An older gentelman I work with found an old rifle in his garage. He doesn't remember where he got it or the circumstances that led to it being in his possesion. He told me if I wanted it I could have it. I took it home and cleaned it up( it was nasty). I was doing research on it and it appears to be an Italian Carcano. Above the chamber it is marked 6.5 so I know I am dealing with a 6.5X52mm rimless cartridge. I am assembling a reloading station now but am new to reloading. I have searched the sites I buy ammo from to no avail. I was wondering if anyone knows of a source for factory ammo for this rifle.
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You'll also need some clips unless you want a single-shot rifle. I'd look for those on Gunbroker or eBay (if they've not been outlawed on the latter).
January 20, 2009, 05:23 PM
Norma produces some runs.
Loaded ammo in 156 gr rn is available from www.midwayusa.com.
The bore size for the Carcano is different than most 6.5 rifles and if you get into reloading for it you will need to get the correct bullets if you want the rifle to show any accuracy at all. The Carcano bullets are 0.268" dia. available from Hornady, and the brass is also available. Norma manufactures this brass and it is set up for boxer prime. Or you could by 20 rnds from midway and save the brass.
The Mannlicher Carcano also takes an enbloc clip which without it makes the rifle single shot, but they are available through many sources , pick up a Shotgun News to find one. I have seen plenty of them at the gun shows.
Found another 2 loadings, 123gr sp and 139 gr fmj from privi partizan @ midway,that beats the snot out of the Norma for price, but I don't know if this is boxer primed.
Nominal size for modern 6.5 mm bullets is .0.264" .
January 20, 2009, 10:02 PM
Grafs sells ammo and has a $4.75 shipping fee no matter the wgt.
January 20, 2009, 10:36 PM
i was going to say ammotogo.com as well, proly the cheapest. now then, it is all going to be milsurp, unless you buy new made Norma ammo, which will cost you both legs. I would load it up with 120 grainers, for a nice mild, do everything type round. or 140's, if you wanna go for deer and such, even piggies. The biggest prob with the carcano's is the clip, they must be fully loaded to use, and you cannot reload it, until you empty the clip, and it drops free. Also when you put in a loaded clip , make sure all the rounds are seated nice, neat, and all the way to the back. Otherwise, you are asking for a serious jam-up.
After firing one of these many times, you will come to seriously doubt the Lee Harvey Oswald explanation...
January 20, 2009, 10:38 PM
Oh yeah, if you notice from the other dudes, try to find the newest , stiffest, made of steel clips you can find.
Ohio Gun Guy
January 20, 2009, 10:39 PM
Got any pictures of the beast?
We like pictures........................;)
January 20, 2009, 11:09 PM
The Carcano is an excellent rifle, and contrary to what rangerruck wrote, shooting mine made me believe the oswald story more than ever.
Mine is extremely smooth in function, one of the smoothest bolt guns I have ever shot.
The clips are pricey...At the last gun show, a guy had a box of them...he wanted $5 apiece for them. I looked the second day, and it didn't look like he sold any.
PRVI ammo is good for brass, and fun to shoot, but uses the wrong diameter bullet, so you won't get the best accuracy.
January 21, 2009, 12:15 AM
I actually like the Carcano.But shooting it single shot without the clip?Last weekend I took the Carcano to the range,forgot the clip.Tried to shoot it single shot but the bolt would close right that way.
Now I have shot it before with the clip and it functioned flawless so can we confirm that a Carcano can or cannot be shot by loading a single into the chamber?
I do have another one,bought it at a gunshow for $150 in great condition.It is a long 1891 with a bent bolt.Tried it,shot 2 rounds and then the bolt froze up.I plan to get it checked but Im thinking maybe the headspace is off to make it do that?Before shooting it the bolt seemed to work fine but the 3rd round has it stuck,can't draw back the bolt.
January 21, 2009, 12:37 AM
I appreciate all the info, thank you. The rifle seems to lock up tight and the action cycles smoothly(now). I would post pics, however I don't have a digital camera. It cleaned up pretty nice(a little surface rust outside). I hope to use it as a truck gun. I like the fact you can't buy ammo for it at Walmart so if it ever turns up missing I'm not giving much up. The bore looks decent and I will post about shooting it soon, hopefully. Thanks for the tip about the clips, I knew it looked awful open in that magazine.
January 21, 2009, 11:40 AM
Just a few other thoughts on this thread. First, nowadays you're unlikely to find any Carcano ammo that is "milsurp." The Italians stopping producing ammo at the end of WW2, and it's been a long time since any surplus has been on the U.S. market. Norma is not, then, the only non-milsurp source for this stuff. Hornady makes factory-new loads for the 6.5 Carcano, as does Prvi Partizan. There may be others, but I'm not familair with any.
As someone else has noted, the bore of the 6.5 Carcano is sized a bit larger than other 6.5-caliber rifles available today. Prvi Partizan appears to utilize the more common under-sized 6.5mm bullets, and some have reported poor accuracy in their Carcanos due to this. Hornady's bullets, however, are properly sized for the Carcano's bore, and some report greatly improved accuracy with these loads. That said, I've tried both Hornady and the different loadings offered by Prvi Partizan in my Carcano, and I noticed very little difference in accuracy. So, in my old rifle, I'll stick with the much cheaper Prvi Partizan loads. I suggest you try the various offerings in your own rifle and decide what you like best.
January 21, 2009, 02:51 PM
I'd definitely try the Hornady ammo from Graf's with the .268 bullets.
An uncle of mine has an old Steyr sporter in 6.5X54 that he couldn't get to group at first, until he slugged the bore and found it to be .268. He got some of the Hornady 160 grain bullets in that diameter, and had excellent results, both on paper and on game when he took it to Africa.
January 21, 2009, 08:15 PM
My Carcano so far seems accurate typical of a milsurp with PP ammo.As to whether other brands are better I don't know.But PP ammo is awesome for the fact that it is reasonable in price to enjoy shooting.
I still would like to know if you can load it single shot,because when I tried with mine it didn't work,but with the clip it worked fine.
January 21, 2009, 08:49 PM
Where was your neighbor in 1963? j/k
I'd like one as a collectors piece.
March 2, 2010, 04:43 PM
My dad and I each have a 6.5 Carcano. We have tried the Norma ammunition and our rifles are poor shooters with it. We want to try the Hornady ammo and see if the .268" diameter bullets help.
I contacted Parvi Partisan and they do not use the .268" diameter bullet, they use the
.264" diameter bullet in their ammo. They do however make the brass that accepts the
.268" diameter bullets for reloading purposes. I know Norma makes a .268" diameter bullet, but whether or not they use it in the manufacture of the 6.5 Carcano ammunition is something I have yet to hear back from them on.
Hope this helps everyone.
March 2, 2010, 10:43 PM
I love my Carcano. I've got several clips but shoot it single shot most of the time without a problem. I don't recall much difference between the PP and the Norma ammo as far as accuracy goes. I reload most of what I shoot anyway which is much more accurate than the factory loads. I bought one box of 140 grain .264 bullets to reload with and decided they were a waste of time. It's a fast accurate little rifle.
If I could just get my hands on a 7.35 mm now....
Be safe and have fun.
April 17, 2010, 10:56 PM
A friend of mine is currently looking for ammo for an old 6.5 Carcano he inherited. He doesn't reload and the ammo is pretty scarce these days. Thanks to all who posted info on this thread.
April 19, 2010, 11:52 PM
I have a 7.35 Italian---bullets mike about .295
I only have about 25 bullets left---I used it for deer hunting when I was a little younger.
50 some years ago-the military ammo was reloaded with soft nose bullets.
It got the job done.....................