Carbine Williams

As its getting near Christmas I hope the moderators look kindly on me for slipping this one in about Carbine Williams. I think its more or less relevant to the forum and besides it has some great footage including the man himself.

For those who have never heard of him perhaps it will serve as an educational piece. I hope you enjoy it

Interesting film.

Too bad they didn’t mention anything about the development of the cartridge.

I would not exactly characterize the MI Carbine as the “workhorse” of WW II. That distinction goes to the MI Garand, IMHO.

And Mr Graham really should wear eye protection when shooting any semi-auto firearm.


On the cartridge:

Wiki is good as a general reference for a lot things. But for more and better info on the 30 M1 Carbine cartridge go to HWS II.


My apology to all non-USA collectors. I did not mean to diminish the weapons of others when I called the M1 Garand the workhorse of WW II. Obviously I meant the workhorse of the USA Army.

I still have not gotten used to the International nature of the internet and the forums.


I think anything on Williams is fair game here. The .30 Carbine cartridge was developed in response to his ideas for a small, light carbine, I believe.

I agree totally with Ray that the Garand was the workhorse of the American military, and until the Stg 44, and perhaps even after that, the best battle rifle (the Stg by definition is an assault file and not really a main battle rifle) by far used in WWII. The only rifle that would have come close if the developments on the board at FN already in WWII but seemingly ignored, was what became the SAFN 49, and I still prefer the Garand, having owned both and extensively fired both. It is fair, though, to point out that the Carbine was made in greater quantities than even the M1 Garand in WWII.

Why do Garands and Carbines often sell for well over $1000 now? Did not many come home after WW2 compared to how many were made? Or have they all been bought already?




Capitalism and then cutting torch to dimillitarize.

I purchased my first M1 Carbine from the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) in the late 60’s for $35.00. In the early 60’s, I carried an M1 Carbine in Vietnam. I had the M1 Garand in Basic Training. The AR15 was in the testing stage. At the time I was in the service the Army Standard was the M14, that I considered, a damm fine combat rifle, though a little heavy. But White House politics favored the AR15.

The M1 Garand was not issued in great numbers until very late in WWII; the old bolt action Springfield carried the brunt of the war. While there is no comparison in firepower with the M1 Garand, the M1 Carbine was light with good short range firepower and was pretty easy to maintain.

The Carbine has a sort of a puny cartridge, but is one of the most all around, fun plinking rifles every made. There are many more people now, and many more collectors, so the prices have gone sky high.

Just musing

Had a couple or three of each of the M1s over the years. Always made money on the “trades”. Looking to acquire a Carbine, again. Still have about 800 LC rounds to burn up.

Joe - I hate to disagree with my partner, but the M1 Rifle was issued to the Army starting in about 1938 - the first M1s were basically Model 1936s I seem to recall, with a somewhat different gas system - a muzzle gas trap rather than a hole in the barrel. Most of those were converted to the later system. At one time I owned a Gas Trap Garand. All I remember about it was that I got a lot of money for it, but not compared with now.

By the time the US was involved in actual combat in WWII, most of the front line Army troops had the Ml. Service units still had the 1903 and 03A3 rifles or the Springfield type, both WWI issue and those made in WWII by Remington and Smith Corona. There were plenty of M1917 Enfields still around too. The Marines got the M1 a little later, I guess because the M1 was developed at the Army Arsenal at Springfield by John Garand and the Army seemed to get firt call on it. Early pictures of Guadelcanal show mostly 03s in the hands of the Marines, but by the end of that months-long fight, the Garand is apparent in most pictures. I think the Army brought in enough that the Marines started to pick them up, even if just off casualties. Not sure of the history of the rifle there. Still, by most of the island hopping like Betio Atoll in the Tarawa chain, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, I am pretty sure the Marines were pretty much equipped with the Ma also.

By the end of the war, just the real rear echelon guys did not have the M1 yet (and of course many snipers were still using the 03A4 or other scoped variations of the Springfield 03).

Great rifle, great cartridge, great battle history in WWII, Korea and beyond.

Falcon, the high prices being brought now are primarily for “pure” guns - those with all original features by serial number, although most of the so-called pure guns are a bit of a fraud; gun show put togethers with proper parts, rather than actually just the way they left the factory originally. I would as soon have a original G.I. Rebuild as one of those. I have a factory pure 1943 Garand, but it is obviously a combat veteran, and I suppose most collectors would rather have a restored, minty one, whether they knew that’s what they were getting or not. I also have a 1953 Red River Arsenal Rebuild, a Beretta M1 made for Denmark (my beater -good shooter but not much to look at) and my old National Match Rifle which I haven’t fired in years. I love 'em. Collectors have driven the prices up, but in the U.S., it is still possible to find decent, shootable Garands in the $600 to $800 range. Remember, it is now 55 years since the end of the Korean War and the end of all production of U.S. made Garands, and they are simply starting to disappear from the market, at least in large “shooter” quantities. The prices can do nothing but continue to go up, unless the bottom drops out of the collector market like it has out of home and stock prices here.

Edited for removal of typos only


I don’t think we disagree. I may have overstated the role of the Springfield, but I was born in 1943. My recollections may be a little vague about 1938!

But that

The Cal. 30 M1 Garand was adopted as the US Army standard in 1936 and completed rifles started coming out of Springfield Armory in 1937. To keep up with wartime demand, Winchester was awarded a contract to manufacture rifles starting in 1943.

It’s true that more M1 Carbines were manufactured, but a total of more than 4.5 million Garands were made.

The Garand was the basis for the later “T” rifles which led eventually to the development and adoption of the M14.

And it wasn’t “White House” politics that favored the M16. In fact, President Kennedy told Air Force and Army brass to “lay off” pushing the new rifle and Congress, more than once, refused funding. It was really the VN war that was the deciding factor in favor of the M16.


Ray: the exact date is not at hand, but Winchester’s contract for the M1 Rifle was awarded before Pearl Harbor. JG


You are probably right. Maybe it wasn’t until 1943 that Big W was actually turning out rifles? The 1943 date sticks in my brain, for some reason.


Ray: If one can trust the web the earliest deliveries by WRA were late 1940, just too late to be gas trap type rifles. Speaking of which, a friend who was an ordnance man pre-World War Two said he had a special collimating device for insuring that a bullet emerging from the gas trap barrel didn’t strike the gas cylinder lock on its way out. That must be a rare gage (or is it a tool?) now! JG

The first Winchester M1 rifles were made in January 1941 - serial numbers 100001 to 100501. By years end, they had made 37,959 rifles. The earliest Springfield Armory serial production was in August 1937, with a total of 120 rifles made that month. By December 1941, springfield had made 429811 rifles, so issue to combat troops was well underway by the time any U.S. soldier engaged an enemy in combat with a rifle. By the end of 1942, they had made somewhat over a million Garands at Springfield and Winchester had made over 275,000. No question that Garands went to war early in America’s involvement in ground combat in WWII.

Reference: Many. This information specifically from “U.S. Infantry Weapons of World War II,” by Bruce N. Canfield. He has excellent, quick to use tables on various subjects. there are several excellent books specifically on the Garand rifle as well.


You are right. The list of M1 Garand serial numbers shows WRA #100,501 at the end of January 1941.

Now, I have to figure out what happened to me in 1943 that makes that stick in my brain. ;) ;)


PS - John beat me to the serial numbers. He is pretty quick for an old guy. ;) ;)

Hey Ray, “old guy?” I resemble that remark!