Why isn't .30 carbine more popular?

StevieP

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I won a Auto Ordnance .30 carbine from the GOAL raffle last year. I've gotta say, it's a blast to shoot. Light, handy, almost no recoil. Not deafeningly loud.

Accurate enough for its original intended purpose, which was as a handgun replacement for backline troops, drivers, and others in ww2 who didn't need or couldn't carry a full size Garand. Not a tack driver, but certainly capable of hitting what you're aiming at, and isn't shot placement job #1?

Why don't more companies make (e.g. home defense) guns chambered in this intermediate round?
 
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I think there are a few things that made 30 carbine not as popular as a round as it could have been.

1. For a long time, basically the only thing chambered in 30 carbine was the M1 Carbine. The surplus ammunition and guns were cheap enough that there wasn't much of a market for new production guns. Yeah, there were the civilian manufactured post war carbines, but that was about it. Sort of paradoxically, the fact that the 30 carbine started out cheap and available ended up causing it to be (now) a little more expensive than comparable rounds.

2. Somewhat due to 1, somewhat due to the design of the cartridge, there are only a couple of handguns that can fire 30 carbine. People who are interested in an essentially pistol caliber carbine often want their main handgun and their carbine to be in the same caliber, preferably with the same magazines. This is more difficult to do with 30 carbine than with 9mm, 40S&W, 45 or 357/38.

3. Autoloaders just weren't that popular in the US for a long time. It's hard to remember sometimes with the current AR/Glock craze, but for a long time people in this country were happy with a revolver or a pump action shotgun around the house with maybe a lever or bolt action rifle for hunting.
 
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I agree it's a nice little cartridge. Shooting my M1 Carbine is tons of fun, and it's a great rifle cartridge for reloading (easy to handle and make cast bullets)

That being said, it never went anywhere as a military cartridge and it's not a very useful hunting road.

For personal defense, is there anything it really does better than a 5.56 or 7.62x39? I do prefer mine to my AR's but soft point ammo is hard to find and pricey. It's one of these rounds that I love, but probably wouldn't recommend to a friend.
 
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I agree it's a nice little cartridge. Shooting my M1 Carbine is tons of fun, and it's a great rifle cartridge for reloading (easy to handle and make cast bullets)

That being said, it never went anywhere as a military cartridge and it's not a very useful hunting road.

For personal defense, is there anything it really does better than a 5.56 or 7.62x39? I do prefer mine to my AR's but soft point ammo is hard to find and pricey. It's one of these rounds that I love, but probably wouldn't recommend to a friend.
An AR is also better for home defense because I would wager that it over penetrates less than the 30 carbine does. If the CMP was still selling carbines for a few hundred bucks I'd definitely buy one though. I really love how they are built.
 

drgrant

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I won a Auto Ordnance .30 carbine from the GOAL raffle last year. I've gotta say, it's a blast to shoot. Light, handy, almost no recoil. Not deafeningly loud.

Accurate enough for its original intended purpose, which was as a handgun replacement for backline troops, drivers, and others in ww2 who didn't need or couldn't carry a full size Garand. Not a tack driver, but certainly capable of hitting what you're aiming at, and isn't shot placement job #1?

Why don't more companies make (e.g. home defense) guns chambered in this intermediate round?

Ammo is an absolute bitch to find, and there aren't a lot of good commercial loadings for it that have JHPs or whatnot in it. (which would increase its viability as an HD round).

The other problem is with modern production processes I don't think it's economically feasible to produce a PCC in .30 carbine that you can get people to suck for. It's going to be very hard to produce something that works better than the $800ish milsurp thing someone picked up at the gun store. (I dunno what they go for now, just a guess. )

ETA: Another problem is, when you have savvy buyers involved... who is going to buy a .30 Carbine when they can have .300 Blackout? "heavy .30 cal bullet for short range work, check" Kinda hard to justify doing anything else if you want "that".

-Mike
 
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DW357

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I've sometimes wondered the same. I love shooting my M1. Low recoil, accurate enough for my needs, and very well balanced. Shot it a bunch yesterday with my reloads which are fairly cheap to make.
 

DW357

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Ammo is an absolute bitch to find, and there aren't a lot of good commercial loadings for it that have JHPs or whatnot in it. (which would increase its viability as an HD round).

-Mike

In gun shops it's fairly hard to find - especially at a decent price. Online it can be had for about $19 a box shipped. My reloads using jacketed bullets run me about $12 per 50. When I switch to Berrys plated bullets, it will drop to about $9.50. But yes there isn't much defensive ammo available. PPU makes some soft point ammo but a JHP would be better of course.
 
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Also part that if someone was an actual infantry man they carried a garand. No body gets overly nostalgic about shooting grandpa the cooks m1 the same way they shoot grandpa the gis garand.
 
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Nice little rifle...and a lot of pre bans for it.
Inland MFG is making a brand new M1 carbine with mil spec parts.
On the down side they cost about a grand.
Lots of fun to shoot and a simple design.
Yes there are a lot of "better rifles" but still a nice gun.
They used modified M1 carbines in the original "Planet of the Apes"!
Thought I'd throw that in.
ggboy
 

ranger4-7

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Also part that if someone was an actual infantry man they carried a garand. No body gets overly nostalgic about shooting grandpa the cooks m1 the same way they shoot grandpa the gis garand.

While the M1 Garand was certainly the most common rifle carried by "actual" infantrymen, in WWII, there were many flat bellied steely eyed killers in straight leg Infantry, mechanized Infantry, airborne Infantry and special forces units in WWII, Korea, and early Vietnam, who carried and used the M1 Carbine.

Not trolling simply calling out an insult and incorrect information.
 
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the_shootist

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While the M1 Garand was certainly the most common rifle carried by "actual" infantrymen, in WWII, there were many flat bellied steely eyed killers in straight leg Infantry, mechanized Infantry, airborne Infantry and special forces units in WWII, Korea, and early Vietnam, who carried and used the M1 Carbine.

[popcorn]
 
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garandman

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Also part that if someone was an actual infantry man they carried a garand. No body gets overly nostalgic about shooting grandpa the cooks m1 the same way they shoot grandpa the gis garand.
Not entirely true.

The Carbine was very popular for jungle fighting in the pacific. Because the ammo was non corrosive they had fewer maintenance problems. The cartridge had sufficient power for close range fighting. The Brits absolutely loved it.

In the book "Shots Fired in Anger" LTC George goes into great length on the Carbine, which he carried as one of Merrill's Marauders. He fabricated a magazine to fit flush to make it easier to carry. They marched 750 miles through some of the harshest jungle terrain in the world, so this was quite a benefit. Here's what he had to say:

The .30 Caliber Carbine

We never saw this nice little weapon on Guadalcanal, though we had been hearing of it for more than a year. Later on it became the standard arm for all infantry officers of company grade -- and a lot more on the front lines. Most officers carried carbines in place of pistols.

The carbine turned out to be an ace weapon of this war, as far as I am concerned. It was light and handy, powerful, and reasonably accurate. If I had to make my own in hostile jungle, travelling with the lightest possible kit where I should be likely to encounter enemy at any time, the carbine is the weapon I should choose.

The little gun was OK as issued with one exception. It had a long protruding magazine, which caused no disadvantage in use, but a slight unhandiness in carrying. I trimmed one down to six shot capacity, shortening the follower guide in the clip so that the magazine was flush with the trigger guard. With this alteration little gun became the neatest weapon in the world, handier -- as I am concerned -- than the Colt .45 Automatic Pistol.

The development of the carbine had the effect of putting a good offensive-defensive weapon in the hands of the leader and gun crew member, thereby making him the near-equal of an MI rifleman. The cartridge was powerful enough to penetrate several thicknesses of helmet, and to perforate the plates of the Japanese bullet proof vests, which would only be dented by .45 auto slugs. It was flat shooting enough to have practical accuracy at more than two hundred yards. It would be interesting to know how many casualties it created during the war. Certainly more than all the pistols and revolvers our military has ever used.

The great advantage was that it got a gun that could shoot into the hands of the average Infantryman. The pistol, as far as general usage is concerned, is a purely defensive weapon, accurate only when in the hands of an expert. The carbine performed moderately well in the hands of dubs. For many types of offensive fighting such as sneak raids and infiltration tactics, it was often superior even to the MI, penetration being the only point of difference.

The greatest advantage of the carbine was its lightweight, which is the greatest advantage any Infantry weapon can have. Of all the guns we used in this war it is the only one which does not need further reduction in heft. The rest are all too heavy for the job they do.

The prices of used Carbines has really gone up. I have several Carbines and Garands, and when I want to just plunk at something, take the carbine every time.
 
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Ammo is an absolute bitch to find, and there aren't a lot of good commercial loadings for it that have JHPs or whatnot in it. (which would increase its viability as an HD round).
-Mike

I own a M1 carbine and have no trouble finding 30 carbine ammo! There is plenty ammo on line and you can get this ammo any time at Collectable in Merrimack or Shooters Outpost.

Don't know why you can't find it locally in your but there is plenty in NH!
 

edmorseiii

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ETA: Another problem is, when you have savvy buyers involved... who is going to buy a .30 Carbine when they can have .300 Blackout? "heavy .30 cal bullet for short range work, check" Kinda hard to justify doing anything else if you want "that".

-Mike

That is really the answer. You can slap a 300blk carbine together for cheaper, load it cheaper, and use all the same gear you are already using for your AR15.

ETA, assuming you have some need to use a .30 cal bullet instead of 5.56 for HD.
 
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StevieP

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I've had no problems finding it. Cabela's always has it in stock. Hornady makes a Critical Duty load for home defense. I've found fmj and psp from several companies. All cycle fine in my AA carbine.
 

DW357

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I bought a case of Lake City from CMP a year or two ago. Who reloads M1 Carbine? I've been saving the brass.

I do but I've got so much damn brass I'm good for now. Put it up for sale on the CMP forums and it will get bought very quickly. Usually sells for about $10-$15 per 100 shipped.
 

mac1911

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I love my M1 carbine...
Ammo is spotty locally around my area and generally expensive unless bought in bulk on line.

Personally I think the cartridge kinda of sucks.... good enough for GI and it's just that good enough.

The carbine is a nice unit. Built well but like the M1 the accuracy standard was not "high".

Now that M1 carbine are fetching 1k or more and have for the most part plinking accuracy at best with off the shelf fodder it's no wonder why there is not a "larger" interest. Add to the fact that it was only produced for 3 years ( even though 6mil + where built) it seems out side the "military crowd"
It is just not to popular these days. Also consider the youngest USGI M1 carbine is 70 years old.

I think they are great. I do like shooting mine. It has taken me a good amount of tweaking to get mine shooting well. Reloads so far are the only "accurate" rounds I have shot. Aguila 30 carbine 2nd. All else is horrible if you want to get "accuracy" from your M1 carbine.

I,keep saying I'm going to try some different bullets other than the common M1 carbine offerings to see if accuracy can be boosted.

StevieP , have you ever considered buying a M1 carbine before you won one?

I would love to see a CMP m1 carbine match somewhere in the SE MASS area.
 
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Never quite understood-why the .30 Carbine round when the .357 was already available. The platform notwithstanding (excellent by all accounts) It seems wasteful to come up with a new round when all the infrastructure is already available in something else.

Feel free to school me...
 
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Ammo is an absolute bitch to find, and there aren't a lot of good commercial loadings for it that have JHPs or whatnot in it. (which would increase its viability as an HD round).

The other problem is with modern production processes I don't think it's economically feasible to produce a PCC in .30 carbine that you can get people to suck for. It's going to be very hard to produce something that works better than the $800ish milsurp thing someone picked up at the gun store. (I dunno what they go for now, just a guess. )

ETA: Another problem is, when you have savvy buyers involved... who is going to buy a .30 Carbine when they can have .300 Blackout? "heavy .30 cal bullet for short range work, check" Kinda hard to justify doing anything else if you want "that".

-Mike
Pretty much summed it up right there.
 
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I got to babysit one for a summer a while back. Inland, with a half dozen mags. Somehow all the ammo I'd been handed for safekeeping got , uhm , lost ... Or something.

I'd buy one in a heartbeat for a few hundred bucks. But they cost more than an AK , more than an AR15 , and I can't justify the cost.

If Ruger had any damn brains they'd split the difference and build 10/22's dressed as M1carbines chambered in something hotter than 22LR , maybe 22 mag , or 38SPL.
 

mac1911

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I got to babysit one for a summer a while back. Inland, with a half dozen mags. Somehow all the ammo I'd been handed for safekeeping got , uhm , lost ... Or something.

I'd buy one in a heartbeat for a few hundred bucks. But they cost more than an AK , more than an AR15 , and I can't justify the cost.

If Ruger had any damn brains they'd split the difference and build 10/22's dressed as M1carbines chambered in something hotter than 22LR , maybe 22 mag , or 38SPL.

There was a ruger 1022 22mag ......I think and the M1 carbine retro kit is out there too.
http://www.eabco.com/m1_carbine_ruger_1022_tribute.htm
 

mac1911

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Never quite understood-why the .30 Carbine round when the .357 was already available. The platform notwithstanding (excellent by all accounts) It seems wasteful to come up with a new round when all the infrastructure is already available in something else.

Feel free to school me...

I really have not found much on the "development" of the 30 carbine that spells out the how and why they came up with it.....
 

jasons

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Never quite understood-why the .30 Carbine round when the .357 was already available. The platform notwithstanding (excellent by all accounts) It seems wasteful to come up with a new round when all the infrastructure is already available in something else.

Feel free to school me...

I think they were looking for a bit more range. According to wikipedia:
U.S. Army specifications for the new cartridge mandated the caliber to be greater than .27, with an effective range of 300 yards or more, and a midrange trajectory ordinate of 18 inches (460 mm) or less at 300 yards.

I think a .357, even a hot one fired from a rifle, would drop a lot more than that.
 

CTpatriot

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I really have not found much on the "development" of the 30 carbine that spells out the how and why they came up with it.....
it was developed as a light carrying defensive weapon for back line support troops. It's not popular because it kicks like a 22, hits like a 45, is quick handling and light and the size of the round and shape of the mags allow you to carry twice the amount of ammo than most other semiauto rifles. i have a one built on a 62 or 63 iver johnson receiver with a black fiberglass sliding wire stock. still considering either an optic for it or spending $200 tax stamp money to build one of my receivers with my 12 1/2 inch cut down GI barrel and a vietnam style wood pistol grip stock. unfortunately bolts/slides and trigger assemblies are getting pretty expensive for these rifles.
 
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