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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, guys, here comes my ignorance strutting like a peacock. But I would like some help with my idea.

I have an m91 carcano in 6.5mm that I acquired for peanuts. Everything seems to be worn, but in good working order. My inquiry into ammo has left me with this question--would it be possible to simply get another barrel in some other short-action caliber and replace my barrel with the other barrel? I don't know a durn thing about rebarrelling or rechambering, except that your magazine and bolt has to be capable of handling whatever new caliber you go with.

It looks like the old barrel just screws right out of the receiver and contains the "mold", if you will, or chamber or whatever it's called, for the cartridge to fit securely into. If I change barrels will it work as long as the bolt will catch and hold the cartridge and the threading matches? Do all barrels have the same threading, or is each model/manufacturer unique? I just can't stomach the cost of the carcano ammo, but I like the gun.

Okay, now rain down on this desert of ignorance and give me some expertise!
 

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I'll start buy saying a new barrel will cost about as much as one of the Carcano's.

That's just to get a cheap barrel. We haven't even started to think about getting it threaded, chambered and head spaced. Nor Have we considered if the magazine could be made to shoot something else.

I f you want a nice example of an Italian battle rifle you have it. Leave it alone.

If you want a cheap shooter get yourself an SKS that shoots cheap 7.62 x39 or one of the numerous 98 Mauser that shoot 8mm Mauser.
 

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M91

Huntsman: Double D is right. You will pay out the nose for a rebarrel or rebore on that Carcano, if anyone will do it, that is. Carcanos have a decent action but it is not the strongest and it is questionable as to whether a gunsmith would risk the liability to work on one.

If you absolutely need or want to shoot that beast you may have to go to the remington 260 for brass - I think they are just about the same, having heard that the 260 was simply a 6.5x51 renamed. I'm not sure about this, so you would have to research it yourself. I would not advocate attempting to chamber and fire a 260 in a 6.5 Carcano as I think the pressures may be too hot.

Ifin ya'll don't wanna go that route, I would follow Double D's advice. Hope this helps. Mikey.
 

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The Carcano was made in four calibers, the 6.5 Italian and the 6.5 Japanese, 7.35 Carcano and 7.9x57 (8mm Mauser). The 6.5 Italian has a .445 base, while the .260 has a .473 base.
I would leave the gun as it is and get another rifle to burn up some cheap ammo. I just got a M-48 Mauser for about 70 bucks and have been shooting up some surplus Turkish ammo, which is dirt cheap and trucks at about 3,000f/s.
The Carcano will shoot OK as long as it is not a shortened gun that had a gain twist barrel, and then it would hardly hit the ground if you dropped it. The trouble with Carcanos is that you really can't make brass out of anything commonly available, there is no surplus ammo available, and the Norma is great stuff, but it is expensive.
 

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Carcanos

Old-timer: Thank you for the specs. That sets me straight on the Carcano cartridge size. Years ago I worked extensively with Carcanos testing accuracy to determine if Lee Harvey Oswald actually used his to shoot JFK. You are absolutely correct about the gain twist - but, it will hit the ground, somewhere. We found some to be pretty accurate, most were not. We also found those 'segmented' bullets to act like a perimeter defense round in that they seemed to break up after leaving the barrel. Our targets would look like a shotgun target after a stripper clip full of those loads. I always thought it strange that the Dallas Police or the Secret Service or whoever they were had found one of the unfragmented segmented bullets on Kennedy's stretcher.

I knew those things came in the 6.5 Italian caliber but not the 6.5 Japanese. I also knew about the 7.35 and the 8x57.

Your advice to Huntsman about geting another rifle is the same I gave to a friend who picked one up for peanuts. It was one of the cut-down rifles and we could not get it to print on paper at 100 yds.

Mikey.
 

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Any time you get a gun for "peanuts", there is usually a very good (or bad) reason. Do not fool with the Carcano. You will be sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Advocate,

What exactly do you mean by "don't fool with the Carcano"? Do you mean you wouldn't try to modify it, or do you mean that you wouldn't shoot it at all? It has obviously been fired many times before with no ill effect; the only thing missing from the gun when I bought it was the stripper clip. After what has been posted here, I think I am just going to try to get some of the Norma ammo and see how it shoots. Is there some specific reason why it might be dangerous?
 

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Carcano

huntsman;
Not dangerous, if checked by a competent gunsmith and pronounced safe; but just weak. If you choose to shoot it, DO NOT shoot anything but what was ment for it! No military furnished its troops with dangerous armament.

Again, shoot only what was ment to be shot in the Carcano and forget converting to anything but a conversation piece!

For those detractors of the Carcano's accuracy, the one I had back in the sixties would shoot less than two inches at 50yds with surplus ammo and issue sights. It even had the gain twist bbl.
 

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Huntsman: When I said don't fool with it, I meant that it would not be worth rebarreling, rechambering, or otherwise tinkering unless you just feel the pathological need for a handi-crafts project or you are in need of a hole to shovel money into. I speak from experience with good Mauser rifles in calibers which are far better and far more available than the 6.5 Carcano.

If you want to get some Norma ammo and try it out, that's probably ok and is healthy curiousity. But beyond that, you're just shoveling money into a hole. Does anyone even make any aftermarket parts for the Carcano? Stocks? Scope mounts? Triggers? Peep sights? Do you have any of the clips without which it's just a single shot and not even repeater? Ammo? Yes, Norma ammo is available but very expensive. Why pay through the nose for such an anemic caliber in such an arcane rifle?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've got the 'don't rebarrel' message by now pretty well. My hope is that for the cost of a couple of boxes of expensive ammo, I'll have a light handy little open-sight stalking gun for whitetails for years to come. It feels might right coming up to my shoulder, and is lighter than my .22 rifle with no scope. Worth investigating for the $25 price tag, I figure.

Anyway, thanks for all the expertise and advice. It helped me steer clear of my wild idea about rebarreling (which I probably would have avoided when I found out the cost, anyway, from the sound of it.)

I'll post up the results of my first shooting after I have it checked out and get some ammo.
 

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Huntsman,
The 6.5 Japanese Carcano was one of those weird Axis trade deals. I cannot imagine a Japanese soldier being too thrilled at getting a Carcano instead of an Arisaka. That said, the Finns used Carcanos against the Russians and both they and the Russians had a lot of respect for it. though for different reasons.

If you get some Norma ammo and shoot it, save the brass and reload or find someone who will reload for you. Most of the Carcanos had a .267 bore and a lot of the reports of inaccuracy came from people who used .264 bullets. It will take some looking ,but I recall seeing one company that offered .267 bullets.

As for power, the Carcano has the same ballistics as the 6.5 Mannlicher, which was used by Karamojo Bell to pop elephants off the top of a ladder. Now that's sporting!
 

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i have collected along the way,3 carcanos, you can if you have to use
6.5x54mm mannlicher cases,according to cartages of the world.
actually i was amazed at the penatration of the carcano bullet,i shot an 15"
oak tree with my 30/06,it did`not pass through.while the carcano blew through and left a large hole on the exit side.i also shot it through a 21 inch wooden bridge piling. none of my rifles that i tryed would go through,not even my 300 weatherby?
 

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6.5 Carcanos

festus and jdt: whatever 6.5 Carcano ammo you can find out there will be expensive and the huntsman will just have to spiek good $ for a box or two to see if his Carcano hits where he points it. As I mentioned before - my experiences with this caliber/rifle vary quite a bit, from being pretty good shooters to trench diggers.

You cannot knock the caliber however. The 6.5 Carcano was loaded with a 160 grain bullet and in the 6.5 caliber, that weight bullet really does a job. If you look at the all-time 6.5 favorite, the 6.5 Swede, the heavy 160 grain bullet is recommended for large heavy game animals. It is not surprising that your 6.5 penetrated that much tree. I used one in Colorado for a number of hunts and it worked very, very well on deer sized critters, penetrating through and through on shoulder shots out to about 150 yds. But, that bullet is heavy for the bore and I would have expected that type of penetration.

And, yessir Advocate, your 220 grain 06 will do what the 6.5 Carcano did to that tree, but look where you have to go to get there. That's one of the phenomena that makes the 6.5 calibers great hunting hunting cartridges. Heck, the 6.5 is so good that remington came out with its 260 - which is 'on par' with the 6.5 Swede. Ain't it interesting how they have to make something new and then compare it to the old standard just to show how far they have/have not come along. And BTW, when I load for a 30 caliber bore, my bullet weight/design decision choice is based on the capabilities of cartridges like the 6.5 and to get the degree of penetrability in the 30 caliber to mimic the 6.5 I find I need at least a 200 grain bullet.

Wow, and I remembered all this. I need a doughnut. This is Mikey.
 

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6.5 Carc.

100 rounds of brass and 100 bullets specially designed for the Carcano for less than $50 ain't that expensive in my town!
 
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