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Rebarreling a Carcano

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by .45Guy, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. .45Guy

    .45Guy Well-Known Member

    I'm currently looking to convert my Carcano to 7.62x39. However my usual smith won't touch this project with a ten foot pole:( Does anyone know of a brave soul willing to take this project on? All it should take is a rebareling, case head diameter is pretty much the same.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2006
  2. mete

    mete Well-Known Member

    He won't do it for good reason - the Carcano is designed for 38,000 psi max pressure , the 7.2x39 is higher than that!!
  3. .45Guy

    .45Guy Well-Known Member

    There is a difference in the working pressure of a crtridge, and the max tolerances of an action. Although I always like to hear from the Carcano's are worthless crap camp:)
  4. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    Even if it isn't worthless crap, you're looking at a custom barrel. Likely cost you more than the rifle is worth.
    "...7.2x39 is higher than that..." Nope. It's 33,600 to 40,900 CUP, depending on the powder with a 125 grain bullet. 39,300 to 42,500 CUP, again depending on the power with a 150 grain bullet. There are 160 grain loads too.
    The Carcano (an M38 right?) has been converted to use a reduced load 8mm Mauser. I doubt you'd have any pressure concerns converting to 7.62 x 39, but it wouldn't be cheap to do.
  5. .45Guy

    .45Guy Well-Known Member

    I have a line on the barrel, I just don't want to do it myself.
  6. mete

    mete Well-Known Member

    According to my search, max pressure for the 7.62x39 is 45,000 [SAAMI] .
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Pressure is measured in pounds per square inch or copper units of pressure, which is not quite the same thing, but is the same idea.

    But when dealing with a rifle, the pressure on the bolt face is not the overall pounds of pressure but the pounds times the number of square inches of the rear interior of the cartridge. IMHO, a conversion to 7.62x39 would be well within the capabilities of the Carcano action, but the conversion would cost far more than the rifle is worth. I don't know how well the 7.62x39 will work through the Carcano clip, as it is quite loose, and the bolt face and extractor would have to be altered. With the needed alterations, plus the cost of the barrel and the gunsmith work, you would end up with the most expensive Carcano around, and a mediocre rifle at best.

    (FWIW, some Carcanos were rebarrelled by the Germans to use full power 7.9 military ammo, not reduced loads, as last ditch rifles; they held up OK, but it was like a proof load every shot.)

  8. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    You're better off getting one of those tack-driving CZ carbines.
  9. .45Guy

    .45Guy Well-Known Member

    I certainly would love a new CZ, however....... While I can't really justify the trouble or expense of this project rationally, I can say this is what I want to do. Seems like a good enough reason. Maybe I have odd tastes. Hell, I've always thought the V8 Gremlin was the epitome of "cool" car design as well;)
  10. Essex County

    Essex County Well-Known Member

    I have a soft spot for the old Carcano. My cousin purchased one in the late '50's and did a fine job making an ineepensive sporter out of it. 9.95 from hunter's lodge. It took more than a few deer and woodchucks. I still have a couple I paid 15.00 the pair for. I used to reload and still have a set of C-H dies packed away somewhere...........But they aren't worth messin' with. Not really scopeable, split reciever ring, need the stripper clips, etc. Hang the old girl on the wall....as a hard working battle rifle she deserves it. Essex
  11. .45Guy

    .45Guy Well-Known Member

    I'm not really attempting to make a sporter per se. I have that 6.5 terni action laying around. I'm thinking fixed sights and original stock. Like I said I have odd tastes.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2006
  12. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...what I want to do. Seems like a good enough reason...." Yep. "I want it..." is reason enough.
  13. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    The last I checked, the only cartridges that would work with the
    Carcano magazine and clip system were 6.5 Carcano, 7.35 Carcano,
    .35 Remington and 6.5 Mannlicher-Schoenauer IF the overall length
    of the loaded cartridge was kept equal to the 6.5 Carcano.

    As a single shot, however, there are more choices.

    Simply put, though, it does not pay to rebarrel a Carcano.
    If the gun is in original military configuration, it will eventually
    be worth more as a military collectible than as a shooter anyway.

    I own a 91/38 rifle and reload 6.5 and enjoy shooting it.
  14. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Back in the 1950's, a young man I knew became friends with a teen age boy. This was before such a friendship automatically led to evil thoughts, and they really were just friends. The teenager was just getting into shooting and the older guy had several guns and let the kid shoot them.

    Now the kid was the son of one of the top master engravers in the Washington, DC, area. So the engraver, who knew nothing about guns, suggested that he could do a little engraving on the friend's guns. The guy brought him a Model 1917 Enfield, and the old man put on a few scrolls that really looked good. He did the same with a .22 rifle. When he asked if the young man had any other guns, the guy brought in his only other gun. The old man knew that his son was really friends with the gun owner and decided to do a super job on the rifle.

    It is the only fully engraved, gold and silver inlaid Carcano I have ever seen.

  15. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    Don't waste your time asking a gunsmith to rechamber a Carcano.
    All you will get out of the idea is a gunsmith who tells other gunsmiths humorous stories about you,,,,,,,,
  16. .45Guy

    .45Guy Well-Known Member

    Whatever gents, sorry to see I wasted my time asking. And wouldn't said gunsmith be a complete jackass for passing up such an expensive proposistion?
  17. db_tanker

    db_tanker Well-Known Member

    someone already said that if its what you want to do then by God git-r-done.

    And don't feel like the odd one out here, 45guy...

    I have a #1 Mk3 Enfield that I am getting ready to have a 'smith recut the chamber in, cut and crown, and lastly drill and tap for a scope mount. He has looked over it and said no prob.

    Why have all this done?

    Well...because I want to. I think it has somthing to do with me always wanting to be DIFFRENT...

    One thing you haven't been asked yet is that are you planning on reloading the x39 for that rifle or plan on shooting off the shelf ammo?
  18. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    No, the gunsmith would be a complete jackass for accepting the job, doing the work, overcharging the customer, and returning a potentially unsafe firearm back to the owner.
    Common sense overules greed in the eyes of a professional.
  19. backbencher

    backbencher Well-Known Member

    Go for it

    .45 Guy,

    Behind you all the way - this thread was worth it just for Jim Keenan's story about the inlaid Carcano. I laughed 'til I cried. That one should be in the annual Gun Digest Art of the Engraver pages.

    "Lit'l" (6'+) brother says this conversion used to be not unheard of for this action, wonders why to do so now that ammo's gone to $8/box? Perhaps the cheapest way would be to use a chamber adapter?


    Only question is actual bore vs. bullet diameter, 7.35 is kinda narrow for .311 bullets, you'll have to make that decision.

    Gig 'em,


    PS - my mistake, you said you had the 6.5 & a source for the bbl. Chamber adapters don't magicly squeeze 7.62 down to 6.5, but boy, we'd have all kinds of fun if they did!
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2006
  20. .45Guy

    .45Guy Well-Known Member

    Potentially dangerous, I laugh everytime I hear that. Of course in the same breath you would no doubt laud the strength of an Ishapore .308. But like I said, if a smith is some sort of commie that doesn't believe in turning a profit, I certainly feel no loss for him not taking my money.

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