Dedicated to the Collection and Preservation of Historical Data
related to the
U.S. Caliber .30 Carbines

Background: The U.S. Carbine, Caliber 30, M1

In 1938 and 1939, the U.S. Army discussed and recognized the need for a weapon with greater range than the M1911A1 .45 caliber pistol, but without the size and weight of the standard infantryman's rifle, the M1 Garand.  The U.S. Secretary of War issued an order on June 15, 1940, for the development of a semi-automatic or fully automatic light rifle, for use by ammunition carriers, machine gunners, mortar crews, administrative and communications personnel.  The Winchester Repeating Arms Company was initially not interested in this new rifle, but after prompting by the Ordnance Department, was able to design the carbine and have it accepted in just three months (July-September 1941)!  Mass production began nine months later, led by the Inland Division of General Motors.

By the end of August 1945, nine manufacturers produced over 6 million of these light rifles, designated the U.S. Carbine, Caliber .30, models M1, M1A1, M2, and T3. That was the largest number of military rifles of one type ever produced in the history of the United States, and that record still stands.

Information for Collectors & Interested Parties

The production history of the various producers, such as IBM, Inland and Saginaw Steering Gear Divisions of General Motors, Winchester, Rock-Ola, etc., is well documented in War Baby!, Volumes I, II and III, authored by club-member Larry Ruth.

Some of the collector publications on the carbine tend to generalize or mislead the reader on which type parts and component markings were used in a particular production range. They also tend to publish speculation and hearsay as fact. The Carbine Club does not present information as being factual unless there is evidence to back it up.

Collecting the many variations of carbines is a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that the Carbine Industry Integration Committee (CIIC), formed by the government to assist in the production of over 6,000,000 carbines in approximately three years, ensured that all parts were interchangeable. The CIIC also coordinated the transfer of over 4 million parts among the primary contractors, to assist them in meeting production quotas. Thus, a part marked for Inland will function just fine in a Quality Hardware carbine, and may – in fact – be factory original.

The bad news for the collector, if looking for a carbine as it was originally manufactured, is that while a gun may function perfectly, and may have all World War II vintage parts, it may not be a factory-original carbine that warrants paying a premium price. Each collector must decide for himself whether he wants “factory original” carbines, or just a good looking and functioning gun of each variation. A growing problem, as carbine values increase, is the effort by some to fake and misrepresent guns.

The Carbine Club

The Carbine Club exists for the purpose of gathering, analyzing and storing information about the many variations of the U.S. Carbine, Caliber .30 and related accessories, and for sharing this information with its members.

The Club was formed in 1976 by five people who were interested in learning about the US Caliber .30 Carbine, and sharing the information. Little historical information was available, and the small code letters on each component, along with the variations of parts in the carbine, intrigued the group. They decided to collect information on all the carbines they saw, and forward it to one central data collection point, using a data sheet they developed. The group increased by word-of-mouth, and with the large number of carbines available at that time, the membership and data base grew quickly. There are now thousands of data sheets on file, and from these, much information has been compiled and cross-referenced. To protect member privacy, copies of data sheets are not distributed.

The Club size averages roughly 600 members. Members send in information on everything ranging from tidbits about the manufacturers to odd carrying cases, from barrel and receiver markings to flash hiders & slings, and anything and everything else related to the carbine. Members are also encouraged to submit articles and photographs.

All the administrative, research and publication work is handled by a small group of unpaid volunteers. The Club is a cooperative effort, and membership should not be regarded as merely a paid subscription to a publication.

The Carbine Club Newsletter

In the years following the war, the manufacturers destroyed most of the records relating to the carbine. In particular, the records of the approximately 1000 subcontractors that supplied marked parts (marked for quality control), had no retention value to the government. However, the Carbine Club has been successful in reconstructing much of the lost parts history, mainly by analysis of information on data sheets sent in by Club members. The Club has accumulated a large amount of information about each make of carbine, by serial number and component. From this information, it is possible to make good estimates as to when various coded parts were used, and when changes were made. This effort is ongoing, and as the data base improves, the results are shared with Club members by update articles in the newsletter.

An editorial committee develops the newsletter material, which is checked, re-checked, and proof-read before being published. The editor selects from this material, assembles an issue of the newsletter, and forwards it to the volunteers who manage the printing and mailing. The newsletter is now being published quarterly, four issues per year. The newsletter offers a free ads section where members may advertise to buy, sell, or trade carbines, parts and related items.

Back Issues - Individual

The Club is once again able to offer individual back issues of the newsletter. Cost is $8.00 each newsletter (postage paid), regardless of the number of pages or color. Back issues of the newsletters are available for purchase by members only.

(available to members only)
November 1976 through Current
 AmountPayable in
Single Issue:$8.00 each (includes shipping)US funds

To order individual newsletter back issues:
    a) Please remember these are available to members only
    b) Specify which individual issues you wish to order
    c) Make a check or money order payable to Tom Spring
    d) Look at the last page of your most recent newsletter for Tom Spring's address
    e) Address and mail the order to The Carbine Club using Tom Spring's address

Back Issues - Complete set

Complete sets of newsletters, from the first issue to the latest, are available to members. The price is approximately the Club's actual cost to have the copies made.

It is important to understand how the information about carbines has evolved over the years. The conclusions drawn from the information available at any given point in time may have changed as more data became available. The information from one back issue of a newsletter may not provide the latest information. By starting with the first issue (November 1976) and reading them one at a time, the reader will gain a perspective of how carbine knowledge has grown and what the Club has achieved in over 38 years of operation.

(available to members only)
November 1976 through last December
LocationAmountPayable in
USA & Canada:$280.00 (includes shipping)US funds
All Others:$295.00 (includes shipping)US funds

To order the complete set of back issues:
    a) Please remember these are available to members only
    b) Make a check or money order payable to The Carbine Club
    c) Look at the last page of your most recent newsletter for Tom Spring's address
    d) Address and mail the order to The Carbine Club using Tom Spring's address


The Newsletter Article Index is a list of all of the articles that have appeared in all of the Carbine Club newsletters. The first issue was November 1976. It is searchable using the search function within Adobe Acrobat Reader.

CLICK HERE to open the Newsletter Article Index in Adobe Acrobat Format


The Carbine of the Month Index lists hundreds of carbines featured since The Carbine of the Month began with newsletter issue 101 in April 1985. Some issues have included more than one carbine.

CLICK HERE to open the Carbine of the Month Index in Adobe Acrobat Format

For those who do not have the ability to open a .pdf file, Adobe Reader is available for download, free of charge,
by clicking on their logo below. Broadband connections should complete the download in less than a minute.


New members are welcome. Membership in the Carbine Club is open to both novices and advanced collectors alike. The prerequisite for membership is a commitment to contribute information on an ongoing basis, in keeping with the Club's purpose of gathering and sharing information. Members are expected to share the information they observe or discover from seeing or owning carbines and related accessories. That is usually done by sending in a data sheet, or by writing a spotter's report and maybe sending photos covering items that would be of interest to other collectors.

The Club's fiscal year is January through December, same as the calendar year. Those who join at any time during a year will receive the full 4 issues of the newsletter for that year. Membership expires after the October/November/December newsletter is published. Dues renewal notices are sent out with that issue of the newsletter. Dues are adjusted yearly in order to operate on a "break even" basis.

LocationAmountPayable in
USA & Canada:$23.00 US funds
All Others:$27.00 US funds

Application for Membership & Membership Renewal - 2015

For the convenience of those who would like to join or renew their membership, the Club membership application is available online. Simply click on the below link, print it, fill it in, and mail it with a check or money order, made payable to The Carbine Club (cash sent at sender’s risk), at the address on the application. Those who join will receive all newsletters from January through December of the current year, plus a data sheet form to use as a master copy.

Membership Application in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format
(file Size is 154 kb)

CLICK HERE to Open Membership Application in Adobe Acrobat Format

For those who do not have the ability to open a .pdf file, Adobe Reader is available for download, free of charge,
by clicking on their logo below. Broadband connections should complete the download in less than a minute.

A Note to Prospective Members regarding your Membership

It may take a month or two before your check is cashed, and you start receiving the newsletter. Please be patient. The Carbine Club staff are all volunteers who are scattered throughout the U.S.A., with families and jobs.

The Carbine Club does not issue a membership card. Receipt of the newsletters indicates your application has been processed and you are now a member. Members' names are submitted to CMP the first week of every other month, beginning in January. Once you have received your first newsletter, your name will be sent to CMP in the next scheduled transmittal.

If it has been a full two months since you sent in your application and you have not received our newsletter (published quarterly, beginning in January), please contact our membership volunteer at the below e-mail address.

E-mail addresses and phone numbers will not be published. These will be used only by the Club staff for communicating with members.

For further Membership information, CLICK HERE

Carbine Club Honesty Policy

With the increase in volume of reproduction/fake parts, bogus stock-stamping dies, etc., the Carbine Club needs to state an honesty policy to protect the quality and accuracy of its data, and to preserve its history of serious research and accurate, objective, and unbiased reporting of the carbine's production.

If a person wants to restore a gun to its original configuration, refinish the metal or wood, fill in rear sight staking marks, re-stamp a stock, or use reproduction parts, that is his private business as long as that gun is for his own collection. It is dishonest to later sell or trade such a gun, without full disclosure of all the restoration that was done. Likewise, it is dishonest to sell fake or reproduction parts without disclosing that they are not original.

The Carbine Club's policy on honesty is as follows: A data sheet on a restored carbine will state that it has been restored. Carbines will be accurately and completely described by the seller as to condition, with details of any restoration. Reproduction or non-original parts and accessories will be described as such. The seller of a carbine, parts, or accessories will offer inspection and return privileges.

Data Sheet

For the convenience of members, our current Data Sheet is available online. Simply click on the below link, print it, fill it in, and submit it.

Latest up to date Data sheet in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format
(file Size is 360 kb)

CLICK HERE to Open in Adobe Acrobat Format

For those who do not have the ability to open a .pdf file, Adobe Reader is available for download, free of charge,
by clicking on their logo below. Broadband connections should complete the download in less than a minute.

Members, mail completed Data Sheets to:

The Carbine Club
P.O. Box 251
Canal Fulton, Ohio 44614--0251

The Carbine Club is affiliated with:

Copyright 1976-2012 All Rights Reserved Worldwide