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Old January 25, 2014, 10:56 PM   #26
tahunua001
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I don't have one but my opinion is based on several dozen which I have handled in person. the wood, is generally garbage. I would liken it to driftwood as it is generally very light toned and very dry, cracking, splintering, brittle, ETC. the metal, although well blued and just is not a great design. for the caliber they are chambered in I suppose but I have heard one too many horror stories regarding nazi rechambered rifles to think that one of these would do well in most other calibers. the rifles are not well balanced, they require enbloc clips to function, they don't have the greatest trigger, they are complicated(I have yet to find the safety on my Type I) and they use non standard bullet diameters making it difficult to both find ammo and reload for them and expect any degree of accuracy from most rifles.

there are a few diamonds in the rough and I have seen some pics from some members here that have great wood, others that get great groups.. but rarely do these occurences overlap. you got lucky with yours but carcanos have earned their poor reputation... with a little help from lee harvey oswald.

as for comparisons to mosins. until last year, it was not difficult to find a mosin nagant for $100 or less. up until sandy hook gun ban crisis of 2012-13, you could buy 440 rounds of 7.62x54R ammo for $70. the carcano and both calibers it is chambered for has been well over $100 for the last 10 years and the ammo has been non existent asside from a few seasonal runs of hornady and PRVI which is closer to $2 a round. this is why the mosin is so much more popular... wallet friendly.
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Old January 26, 2014, 10:50 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by tahunua001 View Post
I don't have one but my opinion is based on several dozen which I have handled in person. the wood, is generally garbage. I would liken it to driftwood as it is generally very light toned and very dry, cracking, splintering, brittle, ETC. the metal, although well blued and just is not a great design. for the caliber they are chambered in I suppose but I have heard one too many horror stories regarding nazi rechambered rifles to think that one of these would do well in most other calibers. the rifles are not well balanced, they require enbloc clips to function, they don't have the greatest trigger, they are complicated(I have yet to find the safety on my Type I) and they use non standard bullet diameters making it difficult to both find ammo and reload for them and expect any degree of accuracy from most rifles.



there are a few diamonds in the rough and I have seen some pics from some members here that have great wood, others that get great groups.. but rarely do these occurences overlap. you got lucky with yours but carcanos have earned their poor reputation... with a little help from lee harvey oswald.



as for comparisons to mosins. until last year, it was not difficult to find a mosin nagant for $100 or less. up until sandy hook gun ban crisis of 2012-13, you could buy 440 rounds of 7.62x54R ammo for $70. the carcano and both calibers it is chambered for has been well over $100 for the last 10 years and the ammo has been non existent asside from a few seasonal runs of hornady and PRVI which is closer to $2 a round. this is why the mosin is so much more popular... wallet friendly.

The wood theyre made of seems bad but i belive its due to the kind of wood(obviously) its really light.... And i mean very light.. I think they use a to light of wood for a gun. Not saying the wood is bad they just used a to light of wood. But aside from the clips i think of it to be like the mosin.. Some are absolute trash and some.. Well some are perfect.. What about the metal design? Makes not much sense but the Italians imported some i the finest steel at the time. But yea very well blued.. Like i said i compare it a mosin because my carcano actually runs better than my freinds 91/30 as long as i have a good clip. My trigger is even better . WAY BETTER. Actually as good as my mossberg 500 gold trigger.
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Old January 26, 2014, 11:55 AM   #28
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I compromised with my collection. I wanted a rifle from every major player in WWII(either used by or made by) and I had everything but an italian rifle and I could not convince myself to get a carcano because of the poor ammo and clip availability and poor condition of the usually sporterized rifles in my area. so instead I went the the Japanese type I rifle. I'm already set up to fire 6.5 jap and the type I is made from the same wood as the japanese made arisakas and uses the same mauser style magazine instead of enblocs yet it still uses a carcano style action and was made in italy so I got some of the appearance of the carcano and none of the things I dislike about it.
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Old January 26, 2014, 01:42 PM   #29
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I always get a kick out of the blow up tests. Interesting, in the abstract, but essentially meaningless to ordinary shooters and collectors. Unless, of course, you want a collection of blown up rifles....

Also interesting how many people found fault with the clip system, but only a couple compared its drawbacks to the M1 Garand (which has, essentially the same drawbacks, except for clip availability in the US)

My personal opinion on the Carcano is that I don't much like them. Nor do I much like the Moisin Nagant. Personally, I think they are both miserable bolt action rifle designs. Not that they aren't well made (the good ones, anyway), rugged, or accurate, I just don't care for their designs. They are plenty good enough for what they were made for, though.

One of the reasons (not already mentioned) Carcanos got a bad rep is that there is essentially, nothing else you can do with them.

In the decades after WWII, when milsurp bolt guns were both plentiful and dirt cheap, the Carcano was at the bottom of the list of desirablilty, if you wanted a nice rifle. Mausers, Springfields, & Arisakas were versatile, you could easily make them into nice sporters, and with a bit more work, into fine sporters.

The SMLE was near the bottom of the list, but above the Carcano, mostly because ammo was more common, and you didn't need special clips. Plus the SMLE was "on our side"....

Moisins weren't even ON the list. Not because they were so bad (they aren't, quality wise) but simply because there were none available, essentially. Moisins are the hot ticket now (although they are drying up), for budget & beginning shooters/collectors only because, being communist arms, they never got to the US market until well after all the (best) of their contemporaries had been bought up by us.

If you are looking at them as historical items (milsurp collection), the Carcano is a good rifle to have to fill out a collection. If you are looking for something that is easy to feed, look elsewhere.
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Old January 26, 2014, 02:36 PM   #30
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Moisins weren't even ON the list. Not because they were so bad (they aren't, quality wise) but simply because there were none available, essentially.
Not true. Mosins were sold through the CMP and many were sporterized because they were dumped on the civilian market after the Russians refused payment for the guns built here.
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Old January 26, 2014, 03:20 PM   #31
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there is a difference between an american made rifle that is brand new and sold through a pseudo government organization and one of 12 million guns that were made in a hurry with virtually no quality control to speak of and then ridden hard for a century before being sold off to anyone that wanted one.

also, CMP hasn't been around that long. it would have more than likely been DCM selling those.


FWIW, I own two guns that use enblocs. one is a M1895 mannlicher which I got because they are very cheap and because I already had a number of clips on hand from a trade I made a while back. in all it is in the same boat in all fields as the carcano. non-standard bullet diameter, non existent cheap plinking ammo, poor wood(on most, not all), and goofy, oddball bolt design. however a $150 rifle that you don't have to shop for clips for is not nearly as bad as a $250 rifle that you do have to shop for. the only reason I decided to go through with it was because I wanted a gun that was used by the nazis and I'm not too partial to M98 mausers.

I also own a M1 garand which I ought from the CMP. I already had a number of clips on hand from previous ammo deals I'd made. I do not like the clips and am not entirely sure I like the garand design as a whole. it's a pain to take apart, it's even worse to put back together and it's a 10 pound rifle with a fixed ammo capacity because of the clips and unlike the carcano and mannlicher, it launches it's clips rather than just dropping them at your feet.

I don't malign clips because I'm used to mags... I don't like them because they are damned inconvenient. those two rifles in my collection are rarely taken from the safe anymore in favor of box magazine fed rifles.
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Old January 26, 2014, 03:45 PM   #32
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The Carcano has a bad reputation due to the poor performance of Mussolini's
armed forces in WWII. They are well made and when used with the correct ammunition completely safe to use-there is no debate over "Low Number" Carcanos. Like its exact contemporary the Mosin Nagant it is-in light of subsequent experience-a somewhat archaic design (both are First Generation-what do you expect?) that lacks the smoothness of the Lee Enfields and the fit and finish of the M1903 and M1917. The split bridge-like the Krag and the tubular magazine of the Kropatschek and Lebel-is a design dead end that was overtaken by more efficient designs.
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Old January 27, 2014, 12:02 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by tahunua001
CMP hasn't been around that long. it would have more than likely been DCM selling those.
I'm sure you're right.
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Old January 27, 2014, 12:08 AM   #34
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so I guess the 1888 mauser rifles and lee metfords(the progenitor of the lee enfield) were a dead end first gen rifle? I suppose that so were the type 30 arisakas(1896) and M96 mausers. all of those those were updated and upgraded into very successful military rifles, some of the most successful of all time as a matter of fact.

people often defend carcanos and mosin nagants as if they were the first bolt actions ever made... no, they weren't even the first that were mass produced for military.
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Old January 27, 2014, 12:25 AM   #35
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The Japanese Type I is not a Mannlicher-Carcano. It has a variation of the Carcano receiver but does not have the Mannlicher magazine.

Nor was it or the rifles sent to Finland "exported" in the normal commercial meaning. The Type I was the result of a program promoted by one Adolf Hitler to have his allies share production; the Japanese Army had what they considered a perfectly good rifle and thought Hitler was bonkers (a view shared by others) but they did purchase those Type I's which they foisted off on the Navy. Wartime captures were from Naval Landing Parties (which Americans called "Jap Marines").

The shipping of Carcanos to Finland was the product of the same fevered mind. Hitler had the Italians ship rifles to the Finns (who were allied with Germany). Toward the end of the war, Italian Carcanos seized by the Wehrmacht in Italy were rebarrelled in Germany to 7.9 and issued to the Volkssturm; clips were also made to take the 7.9, but I have never seen one, although I have a 7.9 Carcano, which I have fired.

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Old January 27, 2014, 01:09 AM   #36
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I'll make this a separate post to avoid confusion.

I'll never say never, but I don't believe Italy ever sold Carcanos to the British in WWI, especially when Italy had need of every rifle they could find and even modified the old Vetterli rifles to use the Mannlicher magazine. I believe you are thinking of the purchase by Britain of large numbers of Japanese 6.5mm Type 30 and some Type 38 rifles. I don't know the exact numbers off hand but the British used them for training and Kynoch made ammunition for them; it still turns up at gun shows from time to time.

BTW, anyone questioning the courage and fighting ability of the Italian soldier needs to consider WWI, not WWII, when they never trusted their own leaders and never liked their German allies. But in WWI, the Italians fought the Austrians in the Alps, in some of the worst conditions and most bitter fighting ever seen in Europe. The Western Front was a picnic compared with the ice and snow and sub-zero cold of the eastern alps. World War I memorials in Italy with hundreds of names (compared with those from WWII with dozens) offer testimony to the guts of Italian soldiers in those horrible battles.

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Old January 27, 2014, 01:14 AM   #37
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Everything I've read indicated that the Jap carcanos were sold to the Japanese navy because the Army was the senior service and prevented the Navy from procuring Arisakas, which they would have preferred.
Quote:
The Type I Carcano rifle was produced by Italy for the Japanese Empire prior to World War II. After the invasion of China, all Arisaka production was required for use of the Imperial Army, so the Imperial Navy contracted with Italy for this weapon in 1937. The Type I is based on the Type 38 rifle and uses a Carcano action, but retains the Arisaka/Mauser type 5-round box magazine. The Type I was used primarily by Japanese Imperial Naval Forces and was chambered for the Japanese 6.5×50mm Arisaka cartridge. Approximately 60,000 Type I rifles were produced by Italian arsenals for Japan.
The Carcano action mated to a Mauser magazine is vastly superior to the M91 in its original configuration IMHO, but I would agree with just about everyone else in the world and time that the Arisaka is superior to ANY carcano.

And regardless of how the Carcanos ended up in Finland, they were deliberately sent there out of Italy and into Finland. Both the exports of unmodified rifles to Finland and purpose built rifles for the Japanese Navy contract would certainly qualify as exports. The rifles used by the British were likely captured Italian rifles so I'll admit that's a stretch.
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Old January 27, 2014, 01:28 AM   #38
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i own a Terni Carcano, a WW2 bring back, i agree that the enbloc clips and hard to find 6.5X51 ammo is a downside to owning a Carcano, but they are interesting rifles IMHO, with some interesting history behind them.
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Old January 27, 2014, 09:33 AM   #39
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I have to go with knight on this one. I have never read a single article which claimed that the type I project was fostered by hitler. I have heard a number of claims that the Navy was the bastard shild of the japanese military and had to scrounge for weapons any way they could since army always got first dibs. this would appear self evident with the abysmal appearance of the navy special arisakas.
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Old January 27, 2014, 09:36 AM   #40
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people often defend carcanos and mosin nagants as if they were the first bolt actions ever made... no, they weren't even the first that were mass produced for military.[/QUOTE]


You are so very correct on that. But they neither the mosin nor the carcano was. Really upgraded so they are both outdated compared to the mauser and other successful designs. Actually i belive the carcano was downgraded due to they stopped useing gain twist rifleing in the 91/38 i belive(91/24 i belive was the cut down 1891. Please correct me if I'm wrong, it's been a while since I've read up on them) and the mosin i dont think were changed aside from length. So yea they were both 1891 rifles fighting in 1940s war. Face it would you want a gun from 1960s fighting in against the world powers of today?
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Old January 27, 2014, 10:42 AM   #41
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^ well you have to consider that the most likely rifle you are going to find on a battle field today is an AK or AK variant and/or AR15/M16 or AR15/M16 variant , both predate the '60s, at least their design does.
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Old January 27, 2014, 07:07 PM   #42
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although you do make a good point they weren't completely unaltered. the 1891 was very long as were most rifles of the period. throughout it's service life several different models were released and older rifles modified to conform with the newer, often shorter models. this is the same process that the mosin nagant went through. also notice that they attempted to change to a more powerful caliber with the 1938(could be considered an upgrade) but got caught in the middle of a land grab war and had to switch back to the old caliber for logistical reasons.

they were never really UPGRADED, but they were UPDATED. they got new sights, new sling mounting hardware, were shortened, ETC. little changes to put it more in line with other more modern designs and keep them competitive. the Arisaka type 30 did see some small modifications to the bolt design but the M96 swede saw no modifications that the carcano did not.

the lee metford, 1888 mauser, and 1886 lebel were the last vanguards of a dieing era. they were adapting to the new technology available to them but did not have access to all of the pieces of the puzzle yet. the 1886 was the first to use smokeless powder but they were still relying on the tube fed system which made american repeaters so popular but served to damn the effectiveness of the 1886 cartridge by forcing larger bore round nose ammo. similarly the 1888 mauser was designed to compete with the french lebel and did do a pretty good job of mimicking the ballistics and even stuffed it into an enbloc but the bolt design needed working on. the brits had a backwards problem. they had the bolt figured out, they had the magazine figured out. they were just stuck with a black powder cartridge, one of the last ever produced for military before smokeless powder rendered it obsolete. the 1891 carcano ditched the tube mag, ditched the black powder and ditched slow, large bore, round nosed calibers(though they did go with small bore round nose so not a great improvement there). there was really little that they had to do to stay competitive with other rifles.
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Old January 27, 2014, 07:33 PM   #43
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^ well you have to consider that the most likely rifle you are going to find on a battle field today is an AK or AK variant and/or AR15/M16 or AR15/M16 variant , both predate the '60s, at least their design does.

Okay you got me there.. I was trying to get the point that the carcano and mosin was infieor to what was on the battlefeild of that time. And i was trying to compare it by saying use a gun that is infieor to today's weapons on the field.. So okay try using an original m16/ar or an sks or somthing in today's warfare.
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Old January 27, 2014, 07:59 PM   #44
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as I have said, the M1891 went through several reworks. the M4 of today is no different from a M24 of their day.
33 years of advancement was worked into the old designs to keep them working and competitive.
1. they were shortened to be easier to handle in more situations.
2. they had different sights.
3. they had a different stock.

the same is true for the M4 and the M16. 25 years after the M16 was adopted a shorter, more versatile carbine was adopted.
1. it has a shorter barrel
2. is has different sights.
3. it has a different stock.
any other changes that were made were part of the original stoner design and were removed by the US government to aid production and were re-added later when the changes proved problematic.
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Old January 27, 2014, 11:45 PM   #45
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And the M1911 is still in production and widely regarded as THE handgun for military or self defense use.
AFAIK only the Italians and the Austro-Hungarians used the Mannlicher clip-the Austro-Hungarians and the Canadians were the only major armies to field straight pull rifles, the Ross was weighed in the balance and found wanting.
In WWI Italy suffered about 655,000 KIA out of a population of about 40 million, in WWII about 240,000 KIA out of a population of about 45 million. If the US had suffered similar losses we would have about 1 million KIA in WWI and probably about 750,000 KIA in WWII. The problem with the Italian Armed Forces was not the rank and file but the higher leadership.
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Old January 28, 2014, 12:14 AM   #46
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the Austro-Hungarians and the Canadians were the only major armies to field straight pull rifles
I believe that the swiss also fielded straight pulls
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Old January 28, 2014, 01:42 AM   #47
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so I guess the 1888 mauser rifles and lee metfords(the progenitor of the lee enfield) were a dead end first gen rifle?
The 1888 commission rifle wasn't a Mauser. It was a total dead end because it shared no major features with any of Mauser's designs.

Quote:
And the M1911 is still in production and widely regarded as THE handgun for military or self defense use.
Not even close! It is a dinosaur that isn't used by any military or police force in the world without jumping through alot of hoops and getting waivers and special permission.

Quote:
AFAIK only the Italians and the Austro-Hungarians used the Mannlicher clip
France, Italy, USA, Germany, Greece, Austria, There were others, but it was always a weakness in those countries' rifle's designs.

Quote:
-the Austro-Hungarians and the Canadians were the only major armies to field straight pull rifles, the Ross was weighed in the balance and found wanting.
As mentioned above the Swiss (K96,1911,& 31) Also the Lee navy was a straight pull
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Old January 28, 2014, 01:31 PM   #48
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Not even close! It is a dinosaur that isn't used by any military or police force in the world without jumping through alot of hoops and getting waivers and special permission.
and what service pistol doesn't have to jump through a bunch of hoops and get special waivers to be adopted by military and police? I guess all I S&W rep has to do is hand a catalog to a police chief and they just order 75 M&P40s without a second thought? and the US military switched to the M9 without any field tests, they just decided they wanted something different that shot 9mm nato? beretta must have just been the first ones in line.

the 1911 served from 1911 to 1985, a 74 year service life which is pretty much extraordinary for any service arm. USMC has roughly 12,000 1911s for MEU use. it is anything but a dinosaur.
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Old January 28, 2014, 02:04 PM   #49
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so... I didn't see any response to my post...

are the Berretta Carcano's fairly uncommon ??? mine looks very well made & is likely one of my nicest milsurps...
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Old January 28, 2014, 02:36 PM   #50
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I would say not. they had their hands in manufacturing every model except the 91/24 and 91/41 including the type I jap rifles. what numbers they actually manufactured I couldn't tell you but I would guess that they were one of the major manufacturers.
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