for about 550 ft·lbf (750 J) of energy, though it is important to note that the .357 bullet is larger in diameter (caliber) and is normally an expanding or hollow-point design. Also of note is that the above comparison is between a full length 18-inch .30 carbine barrel and a 4-inch barreled .357 handgun. The .30 carbine also performs similarly to the 300 AAC Blackout, which fires a 125 grains (8.1 g) .30 caliber bullet at 2,215 ft/s (675 m/s), slightly eclipsing the .30 carbine.

The .30 carbine was developed from the .32 Winchester Self-Loading used in an early semi-auto sporting rifle; both rounds are comparable to the .32-20 Winchester round used in carbines and revolvers. .30 Carbine sporting ammunition is factory recommended for hunting and control of large varmints like fox, javelina or coyote. The .30 Carbine generates half the muzzle energy of the typical .30-30 Winchester deer rifle round and one-third the energy of the typical .30-06 Springfield big game round. The game laws of several states do not allow hunting big game with the .30 Carbine either by name or minimum muzzle energy allowed. Overall, .30 Carbine is a fairly weak round.


Shortly before World War II, the U.S. Army started a "light rifle" project to provide support personnel and rear area units more firepower and accuracy than the standard issue M1911A1 .45 ACP caliber handgun at half the weight of the M1 Garand rifle or the .45 Thompson submachine gun. The .30 Carbine cartridge was developed by Winchester and is basically a rimless .30 caliber (7.62 mm) version of the much older .32 Winchester Self-Loading cartridge of 1906 introduced for the Winchester Model 1905 rifle. The propellant was much newer, though, taking advantage of chemistry advances. The cartridge's relatively straight case and the rounded nose of its bullet led some to believe it was designed for use in pistols.

At first, Winchester was tasked with developing the cartridge but did not submit a carbine design. Other firms and individual designers submitted several carbine designs, but most prototypes were either unreliable or grossly off the target weight of five pounds. Maj. Rene Studler persuaded Winchester that the Winchester M2 .30-06 rifle, a design started by Ed Browning and perfected by Winchester engineer Marshall Williams, could be scaled down for the .30 Carbine cartridge.

The M1 Carbine was issued to infantry officers, machine gun, artillery and tank crews, paratroopers and other line-of-communications personnel in lieu of the larger, heavier M1 Garand. The weapon was originally issued with a 15-round detachable magazine. The Carbine and cartridge were not intended to serve as a primary infantry weapon, nor was it comparable to more powerful intermediate cartridges later developed for assault rifles. The M2 Carbine was introduced late in WWII with a selective-fire switch allowing optional fully automatic fire at a rather high rate (850–900 rpm) and a 30-round magazine. The M1 and M2 Carbines continued in service during the Korean War. A postwar U.S. Army evaluation reported on the weapon's cold-weather shortcomings, and noted complaints of failure to stop heavily clothed North Korean and Chinese troops at close range after multiple hits. An assessment of this rumour that the M1 carbine has difficulty penetrating a heavily clothed target produced a result contrary to the rumour during testing at close range during warm conditions. The carbine was again issued to some U.S. troops in Vietnam, particularly reconnaissance units (LRRP) and advisors as a substitute standard weapon. In 1994, Israel introduced the Magal, a compact weapon based on the Galil MAR using the .30 Carbine cartridge. After complaints of overheating and other malfunctions, the Magal was withdrawn from service in 2001. The M1 Carbine is still issued to the Israel Police and Civil Guard.

Chambered FirearmsEdit

  • San Cristobal Carbine
  • Clarke carbine
  • Franchi LF-58
  • IM Model 5
  • Garand carbine
  • Armalon AL30C
  • CEAM Modèle 1950
  • Chapina carbine
  • Excel Arms X30R
  • FAMAE CT-30
  • Hillberg Carbine
  • IMI Magal
  • Marlin Levermatic Model 62
  • Southern Gun Company La-30
  • Taurus Carabina CT-30
  • Thompson Light Rifle
  • Olympic Arms AR-15
  • Excel Arms X30R
  • AMT AutoMag III
  • Excel Arms X-30
  • Kimball (Standard, Target, Aircrew)
  • Ruger Blackhawk
  • Taurus Raging Thirty
  • Universal Enforcer

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