Tom McHale writes [via ammoland.com]:
The U.S. Carbine, Caliber .30, M1 (a.k.a., the M1 Carbine) reached a total production of over six million rifles in just 38 months. As a wartime project, quantity and speed were both production necessities. The only other single WWII item made in greater quantities was the M1 steel helmet . . .
While the M1 Garand .30-06 was always intended to be the Army’s primary infantry rifle, a light rifle project was commissioned in 1942 to provide better defensive and even offensive capability to rear-echelon troops and others who couldn’t carry a full-size battle rifle and ammunition load. These other specialty weapon and support troops, like drivers, tankers, and artillerymen, normally would have been issued pistols as a defensive sidearm. Replacing the pistol with a small and light carbine would provide better defensive capability and relieve pressure on infantry units to provide security for support units.
As the M1 Carbine made its way into the ranks, others picked it up as a primary service weapon. Airborne Paratroops and even regular foot soldiers appreciated the light weight of both rifle and ammo. Being able to shoot 15 rounds between easy and fast box magazine reloads was …Read the Rest
Source:: Truth About Guns