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M2 and M3 Carbines and Technical Manuals

The 108 gr M2 carbine cartridge has a muzzle velocity pf 1990 fps, 950 ft-lbs muzzle energy, intermediate compared to combat rifles, but very powerful compared to submachine guns (300-500 m/s, 340-400 ft-lbs muzzle energy), with a maximum effective range of 270 m. The M2 carbine is a selective fire version of the M1 carbine, capable of fully automatic fire, with a 30 round detachable box magazine, and the M3 carbine is an M2 with an active infrared scope system.


TM9-1276 (html): Carbines, Cal. .30, M1, M1A1, M2, M3

TM9-2200 (html): Small Arms

FM7-10 (html): Rifle Company, Rifle Regiment

USMC: The Carbine, 1951


M2 Carbines

An M1919A6 machine gun crew supports troops withdrawing from Hill 412 south of the Imjin River on 26 April 1951. The enemy must not be pressing the retreat, since the Ammo Bearer (holding the M2 with banana clips) is standing there like an aiming marker.

M2/M3 Carbines

M2 (top) and M3(bottom).30 Caliber Carbines
Semi- or full-automatic, and mount the T4 front band with bayonet stud

Operation: Semi or Full Auto, Selected by switch added to left side of receiver, operating on the sear mechanism
Length: 35.65 in. (905 mm)
Weight unloaded: 5 lb 7 oz (2.48 kg)
Barrel: 18 in. 4 grooves, right hand twist
Magazine: 15 or 30 round detachable box
Muzzle: velocity 1990 fps, 967 ft-lbs.
300 yds: 1035 fps, 262 ft-lbs
Ammunition: 108 gr bullet, 13 gr charge, US Service M1
Effective Range: 300 yds
Bayonet: M4, mounting on added T4 front band



M1 Carbine

M1 & M1A1


M2/M3 Carbines

The M2 was the selective-fire variant of the M1 carbine, and a 30-round magazine was adapted for standard use. Developed in 1944, Inland designated it as U.S. Carbine Caliber .30 M2 (T4).

In Korea, the Marines made considerable use of the M2 in the early campaigns, particularly at Inchon and Seoul. However, the weapon became very unreliable in the artic temperatures of the Chosin Reservoir battle. The frigid conditions seemed to weaken its smaller and lighter components and cause them to fail to function. The M1 Garand rifle worked reasonably well, however, particularly with the alcohol-based hair-tonic some Marines found effective as a lubricant at that time.

The US Carbine, Caliber .30in, M3, or T3, was simply an M2 with suitable mountings prepared on the receiver to take various models of infra-red night-sighting devices. No open or conventional sights were provided. The M3, (its development title was T3), was produced in limited numbers as a semi-prototype. Only about 2100 were manufactured compared to 5,510,000 M1 carbines, 150,000 M1A1 carbines and 570,000 M2 carbines.


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