Graf & SonsTitan ReloadingMidSouth Shooters SupplyInline Fabrication
StainLess Steel MediaLee PrecisionRepackboxRotoMetals2
Wideners
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Rifle or carbine which is which

  1. #1
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    SW Pa.
    Posts
    1,812

    Rifle or carbine which is which

    Ok so an AR15 with a 20" barrel is called a rifle 16 or less called a carbine . Then there's guns like 1894 winchesters 20" barrel called a carbine . So when does a rifle stop being a rifle and start being called a carbine ? Just a random question that's been bouncing around in my head today .
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy

    Omega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Clarksville, TN
    Posts
    851
    My AR has a 10.5" barrel and they call it a pistol
    "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."
    ~Pericles~

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in SE PA
    Posts
    8,999

    Rifle or carbine which is which

    There is no hard rule. Typically a carbine is a shorter version of an existing rifle. Nowadays it usually means a compact gun that’s light. Like I said, no exact definition.

    The AR becomes confusing due to gas length. You can have barrels of the same length w/ either carbine/mid or mid/rifle length gas systems. And the there’s the pistol length gas system. When you hear “carbine” and “AR” they’re usually talking about the gas system.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,623
    no days it seems anything 18" and shorter is called a carbine, and longer a rifle. honestly it changes over time , and location. wasnt all that long ago when a bolt action military rifle with a 24" barrel was considered a carbine.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in SE PA
    Posts
    8,999
    Quote Originally Posted by lefty o View Post
    no days it seems anything 18" and shorter is called a carbine, and longer a rifle.
    I’d say it depends on the platform. A Marlin 1894C has an 18.5” barrel and you find many saying it’s not a carbine. Maybe 18” is +-1”?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    over the hill, out in the woods and far away
    Posts
    6,099
    Originally a carbine was a shorter rifle suited for carry by cavalry or dragoons on horseback, whereas a longer rifle with long bayonet which could reach a mounted rider on horseback from the ground was use by the infantry.

    After horse cavalry went out of fashion, most armies adopted a common-length of shorter rifle, having a barrel length of about 24 inches. Some armies, notably the Russians, kept their long rifles.

    About the time of WW2 the need was recognized for a more compact arm which was easier for motorized infantry to use getting into and out of vehicles. The US M1 carbine was envisioned as a replacement for the .45 pistol for personal defense by truck drivers, Navy construction btns., ammo bearers for crew served weapons, etc.

    But it is also true that in some languages carabine or carabino is loosely used to describe any military rifle.

    In northern Italy the M1 Garand is popularly referred to as il carabino di liberazione
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    SW Pa.
    Posts
    1,812
    Thank you for that very informative post Mr Outpost .
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    5,591
    To me, a carbine has a maximum barrel length of twenty inches. But that's just me.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    139
    Winchester goes with the "shorter version of an existing rifle" definition. Winchester 94's with 20" barrels are carbines because the standard barrel length for the 94 rifle was around 26". But that can be confusing as times change. I have several examples of Winchester 1895 Saddle Ring "Carbines", all of them have 22" barrels and are just as long as my bolt action RIFLES with 22" barrels.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    munising Michigan
    Posts
    14,033
    heck Winchester calls its 22inch 1886 a carbine. A carbine is just a manufactures shorter version of the same gun in rifle length. If they make a 30 inch rifle they can call a 26 inch gun a carbine if they want.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    2,870
    Why would it matter?
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    over the hill, out in the woods and far away
    Posts
    6,099
    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    heck Winchester calls its 22inch 1886 a carbine. A carbine is just a manufactures shorter version of the same gun in rifle length. If they make a 30 inch rifle they can call a 26 inch gun a carbine if they want.

    The Finns did the same thing, the 31" M24 being based on the Russian 1891.
    The 27" M27 was meant originally for cavalry, bicycle and ski troops but by the 1930s production of the M24 long rifles was discontinued and most Russian captures were converted to the 27" M27 or M28 patterns and that length "stuck" with new production of the M28/30 and the M39 short rifles.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check