Royal Armouries

M3 Carbine with Infrared night sight

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M3 carbine with infrared night sight

M3 carbine with infrared night sight. PR.5478 and PR.1027.

  • M3 carbine with infrared night sight

    M3 carbine with infrared night sight. PR.5478 and PR.1027.

Date: 1947 | Object number: PR.5478 and PR.1027

M3 Carbine with Infrared night sight

Description

M3 Carbine

Collection no: PR.5478
Country: USA
Date: 1947
Calibre: .30 in carbine
Barrel length: 905 mm
Overall length: 970 mm (with flash hider)

Infrared night sight

Collection no: PR.1027
Country: USA
Date: 1950

The reason why the United States currently has an ‘M4’ Carbine, though the two weapons have nothing in common.

The M3 was virtually identical to the M2 – itself a select-fire version of the famous M1 Carbine of the Second World War. The only difference was a set of mounts to fit the so-called ‘Sniperscope’, actually an early form of Infra-Red night-sight issued on a limited basis to both US and UK troops in the Korean War.

The large object on top is an IR lamp to illuminate the enemy for the light-gathering optics below. The sight picture would have been extremely fuzzy, greatly limiting the effective range of a full-sized rifle. A shorter-ranged carbine therefore made sense, and helped limit the weight of this bulky combination.

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