Define Carbine??


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mopar92
February 8, 2011, 11:18 AM
Looking at tons of AR stuff, some say Carbine, others do not... What the he'll makes a rifle a carbine or not? Thanks for your help guys...

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SOUTHPAW
February 8, 2011, 11:39 AM
The term "carbine" is commonly used to describe short rifles. All AR-type rifles are considered carbines if I'm not mistaken... Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Quentin
February 8, 2011, 11:47 AM
20" and longer ARs are considered rifles. At least the M16 is by our military.

FourteenMiles
February 8, 2011, 11:48 AM
In regards to the AR, they have different length gas tubes referred to as "Carbine", "Mid-length", and "Rifle". Usually these will require different hand guards.

txhoghunter
February 8, 2011, 11:52 AM
Yes, when looking at AR accessories, the term "carbine" typically refers to 7" hand guards if I'm not mistaken. They are the shortest of the common length hand guards, followed by mid-length and rifle length

Dr T
February 8, 2011, 12:13 PM
A carbine was originally a short rifle designed for use by mounted troops. It now is generally used to refer to any short rifle for which a longer version is available. In the sense than a shorter barreled AR with a collapsible stock is used by soldiers riding around in a vehicle (and thus mounted), I would consider it a carbine.

Carl N. Brown
February 8, 2011, 12:24 PM
Generally, the term carbine refers to a shortened version of a full sized rifle, same caliber, same action, shorter barrel, different stock and sights, otherwise identical. My favorite examples are the U.S. Krag infantry rifle and cavalry carbine.

Then there's the U.S. Carbine, Cal. .30, M1, the culmination of the pre-WWII "light rifle" program, a carbine with no rifle counterpart.

henschman
February 8, 2011, 02:20 PM
Yeah, I just think it means a short rifle.

"Short" can be relative... the K98 was considered a carbine by the Germans (that's what the "K" stands for), since it was shorter than the original M1898.

Yeah, I consider pretty much any AR except for the long bull barreled ones to be a carbine. Even a 20" with a GI profile barrel is a carbine to me, because it is shorter and ligter than a .30 battle rifle. The 20" M16 and M16A1 replaced the .30 M2 carbine and M3 submachine gun, after all. I don't use that term for it when talking to AR guys though, to avoid confusion since they usually class them by gas system length... carbine, midlength, and rifle length.

Like a lot of english words, it is relative and it can be used in a lot of ways!

CraigC
February 8, 2011, 02:28 PM
It gets muddier. When speaking of leverguns, it's the configuration that determines whether or not it's a rifle or carbine. For it is entirely possible to have two rifles of identical barrel length, one being a carbine, the other a "short rifle". Or even a "short rifle" that is actually shorter than a carbine.

Bearhands
February 8, 2011, 02:29 PM
Here ya go:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbine

Jon_Snow
February 8, 2011, 02:38 PM
In regards to ARs, carbine can also refer to the set-up of the stock. Most collapsible stocks and their associated hardware are refered to as carbine stocks.

WardenWolf
February 8, 2011, 03:02 PM
A carbine refers to a shorter version of an existing design. That's all.

henschman
February 8, 2011, 04:24 PM
But the guy had a good point who mentioned that one of the most iconic carbines of all, the .30 M1 Carbine, does not even have a longer version.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I also believe that another famous carbine, the Sharps breech loader, was also originally designed as a short carbine, and was only later made into longer-barreled versions.

CCCP
February 8, 2011, 06:52 PM
Usually carbine means that barrel length is less then 30 times caliber. If barrel length is greater than 30 times caliber, it is a rifle.
for example for AR15:

carbine < 30*.223< rifle

henschman
February 9, 2011, 12:33 AM
So a .223 has to have a 6.69" barrel to be a carbine, a .30 cal has to have a 9" barrel, and a .50 cal has to have a 15" barrel?

I don't think that's right. I really don't think there are any hard, fast rules to it... a carbine is just a rifle that's a little on the short side.

john5036
February 9, 2011, 01:42 AM
For the AR platform, in simple terms:

Carbine: You'll need 7" hand guards/heat shields. The gas block is roughly 7" forward of the chamber. Shorter gas system, the parts will be put through a bit more wear. For legality reasons, the barrel is 16" minimum.

Mid-length: You'll need 9" hg/hs. The gas block is roughly 9" forward of the chamber. Slightly longer gas system, the recoil is said (subjective, although mechanically accurate) to be lighter on the shooter. Not much of a huge difference vs. the carbine length gas system, but again, for parts reasons, this designate is made.

Rifle: You'll need 12" hg/hs. The gas block is roughly 12" forward of the chamber, and you'll find that the barrel is minimum 20". You could also find AR uppers chambered in higher calibers for rifle length ARs.

Simply put, that's what the AR platform designates mean.

mc223
February 9, 2011, 02:46 AM
I just love these kinds of threads. There is such diversity in the answers.:what:

Davek1977
February 9, 2011, 08:08 AM
carbine means that barrel length is less then 30 times caliber. If barrel length is greater than 30 times caliber, it is a rifle.
for example for AR15:

carbine < 30*.223< rifle

Source? i''ve never heard it explained this way before

merlinfire
February 9, 2011, 08:35 AM
Quote:
carbine means that barrel length is less then 30 times caliber. If barrel length is greater than 30 times caliber, it is a rifle.
for example for AR15:

carbine < 30*.223< rifle
Source? i''ve never heard it explained this way before

Agreed, that's an interesting hypothesis.

Tirod
February 9, 2011, 10:16 AM
In the big picture, it's a shorter barreled version of the existing rifle. The Krag is a good example, and M1A's with less than a 20" barrel seem to be too.

In the AR specifically, 20" and longer is rifle, less is all carbine as a type, not the gas action, which is specific to itself. There are even 16" barreled carbines with rifle gas. Doesn't make it a rifle, it's the shorter barrel length compared to whatever was intended as the full size rifle version.

The M1 Carbine is definitely a short version of the Garand, looks similar, etc. Of course the parts aren't the same, and it's not the same caliber.

It's a concept that exists as a relationship, not because of arbitrary rules.

chuckfw
February 9, 2011, 11:13 AM
IMHO, the barrel length is a good indicater to use. If the barrel length is 16" or below, I would call it a carbine, regardless of the stock or handguard length. Ideal length for carry in a vehicle while still retaining power above a submachine gun is a barrel length of 16" , making it a carbine. BTW, I have an H&K 91-A2 in 7.62x51 and while it has a barrel length of 17.7", it's hardly a carbine and I have never heard anyone address it as such. Just my .02.

roadchoad
February 9, 2011, 11:17 AM
Chuck, that would limit carbines to being almost all SBRs, as 16" is the shortest you can go without getting into NFA territory.

mopar92
February 9, 2011, 11:31 AM
I still have no idea what a Carbine is! Haha

mc223
February 9, 2011, 11:41 AM
The Wikipedia Definition is long winded but concise.

john5036
February 9, 2011, 01:13 PM
I still have no idea what a Carbine is! Haha

The definition will vary with each rifle. If you just want to know what it is for the AR platform, several answers including mine answered that. Otherwise, people using other rifle platforms to define the carbine are just going to keep you going in circles.

Wolfgang2000
February 9, 2011, 02:41 PM
There are actually 2 definitions of a carbine.
1 (and the original) is a shorter version of the standard rifle. Usually used to denote the difference between the infantry and Calvary rifles.

2 Usually used when describing smaller and lower powered long arms, such as pistol caliber long arms. i.e. M1 carbine.

The M4 is a carbine, since it is a cut down version of the M16. Weapons like the Kel-Tec sub 200 can be labeled as carbines since they shoot a pistol round.

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