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Difference Between Carbine and Rifle

Main Difference

We may know the general difference between two kinds of weapons, but a lot more goes through within their system and working to draw a conclusion on how they operate themselves. The two items getting discussed in this article are carbine and rifle, weapons that have become lethal in their way. This article looks at the differences between them and the main variation among them is that a firearm that has a long arm when compared to others but has a shorter barrel gets known as a carbine. Whereas a weapon, especially the one fired from shoulder level, having a long spirally grooved barrel for firing bullet gets referred to as a rifle.

Comparison Chart

Basis of DistinctionCarbineRifle
DefinitionA firearm that has a long arm when compared to others but has a shorter barrel.A weapon fired from shoulder level, having a long spirally grooved barrel for the purpose of making a bullet spin.
AccuracyHave less accuracy over a long distance.Have greater accuracy over a long distance.
SizeA barrel with the size of fewer than 20 inches.A barrel with the size of more than 20 inches.
UtilizationShort-range firing, secret missions, and permanent residencies.Wars, long-lasting activities that require proper ammunition and fast speeds.
WorkingFires one bullet at a time.Fires several rounds of bullets at one time.
WeightLess than rifleMore than carbine

Carbine

Carbine gets defined as a firearm that has a long arm when compared to others but has a shorter barrel. They are lighter in weight and have a size much smaller than another weapon. Therefore, it becomes easy to handle them over long distances and use them without any problems. Because of the reason mentioned here, such arms mostly get utilized by soldiers who operate in extreme operations such as paratroopers and special army operators. Such weapons also become available for the officials who do not have to participate in wars and have secondary uses of things that are not much related. But when the conditions become severe such as frontline at war, then carbines become useful as they have weights much smaller and load quickly. The word originated as “carabiniers,” from the French word carabine, it also has come relevance from the Old French word carabin, that means soldier armed with a musket. It mostly gets assumed that this term came from escarrabin, gravedigger, which derives from scarabee, scarab beetle. Initially, they got developed because most soldiers had to travel on horses and did not have the capacity to keep bigger guns with them, although they were made for such purposes in the cavalry, the action did not go successfully since the ride was unstable. Such weapons had frequent use in the world wars and took over the role from bigger guns in areas where the war just ended or army needed to stay for a longer time to make arrangements.

Rifle

Rifle gets defined as a weapon, especially the one fired from shoulder level, having a long spirally grooved barrel for the purpose of making a bullet spin and thereby have greater accuracy over a long distance. Helical grooves are present on the barrel, the areas that get raised from the other parts get known as lands, and get in touch with the projectile. This action helps in making the spin around the axis according to the movement of the weapons. The process of operating such a gun is complicated when we compare with others but has a range that is much more. Bullet present within the weapon comes out because of the deflagration of the explosive compound, which initially was a black power and later changed to cordite. In the modern guns, the power used is nitrocellulose, but other stuff such as compressed air also comes in handy. Initially, the guns made were for the purpose of firing one bullet from with one trigger pull but with time developments took place and the modern version have the capacity of firing one round of shots within few seconds. This action has led to its use in wars and other operations that require more ammunition and rated as important. Most of the countries have developed their versions, but the most famous ones still belong to Russia. The first war of the 20th century between Russia and Japan had such weapons used for the first time, and the world got to see the potential of these hazardous arms.

Key Differences

  1. Weapons that have a barrel with the size of more than 20 inches get known as rifles, on the other hand, weapons that have a barrel with the size of fewer than 20 inches get known as carbines.
  2. Carbine gets defined as a firearm that has a long arm when compared to others but has a shorter barrel. On the other hand, Rifle gets defined as a weapon, especially the one fired from shoulder level, having a long spirally grooved barrel for the purpose of making a bullet spin and thereby have greater accuracy over a long distance.
  3. The weight of carbine is less than that of a rifle due to variations in the sizes.
  4. Rifles become useful for wars and other long-lasting activities that require proper ammunition and fast speeds whereas carbines come in handy when for purposes such as short-range firing, secret missions, and permanent residencies.
  5. The primary goal of developing carbines was to have a weapon that becomes useful while moving on a horse whereas the principal aim of the rifle was to have improved armament for warfare.
  6. A Carbine fires one bullet at one time in a conventional tool whereas the rifle can fire several rounds of bullets at one time.
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss