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Q:
what is the differnces bewteen a carbine barrel and a regular barrel? is it better for shooting at short ranges or is it better at longer ranges? why exactly did they make them?

Question by kevkais_24@hotm.... Uploaded on February 19, 2009

Answers (17)

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from HillbillyDeluxe wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Typically, a carbine barrel is shorter and is for closer range shots. A longer barrel provides more accuracy at a longer range, but can slow the muzzle velocity if it is too long. For example: In WWII, the Russians produced 2 guns. One was the M44 and the other was the M91/30. They were virtually the same gun, however, The M91/30 had an extra 4" on the barrel. The M44 carbine was given mostly to ground troops and the M91/30 was given mostly to sharp-shooters and snipers.

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from Ziggy4334 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

The carbine muzzle break allows for the shock of the bullet leaving the barrel, which is rifled, to be halted momentarily and therfore making the exit easier. The rifling on a longer barrel will allow the bullet to twist inside a longer distance, which slightly inproves accuracy because of the circular motion the rifling creates on the bullet when the gun is fired. Conversely, a muzzlebreak also makes the gun louder, because the bullet must first allow it's energy to be dissipated inside the break itself, which can be cumbersome and not good for long-distance hunters. Longer barrels typically are better in most applications, however, because of overall performance.

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from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Accuracy not withstanding carbines are lighter, shorter and quicker handling than their regular length barrel brethren. This makes them better for hunting if you travel a lot on foot or hunt in thick cover.

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from kevkais_24@hotm... wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

so if im shooting at short ranges with brush , like doing drives, but then i want the knock down power up to 250 yards away could a 270 still be able to do that?

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from Christian Emter wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Carbines are used for closer shots.

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from texasfirst wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

There is a common misperception with modern rifled firearms that the longer the barrel, the more accurate the round somehow. Many factors affect round accuracy, but barrel length beyond 18 inches is not one of them. In other words, the M4 .223 carbine, a shortened version of the M16 .223 service rifle in today's US military, is just as accurate as the M16. Difference is what Golfing Sportsman said as far as HANDLING goes. Carbines are a much easier handling weapon. But round is much more important when figuring carbines: the .30 carbine was a piece of junk compared to the .30-06 rifle in World War II and Korea.

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from streack wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

From your hunting rifle, the only thing that is going to suffer from having a shorter barrel will be velocity, in most instances.

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from Charley wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

The carbine is shorter for easier handling. The Winchester 94 carbine was made to be easier to draw from a saddle boot. But, with the shorter barrel, I have still shot coyotes out to 200 yards with the 30-30.

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Conventional wisdom classes a carbine as a shoulder weapon with a barrel measuring 20 inches or less and, as other shooters have noted, that shorter barrel (providing shorter overall length) provides faster handling and less of an encumbrance in dense brush. Your rifle choice should be based or rooted in the terrain in which you prefer or intend to hunt.
Try walking through some undergrowth with a 24 or 26-inch barrel, and no matter how closely you hold the rifle to your body, that tube is going to be as unwieldy as a fishing pole in the foliage.
You give for what you get: a shorter barrel will sacrifice some velocity in rifle cartridges, and the sight radius will be shorter. You must decide if either of these considerations will matter where and how you hunt.
If you choose a carbine, an intelligent choice for thick woods and shorter distances, choose a cartridge that will burn much of its powder in that shorter tube. Simply reducing barrel length will not provide you with a handy carbine. A shooter asked his gunsmith to cut four inches off his 7mm Rem Mag, and the result was a perceptible increase in "boom" and a cutting torch flame of still-burning powder erupting from his muzzle. He doesn't seem to notice it (and wouldn't admit it if he did), but his rifle probably performs no better ballistically than a .280 Rem with a 22 or 24-inch barrel.
If you require a rifle of handy overall length but every inch of barrel or every foot-per-second of velocity is important to you, then you may want to consider a single-shot firearm with a short receiver (e.g., the Ruger #1 or #3, the Winchester High Wall, and others) that will provide you with two more inches of barrel for the same overall length as a bolt action of similar chambering.
Good hunting, and I hope whatever you choose serves you well.

A friend is a crack-shot with his lever action and bolt action carbines, one of the best instinctive hunters I've ever met, and four additional inches of barrel seems to affect his movement, or negatively affects his shooting style.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

kev, A word to the wise, I'd eliminate your e-mail address from your ID

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from Bigbuck14 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Carbien barrels are better for short range like woodzy areas

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from jbird wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Kev, a 270 is very capable of 250 yd. shots, and with an adjustable scope, works fine in the brushy stuff too. I've used the same 270 for 17 seasons straight, and it's dropped deer dead in almost every possible scenario. Before that, my Grandpa used the same gun to do the same thing for 40 years!

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from RyanDilley7 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I believe carbine barrels are shorter so, they are better for short range.

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from rudyglove27 wrote 4 years 1 week ago

Agreed with Edward J. Palumbo answer above and A + 1 for you sir!!!

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from Andrew Darrohn wrote 30 weeks 4 hours ago

14+ inches is considered a rifle. Somebody said that an M4 is AS accurate as an M16, A1,A2,A3, or A4 despite having a shorter barrel length. That's completely false. The M16 IS more consistently accurate. Of course there are variables such as the operator and the the actual rounds being used, but saying that the M4 is AS accurate is false. The M16 has a greater point target accuracy at 500 meters making it, in fact, more accurate than an M4. If you were to take a machine and fire these weapons at identical targets from the exact same range, you would see a difference in results beyond about 400 meters.

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from Andrew Darrohn wrote 30 weeks 4 hours ago

Anything beyond 500 meters is considered "plunging" fire, so if you're making that type of shot, there are many other things to worry about beyond the length of your barrel. Ultimately, the difference in the M16 and the M4 is going to go unnoticed unless you're sitting on the range taking a series of long shots.

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from Andrew Darrohn wrote 30 weeks 4 hours ago

to be honest, a couple inches on your rifle barrel is not going to make your or break you unless your selected target exceeds 800 ft or more. That's a pretty good shot...and the difference in accuracy isn't going to be in your barrel or cause you to miss as long as you made a good shot in the first place.

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from HillbillyDeluxe wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Typically, a carbine barrel is shorter and is for closer range shots. A longer barrel provides more accuracy at a longer range, but can slow the muzzle velocity if it is too long. For example: In WWII, the Russians produced 2 guns. One was the M44 and the other was the M91/30. They were virtually the same gun, however, The M91/30 had an extra 4" on the barrel. The M44 carbine was given mostly to ground troops and the M91/30 was given mostly to sharp-shooters and snipers.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Conventional wisdom classes a carbine as a shoulder weapon with a barrel measuring 20 inches or less and, as other shooters have noted, that shorter barrel (providing shorter overall length) provides faster handling and less of an encumbrance in dense brush. Your rifle choice should be based or rooted in the terrain in which you prefer or intend to hunt.
Try walking through some undergrowth with a 24 or 26-inch barrel, and no matter how closely you hold the rifle to your body, that tube is going to be as unwieldy as a fishing pole in the foliage.
You give for what you get: a shorter barrel will sacrifice some velocity in rifle cartridges, and the sight radius will be shorter. You must decide if either of these considerations will matter where and how you hunt.
If you choose a carbine, an intelligent choice for thick woods and shorter distances, choose a cartridge that will burn much of its powder in that shorter tube. Simply reducing barrel length will not provide you with a handy carbine. A shooter asked his gunsmith to cut four inches off his 7mm Rem Mag, and the result was a perceptible increase in "boom" and a cutting torch flame of still-burning powder erupting from his muzzle. He doesn't seem to notice it (and wouldn't admit it if he did), but his rifle probably performs no better ballistically than a .280 Rem with a 22 or 24-inch barrel.
If you require a rifle of handy overall length but every inch of barrel or every foot-per-second of velocity is important to you, then you may want to consider a single-shot firearm with a short receiver (e.g., the Ruger #1 or #3, the Winchester High Wall, and others) that will provide you with two more inches of barrel for the same overall length as a bolt action of similar chambering.
Good hunting, and I hope whatever you choose serves you well.

A friend is a crack-shot with his lever action and bolt action carbines, one of the best instinctive hunters I've ever met, and four additional inches of barrel seems to affect his movement, or negatively affects his shooting style.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Accuracy not withstanding carbines are lighter, shorter and quicker handling than their regular length barrel brethren. This makes them better for hunting if you travel a lot on foot or hunt in thick cover.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kevkais_24@hotm... wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

so if im shooting at short ranges with brush , like doing drives, but then i want the knock down power up to 250 yards away could a 270 still be able to do that?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Christian Emter wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Carbines are used for closer shots.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from streack wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

From your hunting rifle, the only thing that is going to suffer from having a shorter barrel will be velocity, in most instances.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Charley wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

The carbine is shorter for easier handling. The Winchester 94 carbine was made to be easier to draw from a saddle boot. But, with the shorter barrel, I have still shot coyotes out to 200 yards with the 30-30.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

kev, A word to the wise, I'd eliminate your e-mail address from your ID

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bigbuck14 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Carbien barrels are better for short range like woodzy areas

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Kev, a 270 is very capable of 250 yd. shots, and with an adjustable scope, works fine in the brushy stuff too. I've used the same 270 for 17 seasons straight, and it's dropped deer dead in almost every possible scenario. Before that, my Grandpa used the same gun to do the same thing for 40 years!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RyanDilley7 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I believe carbine barrels are shorter so, they are better for short range.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rudyglove27 wrote 4 years 1 week ago

Agreed with Edward J. Palumbo answer above and A + 1 for you sir!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ziggy4334 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

The carbine muzzle break allows for the shock of the bullet leaving the barrel, which is rifled, to be halted momentarily and therfore making the exit easier. The rifling on a longer barrel will allow the bullet to twist inside a longer distance, which slightly inproves accuracy because of the circular motion the rifling creates on the bullet when the gun is fired. Conversely, a muzzlebreak also makes the gun louder, because the bullet must first allow it's energy to be dissipated inside the break itself, which can be cumbersome and not good for long-distance hunters. Longer barrels typically are better in most applications, however, because of overall performance.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from texasfirst wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

There is a common misperception with modern rifled firearms that the longer the barrel, the more accurate the round somehow. Many factors affect round accuracy, but barrel length beyond 18 inches is not one of them. In other words, the M4 .223 carbine, a shortened version of the M16 .223 service rifle in today's US military, is just as accurate as the M16. Difference is what Golfing Sportsman said as far as HANDLING goes. Carbines are a much easier handling weapon. But round is much more important when figuring carbines: the .30 carbine was a piece of junk compared to the .30-06 rifle in World War II and Korea.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Andrew Darrohn wrote 30 weeks 4 hours ago

14+ inches is considered a rifle. Somebody said that an M4 is AS accurate as an M16, A1,A2,A3, or A4 despite having a shorter barrel length. That's completely false. The M16 IS more consistently accurate. Of course there are variables such as the operator and the the actual rounds being used, but saying that the M4 is AS accurate is false. The M16 has a greater point target accuracy at 500 meters making it, in fact, more accurate than an M4. If you were to take a machine and fire these weapons at identical targets from the exact same range, you would see a difference in results beyond about 400 meters.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Andrew Darrohn wrote 30 weeks 4 hours ago

Anything beyond 500 meters is considered "plunging" fire, so if you're making that type of shot, there are many other things to worry about beyond the length of your barrel. Ultimately, the difference in the M16 and the M4 is going to go unnoticed unless you're sitting on the range taking a series of long shots.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Andrew Darrohn wrote 30 weeks 4 hours ago

to be honest, a couple inches on your rifle barrel is not going to make your or break you unless your selected target exceeds 800 ft or more. That's a pretty good shot...and the difference in accuracy isn't going to be in your barrel or cause you to miss as long as you made a good shot in the first place.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer