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What is a carbine?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Big JJ, Jan 6, 2013.

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  1. Big JJ

    Big JJ Member

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    Carbines by definition are lighter and smaller than full sized rifles.
    However I have notices that carbines came in all shapes, weights and sizes.
    It seems to be a term that is loosely used to describe the rifles by the different manufacturers or the person we are talking to..
    I.E. one mfg my call there 18 inch barreled rifle a carbine and another mfg will call that a rifle.
    Some people will say that it is overall length that determines what it is.
    May question:
    Is there an industry wide standard for the definition of a carbine?
     
  2. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    not really. try not to lose sleep over it :)
     
  3. Auto426

    Auto426 Member

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    Some firearm terms are just not clearly defined. Carbine is one of those. Another is battle rifle. You just have to live with it.
     
  4. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    carbine (n.)
    1580s, from French carabine, used of light horsemen and also of the weapon they carried, perhaps from Medieval Latin Calabrinus "Calabrian" (i.e., "rifle made in Calabria").
     
  5. Brockak47

    Brockak47 Member

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    In my opinion I think a carbine is a rifle with the following features: short(er) barrel with a magazine to hold the rounds in an intermediate caliber.
     
  6. 303tom

    303tom member

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    A carbine is a intermediate rifle & intermediate cartridge............
     
  7. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    A carbine is a short barrel rifle of a full power round or a lesser round.
     
  8. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    carbine (n.)
    1580s, from French carabine, used of light horsemen and also of the weapon they carried, perhaps from Medieval Latin Calabrinus "Calabrian" (i.e., "rifle made in Calabria").
     
  9. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Well back when the 'carbine' was invented the average infantry rifle was 4 or 5 feet long.

    3 feet of rifle probably felt like a sawed off shotgun to those who first got to carry them.
     
  10. dvdcrr

    dvdcrr member

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    There really is no set def. It's a changing standard.
    A carbine can be intermediate or full power cartridge but barrel length can vary. As late as 60 years ago some carbines were 24"
     
  11. Ar180shooter

    Ar180shooter Member

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    ^^^

    Yep. The first thing that comes to my mind is the M44.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. mac66

    mac66 Member

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    A carbine is a descriptive term for a shorter version of a rifle. It can be any length, caliber or configuration. There are no set parameters of specifications.
     
  13. Big JJ

    Big JJ Member

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    You guys are just as confused or knowledgeable as I am.
    mac66 has the same definition that I got out of Webster's dic.
    I think I will take taliv's advice in post #2.
    Thanks for all the advice
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    We had a great little eddy of thread drift on this exact subject a few months back: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=8265705

    My comments:

     
  15. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    In the U.S. service, carbines were traditionally shorter, lighter weapons issued to cavalrymen. For example, there were both long versions (for the infantry) and carbine versions (for the cavalry) of the Trapdoor Springfields and the Krags. The M1903 Springfield, an intermediate-length weapon, was adopted to fill both roles, and was given an extra-long bayonet to make up for the lack of length compared to the long Krag infantry rifle. The WWII M1 carbine, really a glorified pistol, was a different concept entirely.
     
  16. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    Once we all agree on how to say the word we can start to work on defining it.
     
  17. a-sheepdog

    a-sheepdog Member

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    When I think "carbine", I think of a standard rifle that has been reworked with a shorter barrel and maybe a bit lighter.
     
  18. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    In my opinion, Alexander has done the best definition of defining it : a rifle of shorter barrel length intended for use by cavalry or ancillary troops. Of course, that has changed...
     
  19. Jaws

    Jaws Member

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    The Ak-47 is not defined as rifle by the Russians. Nor is it called a carbine. It's called "Avtomat" just like the PPSh-41. That's the the role the AK-47 was designed for.
     
  20. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Car-bine (car as in vehicle; bine rhymes with line, as in fishing line). Now I'm curious. How else might someone possibly try to say it? Rhyming it with carbon? Ridiculous.
     
  21. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

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    This.
     
  22. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    No, it is a very subjective term. It may just be a short version of a "rifle" or perhaps not so simple. In the case of lever action rifles, the devil is in the details. Rifles and carbines are differentiated by certain features and barrel length is for the most part irrelevant. Rifles have crescent or shotgun buttplates, forend caps, dovetailed magazine hangers and can have either a round, octagon or half round/half octagon barrel. They can also have pistol grip stocks, button, half or full length magazines. Carbines have a carbine specific buttplate, a forend band and barrel band magazine retention. Barrels are always round and there is often a saddle ring, though they were available on both. Magazines are typically full length. A rifle with a 20" or shorter barrel is typically called a "short rifle". So it is possible for a "rifle" to have a barrel shorter than a carbine, which may be as long as 20".

    This Cimarron pic is the most descriptive. Note the 20" "short rifle" and the 19" carbine.
    [​IMG]


    KAR-bēēn.
     
  23. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Tomorrow I'm gonna walk into Academy and ask to see an ARE ONE FIVE or an ACK FOUR SEVEN. Maybe even a shiny new ONE NINE ONE ONE.
     
  24. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    The PP in PPSh is Pistolet-pulemet (Пистоле́т-пулемёт).

    Machine Pistol (designed by Shpagin) (adopted) 1941.

    "Автомат" means simply "machine" and the Rooskies argue among themselves about what precisely that means, but it is usually considered synonymous with "assault rifle" in the proper, select fire, intermediate cartridge sense.

    http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Автомат_(оружие)


    ...and I've got a couple East German manuals around here someplace for something called a "Karabiner AKM" ;)
     
  25. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    The difference between a rifle and a carbine was fairly clear-cut on up through the Korean war. After that, things started changing.

    Rifles, generally, had barrels of 24" or longer. Carbines had barrels of 20" or less.

    In the 1960s, arms makers who catered to both the military and the civilian markets began producing all manner of "long guns" with barrels from "real short" to "full length". The result in today's world is that for modern production, there is no clear-cut definition.
     
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