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Old May 18, 2010, 08:24 PM   #26
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6.5mm Carcano

Hi all,

I am new to the forum and found it while searching online for a replacement receiver for my Carcano. From what I have seen so far, I have a M91 Italian Carcano Carbine 6.5mm. All i see stamped on the receiver are the numbers 464 which is also stamped on the barrel. Other markings on the barrel include what looks like a date 1918, an upside down h and an s, I thinks the word BRESCIA, a serial # maybe AG9004, the letters BL with a circle around it and on the bottom where the two marks line up both the receiver and barrel there is an M a 1 then a space then 164, and a sideways 8 next to the number 11. I have no clue what any of this means so if someone knows please share. Again, I am looking for a replacement receiver because the metal is split under the two ears where the bolt slides through. I wouldn't dare fire this in fear of eating the bolt but I would like to use it.

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Old May 18, 2010, 10:38 PM   #27
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You'd be best off selling the gun for parts. Carcanos are pretty cheap, and the only way your rifle will really be worth anything is if it has a gain twist barrel, in which case it would still be worth more in parts than as a complete rifle.
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Old May 20, 2010, 03:41 PM   #28
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SLM, I'll take your trigger housing. I need one. Also a butt plate, possibly.

I have a Terni, and I have two POST War 8mm single shot conversions they made as trainers for Egypt.

Apparently, the Italians had the same veneration for Arab marksmanship I do.
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Old May 20, 2010, 07:12 PM   #29
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I really want to keep the gun but replace the receiver. It has been in the family and I don't want to part it out.
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Old May 20, 2010, 10:25 PM   #30
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Replacing the receiver is essentially buying (and building) a new gun. Repairing the receiver ... Welding, machining, heat treating, and reassembly might be possible, but it would be ridiculously expensive. A barreled action is an easier (and often cheaper than replacing just the receiver) way to fix it, but then you’re replacing at least the barrel too.
You want to might think about just hanging it on the wall as a memento. If you’re determined to make it a shooter, you might consider looking for another one with a broken/missing stock and turning the two into one, or just buying another outright.. and have one that’s like "grandpas" to shoot plus the original.

Repairing the thing could end up like the "Ship of Theseus" … because you’ll not only have to balance the cost to fix it by various methods against its sentimental value, … but ask yourself at what point is it "no longer the same rifle".
Keep smiling ... it'll just make 'em wonder what you're up to...

Last edited by animal; May 21, 2010 at 12:18 AM.
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Old May 22, 2010, 05:09 PM   #31
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I appreciate the input and understand what you all are saying. Where would be the best place to look for another one?
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Old September 8, 2011, 02:31 PM   #32
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A very enlightening post you made in 2005 regarding the diameter of the 6.5 bullet effecting the M38 accuracy and reputation. Since reading your post, I have done further reading on this matter and it confirms you as being correct. The M38 bullet was indeed .268" in diameter in comparison with the more common .264" bullet which was loaded for the M38 with likely lower muzzle velicities and less accuracy. As you stated, the only sources of ammunition having the .268" bullets would be either Italian war surplus or Hornady. Here is my question. The Western Cartridge Company manufactured ammunition for the 6.5 M38 in 1954 and the US shipped this ammunition to Greece as aid to a conflict there. Is there any way of knowing if WCC used .268" dia. or .264" dia. bullets in the 1954 batch?

I'm sure you understand the significance of my question. This batch of ammunition was allegedly the source of the 6.5 MC rounds used by Oswald to kill JFK.

As you likely are aware, the 6.5 Mannlicher Carcano long rifle was manufactured with "progressive twist" rifling; beginning with a 1:8 twist at the breech and progressing to, I believe, a 1:19 twist at the muzzle. When the M38 short rifle (Oswald's weapon) was first introduced, it was chambered for the lighter (130 grains) 7.35 mm round instead of the 160 grain 6.5 mm round. Obviously, it was felt that the shorter barrel would not lend itself well to the performance of the heavier bullet. The 7.35 mm M38 was made with standard rifling and not the former progressive twist rifling of the long rifle.

However, subsequent wartime demands made it difficult to supply the new ammunition and a decision was made to begin manufacturing the M38 for the 6.5 mm cartridge of 160 grains weight. Could this have contributed to the reputation for inaccuracy?

Rumor has it that further wartime demands prompted makers of the M38 to use abundant supplies of barrels for the 6.5 MC long rifle (the ones with the progressive twist riflings) as barrels for the M38 by simply cutting them to length without altering the riflings. If this were true, the resulting 6.5 mm M38would not only be cursed with a heavy round and a short barrel, the slower riflings on the breech end of the shortened barrel would be totally inadequate for any kind of good ballistic performance.

I'm hoping you will be able to shed some light on this matter as it would go a long ways toward establishing if Oswald was equipped with a weapon capable of doing all he has been credited with.

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Old September 8, 2011, 04:53 PM   #33
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A small correction of my previous post. I meant to say that the 6.5 Mannlicher Carcano long rifle had a progressive rifling of 1" in 19" at the breech and 1" in 8" at the muzzle, not the other way around.
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Old September 8, 2011, 10:04 PM   #34
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It doesn't take an especially accurate rifle, or an especially good shooter to hit a man at 60 yards.

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Old September 9, 2011, 12:43 AM   #35
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Actually, it was more like 88 yards and a moving target as well; albeit a slowly moving target. And to consider that it all took place in less than six seconds, clearly some degree of competency in the shooter and quality in the rifle would seem to be required.

However, as my post clearly demonstrates, at this moment I am interested in the probable ballistics of Oswald's projectiles and how his rifle and ammunition determine those.
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Old September 9, 2011, 08:13 AM   #36
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Someone, some Australians, I think, did a television program on the problems with shooting a Carcano in trying to replicate the shooting Oswald did. They went to great lengths, even finding the same lot of ammunition that had been used and producing two very complicated torsos to test the bullet performance, which was the chief object of the exercise. They fired from an elevated height with the torsos the correct distance away and in the correct relationship with one another, as the people were actually seated in the car.

One of the objections with the recovered bullets was the claim that the bullets were undamaged and could not possibly have gone through two bodies. To test that theory, they fired one into the end of a log, then using x-ray (they took the log to a hospital), they recovered the bullet, which was virtually undamaged except for the rifling marks.

I have no idea what happened in reality but it's dangerous to base an argument on what can't be done, especially on what one person can or can't do. Usually when someone says something can't be done, it just means they've never done much themselves.
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Old September 9, 2011, 10:47 AM   #37
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Good point, but remember that Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock (who was in charge of the USMC sniper training program at the time) tried repeatedly over several months to replicate the shooting and could not. I believe you would have a hard time finding someone who knew as much about shooting as GySgt Hathcock and had similar skill level. And then, there's that pesky James Field guy . . .
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Old September 9, 2011, 03:35 PM   #38
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I have a great deal of respect for Hathcock and the other experts that say the shots couldn't have been made.

The fact remains that those shots have been made by people in the time since.

Oswald did qualify as expert out of boot camp. He only qualified as marksman during re-qualification while serving in Japan.

Oswald's wife gave testimony that Oswald spent hours dry firing the Carcano in the months leading up to the shooting.
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Old September 10, 2011, 11:41 AM   #39
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I have made tougher shots on deer moving through trees and brush standing off hand. When the adrenalin kicks in a lot can happen. The film makes it look farther than it was and the car was moving almost directly away if I remember correctly. * This thread kind of got off track. The original poster wanted to know about a scope base. Don't use a Weaver side mount they suck. THE GUN PARTS CORPORATION use to have Savage 340 side mounts and they work good. They are stamped sheet metal so you can use a 1" round bar and vise to bend it to where you need it.

Last edited by Gunplummer; September 10, 2011 at 11:47 AM. Reason: forgot something
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