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Old December 12, 2011, 12:09 AM   #1
Carcano22
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Primers for 6.5 carcano

I recently inherited a 6.5x52mm Italian gun, I am interested in reloading the Norma brass i have and would like to see if any one could recommend the correct primer to use. Also I will need a handbook. Is there anything that makes one handbook better than the others?

Thanks,
-Clint
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Old December 12, 2011, 07:41 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Correct primers in Norma brass should be large rifle. I had a 6.5x50 Japanese Arisaka for which I reloaded for years using Norma brass, and it used large rifle primers.

Obviously you want a reloading manual that lists the bullet weight and powder combination that you want to use.

Once you choose a powder, virtually all of the powder manufacturers have loading data on their websites.

For the Arisaka I always liked IMR 4064.

For a hardcopy reloading manual, I prefer Hornady, but the Lee bok also seems to be a good one.
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Old December 12, 2011, 08:15 AM   #3
Orochimaru
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The 6.5x52 Carcano needs large rifle primers.

I believe both the Hornady and Lee manuals contain loading data for this rifle. The Hodgdon web site also contains loading information for the Carcano.

For mine, I stock H4895 powder.
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Old December 12, 2011, 01:52 PM   #4
Carcano22
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Ok i have read that they require large rifle primers, but is that a standard across most major primer manufacturers like Remington, Federal, CCI and Winchester?
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Old December 12, 2011, 02:02 PM   #5
mrawesome22
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Yes. Get yourself a reloading manual and get to reading
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Old December 12, 2011, 02:45 PM   #6
Carcano22
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Will do just trying to gather initial information before i dive in to this. Thank you guys for the help.
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Old December 12, 2011, 03:35 PM   #7
Mike Irwin
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"is that a standard across most major primer manufacturers like Remington, Federal, CCI and Winchester?"

It has been for many years.

Primer sizes pretty much standardized into the common sizes we have now by the end of World War I.

There have been, at various times, exceptions to this -- strange primer sizes, speciality runs of cases that traditionally use one primer size, but for whatever reason have a different size primer. and so on.

Fortunately, you're not likely to encounter many, if any, of those.

You're more likely to encounter European ammunition (not made for the American market) that is berdan primed with metric primers.

Stick with Norma or Hornady (I think they're making 6.5x52 Carcano ammo) and you'll be fine.
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Old December 12, 2011, 04:55 PM   #8
Orochimaru
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Another quick note about these guns...

Modern brass is made by Norma and PPU (Prvi Partizan). Loaded ammunition is available from Norma, PPU and Hornady. Hornady, IIRC, uses PPU brass.

*Most* modern 6.5mm bullets are 0.264" in diameter. The original Round Nose bullet that was used in Mil. Ammo for the Carcano was 0.268" in diameter. Most of the loaded ammo you buy and most of the 6.5mm bullets on the market will be 0.264.

The notable exception to this (apart from MilSurp stuff, which is going to be REALLY old) is Hornady which makes an Round Nose bullet (and ammo) in 0.268.

The 0.268 will shoot more accurately as long as your barrel is in good shape. If the weapon hasn't been fired for a while, you should have it checked, but I'd also recommend starting with a 0.264 round -- like the Prvi Partizan stuff (all over gun shows for $16 per 20, at least in Ohio). Check for pressure signs before going to the bigger bullet.

ALSO...

Some Carcano's are chambered for 7.35mm -- so you'll want to verify that it is truly a 6.5 before buying/making ammo for it.
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Old December 13, 2011, 11:20 AM   #9
Carcano22
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Will do, it is the 6.5x52mm version for sure i have fired some of the .264 ammo already and it seems to do fine with that.... Well other than it shoots a good 4-6in high at about 80yards.
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Old December 13, 2011, 02:10 PM   #10
Mike Irwin
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"Well other than it shoots a good 4-6in high at about 80yards."

Which is about where you'd expect it to be for general battle sights on a military rifle.

That would give you a point blank range of at least several hundred yards.
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Old December 13, 2011, 11:37 PM   #11
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A great many of the European military rifles will shoot high to Americans. Many were "zero'd" for 300 meters. Also it was a common convention in those days that troops were taught to aim at the belt buckle of a standing enemy. That way, the long range zero would still generate a deadly hit if the range estimate was off.

US shooters are used to rifles that put the bullets right where we aim them (and most often at 100yds), so these guns shoot "high".

Our own military rifles from those years also have longer range zeroes than we expect today.

Carcanos are interesting pieces of history, a decent (but not spectacular 6.5mm) in a rather horrid rifle. Not that a good one won't be accurate with the right ammo, but the Carcano design is considered inferior to the Mauser & Springfield both as a sporter and military arm, also well below the British SMLE as a combat arm. Even the Moisin Nagants are better suited to civilian uses, and thats not saying alot.

As a historical collectible, the Italian guns are not the top choices, but they are desirable enough today that I wouldn't make a lamp out of a good one, the way they once did.

If you can find one, get an old Lyman manual. Ones from the 70s still have sections for all those obsolete military rounds. Newer manuals might not.

OK, just checked one of my old manuals, and a newer Hornady one, and there is a drastic difference in max loads. My old Lyman lists a "factory duplication load" with a 160gr RN using IMR 4320 and getting 2267fps from a 21" barrel "Italian service carbine". The newer Hornady manual (7th edition) used a 27" barrel M41 rifle and 6 powders with their .267" 160gr. 4 of the powders maxed out at 2050fps and the other two got to 2200fps! (and IMR 4320 wasn't one of the powders Hornady tested)

Also, Hornady warns only to use the components shown and "absolutely do not reduce charge weights below those shown".

The old Lyman manual also warns you to slug the bore, to determine actual diameter, and if groove diameter is larger than .264 (they used .264 bullets)
and that;
"you could experience gas blow by (gas from the breech due to low pressure) when using the listed starting loads with standard bullet size. We suggest that you wear shooting glasses when working out loads and that you consider the use of cast bullets sized to the exact groove diameter of your particular rifle."

You won't find advice exactly like that in a modern manual!

Note that I'm not putting actual load data in the post, any of it, new or old might not be safe in your rifle, or someone else's. Safely reloading these old warhorse rifles is very specific to the gun you have, due to the wide variations of condition and bore diameter found from one rifle to the next.

We'll be glad to help, as much as we can. Get the rifle checked by a good smith, and the actual bore & groove size determined, and then go from there.
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Old December 26, 2011, 03:20 AM   #12
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in addition it shoots high for him because he was shooting the Prvi whatchamacallit cheap ammo, which is 123 grains vs 160 grains for military ammo. It has nothing to do with how the gun was sighted-in for 300 yards...

I'm currently wondering why I've been reading the new Hornady 160 RN is .268 but my Hornady 6.5 Carcano ammo measures .266 with digital calipers (Golly these are LOOOOONNNNGGGG)... Anyone know why it's not .268 ??

Got a 6.5 Carcano from gunbroker and it's not here yet...
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Old December 26, 2011, 03:30 AM   #13
barthmonster
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forgive me the PRVI ammo comes in 2 flavors, 123 grain SP, and 139 grain FMJ. I assumed he was shooting high due to using one of them as compared with military (or Hornady) 160 grain RN... Possibly...
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Old December 26, 2011, 07:10 PM   #14
Orochimaru
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As others have pointed out, the Carcano will be sighted at either 200 or 300 meters, depending on the flavor of sights you have. For it to shoot high is expected.

They get a bad rap for reliability, durability, and accuracy. However, they are actually VERY strong and with the proper projectile and a decent-condition barrel, they can produce tolerable accuracy.

6.5 Carcano data is available in both the Lee and Hornady manuals, as well as on the Hodgdon site.

The 0.264 bullets are a "safe" option, but they will not produce the groupings that a "better fit" projectile will. However, it is probably not a bad idea to slug the barrel if you're seriously thinking about ordering some of the Hornady 160Gr RN bullets.

I know the Carcanos aren't highly collectible, etc, but I like 'em!
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Old December 26, 2011, 07:11 PM   #15
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Depending on who you believe, Hornady's 160RN's are either 0.268 or 0.267 -- I've seen claims of both.
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