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Old June 27, 2013, 05:41 PM   #1
AL45
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At the range with the Carcano

Shot my 7.35mm Carcano today over a sandbag with open sights at 100 yards. The first shot was about 5 inches above the bullseye. Of the next 7 shots, 3 hit about 5 inches left of the bullseye while 4 hit about 5 inches high and slightly left. The last 3 also hit high and slightly left. The 7 high and left shots are about a 6" group and the 3 left shots are a 3 inch group. If you count all the shots you have about a 12" group. Alright, you can stop laughing now. I'm certainly no marksman, but I don't think all the blames on me. These are reloads using 6.5 caliber Norma brass necked to 7.35 and 128 grain jacketed soft points that my LGS loaded. The rifle is a lot of fun to shoot and I am going to start reloading for it, but I would like to tighten the groups up. The rear sight is not adjustable, but I can tap the front sight over. Any ideas on tightening the group?
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Old June 27, 2013, 08:34 PM   #2
tahunua001
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ok first I would slug the bore and check the chamber(if you haven't already) to make sure it's still chambered for 7.35. these guns get a bad rap for being POS but that group seems a little out of the ordinary.

2nd, I'd make sure that your LGS was actually loading .299 diameter bullets and not cramming .308 diameter bullets down a .299 bore. the opposite may also be true, your bore may oversized and may be better suited to loading .308 bullets rather than .299.

3rd, I'd pick the brains over at the reloading forums here, as well as check and see if there is anything in the italian forums at milsurps.com. good knowledge base over there with those guys, they may have found some loads that work great.
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Old June 27, 2013, 08:51 PM   #3
James K
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I have fired only a few 7.35mm Carcanos and didn't specially check the accuracy. But the 6.5 ones I have fired were fairly accurate, not up to a good Swedish Mauser, but good military accuracy on the order of 3" groups at 100 yards with military ammo and some doing a lot better with good quality reloads.

They have a poor reputation for a number of reasons, most having nothing to do with the quality of the rifle, but they are no better or worse than other similar rifles of the day. The Carcano was first adopted in 1891 and had I been a soldier at that time, I would have preferred the Carcano to the U.S. trapdoor then in use.

Jim
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Old June 27, 2013, 11:11 PM   #4
tahunua001
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after doing a little digging I found some people that swear by 40GR of IMR4895 powder for the 128gr bullets. another listed is 36gr of H335 for the same bullet weight. you could also try 36gr of IMR4064 as it usually makes for quite accurate loads for several milsurp cartridges. you may have your LGS load a few of any of those recipes and see how it fairs, you could also back off a couple grains if you dont feel comfortable with 2nd hand load data, I've had people tell me a load and ended up finding that they were 25% over recommended max in some manuals.
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Old June 28, 2013, 08:57 AM   #5
AL45
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The LGS said they used 4895. He didn't specify whether it was IMR or H. My Lee manual shows to use H4895.
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Old June 28, 2013, 09:33 AM   #6
tahunua001
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hogdon 4895 is pretty much THE universal powder for old military cartridges. it works in everything but doesn't necessarily offer the tightest groups. like i've said, the two I've found that offer the best groups, are IMR 3031 and 4064.
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Old June 28, 2013, 09:44 AM   #7
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I have found IMR 3031 will load for just about any milsurp. I keep a pound on hand just for those rifles.
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Old June 28, 2013, 11:27 AM   #8
AL45
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I've got IMR 4064 and H4895. I'll try both and see which works best. Main thing is, I don't want anything hot.
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Old June 28, 2013, 01:10 PM   #9
Mike Irwin
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Five inches high sounds about right for a battle zero.
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Old June 28, 2013, 03:12 PM   #10
Jim Watson
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I don't think you are going to get major improvements in accuracy by flip-flopping on powders in army surplus. The first thing to do is to assure bullet fit. And wonder about quality from the LGS sweatshop.
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Old June 28, 2013, 06:55 PM   #11
chiefr
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With correct PPU brass, Hornady .298, 128gr bullets, and some 4895, you will be surprised what the 7.35 Carcano can do. IMHO, it will fare just as well as other period milsurps.
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Old June 28, 2013, 07:51 PM   #12
tahunua001
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I don't know... my springfield 1903A4(don't have it no more) and Type 44 arisaka are pretty deadly... it'd take a great deal to even compete with them.
mosin nagants and MAS36, sure the carcano could play with them all day long but swedish mausers, Arisakas, springfields... a little outclassed I'm afraid.
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