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Finnish Army marked Carcano carbine

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by hso, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    I found a nice little Finnish Army marked Carcano carbine at the Las Vegas ginshop near the airport. If I didn't already have one in my collection I would have snapped it up. Good luck to anyone who is a fellow Finn Revolution/Winter War/Continuation War collector.
  2. CornCod

    CornCod Well-Known Member

    Been seeing a lot of Carcanos lately in the hands of the Libyan Rebels; some with ammo and some without. Could it be the Carcano's final appearance on the stage of war? The rifle has been an implement of conflict since 1891, quite a record.
  3. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

    Didn't know that the Finns had any Carcanos, but it's an interesting bit of information on that story.
    I wrote a paper about the Winter War last year - probably one of the most interesting historical events I've ever studied.
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    The Finns used captured Mosin Nagant rifles, Japanese M97, 02 and 05, and Winchester M/1895s as well has having purchased Carcanos after the revolution since they knew the only way they'd be getting any more Mosin Nagants was if they were in the hands of Russian invaders.
  5. Vaarok

    Vaarok Well-Known Member


    The Finns were nominally Axis-allied, or at least friendly, so the Italians were obligated to give at least some equipment to them. As their re-armament program had failed due to a shortage of 7.35 ammo, and subsequent return to only using 6.5, they dumped the now-nonstandard rifles on the Finns, taking care of their obligation while also not compromising their war effort by giving away useful equipment. In much the same way, the Germans gave the Finns Chauchat machine-rifles captured from France and some Lewis guns captured from the British at Dunkirk.

    The Finns were awash with more Mosins following the Russian Revolution than they knew what to do with and they were much too poor to be buying new Carcanos.
  6. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    I wonder if they tried to give them back?
  7. Vaarok

    Vaarok Well-Known Member

    No, they were grateful to get whatever they could, and by all accounts used them for antiaircraft and second-line defense.

    The Chauchat in .30-06 was crap. The Chauchat in 8x50R Lebel was teething in WW1 but did work, and by WW2 the kinks had been ironed out and it was a dated but functional machine rifle.
  8. Jeremy2171

    Jeremy2171 Well-Known Member

    Not to divert the thread too much (I hope!) but the big problem was the .30cal version was not made to the correct dimensions. Several years back an MG collector had a "mint" .30cal (go figure since they didn't work) and went about making it work. Turns out the chamber was not reamed to .30cal correctly and the groove for the extractor was too shallow basically "locking" a case in the chamber. He corrected these issues and then it ran like a champ!

    Be thankful the .30cal version sucked so bad as there was serious movement to abandon the M1918 BAR and adopt the Chauchat as standard..the failure of the .30cal version allowed the BAR to rule for the next 50 years!

    Back to your normally scheduled thread....... :neener:
  9. clamman

    clamman Well-Known Member

    Shot my first deer with a 7.35
  10. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    Vaarok--are you positive about the Carcanos being some kind of Axis lend/lease? The info I've found is that they were sold as surplus by Italy to Finland in 1940, before Finland was engaged in the Continuation war and the ill-fated alliance with Germany.

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
  11. Vaarok

    Vaarok Well-Known Member

    The Italians were obligated to provide material support, from what I understand, in some form, and the rifles not only didn't consume valuable raw resources, finished materials needed for the war effort, or drain production capacity, and also meant that the Italians got paid, helping fund their own war effort.
  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member


    I've seen statements both ways, that the Finns received the Carcanos as aid in '40 and that the rifles were sold to them at a reduced cost during '39/'40. The MosinNagant site has both statements, but that may be parsing the point too finely since selling/dumping the rifles on the Finns at a bargain price and calling it aid may be the same thing at the time. Regardless, it is no surprise that they couldn't get quantities of rifles from any source other than the original revolution captures and then Axis sources since they were co-combatants with the Axis against the Russians once Hitler attacked Stalin.
  13. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    That was only after Stalin became Uncle Joe in 1941. Before that FDR, Churchill and the rest of the west was rooting for the plucky little Finns against the bloodthirsty Russian bear. The dispute tore up the League of Nations. Our tune changed when the Hitler-Stalin pact fell apart and we needed to work with the Soviets.
  14. apple

    apple New Member

    Apologies for the thread necromancy. But, joined the forum just to correct some massively incorrect statements made in this thread

    While it's true that the majority of Moisin Nagants used by the Finnish Army were captured rifles manufactured in Russia, Finland made 10's (perhap 100's I don't know the exact figures) of thousands of new Moisin-Nagants. Also, perhaps the majority of the captured rifles were, sometimes heavily, refurbished using Finnish made parts.

    You are correct, Cosmoline. Don't listen to anything Vaarok says.

    The Finnish army got huge numbers of Mausers from Sweden during the Winter War. Like the Carcano, these were in a non standard calibre and weren't used much.

    You probably can talk about Finland being an Axis country after Finland invaded the Soviet Union. But, as I was indicating before, they'd had previous issues with Hitler. Germany wasn't selling and had stopped some arms exports to Finland, for example from the Netherlands, during the Winter War. But, later they sold huge amounts of material to Finland
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  15. RPRNY

    RPRNY Well-Known Member

  16. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Well-Known Member

    Apple. What is your source of authority for your statements?


  17. 7mmman

    7mmman Member

    Carcano 91/38

    I too have Finnish Army marked Carcano 91/38 that I bought new in 1958 right out of the crate for $14 with my paper route money.. Been shooting it now for almost 55 years.

    I have had many other rifles over the years but as this was the first I bought with my own money I've kept it. Now days I make my own 7.35 mm ammo to shoot it and it still does just fine.

    I can still ring the gongs at 200 yards with my 68 year old eyes so I'm still enjoying it..

    Attached Files:

  18. backbencher

    backbencher Well-Known Member

    Hmm, I was thinking there were no Finnish manufactured Mosin receivers. They refurbished tens of thousands of Mosins, and both manufactured & contracted barrels - which gives the Finn an excellent reputation for accuracy among Mosins. Truly, a holy grail if the Finns manufactured some previously unknown receivers.
  19. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    Probably couldn't pay enough to get them to take the Shoe-Shoe back.
  20. Ash

    Ash Well-Known Member

    Vaarok knows quite a bit regarding this subject. The Finns made Mosins, true, but they generally did not make Mosin actions. Indeed, they made no receivers nor most bolt parts (extractors and some cocking handles were about it). They generally did not make rear sights except for 28/30's or m39's. Finns were really Mosin Modifiers, though their trigger work was superb and I'd take any Finnish Mosin over most Soviet/Russian Mosins - and I have owned quite a few Finns (about 70 rifles).

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