Ammo for model .30 M2 Carbine


I thought someone might have run across one of these and wondered what it was for. It’s for a model select fire M2 .30 Cal Carbine and uses paper caps as a “propellant” I guess you can say.

If anyone would like to see pictures of the carbine, I will take some and post them.


I do! I do!


Sorry, I am confused, is it a movie prop or something? Why does it fire paper?



Caps used to come as a roll or individual little sticky back dots. Well, they still do, but mostly you see the little plastic caps now. It doesn’t shoot paper. It’s what the caps are made of.


How it works:

From a perforated flat sheet of 50 caps, one is removed and inserted into the case with a special little ram type tool. The cases are loaded in a normal manner into the magazine. Live .30 Cal. Carbine ammunition will not fit in the model’s magazine and a real magazine will not fit the model.

A flat-ended steel rod is fitted where the chamber would normally be. When a round is stripped out of the magazine it is placed over the rod and you have a cartridge base/paper cap/steel rod configuration. When the trigger is pulled the hammer strikes the base of the case which forces the cap against the rod, igniting the cap which ejects the case and “chambers” a new one. The Auto/Semi-Auto selector switch operates the same as a real carbine but all the internal parts are different.

There is another type case that allows you to use the plastic caps but I don’t remember where I put them. When I find them I will post a picture.


Thanks for all that. What’s the manufacturing time frame of this gun and ammo? Really neat.
Does the selector work?
And did it come with the bayonet?


What was the original marketing target of this model gun, i.e. kids, reenactors etc.?



I picked up the carbine and ammo sometime between 1983 and 1987, before I moved to where I am now, so the manufacture date would be sometime before that. The bayonet is an original, just stuck it on there for show.

And yes the selector switch works like a champ. On Auto it will empty a magazine in a heartbeat but then you have to spend several hours searching your living room trying to find all the empty brass


Other than big kids like me, I don’t know what market they were targeting.


I don’t have any details but I have always understood that these “toy guns” are all that adults in Japan can own, and there are a lot more toy handguns too I have several of the rounds in my collection.
And toy is not really the right word here because they are functioning guns they just can’t fire “live” ammo.
I have also been told that the police can only carry handguns with live ammo in very small caliber range like 25acp. or 32.


Steve - your information about the use of pistols in the Japanese Police is not correct. I just finished working an hour on a detailed reply to your remark, and it disappeared from the computer, a problem that goes on and on. I simply cannot take the time to redo it.

If you can find a copy, I wrote an article on Post-war Japanese ammunition with the help of the former Director of the Japanese National Crime Lab, Hiromatsu Ikeda San, and vetted again in 2000 by that agency’s Tsuneo Uchiyama San (who found two minor errors and added a small amount of information), that appear in the Bulletin of the California Cartridge Collector’s Association, Volume 17, Numbers 4 and 5, issues of August and October 1997. It would go some way to answering your question.

Remember, it only goes to 1997, and also remember that there are many different police Agencies in Japan, just as there are in the United States.

I am sorry my first answer was lost, but all I can say is c’est la guerre.

John Moss




A question. Is the selector switch a real one from an M2 Carbine? If so . . . I’ll leave it for you to figure out.



I don’t think any of these Japanese model guns use any real parts. Magazines etc. are all slightly different to prevent live ammunition from fitting in them. The rest of the parts are usually cast pot metal.

You could buy them here in the UK which fire plastic BBs or just as replicas with movng parts. However, out government recently changed the law so that only registered re-enactors or war-gamers could buy them. If you are not registered they have to sell you the gun with at least 50% of it spray painted bright green. If you remove the paint it is treated the same by te law as having the real weapon. However, any model guns that were owned before the ban are not affected.



No, the selector switch is not the same as a real one and is not interchangeable. The way it hooks up with the internal parts is way different.

I thought I might mention that the cases do not have primers as the picture suggests. The heads have been milled to make them look like they have primers.