A rifle leaning against a tree in the forest

What Is the Difference Between a Carbine and a Rifle?


If you're looking for a long gun, you might be unsure whether to pick a carbine or a rifle. Despite the widespread confusion between these two guns, they actually differ greatly from one another. In this blog, we will discuss the distinctions between a carbine and a rifle in order to help you decide which is best for you.


What Is a Rifle?


A person wearing yellow aiming the rifle and looking through the eye hole

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A rifle/assault rifle is a long-barrelled gun with a spiral groove or rifled barrel that causes the bullet to spin as it moves to the target. These guns are intended to be used for precision shooting and are often utilized for sport and hunting.

Rifle rounds are bigger and more powerful than pistol cartridges. Certain models even include telescopic sights for increased accuracy. These firearms could include semi-automatic, bolt-action, lever-action, and pump-action models. Additionally, there are also specially designed infantry rifles with full-length barrels such as the FAL, M16, and G3 that are optimized for accuracy.


What Is a Carbine?

 A man in military holding a carbine/ rifle

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A carbine/ rifle carbine is a type of rifle that stores rounds of ammunition in a magazine. These guns are frequently used by members of the armed forces and police forces, as well as by hunters and target shooters. There are several different calibers of carbines, including both common and uncommon cartridges.

Carbines can vary greatly in size and weight depending on the type. They have a number of advantages over conventional rifles, including better handling and more maneuverability. These guns are a good option for close-quarters combat since they can often be reloaded more quickly than rifles. A lot of times, they also use the same ammunition as a rifle.


The Invention of the Carbine

 A man holding a carbine rifle near his eye and pointing out

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Carbines are essentially modified short-barreled rifles that are lighter and smaller than conventional rifles. In the past, when cavalries were frequently used in wars, it proved difficult for soldiers mounted on horses to aim in close combat or even handle long-barreled guns such as rifles. As a result, a short-barrel rifle known as a carbine was invented.


Pistol Caliber Carbines


The pistol caliber carbine like the Ruger PC carbine is a type of carbine that was invented during the American Wild West. These weapons are essentially lightweight semi-automatic rifles chambered for a pistol cartridge and shoot the same caliber bullets as a revolver.

The main advantage of using a pistol caliber carbine is that these can be lighter and less recoiling than rifle calibers, making them simpler to operate. A popular pistol-caliber carbine is a submachine gun. These weapons have two shooting modes: fully automatic and selective.


What Is the Difference Between a Carbine and a Rifle?

 A lady holding a rifle near her body with her finger on the trigger

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Ever wondered how a carbine differs from an assault rifle? Continue reading to find out:


1)  Barrel Length and Weight


The first visible difference between a carbine and a rifle is the barrel size. Rifles typically have a longer barrel when compared to a carbine. However, because of their shorter barrels, carbines are lighter than rifles, making them more portable and convenient to carry.


2)  Accuracy


When it comes to accuracy, many experts agree that assault rifles can deliver superior accuracy over a wider range due to their design. However, this element depends on individual shooters. If you are new to shooting, a carbine may be more accurate than a rifle due to its shorter barrel and compact design, which makes it simpler to control.


3)  Stock


The stock is the back of the weapon that is in direct contact with the shoulder. Stocks help you control your shot by allowing you to grip the gun securely when you discharge a cartridge. Additionally, it improves stability and reduces recoil. When it comes to the stock, carbines often have an adjustable stock to best suit your needs. However, standard rifles do not include an adjustable stock. As a result, moving about becomes harder and more challenging.


Which One Should You Choose?

 A wood and steel rifle lying on the table

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When deciding between a carbine and a rifle, consider what you will be using it for. A rifle is a solid option for long-range accuracy. For better control and close-range combat, a carbine is a preferable option.

Just keep in mind that full-length rifles are quieter than carbines. This suggests that when shooting a carbine, you might need more powerful hearing protection, especially in an indoor range. 




A carbine is essentially a short-barreled rifle with lesser accuracy and lighter weight. If you're a rookie, a carbine is without a doubt the best weapon to choose. But if you are a gun expert, go ahead and pick a rifle. While you choose the right gun for you, check out EasyShot shooting targets to practice your aim.


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