Carcano--educate me.


Deus Machina
November 6, 2010, 02:18 PM
Gunshow find! A private seller had an unmarked rifle on the rack for $90, I asked, he had to ask his partner and the people in the booth next to him to figure out it's a 6.5 Carcano. He'd had the thing in the rack for years.

I walked around, came back--long story short, I got a sporterized Carcano M1891 (I think!) for $50. :D

Pictures up when I can get to a camera.

Needs some cleaning and the trigger guard/magazine assembly, and I'm clueless on places to get the parts, ID the gun further, figure out just when it was made, the function aside from the basic bolt-action, standard load weight, where to get ammo, etc.

Some of you more educated guys, fill me in? :)

EDIT: Ammo--I'm a reloader, and high ammo cost squicks me. What else can I form down?

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November 6, 2010, 03:36 PM

You did pretty good for $50!
Now about the ammunition.........its pretty expensive, unless you reload.

Basically its an italian bolt rifle. Italy's version of a K98, 03A3, Enfield, etc.
I've heard mixed feelings about these guns, some good, some bad.

Also the same model rifle found with Lee Harvey Oswald when Kennedy was killed (I believe).

November 6, 2010, 04:23 PM
Make sure that yours is a 6.5 because I have a 7.35 Carcano.
Paid $11 for it long time ago/////////////
I know it is pretty accurate at least up to about 65 yards with the cheap 4 power scope that came on the gun. (

November 6, 2010, 05:46 PM
If it is a 6.5 Carcano, be aware that it uses a larger bullet than what most other 6.5mm calibers use.
6.5 Swede bullets are .264 diameter.

6.5 Carcano bullets are .268 diameter

Carcano rifles had/have a reputation for poor accuracy, but it is often due to using the wrong bullets.

I believe Graff and sons have proper ammo for it, and reloading components. Prvi-Partizan ammo and components are much cheaper and works well.

Interesting information at this site.


November 6, 2010, 07:12 PM
Here is a site for parts for the carcano.

Deus Machina
November 6, 2010, 08:36 PM
Thanks for the info, guys!

I'll slug the bore soon, but it does apear significantly smaller than 7.62, so I do think it's a 6.5...

Don't see the caliber stamped anywhere. The only identifiers are 'MADE ITALY', probably by the importers, x3617 serial, and a rectangle with a crown and 'FAT 42'.

Graf's actually isn't too bad on the .268, relatively. Thanks on that.

November 6, 2010, 10:12 PM
Graf & Son does well for me. Don't have a Carcano, but hear they were/are OK. Let us know how it shoots :)

November 6, 2010, 11:58 PM
Carcano rifles also have gain twist rifling so in addition to undersize bullets, rifles that have had the barrels cut down tend to shoot very poor groups.

Not all Carcano sporter rifles use cut down barrels though. Some were built up in Canada that use new barrels and they were also rechambered to 6.5 Greek which is not the same as the Carcano round.

These guns usually have 24" round or octagon to round barrels and commercial type sights but some had the military sights reinstalled too.

If in doubt, have a chamber cast done on the rifle.

Many of these sporters also had double set/double triggers added and this might account for your missing triggerguard/magazine assembly but if the trigger is still attached to the receiver, you should be able to get a magazine box/trigger guard assembly from Gun Parts Inc.
If the trigger is also missing, chances are somebody took the double set kickoff from the receiver too so you will also need a trigger, trigger spring, and trigger pin.

Deus Machina
November 7, 2010, 02:02 AM
It appears to me that all the sporterizing that has been done is the stock. Original trigger (feels like, I'm not an expert), buttpad, and such. It seems the only major thing changed is that the forearm has been cut down, and the upper portion removed.

I thought it may be an aftermarket, but it has a (rather well done) patch over the side sling hole. The replacement trigger guard and cover plate are well done out of very cheap material.

The rifling looks the same front to back, and my quick research here says that they dropped the progressive rifling at some point, probably around wartime. Again, I may be wrong, but it does look to have a really fast twist.

The barrel has a military-style rounded crown, stock rear sight and stock-looking front sight, Italian crown and 'FAT 42' on the back, so it appears not to be rebarreled. I'd have to check on if the chamber was recut.

The barrel is 27 1/4" muzzle to boltface. I have yet to slug the bore, but a stray 6.5x55 touches the lands at the muzzle but will not chamber.

Really wish I had a camera that would take decent pictures of the markings.

November 7, 2010, 05:14 PM
I have 22 pieces of 6.5 Carcano brass. I'll send it to you for postage if you would like. PM me if interested.

November 7, 2010, 06:12 PM
Don't forget you need En-Block stripper clips with this rifle.

November 8, 2010, 12:07 PM
hornady makes the correct bullets,.268 i think. these rifles were manufactured with a gain twist,as i seem to remember.the twist rate actually increases as the bullet travels down the bore.i hope you got the clip(not magazine) for your rifle as you will need it to load the thing up.if not,numrich/gun parts might can help.sounds like a good find,have fun with your new toy.

November 8, 2010, 12:33 PM
IIRC, can't cases be formed from .257 Roberts or 7MM Mauser cases?

Deus Machina
November 8, 2010, 01:12 PM
I haven't done any in-depth search on it yet, but I think I saw that cases can be formed from .303 British after turning the rim off in a lathe. I'll check on that later.

Also, IIRC, the only difference between 6.5 and 7.35 brass is the neck and overall length, and I may just be able to form them down.

I'll check with a patch and rod here soon, but the rifling in mine looks uniform front to back. I think that may depend on the time in which the rifle was made.

The rifle did not include any clips or the magazine, but I'm watching a couple on Gunbroker and eBay.

November 8, 2010, 05:28 PM
Go here.
They have clips and ammo for Carcano rifles.

November 8, 2010, 09:51 PM
You an try here too:


And I think Able Ammo has them too :)

That's a nice looking "re-purposed" rifle. Looks like it will be fun to shoot, once you get it sorted out.

November 8, 2010, 10:05 PM
So these, in various calibers, are what the Italians were using at the twelve battles of the Isonzo river?

November 8, 2010, 11:02 PM
heres some well priced ammo, I've seen a lot of Norma in 155 grn as well.

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