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Old January 6, 2009, 02:44 PM   #1
Cawnc4
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Carcano? Now with pictures!

I recently acquired a FAT 42 Carcano, it fires 6.5x52mm rounds and I was wondering a couple things about it. First off how much is it worth? I payed 110 for it at an estate auction. Secondly how common is the ammo for it, and if it can still be bought where would be the cheapest? Oh yea I probably should of asked if its safe to fire before I asked about ammo. Forth I was wondering what the history of it was. Thanks!


Also would it be worth it to reload the ammunition?

Completely forgot, What should I do to preserve it? Its in REALY great condition (I think) and I would love to keep it that way (but still take it out to the range some )

Last edited by Cawnc4; January 8, 2009 at 12:04 PM.
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Old January 6, 2009, 03:26 PM   #2
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Hurry, hurry!! Read all about it!
http://www.carbinesforcollectors.com/carcanopage1.html

The Mannlicher-Carcano rifle (and its variants) was the main service rifle of the Italian military beginning in 1891 and continuing through 1943. It was originally chambered in 6.5X52mm, chambered for a short time in 7.35X52mm, then returning to the 6.5X52mm chambering due to WWII shortages of materials. Loaded ammo can be obtained from Hornady, Prvi Partizan, and Norma. Loading data is in the Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading.
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Old January 6, 2009, 11:09 PM   #3
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John and Jackie Kennedy aren't too crazy about them.
MANY years ago I worked for a place that sold all kinds of surplus stuff, including rifles and pistols. I remember looking at the muzzles of several Carcano's and noting the bore wasn't even near the center of the barrel. Collectable? maybe. great rifle, NO WAY, mostly junk. Sorry, I have just seen TOO many for a different opinion.
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Old January 7, 2009, 12:14 AM   #4
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Carcanos have a largely undeserved bad reputation. This comes from two things: First, the rifle was heavily berated by the Warren Comission and secondly accuracy is typically poor due to the use of undersize bullets. Carcanos typically have a .268 bore but most 6.5mm bullets are .264 diameter. Hornady currently sells both loaded ammo and components with the proper 160grn .268 bullets. Norma, FNM, and Prvi Partizan all make ammo in this caliber, but it uses the incorrect .264 bullet (it's a good source of boxer primed brass though) Also, avoid surplus ammo at all costs, it's expensive, berdan primed, hang-fires like a brown bess or simply doesn't fire, inaccurate, and corrosive as hell. When used with good ammo, a Carcano, while not a tack driver, is adequately accurate. The action is quite strong and the earlier ones are reasonably well made.

Quote:
I remember looking at the muzzles of several Carcano's and noting the bore wasn't even near the center of the barrel.
This may have been because you were looking at M1891 Calvary Carbines. These rifles were originally equipped with a folding bayonet ala SKS but many of them had the bayonet removed and the lug ground off. The point of attatchment was right at the end of the barrel and thusly grinding it off could possible make the bore look off center.

http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting/carcano/index.asp

http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting...9141/index.asp
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Old January 7, 2009, 12:16 AM   #5
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"Several" off center bores? Somehow I find that hard to believe. I can only say that the only rifle I have seen with an off-center bore was made by Savage.

There have been a lot of lies told about the Carcano, mostly by people peddling some conspiracy theory or other about the Kennedy assassination. In fact, it is a quite decent rifle, and pretty much in line with other similar rifles and ammunition of the time like the Greek and Dutch Mannlichers, the Japanese Type 38, etc.

They are accurate and recoil is moderate. The en-bloc clip has been denounced (see above) by people who praise the same idea when it was used by John Garand. While some wartime ones are rough, pre-war models were well made and operate smoothly. It is well to note that the Italians were using the Carcano when the U.S. was still stuck with the trapdoor Springfield; I suspect that Custer's troops, given a choice, would have preferred the Carcano.

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Old January 8, 2009, 05:22 AM   #6
SKULLANDCROSSBONES65
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G'day. A google search soon revealed a lot about this weapon.

Quote:
The action is quite strong
From what I have read this statement seems to be in error.
I have posted some data on another related post of yours.
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Old January 8, 2009, 06:58 AM   #7
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The biggest drawback to the Carcano is the availability, or more accurately the lack thereof, of clips. Good ones are gold; bad ones turn the rifle into a jam-o-matic.

The other big drawback used to be ammo, but that's loosened up somewhat in the last few years. When I picked mine up in '04, the only source was Norma. I spent more on two boxes of ammo than I did on the rifle itself. The Carcano, at least the more common variants, is still one of the few surplus rifles whose Blue Book value is substantially affected by the number of rounds in the magazine...
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Old January 8, 2009, 07:58 AM   #8
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I've gotten fine accuracy out of several Carcanos over the years.

No, the action certainly isn't smooth, especially compared to someone used to either a Lee Enfield or a Mauser type action, but they're servicable. Boltway lapping will often help smooth out a stiff gun, but it's probably not worth the effort.

Without the proper Mannlicher clips the gun is a single shot. Clips are getting hard to find.

The cartridge is a fine cartridge, and would make a very good Eastern deer/bear round like any of the military 6.5s.
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Old January 8, 2009, 08:07 AM   #9
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The clips are fragile, too, and easily bent. Also, I keep hearing that only original Eye-talian clips are any good, but I've never seen a guide for differentiating them from repros.

I've got some 160gr interlocks that oughtta be hell on black bear or smaller pigs, but I think they'll wind up loaded into 6.5 Swede or 6.5 Arisaka cases...
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Old January 8, 2009, 09:58 AM   #10
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I had no idea anyone ever made reproduction Carcano clips.

I'm still trying to find some 5-round clips for my Betherier.
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Old January 8, 2009, 11:06 AM   #11
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I think, if my memory is working right, I have clips that were preloaded I bought at a gun show one time with surplus ammo. That is the bad thing about not having access to you gun collection whenever you want, can't just look at items for information. I never had any jambs and the clips fell free fine. If I am around this weekend I need to see about the ammo and clips.

I paid $35 for the rifle.


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Old January 8, 2009, 12:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin
I'm still trying to find some 5-round clips for my Betherier.
Lemme see how many I have.

Whatcha got to trade? (Hint: I have only the one Carcano clip...)
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Old January 8, 2009, 12:04 PM   #13
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Thanks everybody for posting, I now have pictures of the gun itself! I think it looks great, tell me what you think

Also I have been able to find a good amount of the stripper clips online, ebay as alot and so does gun broker.

Sorry for the lighting of the pictures!


















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Old January 8, 2009, 12:12 PM   #14
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Looks like your rifle has been cut down and the stock refinished.

Not uncommon, many of these rifles were used as hunting guns in the 1950s through the 1970s, especially after Norma started making good soft point ammunition.

Arisakas, Mannlicher-Schoenauers, Swedish Mausers, and Carcanos introduced several generations of hunters to how spectacularly effective the little military 6.5 cartridges can be as hunting rounds.

The big drawback to them is that they have always been loaded very sedately out of fear of barely servicable former military rifles.

I've always wanted to have a Remington 700 rechambered to 6.5 Arisaka to run it through its paces. I suspect that it would be a wonderful little cartridge as a general purpose varmint and short to mid-range game getter.




"Whatcha got to trade? (Hint: I have only the one Carcano clip...)"

I've got zero Carcano clips. Can't remember when I last saw one.

What else are you interested in? I don't really maintain much of a stock of trade items.

Mostly what I maintain for trade are individual cartridges for trading amongst cartridge collectors, but that has become seriously depleted over the years as I've gotten more of what I want to round out my collection.
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Old January 8, 2009, 12:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
(Hint: I have only the one Carcano clip...)
Lets me see how many I have this weekend. If I have any extra I can send you one.

I really have no idead how many I have could be 2 or even more. I have no idea what is in my inventory. So is the case when plastic bags are filled up full of various surplus ammunition and clips.
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Old January 8, 2009, 03:17 PM   #16
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SKULLANDCROSSBONES65 seems to doubt the statement that the Carcano action is strong. In fact it is more than adequately strong for the cartridge and the fact that the Germans converted many to use their 7.9 service cartridge shows it has considerable reserve strength. (FWIW, I have such a conversion and have fired it with German service ammo with no problems. No clip, unfortunately, though they were made.)

Not to be nitpicky, but the clip is not a "stripper" clip; it enters the action and becomes part of it until it is empty, then it drops out, a typical Mannlicher system.

Jim
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Old January 8, 2009, 04:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin
I've always wanted to have a Remington 700 rechambered to 6.5 Arisaka to run it through its paces.
I have a Carcano chambered in 6.5 Arisaka.

I've gotta go sort through my ammo cans upstairs, but I'm pretty sure I should be able to dig up some 3- or 5-round Mannlicher-Berthier clips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pesta2
Lets me see how many I have this weekend. If I have any extra I can send you one.
I'd be ever so appreciative. Let me know if you're looking for anything.
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Old January 8, 2009, 04:37 PM   #18
Cawnc4
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oh, I didnt know they werent stripper clips (infact I dont even know the difference) I just saw it listed somewhere as a carcano stripper clip.
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Old January 8, 2009, 04:53 PM   #19
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"In fact it is more than adequately strong for the cartridge and the fact that the Germans converted many to use their 7.9 service cartridge shows it has considerable reserve strength"

It's my understanding that conversion was marginal, at best, and that it did tax the upper strength limits of the action.

I've heard from several sources over the years that the 8mm Carcanos really should not be shot.
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Old January 8, 2009, 05:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
(Hint: I have only the one Carcano clip...)
That is exactly one more than I have. My Carcano is for the most part a single shot.
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Old January 8, 2009, 11:16 PM   #21
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I have a japanese type I that I am going to be posting in the classifieds. I welcome info. about it. I have been told it is the paratrooper or marine version of the carcano.
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Old January 8, 2009, 11:18 PM   #22
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The Type I was indeed issued mostly to Japanese Naval Infantry.
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Old January 10, 2009, 02:03 PM   #23
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I THINK that the Japanese took something like 50,000 or so Carcanos chambered in 6.5x50SR.


Hey, Tam, I just read your blog...

Don't have a set of dies for 6.5x50 Arisaka?

Hum...

Maybe I DO have something to trade after all...

I have an old Lee Loader in 6.5x50 somewhere around here, but I THINK I sold my RCBS 6.5x50 dies years ago.

Interested in exchange for a Betherier clip or two?

My rifle does need the 5 round clips, not the three rounders (What the hell were the French thinking?)
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Old January 12, 2009, 06:38 AM   #24
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cawnc4, your rifle appears to be a model 41 living in a model 38 stock. numrich gun parts has the clips for around $4.50 i just got some in dec.
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Old January 12, 2009, 03:02 PM   #25
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The Type I Japanese rifle had a Carcano action but used a Mauser-type magazine; they used the 6.5 Japanese cartridge and loaded from standard Arisaka stripper clips. It was the product of one of Hitler's ideas about mutual support among the Axis powers. Italy being the "poor cousin" of the alliance, he persuaded the Japanese to buy Italian-made rifles. The Japanese really didn't want them, considering them inferior to their own rifles, and they were foisted off on the Navy. Some seen here obviously were used and show wear and the effects of a tropical climate, but others appear to be nearly new and unissued. Unlike the Japanese-made rifles, they never had the "mum" imperial seal.

60,000 were made with production divided among government factories at Gardone and Brescia and the private Beretta factory. Terni made all the barrels.

The ones that saw combat were presumably in the hands of Navy landing parties, commonly called "Japanese Marines" by Americans . But the Imperial Navy had no equivalent to the USMC; the troops were sailors, distinguished from Army troops by their collar insignia and the anchor on their helmets. They were seldom deployed in any great numbers, but sometimes turned up in early Japanese takeover of small islands* and of course in the defense of navy bases.

*The first Japanese ashore on Guadalcanal, before the Americans even recognized its importance, were members of a small landing party under the command of a Lt.Cmdr. Their heaviest weapons were two small howitzers and three machineguns.

Jim

Edited to add: There is a picture in the latest Shotgun News of a Japanese Naval Landing Party clearly showing the helmet with the anchor and the Naval flag (the "rising sun with rays" as opposed to the plain red disc on the national flag).

Jim
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