carbine rifles


Colt Model 1855 Artillery revolving carbine

Made by Colt Manufacturing Co. c.1856-64 in Hartford, Connecticut - serial number 2499.
.56 caliber cap and ball, five-shot cylinder, Root sidehammer singel action, bayonet lug for sword-bayonet.

The carbine version of the equally rare Colt Root military rifle, nice firepower for the time.

Conversion Gun

Sawn-off Mosin-Nagant M91/30 rifle with SKS rifle grenade launcher, AK-series pistol grip and Burris red dot sight.
7,62x54mmR 5-round internal box magazine, bolt action.

I’m ashamed to say it but I kind of like it, it’s like taking a modern compact gun and replacing everything modern with old wood and steel. Plus come on it’s a Mosin-Nagant who cares if it’s defaced, you can get 5 for 3 at Walmart.


Moschetto per Truppe Speciali con Tromboncino modello 91/28 - Carcano carbine with grenade discharger

Manufactured in Italy c.1928-34 as a Carcano-mounted assault mortar, but quickly phased out for a more conventional artillery piece.
6,5x52mm Carcano 6-round en-bloc clip, bolt action repeater, 45cm long specialist carbine barrel.
38,5mm 180g S.R.2 fin-stabilized fuse bomb, loaded through the muzzle in a spiggot mortar, propelled by a Carcano single-shot bolt action loaded with a live 6,5x52mm round, 100-200m range.

S.R.2 grenade

A very interesting weapon prefacing the development of under-barrel grenade launcher, but with obvious quirks that were common in such innovative designs of the era. The M91/28 used a single trigger linked to both Carcano action, but was used with only one bolt at a time to avoid accidental discharge - you could technically use two of them but the rifle’s bolt handle would interfere with the grenade discharger’s bolt. The sights are likewise used for both weapons, with their own sets of graduations.
An interesting note to make is the use of the term blunderbuss to identify rifle-mounted cup mortars in both French and Italian armies of the early 20th century.

Sauce : Forgotten Weapons,


M1 carbine with M3 infrared scope

Manufactured by Inland Manufacturing Division of General Motors, scope by American Optical Co. c.1944 - serial number 345402.
7.62×33mm/.30 Carbine 15-round removable box magazine, gas operated semi-automatic, 20k Volt infrared light with 175m range infrared scope, additional foregrip.

Developed at the end of WW2, but also used in the subsequent conflicts involving America, the M3 scope resulted in one of the very first nigh-vision firearm with the German StG44 Vampir system.
As far as I understand it wasn’t mounted on the M1 Garand because of its limited range being better suited to its carbine counterpart.


The Commission Rifle Part IV — The Karabiner 88 and Gewehr 91

In case you missed Part I, Part II, Part III

After the Germans had fixed the flaws of the Gewehr 88 to their satisfaction, it was now time to create carbine variants for cavalry and artillery troops.  Thus in 1890 Germany introduced the Karabiner 88, a carbine variant of the Gewehr 88 made specifically for mounted troops.  The Kar 88 was made to be more shorter, lighter, and more compact than the Gew 88, with a barrel length of a little more than 17 inches, an overall length of 38 inches, and a weight of 6.5 pounds. The Kar 88 was more than just a shortened version of the Gew 88, but instead utilized some interesting features which made it specifically suited for use on horseback.  Cavalry troopers tended to carry their carbines in a sheath behind the back or in a saddle holster.  The Kar 88 was designed to have a streamlined profile with features which prevented snagging when being removed from a holster.  The barrel jacket was tapered, being thicker at the chamber and narrowing towards the muzzle.  The front sight featured a half shroud to protect it, again from snagging.  Instead of a tradition knob type bolt handle, the Kar 88 used a spoon handle type bolt which was typically common on German and Austrian sporting rifles.  As an aside I must admit that I really love spoon handle bolts. Again this feature was intended to prevent snagging, however it’s downside was there was very little clearance in between the bolt and the side of the rifle, making it more difficult to work the bolt.

The Kar 88 became a handy dandy carbine favored not only by cavalry, but also military police and other rear echelon units.  Artillery soldiers also needed a carbine.  While artillery typically operate out of the way of frontline combat, they still needed a light, compact rifle to defend themselves against surprise attacks, especially from flanking cavalry.  The German Army really didn’t want to develop and issue a third model of the Gewehr 88, nor did industry really want to produce it.  So, Germany just issued artillery troops the Kar 88 with one major difference.  Artillery soldiers usually don’t carry their rifles with them when they are operating their big guns.  Despite being carbines they still get in the way of efficient artillery operations.  Instead artillery troops tend to stack their rifles nearby.

Thus, artillery troops were issued the Gewehr 91, which was simply the Kar 88 with a stacking rod.

Both the Kar 88 and Gewehr 91 would serve with the German Army well into World War I.  It was loved by all who were issued, so much so that when the Gewehr 88 was phased out as a reserve rifle during World War I, both carbines continued to be issued in large numbers despite the introduction of carbines based on the newer Gewehr 98.


The Lebel Mle. 1886 M93 R35,

Even up to the 1930’s the French Army had vast stores of Lebel rifles, an aging bolt action firearm which originated in 1886.  However the French did not merely want to sell or scrap the rifle, but put them to some use.  A common policy of the French Army in the 20th century was to hold on to weapons no matter how old or obsolete they were.

In 1935 the French Army commissioned a program to shorten many older Lebel rifles in carbines for artillery units, rear echelon units, reserves, police, and colonial forces.  Conversion of the rifle to a carbine was simple, they merely shortened the barrel down to 18 inches and adjusted the length or the forward stock.  Of course this conversion came at a cost.  The Lebel did not have a box magazine but rather a tubular magazine.  Shortening it reduced its magazine capacity to only 3 rounds.  In addition, the R35 still used the aging 8mm Lebel cartridge (8x51R), even though the French Army had adopted the 7.5x54 French.  

The R35 Lebel saw limited used during World War II.  Around 50,000 conversions were produced.