When it comes to comparing firearms and ammunition, there are many factors to consider. Two popular options for self-defense are 30 Carbine and 9mm, each with their own unique features and capabilities. In this article, we will take a closer look at these two options and compare their differences and similarities.

First, let’s define what exactly 30 Carbine and 9mm are. 30 Carbine, also known as 30 M1 Carbine, is a rifle cartridge that was used by the United States military during World War II and the Korean War. It is still occasionally used in some law enforcement agencies and is popular among civilian shooters. 9mm, also known as 9mm Parabellum or 9x19mm, is a pistol cartridge that has been used by various military and law enforcement agencies around the world. It is also a popular choice for civilian self-defense.

One of the main differences between 30 Carbine and 9mm is their size and weight. 30 Carbine is a larger and heavier cartridge, typically weighing around 110 grains, while 9mm is smaller and lighter, weighing around 115 grains. This size and weight difference can also affect the amount of recoil when firing each cartridge. 30 Carbine has a bit more recoil due to its larger size, while 9mm has a relatively mild recoil.

Another difference between 30 Carbine and 9mm is the types of bullets used. 30 Carbine typically uses full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets, while 9mm can use a variety of bullet types such as FMJ, hollow point (HP), and frangible. FMJ bullets are designed to penetrate deeply and are commonly used in military and law enforcement settings. HP bullets, on the other hand, are designed to expand upon impact and are often used for self-defense as they can cause more damage to the target.

Additionally, 30 Carbine and 9mm have different ammo capacities. A typical 30 Carbine rifle can hold around 15-30 rounds, while a 9mm pistol can hold anywhere from 10-20 rounds. This difference in capacity can be a factor to consider for those who prioritize having more rounds available in a self-defense situation.

However, despite their differences, 30 Carbine and 9mm also have some similarities. Both are widely used by military and law enforcement agencies, and both are popular choices for self-defense among civilians. They are also available in a variety of firearms, giving shooters options to choose from depending on their preferences and needs.

So, which is better for self-defense: 30 Carbine or 9mm? The answer to this question may vary as it ultimately depends on personal preference and the specific needs of the shooter. Factors such as accuracy, ease of use, and the type of firearm available can also play a role in determining which cartridge is better for self-defense. Additionally, it’s essential to consider any legal restrictions or requirements in your area for using these cartridges for self-defense.

In conclusion, 30 Carbine and 9mm are both capable cartridges with their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s crucial to carefully consider all factors and choose the one that best suits your needs and abilities. As always, proper training and safe handling of firearms and ammunition is crucial for any shooter, regardless of the cartridge they choose.

Key Takeaways:


  • 1. Both 30 Carbine and 9mm are popular choices for self-defense, but they have significant differences in terms of size, power, and effective range.
  • 2. 30 Carbine is larger and more powerful than 9mm, making it better for longer range and potentially more lethal situations.
  • 3. 9mm has a higher ammo capacity and lower recoil, making it easier to handle and potentially more suitable for close-range self-defense situations.


What Is 30 Carbine?

The 30 Carbine is a cartridge created in the 1940s for the M1 Carbine, a lightweight semi-automatic rifle utilized by the US military. It was specifically designed to fill the gap between a pistol and a rifle, providing more power and range than a handgun round without the recoil and weight of a full-sized rifle cartridge. With a muzzle velocity of approximately 1,970 feet per second and a bullet weight of 110 grains, the 30 Carbine is primarily used for self-defense, hunting small game, and recreational shooting. Overall, this cartridge offers a versatile option for those in need of a compact and powerful firearm.

What Is 9mm?

9mm is a popular handgun cartridge with a diameter of 9mm. It is commonly used in pistols and submachine guns due to its manageable recoil and versatility. The 9mm cartridge originated in Germany in the early 20th century and has since become one of the most widely used cartridges worldwide. It offers a good balance between stopping power and magazine capacity.

Pro-tip: When using 9mm ammunition, consider the specific needs of your firearm and ensure you use the appropriate bullet type for your intended use, such as hollow points for self-defense.

What Are The Differences Between 30 Carbine And 9mm?

When it comes to firearms, there are countless options to choose from. Two popular choices for handguns and rifles are the 30 carbine and 9mm. While both are commonly used for self-defense and recreational shooting, they have distinct differences that set them apart. In this section, we will discuss the various factors that differentiate the 30 carbine and 9mm, including size and weight, power and recoil, bullet types, ammo capacity, and effective range. By understanding these differences, you can make an informed decision on which firearm best suits your needs.

1. Size And Weight

When comparing the size and weight of the 30 Carbine and 9mm cartridges, there are some notable differences to consider.

  • 30 Carbine: The 30 Carbine cartridge is larger and heavier than the 9mm. It has a longer overall length and a larger bullet diameter, contributing to its increased size and weight.
  • 9mm: On the other hand, the 9mm cartridge is smaller and lighter compared to the 30 Carbine. It has a shorter overall length and a smaller bullet diameter, resulting in a more compact and lightweight design.

In true history, the 30 Carbine cartridge was developed for the M1 Carbine during World War II, while the 9mm cartridge has a long history and is widely used in military and law enforcement applications.

2. Power And Recoil

When comparing the power and recoil of the 30 Carbine and 9mm cartridges, several factors should be considered:

  1. Power: The 30 Carbine has more power compared to the 9mm due to its larger bullet and higher muzzle energy.
  2. Recoil: The 30 Carbine generates more recoil than the 9mm due to its increased power and larger bullet.
  3. Handling: The higher recoil of the 30 Carbine may affect accuracy and controllability, especially for inexperienced shooters.
  4. Application: The 30 Carbine is commonly used in rifles for medium-range shooting, while the 9mm is popular for handguns and close-quarters self-defense.
  5. Personal Preference: Individual shooter preferences may differ based on factors such as firearm type, shooting experience, and comfort with recoil.

3. Bullet Types

  • Full Metal Jacket (FMJ): A common bullet type for both 30 Carbine and 9mm, renowned for its ability to penetrate targets without expanding.
  • Hollow Point (HP): Designed to expand upon impact, creating a larger wound channel and maximizing stopping power. More commonly used in 9mm for self-defense purposes.
  • Soft Point (SP): A bullet with a partially exposed lead tip, offering controlled expansion and increased energy transfer. More commonly used in 30 Carbine for hunting.

Fact: The choice of bullet type depends on the intended use of the ammunition, whether it’s for self-defense, target shooting, or hunting.

4. Ammo Capacity

When comparing 30 Carbine and 9mm, one factor to consider is their ammo capacity.

  1. 30 Carbine typically has a higher ammo capacity compared to 9mm handguns.
  2. 30 Carbine rifles can hold more rounds in their magazines, usually around 15-30 rounds.
  3. 9mm handguns typically have a smaller magazine capacity, ranging from 10-17 rounds.
  4. The larger ammo capacity of the 30 Carbine can be advantageous in situations where a higher number of rounds may be needed, such as in self-defense or tactical scenarios.
  5. However, it’s important to note that the specific ammo capacity may vary depending on the firearm model and magazine size.

5. Effective Range

The effective range of a firearm refers to the distance at which it can accurately hit a target. When comparing the effective ranges of the 30 Carbine and 9mm cartridges:

  1. The 30 Carbine has an effective range of approximately 200-300 meters.
  2. The 9mm has a shorter effective range of around 50-100 meters.
  3. Factors such as bullet design, barrel length, and individual shooting skills can impact the actual effective range of both cartridges.
  4. It’s important to note that both cartridges are primarily designed for close to medium-range engagements rather than long-range precision shooting.

What Are The Similarities Between 30 Carbine And 9mm?

While the 30 carbine and 9mm may seem like drastically different ammunition choices, there are actually several similarities between them. In this section, we will explore the shared characteristics of these two rounds and how they are commonly used. From their military and law enforcement applications to their popularity for self-defense, we’ll highlight the key similarities that make both the 30 carbine and 9mm popular choices for firearms enthusiasts. Additionally, we will discuss how these rounds are available in a variety of firearms, making them versatile options for different shooting needs.

1. Used In Military And Law Enforcement

  • Both the 30 Carbine and 9mm are commonly used in military and law enforcement.
  • 1. Used in Military and Law Enforcement: The 30 Carbine was developed for the US military in the 1940s and was used in World War II and the Korean War.
  • 2. Used in Military and Law Enforcement: The 9mm is widely used by police forces around the world as their standard sidearm.
  • This common usage in military and law enforcement demonstrates the reliability and effectiveness of both cartridges.

2. Popular For Self-Defense

When it comes to self-defense, both the 30 Carbine and 9mm are popular choices. Here are some steps to consider when selecting a firearm for self-defense:

  1. Consider your comfort and proficiency with each firearm.
  2. Research the availability and cost of ammunition for each caliber, as both are popular for self-defense.
  3. Understand the power and recoil of each caliber, as it may affect your ability to handle the firearm effectively.
  4. Consider the size and weight of the firearm, as well as its capacity for ammunition.

Pro-tip: It’s important to prioritize training and practice regularly with your chosen firearm to become proficient and confident in its use for self-defense.

3. Available In Different Firearms

Different firearms can be used with both 30 Carbine and 9mm ammunition. When determining the availability of these cartridges, follow these steps:

  1. Research firearms that are compatible with the desired cartridge.
  2. Consider the intended use, whether it be for self-defense or target shooting.
  3. Explore the availability of firearms at local stores or online platforms.
  4. Seek recommendations from experienced shooters or firearms experts.

Remember, personal preference, accessibility, and budget should also be taken into account when selecting the right firearm. Ultimately, the best match between cartridge and firearm will depend on individual needs and preferences.

Which Is Better For Self-Defense: 30 Carbine Or 9mm?

When it comes to choosing a firearm for self-defense, there are many factors to consider. Two popular options are the 30 carbine and the 9mm, each with its own set of advantages and limitations. In this section, we will discuss the key factors to consider when deciding between these two calibers. Additionally, we will touch on the role of personal preference and legal considerations in the decision-making process. By the end, you will have a better understanding of which option may be best suited for your self-defense needs.

1. Factors To Consider

When comparing 30 Carbine and 9mm for self-defense, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Stopping power: Consider the effectiveness of each caliber in stopping an attacker.
  2. Ammo availability: Evaluate the accessibility and availability of ammunition for each caliber.
  3. Recoil control: Assess the recoil and how easily it can be managed for accurate follow-up shots.
  4. Firearm size and weight: Consider the size and weight of firearms chambered in each caliber for ease of carry and concealment.
  5. Personal proficiency: Evaluate your comfort and proficiency with each caliber based on your training and experience.

Historically, the 9mm has been a popular choice for self-defense due to its widespread use in military and law enforcement. However, advancements in ammunition technology have made the 30 Carbine a capable option as well. Ultimately, the best choice for self-defense depends on individual preferences, skills, and legal considerations.

2. Personal Preference

Personal preference plays a significant role in deciding between the 30 Carbine and 9mm for self-defense. Some individuals may lean towards the power and range of the 30 Carbine, while others may prefer the compactness and ease of use of the 9mm. It is important to take into account factors such as recoil control, firearm size, and shooting comfort when making a decision based on personal preference. Ultimately, it is crucial to handle both firearms and consider one’s comfort level in order to determine which option feels most suitable.

Pro-tip: Consider renting or borrowing different firearms to test and determine your personal preference before making a purchase.

3. Legal Considerations

When considering the legal aspects of choosing between 30 Carbine and 9mm for self-defense, it is important to keep the following factors in mind:

  1. Research local laws and regulations regarding firearm ownership and self-defense to ensure compliance.
  2. Understand the legal requirements for carrying and using firearms in your jurisdiction, including permits, training, and storage regulations.
  3. Consult with a legal professional knowledgeable in firearms laws to fully understand your rights and responsibilities, taking into account the legal considerations involved.
  4. Consider the legal implications of using different calibers in self-defense situations, including the level of force used and the potential for legal scrutiny.
  5. Stay updated on any changes to firearms laws and regulations that may affect your choice of caliber for self-defense.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the 9mm version of the M1 carbine a better choice than the original .30 carbine?

It ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs. The 9mm version may be more compact and easier to handle, but the .30 carbine has a longer range and stopping power.

What is the difference between the .30 carbine and 9mm rounds?

The .30 carbine is a rifle round while the 9mm is a pistol round. The .30 carbine has a longer range and more power, while the 9mm is more compact and easier to handle.

Why is “Socalbeachbum” considering the M1 carbine as an option?

“Socalbeachbum” is looking for a handy, light carbine that is easy to operate and does not have the “bullet button” restriction, and the M1 carbine fits these criteria.

What is the “bullet button” restriction mentioned by “Socalbeachbum”?

The “bullet button” refers to a device that makes it harder to remove the magazine from a firearm, often used on semi-automatic rifles in states with stricter gun laws.

Does “Socalbeachbum” own an M1 carbine or are they considering purchasing one?

It is unclear if “Socalbeachbum” currently owns an M1 carbine or is considering purchasing one, but they are seeking input from others on this topic.

Where can I find more information about the comparison between .30 carbine and 9mm rounds?

You can find more information by researching online or asking knowledgeable individuals in forums or gun communities. The discussion thread on The Firing Line forum is also a good source for insights and opinions.

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