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Origins & Development
The M1 Carbine was developed by a jailed North Carolina moonshiner who alledgedly killed a deputy, David Marshal Williams. While serving a long stretch, he was placed in the machine shop where he started working on weapon designs. When the guards found out they let him work on his designs, as they believed he posed no threat to anyone. Williams got out early on good behaviour and started a gun workshop, and teamed up with Winchester Firearms to perfect the short-stroke piston autoloading system he invented in prison, which uses the gas discharged during shooting to propel the loading system, ejecting the used shell and loading a new round into the chamber. With Winchester, they developed the M1 Carbine, and the weapon is instantly adopted within the military.
The M1 Carbine was first developed as an alternative gun widely used in World War II and the Korean War that provided slightly less fire power than the M1 Garand while providing a lighter model for specialized operation. The M1 Carbine was used by troops who required a light weight weapon such as paratroopers, medics, and engineers. It was developed because during pre-war excercises it was discovered that soldiers with additional duties separate from frontline combat thought that the current weapons were too cumbersome.
The Army made the decision that soldiers that did not participate it direct combat should be given a weapon no heavier then five pounds and then built a new rifle based around this parameter. Variants of the M1 Carbine allowed soldiers to fold the buttstock providing an even smaller form factor.
The M1 Carbine was used during World War II, the Korean War, and in some cases the Vietnam War. During later usage the M1 carbine was refined into two new versions the M2 and the M3 which provided fully automatic fire and an infrared scope. The M1 and M2 were later replaced by the M16.
Although the M1 Carbine provided the small size required of it the gun also lacked the same firepower of larger more commonly used weapons. For this reason the M1 Carbine was often never used as a primary weapon in large combat operations.
As well as the M1 Carbine rifle, there was a modified version made for the paratroopers, such as the Airborne divisions of the US army. This rifle had a folding stock, but was otherwise completely identical. The paratrooper model was called the M1A1 Carbine.
- The M1 Carbine in Call of Duty : World at War is incorrectly named. The rifle is an M1, but the game identifies it as an M1A1.
Select Fire Version: The M2 Carbine & The Legacy of the Carbine
- There is also a select-fire version of the M1 Carbine, the M2 Carbine. Used during the Korean War and a favorite of Cuban Rebels, the M2 Carbine looks nearly identical to the M1 Carbine, but has a selector switch on the right hand side, and is often used with an extended "banana mag". The M2 Carbine is most famous for being Ernesto "Che" Guevara's signature firearm, and even his statue in Santa Clara carries this rifle. It still uses the .30 Carbine round and has the wooden stock.