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Carbine a compact rifle?

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

  1. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Lever-operated arms all started out as carbines (less than 30" barrels) as they were meant for cavalry.
    Ammo was ammo, without a lot of distinction (think of such things as the .40volcanic or .40RF).
    Lever-action arms were the first to typically use self-contained metallic cartridges, too.

    So, there was no reason to differentiate between "rifle" and "pistol" rounds--both of those were loaded from loose powder and ball (or from paper cartouche).

    It's only in the last 75 to 25 years that "we" have seen all this muddying of the waters. Which is related to century or so that "we" have become used to metallic cartridges being of a certain size relating to their use.

    And "we" are not exactly pedantic in our usage, either. We do not consider the Remington Mountain rifle at 18" a carbine of the Rem 800 at 24", even though, that is exactly what the "book" designation would tell us.

    So, it's just words that now have very blurred meanings. Not even at the level of clip and magazine; this is more an argument about whether a revolver is a pistol or not.
     
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  2. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Of several varieties of pistols, many are revolvers, but not every revolver is a pistol.

    Y'all may recall that Colt's made revolving rifles and carbines. Marlin also made revolving shotguns.
     
  3. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    You can buy new revolving long arms today. Rossi makes them, to cite one example.
     
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  4. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    I was under the impression that model came in at 22"
    and yes, I would consider it cut-down to 18" to make it a carbine....
     
  5. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I know. I've examined Rossi's offering. Uberti, last I knew, still makes a couple of versions on the 1858 Remington and Colt's 1873 types of frames. Uberti's offerings I recall marketed with the carbine label, but really, they're just buntline specials with shoulder stocks.
     
  6. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    The short rifle's magazine is fastened to the barrel with a "hanger" like CraigC's 1866 short rifle. The forend has a cap like that 1866, except it's blued steel, not brass, and the magazine cap is screwed in.
    Barrel bands, no it has none, those are used on carbines.
     
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  7. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Okay, I'm not that familiar with those. The short rifle with the screw at the front of the mag tube was a Marlin 1895 Cowboy in .45-70... nice rifle, but as I recall, they only offered it a year or two and that was back in the late 1990's.
     
  8. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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    Can a rifle be a carbine even if the manufacturer doesn't label it as such?
     
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  9. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Hmmm. What about the two "modern" lever guns below? Neither of them have barrel bands.

    The upper one has an 18.5" barrel and is 37" long. The lower one has a 16.5" barrel and is 35" long.

    carbine-rifle.jpg
     
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  10. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    I think those are what have been termed `sporterized short rifle carbinizers`.
     
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  11. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Those both appear to be chamber in a fairly stout rifle cartridge (45/70 ??) I would probably call both of those rifles.
     
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  12. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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    Sure, but Remington made a 760 Carbine in stout rifle cartridges, the defining difference seemed to be barrel length. So is it the label which makes it a carbine, or would it be a carbine regardless of how Remington marketed it?
     
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  13. mcb

    mcb Member

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    For me a carbine has to be short, light, and in a moderate cartridge. A 16-inch 357 Mag or 44 Mag is a carbine, a 16-inch 45/70 is just a rifle to me, all be it a short rifle.

    What is the weight of a typical 16-inch 45/70? My M92 only weighs 5 lbs 7oz and I definitely would not want to shoot a gun that light in 45/70.
     
  14. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Those would technically be short rifles but obviously people are going to call them what they want.


    What about this .45Colt, carbine?

    [​IMG]

    Rifle?

    Browning-1886-45-70-GOVERNMENT_101035750_341_B11EF039DED03543.jpg
     
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  15. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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    So, a 760 Carbine in .308 isn't what you'd consider to be a carbine?
     
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  16. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    Look at it like this, you're taking a 5 mile walk thru the woods. What are you bringing, that knuckle dragger, or a handy, lightweight, little carbine ?
     
  17. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Again just for me, no I would not consider a 308 a carbine in any barrel length. That is a rifle for me and the ways I would use it. I also probably would not own a 308 in a barrel length short than 18-inch. I have shot short barrel 308 guns and they are rather obnoxious and pointless to me. A 12-inch 308 is too much bark for the bite.
     
  18. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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    I don't think a weapon being pointless precludes it from being a carbine. But I agree that a rifle can be a carbine even if not labeled as such by its manufacturer. I find this discussion interesting, because I assumed the term had a more universally accepted industry standard.
    Is a Gunsite Scout a carbine? A 77/357? A No.1 in .357? A Savage 99 with a 20" barrel? I like that my opinion is a valid definition.
     
  19. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  20. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I generally consider the label on the rifle to be the appropriate moniker for each. Personally, if I were naming a rifle or carbine of my own design, my perspective reflects a “carbine” is a lighter, faster handling version - such a short barrel is only one aspect of that design.

    Comparatively, I have a few legally defined Short Barreled Rifles, two of which I could point to as disparate examples of “carbine” and “short rifle” as well. One has a “rifle” stock (Utility/Battle Rifle) which ironically uses a “carbine” buffer and spring and is telescoping, but has a “midlength” handguard, and a “pistol” length gas system. It has 10.5” heavy contour barrel (national match profile) uppers in 5.56 and 6.8, and usually has a suppressor out front, and with the 4-16x44mm scope on top, I consider it a “rifle”. Alternatively, I have another SBR with a 12.5” lightweight barrel in 5.56 With “carbine” length gas and a 10.5” standard barrel in 458 Socom with “pistol” length gas - both with “midlength” handguards (not “Rifle” nor “carbine”). I originally had an A2 “rifle” stock on the lower, but then later changed to a “carbine” stock (CTR = Compact/Type Restricted, not “carbine,” but made to fit “carbine” receiver extensions). These uppers are the same length, or longer, than my “Short Rifle” described above, but certainly handle lighter and faster, such I consider it to be a “Carbine”.

    However, I believe it really is determined by whoever chooses the name for the model. While most agree these designers SHOULD use a “light and fast handling” standard for the “carbine” moniker, it’s obvious that not all do.

    As an example, consider the M1 Garand:

    583A388F-84D2-4295-84AB-C7744C6EB225.jpeg

    Both “rifles” when designed, with the short rifle version later marketed as “carbine,” “rifle,” or “Tanker,” depending upon who is selling it.

    9C33717F-6062-4F0F-A3E9-5F92AB5C5544.jpeg

    DE4528D8-E067-42BF-94DA-BB738CABD926.jpeg

    And of course, we see some oddities in there, such as the original “Tanker” which wasn’t a Tanker at all and conventionally called a “carbine” (maybe the only official Garand Carbine ever) - rather having been copied from a “paratrooper” model of another “carbine” (particularly for which, all configurations were called “Carbine”). Recognizing this M1E5 was a parallel effort which only slightly predated the T26 order, neither of which actually saw the light of day in battle. Followed below by a “Short Rifle” version which constituted a considerable redesign to reduce length, weight, and bulk to improve handling, but still garnering a “short rifle” moniker.

    53502BC9-E876-4CC2-863E-2A06F62AD2E5.jpeg
     
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  21. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    And this .357 magnum is the same size as that short .45-70.
    https://www.marlinfirearms.com/lever-action/model-1894/model-1894-cst
     
  22. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Agree the gun being pointless does not preclude a carbine definition, that was hyperbole from me. :) That being said I would not use a 12-inch 308 gun in the same way I would use say a 12-inch 300 BO. The use IMHO plays as big a role for what is a "carbine" to me as the size and weight. I am not saying that is or should be a hard definition.

    Despite what Marlin's website says I believe that the 1894 gun will be shorter than the 1895 if only buy an inch or so due to the difference in receiver length. Also it will be a half pound or more lighter for the same barrel length. Finally as I stated above its not a carbine IMHO due to I would not use 45/70 as a carbine but would a 357 Mag (despite my hate for 357 Mag).

    Again this is my definition/opinion. A carbine is a light, relatively short barreled, shoulder-fired weapon in a light to intermediate rifle cartridge or a pistol cartridge. I would not classify many guns over 16, maybe 18, inches as a carbine. I also would not classify many guns as carbine much over 7 lbs. The top end of the power spectrum would be roughly 7.62x39 or so. The big thing is the use for me. It has to be light and handy, easy into and out of the rack in the UTV or scabard on the tractor, in a cartridge that does not feel like massive overkill shooting a nope-rope or armadillo while still being sufficient for a coyote at modest ranges and the very unlikely chance of a two legged encounter that goes pear-shaped.

    To me the Win 92 with a 12-16 inch barrel in a pistol cartridge is a example of classic carbine. A 12-16 inch AR-15 in 300 BO, 556 ,6.6 Grendel, or 6.8 SPC is an excellent example of modern carbine.

    I realize there are a lot of ~20 inch guns labeled as a carbine and in their historic context I think they probably were but functionally for me that would feel more like rifles than a carbines.

    Clearly YMMV on this.
     
  23. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I as well would call them rifles.

    I'm reminded also of the Trapdoor Springfield... both the rifle and carbine versions were chamber for .45-70 (not called that at the time), but the Army issued two separate loads. The carbine load had, IIRC, 20grs less powder in the same case. There were different accuracy standards between rifle and carbine, too.

    With a modern levergun, we don't tend to make these distinctions. Depending on who we're talking about, we either load what we like and enjoy the shooting or try to act macho with too much recoil.
     
  24. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    I believe you are right on Marlin having a copy and paste webpage error on the length of the 1894 CST.

    I just measured my CSBL* which should be equivalent in size to the CST. Both guns being in .357 magnum.

    * 34" long and 6.75 pounds with the alloy scope rail and hardware taking up less than 2 oz. of that weight.
     
  25. whm1974

    whm1974 Member

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    Personally I don't see any difference between a Carbine and a Short rifle... Aside from a WWII M1 Carbine and a M1 Garand Tanker... Did the Tanker actually exist, or just something the sellers modified after the War?
     
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