The Citadel .22LR M1 Carbine offers an inexpensive way to shoot a piece of combat history
My generation grew up on movies and television shows built around military exploits on battlefields. The sight of guns from World War II was not uncommon, and many of us had our first exposure to 1911s, Thompsons, Garands and such via TV shows such as /Combat!/.
One commonly shown battle rifle, the M1 Carbine, was originally issued to supplant/replace the 1911 pistol (blasphemy!), as well as some of the subguns when the M1 Garand proved too much gun—too heavy, too long, too whatever. Special groups, such as radiomen and headquarters staff, needed a lighter, handier rifle.
PAST TO PRESENT
The M1 Carbine was designed by Winchester through the efforts of numerous folks, including the famous David Marsh Williams. The carbine used a Garand-like rotating bolt and short-stroke piston and was built around the new .30 Carbine cartridge, which fired a 110-grain bullet at approximately 2,000 fps. Although the cartridge didn’t penetrate clothing all that well, it was still superior—in terms of both penetration and accuracy—when compared to the numerous SMGs and handguns.
By today’s standards, the .30 Carbine, as designed, is viewed as anemic. Yet, modern ammo, such as that from Cor-Bon, has greatly enhanced its performance.
M1 Carbines were first delivered to theaters of war in 1942, beginning a history that spanned three wars. Designated as the M1, M2 (select fire) and M3 (M2 with infrared night sight), they were used in Korea and Vietnam—with mixed results. More than 6 million of the M1 Carbines were produced during World War II, alone.
As a collectable, the M1 Carbine has always been popular, and the availability of modern ammunition that greatly improves the cartridge’s performance further improves its popularity. In that role, the carbine has enjoyed some resurgence with those who need a handy, light (4.5 pounds), low-recoil carbine. Small-stature males, females and youths comprise the obvious target audience.
Because of ever-rising ammunition prices, anything chambered for .22LR has a great deal more appeal, especially if it resembles an existing popular firearm, such as the AR, 1911 or GLOCK, which allows it to be even more viable for training or just to have an additional “cool factor.” I know several folks who purchased a .22LR AR-15 and do not possess a centerfire version. Yet, there has been no modern .22LR double for the M1 Carbine.
That is, until now!