Rifle vs. Carbine

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Rifle and Carbine is that the Rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder and Carbine is a short rifle or shorter version of rifle

  • Rifle

    A rifle is a portable, long-barrelled firearm designed for long-range precision shooting, to be held with both hands and braced against the shoulder for stability during firing, and with a barrel that has a helical pattern of grooves (“rifling”) cut into the bore walls. The term was originally rifled gun, with the word “rifle” referring to the machining process of creating grooving with cutting tools, and is now used for any long handheld device designed for aimed discharge activated by a trigger, such as air rifles and the personnel halting and stimulation response rifle. Rifles are used in warfare, law enforcement, hunting and shooting sports.

    Like all typical firearms, a rifle’s projectile (bullet) is propelled by the contained deflagration of a combustible propellant compound (originally black powder, later cordite, and now nitrocellulose), although other means such as compressed air are used in air rifles, which are popular for vermin control, hunting small game, formal target shooting and casual shooting (“plinking”). The raised areas of the rifling are called “lands,” which make contact with the projectile, imparting a spin around the longitudinal axis of the barrel. When the projectile leaves the barrel, this spin lends gyroscopic stability to the projectile and prevents tumbling, in the same way that a properly spirally thrown American football or rugby ball behaves. This allows the use of aerodynamically-efficient bullets (as opposed to the spherical balls used in muskets) and thus improves range and accuracy.

  • Carbine

    A carbine ( or ), from French carabine, is a long gun firearm but with a shorter barrel than a standard rifle or musket. Many carbines are shortened versions of full-length rifles, shooting the same ammunition, while others fire lower-powered ammunition, including types designed for pistols.

    The smaller size and lighter weight of carbines make them easier to handle. They are typically issued to high-mobility troops such as special-operations soldiers and paratroopers, as well as to mounted, artillery, logistics, or other non-infantry personnel whose roles do not require full-sized rifles, although there is a growing tendency for carbines to be issued to front-line soldiers to offset the increasing weight of other issued equipment. An example of this is the US Army’s M4 carbine, which is standard issue.

  • Rifle (noun)

    A long firearm firing a single projectile, usually with a rifled barrel to improve accuracy.

  • Rifle (noun)

    A strip of wood covered with emery or a similar material, used for sharpening scythes.

  • Rifle (verb)

    To search with intent to steal; to ransack, pillage or plunder.

  • Rifle (verb)

    To scan many items (especially papers) in a set, quickly. (See also riffle[http://verbmall.blogspot.com/2008/05/riffle-or-rifle.html])

    “She made a mess when she rifled through the stack of papers, looking for the title document.”

  • Rifle (verb)

    To add a spiral to the interior of a gun bore to make a fired bullet spin in flight to improve range and accuracy.

  • Rifle (verb)

    To strike something with great power.

  • Rifle (verb)

    To commit robbery.

  • Rifle (verb)

    To strip of goods; to rob; to pillage.

  • Rifle (verb)

    To seize and bear away by force; to snatch away; to carry off.

  • Rifle (verb)

    To raffle.

  • Carbine (noun)

    A rifle with a short barrel.

  • Rifle (noun)

    a gun, especially one fired from shoulder level, having a long spirally grooved barrel intended to make a bullet spin and thereby have greater accuracy over a long distance

    “a hunting rifle”

  • Rifle (noun)

    troops armed with rifles

    “the Burma Rifles”

  • Rifle (verb)

    make spiral grooves in (a gun or its barrel or bore) to make a bullet spin and thereby have greater accuracy over a long distance

    “a line of replacement rifled barrels”

  • Rifle (verb)

    hit or kick (a ball) hard and straight

    “Ferguson rifled home his fourth goal of the season”

  • Rifle (verb)

    search through something in a hurried way in order to find or steal something

    “she rifled through the cassette tapes”

    “she rifled the house for money”

  • Rifle (verb)


    “he rifled the dead man’s possessions”

Oxford Dictionary

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