The U.S. Caliber .30 Carbines


Basic Nomenclature

The Basics Here
The U.S. Caliber .30 CarbinesThe Carbine ManufacturersThe Barrel ManufacturersParts, Variations & Markings
Carbine NomenclatureThe Serial NumbersThe Stocks & HandguardsPost WWII Ordnance Operations

Introduction ***Please Read This First***

The purpose of this page is to familiarize you with the basic parts that make up a .30 Caliber Carbine.

During and after WWII U.S. Army Ordnance changed the specifications for some of the carbine parts. Sometimes more than once. The reason for the changes included improved function and/or reliability, and sometimes cost. his page does not cover all of the part design changes U.S. Army Ordnance made and/or all of the manufacturing variations GI contractors/subcontractors made or used at various points in time. This page is devoted to basic nomenclature, not part variations. A few variations are included below as they are commonly encountered.

For further information on part details and manufacturer variations refer to War Baby! The U.S. Caliber .30 Carbine by Larry Ruth.


The U.S. .30 Caliber Carbine M1 consists of five major part groups.
  • Barrel Group
  • Receiver Group
  • Stock Group
  • Bolt Group
  • Trigger Housing Group

Below Illustrations adapted from:

TM 9-1276
Technical Manual
Caliber .30 Carbines
M1, M1A1, M2, and M3

Note: Parts followed by an * are parts that may have U.S. Army Ordnance contractor/subcontractor markings

Barrel Group & Receiver Group


  • Barrel*
  • Front Sight*
  • Front Sight Key
  • Front Sight Pin
  • Barrel Band*
  • Bayonet Lug* (later design)
  • Gas Piston*
  • Gas Piston Nut
  • Operating Slide Spring
  • Operating Slide Spring Guide*
  • Receiver*
  • Rear Sight*
    (adjustable was later design)
  • Slide*
  • Slide Stop
  • Slide Stop Spring


Stock Group


  • Stock*
  • Handguard*
  • Front Band Spring
  • Recoil Plate*
  • Recoil Plate Screw*
  • Recoil Plate Escutcheon Nut
  • Buttplate*
  • Buttplate Screw

Bolt Group


  • Bolt*
  • Ejector & Spring
  • Extractor*
  • Extractor Plunger
  • Extractor Plunger Spring
  • Firing Pin*

Trigger Group


  • Trigger Housing*
  • Trigger Housing Pin
  • Hammer*
  • Hammer Spring
  • Hammer Plunger*
  • Hammer Pin
  • Sear*
  • Sear Spring
  • Trigger*
  • Trigger Spring
  • Safety*
  • Magazine Catch & Safety-
    Plungers and Spring
  • Magazine Catch*
  • Magazine Catch-
    Plunger and Spring

Magazine - 15 round


  • Body*
  • Follower
  • Spring
  • Base Plate


Markings are usually on the rear of the
magazine, below the retaining lugs.

Originally, only the 30 round magazine
had a follower that would hold the bolt
back and slide open after the last shot.

Where and Who to turn to for More Information and Further Assistance

I wish I could help everyone, but with over 6 million U.S. Carbines and almost 1 million post war commercial carbines one person can't handle all the requests for assistance. However, there are a number of resources available that can answer any question you might have, including groups of knowledgeable collectors and shooters on discussion forums. The internet is ripe with experts on almost every topic, so you would be wise to get opinions from more than just one person.

This Website & it's Sister Website Discussion Forums
Links Page Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) M1 Carbine Forum
Books Page M1 Carbine Forum
  MilSurps Forums: M1 Carbine
Post War Commercial Carbines Military Surplus After Hours
   New Zealand M1 Carbine Collectors

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