WW2 carbines for other countries, too?

The M1 Carbine went to have a wide acceptance in ww2 and later, that probably have had a lot to do with it's qualities as a weapon of war and ability to be mass-produced, even if it was not a perfect weapon. So let's give the other their chance to introduce the M1 Carbine-equivalents, too, before their part of the war starts, and not just as a replacement for the service pistol for non-combat troops: Soviet Union, Germany, UK, Italy, Japan etc. Feel free to axe a concurrent project dealing with infantry weapon, so there is enough of designers' and engineers' time available, ditto for money, production line(s) and material. Job can start any time after 1935, with a cartridge powerful enough that can do the job ("invent" a cartridge where needed, with an eye for a quick domestic production of both barrels and cartridges).
Semi-auto limited, with option to go full-auto later. Weight of under 3 kg loaded, fires from the locked bolt. Fixed or folding stock. Effective range of 300 m, so don't go with a too short barrel and a too weak cartridge, either. Detachable magazine.
 
Britain at the start of WW2 was torn on the subject of SMGs, not having adopted one for military service largely thanks to range and penetration concerns, but well aware of the value of lightweight weapons capable of high rates of fire. Various efforts to build something combining the strengths of an SMG with more range and power were tried on an emergency basis in 1939/40, including the Soley Armaments lightened Lewis MG. In retrospect, the pre-existing .256 round (the British name for the Japanese 6.5mm Arisaka produced in WW1 for naval weapons) offered a great opportunity for the British Army to develop a carbine combining lighter weight than an SMLE with longer range than the Sten they eventually adopted (though presumably a lower rate of fire).

Another interesting option for the British: the San Cristobal carbine. Not the OTL carbine itself, which wasn't developed until after the war. But BSA offered a Kiraly- designed SMG as their proposal for a British-built 'gangster gun'. This greatly resembled the later also Kiraly-designed Danuvian SMGs which were developed into the San Cristobal by scaling them up to the American .30 carbine round. If the British had a SMG in service in 1941 using a locking system strong enough to make a relatively simple scaling-up practical then its certainly possible that they could have adopted the American round in the interest of inter-Allied standardization.

Greece came very close to getting the Pyrkal EKP LMG using a carbine round into production- if that project had been started two years earlier there likely would have been a few in operational service at the start of the war. Unlikely to make much of a difference for the Greeks, especially if its used in place of an LMG rather than as a carbine, but possible export sales to other small countries could make it notable.
 
This might be cheating, but shortening the .220 Swift (1935 introduction) seems like a great option. Of course, by shortening a full sized .224 firing cartridge you are essentially creating the modern intermediate cartridge and possibly eliminating the need for mass issue battle rifles and SMGs in a stroke.

That is the difficulty in things like this: we know what direction small arms went, and it's difficult not to use that as a measuring stick.
 
If you're aiming to create a new general issue rifle to eliminate by combining separate rifle and carbine categories, like the M1903 and SMLE did (for a while), you'll need a more powerful round with better long range characteristics, but have it in a lighter, smaller and lower recoiling cartridge than your existing service and MG cartridge. An updated 6.5x52 Italian in the standard .264 diameter or a rimless 6.5x50 Japanese, with a 120-140 grain bullet loaded to 2500-2700 fps (depending on bullet weight) would do. I don't know how feasible it is, but if this round could be mated with a scaled down and much lightened, 20 round detachable box magazine, version of either the M1 Garand or M1941 Johnson ala Ruger Mini14???

If you're looking at a truly capable carbine with better ballistics than the M1 Carbine but retain its attributes, you need a better cartridge. Two possible candidates would be a modernized version of the .351 Winchester Self Loading with a rimless, slightly shorter case if necessary, firing a 150-180 grain .358 diameter bullet at 2000-2400 fps (depending on bullet weight). This would give you close to .350 Legend ballistics. Or you can go radical and adopt the .22 Johnson Spitfire, firing a 40-50 gr .224 projectile at 2700-3000 fps. The M1 Carbine could be adapted to either round as could a modernized and lightened version of the M1907 Winchester.

 
Last edited:
If you're aiming to create a new general issue rifle to eliminate by combining separate rifle and carbine categories, like the M1903 and SMLE did (for a while), you'll need a more powerful round with better long range characteristics, but have it in a lighter, smaller and lower recoiling cartridge than your existing service and MG cartridge. An updated 6.5x52 Italian in the standard .264 diameter or a rimless 6.5x50 Japanese, with a 120-140 grain bullet loaded to 2500-2700 fps (depending on bullet weight) would do. I don't know how feasible it is, but if this round could be mated with a scaled down and much lightened, 20 round detachable box magazine, version of either the M1 Garand or M1941 Johnson ala Ruger Mini14???

If you're looking at a truly capable carbine with better ballistics than the M1 Carbine but retain its attributes, you need a better cartridge. Two possible candidates would be a modernized version of the .351 Winchester Self Loading with a rimless, slightly shorter case if necessary, firing a 150-180 grain .358 diameter bullet at 2000-2400 fps (depending on bullet weight). This would give you close to .350 Legend ballistics. Or you can go radical and adopt the .22 Johnson Spitfire, firing a 40-50 gr .224 projectile at 2700-3000 fps. The M1 Carbine could be adapted to either round as could a modernized and lightened version of the M1907 Winchester.

8x35 Ribyrolle, was based off the .351
1669326861056.png

for use here
Ribeyrolle1918.jpg

Carabine Mitrailleuse 1918, with 25 round mag, blowback

and as always, Gun Jesus has the info
in the video, he calls it a 'Long Thompson' as that blowback operation got it very heavy
 
Italy had the ammunition 8n service already with the 6.5mm and the concept in bolt action with the Carcano carbines so the logistical and doctrine already is partially in place. The servcie round change to the 7.35mm would make no difference so that is no bar. The same barrel making machinery is in place to still use so the issue concentrates into building these into a semi automatic form.
 
If you're aiming to create a new general issue rifle to eliminate by combining separate rifle and carbine categories, like the M1903 and SMLE did (for a while), you'll need a more powerful round with better long range characteristics, but have it in a lighter, smaller and lower recoiling cartridge than your existing service and MG cartridge. An updated 6.5x52 Italian in the standard .264 diameter or a rimless 6.5x50 Japanese, with a 120-140 grain bullet loaded to 2500-2700 fps (depending on bullet weight) would do. I don't know how feasible it is, but if this round could be mated with a scaled down and much lightened, 20 round detachable box magazine, version of either the M1 Garand or M1941 Johnson ala Ruger Mini14???
Those are all good suggestions, however we're at 4-5 kg category there, ie. territory of the SKS (all good, SKS would've worked great in ww2 if it was there) or the StG-44, rather than in a 3 kg category.

If you're looking at a truly capable carbine with better ballistics than the M1 Carbine but retain its attributes, you need a better cartridge. Two possible candidates would be a modernized version of the .351 Winchester Self Loading with a rimless, slightly shorter case if necessary, firing a 150-180 grain .358 diameter bullet at 2000-2400 fps (depending on bullet weight). This would give you close to .350 Legend ballistics
The 7.62 x 39 on the AK was firing a 122 gr bullet at 2400 fps, or a 154 gr bullet at 2100 fps, for muzzle energies of ~2100J. That is more than 50% greater than the M1 Carbine, and will necessitate going into the much bigger and heavier weapon than it was the M1 Carbine.

Or you can go radical and adopt the .22 Johnson Spitfire, firing a 40-50 gr .224 projectile at 2700-3000 fps. The M1 Carbine could be adapted to either round as could a modernized and lightened version of the M1907 Winchester.

Now this is the ticket, mostly for the UK and Germany since they were making .22 barrels for their training rifles.
 
Italy had the ammunition 8n service already with the 6.5mm and the concept in bolt action with the Carcano carbines so the logistical and doctrine already is partially in place. The servcie round change to the 7.35mm would make no difference so that is no bar. The same barrel making machinery is in place to still use so the issue concentrates into building these into a semi automatic form.
Hmm - Italy skips the whole 7.35mm deal and invest in the Carbine equivalent?
 
Hmm - Italy skips the whole 7.35mm deal and invest in the Carbine equivalent?
Would make sense, given Italy's minimal industry.
6.5 is 'good enough' as was their 12.7mm
Are they as good as they could have been?
No. But we're adequate.
Don't change horses when you can't even feed the smaller one you're riding.

But spend the effort to make a decent LMG in full power 6.5mm, and a lower powered 6.5mm cartridge to make a 1300J class carbine, that will be flat shooting out to 250 yards.
Then take the time to make a lightweight 12.7mm for HMG Infantry uses.
 
8x35 Ribyrolle, was based off the .351
View attachment 791540
for use here
Ribeyrolle1918.jpg

Carabine Mitrailleuse 1918, with 25 round mag, blowback

and as always, Gun Jesus has the info
in the video, he calls it a 'Long Thompson' as that blowback operation got it very heavy
Interesting, but too heavy. It's going to be nearly impossible to develop a lightweight blowback weapon with an intermediate power cartridge. Blowback requires a heavy bolt. The M1907 Winchester is about as far as you can go along this line, and you're still talking 8 pounds or so. Getting down to 3kg (6.6lbs) loaded weight is a tall order.
 
Italy needs a better bullet for the carcano. Pretty sure they were the only major combatant in WWII that didn't have a boat tailed spitzer. Yeah, the needle wounds that a round nosed bullet tends to create can kill, but it's not the 1880s anymore improved ballistics allow for so much more without even touching the calibre.

Getting back on the topic of PCCs, Mr. Mannlicher was working on one before his passing. The man was like Europe's Browning so I'm sure it would have been good.

By the time you get to WWII you really got to ask why you're going for a PCC rather than a heavy SMG. Something like the Danuvia 39M or the post-war M2 Carbine gets you competitive range and full auto for close-in work.
 
Interesting, but too heavy. It's going to be nearly impossible to develop a lightweight blowback weapon with an intermediate power cartridge. Blowback requires a heavy bolt. The M1907 Winchester is about as far as you can go along this line, and you're still talking 8 pounds or so. Getting down to 3kg (6.6lbs) loaded weight is a tall order.
To my understanding the Gustloff Volkssturmgewehr was functionally a blowback firearm, and it was able to handle 7.92x33mm Kurz while having the same weight as the proper STG 44.
 
Soviet M1 (or M2) Carbine is called PPS-43. It performs the same function and doesn't require introduction of new type of ammunition in the middle of the war.
 
Interesting, but too heavy. It's going to be nearly impossible to develop a lightweight blowback weapon with an intermediate power cartridge. Blowback requires a heavy bolt
Without a doubt, blowback was always going to be heavy.
So what do you do with more powerful ammo and don't want a huge, heavy bolt?
You can split the weight, like the Winchester did with the 1907 and 1910,
Blowforward. Use the weight of a longer barrel to help out
1920px-SBBK-SBFWD_piston_cylinder.PNG
 
To my understanding the Gustloff Volkssturmgewehr was functionally a blowback firearm, and it was able to handle 7.92x33mm Kurz while having the same weight as the proper STG 44.
On paper it used a gas-delayed blowback action, but in the process of making modified reproduction guns it was discovered that yeah, it works fine as straight blowback. But given the situation they were built in, it's hard to say if the direct blowback version would beat itself apart under sustained use. And the thing was horrible in every imaginable way, they're put together with rivets so disassembly beyond field stripping is impossible, the charging handle was exceptionally heavy to pull, the assembled gun weighed ten pounds, and the safety doubles as a takedown pin. And between the quality and the crap sights you might hit the broad side of a barn at a hundred yards.
 
In terms of the right round, what about just playing with lengthening 7.63 Mauser case until you reached the desired velocity/range combination you were looking for? Depending on specified requirements you likely would'be ended up with something between the 7.93x33 Kurz and 7.62x39 Russian.
 
In terms of the right round, what about just playing with lengthening 7.63 Mauser case until you reached the desired velocity/range combination you were looking for? Depending on specified requirements you likely would'be ended up with something between the 7.93x33 Kurz and 7.62x39 Russian.
So 7.63 x 25 becomes 7.63 x 35 probably with the same bullet?
 
Top