Just what is a " Carbine " ?

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by justsomeguy, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy New Member

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    I have heard the term thrown around a lot and i have even looked it up on the web but i dont seem to get the realityt from the definition. I have set my male ego aside and hopefully i can figure this out once and for all.
  2. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

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    Typically means a rifle with a barrel of 20" or less, or a model from a manufacturer with a barrel shorter than their standard rifle.
  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Originally a carbine was a shorter-barreled version of a rifle. Supposedly the name comes from the French word for cavalry, or maybe the name of the French cavalry, since it is obviously easier to load and fire a short (maybe 30" barrel) muzzle-loading rifle from the back of a horse than it is the full-size one (maybe 50" barrel).

    Generally, nowadays, it just means a shorter version of the full-size rifle, but there are a few exceptions.

    The M1 Carbine, of WW2 and Korea fame, not only is much smaller than the M1 rifle, but it also fires a different cartridge.

    The Trapdoor Springfield, of our Indian Wars. While both the rifle and carbine are chambered for the same round, they made special "carbine loads" for the carbine, since it, being smaller, was also lighter, and the full-power "rifle loads" were beating the soldiers up. The rifle load used a 500 grain bullet on top of 70 grains of powder, while the "carbine load" used only 50 grains of powder, and I believe it also used a smaller, 405 grain bullet.

    The Winchester lever actions. They shoot the same cartridge, but there is much design difference between the "rifle" and the "carbine". Style of barrel is different. Method of attachment of forearm and magazine tube is different. Shape of buttstock is different.
  4. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy New Member

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    Hey thanks a lot for the clairification.
  5. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    In addition to cavalry, mounted police units in remote areas were generally issued carbines, so that in some languages, the term for such police became a version of "carbine carrier", as in the Italian "carabiniere." Often the term has been used long after the mounted units became part of a national or local police force.

    Jim
  7. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy New Member

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    Hey thaks a lot everyone.
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