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A purdy' 1942 Italian Carcano followed me home ...

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by gsbuickman, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. gsbuickman

    gsbuickman Member

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    Hiya Guy's :) . Awhile back a friend bought a gun safe from an estate sale with a few firearms in it, so he set them aside and hasn't done anything with them since he cleaned up the safe and has been using it for his personal collection. Well, he finally decided that since they we're just sitting around & since he hasn't done anything with them, it was time tl move them along.

    While we were out running around yesterday we stopped by his place while we were in Caldwell to see what he had. Turns out he had a pair of vintage bb guns from the 50's that he had a buyer for, a Japanese Arisaka sported that looks to be for the 6.5 Jap, and this beautiful 1942 M38 Italian Carcano that had 55 rds of original brass cased 6.5 Carcano ammo on emblock clips. Needless to say I snatched up the arisaka Sporter and the Italian Carcano for $140 bucks :) .

    As most of you know I'm primarily into the milsurp Firearms & the history behind them rather than the cheap off the rack production firearms from the big box gun stores. This gave me the opportunity to delve into the Carcano history side of things and after studying the differences between the 7.35mm & the 6.5mm, I'm glad I scooped up this little 6.5 M38 carbine for my collection while I could and it'll go nicely with my 6.5 swedes. Another reason I was really interested in it is because it's a mannlicher action just like my Steyr M95, meaning the emblock clip is loaded into the top of the receiver and when you chamber the last round the empty clip falls out of the bottom of the receiver. I haven't cleaned it yet but overall I'd say it's probably in 8 out of 10 condition with a nice bore and I really like the stock, it has a lot of patina to it but it still looks really good. On a side note Factory ammo is readily available and affordable from Privy / PPU and reloading for it shouldn't be too bad :) .

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  2. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Pretty stock and the rifle has been lightly sporterized. That is definitely not the issue rear sight and can't honestly remember what the front sight of the Carcano carbine looks like. Some have been made from cut down rifle barrels either by the military or for sporting use. However, military stocks for the Carcano either in the carbine or long rifle have dried up and they are pricey. Had to lurk for about one year to get a non-sportered long stock for one.

    The safety also ranks up with the Mosin for being a PITA to apply. A bit of a warning, Prvi was using .264 bullets instead of the proper .268 in their loaded ammo. Folks report varying levels of accuracy as a result.

    Grafs and Sons did sell some loaded ammo recently under their name that was the proper .268, maybe sold bullets from Hornady? that were of proper size and some folks use sized cast bullets to feed them. Replacement ammo clips are around along with repro versions. Have fun with your Carcano.
     
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  3. Merle1

    Merle1 Member

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    the rear sight sure looks like the one on my M38.
    can you tell if the butt has been shortened, or just had a recoil pad installed?
     
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  4. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    You are correct and I am wrong. It is missing the handguard and I am used to the older carbine sights that are adjustable for range. The 38 model looks like the last ditch Arisaka sights.

    Carcano handguards are also pretty scarce on the ground now as these are prone to cracking like other thin handguards. One guy did make some reproductions but those have dried up the last I checked too. Think that there is some guy in Central Europe (maybe Poland) that makes all kinds of repro stocks for military arms.

    Found his website http://fox-military.com/en/products.php?w=1 and he does do stuff for Carcanos.

    On the stock, it would require measuring or taking the recoil pad off which might not be advisable depending on its condition and means of attachment to the stock.
     
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  5. Merle1

    Merle1 Member

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    did the bayonet happen to come with the Carcano? if so, be advised those with the folding blade are fairly expensive - far above what a fixed blade brings. :eek:
     
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  6. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    I think that is a "police" model " M38 , or maybe "home guard" . I have the folding bayonet model and I have seen that model before, with the handguard still on. The forends are completely different on the bayonet model.
    I think yours is the model Lee Harvey Oswald used , with the side on reciever drilled for a scope mount. :(. They are fun little rifles. The Arisaka can reamed for .257/.6.5mm Roberts easily enough. I don't know if it can be cleaned up by a 6.5 Creedmore reamer :)
     
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  7. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Yep, pretty unbelievable, but that is an original nonadjustable rear sight, which I've only ever seen on the 7.35mm rifles- don't know if they were recalibrated in any way when the guns were converted to 6.5.....:eek:o_O
     
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  8. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Those military rifles went through so many hands. The rifle that Oswald used to shoot JFK was "converted" to a sporter configuration by an Italian Company, in Italy, for an American distributor. The Americans shafted the Italian manufacturer by not making progress payments, and then defaulting on the balance due. Timed to occur after the middle men got the rifles out of the country! There were piles of surplus weapons around, and like Century Arms, and other distributors today, parts were cobbled together, barrels/receivers changed, all in an effort to use parts and make something that would sell. For the least amount of conversion cost as possible.

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  9. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    IIRC, many 7.35 Carcanos were arsenal converted back to the older 6.5 round at the beginning of WW2 for logistical reasons, and then again when Italy split North/South after the Allied landings, with the South being unable to produce 7.35 ammo. I can only assume the arsenals replaced the front sight insert for ballistic compensation- assuming there was sufficient time to do so.
     
  10. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    Yes Hornady are the only ones that make the correct bullets for it, bottle nosed as well. Partizan is a good source for brass but none of my guns would shoot worth a damn with them. I went from minute of basket ball to minute of softball for the partizan vs my loads with the hornady bullets. Norma also makes brass for it but you have to get lucky to find it. The rear sight is fixed at 300 yards, so keep that in mind. I tend to load mine on the soft side, the action is not the most robust so don't load it hot. Also take the bolt down as the....safety "tube" I guess I will say is prone to cracking. Really the safety is not too hard to deal with...just a tad on the small side.

    There are a few different flavors of them, some with the fixed bayonet, some that are cut down WWI rifles, several flavors. Every short Carcano I have seen in 6.5 has had the fixed sight....don't know about the 30's as I have never owned one...but the 6.5, I do like them quite a bit.

    IMHO they are rifles better than their rep gives them. If you ever watch one of those JFK deals you always see them with spitzer bullets, Carcano never...as in NEVER had a pointy bullet this is a sure sign that they are using partizan and that is just tossing a golf ball down a fire hose. They do shoot well if you get the right stuff for them.

    Enjoy and don't be put off by what the rifle does with partizan.
     
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  11. Merle1

    Merle1 Member

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    and they sold a lot (all?) of the ones they couldn't get converted to Finland - thus the SAA marking.....
     
  12. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    I cut my gun teeth on a Carcano carbine. I was 14 or 15 (in 1959 or 1960) when I convinced my father to buy me one at Academy Surplus in Austin, Texas. The price was less than $10.

    Looking back at it now, it wasn't much of a gun. I can't think of anything particularly nice to say about it. It wasn't long before I moved up considerably, to an Enfield Mark III*, made by Lithgow in Australia during WW2. As I recall, that one didn't cost much more than the Carcano.

    When I moved away from Austin, about 10 years later, I simply gave away the Carcano (along with an M95 Steyr straight-pull) to McBride's Guns. I didn't want to be bothered with it any more.
     
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  13. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    Oh I do agree....they are pretty....well basic, and very....loose, I guess I will say.

    I have no idea why I am drawn to them....perhaps I just like stuff others don't......I tend to go for the ugly duckling.....they are pretty bla.

    But I do really enjoy them, I enjoy seeing just how well I can make them shoot, recoil is nothing bad, they are a good serviceable rifle.....but they are not junk like many seem to think they are.
     
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  14. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    No, they are not junk. Mine was made by Beretta Gardone, which was (and is) a reputable gun maker. However, when I first got mine, I discovered it had a broken cocking cam area on the bolt. By strange coincidence, Academy Surplus had an "orphan" Carcano bolt laying around, which I managed to spot. When I explained the situation, they were nice enough to give it to me. I installed it and it worked fine, although at that time I didn't know enough to check the headspace. I "planted" the broken bolt in the garden and as far as I know it's still there.

    As an interesting sidelight, not long after I got the Carcano, we had an electrician come out to the house to do some work. My mother mentioned my new acquisition to him, and it turned out the electrician was a gun enthusiast! The first thing he did was measure the Carcano's barrel to make sure it wasn't an NFA violation. Then he invited me out to his gun club to do some shooting. It was at that shooting session that I was introduced to the 1911 pistol.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  15. lionking

    lionking Member

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    I have a long thread on Prvi vs Hornady or .264 vs .268 ammo coming up in the near future after doing some testing this week with my 91/41 Carcano's. After I get all the photos in a row gonna post it.
     
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  16. desidog

    desidog Member

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    Too bad about the stock, rings and handguard. Liberty Tree has all the parts you need in stock to make it whole again. Unfortunately, all that stuff adds up to big bucks... more than the finished product would be worth, so it would be a labor of love.

    I have 4 1/2 Carcanos*.... most I paid was 75$ for a complete pristine one; so I'd balk at $155 just for the stock.

    I think they're perhaps the most undervalued milsurp these days. A beater Mosin, made to soviet tolerances, commands a higher price than a Berretta-made 1891 moschetto.

    Also, out of mine, one is a laser with Privi, and one can't hit a barn with Prvi. You need to slug the bore and go from there. I generally use a casted .268" with a gas check... and occasionally load with black powder!

    *One is a TS.
     
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  17. gsbuickman

    gsbuickman Member

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    Thanks Guys :) . I had some free time today so I broke out my cleaning stuff and got busy on this Carcano. I filled the bore with some foaming bore cleaner and let it set for 30 minutes before I flushed it out with REM oil before I ran a bore brush through it five or six times. I patched it until they came out clean which was seven or eight patches later, then I flushed it with REM oil again and ran two more patches through it the second of which was clean so I hit it with a little more and used one more patch to spread the oil And called it good. I pointed the bore at the blue sky while I still had daylight to work with to check it out and the bore went from being dark and dreary too bright and shiny and the rifling looks sharp and clean.

    On a side note since I forgot to mention it, that foaming bore cleaner I used was the kind that turns blue copper and other heavy metals that it dissolves. Luckily there was little to no blue stuff on the patches, just your average crud from setting in a safe or something for who-knows-how-long. I ordered a set of Hornady 6.5 Carcano dies this morning now I just need to order some projectiles :) .
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  18. If1HitU

    If1HitU Member

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    Very nice,it could have followed me home too,congrats!
     
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  19. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    I am interested on reading that, I have been playing with loadings for about 2 years on and off, have some notes on what worked on my few rifles.

    I look forward to your thread....did you get into different brass testing, I have both Norma and partizan brass, and there is a difference.
     
  20. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    I agree, Japanese stuff is getting some love, and if it has the mum that is a plus, without they are still pretty cheap unless it is an odd duck like a paratroop or something along those lines....I kick myself for walking away from a mismatch paratroop a few years ago for 1500, now around here they are double that.....but then they are only worth something if you sell it....that is what my wife keeps telling me.
     
  21. lionking

    lionking Member

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    I just made the thread a couple hours ago here
    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/my-like-and-dislike-of-the-carcano.844614/

    However I don't reload so your contribution would be helpful to those that do my thread was more of a verification that in fact factory Prvi for Carcano is not going to shoot vs Hornady or some other .268 diameter bullet will
     
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