6.5 Carcano reloading


October 15, 2012, 07:57 PM
Anyone reload the 6.5 Carcano? Do you have any tips or a favorite recipe? I was looking to use IMR 4064. Also the Lee dies I have came with a .264 and .268 decapper, does anyone know why this is?


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Romeo 33 Delta
October 15, 2012, 10:00 PM
Lee included a .264" and a .268" so you could shoot either .264" or .268" bullets ... simple as that.

My collection of shooter, 6.5 X 52 Italian Carcano rifles consists of a M-1891 Rifle, M-1941 Rifle, M-1938 Short Rifle, M-1891/38 TS Carbine, M-1891/38 Moschetto Carbine. Some will shoot fine with a .264" bullet, others require a larger one.

In all instances, I use only Hornady 160gr RNSP, either their .264" or .268" bullets. (Which I modify them by running them through a Lee sizing die and squeeze them down to .2665" because when I miked one of my surplus rounds, I read the bullet at .2665, not .2680").

I like this bullet because it is HEAVY ... it is LONG ... it has a LONG BEARING SURFACE ... it is FLAT BASED.

I use Hornady's recommendation of H-414 powder and (Winchester) Large Rifle Magnum primers. My load data calls for 34.1gr and I seat the bullet to give me a LOA of 2.985". It's a gentle load since I just shoot paper.

This is the loading data I use and while safe for my rifles, it may not be safe in yours ... use at your own risk (legal stuff).

Unless you are willing to remove your bolt and clip a single round under the extractor and them reinsert the bolt with each shot ... you will need a clip. If you try to slam a round into the chamber without using a clip you run the risk of breaking your extractor. (The bolt removal option is not as big a pain in the butt as it sounds. Open the bolt, pull it to the rear, pull the trigger and while holding the trigger back, pull the bolt to the rear and out. Reinsert the opposite way. This will slow your rate of fire down and will keep your barrel cooler and cause less mirage so your sight picture doesn't waver all over the place).

Speaking of sight picture ... unlike as we have been taught, Italian practice was to bury the front sight blade in the BOTTOM of the rear sight "V" ... and then I aim at the waist of a silhouette target with a Shoot N C in the chest area. This seems to work for me.

Hope this helps. I'm a certified Italian Milsurp nut and the M-1891/38TS I'm shooting is one my Dad sent back during WWII. It was my very first Milsurp and it's what got me into reloading ... but that's another story for another day.

October 15, 2012, 10:12 PM
I think it depends on the bullet size you are using.

It's like my 7.35--original bullet is .297--only size I can get is .300
Lee don't give 2 decappers on the 7.35--so I keep it as high as I can & still punch the spent primer--that way the neck is good for the.300 bullet

Romeo 33 Delta
October 16, 2012, 12:35 AM
Buffalo Arms has a 130gr Spitzer for 7.35 Carcano in .298". I've used this myself for my 7.35s and it's just fine. $36/100 ... not cheap, but available.
Check 'em out!

Nice to see some Carcano shooters here ... :D

October 16, 2012, 08:46 AM
From Graf & Son:
128 gr .300 $23/100----good price works good------:)
soft point

October 16, 2012, 11:37 AM
Lee does not tell you why they gave you 2 decappers ???
E-mail or call them

October 17, 2012, 11:32 AM
alot of this information seems to be on the 7.35 Carcano. i need information on 6.35 Carcano. has anyone slugged their barrel for diameter?

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October 17, 2012, 01:54 PM
Call LEE

dagger dog
October 17, 2012, 04:54 PM
Hornady used to show some 0.268" rnsp bullets for the Carcano, the bad rap on accuracy of the Carcano came from US reloaders using smaller bullets that rattle down the gain twist bore. That's why the two different spindles so you can size the cases to fit the different size bullets.

I shot mine with Norma factory ammo and found it to be M.O.W.M. (minute of water melon) capable at reasonable ranges.

Romeo 33 Delta
October 17, 2012, 06:48 PM
Mookiie ... I'll try this again.

1. Buy 1 pound of H-414.
2. Buy 1 100 round box of Hornady .264" 160gr RNSP bullets.
3. Buy 1 box of Winchester Large Rifle Magnum primers.
4. Set your Lee 6.5 X 52mm FL die up with the .264" stem.
5. Load 50 rounds with 34.1gr of powder and an OAL of 2.985".
6. Load 6 rounds into the clip.
7. Mount a 8" Shoot N C in the middle of a cardboard sheet 24" X 24".
8. Set up your target at 50 yards or less.
9. Fire 6 round groups using the SAME sight picture for each shot.

This will tell you what you need to know. Nice, round holes with a grouping that is reasonably close together (though not necessarily at your aim point) means that your rifle should shoot just fine with a .264" bullet. If you have oblong holes that are scattered around the cardboard backer ... your rifle will shoot better with a larger bullet.

This is how I have checked out all of my Italian 6.5 X 52 firearms (5) that I shoot regularly. You really do not have to slug your bore just yet. Try this first, seriously.:D

October 21, 2012, 11:32 AM
Romeo 33 Delta - thanks that points me in the right direction!

Romeo 33 Delta
October 21, 2012, 02:15 PM
No problem ... always happy to help a fellow Carcano shooter. In my early days I tried various bullets, among them Remington 140gr .264s". They didn't work well because the length of the .264" bearing surface was very small compared to the actual bullet length. It wasn't until I started shooting those loooong, parallel side 160gr Hornadys that I was finally happy with the results. In most of my 6.5 Carcanos the .264" works fine ... I think only 1 of them really needs the larger bullet to shoot accurately.

Carcanos are great fun and once you get yourself dialed in, it can be great fun at the range when you show up with "one of those crappy Carcanos" and then shoot the dylights out of the target with it. :D

poco loco
October 22, 2012, 02:50 AM
a buddy just picked up 3-4 hundred .268 for his Arisaka and needs .264s

If any of yall Carcano shooters are interested, pm me.

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