Guns and shooting: why have a carbine?

“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


About Jesse Mathewson

Jesse Mathewson is the author of the popular blog, and provides commentary to many varied places based on a background that includes education in criminal justice, history, religion and even insurgency tactics and tactical training. His current role in his community is as an organizer of sorts and a preacher of community solidarity and agorism. He also runs Liberty Practical Training, a self defense school specializing in the practical applications of defensive approaches versus the theoretical. As an agorist, voluntaryist and atheist his life is seen as crazy and wild by many, though once they get to know him most realize he is a bluntly honest individual who will give you the shirt off his back if he believes it is necessary to help you. Very simple, "That which is voluntary between all individuals involved is always right, if it is not voluntary, it is always wrong."
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2 Responses to Guns and shooting: why have a carbine?

  1. jeffreycanthony says:

    My present failures on getting in range time are a personal shame. Even when we have legal defense, even when establishing reasonable fear or serious harm or death to another and self, all my range time ground to a halt with legal battles, and only a good year or so after are we slowly getting back up to where i need to be to get back to it. System is twisted indeed. The guilty (but reduced) verdict came mainly as a political show because an officer had been killed by someone that has nothing to do with my trial, but happened to involve a handgun. The judge directly said this was part of the decision… so even with the best defenses, it’s a real and hard path. But still worth it. It’s been so much financial and life impact that it kept me from doing much with anything.

    This changes this year. Just need to find a new place to shoot in the area, private range I used to frequent has become too unstable a situation. Key to anything of wanting to do something: identify your next action. 🙂

    That said, I keep a Kel Tec SU16C as primary carbine, simple, comfortable, reliable, lightweight and easy to contain, carry, and transport. Rifle marksmanship is a weakness of mine, i tend to be better with pistols, and hope the next year or two i can focus that direction.

    My secondaries are a sub2000 1st gen in glock 9mm variant, and a 10/22 for random needs and cheap training.

    Each has a “kit” bag associated with it so I have what i need with them. a versipack for the 10/22 with ammo, cleaning, and other things, light on the “other stuff” since i’m mainly focusing on it as a utility when i have time to collect other things or grab other kit. A spec ops MCB with FAK, cobra cuffs, magazines, and the like, for a “minuteman” style kit for the SU16C. And last, the Sub2000 actually fits in carriers designed to fit 70-100oz hydration reservoirs (GTG H2HO in this case) for easy addition/attachment to other kits. MP5 triple mag pouches fit glock 33 rounders pretty well and attach easily to the H2HO.


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