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GUNS Magazine July 2012 Digital Edition - Page 28
STORY: Holt Bodinson T he M1 carbine holds the record for being produced in greater number than any other military firearm in the history of the United States with over 6,200,000 made between 1941 and 1945. Despite being “boy-sized” and firing what some would decry as a “pint-sized” cartridge, it proved to be a remarkably practical and reliable combat arm from WWII to Korea to Vietnam and beyond. Having had some experience with the M1 and M2 carbines, I was frankly blown away by the quality, proportions, features and accuracy of Chiappa’s new rimfire rendition of this classic arm. Distributed by Legacy Sports International as the Model “Citadel M-1.22,” the carbine is simply sensational. What made the M1 carbine so popular with the troops? Two gunsavvy veterans writing after WWII pretty well sum it up. Lt. Col. John George served with Merrill’s Marauders and wrote his memoirs in a book entitled, Shots Fired in Anger. George observed, “The carbine turned out to be the ace weapon of this war… It was light and handy, powerful, and reasonably accurate. The cartridge was powerful enough to penetrate several thicknesses of helmet and to perforate the plates of Japanese bulletproof vests… It was flat shooting enough to have practical accuracy at more than 200 yards… The greatest advantage of the carbine was its light weight, which is the greatest advantage any infantry weapon can have.” The second observer was Tucson gunsmith, Roy Dunlap, whose book Ordnance Went Up Front, was published in 1948. Dunlap wrote, “Everyone who had to carry a rifle longed for the 6-pound, boy-sized semi-automatic, and combat soldiers came to prefer them in many cases because they and their ammunition were easy to carry. Chiappa’s sensational .22 LR M1 Carbine. Mini fun Gun The bayonet lugged front band is polymer and copies the original late model style. The receiver rear sight reflects the late model design of the wartime carbine. The late style safety and magazine release are perfectly detailed on the Citadel. a WWii favorite In the Pacific, the carbines were more reliable and gave less trouble than the M1s. The troops often complained that it took all 15 shots to down a Jap, but I suspect this was because they always shot them 15 times anyway, whether he went down on the first or the last round.” And have you seen the prices milsurp M1 carbines demand today? In spite of 6 million having been The Citadel is a close riimfire clone of Holt’s post-war original M1 Carbine. 28 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • J U LY 2 0 1 2