Carbines are short and more compact weapons than full-length rifles. They are available to all classes.
Carbines are a classification of firearms, characterized by featuring a shorter barrel than a full-length rifle. The purpose of this design was to provide the user with a more compact and lighter weapon than full-length rifles, allowing for better portability. However, a shorter barrel results in worse muzzle velocity, worse accuracy and higher amounts of muzzle flash than longer barreled weapons.
The first carbines were shorter variants of muskets and later, rifles, used mostly by cavalry units during and after the Napoleonic. Although larger and harder to use than a typical pistol used by cavalry troops, they were more accurate and powerful than such pistols. Throughout the 20th century, infantry rifles gradually became smaller in size - weapons like the Gewher 98 (G98) proved to be cumbersome in trench warfare. The Karabiner 98 and later Kar98K variant, K for Kurtz, (Shortened) were carbine variants of the G98, created to be better suited in tighter spaces.
As the development of fully-automatic weapons continued, carbine variants followed. The American XM177 “Commando” and Soviet AKS-74U are such examples; the former being a carbine of the M16 rifle and precursor to the later M4 Carbine, the latter a carbine of the AK-74 assault rifle. The XM177 saw use in the Vietnam War by American troops, being better suited for jungle environments given the shorter barrel. The AKS-74U was mainly used by tank crews, who required a shorter weapon to fit in the compact space of a tank but retained rifle-grade power.
'Pistol carbines’ or ‘Revolver carbines’ are carbine variants of pistols and revolvers, which were comprised of a longer barrel and a stock. These modifications improves the accuracy and range of the weapon, but lessens the weapon’s usefulness in close-quarters, given the increased overall length of the weapon. Civilian versions of sub-machine guns are also called Pistol carbines, due to being semi-automatic only and using a pistol calibre.
With the exception of the 1858 Carbine, all carbines are generally similar to assault rifles, with most being a variant of one that's seen in-game. They share the same magazine sizes, ammunition types and attachments as their assault rifle peers, and rates of fire (RoF) are usually the same or similar to their parent weapon. However, carbines have a shorter range than assault rifles and tend to be weaker at longer ranges as damage dropps off sooner. Minimum damage values are also usually lower for carbines, some requiring six shots-to-kill (STK) at the end of their damage drop-off. In contrast, carbines have better hipfire spreads, making them generally better suited to Close-Quarters-Combat (CQC) where their STK requirement are usually the same as assault rifles.
Usage & Tactics
- Interestingly, the term ‘Machine Carbine’ was used to describe the Sturmgewehr 44 (StG 44), later to be classified as an assault rifle. It was also used to describe sub-machine guns such as the Owen Gun prior to the term ‘sub-machine gun’ becoming a universally accepted term. The term was used mostly by the British and Commonwealth Nations.
- Although most carbines are variants of another weapon, such as an assault rifle, battle rifle or other, some are standalone weapons, such as the M1 Carbine - being classified as one due to featuring a shorter barrel than usual infantry rifles.
- Despite their appearance and names, the M1 Carbine is not a carbine of the M1 Garand. The M1 Carbine is a separate weapon and fires a different, smaller calibre than the M1 Garand, called the .30 Carbine.