Image from americanrifleman.org.
The M1 Carbine was the most produced infantry weapon manufactured by the United States for World War II. It was developed by Winchester for the troops that needed something more powerful than a pistol but easier to manage than a rifle.
It was intended for noncombat and line-of-communications troops. It became popular with officers, non-commissioned officers, and specialists who were already carrying a multitude of gear.
The M1 Carbine spread to tankers, artillery crews and mortar crews. Eventually, an updated version with a folding stock was created for airborne soldiers.
Delivery of the M1 Carbine began in 1942. Soldiers in the European theater were the first to receive the new weapon. By the end of the war, five million had been produced. They were manufactured so quickly and in such quantities that the government cancelled all contracts by the end of the war and the factories had to lay off the workers.
The M1 Carbine remained very popular after the war. It was still used by the US Army in the 1960s during the Vietnam War. Ironically, the Viet Cong had obtained M1 Carbines from some of the countries that the US had sold their surplus, meaning US forces were facing enemies using weapons produced in America.
Into the 1960s, the US government would sometimes release a quantity of stockpiled M1 Carbines for purchase by the American public. After that point, stockpiles would be located around the world and liquidated to the public. But lately, collectors and enthusiasts have had a harder time tracking down an authentic WWII M1 Carbine.
Now, Royal Tiger Imports has announced that they have located a trove of M1 Carbines in Ethiopia. The M1 Carbine was manufactured by a number of manufacturers during WWII and Royal Tiger has obtained models from every one of them except Irwin-Pederson and Quality Hardware Manufacturing Corp.
The weapons were part of the stockpile the Ethiopian government obtained from various governments around the world.
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