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Old November 22, 2022, 04:33 PM   #1
sirdutch
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Italian Carcano chambered in 7.35x51.

Anyone familiar with the Italian Carcano chambered in 7.35x51? It is a carbine and has a folding bayonet separate from the firearm. Besides that, the only other thing I for sure is the that it also is marked with an SA which I'm told means it was exported to Finland to use against the Russians. I'm thinking that I can't get ammo for it. I've got a few brass clips that are reminiscent of the enblock clips used in the Garand rifle. I've had it for a long time and it was buried in the safe. I had forgotten about it. Any info on ammo or anything would be appreciated. I'm kinda figuring few people even know about it, especially as it's chambered in 7.35
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Old November 22, 2022, 05:14 PM   #2
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You might try Norma or PPS, especially the latter. I did have one for a short time many years ago when they were common. By short time I mean a very short time. Sold it a week after I bought it. Save those clips though. If you find ammo, they're the only way the rifle will be a repeater.
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Old November 22, 2022, 05:20 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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7.35 Italian is still listed by several sources but in the pandemic era, resources are going into more common ammo and I do not see any in stock.

My understanding is that the Italians found 6.5mm inadequate in Ethiopia and 7.35 was about as big as the Carcano would handle. They made the mistake of trying to change over after already in the Axis and at war with the Allies. So they dumped most of them on the Finns, who used them only when they could not get enough Mosin Nagants and Suomis.
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Old November 22, 2022, 09:48 PM   #4
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The information I have says the Italians went to the 7.35mm (Terni) in 1938, intending it to eventually replace the 6.5mm.

In 1940, with Italy now "officially" in WWII, they stopped making the 7.35mm caliber and went back to the 6.5mm. Some of the 7.35s were rebarreled to 6.5mm. It is possible small numbers were also sold, I have no information on that, though I can't see the Finns actually wanting them, some might have wound up there, possibly.

A couple of points about the 7.35mm Italian, it is a "true" .30 caliber bullets should be .298-.300" NOT .308".

The "enbloc" Mannlicher clip is needed to feed from the magazine, and drops out the bottom when the last round is chambered. They are intended to be reusable. They're also not very common any more, so aren't cheap throw away things, these days.
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Old November 22, 2022, 10:01 PM   #5
Jim Watson
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Enough SA marked 7.35s to establish a Finnish connection.

Handloader magazine once did a semi-serious treatment of the 7.35 as though a new introduction, working up loads with fresh powders. Not a bad round, just OBE.
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Old November 23, 2022, 09:55 AM   #6
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If you reload Hornady makes a bullet for the 7.35 . Cases can be made by just sizing a 6.5mm Carcano case [ PPU ] in a 7.35 die [ Lee ] . Yes a bunch went to Finland . Yes .300 was picked because it was as large as they felt they could rebore old 6.5mm barrels to . The reason was not " more power / range " , they wanted it for an intermediate type round for their Assault rifle they were developing . Look at it's specs , close to the AK round that was patterned off of it . It was not meant to be a main rifle battle round , that is why there was not a main battle rifle chambered in it , just support troop guns like carbines and very short rifles . A 6.5mm M-41 rifle was the next battle rifle , a M-41 in 7.35 would have been cool though ! I have always felt the 7.35 would have made a perfect kid's / women's deer rifle round in a modern rifle . I have a few scoped sportered 7.35 rifles and the kids like them , and enough power for deer .
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Old November 23, 2022, 10:58 AM   #7
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Got any scoop on that Italian Assault Rifle?

I think the Federov using captured 6.5 Arisaka ammo was a good entry into the assault rifle program.
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Old November 23, 2022, 04:43 PM   #8
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The 7.35 Italian is actually a pretty darned good little cartridge. It would make a really good Eastern US deer rifle cartridge. It's in the same power range as the .30-30 Winchester but has better ballistics due to the bullet shape.

The ones I have shot have been extremely pleasant. A bit more kick than the 6.5s, but overall a very soft shooting cartridge.
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Old November 23, 2022, 09:51 PM   #9
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7.35x51mm Carcano was meant to replace 6.5x52mm, and both were in production at the same time, as they built up production of the 7.35 chambered rifles. But they had to prioritize in WWII and dropped 7.35 in favor of the larger production base and stock on hand for 6.5.

PPU is the best source for brass. (And 6.5 Carcano brass can be necked up, if needed.) Ammo only comes in about once a year - typically in one of the October and April import shipments. Again, PPU is the best source. Alternatively, Steinel may have some ammo. But they rely on the PPU brass shipment in order to produce their product. So, it comes back to PPU again.
Bullets must be cast, sourced from Europe (not easy, as they're rare there, too), or purchased when in stock at Graf's. Graf's has Hornady produce a .298" 128 gr SP, aka "128 SP Graf's", every year or two. They are generally in stock for 8-10 months after each production run.
It is the only suitable commercial bullet on the market (that I have found) that is anywhere near obtainable.

Hornady and Hodgdon have load data in their "obsolete" categories. Older NRA books have data, as well.
You'll find it very much in the class of .30-30, if not a bit wimpier with US data.

You cannot shoot a Carcano easily without a clip. There are no feed lips in the magazine or receiver, and the extractor was not designed to snap over rims. If you do shoot it by snapping over, you will break the extractor eventually.
You must hand feed into the chamber, while closing the bolt and guiding the rim under the extractor (not easily done), if you do not have a clip. Aftermarket reproduction clips are available, as well as more expensive originals.
Alternatively, there are 3D printed designs for "sleds", "trays", or "followers" that snap into the magazine and allow single-loading and feeding. I have my own designs out there for both 6.5 and 7.35 chambered rifles. There are also some popular designs on eBay, but they over-compress the follower spring, in my opinion.

Your rifle sounds like a Model 38 Fucile Modello 91/38 that was exported to Finland. Those folding bayonets are uncommon - some would argue rare. Guard it and keep it safe.
The 7.35x51mm barrels did not have gain-twist rifling like the 6.5s did. It has a continuous twist rate.

I own half a dozen Carcanos, and have owned more. 7.35 is my preferred cartridge. It is different, kind of dumb, requires a little more attention, and is just a sweet little shooter, even in these light, short carbines. My favorite Carcano came out of Africa, decorated with tribal art and adornments. It happens to be chambered for 7.35x51.

A note on the fixed sight: The battle zero for these rifles (the only zero) was supposed to be 200 meters. For practical purposes related to hunting and sport shooting, however, it is more like 400 meters. Your shots are likely to impact *very* high at the commonly encountered ranges for target shooting.


What did I miss?
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Old November 25, 2022, 10:42 AM   #10
Jim Watson
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Found it, I think.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armaguerra_Mod._39_rifle
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Old November 25, 2022, 05:30 PM   #11
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Yes you did. It shows the three types they were just starting to work with before the war . That article does get some of the ammo ideas correct , like the lower pressure .
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Old November 27, 2022, 05:01 AM   #12
l.cutler
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The vast majority went to Finland, it is much harder to find one without the SA mark than with. They were mostly issued for behind the lines use, guard duty and the like.
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Old November 27, 2022, 04:17 PM   #13
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Nah.
It is now quite common to find them without the SA mark.
In the past, it was primarily the Finnish rifles that were available in the US. But recent imports (over the past 15 years) have completely changed the landscape.

The majority of exported Carcanos ended up in Ethiopia. Of the 645,000 7.35mm rifles in the Model 38 series, only about 95,000 went to Finland and only a fraction of those ended up in the US.
With Italy (police reserves), Egypt (military and private reserves), and Ethiopia (goat shed caches) allowing large stocks of old surplus rifles to be exported to the US 'recently', the non-SA rifles now outnumber the Finns.

Somewhat weirdly, my own non-SA Fucile Modello 91/38 came out of Spain about 8 years ago. They exported a 'forgotten' cache of rifles that was primarily made up of ratty Spanish 1916 Mausers; which were likely "forgotten" because they were in very poor condition when stored. But the stash included an assortment of other items, as well - including my FM 38 Carcano.
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Old November 27, 2022, 05:18 PM   #14
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One of the more terrifying ballistic monstrosities I know of is Carcanos converted to 8mm Mauser.
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Old November 27, 2022, 09:55 PM   #15
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How so ?
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Old November 27, 2022, 09:57 PM   #16
Jim Watson
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A bigger round at higher pressure in a minimum action, maybe. I read that some went to Turkey. They are welcome to them.
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Old November 28, 2022, 02:07 AM   #17
FrankenMauser
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Larger cartridge, later in the war, lower quality and material standards, higher pressure.
The math adds up to "terrifying".
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Old November 28, 2022, 01:50 PM   #18
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From what I've heard, everyone was "afraid" of the 8mm Mauser Carcanos, and Wehrmacht forces occupying northern Italy refused to use them. They were apparently supplied to "allied and auxilary" forces (Italians still working with/for the Germans) so they could use German supplied 8mm Mauser ammunition.
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Old November 28, 2022, 02:40 PM   #19
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I think I'd rather have a VG1. Or just look for a GI to surrender to by that time.
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Old November 28, 2022, 09:07 PM   #20
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The Carcano is a " large ring " action . Almost the same as the small ring Gew-88 . Some of the steel was from the same source , but the Carcano was made later and was a little better . The Gew-88 shot 100's of 1000's rounds of S ammo with no problems . So much for a larger cartridge in that action . I have built many sporters based off of Carcano actions in many calibers with no problems . Most of what was said above is not true . Most of the current 8mm Carcanos were made from parts after the war and sold to Egypt [ Not Turkey ] as trainers . Most of the 8mm ones were made from older actions , not " late war " parts . Just because the original ammo used was lower pressure does not mean the action was the limit , just they got the performance they wanted at the pressure . Do you think Remington makes a different action for each caliber ? I feel the Carcano can make a better sporter than a 98 Mauser in some cases . It has a good strength to weight ratio , and the action is cleaner . I made a sporter out of one of the 8mm TS rifles from the Egypt batch . Made it as light weight as possible with many parts remade form aluminum and a removable box mag . It is a lot of hitting power in a 5 lb rifle . As a custom gunsmith , and owner of a ballistic lab for developing ammo , using strain gauges to check pressures , I feel I may know how it works . Not just repeating something I read .
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Old November 28, 2022, 10:08 PM   #21
Jim Watson
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A myth busted.
How does the clip handle 8mm?
Or does it have to have a box magazine conversion?
Then what did the Germans do about it?
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Old November 29, 2022, 07:01 AM   #22
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As far as I know, there are no known verified incidents of the Carcano action failing with the higher-pressure 7.35 mm round.

The Carcano action gets a lot of completely undeserved grief because... well, I'm not exactly sure why.

Was it the best bolt action? No. Was it safe? Yes. Was it serviceable? Yes.

Over the years I've found that most of these "BASELINE CARCANO TRUTHS!!!!!" have been spouted by people who have never worked with one, and in a lot of cases, never even handled one, and in fact wouldn't know a Carcano from a crankshaft.
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Old November 29, 2022, 07:14 AM   #23
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Gun Jesus is actually quite appreciative of the M38 Carcano.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5s31mVy7fY


And speed drill with the 7.35 Carcano.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAyxLVBK-2g
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Old November 29, 2022, 11:00 AM   #24
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P.O. Ackley thought the Carcano was adequate for its ammo, "No army is issuing boobytraps to its own troops."
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Old November 29, 2022, 11:43 AM   #25
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8mm Carcanos use a unique clip, but no change was made to the magazine.
6.5/7.35 clips can be modified, but they still don't work well with 8x57mm.

Quote:
Over the years I've found that most of these "BASELINE CARCANO TRUTHS!!!!!" have been spouted by people who have never worked with one, and in a lot of cases, never even handled one, and in fact wouldn't know a Carcano from a crankshaft.
The same goes for pretty much anything.
AR haters, AK haters (except me ), Mauser volken, Enfield chaps, Garand boys, etc.
Plenty of hate with little, if any experience.

I can understand how the single action spring could give an immediate negative impression to someone handling a Carcano for the first time - since it is used for the trigger, sear, bolt stop, and ejector, and results in bolt drag.
But the simplicity of the action really sets it apart from contemporary designs. (Something that Ian, and C&Rsenal, have also discussed more than once.)

Is it a good design? Yes, for the intended purposes and manufacturing limitations at the time. But it does have its drawbacks.
Is it a strong design? Good enough for the original cartridges, but my answer is 'no'.

Am I willing to put a German conversion, built by a panicked country that was losing the war and wouldn't even give the rifles to its own troops, or an Italian post-war 8mm conversion, next to my face and pull the trigger? No.
I value my hands, face, and life more than any internet points gained by claiming that a questionable model of dubious history will be fine after 80 years of abuse, neglect, and unknown Fuddery by previous owners. -And that is for the "new" ones. Some of them were conversions of conversions, on old actions.

I'm sticking with 6.5 and 7.35.
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