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Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by lonniew09, Sep 14, 2010.
please try and be kind. can someone please explain the difference between a carbine and a rifle.
A carbine has a shorter barrel. "Short" is a relative term depending on what era the weapon comes from. Earlier weapons classified as "carbines" had barrels longer than many weapons of today classified as "rifles".
Example: an M16A1 has a 20" barrel and is considered a rifle. A M98k has a 23.62" barrel and in it's prime it was considered fairly short.
My personal definitions: A carbine is essentially a short rifle. I define a carbine as a shoulder weapon with a short barrel that fires a handgun round or a reduced-power rifle round. If it fires a full-power rifle round, then it is a rifle or a short rifle and not a carbine.
A Model 1892 Winchester firing the .45 Colt round is a carbine. A Model 1895 Winchester is a rifle unless it has a barrel that is 24 inches or shorter, then it's a short rifle. An 1873 Winchester in .44 WCF (.44-40) is either a rifle or a short rifle, because the .44 WCF was developed specifically for that rifle and therefore is not a handgun round (despite its use in some SA and DA revolvers).
An AR-15/M-16 is a carbine. An AK-47 is a carbine. They both fire reduced-power rifle rounds.
Any rim fire shoulder weapon with a barrel equal to or greater than 22 inches is a rifle; under that, it's a carbine.
These are just my arrogant, personal opinions. YMMV.
Comes from the French. Carabin, IIRC. Meant a soldier on horseback with a musket. For ease in handling while mounted, those usually had the barrels shortened. Name for the soldier became name for the firearm.