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Carbines vs. Rifles

Golan2072

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First I must say that the word "Carbine" means several things, depending on historial period and circumstances; in LBB1, the term "Carbine" is used as in WW2, in which it refers to shorter-than-usual rifles using lighter rounds than usual rifles.

But I refer to the more modern or is it?) use of the term, which refers to what some manufacturers call "short" or "micro" versions of standard Assault Rifles, such as the CAR-15 (or is it AR-15?) M16 variant,the Galil MAR (unlike the MAGAL, which is a Carbine even in WW2 terms as it uses the M1's round), Tavor MTAR and so on.

My question is: how are such carbines different from the Rifles they are based on, except for their barrel/stock length? Do they have less penetration? Less accuracy over range? Less impact trauma? Are they easier/harder to use?
 
Carbines are essentially less accurate over longer ranges (anything over 200m) due to barrel length. Remember that when the M16 was first introduced it was considered a carbine due to it being shorter and of a smaller caliber than the standard M14.

Much combat in the modern era is expected to take place at under 100m range where the carbine has the advantage of being lighter, easier to handle and at no loss of firepower. Unfortunately if the battle is at longer ranges larger high caliber rounds come into thier own allowing the enemy to be engaged effectively at ranges of 600m or more.

Modern carbines can be looked at as a battlefield replacement for the SMG, ideal for the CQB whereas the SMG is becoming the weapon of choice for security work or personal defence.
 
So, you mean that in CT terms (and to continue our example of TL7 Terran weapons), a CAR-15 will be treated as an M-16 with a short barrel (292mm instead of 508mm) and somewhat less weight (circa 3.15kg loaded instead of 3.6kg loaded), -2 to hit on Long Range and -4 to hit at Very Long Range and with it's minimum/advantageous Dexterity reduced be 1?

A Galil MAR would even have the advantage of a folding stock, making it EXTREMELY short (45mm instead of 690mm) when folded; but it has to be unfolded for combat (or could you fire it "from the hip" unfolded, with a -3 to hit?).
 
At the other end of the carbine/rifle spectrum is the heavy barrel variants on a lot of rifles. Even longer effective range, and greater ability to support suppressing fire, but still the same basic weapon. The heavier barrel means that it doesn't overheat as fast so you can cycle a lot more lead through the barrel.

Sure, not quite as good as a "true" LMG, but with a similar range of variance in the same way that a carbine is to a SMG. The advantage is in supply, instead of needing SMG, Rifle and Machine Gun ammo, they all use the same with a slight drop in effectiveness towards the end ranges.
 
Well, actually, a CAR-15 would be an Assault Rifle in LBB4 (Merc). For game purposes, I don't think it would appreciably underperform the M16, except at VLong (or maybe Long) ranges.
 
EDIT: Re-reading LBB4, I've figured out that the "Rifles" presented there are already "Carbines" in length; a folding stock will transform them into something similar to the Galil MAR.
 
The "rifle-length" rifles are those in Book 1.
If I remember, the basic rifle is modeled after the M14 and FN-FAL and the auto rifle is a variant like the M14E2.
 
Originally posted by veltyen:
At the other end of the carbine/rifle spectrum is the heavy barrel variants on a lot of rifles. Even longer effective range, and greater ability to support suppressing fire, but still the same basic weapon. The heavier barrel means that it doesn't overheat as fast so you can cycle a lot more lead through the barrel.
Wouldn't that essentially be what CT classifies an Auto-Rifle? It's been a while, but I seem to remember in my junior high days all the Classic Traveller characters were running around with Auto-Rifles since they seemed to provide the best cost to availability to lethality benefit. I'd always assumed that the auto-rifle was based on the BAR, but it also always seemed odd to me that one of the best weapons available was based on an antique from doubleya doubleya two.
 
Wouldn't that essentially be what CT classifies an Auto-Rifle?
Possibly. That could also be a reference to a battle rifle rather then an assault rifle. A HBAR assault rifle should behave similarily to a battle rifle. I was going off the local military, they use SteyrAUG's
That page has a good example, showing 4 different Steyr AUG barrels LMG/HBAR, Rifle, Carbine and SMG configurations.
 
Really interesting. Thanks for posting that link. I think in MTU I'll start to conceive of auto-rifles as "up-barrelled" assault rifles since, as I mentioned, I've always had a problem imagining them as Browning Automatic Rifles.
 
I went and looked up the BAR that is a scary gun. Closest I can think of for that is a heavy battle rifle. At over 1.2 metres long and 10 kg not something everyone wants to lug arround.

Similar in configuration to a Bren Gun (cf. "Lock Stock and two smoking barrels"), but without a belt option limiting its usefulness.

An Auto-rifle is probably closer to an SLR - something like a M1 Garand. Bigger and heavier then an Assault Rifle and firing a larger calibre bullet, with all the problems and advantages that implies.
 
Reading LBB1 gives the Mini-14 and AR-180 as examples of carbines and the M-14 and FN-FAL as examples of rifles.
Personally, I've always treated semi-auto 5.56mm weapons as carbines with the burst/full-auto versions as assault rifles.
7.62mm semi-autos (like the British SLR) as rifles and the burst/full-auto versions as auto-rifles (the FN-FAL falls into this category).
 
It seemed quite strange to me that LBB1 had auto-rifles (like the FN-FAL) but not Assualt Rifles (as the AK-47/M-16 were very "iconic" even back in 1977). Where and when did Mike Miller (or any other LBB writer) serve in the military? (I know that he had relatives in the Army and Navy, see LBBs 4-5 dedications). The LBB1 weapons look like something out of the 1950's/early 1960's.
 
Originally posted by veltyen:
I went and looked up the BAR that is a scary gun. Closest I can think of for that is a heavy battle rifle. At over 1.2 metres long and 10 kg not something everyone wants to lug arround.

Similar in configuration to a Bren Gun (cf. "Lock Stock and two smoking barrels"), but without a belt option limiting its usefulness.
Aren't both of these weapons LMGs rather than auto-rifles? I was thinking about automatic M14's/FN-FAL's as the auto-rifles (as indicated in LBB1).
 
Aren't both of these weapons LMGs rather than auto-rifles?
Personally I wouldn't classify the BAR as an LMG because of the lack of ammo capacity (belt or large box). The Bren is certainly a LMG.
 
I think the BAR as a very early autorifle, as a result very heavy. A LMG requires an accessable top feed (like a Bren, Lewis or Japanese type 96) and either a quick-change barrel or some kind of barrel cooling (like the Lewis).

Of course the robust BAR makes a magnificent GPMG when you give it a belt feed and a quick-change barrel. Then FN calls it the MAG, US M240.

IIRC 6-7 Kg auto rifes like the M14E2 and FN HBAR were not particularly accurate. IMTU we were early adopters of Book 4, so we rarely used Book-1 weapons.
 
Originally posted by Employee 2-4601:
Aren't both of these weapons LMGs rather than auto-rifles? I was thinking about automatic M14's/FN-FAL's as the auto-rifles (as indicated in LBB1).
Well, they definitely played the role of light machine gun in WWII as a squad automatic weapon, though true light machineguns were also deployed. From what I've read the U.S. squads armed with a mix of semi-auto rifles and Tommy guns, and supported by BAR's, could lay down an impressive amount of suppression fire (though there seems to be some counter-debate that the German and British bolt-action rifles meant more effective "kill" fire).

But I kind of assumed the Auto-Rifle played that same role in Traveller...a "light" light machinegun for military purposes. But in reality the way players used it was exactly as the Bren was used Lock Stock -- as a big scary weapon to wave around and blast with!

In one way it makes a little bit of sense the way Marc Millar organized the weapons lists. Book 1 is supposed to be about characters who have already mustered out of the military. It would make sense that they'd only really have access to army-surplus or black-market weapons...exactly like that lock stock Bren gun! By the time the characters get ahold of their weapons they're pretty darned obsolete. Book 4 Mercenary dealt more with legitimate militaries or paramilitaries, where it's more likely that they'd have ACR's and such.

But the thing that kind of ruins that theory is the tech levels...really anything under tech level 10 should probably be available on the black market.
 
I think Book 1 weapons represent more the background of 1960s SF than any rational analysis of weapons technology. It also represents an attempt to make a crossection of weapons of all TL and law-levels available to the Refeeree without taking up half the book.

There nmay be a misunderstanding here. I haven't seen "Two Smoking Barrels" (it is going in my Netflix que), but the Bren used a 25 round box magazine compared to the BAR's 20. And it weighed about the same, but balanced worse.

As squad support weapons both were used the same, mostly in highly accurate 2-3 rd bursts, although they could both be fired from the hip in the assault. The Bren gun counts as a LMG because it was easy for a loader to change the magazine for sustained fire and the quick-change barrel barrel lets you swap out a cool one if it gets too hot with continuous fire. It was even mounted on a tripod as a company support machine gun. (OK, there was a belt-fed version, the TADEN, developed after WWII but I think only a couple were made and they're in the Pattern Room at Enfield.)

The BAR was developed for use in "walking fire", from the hip. It didn't even have a bipod until the 1930s (Bonny & Clyde never had a bipod on their BARs, nor were there on the police BARs that killed them.) In WWII BARs are often seen without bipods, sometimes fired offhand (from the shoulder, standing).
 
Check out the FN-90 (also can be seen in StarGate carried by the SG1 Team.)
It is a cross between a SMG and Carbine. The US Army considered it (and others) for use as Crew assigned weapon (not crew served but as an issued item instead of the M16 and the 1911 pistol.)

Dave
 
FN P90. Interesting weapon, weak cartridge similar to the .22 "Hornet". Really a SMG, not even as powerful as the WWII M1 Carbine, but just as heavy.
http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg13-e.htm

It's main competitor is the German MP-7, with a comparable cartridge in a weapon barely larger than a pistol. Recently adopted by the British MoD security service to replace Browning HP pistols.
http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg49-e.htm

Notice the other SG teams use M4 carbines, same weight (3 Kg loaded), more powerful ammunition. Pros generally consider it the wiser choice.
http://world.guns.ru/assault/as17-e.htm

Oh, and the Beretta M9 was adopted twenty years ago. The last M1911A1s issued to Army personel were withdrawn before Desert Storm.
 
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