I inherited a 7.35 mm Carcano and have read very mixed reviews on how safe these rifles are. While looking for ammunition, one gun shop employee said they were generally a very unsafe gun and he wouldn't recommend shooting it. I took it to another gun shop and the owner/gunsmith said they used to sale them and they were good guns. He briefly inspected it and said it was fine. He even had some reloads for it. I then took it to another gunsmith, who thoroughly inspected and said it was fine. We then went out and shot it. I have fired it about ten times with no problems. But i have read all kinds of negative reviews on the internet. Does anyone have any experience with these rifles, good or bad?
the problem with guns stores is 'every guy behind the counter is an expert at everything'. a lot of them tend to talk out the wrong end about stuff they don't know. the last time I was at a cabelas, and this has been over a year ago now, I spent a great deal of time in the used gun racks. there were over 2 dozen carcanos, mostly in 6.5x52mm but some 7.35s and a couple of the 8mms. none of them looked all that great. the wood was about the same quality as driftwood. some but not all had been sporterized and pretty poorly by my reckoning. this was enough for me to look into them and see why so many of them were sitting in used gun racks instead of part of a collection.
the ammo is very difficult to find and the little surplus that did make it here after the war isn't that great. reloading for both cartridges is a pain because Italy used nonstandard bullet diameters. 6.5 carcano uses a .268 diameter bullet while every other 6.5 around from 6.5 japanese arisaka to 6.5 grendel uses a .264 diameter bullet. 7.35 carcano uses a .299 diameter bullet while all other 30 cals use 308-311 diameter bullets so it is incredibly difficult to reload for them. not long ago i went in with some other guys and bought a large reloading collection from a woman who's husband had passed away and in it he had over 1400 .299 diameter bullets. those things were the hardest things in the world to get rid of because of the few 7.35s that are out there, few people actually shoot them because of how hard it is to find reloading components and loaded ammo.
there is no inherent safety risk to shooting a carcano in either original cartridge. the only ones you have to look out for are the ones that the nazis captured and converted to 8mm mauser as a desperation move.