“Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.” Sun Tsu
When training for any number of reasons it is necessary to consider why, how and what you will be training with. For those of us who understand that a firearm is not an evil self aware entity but rather a simple tool that equalizes the field between self and others; we can quite easily adapt any number of firearm types to various roles.
As an avid practitioner of several martial arts from muy thai, escrima, kali and juijitsu through archery, blades and firearms I have learned long ago that there is no perfect art nor is there only one way. Given my physical limitations and other more advanced abilities that offset the physical limitations I am able to utilize any number of weapons in the defense of self. With an education and background in criminal justice I have also learned to use their laws to assure me a defense if I am ever caught up in their twisted system.
The carbine is an amazing tool, it is quite simply a short to medium range firearm that provides a more stable platform and readily utilized accuracy then a short sword or handgun without the weight or additional skills needed from a precision distance tool. The carbine is too modern defense, hunting and warfare as the sling, cross bow, horse bow or spear was too the ancients. Easily maneuvered, accurate within its ranges and deadly efficient when used within the limitations inherent to a medium distance tool of this nature. For instance you would not find the ancients engaging targets past 50 yards with a spear or 100 yards with any hope of general efficiency with any of the above named similar instruments. The carbine allows the modern warrior to engage the enemy or hunt at ranges from 25 yards through 4-500 yards with efficient lethal accuracy and ability in most cases.
For most humans a carbine is the pinnacle of their ability, after all there is a reason the large portion of ancient foot soldiers were phalanx or legionnaires. Carrying the spear or javelin they were expected to engage the enemy at medium to short distances and then close with the enemy, while the archers trained religiously too engage targets at range and snipe when they came in closer. Not everyone is capable of the waiting, practice and mental and physical drain associated with long distance shooting. (By long distance I do mean 600 yards and further)
The carbine in the hands of a medium to well trained individual can be just as deadly as any other weapon, however, and should never be discounted as something that is useless to the mans man. It is quite interesting to see so many people these days embracing the idea of the AR10 or the FN Fal versus simply practicing more with the carbine they already have. Accuracy is not something you are born with and at distance it requires hard work and a mathematical brain. Obviously, as someone who enjoys a rifle and the feeling you get when nailing a target that is 800+ yards away, I will always be in favor of a small group (2-10) individuals well versed in distance shooting skills over a brigade of low to medium trained foot soldiers with carbines. Again, this does not nor should it prevent you from practicing and becoming the best you can be with a carbine.
So to answer the question asked, why should you have a carbine? It is simple really, a carbine is the best of both worlds. You can get them in common calibers that can be found on the battlefield in quantity as well as the same caliber as your handgun if you so desire. A solid well built carbine can function as a hunting tool and a defensive one and are generally quite easy to shoot and practice with. Lastly, a carbine can easily be made into an intermediate distance rifle, (4-600 yards) and as such can be used to prevent the more bloody close in combat that tends to occur when we least want or expect it.
So why do you have a carbine and how much do you practice with one?
Free the mind and the body will follow