OT Question (Mikke?)

(as Mikke seem to be our most expert “sniper”)

Question: What is the technical difference between a “rifle” and a “carabine”?
The US caliber .30 rifle of the US Army and Marines in WW2 is always named “carabine”, while others like the Enfield series or the AK47 are named “rifle”. Why? Is it a synonimous or not?

Thanks in advance… :slight_smile:

Hy Bear, I take the liberty (and risc :wink: ) of giving a reaction on your question,

“Rifle” is used as a general term for all 2 hand operated bullet firing fire arms with a butt.

But the term is also used in a more specific way to indicate long barelled long distance firing fire arms (lets say >300 m).

In the past, the normal soldiers rifle, being long and heavy, triggered the nead for a more manageable weapon. This resulted in the carabine. The carabine is basically a light, less powerfull, rifle with shortened barrel for use in more cramped environments and at shorter distances with often a higher rate of fire. Often with ligther cartridges so the gun is easier to fire because of less kick back, and you can carry more ammo.

For army use the carabine and the rifle were replaced by the assault rifle which you can have with long (i.e. for infantry) and short (i.e. for drivers) barrel and normal or shortened butt. Snipers still carry “real” rifles.

Nowadays the term carabine is somewhat oldfashioned and is not used with modern handweapons (as far as I know) . In any case, over here the short assualt rifle is never called “carabine” But in other countries that can be different of course :rolleyes:. .


Thanks! :slight_smile:

My question comes from looking at WW2 pictures where the Cal. 33 is always referred as “carabin”

Nowadays as far as I can see “real” rifles are used only by snipers.
(i.e. the amazing Dragunov - See [b][u]HERE[/u][/b] )

On the other hand I believe today infantry troopers are equipped with so-called “assult rifle”, as evolution of the glorious AK47 and AR15 / M16

You also have whats refered to as “battle rifle”, this is generally rifles using heavier rounds, like the 7.62mm NATO, instead of the 5.56mm.

The H&K G-3 is a battle rifle, while the M-16 is an assault rifle.


OT question time goodie

I have a round flat black disc with a hole in the middle. Is this a record?


Talking about sniper rifles…
I’m myself a recreational shooter and I have had many opportunities to shoot the Dragunov SVD (7,62 mm).
It’s a magnificent sniper which packs a terrific punch.
It’s semi-auto but I can assure you that it’s practically impossible to tap several shots in a row…
Unless you’re a Spetznaz;) , it’s basically impossible to shoot it standing up straight and hiting anything:eek:



Rifles, the old 7.62 SLR was the best I fired, the SA80 is like a pop gun next to it.
Most accurate, the old Le Enfield .303, deadly and great over the long ranges at Pirbright and Bisley.

Ming, as for black with a hole in the middle, is it a fruit Polo?

A record? Whats that?:bootyshk:

Found it :banana::woohoo:


a thin plastic disc used as a recording medium for reproducing music or other sound."

I have had the opertunity to fire countless rifles and MG’s and the worse was the SLR, damn has that thing got a kick…damn near dislocates your shoulder when you fire it:roflmao:

Carbines were originally issued to cavalry and were more in the fashion of long-barrelled pistols than short rifles (or muskets).

Ah, short-nosed Lee Enflields…:slight_smile:

get the right butt size and it was awesome, stopped anything in its tracks, not like these modern pop guns…
“Eyyyy, when I were a lad…”

get the right butt size

Swiss Tony agrees, a carbine is like a woman and this rifling sounds a bit painful

We were eating chicken in an Italian restaurant (is there any other sort) and I asked the waiter what cacciatora meant. He said “Something to do wiv hunting?”

Cacciatora = catch. Isn’t that neat.

Also there’s the German Jabo. Which is our English boxing jab, punch, strike

See we’re all talking the same language. Croatian.

What was the question again


Well, the question about difference between rifle and carbine have been answered.

Remains the question specifically about WW2 US guns. The fun thing here is that the used two guns named M1 (actually more, but that’s drifting from the theme), the M1 rifle (aka Garand) and the M1 carbine.
The rifle was intended and used as a main battle rifle, to engage targets up to long distances, the carbine was intended as a weapon for self defence for rear echelon personell that wasn’t actually supposed to fight, but who nonetheless could need a weapon. In reality the carbine was frequentually brought to fights intentionally as well.
Apart from the big difference in size, the two weapons also shoot very different rounds, the rifle shoots the .30-06, a full power round that for example is pretty common in Sweden on moose. The .30 carbine is a rather weak round, in hunting terms not suitable for much more then roe deer which is much smaller then a moose (or a human for that matter).

Btw, Italy have used the M1 Garand, Beretta made a slightly modified version as the BM-59.

As far as I remember, US Marines in Pacific theatre very often used M1 carabine (as well as Thompson machine gun), whilw I saw more often Garand rifle in Europe pictures. Airborne used a modified .30 with folding buttstock.

Her are some pics of the Beretta stuff:

[b][u]501 Sniper (nowadays)[/u][/b])

[b][u]BM59 (derivated from US Garand)[/u][/b]

As a former soldier I don’t relly like the term “real rifle”. Its question of the right tool for job. The harder it is to master a weapon the longer the training time. There are locations in the world where a heavier weapon (I mean round) can justified due to the range. But since most engagements takes place at less than 200m a smaller and more controllable weapon is prefered.

And remember, soldiers don’t hunt moose, they hunt men :wink:


“He who fights with monsters might take care, lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss also gases into you.”

  • Frederich William Nietzsche

The reason for a more powerful round (in military terms) is not only range, but also terminal effect and the possibility to engage targets behind cover.

During the Korea war the M1 carbine got a bad reputation when it didn’t work against heavily clothed north Korea/Chinese soldiers. Some of the reports was probably overblown (as commonly happens in the confusion of battle), but there was definetly substance behind the complaints. So while the M1 Carbine is a handy (even cute :D) weapon, it’s by no means a battle rifle.
The reason that it might have been used more in the pacific theatre compared to in europe can have several explanations, it’s easier to carry (more important if you suffer from unusual heat and humidity), the opponents is not only wearing different types of clothes, but is also (generally) built differently, and the ranges can also be different.

For myself, I’m pretty happy to be issued a automatic carbine in the good old 7.62x51/7.62 Nato, and hunting with a short and light bolt rifle in .308 Winchester (the 308 Win and 7.62 Nato is basically the same round). :slight_smile: