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Old January 31, 2013, 10:40 PM   #1
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Info On Carcano Bolt Action

I just picked up a Carcano bolt action rifle for $60 from a friends grandparents and would like some info on it if anyone is familiar with them. I read mixed reviews on them but figured why the hell not for $60.

How can I tell which round this rifle is chambered for? The rifle is marked FAT 41 if that helps. I read online Carcanos were chambered in a couple different calibers, and currently the only company that seems to make ammo for it is Privi Partizan. I live in Massachusetts so I cant buy ammunition online, ill have to have the shop I go to special order it. Also I read that the Privi bullets are undersized and don't shoot very accurately in the Carcano.

From personal experience can anyone tell me if these are safe to fire? I read online about checking the head space first before firing the gun since some people have experienced catastrophic failures from ruptured casings, especially with the older surplus ammunition.

Since ammunition will be so tough to get for me I was thinking maybe it might be worth it to just re-sell it. Any idea how much I could reasonably expect to get for it? If you were in my position would you keep or re-sell the rifle?

Any other info on this rifle is greatly appreciated.
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Old February 1, 2013, 01:05 AM   #2
Romeo 33 Delta
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It appears to be a Model 1941 Infantry Rifle in 6.5 X 52 Carcano. Privi will chamber with no problem ... but you will ABSOLUTELY need to have at least 1 clip. Yes, CLIP.
It is going to be either brass or steel and will hold 6 rounds. With the bolt open, the clip is inserted until it locks in place. When the last round is chambered, it will fall free out the bottom.

If you do not use a clip. DO NOT simply drop the round into the chamber and slam the bolt shut. You will break an extractor and ruin the rifle.

If you want to shoot without a clip, you can do it this way:
Open and pull the bolt to the rear.
Pull the trigger back, hold it there and pull the bolt out.
Clip a cartridge under the extractor.
While holding the trigger back, reinsert the bolt and lock it.

You can now safely fire the rifle and extract the fired case.

While this seems tedious, it will slow down your rate of fire, keeping your barrel cooler longer and making your ammo and your shooting session longer as well. I had an old M-1891 which will NOT strip rounds from a clip, but its accurate as hell ... so that's how I shot her. No problem!

How will it shoot? That depends. I shoot a M-1891 Infantry rifle, a M-1941 Infantry rifle (like yours), a M-1938 Short rifle (JFK type), a M-1891/38 TS carbine and a M-1891/38 Cavalry carbine; all in 6.5 X 52. Of the 6 ... 4 prefer a .264" diameter bullet. However, 2 require a .268" bullet (actually, I resize the .268" to .266", but that's another story).

You should have someone (who knows how to do it properly) slug your bore and that will tell you which bullet the rifle is likely to prefer. Or, you can buy a box of 6.5 Privi which has, I believe, a .264" diameter bullet and see how it shoots.

The Italian method of sight picture is not like what you're used to, the "pumpkin on a post" bit. They bury the front sight blade into the bottom of the rear sight "V" and even at that, you will need to aim low. If you used a standard silhouette target and stick a 8" Shoot n C mid-chest, my aim point at 50-100 yards would be about at the target's belt-line. Also, just leave your rear sight back and down as far as it goes ... not flipped forward. That's a 200/250 meter fixed, battle sight. I never use it.

If you find that you need a .268" bullet are going to have to get into reloading because noone manufacturers loaded ammo with that bullet. Hornady DOES make both a .264" and a .268" round nose bullet. They are 140grain, flat base and have long, parallel sides ... just like the original military FMJ round. Reloading is fun, relaxing and rewarding ... but ADDICTIVE!

Can you tell that I like Carcanos?

Yes, unless you know enough to do it yourself, have it checked out. I've never had an issue with headspace on a Carcano in 6.5 or 7.35.

Carcanos were very well made and with extremely good steel. Don't believe all the crap about them. I don't believe that these "facts" were generated by anyone who had ever spent much time with a Carcano.

Jap rifles look like crap too ... goofy looking bolt knob ... stupid-looking back end of the bolt. The Type 38 is probably the STRONGEST of the Mauser actions rifles ever built. Would you want to shoot a 6.5 rifle that was rechambered to .30-06 (but not rebored to .308")? I wouldn't want to, but it's been done with a Type 38 Jap!

If you don't want to keep it, you could be looking for $250-300 if the bore is nice. You do have the cleaning rod (a plus) and it doesn't look like it's been sanded or screwed with (a BIG plus).

Whatever you end up doing, at $60 you "done" REAL good!
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Old February 1, 2013, 01:36 AM   #3
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Thanks alot for the wealth of information. I am going to order some of the stripper clips tomorrow and see if the shop can order a few boxes of the Privi ammo from Midway which has it in stock.

The gun overall is in pretty good condition. Has probably 90% bluing, had a little rust here and there but it wiped off with a rag and some gun oil. The internals were full of cosmoline so I scrubbed everything clean and re-oiled. The bore looks nice, I got it pretty clean so far and no signs of pitting, but I ran out of Hoppes halfway through so ill have to finish cleaning out all the cosmoline from the bore later. Stock is in good condition and has all matching serial numbers. Only signs of wear I see are around the muzzle has a little pitting, I am assuming the older military ammunition was corrosive and that is the culprit.
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Old February 1, 2013, 03:41 AM   #4
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Thats a nice one and for the 60 bucks you stole it.
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