M1/M1A1 Carbine Manual

Okay, so the M1 Carbine isn’t exactly a forgotten weapon. But since we do have a bunch of information on the prototype carbine designs that led to it, I think we should also maintain some data on the final product itself.
M1 Carbine Assembly

So to that end, I’ve added a copy of the Base Shop Data manual for the M1 and M1A1 Carbine to the database.

(1942) M1A1 Carbine Base Shop Data (English)


  1. Nice, thanks!
    Talking about the M2 modification …I think the M2 carbine is not quite a carbine … I would identify the M2 as an … assault rifle!!! It uses an obviously intermediate cartridge, it’s capable of controllable full auto fire (when fired from shoulder), it was specially designed to fill the gap between full power rifles and SMGs (as well the cartridge was designed) … so I think the M2Carbine is one of the grandfathers of assault rifle concept (along with German StG 44). Maybe the effective range of fire is a little shorter. What do you think guys?

  2. I think the M1, M1A1 and M2 were perhaps the first “Personal Defense Weapons” PDWs. 30 Carbine as a cartridge just doesn’t have the same “intermediate” punch that 7.92 Kurtz, 7.62×39 or .280 Enfield have.

  3. Gentlemen,
    While I fully understand the point by Hrachya and BrokenForks, I tend to agree with El Gato on the grounds of ballistic performance of the .30 cartridge, which I regard a tad bellow truly intermediate rifle rounds, such as the 7,92 Kurz or the 7,62×39 M 43. IHMO, the first functional assault rifle is the Avtomat Federov from 1916. The 6,5×50 Arisaka was the closest thing to an intermediate round the designer had at hand (despite the fact that he also designed a proprietary round for the rifle, the Japanese round was available in sizeable quantity). A closest second grandfather of the assault rifle is the French Ribeyrolles M 1918 automatic carbine, a direct blowback design that fired the 8x35mm Ribeyrolles. The French army rejected the gun and the ammo because they tried to compare apples and oranges: after the war, the intermediate round was deemed inferior to the then new 7,5 ammunition being developed for rifle and LMG use, a full twenty years before the Germans adopted the 7,92×33!

  4. Perhaps El Gato designated the guns more correctly…they are closer to what we call PDW today!

  5. Ruy Aballe
    Let me disagree with you, because if you think that 6.5mm Arisaka is an intermediate cartridge, then 6.5mm Carcano round is as well , isn’t it? If so , then I would say that first assault rifle is Cei-Rigotti !!! It was selective fire (approximately 900 rpm in full auto mode), gas operated , shoulder fired …. and it was designed before Fedorov avtomat (final version of Cei-Rigotti was introduced in 1900) !

  6. Hrachya, you are right, but… well, the Cei-Rigotti wasn’t adapted to a smaller, less powerful round other than the one used by the Italian Army; the 6,5 Carcano was the standard rifle and machine-gun in use by the Regio Esercito. Federov, on the other hand, wanted something below the powerful 7,62x54R, to enable more control in full auto fire, and also because he thought that the regulation rifle ammo was way too powerful in most of the situations that asked for aimed fire. So, I think we have a stalemate here: while the Cei-Rigotti was chambered for a round less powerful than most of its contemporaries, used by other European powers (it was less powerful than other cartridges in the 6,5 range too, not just 7mm and up, the Swedish 6,5×55 and the Portuguese 6,5×58 Vergueiro coming to mind), having select fire capability (althought I doubt it was much controllable in full auto…), afaik it wasn’t distributed to the troops in any numbers, while the Federov Avtomat was used in combat, albeit in small numbers. Perhaps more significantly, it left an enduring legacy in Russian/Soviet arms design. Btw, I think Manuel Mondragón also toyed with a select fire version of his semi-auto rifle design around the same era as the Cei-Rigotti, but I cannot be 100% sure right now (don’t have my references at hand and my memory might be playing some trick).

  7. Well, on the other hand we are both wrong if the development of intermediate cartridges is taken into account: the 8×35 Ribeyrolle (with pointed bullet, unlike some later developments, such as the Swiss experimental 7,65×35, which had a round nose bullet) was most likely the first intermediate military purpose rifle cartridge designed with such purpose in mind. The Danes also come close, but later, with their 7×44 round, designed for an equally unique gun, the selective fire Weibel, an assault rifle for all intents and purposes, made and tested in small numbers before WW II: http://www.thm-online.dk/perioder/31/52/52-b5125/

  8. Ruy
    Absolutely agree with words “…designed with such purpose in mind…” !!! I think it’s important … I think both Fedorov and Cei-Rigotti weren’t quite uderstanding the concept of assault rifle and intermediate cartridge… But 8×35 Ribeyrolle and 7.92x33Kurz (also 7.65mm Mannlicher Carbine, 9×35 Lahti etc.) were specially designed for purpose to have a new class of ammunition and firearms – assault rifles !

  9. Hrachya, I still think Federov was much closer to the concept, imho. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any reliable info on the special 6,5 intermediate cartridge he designed for the gun; he just end up using the 6,5x50SR Arisaka round because tooling for a new ammo wasn’t something very rational once the Great War broke out. Federov keep advocating the adoption of an intermediate round in the 20s, in the 6,5 range or even less; I have an interesting book on Russian and Soviet assault rifle development back at home and will check whether it contains more information on his work post-WW I.
    As for the Cei-Rigotti, its seminal features and design notwithstanding, it was found to be notoriously unreliable when using the Italian ammo (as tested by the British). I know next to nothing about the performance of the prototypes made for Austro-Hungarian and Russian trials, but these were far away from this discussion, as they were chambered for the 8x50R and 7,62x54R.
    The 7.65 Mannlicher carbine round was certainly ahead of its time, but in both conceptual and practical terms, I think the first true intermediate cartridge/gun combo was obtained by the French with the Ribeyrolle. The Danes’ 7×44 and Weibel automatic rifle that fired it came second, despite the fact that such combination was intended as a very light machine gun – funny how close they get to the idea, while wanting something else in the process!

  10. Ruy
    Exactly! They came very close to the concept of assault rifle, but they were not having it in mind…that’s why I prefer German stg.44 to call first assault rifle , because Germans were also thinking to make a new class of firearms…they even first called it assault rifle- Sturmgewehr!
    By the way Federov’s own design cartridge was also 6.5mm, but it was stronger than 6.5mm Arisaka…and they chambered in Arisaka round because they had bought a lot of Arisaka rifles and ammo by that time. Check this link…there is a little bit info on Fedorov’s 6.5mm cartridge:

    P.S. Is your book “The history of Russian avtomat” written by Monetchikov? If’s a pretty interesting book , if you don’t have it I can send you a scanned copy…except it’s in Russian…

  11. Hrachya,
    Thanks for your offer and for the link (I am well acquainted with the site by Mr. Popenker). And yes, the book is the one and the same, “История русского автомата”, by S. B. Monetchikov, quite nice as you said (although I expected a bit more on early developments by Federov and others). Right now, I am looking for a nice reference on early Italian semi-auto and auto rifles and carbines, but haven’t found any really detailled work till now. There is a very good book on the Carcano rifles (quite the best one availabe atm) by Bruno Di Giorgio and Ruggero F. Pettinelli which I plan to order soon, but I don’t expect it to contain much info on semi-auto and selective fire rifles. Still, it is a must have according to what I have been told by several friends.

    P.S.: I can read Russian (but I do think Monetchikov’s book should be translated into English, and perhaps improved in the process).

  12. Ruy
    I have a book (e-copy) which is called “IL 91” by G. Simone , R. Belogi and A. Grimaldi…and it’s not so bad , but not very good as well 🙂
    I also read and speak Russian and I agree with you that some Russian books must be translated into English !

  13. French have make the SMG MAS38 as Personel defense Weapon for Trucker & Officer. The assault SMG for the French army at this time are the ERAM Volmer in 9x19mm (in fact the ERAM EMP-35)

    The prototype M1 carbine was built to have selctor who was drop in production. BTW, after the WWII French Amry (arsenal) have make some tests of performances between STG44, US M1/M2 carbine, & French MAS38 => Result that 3 are in same league in balistic perfomance. In plus they found the Carbine M1/M2 more relliable than crap STG44. The German MP43/MP44/STG44 was an answer to the PSSH41/PPS43 in Eastern Front & to the US M1/M2 carbine in Western Front.

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