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The H&K XM30 can be set different configurations, namely Assault Rifle, Carbine, Sniper, LMG, or Shotgun. However, the Assault Rifle and the Carbine configuration have the exact same stats, except that the Carbine uses SMG ranges instead of Assault Rifle ranges.

Since SMG ranges are dowright worse than Assault Rifle ranges, is there ever a reason to use the Carbine configuration? Or is there a bonus the carbine gets which I am overlooking here, like an idiot.

From real world differentiation between Rifles and Carbines, Carbines are more portable, use a smaller caliber (irrelevant since the stats are equal) and have shorter barrels. Could it have something to do with concealment?

Note: I did check the Run & Gun errata, but there was no entry regarding the XM30.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Carbines do not always use smaller caliber and do not always have shorter barrels than the comparable assault rifle (though they can). They often have shorter stocks instead of or along with shorter barrels. They are often easier to use in close quarters than the comparable assault rifle. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31, 2018 at 0:02

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House rule

At my table we just assumed the authors forgot to mention it and gave it the +4 concealability rating. This is in line with the table on p. 420 of the core book where a bullpup assault rifle has +4. The bullpup has a different design, but one thing it has in common with carbines is that they are shorter than assault rifles.

I have spent some time now looking through all my sourcebooks, but I can't find anything more official regarding this.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That sounds like a reasonable house rule. I think I will go with that, as it just makes the most sense. \$\endgroup\$
    – user23707
    Jun 3, 2017 at 14:52
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The discussions about carbines exist since the early stages of the 4th edition. While the developers decided to stack them together with SMGs and have a mix of stats similar to rifles, the community was vocal about it.

So, Carbine as class of weapon was introduced in Street Lethal (5e), with a weight between SMGs and assault rifles. They tend to have damage equivalent to lower-caliber assault rifles, with assault rifle armor penetration and SMG ranges. They’re also slightly easier to conceal than most assault rifles.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Carbines are realistically easier to hide than the equivalent full-sized assault rifle, it is true - but is there a rule which represents this in SR5 (and thus provides an actual mechanical reason to use the carbine configuration of the XM30 over the assault rifle configuration?) \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Jul 31, 2018 at 16:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer Yes, the Concealment bonus that certain firearms gain, holdout pistols, for instance, have a default -6 concealment modifier on perception checks against those trying to find it on you. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jul 31, 2018 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ The table on pg420 of the core rulebook describes hold-out pistols as having a -4 modifier, not -6. Anyway, I think the answer would be improved by quoting the sidebar on pg 36 of Street Lethal which states carbines have a +4 concealability modifier. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Jul 31, 2018 at 19:20

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