The Francis carbine was designed by Howard Francis in 1943, and was investigated by Naval Ordnance Inspection staff at Simonstown in South Africa. The weapon was forwarded to the Ordnance Board in London for testing. Upon testing, the feed system malfunctioned, and the weapon had to be manually operated. The accuracy of the weapon was also found to be poor. It was concluded that it was not worth developing the weapon any further, and so no improvements to the design were ever made.
The Francis carbine was a self-loading rifle adapted from the SMLE No.1 Mk.III. The SMLE bolt was replaced by a blowback-operated breech block. The weapon was rechambered for 7.63×25mm Mauser and fed through 12-round stick magazines.
All in all, the weapon weighed about 8 pounds, one and a half ounces. It measured at about 32 inches long and had a 12 3/4 inch barrel which weighed 1 pound 7 ounces.