In the past, I basically accepted the argument from others that pistol caliber carbines were about as worthless as tits on a bull. Then I got this for Christmas from my wife.
Initially I was enamored by the history of the thing. It's made by IBM in 1943, and I'm sure it would tell some stories if it could talk. I watched some videos on its history and that’s when I realized that this gun has enormous potential as a practical tool for a SHTF. Since sighting it in and running a few boxes of ammo through it, it’s basically moved to the front of my gun safes pecking order for a SHTF PDW. Here’s why.
I learned why the military designed the M1 carbine. The military found that a battle rifle and accompanying ammunition were overly cumbersome for support troops. They wanted a light, handy weapon for soldiers whose primary job wasn’t being a combat rifleman, but they may end up in a scrape and need to defend themselves at reasonable ranges. We’re talking about mortar crews, truck drivers, radiomen, etc.
I thought, “Hey, that’s exactly what I was looking for in a SHTF rifle.” I’m visualizing a SHTF where ROL has broken down a bit and where I’m at in the country is not policed. Crime is up and there may even be roving gang issues. I’m not a combat soldier looking to engage in war. If I were in that situation, a battle or assault rifle, armor vest and loads of spare ammo is hands down the way to go. I’m a survivalist who has a lot of day to day responsibilities, and may need a rifle handy to defend myself or take an opportunity shot at a deer. My primary job isn’t combat, in fact it’s avoiding combat if at all possible. If I had to fight, I would need a rifle to defend myself and/or extract myself. So basically, I want an effective rifle I can walk around with on my back, all day….every day, and still get my chores done. Bottom line, so long as it’s effective at personal defense, the lighter and handier, the better. Enter M1 carbine.
It’s about 5 pounds and the length of a yard stick. To put it into perspective, it’s roughly the same size/weight as a Ruger 10-22. I have no idea how they did that, but they did. It’s about 2 pounds lighter than my M4 (which I thought was a pretty light, handy rifle until I handled the M1 carbine). It shoots a 110 grain bullet that leaves the muzzle at about 2000 FPS. So it basically offers the same ballistics as a .357 magnum from a rifle barrel. I’ve been told that at 200 yards, it hits with the same power factor as a 9MM at the muzzle. Right here, I know some of you anti-pistol caliber carbine guys are rolling your eyes. Remember, it’s a PDW not battle rifle. I’m sure you believe a .357 magnum is ample protection for home defense right?
Anyhow, I have no doubt that with soft point ammo it will be able to punch clean through an entire car, side to side through the doors with power to spare, or down a nice sized buck. I’ve zeroed it at 100 yards and its pie plate accurate. At 200 yards I find it minute of man accurate. Bottom line, if you’re within 200 yards, I own you with this rifle and if my problem is beyond 200 yards, I’m getting the @#!*% out of there so who cares. Remember. I’m not a soldier, I’m a survivalist.
So all in all, this rifle has changed my opinion and perspective on pistol caliber carbines for PDWs in a SHTF. I get it now. I’m not trying to change anyone else’s mind on the issue, but if you haven’t picked one of these up yet, don’t be put off by others opinions until you try it yourself. I’m not just focused on the M1 carbine either, but similar weapons platforms such as lever action trapper guns in .357 or .44 mag, Kel-tec sub-2000s, etc. These guys are onto something. They ain’t the perfect gun for everything, but I believe they have a more useful roll for survivalists as PDWs than a lot of people give them credit for.