Does 'carbine' mean 'short rifle'?


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ExAgoradzo
March 6, 2011, 06:31 PM
Sorry, I'm confused. I'm finding that more things are called carbines than I originally though.

My 1894, Mini 14 are both carbines, is my 10/22?

And I take it my Rem 721 is not, why?

Thanks,

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Abel
March 6, 2011, 06:33 PM
It doesn't matter. Generally, rimfires are shorter anyway. I consider sub-20" a carbine. Some consider sub-22" barrels a carbine. It matters not.

BeerSleeper
March 6, 2011, 06:38 PM
This is a good question. I've seen it used in context as short barreled rifle, but I've also seen it used in the context of a rifle which shoots a pistol caliber. I don't know actually which is correct.

sarduy
March 6, 2011, 06:39 PM
a M16 is a rifle
a M4 is a carbine

Vern Humphrey
March 6, 2011, 06:47 PM
There is no official, hard-and-fast definition of "carbine." Various military weapons that were shorter than the basic infantry weapon were called "carbines," "musketoons," "cadet rifles," "sea pattern muskets" and so on.

Generally speaking a carbine is a short shoulder weapon -- many carbines back in the old days of smoothbore muskets were also smoothbores, so you can find carbines that are not short rifles, just short muskets.

NG VI
March 6, 2011, 06:48 PM
Usually, especially used to mean a shorter version of an existing rifle, though there are some guns that are clearly carbines even though they don't have a larger counterpart.

jmr40
March 6, 2011, 06:53 PM
Different definitions for different rifles. Actually lever action rifles are the only rifles with a clear definition. If a lever gun has barrel bands it is a carbine. No barrel bands and it is a rifle. A Marlin 336 with 20" barrel is a carbine. An 1895 with a 22" barrel is a rifle. A guide gun with a 18.5" barrel is a short rifle.

Other than leverguns a rifle is considered a carbine when a standard length gun is made into a shorter version. The M4 vs M16 is a good example.

Sam1911
March 6, 2011, 07:01 PM
Other than leverguns a rifle is considered a carbine when a standard length gun is made into a shorter version. The M4 vs M16 is a good example.
Except for instances like the US M1 Carbine which cannot possibly be considered anything else BUT a carbine, and yet had no larger version from which it was derived. (As the M1 Garand is obviously unrelated.)

Generally speaking, an AK-47 is a carbine (though also an "Assault Rifle"/"Sturmgewehr").

An SKS is obviously one as well, as its name indicates (Самозарядный карабин системы Симонова = Simonov self-loading carbine system).

Again, neither being a shortened form of some other arm.

Carl N. Brown
March 6, 2011, 07:02 PM
U.S. military usage up to the M1 Carbine of WWII was to have a full size infantry rifle and later a short cavalry carbine, as with the .45-70 Trapdoor and .30-40 Krag. The M1 carbine broke that tradition by being a light rifle with no corresponding full size rifle version.

However, historically there were a lot of short, light rifles called carbines without a corresponding rifle version.

In the case of the 10/22 we have seen a 18" barrel carbine introduced first, followed by a 22" barrel rifle model.

It is pretty arbitrary what gets called a carbine.

JWF III
March 6, 2011, 07:13 PM
If you look back at the turn of the century (1900, not 2000), there were actually "rifles", "short rifles", and "carbines". If you measured rifles by the same terms as back then, 95%+ of what we now call rifles (new production stuff) would actually be called "short rifles". Most rifles back then had barrels in the 28"-32" range. Barrels in the mid-20" range were "short rifles". And guns with barrels 22" or less were carbines.

Wyman

ExAgoradzo
March 6, 2011, 11:48 PM
Thanks for the help. It was just bugging me when I'd read it in various places.

I love this site; good answers are only a few hours a way!

CraigC
March 7, 2011, 02:57 AM
Different definitions for different rifles. Actually lever action rifles are the only rifles with a clear definition. If a lever gun has barrel bands it is a carbine. No barrel bands and it is a rifle. A Marlin 336 with 20" barrel is a carbine. An 1895 with a 22" barrel is a rifle. A guide gun with a 18.5" barrel is a short rifle.

Other than leverguns a rifle is considered a carbine when a standard length gun is made into a shorter version. The M4 vs M16 is a good example.
Exactly!

The difference is in the configuration, not just the barrel length. Forend and barrel bands, short forends, saddle rings and a carbine specific buttplate signified a "carbine" and they always had a round barrel up to 20". Forend caps, dovetailed magazine hangers, long forends and crescent buttplates always signified a "rifle". If it was 20" or less, it was a "short rifle". So it is possible to have a carbine with a longer barrel than a "short rifle".

Remo223
March 7, 2011, 03:04 AM
I believe the original use of the word "carbine" was for describing a smaller lighter shoulder fired weapon suitable for use while mounted...as in on a horse. Rifles and muskets were to be used while on the ground, preferably propped up on something. The term gets abused when horses are taken out of the picture.

comes from the spaniard "Carabinero" which means a mounted soldier armed with a short musket.

Float Pilot
March 7, 2011, 02:32 PM
Yes the term originated with horse mounted riflemen who had shortened versions for existing fire-locks, wheel-locks, rifles or muskets.
And that term was actually a derogatory term passed down from an insulting French slang term for English Archers. A spin off from escarrabin "carrion beetle".

German- Karabiner thus the KAR-98 was a shortened version of the long M-98.
French- carabine, arme feu
Dutch- karabijn
Danish- karabin
Swedish- karbin
Spanish-Carbina
"Carabinieri" The elite para-military police unit in Italy, got their name from the use of Carbines back when they were formed in 1726.

essayons21
March 7, 2011, 02:53 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbine

Short version, yes a carbine is basically a short rifle.

DoubleTapDrew
March 7, 2011, 03:56 PM
Other than leverguns a rifle is considered a carbine when a standard length gun is made into a shorter version. The M4 vs M16 is a good example.

Like the Barrett M107 rifle

http://mygaming.co.za/news/files.php?file=weapons_Barrett_M107_307304998.jpg

And M107CQ carbine :p

http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/3/3b/M82CQ.jpg/450px-M82CQ.jpg

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