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Define Carbine??

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mopar92, Feb 8, 2011.

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  1. mopar92

    mopar92 Member

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    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...
     
  2. SOUTHPAW

    SOUTHPAW Member

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    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.
     
  3. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    20" and longer ARs are considered rifles. At least the M16 is by our military.
     
  4. FourteenMiles

    FourteenMiles Member

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    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.
     
  5. txhoghunter

    txhoghunter Member

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    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
     
  6. Dr T

    Dr T Member

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    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.
     
  7. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    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.
     
  8. henschman

    henschman Member

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    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!
     
  9. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    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.
     
  10. Bearhands

    Bearhands Member

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  11. Jon_Snow

    Jon_Snow Member

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    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.
     
  12. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    A carbine refers to a shorter version of an existing design. That's all.
     
  13. henschman

    henschman Member

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    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.
     
  14. CCCP

    CCCP Member

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    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
     
  15. henschman

    henschman Member

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    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.
     
  16. john5036

    john5036 Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  17. mc223

    mc223 Member

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    I just love these kinds of threads. There is such diversity in the answers.:what:
     
  18. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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

    merlinfire Member

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    Agreed, that's an interesting hypothesis.
     
  20. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    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.
     
  21. chuckfw

    chuckfw Member

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    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.
     
  22. roadchoad

    roadchoad Member

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    Chuck, that would limit carbines to being almost all SBRs, as 16" is the shortest you can go without getting into NFA territory.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  23. mopar92

    mopar92 Member

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    I still have no idea what a Carbine is! Haha
     
  24. mc223

    mc223 Member

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    The Wikipedia Definition is long winded but concise.
     
  25. john5036

    john5036 Member

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    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.
     
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