M1 Carbine Ammo

The M1 Carbine uses a unique bullet. It uses a 30 cal bullet, 7.62, but is 110 gran compared to 150-220 for a 30.06, and the brass has no step up in size, and much shorter. This means it has less energy, slower travel, and much lighter weight. the M1 Carbine is technically a 7.62x33 round.

Top is M1 30.06 and bottom is M1 Carbine

A easy way to get an idea of the effectiveness of the M1 Carbine round, is to compare it to the 357 Magnum

Assertion #1: the .357 mag cartridge is a hard-hitting man-or-game stopper.

Assertion #2: the .30 Carbine cartridge is a wimpy pistol-class cartridge with no stopping power.

Given the numbers for the .357 standard factory load (110 gr, 1500 fps MV, 550 ft lbs ME) and the same numbers for the .30 Carbine factory load (110 gr, 1990 fps MV, 975 ft lbs ME), and given that using ball ammo (or soft points) in both should be something resembling apples-to-apples, what is it then about the .30 Carbine cartridge that makes it anecdotally so much less effective than the .357 mag?

I mean, just looking at the numbers, the .30 Carbine has not quite twice the ME for the same projectile weight.

So, I chuck a hunk of lead downrange at 1990 fps and it gently bruises the target, who limps away.

Then I chuck a hunk of lead (of the same weight) downrange at 1500 fps and the target falls like a sack of potatoes. DOA, Terminated. LOL

Now, I'm presuming that my .357 numbers are derived from the cartridge fired from a four-inch barrel, and that the .30 Carbine numbers are done with an 18-inch barrel.

The .30 Carbine delivers effectively the same energy at 100 yards as the .357 does at the muzzle.

Nothing punny about that at all.

Carbine Ammo Comparison
Ammo Maker                      FPS @ Muzzle         Muzzle Energy

Buffalo Bore M1 Carbine JSP (46a)   2128             1082 (Max Press) 
   (too hot for most)
Xtreme Cavitator 85gr               2125              832  $$$$

PPU 30 cal Carbine                  2015              978  both fmj & sp 
(same as Monarch brand at Academy Sports)
Hornady Critical Defense            2025              977   $$

Sellier & Bellot                    2020              970

Aguila                              1990              969  

Winchester                          1990              967

Remington                           1990              967

Magtech                             1990              967

Federal                             1990              965   

Armscor                             1965              943 

American Eagle                      1850              900

Tullammo                            1805              830  Steel

Winchester Hollow  Point            1790              820

M1 Carbine Buffalo Bore Ammo

For Serious Hunting and Defense, Not for Plinking. :)

Since parts are not cheap or readily available for these historical rifles, the use of them, and avoiding using them in ways that have a high chance of damaging them should be avoided. The extractor in the bolt of the M1 Carbine is considered the weakest part of the Carbine. Using Steel cased ammo increases the chance of breaking the lip off of the extractor, plus the coating that they put on the steel casings tends to foul up the gas ports and recoil system. Another bad thing about the steel shells, is it does not expand as good as brass, and more of the charge is lost from chamber leakage, causing more fouling and poor ballistics. The steel shells are much harder on the extractor lip, and will most likely cause it to break over time.

If you plan on shooting your Carbine very much, you should pick up a few extra Extractors, and a Bolt Tool.

For Target Shooting, I use PPU or Monarch FMJ, and for Small Game Hunting I use there SP ammo. Good ammo, and affordable. The Monarch is available at your local Academy Sports. Monarch is made by PPU for Academy Sports. Sportsmans Guide is a very good place to buy the PPU ammo direct. They have good prices, and a couple times a month, have free shipping if you get on there mailing list.

Most people that have been around the M1 Carbine very long have heard the stories about the reports from the Korean War, about the M1 Carbine not being able to penetrate the frozen cloths of the Chinese troops during the severe Winters. Watch this video and come to your own conclusion.

These M1 Carbines were not designed to use Soft Point bullets, but they will work fine with a little polishing of the feed ramp, and only use the lead tipped ocasionally. Regular use may cause the gas system piston to bind up, so cleaning and inspecting on a regular basis is a must.

Using PPU Ammo

Most other 30 Cal Carbine ammo have much slower ballistics, and do not perform as well in the Jell. These JSP Soft Points are cheaper than most FMJ ammo.

For Self Defense / Home Defense, Hornady Critical Defense is the best overall ammo available that will feed reliably with the M1 Carbine. The use of the Buffalo Bore 46a ammo should be limited to Carbines in perfect condition. It is within the Mil Specs, but is at the upper limits. I have the top round of 2 of my 15 round and 30 round magazines, that are marked for Home Defense/SD, loaded with these, followed by Critical Defense ammo. They feed fine with a polished feed ramp, and expand Great, but do have more recoil.

Hornady M1 Carbine Critical Defense Ammo

A Great new video about the M1 Carbine

Most of you have heard the stories about the Chinese that could not be killed in the Korean War with the M1 Carbine because of the frozen cloths. Here is a in-depth video that show that is just plain Bull. The only way that would be factual, is if the Carbine was being used beyond its effective range.

If you want a box of USGI M1 Carbine Ammo as
part of a collection, check this out while they last.

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