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Old 08-17-2020, 09:15 PM
duman444 duman444 is offline
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First would like to say don't know a lot about foreign rifle calibers.
Saw that Palmetto State Armory is selling surplus Italian Carcano rifles.
Remembered it was a carbine version of one those that Lee Harvey Oswald used to assassinate JFK (or not depending on where you stand on conspiracy theories).
Anyway, looked up the ammo online-then found the below picture of the live round ejected from Oswald's Carcano. Sure is weird looking with so much of the 160 gr round nose bullet extending out of the case. Makes me wonder how much is in the case?
Why would you build a rifle around a cartridge with a bullet like that? Not sure its the most accurate gun around, but back when they were building these rifles, most sights were marked up to at least 500 yds. Seems like you would be better off putting more cartridge capacity for power to push bullets way out there.

Things that make you go Hmmm...Ö.
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Old 08-17-2020, 09:46 PM
diyj98 diyj98 is offline
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There's not really a lot of the bullet extending into the case.
File:6.5mm Carcano (cut in half).jpg - Wikipedia

I'm guess they may have felt that the small diameter but longer bullets may have given them a better sectional density than larger caliber shorter bullets, thus offering accuracy and penetration advantages at longer distances.
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Old 08-17-2020, 10:35 PM
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The really nice thing about surplus Italian (and French) military rifles is that most have never been fired and have only been dropped once.
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Old 08-17-2020, 10:44 PM
David.Hylton David.Hylton is offline
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All of the 6.5 cartridges of the era had similar heavy for caliber bullets. The 6.5 x 54 and 6.5 x 55 have a similar appearance. If I remember correctly, you need one bullet diameter in length in the case neck to secure it.
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Old 08-17-2020, 11:00 PM
Sgt911 Sgt911 is offline
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I've got a few of them I bought surplus years ago. I was told never to load them without a clip. The cartridge needs to be lifted from the clip.
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Old 08-18-2020, 08:43 PM
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Back in the day, a 6.5 Carcarno was around $10 from Kleins in Chicago, and as you might suppose for a $10 gun, it was a piece of junk.
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:35 AM
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The very first Milsurp rifle I bought was an Italian Vetterli-Vitali bolt action rifle in 6.5mm, ca. 1870s. It was a beast, big and ugly. Those rifles were originally in 10.35mm, but many were later re-barreled and modified to use the 6.5x52 cartridge in the 1890s. It came with 100 rounds of 6.5 ammo in clips, and I still have an unopened box of it. About half, or more, of the rounds I fired were misfires. Most may be unaware that the Italian 6.5mm bullet uses a slightly larger diameter bullet (by 0.004") than other 6.5mm military cartridges. You often see the 6.5mm Carcano rifle described as cheap junk, but it was nothing of the sort. It was actually sturdy, reliable, and foolproof, and was in service with the Italian military through two wars and continued in police service into the 1980s. For military service it was as effective as any other nation's bolt action rifle. Early in WWII, some 6.5 military Carcano rifles were re-barreled and rechambered to a similar round which used a 0.300" (7.35mm) diameter bullet. It didn't last long in service as it complicated military logistics too much.

Last edited by DWalt; 08-19-2020 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoboGunLeather View Post
The really nice thing about surplus Italian (and French) military rifles is that most have never been fired and have only been dropped once.
I think the Carabinieri would disagree. Iíve trained with them
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Old 08-19-2020, 06:40 AM
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Slow, heavy roundnose bullets were popular in the late 1890s and early 1900s. In the US both 30-40 Krag and first version of the 30-06 (known as the 30-03) used a 220 grain round nose bullet.

Not sure why they were chosen but it might be that compared to the 405 grain bullet in a 45-70 the 30 caliber rounds seemed too small and light to be effective. Most countries quickly realized the benefits of a lighter and more aerodynamic bullet, Italy not so much.

The 160 grain bullet had a reputation for tumbling and being deflected easily. Which is how it became known as the "magic bullet" by JFK assassination conspiracy theory fans.
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Old 08-19-2020, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lively View Post
Slow, heavy roundnose bullets were popular in the late 1890s and early 1900s. In the US both 30-40 Krag and first version of the 30-06 (known as the 30-03) used a 220 grain round nose bullet.
The early .303 Savage cartridge (much like the .30-30) used 190 and 200 grain bullets specifically because their high sectional density provided deep penetration in large game. The .303 Savage was a popular choice among Moose hunters for that reason.

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Old 08-19-2020, 10:26 AM
Drm50 Drm50 is offline
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I think one of the old gun scribes said there are no bad cartridges, only inaccurate rifles. I’m sure any gunsmith could take premium components and build an outstanding rifle for any cartridge. A few years ago at action I bought a Jap 6.5 sporter. This rifle was outstanding. It even had been rebarreled to 6.5 Jap. Beautiful stock and the finest quality fittings. After market trigger no way to tell make of barrel. I would guess this rifle was built as some kind of sentimental project. Usually if anything 6.5 militaries are punched to take a common brass, but still 6.5 bullets. I come from the era that custom rifles were built on 98s and 03s.
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:34 PM
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I have 12 different Carcano rifles and shoot most of them from
time to time. I shoot all cast bullets in my military rifles, and
they shoot very very well. The problem why Italian rifles get
a bad rap for not being accurate, is there bore diameter is .268
instead of .265 diameter that US 6.5 bullets are. I size my cast
bullets to .269 or .270 and they are very accurate. Another
myth is they have a very weak action. The Italians used some
of the best steel of the time. Don't forget, they were making
guns years ahead of most country's. They still make some of the
best firearms in the world.
Denny
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Old 08-19-2020, 08:41 PM
Igiveup Igiveup is offline
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The Swedes sure like their 6.5x55. I have had a few military rifles in that caliber and found them to be pleasant to shoot and very accurate for iron sighted military rifles. In fact, I finally bought a Howa 1500 in 6.5x55 Swede. Great hunting round for most north America animals, flat shooting, and very accurate. Also, light recoil on my bad shoulder. The Swedes use that caliber on their moose size animals.
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:29 PM
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The 6.5x55 Swede is an excellent choice for almost every purpose, assuming you are not hunting T. Rex at 1000 yards. Military bullets are usually 160 grain, thus having excellent sectional density and providing very deep penetration on large game. Or you can handload about any bullet weight and type available to suit your needs. It is also popular in the Nordic countries for target shooting. Back in my Bench Rest days (nearly 50 years ago), I had a custom heavy-barreled (Douglas) Mauser action rifle made up in 6.5x55 which I used in Sporter Class competition. It kept up with everyone in 100 and 200 yard matches. I found that it handled 130 grain bullets best. I still have a Swedish Mauser M96 and a Swedish military Ljungman AG42b, a rifle many have probably never heard of. Except it was the inspiration for the design of the direct gas impingement action used in the AR-series rifles. And it shoots like a target rifle.

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Old 08-25-2020, 11:51 PM
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Many famous African hunters in the early days used 6.5 x 55 and similar for about all large and dangerous game. Due to it's high sectional density it was and is a superb killer.
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Old 08-26-2020, 09:40 AM
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The 160gr 6.5mm fmj bullet was standard in the Italian, Greek M/S and the Swede military rds.
The Sporting rds of the same do fine with them as well.
The somewhat earlier 6.5 Mannlicher rimmed (6.5x53R) also used it.

On paper it's not a barn burner, but it's a proven accurate killer.
The Mannlicher Schoenauer 1903 rifles are designed to feed that round with that bullet.

The Italian rd is mearly a couple mm shy of the 6.5 M/S rd,,,52mm v 54 mm in length. Same odd base dia for the two.
The Carcano uses an en-bloc clip to load and feed,,not so the M/S.
But the earlier Mannlicher rifle design did use the packet enbloc clip.
They don't interchange betwe rifles unfortunetly
The German GEW88 also uses the packet 'clip' as well in the orig design and is another one you'll need to secure as the others mentioned won't interchange.

I load 6.5 M/S,, 6.5Mann Rimmed & 256 Gibbs Magnum (an early 20th Century proprietary rd by Geo Gibbs Co, Bristol England).
They are all very accurate with surplus pulled 6.5mm 160gr FMJ RN bullets I happened in to some yrs back at a give a way price (even then) of $1/100
Commercial 160 gr softpoints work fine too but are pricey lately and sometimes hard to find.
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Old 08-26-2020, 01:12 PM
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Smokeless powder was developed less than 10 years before the 6.5 Carcano was fielded. Most cartridges of the era had what is now considered heavy for caliber bullets. I think that was a carry over from the black powder cartridges that used heavy bullets to generate terminal effects. As the virtues of high velocity became apparent - a long with technology changes that allowed better powders and manufacturing - bullet weights went down.

I find it interesting that the modern 6.5 CM and 6.5 Grendel cartridges offer similar performance to the century old cartridges.
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Old 08-26-2020, 01:34 PM
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M38 Carcano: Best Bolt Rifle of World War Two? - YouTube

Here’s a pretty good review of the Carcano.
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Old 08-26-2020, 02:07 PM
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The original .30-40 Krag and .30-'03 smokeless cartridges both used long and heavy (220 grain) RN bullets, as did the early 7.92x57 J German cartridges as used in the M1888 Commission Rifle. Exactly why I can't say. The Germans soon figured out that lighter and more aerodynamic bullets driven at higher velocities greatly increased hit probability and terminal performance at longer ranges, so that's what they changed to. And many other prominent world military powers soon followed suit. Some didn't.

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Old 08-26-2020, 03:20 PM
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If you look close, the 6.5 Carcano and the 6.5 creedmore are
almost identical to each other. And yet they make such a big
deal out of the CM. Makes me chuckle sometimes.
Denny
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Old 08-26-2020, 07:42 PM
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New cartridges, new buyers. Especially for cartridges that can be used in ARs. There's very little difference in performance among any of the 6.5s, except for the 6.5mm Rem Mag and the .264 Win Mag. And most everyone has forgotten about those. The very first "assault rifle" cartridge was the 6.5 Japanese. Look it up.
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