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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey Cox View Post
    Carcano?


    Today we start a series looking at the evolution of the Carcano series of rifles. Starting with the M91 rifle adopted in 1892, the Carcano would be the workhorse of the Italian military through two world wars and many colonial expeditions. The rifle is a simple but durable and reliable system with a Mauser type bolt, split bridge, Mannlicher magazine/clip system, and Salvatore Carcano's safety design. It was designed around a 6.5x52mm cartridge, the first 6.5mm military round adopted by any nation and using progressive-twist rifling.

    The Carcano action would remain unchanged through all models of production until the end of World War Two, and it was a simple enough system that no "last ditch" sport of simplification was needed when the stresses of wartime manufacture began to press Italy. It is a much better system than it is generally given credit for.


    I would like to propose that the M38 Carcano short rifle was, despite the poor reputation of the Carcano series of rifles, one of the best thought out bolt action weapons of World War 2. Why, you ask? Well, let's consider...

    Only a few nations actually recognized the short ranges at which combat actually took place. Germany was one, as seen with it's 8x33mm cartridge development, and Italy was another. The sights on the M38 series of carbines were made as simple fixed notches, with no adjustments to be knocked out of place unintentionally. With a 200 meter zero (or 150 meters, with the Finnish replacement front sight), the weapon needed no adjustment to make hits out to 300 meters, which is as far as anyone could realistically engage a target.

    The M38 is a light and handy weapon compared to its contemporaries - 8.1 pounds and 40.2 inches (3.7kg and 1.02m) - and it fired a significantly lighter cartridge as well. The 7.35x51mm round used a 128gr (8.3g) bullet at 2400-2500 fps (735-755 m/s) depending on barrel length. This produced noticeably less recoil than rounds like the .30-06 or 8mm Mauser, which made it easier for troops to shoot effectively. The Carcano also had a 6-round capacity and fed with Mannlicher type clips, which are potentially faster to load than Mauser-type stripper clips.

    Today we will discuss the M38 and these features (along with its predecessor, the M91 rifle) as they appear on paper. At the same time, over on InRangeTV, today we have the first stage of a 2-Gun Action Challenge Match in which I am shooting this M38 Carcano against Karl, who is using a Mauser K98k - so we will see how the theory works out in the field!


    During the 1920s, Italy was concerned about insufficient lethality with their 6.5x52mm cartridge, and began experimenting with larger bore diameters. By the late 1930s they settled on a new 7.35x51mm round, based closely on the existing 6.5mm cartridge case. They also planned to replace the original M91 rifles with a much more compact and more modern short rifle for the infantry. This design was adopted as the M38, and it featured side-mounted sling attachments, a folding bayonet more like a fighting knife than the old sword type, and did away entirely with the long-range adjustable sight, instead opting for a fixed 200m notch.

    I submit that this configuration was the ideal one for World War Two, and Italy was the only nation to really adopt a reality-based rifle design. The use of rifles beyond 300m was almost unheard of during the war, and the fixed sight both reduced production overhead and also made the rifles more durable and soldier-proof. It retained the 6-round Mannlicher clip that was fast to load, and both the 7.35mm and 6.5mm cartridges were closer to intermediate cartridges than other contemporaries like the 8x57 and .30-06. The M38 is handy, inexpensive to make, and comfortable to shoot. I think it is a massively under-appreciated rifle.
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  2. #12
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey Cox View Post
    What happens if 3 mods like your post?
    Do you get to make a wish, or does it summon a demon?

    Attachment 34129
    Thatís an infraction.
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

  3. The Following 2 Users Like This Post By kennymo

    Rory McCanuck (08-29-2021), Stew (08-29-2021)

  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey Cox View Post
    What happens if 3 mods like your post?
    Do you get to make a wish, or does it summon a demon?

    Attachment 34129
    Nothing good can come from that.

  5. The Following 2 Users Like This Post By Swingerguy

    lone-wolf (08-29-2021), Rory McCanuck (08-29-2021)

  6. #14
    Senior Member RELOAD's Avatar
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    Looks like the cooey carcano I got when dad passed on.

  7. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey Cox View Post
    What happens if 3 mods like your post?
    Do you get to make a wish, or does it summon a demon?

    Attachment 34129
    maybe it an 'infraction pass' works like an 'N-pass' and allows you to say no no words??

    *wonders if C@rc@no is a bad word*

  8. #16
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    Thanks for all the replys everyone.

    And yes the rear sight looks ...."improvised"... to say the least.

    A friend of mine who has collected military rifles for years said the same thing, now begins the work to clean it up and get it back to an acceptable quality, step one will be to 3d print some clips and dummy rounds to check the action over.

    I found some ammo at Marstar but havent ordered from them before, anybody had expirence?

  9. #17
    Go Canucks Go! lone-wolf's Avatar
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    Marstar has a bit of a mixed history but I'd wouldn't worry about buying that ammo from them.

    I wouldn't buy a garand from them though.
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  10. The Following 3 Users Like This Post By lone-wolf

    kennymo (08-29-2021), Rory McCanuck (08-29-2021), Stew (08-29-2021)

  11. #18
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    ^^ I’ve bought ammunition and gun parts from Marstar in the past with no issues. The Italian Garand shenanigans were regrettable, but maybe not 100% Marstar’s fault. They didn’t deal with the initial fallout very well though….

    John’s mostly out of the picture now too, he was something else if someone got on his bad side. The all caps CGN threads were epic.
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

  12. The Following 2 Users Like This Post By kennymo

    Big-Boss-Man (09-11-2021), Rory McCanuck (08-29-2021)

  13. #19
    Senior Member M1917 Enfield's Avatar
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    Marstar has changed hands and I knew the old owner (John) and had visited his warehouse and site a few times in the past too for business reasons. The new owner seems a very nice guy and he even visited my house recently to personally drop off a small order which was very nice of him.

    BTW, that 1918 dated Carcano in the original post has a shortened/cut-down from a full length gain twist barrel as was normal with Italian Carcarno rifles up until WW2. All the pre-World War II 6.5mm weapons have right hand gain twist rifling, 19.25 turns to 8.25. Easy and quick way to tell is if the part of the barrel directly over the chamber has flats then it is pre WW2 and Gain Twist and if it is fully round over the chamber it is regular twist and WW2 manufacture. A lot of pre WW2 rifles had their gain twist barrels shortened/converted to make them into needed carbines with fixed sights and this had a negative affect on their accuracy but was acceptable for short range carbine use. This one appears to be a Bubba version although.

    Also regular 6.5mm/.264" dia bullets mostly shoot poorly in these rifles and you need ammo with .268" projectiles to get decent accuracy from them.

    WW2 round chamber regular twist Carcano -






    Pre WW2 flats barrel over chamber Gain Twist barrel Carcano -








    Pre WW2 full length Model of 1891 Carcano rifle -








    2 WW2 model Carcano's with the full length pre ww2 rifle -




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  14. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36GrainsOfFury View Post
    Thanks for all the replys everyone.

    And yes the rear sight looks ...."improvised"... to say the least.

    A friend of mine who has collected military rifles for years said the same thing, now begins the work to clean it up and get it back to an acceptable quality, step one will be to 3d print some clips and dummy rounds to check the action over.

    I found some ammo at Marstar but havent ordered from them before, anybody had expirence?
    I like Marstar, they have great customer service now that John isn't running the show anymore. Their prices are reasonable. The one thing that I really liked is they were the first company [to my knowledge] to slap a cease and desist order on Poly for using information from Marstar in their antigun rants.

  15. The Following User Liked This Post By Big-Boss-Man

    M1917 Enfield (09-11-2021)

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