.30 M1 carbine (7.62×33)


The .30 M1 Carbine cartridge was created in 1940 as a product of the US Army’s ‘Light Rifle’ project. The intention of this project was to provide military personnel not normally issued with a full sized rifle with a handy carbine instead. Handguns alone were considered very marginally effective as personal defense weapons. The project was a success, and a great many M1 carbines and the cartridges for them were made during WW2 and shortly afterwards.

This ammunition was extensively used during WW2 and the Korean War, but afterwards its use rapidly declined. Originally it was fired by only one type of mass-produced weapon, the US M1 carbine (and its later variations M1A1, M2 and M3).

Several countries (for instance France and Italy) attempted to produce experimental assault rifles for this cartridge in the late 1940’s, but none succeeded. The only weapons of relatively recent design and manufacture to fire this cartridge are the Israeli “Magal” police rifle and Brazilian Taurus TC-30 carbine (also intended for police use).

Ammunition in this caliber is still loaded commercially as there are still many M1 carbines around in civilian hands. Only a few handguns (pistols or revolvers) were built to fire this cartridge, but firing a .30 Carbine round from a short barrel usually results in extensive (some would say spectacular) muzzle blast and flash.

By modern standards, this round is somewhat lacking in effective range and power, but is nevertheless a useful round for police use and self-defense. It has an effective range of approximately 200 to 300 meters when fired from a carbine. In that case it also outperforms most common pistol cartridges such as 7.62×25, 9×19 Luger or .45ACP by a massive margin when fired from submachine guns, in terms of muzzle energy.


Designation Bullet weight, g Muzzle velocity, m/s Muzzle energy, J Comments
.30 M1 7 606 1300 military ball bullet