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Old January 21, 2013, 03:48 PM   #1
Join Date: January 20, 2013
Posts: 35
carcano with hornady bullets

Hi, I have been reading/lurking here for a few months reading up. I just got a family hand me down, a Carcano model 38 made in 1940. It's had the stock cut down unfortunaty, but I do like the overall look of the little rifle.
I'll try to post a few photos once I get them uploaded to photobucket.

my question

our local gun store had the Hornady bullets, 6.5 carcano.

there is a warning label on the box to have the bore measured to make sure the minimum groove diameter is over .2670.

Is this really necissary?

everything I have found on this gun says the hornady bullets are the prefered bullet and that the privi partisan ammo is undersize.

I have disassymbled and cleaned everything and it all looks good and cycles properly. I also inserted a loaded clip and cycled all 6 rounds in and out of the breach. All loaded and ejected without difficulty and the clip fell out when the last round was loaded.

would you go for it and test fire or wait and have the gun smith measure the bore?

Also, is there supposed to be a serial number on the bolt? I can find no markings on the bolt

sixteenacrewood is offline  
Old January 21, 2013, 04:20 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 7,729
the problem is that there really is no rock solid documentation of that actual bore diameter of the carcano. most publications I've read says that it is a .268 diameter bullet where all other 6.5mm cartridges that I'm aware of use a .264 diameter bullet. but then I pull out my hornady reloading manual and 6.5 carcano-mannlicher is listed as a .264 bullet, more confusion. then I read a article in handloader magazine that says that all of the factory ammo for 6.5 carcano is actually .264 and is undersized and then i read reports of people taking a sizing gauge into a gun show and none of the carcanos present gauge to less than .272 so pretty much I would just tell you to shoot it and not worry about it...

apparently nobody knows what they are talking about anyway...
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the stuff people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
tahunua001 is offline  
Old January 21, 2013, 05:04 PM   #3
Join Date: January 20, 2013
Posts: 35
Thanks tahunua
This gun was my father-in-law's brought back from Italy during WWII, now it's my brother-in-law's and has been in a gun rack for the 20 years my wife and I have been together.
I now have it to use as long as I want and will give it to his son when he is old enough and if he shows interest.
In the mean time I plan to use it for deer and small hogs here on my property.

it has been sporterized, stock only, and the barrell has not been cut. She is 40 inches long overall.
I am going to try and upload a photo.
sixteenacrewood is offline  
Old January 21, 2013, 11:51 PM   #4
Romeo 33 Delta
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Join Date: March 27, 2009
Posts: 315
Carcanos are funny creatures. Military ball that I have is in the neighborhood of .266" +.

Right now, in 6.5 X 52 Carcano I am regularly shooting the following: M-1891 Infantry rifle, M-1941 Infantry rifle, M-1938 Short Rifle, M-91/38 TS carbine and a M-91/38 Cavalry carbine. Strangely, 4 of the 6 shoot exceptionally with Hornady .264" 160gr RNSP, but 2 of them require a .268" version in order to get decent accuracy.

My advice is try some .264" first. If your rifle likes them, no need to go to the .268". In fact, I'd recommend that you NOT go there.

Hornady 160gr RNSP will always outperform any other 6.5 because it is a looooong, flat sided bullet and it has a flat base.

Also remember that you want to bury the front sight blade into the very bottom of the rear "V" ... if at 100 yards or less ... aim for the belt buckle and you'll hit the target clearly in the chest.
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Old January 22, 2013, 12:08 AM   #5
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Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: AR
Posts: 1,390
I have been playing with Carcanos off & on for years. Before I shoot any of them, I slug the bore. If you do not know how to slug a bore, a gunsmith can do it. Usually does not cost much, & most will do it while you wait. That would be my advice if you want to be sure.
Slugging the bore is now habit with me on any milsurp. I used to pay a gunsmith to do it, but it is so simple I do it myself.
I have never achieved great accuracy using the .264 bullets. It is with the 268gr Hornandy bullets that make my Carcanos tack drivers.
chiefr is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 08:22 PM   #6
Join Date: January 20, 2013
Posts: 35
Thanks for the advise,

I'll get to town next week and have the bore slugged and the head space measured. closest gun smith is 40 miles away. he also does not have the correct feild gage but said he has "other ways" to measure head space

Thanks again
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