View Full Version : Please help Identify ?Carcano? Rifle

May 18, 2007, 08:59 AM
Hello, Please help me identify this rifle. I believe it to be some sort of a Carcano but am unsure which model. I'd also like to know what kind of ammo to use (the ammo store told me that there were several different types of 6.5mm shells) and I want to make sure I use the correct stripper clip (I believe it to hold 6 rounds. The closest pictures I can find were of a 'Carbine 6.5 mm M 91' and a 'Carbine Youth Model (Moschetto Ballila) 6.5 mm' but there are small differences in mine than in the pictures I have found of each. Maybe someone can help me out with this also, I have tried a 6 round stripper clip but it does not go down all the way, it sticks up about one shell too high, am I doing something wrong here? I guess it's obvious I'm a novice but would like not to be in the future. Here are a few pictures, I'm sure they should help. I look forward to your replies. Thank you in advance,
PS - The numbers on the butt of the gun read: SU 9572 and also are right behind the middle sight and "CAL. 6.5" in front of it. On the handle of the bolt, there is an "AB" in a circle, I have no idea what any of these numbers mean but would like to. Also, if you can help me locate a correct bayonet and a shoulder strap for it and the tools/directions to clean it properly. If more pictures are needed just ask where to aim the camera and I'll get them to you asap. Thanks again.

May 18, 2007, 09:52 AM
I cant really help you with any of your questions, other than to say that in the poll I voted to completely disassemble and clean it.ALWAYS a good idea to do this with ANY newly acquired gun, new or used.Better safe than sorry.You never know what a prior owner may or may not have done, the condition of internal parts, etc.With newly made guns, still a good idea, as mistakes happen...could be metal filings or other debris in it that didnt get cleaned off at the factory, defects etc.Just my 2 cents....

May 18, 2007, 10:21 AM
Yep it is a Carcano (carbine). The band on the front one time held a folding bayonet. I bought one once time for $35. Still have it. It fires the 6.5 Carcano, just ask for that at dealer but you will not find these at Walmart. Norma and a few others make ammunition. There are so many different types of Carcano’s out there you might be able to find information on the net.


Mine was a cut down from a rifle, still have the rifles sites. I once saw one at a gun show that was converted to shot 8x57mm, thing being so light and small might sting a little. Might want to try to look on the auctions sites for a bayonet.

May 18, 2007, 11:01 AM
That is a italian made 6.5 Carcano

May 18, 2007, 11:18 AM
Your rifle is a Mannlicher-Carcano Model 91 Cavalry Carbine in 6.5X53mm. The Mannlicher part of the name comes from the magazine system used, an en-bloc clip that feeds from the top and ejects from the bottom of the rifle, unlike stripper clips that feed ammo from the clips into a box magazine. The rifle is missing the folding spike bayonet that should be mounted behind the muzzle and fold backward to the metal ferrule at the front of the forearm. It appears to be in very good condition, considering the condition of many of the Carcano rifles I have seen over the years. Clean it up a bit, and it will look as good as any Carcano can. They do not shoot most ammo very well, due to the fact that the groove diameter is actually .268" rather than the more common .264", so commercial bullets just kinda rattle down the tube. I read that Hornady ammo has the correct diameter bullet, so it may shoot well with that.

May 18, 2007, 04:04 PM
From the pic that one looks pretty good.. I remember back in the day when I bought mine, you had to sign a "non-shooting" form to take on of the older ones home.....

I once saw one at a gun show that was converted to shot 8x57mm, I've been looking for one of those myself... Those were modified by the Germans and issued to Rommell's troops, the Italian and German ones...
What a trip,, waffenamts on a carcano........

Nobody has mentioned it yet,, but are you aware of the 6.5 Carcano's infamous place in 20'th century American History?

May 18, 2007, 07:00 PM
My Carcano is SA marked, making it Finnish. :D

$45 for it, which is about what a box of ammo would cost if I ever get around to shooting it.

May 18, 2007, 07:42 PM
Nobody has mentioned it yet,, but are you aware of the 6.5 Carcano's infamous place in 20'th century American History?
Ooh ohh, me, me! Oswald, in the Book Depository, with the Carc.


May 18, 2007, 08:33 PM
New manufactured ammunition is loaded by Norma, Hornady, FNM, and Prvi Partizan the name of it is 6.5x52 Carcano or just 6.5 Carcano. Also the occasional surplus ammo can be found, but it should be avoided like the plauge (extremely corrosive, misfires, hangfires, and I experienced something along the lines of a double charge in one). As mentioned earlier, the Hornady is the only one with the correct diameter bullet (.268) and the correct bullet weight (160grn). Other companies load this caliber with bullets of .264 diameter with weight ranging from 123grn to 156grn more appropriate to Swedish Mausers, Mannlicher Schroeners, and Arisakas. Some rifles will shoot the undersize bullets acceptably but many will not. Actually having the bayonet lug still attatched adds a bit of desireability to this specimen (as if Carcanos were desireable) as a great many had them ground off prior to importation. You may find that this rifle shoots rather high at most practical ranges as the battle sight (rotate the sight all the way forward into the groove in the stock to expose it) is zeroed for 300 meters, quite optomistic for a 17" barreled rifle. There was a second caliber that Carcanos were chambered for: 7.35mm Carcano. However, I don't believe that any Calvary Carbines were made in this caliber nor have I ever seen a Calvary Carbine converted to 8mm. Almost all of the 7.35 or 8mm models were the M38 Short rifle configuration. If you do happen to acquire an 8mm model, have it checked over by a gunsmith and fire nothing but American commercial ammo or light reloads in it. There have been reports of catastrophic failures using Europen spec or Surplus (particularly Turkish) ammunition in these Rifles. As far as your issue with the clip, you will meet a bit of resistance as the stud on the back of the clip slides over the clip retaining latch (that small button in the front of the trigger guard). Also, the first cartridge must stick up a little bit in order to be stripped off by the bolt. These rifles in general have a bad reputation for innacuracy and poor quality which is largely undeserved. Carcanos were of about the same quality, albeit a bit more utilitarian, as most wartime production WWII bolt action rifles (certainly better than some of the last ditch Mausers and Arisakas). The innacuracy label comes from the use of both undersize bullets and the sights. In reality they are at least battlefield accurate (no worse than a run of the mill Lee Enfield) and many examples are a bit better than that. The opinions of those on the Warren Comission did not help these rifles reputations either.

May 19, 2007, 08:28 PM
Hey SteveDave,,, do you get what Jason_G and Webleymkv are saying?

The opinions of those on the Warren Comission did not help these rifles reputations either.

May 19, 2007, 11:45 PM
Nobody has mentioned it yet,, but are you aware of the 6.5 Carcano's infamous place in 20'th century American History?

A model 91/38 short rifle serial #C2766 chambered for the 6.5x52mm Carcano round and fitted with an inxepensive side-mount 4x18 scope of Japanese origin was supposedly used by Lee Harvey Oswald to assasinate President John F. Kennedy

May 21, 2007, 11:01 AM
Thanks for all your help guys. Yeah, I found out the hard way about the old ammo. I bought a box from 1936 (the propellant is Solenite in these) and of the 12 rounds I tried to fire, only 2 fired. I also bought another box from like 1941 and the bullets were made of WOOD and painted RED!! I heard it was for practice or something like that back in the day and the propellant looked almost like saw-dust. Anyway, I needed clips so that was the main reason I bought those 2 boxes. I now fire Norma 6.5x52 when I want a big bang. If there are any of you enthusiasts out there that would be interested in either of the 70ish year old Carcano ammo boxes or some of the original cartridges that came in them (I didn't try to fire them all) let me know. I'd be mostly interested in trading - I'm looking for an original disassemble/reassemble booklet, an original shoulder strap, the matching bayonet, and I want to try to start reloading my brass so whatever I'd need to get started in that department would be cool also (I guess they are called die sets and I'd need a decapping rod assembly with a neck expander and bullet guide, built-in crimping ring and the proper seating plug, right?). Thanks again for all your help everyone!!! I also have an 8mm German rifle with the original bayonet and shoulder strap my grandfather brought back from WWII and in the family still (cousins got them) are a 9mm German Luger and another odd caliber pistol (maybe 6.32???) that I think was also German. I'm sure as far as value I got the short end of the stick but that's the way it goes! However, my other grandfather brought back (he was in the Pacific) a Japanese Family Samurai sword that is in great condition and I have heard of those selling for upwards of $2000!!! He also gave us 2 calvary type swords, anyone have any idea of an approximate value of those, I'll post a couple pictures of them with this post.
Thanks again, take care!

James K
May 21, 2007, 01:40 PM
The wood bullets are simply blanks. They are hollow and will break up on firing.

I have one of those 8mm Carcanos, and am highly skeptical of the "Rommel" story. German sources say those rifles were converted in Germany to be used by the Volkssturm at the end of the war. They also made special clips for them that held 5 rounds of 8mm (7.9) ammo instead of the 6 rounds of 7.35 or 6.5 Italian ammo. The clips are very rare (I have never seen one), adding to the "last ditch" probability. If large quantities were converted for North Africa, there should be more such guns and more clips around.


44 AMP
May 22, 2007, 09:11 PM
What I have heard about is that the Germans, who retained control of northern Italy until the end of the war had factories there convert Carcanos to 8mm Mauser, to eke out supplies of rifles, as not a lot was coming out of the Reich. I believe they were intended to arm local troops loyal to the Nazi/Fascist forces.

The Germans took over all the Italian equipment they could after Italy surrendered, guns, tanks, airplanes, etc., and as was their practice, converted whatever they could to German standards, when materials were available.

May 23, 2007, 01:22 AM
Some Carcanos were made in 8X57 at Brescia, others were converted to 8X57 at the Krieghoff plant (and marked HK) so the Axis forces (Italy, German, Japan) could move towards standardizing ammo. They were generally considered unsafe. They were later sold to Arab nations during the Palestine wars in 1948. The Arabs thought they were buying Mausers, but the Mausers went to Israel.