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Old April 21, 2012, 01:05 PM   #26
gunsmokeTPF
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I love many of the old surplus guns. I loved my grandpa's 1912 Austrian 9mm Steyr and that I wish I had today. I have a love affair with a Colt 1911 black army. I think a 1937 s/42 Luger is real nice and I regret ever selling my 1953 dated mint Springfield M1 Garand.

As far as the advantage of the carcano by the italians in 1935 at the battle at Wal-Wal Oasis is concerned, they didn't win and a couple hundred got killed. There were probably many spears chucked by the other side, which served them equally as well.

I don't think the italian experience in Ethiopia serves as a good example of the carcano's dependability. I'm not familiar with what went on during any battle between the italians and austrians during WW1, but maybe grandpa's gun was used back then. Other than having to use stripper clips it was a very high quality and dependable gun, though for many years the 9mm steyr cartridge was considered obsolete, but did make a comeback around the 1970's. The germans during WW2 felt they were good enough to be converted to 9mm luger. Sorry for digressing.

I'll conclude by saying that I'm no carcano expert and have absolutely no interest in ever owning one again. I don't feel it's my calling to convince people whether, or not they're great rifles, or garbage. I'm happy for anyone who gets enjoyment out of whatever gun they own.

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Old April 21, 2012, 02:33 PM   #27
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I cleaned up, refinished, and reblued one for a friend about a year ago. We bought a few boxes of privi and the rifle did well on the range. I got him a set of dies (lee) and the hand held press, along with some bullets and mag clips for his birthday. He picked up some powder and primers in short order and we went through the reloading process. This past deer season produced a buck and a doe for him. Not bad for a rifle that he found in the old house he had bought and was fixing up.
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Old April 21, 2012, 08:05 PM   #28
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A good read on the carcano rifles and their ammo. You might also want to check out the author.

Carcano
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Old April 21, 2012, 09:31 PM   #29
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I read through it and it was interesting. I did not see anything about "Gain twist" rifling that the Italians were playing around with. Some rifles had it but I can not say if all did. As I said before, I own and use one, but am not a fan of them. It takes a little getting used to a side mount scope when you have a quick hunting shot. They definitely got a bad rap over the years and I blame a lot of that on the big gun companies in the U.S.
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Old April 22, 2012, 09:37 PM   #30
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Gunplummer, you missed it. Section on the rifle, paragraph 4.

And not all rifles did.
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Old April 23, 2012, 06:27 AM   #31
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There are many interesting surplus guns out there and they are getting older every day, just like all of us, and it shows.

My bit of Carcano lore is only this. I am from West Virginia and spend some time living in the "coal fields" of the southwestern part of the state. In a general store way back in the hills of the sort that had a post office in the back, I happened to notice a case of 7.35 ammunition. I have no idea whatever happened to it but I would have been surprised if anyone around there had a Carcano. I doubt I my father had even heard of one and his infantry combat experiences in WWII was in Italy.

Garands need clips to work too, don't they?
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Old April 23, 2012, 11:49 AM   #32
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Garands need clips to work too, don't they?

yes they do, and luckly if I ever get one I have about 50 garand clips on hand that I got simply because they were loaded with tracers and black tip
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Old April 23, 2012, 01:35 PM   #33
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If you need a couple Carcano clips, "THE GUN PARTS" has them. They work for either caliber.
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Old April 23, 2012, 03:17 PM   #34
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Of course what I mean is that you need clips for them to work as repeating rifles.
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Old April 23, 2012, 06:46 PM   #35
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I dont care what anyone says negative about the Carcano, I will add one to my collection one day. It looks like a very well made firearm to me.
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Old April 23, 2012, 10:56 PM   #36
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Understand a couple of things. First off, nobody equipped their armies with junk. Except for the "volksturm" guns and "last ditch" Arisakas (some of which actually are junk, as far as a good gun goes), all main issue military rifles were well made, to the extent of the origin nations arsenals.

What they aren't all equal in is design.

After WWII, and until the later 1960s was they heyday of cheap surplus rifles. And, in those days, we didn't look at them they way we do today. Instead of being desirable collectibles they were both common and cheap as dirt.

The main use of the surplus rifle was a cheap starter gun, for many, and what they could be made into by those so inclined.

Springfields, Mausers, Enfields, and even Arisakas (which are mostly mauser design), lent themselves into being made/remade as nice, even beautiful sporters. SMLE's are rugged durable, fine guns, but not as easily sporterized.

French, and Italian rifles were of less desirable "quality", not because they were junk (poorly made) but because they did not have the mauser type features, and were poor candidates for sporterizing.

Remember, this was decades before the former Soviet guns became available, creating a new market for surplus rifles, and the cheap prices made them widely available to new shooters, who typically don't have a lot of available cash.

People being what they are, there had to be some reason, beyond pure snobbery why Carcano's weren't desirable. The non-standard bore diameter, and the poor performance with "proper" 6.5mm size bullets was magnified, and became legend, kind of like the early AR problems still seem to show up in discussions today.

The whole "Oswald" thing is more an individual issue, I think. Though not everyone believes everything the Warren commission reported, even today.
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Old April 24, 2012, 09:45 AM   #37
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Well, actually some armies did equip themselves with junk and they knew it, only they couldn't get their hands on anything better. The junk guns kept circulating around until, it seems, they made it to this country.

I sometimes wonder when the best surplus years were. There was a new surplus market after WWI that in this country, even included Krags and Single Action Army revolvers. Catalogs listed surplus Mausers, Lebels, and Enfields before WWII. I don't know when surplus bolt actions started showing up after WWII, other than as war trophies. In the immediate post-war period, the bulk of surplus guns were being bought up by new countries like Israel, which ironically standardized on the German Mauser. Most contries continued to use the same bolt actions they had used since when the soldier's fathers had been in the army. The US was still making new M1 rifles and the British were still making new Lee-Enfields. Those 7.62 NATO SMLE rifles from India were made after I got out of the army in 1968. So I wonder if there were many surplus rifles for sale before the mid-1950s.
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Old April 24, 2012, 12:35 PM   #38
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every time a country changes to a new design that is proven to be better than what they already have, they normally sell the surplus to a poor but up and coming country that can't afford the latest an greatest. many times it's not even junk, it's just outdated. many south american countries are using FN FALS, they aren't junk guns, many countries just switched to 5.56 rifles such as the SA80, AUG or the FAMAS, leaving a whole lot of 7.62 chambered rifles laying around, collecting dust.

one notable incidence was the Falklands incident, a single british submarine sunk about a dozen Falklandic(whatever the term is) ships in a matter of hours, where did they get these "pieces of junk" from? the good ole USA, they were using decommissioned ships that served during WWII that we sold in order to help out the postwar national budget (an act that thanks to good ole bill clinton, we are no longer legally able to perform). the falklands didn't knowingly provide their navy with junk ships, they bought the best they could afford.
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Old April 24, 2012, 12:56 PM   #39
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You mean Argentinian, of course. One ship sunk by the British, probably the first ship torpedoed since 1945, had been sunk at Pearl Harbor.
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Old April 24, 2012, 07:40 PM   #40
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ARA General Belgrano. Actually the second ship sunk by torpedo since WWII. A Brooklyn Class light cruiser; obsolescent but not obsolete.

This is a good analogy to the discussion. The up weaponed Belgrano posed a serious threat to the Royal Navy in that it had upgraded from WWII era anti aircraft defenses in the form of radar, and missiles. It's compliment of 15 6" guns in 5 turrets made it more than a match for any 2 of the frigates or destroyers that the Royal Navy had in the area and it had a top rated speed that was comparable to the oposition (not that it could necessarily make that speed) . If it got into range of the carrier, it posed a serious threat.

A 5 shot bolt action is not as capable of putting rounds into the area as a high cap. semi, but if it connects it drops a whole world of hurt into the equation. When you have 5 slowly you make them count; when you have 30 quickly you spray and pray. At least that is what tends to happen at the lower discipline levels.
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Old April 25, 2012, 02:34 PM   #41
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There are people who make money in part by denigrating the Carcano and Oswald's ability to shoot it.
There's also the same type of bigotry that made many people consider the Arisaka to be junk, because the nation/people that used them were considered inferior.

The Carcano I fired was reasonably accurate and easy to operate. That's pretty much the same thing I've said about comparable surplus bolt actions of the same vintage.
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Old July 27, 2014, 10:13 PM   #42
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Just came upon this thread re the Carcanos. I don't know whats wrong with everyone....I have two of them a 7.35 carbine and a 6.5 long gun. The carbine does well at 50-75 yrds and I expect I can extend that out easily with some load noodling. Its very easy to handle, is reliable and a fun gun to shoot. The 6.5 was advertised as a WWII gun when I bought it but with research I found out it was built in Rome where they only built them two years 1917/18. Mine is a 1918 and is in beautiful condition. I still have to figure out pictures on this forum but hopefully will send some later. The gun is not a tack driver but it easily holds its own with my other 6.5s such as the Arisaka. Not as good as the Swede though. Again, its reliable, easy to sight and shoot and reasonably accurate. Not a piece of junk as some would say. Hey it is 96 years old what do you expect?
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Old July 28, 2014, 12:13 AM   #43
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hehe, the irony, that I started this thread 2 years ago to learn about the design, to now answer the very same thread as a self proclaimed authority figure.

ShurShot,
I have come to seriously despise the Carcano, based on both the couple dozen handled in the OP, and several handled since then as well as some research.

1.biggest feature I hate is the wood. not one Carcano I've handled has had a decent stock, some were chopped, some were original, all were dried out chunks of driftwood. I've seen some pictures of carcanos with beautiful wood but I have yet to see one in person, leading me to believe that carcanos with good wood are more of a rarity than not.

2. they use non-standard bullet diameters. since what little surplus there was is now long gone, reloading for the carcano is a must and getting your hands on .268 and .299 bullets is a huge PITAx10^989879879879879, I won't get a carcano. I don't know why the Italians thought they were so special that they didn't have to standardize but when everyone else was using .264s for their 6.5s, Italy went with .268, and when everyone else was using 307-311 for their 30 calibers, Italy instead went with .299, the only rifles in history to use those diameter bullets.

3. they need an enbloc. at one time I didn't think that enblocs were such a terrible thing but now that I own two rifles that do use them(m95 mannlicher and M1 garand) I seriously hate the setup. I get that they are much faster and easier to use than stripper clips but they let dirt and dust in like crazy and it's really easy to lose them in the field. if all you're doing is shooting off a bench then that's fine, it's no big deal but I love taking my guns to the mountain and when you're moving around and shooting it's a huge pain to try and keep track of how many shots you've taken and when exactly your gun spits out the clip and in what direction.

the closest I came to ever buying a carcano, and the closest I will likely ever come, is a type I arisaka. they took a carcano action, which is one of the few features I am not adverse to, and gave it a Japanese style stock, japanese box magazine(fed from stripper clips), jap sights, and jap cartridge(complete with standard .264 bullet diameter). it's the perfect carcano, in my humble opinion.

age is no excuse for the carcano, my Swedish mauser will beat the breaks off just about any carcano and it's 114 years old. my 6.5 jap carbine is from the 30s, and is the most accurate milsurp I own. enfields, springfields, even mosin nagants, have a lot of saving graces to their designs, not one could be faulted for it's age, the carcano... least of it's worries are it's age.
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Old July 28, 2014, 03:35 AM   #44
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Quote:
...as a self proclaimed authority figure.
Looks like you are basing your "expert" opinion on handing a whopping 20 or thirty pieces.

The fact that the Carcanos you have seen and deem all "junk" due to well-used wood, et. al. would tell me that these guns have had a long and very hard service life. Hardly the hallmark of a POS.

Perhaps if you look around at some gun shows or places other than Cabelas, you might see what a Carcano with nice wood and a decent finish looks like.

But, the bottom line is: If you don't like them, don't buy one.
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Old July 28, 2014, 06:50 AM   #45
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I have a 6.5 Berretta ( spelling ) Carcano carbine, that is in very nice shape, with a very good stock, in original finish... it's actually one of my favorite milsurps... love the rear sight...

BTW... as far as the original post, Cabela's often buys collections of guns... I bought 4 exposed hammer double barrel 12 gauges that I shortened for CAS for dirt cheap, about the time this thread was started, & they had dozens of them in the local store, most were Husquevarna's which work just fine for CAS use... a couple months ago, they had a big collection of Remington 66's literally 30 or 40 of them in every conceivable configuration... I'm betting they bought a collection or "group" of Carcanos... back then
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Old July 28, 2014, 08:09 AM   #46
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Shoot, I was going to buy one just because I didn't have one, was ready to close out this and go to cabalas site until I noticed the post was two years old.

So it isn't the best rifle out there, who cares, I like history and the Carcano is history as any other old military surplus rifle.
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Old July 28, 2014, 01:14 PM   #47
tahunua001
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Quote:
Looks like you are basing your "expert" opinion on handing a whopping 20 or thirty pieces.
actually I think it's closer to 40 pieces these days, but I hope you realize that I was being sarcastic when I said I was an "expert".
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Old July 28, 2014, 05:16 PM   #48
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Like a lot of old military designs, the Carcano has it's faults when you want to convert it to a hunting rifle. The split bridge sucks, unless you use a tip-off mount so you can load it easily. The clip gets some getting used to. Nothing wrong with the safety. BUT, if you think you (Russian rifle owners) have finally found a rifle more worthless to hunt with, you would be wrong. I have used both to hunt and the Carcano wins hands down as an adaptable deer gun.
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Old July 28, 2014, 05:49 PM   #49
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trust me... I tried adapting rusky to hunting rifle... it didn't turn out well.
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Old July 31, 2014, 10:54 AM   #50
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Quote:
2. they use non-standard bullet diameters. since what little surplus there was is now long gone, reloading for the carcano is a must and getting your hands on .268 and .299 bullets is a huge PITAx10^989879879879879, I won't get a carcano. I don't know why the Italians thought they were so special that they didn't have to standardize but when everyone else was using .264s for their 6.5s, Italy went with .268, and when everyone else was using 307-311 for their 30 calibers, Italy instead went with .299, the only rifles in history to use those diameter bullets.
That is an interesting issue. Obviously they did not have any concerns about the use of the rifle in civilian hands 70 years after a losing war and civilian shooter's difficulty of reloading for the thing. Troops were to be issued with military ammunition and nothing else. Italy is a nation state so they had to be thinking that they could make all their own ammunition, and I am certain, they probably did.

I expect someone sat down, looked at a ballistic chart, looked at a pressure curve chart, and came up with those goofy bullet sizes.

Our own 223 was developed, basically, by a bunch of guys at Bob Hutton's Ranch in CA. They took an existing round, necked it down, got the velocities they wanted, shot through a couple of watermelons and helmets, which was accepted as proof of lethality, and that round became US military standard.

Now, the US is trying to figure out how to shoe horn rounds that equal the 6.5 Carcano ballistically, into military M16's, because the basic 223 round makes a good poodle round, but not on the larger French poodles, as French poodles don't drop as fast as desired.
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