Educational Zone #156 – The M-1 Carbine Is Not Accurate At 100 Yards

I figured that would get your attention.

My buddy Steve (doc540) sent me a note and said he had his M-1 carbine that he had ordered from the DCM way back in the 1960s. He also had some military surplus ball ammo from that time period.

He said, “Some folks say that the M-1 Carbine is not accurate at 100 yards. Would you like to do a test to see if it was or not?”

I said, “Sure! It will give us a chance to go shooting.”

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Here’s his carbine. It is a fine example of the weapon.

It is marked, “U.S.CARBINE, CAL .30 M1”

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You can barely see the manufacturer’s name under the rear sight, Winchester.

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The old ammo he has is labeled 50 Cartridges, Carbine, Caliber .30 M1, Lake City.

The brass head stamp is “L C 4”, which I am not sure, but guess it means Lake City 1944.

He also had some old European brass on a “wrong” stripper clip, which appeared to be from Greece.

We decided to shoot some through a chronograph, just to compare the velocity to some modern ammo.

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Time to shoot.

We shot some 5 shot groups at 50 yards and here are the results.

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The Lake City, Average velocity, 1946 fps, 40 FPS Extreme Spread.

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USA Brand, AV 1930, ES 25.

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Wolf, AV 1948, ES 64.

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Winchester HSP, AV 1946, ES 72.

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My handloads, AV 1971, ES 47.

Bottom line: The old milsurp ammo was right in the group with both average velocity and extreme velocity spread.

And it is nearly 70 years old.

We then moved the target back to 100 yards and shot an eight shot group with the carbine and with my M-1 Garand.

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Here’s the Garand.

Here’s the Garand.

Here's me on the rifle.

Here’s me on the rifle.

I will shoot some Lake City 1966 military surplus ammo I got from the DCM a while back, so that we are comparing military surplus against military surplus.

And here are the groups.

And here are the groups.

The carbine on the left is a 7 1’2 inch group.

The Garand on the right is a 2 ¼ inch group.

But here’s the thing…

The Carbine was not designed to replace the M-1 Garand.

It was developed to replace the 1911 .45 ACP pistol for troops that were near, but not on the front lines of the battle.

I told Steve that I started to bring a 1911 with standard military sights to compare, but I doubt that I could even hit that 6 inch bull at 100 yards with the pistol and military sights. If I did it would be an accident.

So, was the M-1 carbine “accurate enough to hit a man sized target at 100 yards?”

You bet it was and still is. It won’t deliver the power of the .30-06 cartridge from the Garand, but it sure will have the accuracy to hit a man sized target at 100 yards.

Before we left, I asked Steve if he had ever shot an M-1 Garand and he said only once, and only one shot.

So, I loaded it up and let him take it for a spin.

He shot some very nice groups, showing that the rifle and sights are easy to adapt too, and quickly.

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Conclusions:

Oh well, a fun day at the range. Thanks to Steve for all his help.

It’s fun to shoot stuff.

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