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Carbine a compact rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by FlSwampRat, May 22, 2020.

  1. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    I'm starting this thread in Rifle Country to stop hijacking the .357 magnum discussion in Handguns:General Discussions forum. Clearly neither a rifle nor a carbine are handguns.
    @el Godfather was right, that thread is about .357 magnums and not the rifle/carbine debate.

    Carbines and rifles existed in the 1600's. This is way before lever guns were around. A couple of hundred years before. Lever action guns haven't been around for half that length of time. Applying lever gun specific features to differentiate between two categories of firearms that have existed for twice as long as lever guns seems pretty misapplied. At least when extending lever action features to all guns, lever and non lever equally. There are literally centuries of firearms designated as carbines that don't "have barrel bands, saddle rings, carbine-specific buttplates and strictly round barrels."

    As for the M4 and M16 having "significant differences other than barrel length", I think you enumerated the two. Obviously an M4 would require a shorter barrel shroud and the M16 might have had a collapsible buttstock had such existed back when it was adopted. Other than that and the overall size, they are functionally identical.

    The clip comment is relevant as you are using examples of lever gun makers applying the names carbine and rifle to one or another of their lever guns, essentially coopting the general terms to pertain to just their lever guns and you are assuming that such an application applies now to all rifles and carbines thus making centuries of carbines somehow not carbines because they don't have saddle rings, barrel bands, etc.

    As for arguing about the terms, it seems that since these terms have been around for at least 400 years the contemporaneous manufacturers are doing the arguing trying to re-purpose or redefine the terms for their own wishes.
     
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  2. whm1974

    whm1974 member

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    Well said and you beat me to making a new thread on Rifles vs Carbines to avoid derailing another thread. The term long existed before even Cartridges in any form was invented let alone any firearms with repeating actions.
     
  3. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I'm not going to rehash it again here. My comments have obviously triggered something not intended and are repeatedly being taken out of context. I will say that my post was not intended to be a comprehensive breakdown of the history of the carbine. I never said the "carbine" was born out of the levergun or implied the concept did not exist prior. Nor did I EVER apply levergun-specific qualities and features to guns where they were not applicable, such as anything going back 400yrs. The context of that thread was .357 leverguns and that was the context of my posts. Since this is such a foreign concept and you seem to have such a huge problem with my posts on this subject, I strongly suggest you actually pick up a book or two and learn something about leverguns. Rather than relying on whatever you Googled to form your argument.

    The clip comment is entirely irrelevant because that is a case of applying incorrect terminology. The issues of rifle and carbine specific design features is well documented and goes well beyond Winchester. Have you ever actually put any thought or research into this subject before that thread?

    And no, an M4 does not "require" a shorter handguard.

    35865a_med.jpg
     
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  4. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    II was contemplating cleaning a few guns I recently shot, but instead I’m popping some popcorn and awaiting the lock...

    Stay safe.
     
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  5. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    400 years of firearms development... yeah, things have come a long way. Some people are just hunting something to argue about. Some are trying to hype their own thing to the exclusion of all else.

    I recall reading an article... it's been so long I forgot which author and which magazine it was... they were discussing leverguns and the differences between rifles, carbines, and short rifles marketed by Winchester. They didn't get into Marlin that time.

    AR's... the outward difference between an M4 and an M16... just the upper... is the M4's barrel, gas tube, and handguard is shorter... "carbine length". Put that upper on an A2-stocked lower and you might see an arguement... carbine vs short rifle.

    Then, there's the British No5 "Jungle Carbine". There are differences I still see observed that make those either less accurate or less pleasant to shoot compared to the British rifle No4 Mk1 and Mk2. Between this and some American civilian modifications, it resulted in brief discussion of the No4 being "jungled" which might be a "short rifle" as opposed to the No5's features/bugs.
     
  6. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    AFAIK, the "CAR-15" is a carbine, adapted from the longer M-16, from which the M4 got it's parentage. Maybe some guys more familiar with that era of Army weapons can clarify.
     
  7. whm1974

    whm1974 member

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    As I never hunted before and have more use for handguns anyway.
     
  8. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Without specific features or options, I consider a carbine to be a lightweight, handy rifle with a shorter than standard (Under 22”) barrel... examples are my 18.5” Marlin 1895 guide gun vs my 26” barreled 1895 CB.

    Or my 14.5” M-4 BCM with a collapsible stock vs my 20” Bushmaster HBAR with an A-1 stock.

    Same goes from a Ruger Hawkeye compact 16” vs a standard Hawkeye... These are all apples to apples.

    The .30 Carbine in the safe isn’t the same caliber, but it is much lighter and handier than my Garands are.. so that’s a bit more of an apples to pears.

    All of my 1894/1892 guns are carbine-sized in my eyes, with 20” or 16” barrels. I did once have an 1894 in .45 Colt with a 24” barrel that I considered a rifle strictly because of its length.

    I even consider my Ruger 77 RSI in .243 a carbine due to its 18.5” barrel, even though it’s called a Mannlicher-styled rifle. Again, just because it’s handier than a 22” rifle in my mitts.

    I may not be right, nor do I profess to be; but in my humble opinion that’s the difference between a rifle and a carbine.

    Stay safe.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  9. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Ignore -- changed my mind about replying.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  10. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    This is one of those terms where there isn't really a clear definition in most cases. Winchester did try to define the difference between a lever action rifle and carbine. But with most any other rifle type it I purely subjective.

    Not something I lose sleep over, but I do think it would be a good idea for anyone into firearms to understand the criteria Winchester used to define the 2. Even if most people today may not use the traditional definition.
     
  11. mcb

    mcb Member

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    For me a carbine will always be a relatively short in overall-length shoulder fired weapon chambered in either a light to intermediate rifle cartridge or a pistol cartridge. I think the definition works fairly well in current modern context and for a fair bit of history. No doubt the definition of carbine is fairly nebulous and has change since it inception. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  12. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Rifle: 24+ inch barrel
    Short Rifle: ~20" barrel
    Carbine: Anything [significantly] under 20"


    So Simple....
    caveman-sm.jpg
    ... a public domain caveman can remember it.



    .
     
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  13. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Not entirely true. There are carbines at 20" and short rifles at 16", or even shorter. I've seen originals as short as 14".
     
  14. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    They can "name" it anything they want.
    A "Short Rifle" at 14-16" is still a carbine.
    and a 20" barrel is still a short rifle.

    A rose by any other name..... (R&J: Act II, Scene II)




     
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  15. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    You are free to call it whatever you like but it's more than just a name, it's a configuration. "Short rifle" should tell you that it is a longarm with rifle features and a short barrel. Likewise, "carbine" should tell you that it has carbine features. Same if the barrel is the same length, both rifles and carbines are common in the 20" length. "Short rifle" and "carbine" are more specific. How else would you distinguish a 20" short rifle from a 20" carbine???

    If you call Cimarron and order an 1873 "short rifle" in .44Spl, you'd be upset if a carbine showed up, wouldn't you?

    And why all the resistance??? These shouldn't be earth-shattering revelations that turn anyone's world upside down. The whole point here is that there is more than 'just' barrel length that separates rifles from carbines in the context of leverguns. :confused:
     
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  16. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm member

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    So the 1873 carbine doesn't meet your thoughts? It's in 45-70.
     
  17. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    The chambering really has nothing to do with it at all. As I've said, it's those features that are exclusive to rifles and carbines. The fact that the 24" 1873 Deluxe Sporting "Rifle" chambers what is considered a pseudo-pistol cartridge is irrelevant. As is the fact that the 1886 saddle ring carbine chambers the .45/70 class of rifle cartridges. Although some folks seem to want to make up their own definitions based on arbitrary reasons.
     
  18. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

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    I just want one of each.
     
  19. mcb

    mcb Member

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    My definition is not hard and fast and is primarily for my own internal use (we have interesting conversations in my head some days). Despite it's name an 1873 Carbine in 45-70 with a 20-inch barrel would IMHO be a rifle not a carbine. Even if it has a 16-inch barrel I would probably call it a rifle. I would not use a lever gun in 45-70 like a carbine. I own a Mosin-Magant M44 which by designation is a carbine but for me its not functionally a carbine. Both of those guns are too big, heavy, and too much cartridge. To me a carbine is my Rossi M92 16-inch in 44 Mag. My light weight 16-inch pencil barrel 556 AR My 9-inch 300 BO (despite technically being a pistol it functions as a carbine for me). All three of these guns are light, compact, in a moderately powerful cartridge and thus easy to carry and easy to stuff in a UTV or tractor.
     
  20. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Well, we can probably just blame the French. (And franko-phobic prejudice.)

    Rifle in French is "fusil" in the way that it is "gewehr" in German.
    We get "carbine" from the French "carabine" (see Karabiner in German).

    In the BP era, horse and artillery and quartermaster types were unlikely to need bayonets, and needed a more compact arm as they were encumbered with enough other things as well.

    Once smokeless powder entered the scene, and standing in shoulder-to-shoulder ranks fell out of favor, the accuracy in using the terms also fell a bit by the wayside.

    Things were called other things for a number of reasons. Budgets were a key thing. No money for a short rifle? Well, the original budget called for both rifle and carbine, we can get a carbine, then.

    The US really muddied this up, as there was a war on, and there was an ever-growing group of non-career troops who were not likely to develop pistol skills, so they needed something better than pistol, but not a whole lot better. And they needed it ow, not later. Certainly not later enough to come up with a better name for either the ammo or the arm.
     
  21. whm1974

    whm1974 member

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    Well if you are speaking of the M1 Carbine, the name indeed fits as it has a shorter barrel and stock, and uses a way less powerful cartridge, the .30 Carbine which was also lighter then the M1 Garand. The weapon was also the lowest cost firearm to produce in WWII.
     
  22. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Iiiiiiiiii>thought.....
    It was a carbine ONLY if a longer version was available.....
    ...?


    But I'm likely wrong. Usually.
     
  23. WisBorn

    WisBorn Member

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    I agree with you Farmer :thumbup:
     
  24. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    I think I mostly agree with this except to say, semantics aside, Webster's definition has merit: a carbine is "...a rifle with a short barrel". And to me, a Winchester Model 94 having a 20" barrel will always be a carbine.
     
  25. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    I really don't care much about senseless debate over undefined terms. I have several things I call carbines, Win 94, Mar 336, 94, and a M1. I have more than a few rifles, 336-444, 92 357 conversion half mag, and some don't knows like a Ruger Frontier .308 with a 16" barrel and short stock with two scope mount systems that the Master Cooper called a "Scout RIFLE" and it is the shortest in the safe. Have fun, I'll eat popcorn. And clean my TC Contender carbines. Oh, yeah....is it "car-been" or "car-byne"?
     
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