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One of the earliest references to the term carbine and its possible origin appeared in 1548. According to that source, the word derived from the short barreled rifles carried by Spanish cavalry groups which were then called "C'arabins". If this is true, the term would be appropriate since the carbine has, until just recently, been uniquely a cavalry weapon. While there has been a trend toward shorter barrels on military rifles for the last century and a half or so, the practice of issuing rifles with barrels as long as 30" was quite common even up through World War L The M1903A3 Springfield, for example, had the shortest barrel of any standard issue shoulder arm during that conflict. Its 24" tube may be long by today's standards, but it was considerably shorter than the M1891 Mosin-Nagant's 31.6" or the French Lebel M1886's 31.4". Although called a rifle, the M1886 M93R35 was a true carbine with its 17.7" barrel. However, we can't help but wonder just how effective it was in combat, since it had only a three round magazine.