Combat Carbine: 357, 44, 5.56, 7.62x39?


August 1, 2003, 09:14 AM
What is your pic and why?

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August 1, 2003, 09:23 AM
And everyone who voted so far agrees with me!

I voted for the .357, because it takes the same kind of ammo as my revolver...just makes sence, and it will get the job done out to 75-100yards.

August 1, 2003, 09:41 AM
5.56...hey, it's good enough for our military isn't it?

August 1, 2003, 10:38 AM

of course, a Yugo SKS isn't really a carbine, despite its caliber.

August 1, 2003, 10:42 AM
OH gawd, I smell yet another caliber war brewing on this thread.

August 1, 2003, 10:44 AM
You left out "all of the above". I have carbine-style weapons (semi-auto and lever-action) in all of these calibers, and would feel very comfortable in using any of them for self-defence, given adequate ammunition.

August 1, 2003, 11:29 AM
5.56 is very effective if used within its paramaters 200 yds and under,I live in a city so having a rifle I can shoot left or right handed,easy to service,maintain and carry and is very lethal if the operator does his or her part is the way to go with a defensive carbine,If I have to take a longer shot or shoot through cars or walls Ill dig out the M14.

August 1, 2003, 11:56 AM
"Combat" says no levers for me. Camping maybe, but not combat. I'd go for a mag fed piece to get me on a level playing field at least. I'd much prefer an overwhelming advantage. :D

I won't choose the 5.56 due to the lack of any current malf-proof, rock-solid and reliable carbine/ magazine combination.

With today's huge supply of 7.62X39 AK's, their steel mags and ammo everywhere, they would be my choice.......if the 7.62X51 was un-available to me. The SKS limits my rounds, and is too heavy with no benefit over the AK... IMO.

Felonious Monk
August 1, 2003, 12:09 PM
None of the Above.

9mm carbine stoked with Hirtenberger +P+ or 9mm NATO.

August 1, 2003, 01:11 PM
"...SKS isn't really a carbine..." Um, what would you call it? An AK isn't a carbine either. Of all of these the SKS is the only "combat carbine". Neither are any of the others listed. Strictly speaking, a carbine is a short version of the current issue rifle in the same calibre intended for cavalry use. This definition changed slightly with the M1 Carbine, meant to be issued to troops who would have normally used a pistol. Now they call anything with a shorter barrel a carbine.
Combat? You want a proper rifle or just close the hatch and use the co-ax.

August 1, 2003, 01:48 PM
I suppose I was referring to the fact that a Yugo SKS is almost as large and heavy as an M1 Garand.

Seems silly to refer to it as a carbine.


August 1, 2003, 02:31 PM
I voted other.

My choice: M-16/AR-15 chambered in .458 Socom, with suppressed 16" barrel.

Why? Powerful and very cool. I want one. :D

s&w 24
August 1, 2003, 03:31 PM
I had to vote other. A carbine stikes me as something that you carry when a rifle is too heavy/bulky but you might need something bigger than a pistol.

Personaly I'm looking into a 357 max carbine because I shoot mostly 357 mag but I would probably pick a scout type rifle over a pistol caliber or intermidiate caliber cartrige because it is just about as portable and more powerful than the others listed

On the other hand if I were to pick a carbine to have a carbine it would be an M-1 (30 cal) or a 10 mm carbine because for what there asked to do they will do the job the best.

Futo Inu
August 1, 2003, 04:32 PM
First, who/what are we fighting?

August 1, 2003, 05:26 PM
I can't imagine an American cop pulling an AK out of his patrol car, but we can all hope, right?

There are plenty of carbine length AK's out there, In 5.56x45, 5.45x39 and 7.62x39.

Stone simple, few parts robust magazines. Sights could be better, but a Kobra solves that for most.

And hey why did you leave off the M-1 carbine? It's still in use in Israel as a cop/militia rifle (seen frequently on CNN)

August 1, 2003, 10:37 PM
>AK sights could be better, but a Kobra solves that for most.

Pardon my ignorance, but what kind of sight is this? (And is there any way to fit an AK with a ghost ring?)

August 1, 2003, 10:40 PM
Dr.Rob: I only included calibers I am thinking about. The 30 carbine is to weak for me.

I am leaning towards a 44 or 7.62x39. I like the 7.62x39 cartridge, but I still haven't found a carbine in that caliber that I like.

4v50 Gary
August 1, 2003, 11:09 PM
.223. More use to it than the 7.62 x 39mm.

August 1, 2003, 11:15 PM
In a carbine I'd go with the 7.62 X 39 a 20" barrel I'd go with 5.56 X 45.

Of course one can make the argument you can carry more rounds with the .223 even if you have to use a carbine.

August 1, 2003, 11:19 PM
You said combat carbine, so I'm choosing from the list of options and chose 5.56 for its prevelant mags/ammo, and its hi cap, and semi auto.

The 44 semi auto would outclass a 5.56 for urban usage but not with a 4 round mag.

How come no 22LR / 22 Mag on the list? You didn't really define the type of combat. If its gurilla warfare a 22LR could be useful. Shoot & scoot.

August 1, 2003, 11:41 PM
Call me crazy, but if I was looking for an easy "carbine" to shoot I'd get an AK-74-type (5.45x39) since it doesn't depend on velocity for the bullet to tumble like it does with the 5.56x45 (.223). Light ammo, cheap mags, cheap ammo (Wolf 60 gr will do the trick.). and a cheap gun. Much better range than a pistol-caliber carbine.

Sir Galahad
August 2, 2003, 01:38 AM
AKM, 7.62x39. Actually, the 7.62x39 has more uses than .223. For example, in many states, .223 is illegal to hunt deer with. 7.62x39 is legal. Put a 5 round mag in the AK and there you go. Further along, the 7.62x39 is a LOT cheaper than .223. By the time the .223 folks are packing up and leaving the shooting areas, I'm just breaking past my halfway point and still go home with a couple hundred rounds left even after that.

There are some cops in rural areas who bought Romanian AKs (SAR-1) as patrol car carbines. From what I read, they had to buy their own carbines if they wanted them. So, they bought AKs. I would say that if a BG saw a cop unlimber an AK from the trunk of his cruiser, he's going to think twice about getting into a gunbattle with that cop. Nothing that BG hides behind is going to save him.

August 2, 2003, 02:28 AM
¿¿ TUMBLE ??

August 2, 2003, 02:52 AM
.223 Rem./5.56 NATO out the barrel of a H&K G36C..;)

August 2, 2003, 09:00 AM
I like the 7.62x39 round, but mainly because I have a lot of SKSes and really like and am familiar with the rifle. It's probably the most powerful round listed, although the others might arguably do better in soft targets or may have better bullets available.

They are all good rounds(including the .30 carbine which has been unfortunately omited from the list) if used within their limitations.

What's a Kobra?
>AK sights could be better, but a Kobra solves that for most.

Pardon my ignorance, but what kind of sight is this? (And is there any way to fit an AK with a ghost ring?) Telomerase, a Kobra is a reflex sight similar to a Red Dot, but not in a closed tube.

More info here:

There are some ghost/peep sights available for the AK, but they have some drawbacks and that's a whole 'nuther subject. has one option.

Brian Williams
August 2, 2003, 09:02 AM
I really like my Marlin 1894/S&W mod 13 combo. 10 shots of 357 with 6 more in the revo. This combo is lightweight and easy to play with. I have a Marble's tang sight on the rifle and it is very quick and handy. 2 boxes of ammo, a couple of speed loaders and a wallet pack of 18 fit nicely in my range/car bag.

August 2, 2003, 09:17 AM
Why isn't the .30 CARBINE on the list? It was good enough for our military and energy figures are as good or close to some of the other calibers. Give me a 30 round clip and I'll go at it!

August 2, 2003, 12:20 PM
I like this thread and have been following it, but it seems like many are transposing the ideas of "combat" with that of basic self-defense.

I offer the mention of .22lr's and lever-action rifles as evidence.

I believe that whatever one's idea or definition of combat is, shouldn't it be at least a notch or two above self-defense?

IMO, A lot of beginner-type folks frequent these forums to advance an education on these many topics. I wouldn't want even one member befuddled (or worse) during any potentially bad scenario in the future through such misunderstandings.

I hope I'm not alone.

Art Eatman
August 2, 2003, 08:29 PM
You're right, Warner, but there are, IMO, three levels working here: "Real" combat, a la formal military; urban SHTF combat, and then some elevated level of self defense beyond the usual scenario but less than the LA riots.

I guess everybody needs to first work out their own probable scenario and then choose for probable utility.

For me, "combat" means a normal, formal military situation. Depending on my unit, then, I'd go with some presently-issued weapon. The issues of support and resupply come into play...


August 2, 2003, 08:44 PM
.30 Carbine too weak?

With JSP or JHP ammo, you essentially have a combat proven .357 self loading carbine - you included .357 in the poll.

Jim Cirrillo used one loaded thus with great effect while on the NYC Stakeout Squad.

At urban self-defense distances the 30 carbine with JSP or JHP ammo will do, if you will do.

August 2, 2003, 10:43 PM
What do I mean by combat here? Something more than basic self defense. But not small unit military combat. For small unit military combat I know I want a 7.62 nato self loader (M1a Scout, FN, or HK).

IMVHO handguns and shotguns will suffice for any real self defense. But their are occasions were one might need a bit more. Things like LA riots, or the many types of events that LE get to contain.

As to the 30 carbine others are welcome to use it if they want to, but for me it is to weak. Just like a 9mm or 45acp SMG would be (they are just heavy pistols to me).

Honestly I think the 357 and 5.56 are weak for carbines but they have some advantages to balance out their low power (the 357 can use same ammo as my CCW, the 223 can provide various types of terminal ballistics depending on bullet structure everything from 40 JHP to 55 grain Trophy bonded or 60 grain Nosler Partition).

August 3, 2003, 10:18 AM
I think that because of the availiabilty of ammo and spare parts that either 5.56 or 7.62 would be good chioces for carbine calibers

August 3, 2003, 01:17 PM
For self defence I like the .30 Carbine.

Light, handy, accurate and deadly to one hundred yards, near zero recoil, no flash to speak of, and minimal muzzle blast for use in a home defence type situation (seems quieter than a 9mm when I shoot mine).

With a GI issue 15 round magazine stoked with the planned Corbon hollow points, I find it hard to imagine a situation that it would not be able to handle.

SKS/AK47 and AR15 just seem like too much gun, if I was a soldier however I would be praying for a SiG 551.

Sir Galahad
August 3, 2003, 01:47 PM
.30 carbine is expensive to practice with. Cor-Bon ammo would be nice and even more expensive. The selection of ammo for .30 carb is not real wide in most places. Thing is, you will find bulk ammo in .223 or 7.62x39 in any gun shop in any town over 50,000 poplation with few exceptions. You will find cheap-enough .30-30 ammo in just about every small town. You will find .44 mag and .357 in most places. But many places won't even carry .30 carb because they don't sell enough of it to make it worthwhile. If you can stock enough of it, that's all that's important. But it is still an expensive round to practice with no benefit over .223 which offers a wider variety of ammo selection and is a lot cheaper to practice with. The advanatge of the .30 carbine is the light M1 carbine it's chambered in. But I'd rather tote the extra pounds of an AK myself. Mags are cheap and last forever, ammo is cheap and now comes in hermetically sealed "spam" cans for long-term storage, and the caliber is found prolifically.

August 3, 2003, 03:03 PM
I would add to what Sir Galahad said the fact that the .30 carbine has always had a huge swirl of controversy around it and it's effectiveness. I also don't believe that any "magic" new loads like Corbons will assist it much against anything but an un-protected target.

Need to imagine situations it won't handle? Try light barriers, vegetation, and even heavy clothing and gear. Those and other things out there in the real world should all work to worsen its marginal reputation even further IMO, if anyone really plans to rely on this one.

While I am NO supporter for the 5.56, I’d feel MUCH safer with that round over the .30 carbine in any conceivable situation.

Chris Rhines
August 3, 2003, 04:54 PM
Depends on exactly what you want me to do with it, but for most fighting uses I'd lean towards .223 Rem, preferably with a heavier bullet. Although, the idea of a semi-auto .44mag carbine is interesting (Thumper!!)

Keep in mind, though, that most any caliber will do if you will do.

- Chris

Sir Galahad
August 3, 2003, 06:32 PM
If Ruger had a gram of cojones, they'd make a 10 round mag for their .44 Magnum Deerfield carbine.

August 3, 2003, 11:15 PM
Amen to the 10 round Deerfield magazine!

But we all know that Ruger will never do it. Remember when they introduced the Mini-14? They didn't make 20 or 30 round mags for anyone but police departments and military purchasers for many years. Rugr even made the 77-22 mags different from the 10-22 so you can't use the 25 round banana clips in them.

August 4, 2003, 03:44 PM
I used to have a Marlin lever action in .44 Mag. I wish that I had never sold that gun!!! I do have a Mini 14 as well. Very good gun.

August 5, 2003, 07:40 AM
Reliability first. Combat accuracy. .30 caliber bullet. Soft points, please! Low recoil. Cheap ammo. Cheap mags. Dirt simple to take care of.
Ghost ring? Krebs Custom gave me a quote of 65 bucks to install a galil style peep rear on the dust cover of my saiga...but before I could send it in, I moved to Vegas and left my sweet Kalishkinov in a cousin's gunsafe for safe keeping! Maybe later! Kreb's also makes longer stocks and an 'enhanced' safety for easier manipulation by shooting hand!
Amen to the 10 round mags for the Ruger .44!! I had one of the original tube fed carbines as a teenager in Alaska(it worked well at a measured 45 below zero!!) and even wrote Ruger suggesting a detachable box fed mag with higher capacity in 1976 or 77. The sent me a 'we're not even thinking about it' letter and a Ruger Patch!
Was pondering a MechTech Carbine Conversion to turn One of my Officer's models into a handy Patrol Carbine! What? No folding stock???
The .460 Roland version of the Mechtech CCU on one frame and a Conversion kit for a Government model ( several Wilson 10 rounders would be a most interesting power combo!!
I carried an M16A1 way back when as an Assaultman in the Gyrenes....was never too fond of the 'black rifle'(ok, the round is still supersonic at 500 meters and WILL hit a man sized target in the chest, no prob! With Soft points, it will probably be acceptable. Can I have an M203 40m/m grenade launcher too? Pretty please!)
That said, I prefer simple, rugged and larger bullets!
Semper Fi

August 5, 2003, 08:05 PM
Cheap ammo', reliable, easy to maintain and operate, reasonably light...not terribly long, and 50+ years of proven performance operating in conditions where flush toilets are uncommon...


Sir Galahad
August 5, 2003, 09:53 PM
My tag line at

Kalashnikov: Millions and millions of satisfied customers since 1949.

August 11, 2003, 07:17 PM
You can wear as many clothes as you like, and then I'll shoot you with my .30 Carbine and we'll see if the bullet reaches you ;)

The myth of the .30 Carbine's alleged lack of penetration has endured since Korea, mostly because soldiers saw heavily clothed Chicoms who were shot with it but didn't fall over, they still had a hole in them though, sometimes 2. To suggest that a 110 grain 30 caliber FMJ doing almost 2000fps is unable to penetrate heavy clothing would mean that a .357 Magnum FMJ at 1400fps would bounce off a leather jacket.

I'll stick with Jim Cirillo on this one, but at ten bucks for 50 I'll admit it isn't cheap to feed compared to .223 and 7.62x39.


August 11, 2003, 07:34 PM
Like everyone else, I am not sure of the definition of "combat" but as a civilian I guess it would mean combat with someone breaking into my home, looters during a major disaster or something like that. No matter what kind of combat we are talking about, I would take the AR15 for it's versitility. Semi-Auto, large magazine capacity, easy to reload the weapon (no magazine tube or stripper clips), superior accuracy. My main "go to" AR is a flat top and is also equipped with a KAC RAS II rail system. So, I can use iron sights, Aimpoint, scope, or night vision (no I don't own night vision gear but I have borrowed one and used it on my AR). With the Aimpoint I can use head mounted night vision, weapon mounted night vision, or a dedicated night vision scope. On the RASII I can use my Surefire 910 series weaponslight, and can also remove it in seconds if I don't need a light.

Caliber: I would probably use 5.56, but I do have an upper in .458 SOCOM that would also do the trick (and a bunch of 300 grain JHPs at about 1900 fps). In 5.56 the bullet doesn't have to tumble to be effective. I am a civilian so I can use whatever bullet I want. I currently have GI Ball ammo, Remington JSP, and Hornady V-Max. Only the GI Ball has to tumble. The V-Max is too explosive for anti-personel use. And out of all the calibers you name, the 5.56 is by far the safest round for firing in a building with the least chance of overpenetration. Yet, it will defeat most ballistic armor. The cartridge is plenty accurate, and plenty effective for any reasonable shot that can be made without a benchrest and a known distance range.

It is light and a battle proven weapon having served in combat longer than any other US military rifle. It has served all over the world in all climates and under all conditions.

August 11, 2003, 09:41 PM
¿?¿?¿? Tumble ¿?¿?¿?

August 11, 2003, 11:13 PM
The 7.62X39 would be my choice at carbine distances. A quick look around suggests that this is a great time to outfit with this caliber, as solid guns and magazines are everywhere, and ammo is cheap.

For me, there's way too much controversy over the .223/5.56 to bet anything important upon. There's too many negatives with AR15, and its mags, and too great a leap of faith to find those aforementioned solid points in all of it.

If it's OK with everyone (and for personal health reasons), I won't even get into rifles that shoot pistol rounds. :(


August 12, 2003, 07:43 AM
7,62x39 is good enough for our military...

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