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Book Review
The M1 Carbine
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by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]

Originally published on:


The M1 Carbine was the result of the United States military’s request for a small firearm that could replace the pistol as a side arm for individuals such as support troops and artillery men so that they could be armed but not hindered by a larger rifle such as the M1 Garand. The M1 Carbine proved to be a favorable, reliable and effective weapon even with its smaller caliber. It was used by support troops as well as front line and airborne soldiers. The M1 Carbine remained in the United States military service throughout World War II, Korea and Vietnam. It has also been used by law enforcement personnel as well as with the militaries of foreign countries and is a favorable military firearm sought by weapons collectors.

Osprey Publications Ltd has released The M1 Carbine as Number 13 in their Weapon series. It is a paperback book with 80 pages. Included with the text are color and black and white photographs, color illustrations and detailed captions. It has a 2011 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-619-6. The book examines and discusses the M1 Carbine.

the contents

- Introduction
- Development
- A super-sidearm for the US Army
- Use
- Three decades of service
- Impact
- A short rifle with a long-term influence
- Conclusion
- Further Reading
- Index


The Text:
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors as I read through the book. Thompson covers the M1 Carbine from its development, to its introduction during World War II to its use in other conflicts such as Korea and Vietnam very well. Also discussed is the use of the M1 Carbine by law enforcement and foreign countries militaries. Several of the M1 Carbines variants are shown and discussed such as the M2 Carbine and the M3 Carbine. One of the most interesting variants discussed is the T3/M3 Carbine with the infrared sniperscope “Snooperscope” and flash hider affixed. Anyone interested in the development of the M1 Carbine, its use and variations will find this book very informative and interesting.

The Photographs:
There are a total of 44 black and white photographs and 34 color photographs throughout the book. The majority of the photographs are nice clear, centered and focused images. I haven’t seen a majority of the featured photographs before and I was pleased with this. I definitely consider that a bonus as it is nice to have a reference book that contains several lesser known photographs as opposed to the same old over used photographs that many books tend to contain. The color photographs show things such as close up details of the M1 Carbine as well as the method of operation for the weapon.

The Color Illustrations:
There are 4 color illustrations by illustrators Peter Dennis and Alan Gilliland and they are very well done. As with the photographs the illustrations come with well written captions that provide detailed information about each illustration. There are 2 black and white illustrations which are from a military manual(s) for the M1 Carbine.

The color illustrations are of the following:

- The M1 Carbine Exposed
- Airborne assault – Operation Varsity – March 24, 1945
- Snooper Scope – US Marine during Korean War
- ARVN ambush – Vietnam
The black and white illustrations are of the following:

- M1 Carbine official ordinance diagram
- Ordinance department precautions diagram

The Captions:
The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs and illustrations well. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors.


All in all I am very impressed with the book. This is a very nice reference book that contains many interesting photographs and well detailed captions. It details the M1 Carbine very well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library.

The Military Book Club Encyclopedia of Infantry Weapons of WWII
Ian V. Hogg
Saturn Books Ltd.

U.S. Marine Corps Scout-Sniper World War II and Korea
Peter R. Senich
Paladin Press

Winchester An American Legend; The Official History of Winchester Firearms and Ammunition from 1849 to the Present
R.L. Wilson
Chartwell Books, Inc.
Highs: Well written and detailed text and captions. Nice photographs and artwork.
Lows: I would have liked to have seen more information on its use by foreign countries.
Verdict: A very nice reference book, well researched and written, containing many interesting photographs and well detailed captions, making a worthwhilee addition to anyone’s personal library and will be a benefit to any military, modelling or weapons enthusiast
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-84908-619-6
  Suggested Retail: US $17.95/ UK £12.99/ CAN
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 12, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Randy L Harvey (HARV)

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2020 text by Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Armorama. All rights reserved.


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