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Old August 7, 2013, 09:13 AM   #26
DAVID NANCARROW
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I did read a story about a GI who brought back a 6.5 Arisaka from WWII, and because he couldn't find ammo for it, he took the weapon to a "gunsmith" and had it rechambered for 3-06. Apparently he fired the rifle a few times but wrote into some rifle forum and complained that it "kicked like a mule", sent it to them to investigate what the problem might be.

Turns out the so called smitty did in fact rechamber the rifle to take the 06 ammo and modified the magazine, but didn't have the sense to rebarrel it! The GI told them that they could keep the darned thing, so they tied the rifle to a tire and attached a very long string to the trigger and touched off a round. It did indeed work, but I can only imagine the recoil as that 308 bullet swaged down to a 264 bore.

Then they got crazy with it and decided to test it to destruction, first filling it with a compressed load of rifle powder, all the way to filling a handload full of pistol powder. At that stage, they said that flames erupted from the action, and they had to remove the barrel from the action, and put the bolt into a lathe to remove the case from the bolt face! But surprisingly, the bolt didn't suffer much damage and neither did the locking lugs.

That must have been one really strong action.
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Old August 7, 2013, 10:04 PM   #27
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The reference to a Confederate general "Porter" threw me, as I couldn't recall him. But Edward Porter Alexander was one of the South's brightest and best engineers and technicians. I am sure his assessment of C.S. armament after First Bull Run (First Manassas) was correct, but that was the first major battle of the war (July 1861) and the South had not yet gotten its ordnance supply and foreign purchase systems organized. The smooth bore muskets he mentions were probably the Model 1842, which the C.S. seized in considerable numbers from southern depots and arsenals, good weapons, though not the latest rifled models.

Alexander later became the artillery chief for the Army of Northern Virginia. He was one of the first Confederate officers to recognize the value of balloons for observation and actually ascended in one to scout Federal positions. He had a somewhat unique role at Gettysburg, being ordered to fire the cannon shots that would signal Pickett's attack to begin at his discretion and when he judged the best moment. That kind of faith in a subordinate officer was unheard of at the time, and indicated how much trust Lee placed in the young (28 year old) general.

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Old December 29, 2013, 08:32 PM   #28
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They could shoot ours but we couldn't shoot theirs

People do stupid things. I was in a local military surplus store and a guy came in wanting to buy ammo for a 6.5 carcano. They didn't have any on hand so he asked for some 38spl ammo. The owner asked him if it was for the rifle and he answered yes. The owner wouldn't sell it to him for use in the carcano because of the danger involved in using the wrong ammo. The guy informed him that he usually shot 38spl out of it anyway since he couldn't find the 6.5 carcano ammo and it worked just fine. He did state that it kicked like a mule. Another case of guardian angels working overtime. The lead 38 bullets were swaging to fit the bore when fired. The Carcano action isn't known for its strength either..
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Old December 31, 2013, 07:35 AM   #29
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I can't imagine even being able to close a Carcano bolt on a .38 special, much less firing it. The 6.5 is a rimless round, while the .38 Special is a rimmed round.

This sounds like a "tall tale" to me.
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Old December 31, 2013, 02:23 PM   #30
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Siege of Acre

The Saracens could shoot the Crusaders long arrows back at them from their recurve bows which were fitted with over-draw arrow rests. The Saracen's arrow were short stubby shafts that could not be used in the Crusaders lowbows. Thus, in the exchange of arrows over the walls of Acre, the Saracen archers had no small advantage. Not quite gun related, but definitely shooting related.....
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Old December 31, 2013, 08:30 PM   #31
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With the understanding that I do not recommend firing any cartridge except in a firearm made for that cartridge, I think it would be possible to get a .38 Special to fire in a 6.5 Carcano. The base of the .38 Special will fit into the bolt head of the Carcano. BUT the chamber is much larger than the .38 case and firing the .38 would certainly result in a burst case with gas escape and danger to the shooter. A soft lead bullet would probably swage down enough to exit the barrel, but all in all, I think use of the .38 Special in a 6.5 Carcano would create enough of a problem that it would not be done routinely or without the shooter noticing it. Just another "war story" that is best ignored.

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Old January 1, 2014, 10:10 AM   #32
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When I was a kid I shot 7.65's out of a 7.7 Arisaka. They shot fine and were very accurate but it pushed the shoulder up until there was just a very thin ring of neck left and I do mean thin. God only knows what would have happened if I'd fired one with a short case.
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Old January 1, 2014, 03:28 PM   #33
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It a Miracle.

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Old February 5, 2014, 09:25 PM   #34
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That kind of faith in a subordinate officer was unheard of at the time, and indicated how much trust Lee placed in the young (28 year old) general.
and when he told Lee he could move the union artillery from the hill but could do nothing if they came back because he would be out of ammunition. The union artillery moved and then returned.

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Old February 5, 2014, 09:55 PM   #35
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Turns out the so called smitty did in fact rechamber the rifle to take the 06 ammo and modified the magazine, but didn't have the sense to rebarrel it! The GI told them that they could keep the darned thing, so they tied the rifle to a tire and attached a very long string to the trigger and touched off a round. It did indeed work, but I can only imagine the recoil as that 308 bullet swaged down to a 264 bore.
and no one has explained how the reamer moved the chamber forward without a cutter, the reamer has a pilot. The reamer could have been one of those pilotless reamers, you know the ones that cut chambers that form banana shaped cases.

Ours in theirs? Theirs in ours. We don't need theirs. An expert in zeroing scopes offered to zero a rifle for a friend. After the first round he took the rifle to a gunsmith in the area. The expert purchased new 308 Winchester ammo
for a 25/06. The funniest line " The bullet must have been 3 incest long when it left the barrel".

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Old February 5, 2014, 10:12 PM   #36
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The version I heard was that the "gunsmith" tried to get the .30-'06 reamer into the 6.5 barrel and when it wouldn't go in all the way, he ground down the pilot. The result was that a .30-'06 cartridge could enter the chamber and be fired.

Actually, that is not too surprising. At those pressures, a lead core bullet will act almost like silly putty, deforming to accommodate itself to the barrel as necessary and without raising pressures greatly.

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Old February 5, 2014, 10:45 PM   #37
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The funniest line " The bullet must have been 3 incest long when it left the barrel".
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Old February 5, 2014, 10:48 PM   #38
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and I have always said: "Forget the rifle I want the cases, the rifle did not swarm, the cases did not swarm".

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Old February 6, 2014, 10:34 AM   #39
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The difference between rendering the rifle scrap and paying someone to separate the rifle from the case was the price of a good bullet.

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Last edited by F. Guffey; February 6, 2014 at 10:39 AM. Reason: change and to from
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Old February 7, 2014, 07:37 PM   #40
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Not exactly the same as shooting differently chambered rounds, but in the Falklands conflict the British could have used the magazines for the Argentine FAL rifles in their own L1A1 SLRs, but the Argentines would not be able to use a captured SLR magazine in their FALs.

Whether or not the Paras or Marines ever had the opportunity or the need to do this in the heat of Battle I don't know. I do know that supply was a constant issue for the Brits, so it potentially could have come in handy.

I doubt the Argies ever had the chance to capture any British weapons.
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Old February 8, 2014, 03:39 AM   #41
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The French used .69 caliber, the British .75. Hence you could fire French ammunition in a Brown Bess but not the reverse.
I think the Brown Bess was a .72 caliber, or at least some versions were.

My Grandfather was a revolutionary war buff (meaning he knew a lot about it, not that he collected anything) and as a child (1890s) he would often find musket balls. He lived 20 miles north of Saratoga. Some of those balls he loaded in 12ga shells, with DuPont Bulk powder. I have a couple of them, still. .72s

One of the tidbits he told me was that colonials armed with British muskets would also use the .69 cal French balls, if they had them. They could get another shot or two using the smaller ball in a fouled musket barrel.
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Old February 8, 2014, 08:08 AM   #42
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Some of those balls he loaded in 12ga shells, with DuPont Bulk powder. I have a couple of them, still. .72s
I've used some .69 caliber balls in my 12 gauge muzzle loader. They pack a helluva punch with 100 grains of powder.
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Old February 8, 2014, 09:35 AM   #43
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"I think the Brown Bess was a .72 caliber, or at least some versions were."

The Land Pattern Musket, aka the Brown Bess, had a bore diameter of .750.

Ball diameter was .710 to .720. It was undersized so that it could be easily loaded in a fouled bore during battle.

The undersized ball is why you always hear about how inaccurate muskets were.

The French/American .69-cal. muskets used a ball diameter closer to .675 for the same reason.
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Old February 8, 2014, 07:11 PM   #44
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I wonder how concerned they were with fouling back then, they used mostly smoothbores, what rifles then were for the elite, the balls were undersized for ease of loading, the paper patch provided the seal, rapidity of loading and volume of fire were more important than accuracy. US practice by the time of the Mexican War was a round ball and buckshot-"buck and ball".
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Old February 10, 2014, 08:22 AM   #45
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"I wonder how concerned they were with fouling back then, they used mostly smoothbores, what rifles then were for the elite, the balls were undersized for ease of loading, the paper patch provided the seal, rapidity of loading and volume of fire were more important than accuracy.:

They did all that primarily because foul WAS a major concern.
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Old February 10, 2014, 01:03 PM   #46
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There are reports of soldiers in the Civil War using rocks to hammer the ramrods in their rifles because the barrels were so fouled.

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Old February 10, 2014, 01:15 PM   #47
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For what its worth.....

With respect to concerns about fouling and the performance of issued firearms during Civil War combat, for any who haven't already read it there is a fascinating autobiographical book available written by a combatant in the Civil War. The title of the book is "The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865", by Leander Stillwell. Stillwell also details how they cleaned the firearms, both the first time when issued as well as after the battles, how they used strips of bacon to grease them, and addresses the matter of accuracy during Civil War battles (which were often characterized by a lot of smoke).

The book is available free as a download ebook from Amazon.com, or you can purchase a paperback version of the same book. Here is a link to the ebook:

http://www.amazon.com/Story-Common-S...nder+Stillwell

I found it a fascinating read, not merely for discussion of firearms and combat performance matters but also for the descriptions of Civil War tactics, strategy, movement, and general conduct of the war from an infantry and general historical perspective. (IOW it also discusses combat issues involving the lack of antibiotics or other medical treatments, as well as issues involving food preparation and its impact on performance.) Given that this book was written by an actual participant in the hostilities, rather than an analyst writing many decades after the end of the war, I found the entire volume to be captivating, and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in combat and firearms during the Civil War.
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Old February 10, 2014, 02:09 PM   #48
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Dang, Doc! Great recommendation!

Purchased for my Kindle!
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Old February 10, 2014, 02:16 PM   #49
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Cool! Awesome read - you'll love it!



(I should mention there are a couple places that are not PC by today's standards. The author is a contemporary of Mark Twain, and the standards in the late 1800s were different than today. Hope most readers here can understand that.)
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Old February 11, 2014, 09:37 AM   #50
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Thanks Doc,

Took me a pair of seconds and its on my Kindle.
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