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M3 Carbine (US Carbine, Caliber 30, M3)

Sniper Carbine Rifle [ 1944 ]

About 3,000 M3 Sniper Carbines were produced for American troopers towards the end of World War 2 - these weapons seeing service in Korea and Vietnam thereafter.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/13/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

At its core, the M3 Carbine was nothing more than the M2 Carbine form (detailed elsewhere on this site) with its upper section of the receiver modified to accept an InfraRed (IR) sight mounting to allow for engagement, at range, in low-light-level/night time conditions. It lacked the open iron sights of the earlier M1 and M2 marks as a result but all other functions of the gun were faithful to the originals. Various IR sights were developed during the course of the M3's operational existence and these scopes designated simply as the "M1", "M2", and "M3".

Again the engineers of the Inland Division of General Motors were charged with getting more out of the M1/M2 Carbine family so design work began in 1940 leading to limited production beginning in late-1944, early-1945. This, in turn, led to the developmental designation of "T3" being assigned to the new carbine. The earliest scope in play became the M1 "sniperscope" which was known developmentally as the "T120". Effective range of the modified M2/T3 was now out to 200 to 300 yards in low-level-light conditions, aided primarily by the installed scope.

Between 2,100 and 3,000 M3 Carbines were produced by Inland but the gun series never existed, at least officially, beyond their few-thousand-strong semi-prototype forms. The series did see limited circulation towards the end of World War 2 (1939-1945), and were actively fielded at the Battle of Okinawa, but wider-spread service was had during the Korean War (1950-1953). It saw some service in the Vietnam War (1955-1975) as well with special forces elements but, in time, was surpassed by more potent sniper solutions of the Cold War period.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

United States national flag graphic
United States


Sniper Carbine Rifle

Inland Division of General Motors - USA
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of the United States United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Accuracy / Precision
Long-range accuracy / precision capable; suitable for sniping, particularly when equipped with sighting aids.

Overall Length
905 mm
35.63 in
Barrel Length
460 mm
18.11 in
Empty Wgt
5.62 lb
2.55 kg

Telescopic Scope with IR system fitted.


Selective-Fire (Semi-/Full-Automatic); Gas-Operated, Short-Stroke Piston

One shot per trigger pull; self-loading or auto-loading action aided by internal mechanism; trigger management (and initial cocking) typically required by the operator; subsequent shots are aided by the unlocked / moved bolt.
Rounds are automatically ejected from the breech, a new cartridge stripped from the feed and set in the chamber, and rounds are continuously fired so long as the trigger is pulled and an ammunition supply exists.
Short-Stroke Piston
Type of gas operation typically found in rifle-type arms; relatively short amount of piston movement with reliance on sudden blow for quick acceleration of said piston; lever connected to the bolt is actuated, taking on the resultant energy, subsequently passing it on to the awaiting bolt.
Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


30 M1 Carbine

Sample Visuals**

Graphical image of a 30 M1 Carbine rifle cartridge
Rounds / Feed

15- or 30-round detachable box magazine.
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
900 ft
(274 m | 300 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
2,000 ft/sec
(610 m/sec)

M3 Carbine (Sniper) - Base Series Name.
US Carbine, Caliber 30, M3 - Formal designation, about 3,000 units produced.

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