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.268 bullet loads? Forum Locked
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arvie
Starting Member

4 Posts
Posted - 07/02/2004 : 12:01:51 PM
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I've been trying to find an acceptable powder and load for Hornady's .268 bullet. I've tried IMR4064 at 29.3 gr, 28 gr, and slightly lower without success. I keep flatening primers and having an occasional case stick in the chamber. I've had the most problems with the 29.3 load and a 27.25 load. I have slugged both of my Carcanos and the M38 short rifle's groove-to-groove is 0.2687 while that of my M41 is 0.2707. Does anyone think the Hornady bullets are too large for these bores? I have had a lot more stuck cases in the M38 than in the M41. Anyone care to suggest another powder and load combination, or should I just go back to a .264 bullet and forget the accuracy? The .268 is more accurate than the .264 in my rifles, but I'm leery of using the 4064 powder.

airdale
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member

USA
933 Posts
Posted - 07/02/2004 : 5:18:37 PM
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arvie try H414 or Win760 with Win LR MAG primers using data from Hornady's 6th edition reloading manual only. I have a M91/41 that will not handle the .268 bullet regardless of what powder i use so i just use .264 bullets in it but my 91/38's and 91/28 shoot the .268 bullets just fine. Also the 28 and 27 gr loads of IMR4064 are below the min. starting load and Hornady says don't do that because dangerous high pressure could result.

Deadeye
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member

USA
804 Posts
Posted - 07/05/2004 : 11:41:03 AM
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I have had good luck with IMR 4350 in my M38 short rifle. I use the .264 RN Hornady bullet with 40 grains of powder for target shooting, and 42 grains for hunting. The lighter load groups 1.5" and the heavy load chronographs to 2350 fps. No signs of pressure. I am sure this load would work for the .268 bullet of the same weight.

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Tim

Russianblood
Gunboards Super Premium Member

USA
484 Posts
Posted - 07/06/2004 : 4:35:33 PM
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I have Hodgdon's 2004 annual reloading manual and they list a loading for .264 160gr bullet. Is the same data OK for the .268 160gr bullets?

airdale
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member

USA
933 Posts
Posted - 07/06/2004 : 6:54:26 PM
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quote:
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Originally posted by Russianblood

I have Hodgdon's 2004 annual reloading manual and they list a loading for .264 160gr bullet. Is the same data OK for the .268 160gr bullets?

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According to Hornady, no. They say only use components shown in their 6th edition reloading manual.Hornady has no powders listed in their data that is in the 2004 Hodgdon annual manual. Hornady only has IMR4064, RL15, VARGET, AA4064, H414, and WIN760 all to be used with WIN.LR MAG. primers.

Russianblood
Gunboards Super Premium Member

USA
484 Posts
Posted - 07/06/2004 : 7:01:22 PM
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Thank you. I'll see what Hornady has for loading data then.

old-guns
Gunboards Member

USA
85 Posts
Posted - 07/06/2004 : 9:04:58 PM
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The problem is that the 2004 Hornady Handbook data is pretty much the ONLY data to trust when using the .268 bullet. And even Hornady's data is sparse compared to other calibers.

In the future, Hornady's competition (Spear, Hogdon, Sierra, etc.) may or may not ("may not" is more likely) provide reloading data for the .268 Hornady jacketed bullet. But I'm not holding my breath.

As an aside, we should be grateful to Hornady for going through the costly R&D to design and manufacture a specialty bullet that probably isn't particularly profitable. I shudder to ponder the very real possibility that, a couple years from now, Hornady cancels production of this bullet.

I'll offer one other suggestion for increasing accuracy in your Carcs: Use lead bullets. There are a number of companies that supply swaged lead rifle bullets in .268, and an equal number of companies that sell bullet molds and swage dies for .268

Lyman may have load data for its lead bullet, but as far as using other lead bullets in .268, you may have to develop the loads from scratch yourself.

Parashooter
Gunboards Super Premium Member

USA
510 Posts
Posted - 07/06/2004 : 9:06:31 PM
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Hornady's data sheet for the .268" bullet. Note the warnings!



Russianblood
Gunboards Super Premium Member

USA
484 Posts
Posted - 07/06/2004 : 9:25:52 PM
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OK, Now I'm going to be using CCI200 primers and IMR 3031. Does that say they used Magnum primers? I don't want to buy all new supplies just to reload 40 pieces of Carcano brass. And I'm reloading for a M91/28 TS carbine with worn out rifling. It's the only Carcano I own so my rounds don't have to make the load work in a bunch of rifles.

old-guns quote:
"I'll offer one other suggestion for increasing accuracy in your Carcs: Use lead bullets. There are a number of companies that supply swaged lead rifle bullets in .268, and an equal number of companies that sell bullet molds and swage dies for .268."

Where did you find commercially produced lead bullets in .268? That's what I would really like to try.

Aethelbert
Gunboards Super Premium Member

USA
352 Posts
Posted - 07/07/2004 : 09:30:41 AM
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quote:
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Originally posted by Russianblood

OK, Now I'm going to be using CCI200 primers and IMR 3031. Does that say they used Magnum primers? I don't want to buy all new supplies just to reload 40 pieces of Carcano brass.

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Worn-out rifling? Sounds like yours may be more tolerant then than some with almost new condition rifling.

I have for many years used the standard large rifle primers with no problems whatsoever. When I first read Dave Emary's (Hornady) recommendation that we use only magnum primers I asked the good folks at a local, long-establish (same family since 1927) sporting goods store about the need for magnum primers. They said that the only real problem they knew of with the standard large rifle primers was if you were shooting in 'low temperatures' and that's when eratic ignition and pressure problems could occur. Me? I'm in the South where they don't have much experience with really 'low temps' (except in the mountains). So, I have stood by my large rifle primers.

I've never tried IMR 3031 but have used IMR 4064 for quite some years. (The old 'if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fixit' thing.) I have also over the years worked up to a load of 34.9 gr IMR 4064 behind a 160 gr bullet. Actually worked up to 35.0 gr with no signs of pressure but backed it of to 34.9 as a slight drop-off in accuracy was noted at 35.0 gr. The 34.9 is also the most accurate load I've worked with.

This load works well with the new Hornady bullet in combination with my two M-41 fuciles, my M-91 cav carbine and my M-91/38 cav carbine.

DISCLAIMER: This load was carefully worked up for my rifles and carbines. As I cannot know the condition of anyone else's firearms, I cannot guarrantee or recommend it for anyone else's firearms. Work up your load carefully.

DMala
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member

USA
570 Posts
Posted - 07/08/2004 : 5:33:24 PM
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Russianblood, Hornady recommends using only magnum primers for the .268" load because, due to the combination of depth of the typical Carcano rifling, possible dirt accumulation at the beginning of the barrel, full-size bullet, bullet shape and bullet weight, it is critical to obtain a fast and smooth ignition of all the powder. You need the bullet to promptly engage the rifling and move on, rather than having a weak initial push, getting deformed, and obstructing the barrel when the rest of the powder ignites. A standard primer, in some unpredictable cases, may not ignite the powder fast and uniformly enough to avoid the above scenario. If this happens, a shooter can run into major problems.

The whole idea is that it is better to avoid to find out if your rifle can or can not handle a pressure spike higher than what the receiver is designed for.

If you can not afford buying the proper primers it is in my opinion better to reload with the Sierra .264" semi-round nose bullet, that often give very decent results.

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DMala

Spero che la mia brigata viva per sempre nei nostri cuori, e che vaga in mona chi l'ha sciolta" (from the brigatacadore.it website).

Russianblood
Gunboards Super Premium Member

USA
484 Posts
Posted - 07/08/2004 : 5:48:20 PM
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The rifling in my M91/28 TS carbine is pretty thin. I was thinking of getting one of the Hodgdon "sample packs" of rifle powers so I will have the right powder but I'm going to stick with CCI 200 primers.
When Hornady creates loading data, they have to take ALL Carcanos into consideration. I only have to take one into consideration. If the CCI primers show problems, then I will switch.

Fred J. Wahl
Gunboards Premium Member

USA
137 Posts
Posted - 07/09/2004 : 01:49:21 AM
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HI, Gents,
Crispin Goodall gave me the address of this Forum, and I thank him again, for it!
I'd like to put my 2 cents worth in on this subject, as I had a strange occurence happen while shooting my M-91 Carcano long rifle in PA. recently:
I had loaded 10 rounds of 6.5 Carcano, using new, Norma brass, Win. Standard Large Rifle primers, with the listed minimum charge of 24 grains of IMR #4064 powder, (each charge was digital scale weighed--), the new Hornady 160 Gr., .268 bullets were used, (.268 is the same bullet size as the Italian Mil-surp 6.5 Carcano ammo I have--), and they were set to an O.A.L. of 2.935 inches seating depth. This load was taked from an old Hornady Manual, circa 1980, in which they listed the bullet diameter as .264. (The correct Carcano .268 bullets were not available at the time of that printing). Despite the slightly larger bullet diameter, the load should have been safe, the MV listed was about 1800 f.p.s. with the .264 bullets. (I tried the same load with .264 bullets in both my M-91 long rifle and Carcano carbine, and couldn't get any accuracy out of either one.
The first 2 rounds I fired out of the group of 10 were fine, with no sign of pressure, and accuracy was most excellent, hitting the target within 1" of each other at 100 yds., with the original iron sights. Recoil was mild, as well. The 3rd round from the same group fired with mild recoil, but I noticed a puff of gas coming back, on ignition. At first thought I had punctured a primer, but then I was surprised to find I couldn't open the bolt, and had to resort to hammering the bolt open with a block of wood! When I extracted the fired case, (also by hitting the bolt rearward with the block of wood), I found that the case had fused itself to the bolt face, and would not eject, so I then removed the bolt from the rifle, and sucessfully removed the case from the bolt. To my shock, the primer was completely MISSING, the primer pocket and flash hole were greatly enlarged, and the case head was so badly flattened that the caliber imprint was barely visable! Thinking it to be a fluke, I chambered and fired another round, with the rifle held upside down, and away from my bod, and the same thing occured. (I was alone at the range--) When I was finally able to get the bolt open, I checked the bore and found no obstruction nor copper residue, and then ran a patch thru it. Then I tried one round of Italian Mil-surp ammo, again, facing the rifle upside down. No problem, no sign of pressure. I then put the rifle away, and went home to check my loads, and pulled the bullets on 2 of the cases, and found the charges were almost exact at the stated Hornady Manual load of 24 grains, only off by 1/10th of a grain. The bullets measured exactly .268, as did the Italian Mil-surp bullets. I also did a water capacity test on both the Italian Mil-surp, and one of the first Norma cases fired and found that the (fired) Italian case was slightly larger in capacity than the Norma, (albeit this may be due to the difference in Berdan primed versus Boxer primed cases.
Crispin and others feel that the likelihood is that I had gotten a "spike" or detonation, where the powder charge was too low and had partially ignited the powder, pushing the bullet partially down the barrel, and then igniting the rest of the charge, pushing the bullet out of the barrel, ergo causing tremendous pressure! It's a credit to the good Norma brass, and tough Italian steel, that I'm not wearing a bolt in my forehead! (I read that the Italians paid the Czech steel industry a royalty, to come up with the tough formula for the Carcano receivers and barrels, when the Carcano was first designed. These little rifles are far tougher than they have been given credit for!)
Anyway, would appreciate your feedback, and would like to know if anyone else has encountered something like this.
Cheers,
Fred (Honcho)
SHOOT SAFE, RIDE SAFE!

Aethelbert
Gunboards Super Premium Member

USA
352 Posts
Posted - 07/09/2004 : 02:03:45 AM
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quote:
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Originally posted by Fred J. Wahl

I had loaded 10 rounds of 6.5 Carcano, using new, Norma brass, Win. Standard Large Rifle primers, with the listed minimum charge of 24 grains of IMR #4064 powder, (each charge was digital scale weighed--), the new Hornady 160 Gr., .268 bullets were used, (.268 is the same bullet size as the Italian Mil-surp 6.5 Carcano ammo I have--), and they were set to an O.A.L. of 2.935 inches seating depth. This load was taked from an old Hornady Manual, circa 1980, in which they listed the bullet diameter as .264.
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Fred,
I refer you to the loading data posted above by Parashooter. this was given out by Dave Emary at Hornady. He was very definite at the time about not loading lighter than the minimum loads shown. What you could get away with with the older .264" bullets in terms of light loads are not recommned with the newer, thicker bullets.

You might also avoid erratic ignition with accompanying pressure spikes by using Large Magnum Rifle Primers (also emphatically recommended by Dave at Hornady) to ensure uniform ignition and consistent, safe pressures.

Welcome aboard!

Jeremy
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member

803 Posts
Posted - 07/09/2004 : 12:35:50 PM
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quote:
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Originally posted by Fred J. Wahl

the new Hornady 160 Gr., .268 bullets were used, (.268 is the same bullet size as the Italian Mil-surp 6.5 Carcano ammo I have
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I find that odd as I have over 1000 rnds of Italian (from all years) and none of them are larger than .266 and none smaller than .265.

old-guns
Gunboards Member

USA
85 Posts
Posted - 07/11/2004 : 02:09:46 AM
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Fred J. Wahl wrote:

<<<I had loaded 10 rounds of 6.5 Carcano, using new, Norma brass, Win. Standard Large Rifle primers, with the listed minimum charge of 24 grains of IMR #4064 powder, (each charge was digital scale weighed--), the new Hornady 160 Gr., .268 bullets were used, (.268 is the same bullet size as the Italian Mil-surp 6.5 Carcano ammo I have--), and they were set to an O.A.L. of 2.935 inches seating depth. This load was taked from an old Hornady Manual, circa 1980, in which they listed the bullet diameter as .264. (The correct Carcano .268 bullets were not available at the time of that printing). Despite the slightly larger bullet diameter, the load should have been safe,>>>


Why would you come to such a conclusion? You are making a huge leap in logic there.

Use ONLY the latest (2004) Hornady data for the .268" bullet. And use the data TO THE LETTER!

old-guns
Gunboards Member

USA
85 Posts
Posted - 07/11/2004 : 02:34:42 AM
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Russianblood wrote:

<<<Where did you find commercially produced lead bullets in .268? That's what I would really like to try.>>>

Buffalo Bullet Co., sells .268" all-lead bullets at:
http://www.gzanders.com/manu/bbc.html
As you can see, they aren't exactly "web-friendly".

Lyman will make you a mold in .268" for a 160 gr. RN.

The neat thing about all-lead bullets is that they have no jackets to peel off in the barrel (as the early versions of the Hornady .268" bullet did in trials). Just keep the velocity down. Ask Buffalo for any reloading data they may have for the bullet. Lead bullets also conform to the bore better than do jacketed bullets, which means better accuracy.

In spite of the fact that lead bullets tend to be safer than jacketed bullets, I would still use a magnum primer to insure reliable ignition. Just like the .243 Winchester round, 6.5 Carcano rounds have a tendency to experience detonation when loaded with minimum loads of slow-burning powders. DON'T USE 4350, 4831 or similar powders!

Furthermore, Carcano's are REALLY quirky when it comes to bullet jacket composition. The Italian military used two jacket alloys: a cupronickel alloy (which, IMHO, is the best bullet jacket for these rifles), and another alloy with more copper. Needless to say, Hornady's current .268" bullet jacket ISN'T similar to EITHER of the Italians' alloy mixes. That's part of the current problem. If Hornady had instead DUPLICATED the original Italian military bullet (using cupronickel with the Cu/Ni ratio the same, and the exact-same jacket thickness), instead of making a half-assed facsimile of it, we wouldn't be having all of these problems.

You can't duplicate a Mona Lisa painting using watercolors.

Just my $0.02

kywoodwrkr
Gunboards Super Premium Member

453 Posts
Posted - 07/20/2004 : 4:07:28 PM
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http://www.castpics.net/RandD/jumptrap/jumps_custom_swede.htm
FWIW
DaveP
------
http://old.gunboards.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=51045
 

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NebrHogger
Posted - 03/31/2004 : 10:27:33 PM
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I loaded Graf brass with the .268 bullet & 31.5 gr/ WW760. Shooting this from my 91TS carbine is quite mild, and all that prevented me from shooting all 50 rounds I took to the range was the hot barrel. Recoil is quite the subjective topic, but this load in my Carcano was MUCH more comfortable than 'sardine can' ammo in my Russky Nagant carbine. SW
 

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Obsidian
Posted - 05/23/2004 : 5:30:11 PM
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I have a 1940 M91/38 short rifle that I enjoy shooting from time to time, unfortunately even with my milder handloads, I still get a really stiff bolt lift. There are no signs of pressure on the empties, and the recoil is low, so I was wondering if there was any way to help alleviate this? I use Grafs 6.5x52 brass and Hornady .268" bullets on top of 33 gr. of IMR4064 as my load, by the way.



airdale
Posted - 05/23/2004 : 6:20:05 PM
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Check your chamber and make sure it is clean. Some of these 91/38's have a lot of hard crud in them. I use a bronze brush wraped with 0000 steel wool and solvent on a short section of cleaning rod powered by a battery powered drill. I also have better results with ball powder ( win 760, h414) with the .268 bullets. Hope this helps.



airdale
Posted - 05/23/2004 : 7:04:15 PM
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Almost forgot, the latest hornady reloading manual says to only. use win large magnum rifle primers with the .268 dia bullets

Obsidian, just rechecked my manual and you are 1.6 grs over max for imr 4064
 

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A slightly older thread...

WillK
Posted - 06/03/2004 : 1:47:17 PM
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A quick check on the Web shows just about everyone selling this bullet as a "softpoint"; I think this is misleading. Awhile back (just after Graf started selling the Hornady bullet & Hornady brass), I exchanged e-mails with Dave Emary @ Hornady. He said the bullets weren't designed to expand; that the small amount of exposed lead at the tip was just due to their production process. This is how the description reads in Midway's online catalog- "Designed for short-range large game hunting, these bullets provide deep, straight line penetration with little expansion." Has anyone here actually used them on game? Is there a good .268" bullet out there for hunting?

BTW, I've got a M91 TS (when I first ordered it from Century, they were advertising M91/24's. The first one I got was a M91 Moschetto per Cavalleria sans bayonette; I returned that one. The second one was a Brescia M91 dated 1918, which I still have and have yet to shoot, although I've got the Hornady dies, bullets & brass). Will K.



jcjordan
Posted - 06/03/2004 : 6:09:05 PM
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Buffalo Arms sells a 140gr pointed SP .268 bullet which would be a good hunting bullet. I've ordered them in the past but didn't get good results with them but I target shoot & only spent a little time trying them. They said you could use the loads listed for 140gr bullets in most manuals but work up slowly to max.



Aethelbert
Posted - 06/04/2004 : 02:29:59 AM
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I tried the Buffalo Arms .268" 140 gr bullet. Accuracy was mildly better than with Speer .264" 140 gr bullets but (IMHO) not worth the extra cost involved.



djenkins
Posted - 06/10/2004 : 11:14:02 PM
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That's interesting. They work great in my rifle.
Dennis Jenkins

Originally posted by Aethelbert
I tried the Buffalo Arms .268" 140 gr bullet. Accuracy was mildly better than with Speer .264" 140 gr bullets but (IMHO) not worth the extra cost involved.


Deadeye
Posted - 06/14/2004 : 4:17:30 PM
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I have a mod 38 short rifle, and have not gotten a 140 grainer to work at all. Anybody got a load that works? Normally, I use the Hornady .264 RN, with good results. I use 40 gr. IMR 4350 for target shooting, and 42 gr. for hunting. The 42 gr. load chronographs to 2350 out of my rifle, and is responsible for the untimely demise of a couple of deer. The 40 gr. load will group 1.25" at 100 yards. I have used it on a CMP shoot with good results, though the action made the rapids difficult. I have a mismatched straight bolt. Excellent headspace, though. The OAL on these loads is 2.995".



djenkins
Posted - 06/16/2004 : 02:44:58 AM
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My rifle is a 1896 long rifle with the gain twist rifling. For years all I had was those Hornady .264 160 grain round nose bullets. They would not group at all.

The .268 140 grain Buffalo bullets group VERY well. I guess this points out that some rifles like very different bullets.

Originally posted by Deadeye

I have a mod 38 short rifle, and have not gotten a 140 grainer to work at all. Anybody got a load that works? Normally, I use the Hornady .264 RN, with good results. I use 40 gr. IMR 4350 for target shooting, and 42 gr. for hunting. The 42 gr. load chronographs to 2350 out of my rifle, and is responsible for the untimely demise of a couple of deer. The 40 gr. load will group 1.25" at 100 yards. I have used it on a CMP shoot with good results, though the action made the rapids difficult. I have a mismatched straight bolt. Excellent headspace, though. The OAL on these loads is 2.995".


Jeremy
Posted - 06/18/2004 : 12:40:27 PM
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I just wished Hornady had made the bullet the correct size. All of my milsurp ammo mics out at .265-266. The .268 (.2675) Hornadys are too big for my M41. It's a minty accuracy marked rifle and after 20 rounds the bore is heavily copper fouled and accuracy is about 4" or more.

I can get 1.5" groups with pulled Italian bullets but I'm just a bit miffed at the "oversize" .268s.



shjoe
Posted - 06/19/2004 : 06:51:37 AM
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always a great topic gentlemen. as i read these responses, it appears that one methode of vastly improving carcano accuracy would be to rebarrel in the same cartridge but with a more consistant bore size and twist rate. i think i would stay with the .264 bore size for the larger number and types of bullets available. however i would not be sure what twist rate to use. any ideas? john



Aethelbert
Posted - 06/20/2004 : 10:45:07 PM
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Originally posted by WillK
A quick check on the Web shows just about everyone selling this bullet as a "softpoint"; I think this is misleading. Awhile back (just after Graf started selling the Hornady bullet & Hornady brass), I exchanged e-mails with Dave Emary @ Hornady. He said the bullets weren't designed to expand; that the small amount of exposed lead at the tip was just due to their production process.
Evening, WillK --
Sorry to have taken so long to respond but -- blah, blah, blah and so forth and so on. . .

I recall when Dave Emary was keeping us updated on Hornady's efforts. He said they had originally made the 160 gr .268" bullet with the jacketing made the same as was usual with Hornady hunting ammo. All was well with it and they were getting ready to release it to the market place and then he tried it in an original 1891 long fucile. The second shot told him all was not well. Had to hammer the bolt open with a mallet. They found the jacket of the first bullet had been shredded by the relatively deep and sharp rifling when the rifling made its sudden increase in twist. The next bullet ran into fragments of the first bullet's jacket. Someone (DMala, I believe?) made available to Dave some of the notes made by the Italians when they were developing the 6.5 mm Carcano military round. They had encountered the exact same problem. The notes, though in Italian, enabled Hornady to shorten the time necessary to perfect their new bullet.

While the new Hornady bullet was originally intended as a practical hunting bullet (hence, the soft or exposed lead point), it was necessary to beef up the jacket in the same manner that the Italians has also found needed so the bullet would hold together in the gain-twist barrel of the original long rifles.

I don't remember him saying that the bullet was designed to not expand. I do recall his writing that because of the drastically increased jacket thickness it would go through a 4"x4" post with little or no expansion. In other words, it isn't that the bullet was designed not to expand but, rather, that the bullet would no longer expand due to the essential thickening of the jacket.

This new bullet gives me the best possible accuracy (not by an overwhelming margin but still measurable) of any bullets I have used (to include factory Norma) in both my M-41 fuciles, my M-91 cav carbine and my M-91/38 cav carbine.

djenkins is undoubtedly correct when he said: " I guess this points out that some rifles like very different bullets."



WillK
Posted - 06/21/2004 : 10:22:11 AM
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Aethelbert, I wonder what would happen if they increased the amount of lead exposed at the tip, or incorporated some tiny notches around the jacket mouth (like the Winchester Power Points) to encourage expansion? Will K.



Aethelbert
Posted - 06/21/2004 : 10:29:31 PM
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Will K. -- Not real sure how that might or ight not affect the bullet's survivability in the gain-twist rifling of the M-91. How about using a nylon expander tip like what Norma used in the 139 gr 6.5 mm Carcano ammo they produced a few years back? That might help.



Deadeye
Posted - 07/05/2004 : 11:43:34 AM
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Use the Hornady .264 bullet.

Originally posted by Jeremy
I just wished Hornady had made the bullet the correct size. All of my milsurp ammo mics out at .265-266. The .268 (.2675) Hornadys are too big for my M41. It's a minty accuracy marked rifle and after 20 rounds the bore is heavily copper fouled and accuracy is about 4" or more.
I can get 1.5" groups with pulled Italian bullets but I'm just a bit miffed at the "oversize" .268s.
 

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Important: SAFETY Issues

Aethelbert
Posted - 09/27/2004 : 01:34:07 AM
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Gents,

I know this is a horse that's about been flogged to death but here it is again.

I had worked up a load that worked well in my Armaguerra-Cremona M-41 and also my vintage 1936 M-91 cav carbine. At 34.9 gr IMR-4064 pushing the new Hornady 160 gr bullet out of a Hornady case, it is definitely hotter than anything Dave Emary and Hornady would ever want any of us to use but I had approached this load 1/10th of a grain at a time. No flattening or cratering of primers was observed. On Saturday I picked up three clips of this load and went to test fire my newest M-41.

After each shot I checked each and every case for the signs: no cratering of primers on the first two clips. On shot #13 ('lucky' 13?) the rifle didn't feel right when it fired or maybe it didn't quite sound right or maybe it was a combination of the two. Ejected the spent round and -- something I'd never seen before -- there was absolutely no primer in the casing. No primer to be found in the magazine, either. Removed the bolt and eyeballed the bore. I found a small obstruction aobut 2/3 of the way towrd the muzzle. Needless to say, all further firing was cancelled. I removed the spent primer from one of the other empty cases and found that the one that had wound up missing its primer hand an enlarged primer hole (flash hole?). The obstruction -- a small bit of twisted metal -- was apparently the primer cup deformed by its forced passage through the flash hole.

_All_ round with this load will be run through the bullet puller and reloaded to comply with Dave Emary's recommendations.

The reason I've posted this to to remind everyone (surely, I couldn't be the only one this dumb... or could I?) that even though you work up a load for one or even two of your Carcani and it works nicely, that doesn't not necessarily mean it will be safe in every Carcano. There may well be some slight difference in bore diameter or headspace that could affect the performance of that load in a different rifle.

The fact that nothing unfortunate happened to me on Saturday speaks volumes for the design of the Carcano.



NebrHogger
Posted - 09/27/2004 : 07:53:36 AM
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I'm glad it worked out with no injuries for you! I've had similar results: everything goes well for a while and then it goes sour! I've stuck to H414 and magnum primers. I've found an accurate load, and not one high pressure incident! SW



DMala
Posted - 09/27/2004 : 1:56:23 PM
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Aethelbert, good think you are safe, primarily because you were very alerted to what happened. Thanks for posting the info.

As per Dave Emary's findings at the time of the .268 bullet development, a less-than-optimal ignition and equally inadequate combustion rate with most commonly used powders was the cause of ERRATIC pressure spikes with the 6.5x52. Most cartridges would go bang all right, and then all the sudden a pressure problem would occur. For a while Dave was scratching his head, before of finding an explanation by using very sophisticated pressure testing equipment. Only the loads recommended by Hornady did perform consistently. Your findings confirm the insidious nature of trying to find new 6.5x52 loads with full-size jacketed bullets but without equipment available only to large cartridge makers.



MikeS1951
Posted - 10/10/2004 : 04:14:14 AM
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Been there, done that.

Last weekend, 6.5 Horn bullets, H 4895, 6.5 MS cases formed to 6.5 Carcano, WLR primers.

Three shots absolutely normal, fourth shot let go. Hammered bolt open, case stuck to bolt face, pulled off, looked belted, primer pocket grossly expanded, flash hole expanded, primer and anvil completely flattened and stuck to bolt face. Gas and oil left smudge on forehead and nose. Face red from embarrassment. Gas handling of Carcano better than '03 Springfield that let go the same way (with military ammo) back when I was a kid.

D Emary said same thing happend to him a number of times during load development.

Will pull out old can of WC 760 and use WLRM primers next time.

Mike
 

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airdale
Posted - 09/20/2004 : 09:44:16 AM
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The load that works best for me using .268 bullets in most all of my Carcano rifles is Graf brass, 36 grs. Win 760, Win LR Mag primers and C.O.L of 2.980. However the Hornady manual says start with 35 grs of 760 and max at 39.6.


Carcano
Posted - 09/20/2004 : 12:21:33 PM
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One *very* important thing when loading .266" and especially .268" bullets (and when reloading for the 7,35x51 anyhow) is to check the outside neck diameter of the loaded, finished round, and its adherence to specifications. The maximally allowed CIP dimensions are 7,55 and 8,32 millimetres respectively. Don't get yourself into trouble, folks...
Take care,



WesinMI
Posted - 10/27/2004 : 2:14:42 PM
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My best load to date in the M41 using .268 Hornady bullets, Privi Partisan brass, Winchester LR primers was 35.0 gr. of IMR4350.
 

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Reloading dies for new .268 Hornady bullets?

Fred J. Wahl
Posted - 11/04/2004 : 12:54:13 AM
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I am trying to put some loads together for my two Carcano rifles, and my 6.5 Lee Carcano dies are set up for using the .264 (standard 6.5 MM) bullets. I also want to neck size only, to use the new Hornady .268 bullets, has anyone come up with a set of dies that won't cause me to have to take out a second mortgage? (I also have the Lee Collet Neck Sizing die for the {.264} 6.5 MM Carcano, and it necks the case down too much to accept the .268 Hornady bullets. Does anyone know of an outfit that makes a .267 Neck Opener die?
I've checked the catalogs of the major die makers, and if they list the 6.5 Carcano at all, they use the .264 size as well. I did see a Hornady Neck Size die that utilizes a separate insert bushing in numerous sizes, but the nearest one I saw there was .266, does anyone know if this one will work?
Thanks for any input,
Fred (Honcho)



Aethelbert
Posted - 11/04/2004 : 01:32:36 AM
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While it seems that many of us on this forum have had problems using the older die sets made for the .264" bullets and wind up having to get the Lee dies, I have had only minor problems. When I first starting reloading with the Hornady .268" bullets I lost several cases when the neck crumpled. And, yes, I had lubed the cases. Then I started chamfering the inside of the case necks and have had no problems of that type since.

But maybe I have and haven't realized it? When I tested my latest M-41 out at a friends farm I had a problem with one round where, incredibly, the primer seems to have left the primer pocket via the flash hole! I found the twisted remains of it about 2/3 of the way down the barrel _before_ I fired the next round. Not exactly sure what happened. The primer flash hole is a bit larger than those in the other rounds I fired (this was the 12th of 12 rounds fired), so could that have been a part of the problem? Or was the chamfered case that had the .264" neck expander die run though it the culprit? What I really asking here is: Did the neck hold the bullet _too_ tightly? The piece of metal did not appear to have been part of the bullet jacket.

Any ideas out there?



old-guns
Posted - 11/04/2004 : 02:03:37 AM
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Does anyone know if LEE will send a customer an special expander plug for the larger .268 Hornady bullet? It wouldn't hurt to call and ask them. If anyone does call, please get back to us and tell us how you fared.



NebrHogger
Posted - 11/04/2004 : 8:12:37 PM
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The Hornady dies have the proper expander ball.

Aethelbert, Were you using H414 & mag primers? If not, you can get some inconsistent pressure spikes that will do some strange stuff primer-wise. Before I wised up, I had a primer fall clear out on extraction. There's another powder besides H414 that is recommended, but I don't recall it right now. It's a few pages back, though. SW



Aethelbert
Posted - 11/05/2004 : 01:28:18 AM
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Originally posted by NebrHogger:

Aethelbert, Were you using H414 & mag primers? If not, you can get some inconsistent pressure spikes that will do some strange stuff primer-wise. Before I wised up, I had a primer fall clear out on extraction. There's another powder besides H414 that is recommended, but I don't recall it right now. It's a few pages back, though. SW
What you said has given me something to think about. I have used IMR-4064 and Winchester Large Rifle Primers for a number of years. Have checked with several gunsmiths as well as a gun shop that has been in business for approx. 75 years. They have all said that IMR-4064 is not likely to spike and that large rifle primers shouldn't give erratic ingition "unless temperatures are really cold".

Still, I will be switching over to magnum primers (just in case) for my next batch of reloading. I am also considering pulling the bullets and reducing the powder charge.



NebrHogger
Posted - 11/05/2004 : 08:48:20 AM
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Aethelbert,

Okay, I found the thread. http://old.gunboards.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=51045

It's been discussed on a couple other threads, and I don't completely understand why it happens, but it WILL happen! I made some mild loads using IMR 3031, and 2 of 10 showed extreme pressure signs. As before, one primer fell completely out of the case! Well, I have a low tolerance for pain as well as not wishing to wreck my 50 dollar 91/24 TS, so I looked into the matter & found Hornady's advice on the H414 & WC 760 with magnum primers. Once I switched to that I had no more pressure trouble at all! 35.0 of H414 with a magnum rifle primer works well in my TS. SW



djenkins
Posted - 11/05/2004 : 5:42:40 PM
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I have the Lee collet dies for the 6.5 Carcano. I sent these back to be modified for the .268 bullets a couple of years ago and they did it for free.

I suggest calling Lee and seeing what their current policy is.

Dennis Jenkins

Originally posted by old-guns
Does anyone know if LEE will send a customer an special expander plug for the larger .268 Hornady bullet? It wouldn't hurt to call and ask them. If anyone does call, please get back to us and tell us how you fared.


Fred J. Wahl
Posted - 11/08/2004 : 02:43:03 AM
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Aethelbert, be VERY careful about using reduced loads of #4064 in the Carcanos, with the new .268 bullets! I apparently had TWO bad pressure spikes, doing just that, this was one case where trying to err on the side of reduced load safety, got me into trouble! I had used Norma brass with REGULAR Win. Lg. rifle primers, and fired 2 rounds with no problems, (at 100 yards the holes were touching), but when I fired the 3rd round, I got a puff of smoke back from the bolt-

When I tried to open the bolt, it was badly jammed, and had to be hammered open with a block of wood! When I finally got the bolt open, the case head was fused to the bolt, and the primer was COMPLETLY MISSING! The primer pocket was so enlarged, a fresh primer just fell out of it! Recoil when it fired seemed normal, but whuffa! What a spike that was! I pulled all the bullets on the remaining cases, and went back to the drawing board, that's when "Crispin Goodall" sent me details on (Hornady's) Dave Emary's spec sheet on the Carcanos with the new .268 bullets-- It requires MAGNUM ONLY lg. rifle primers, and a STARTING charge of 29.3 Gr. of #4064. (I had started mine out with only 26 Gr. #4064)
What's so bad about Spikes" (AKA detonation), is that some of the rounds may fire fine, with no sign of pressure, but then if the powder gets tipped forward in the case, (during loading) you can get a weak ignition at the rear of the case, and then a secondary explosion, as the front powder ignites, creating tremendous pressure!
I believe Dave Emary's data sheet is still available on this forum, suggest following it to the letter!!!
Cheers.
Fred (Honcho)



Fred J. Wahl
Posted - 11/08/2004 : 02:50:29 AM
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I noticed the new Lee dies for the Carcano now includes a .268 expander plug, along with the .264 expander, as standard, and they only charge a buck of two more for the set.
Cheers,
Fred (Honcho)



djenkins
Posted - 11/08/2004 : 03:21:07 AM
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They needed to modify my bullet seater also. A .268 bullet would not fit in it.

Dennis Jenkins
 

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Komp
Posted - 10/20/2005 : 01:26:15 AM
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Help!!! I reloaded 4 cartridges. The first one blew out the primer, which I didn't notice until I fired the second one, which blew out the primer and part of the casing. Fortunately I had eye protection (but my glasses are pitted now). Cartridges 3 and 4 are ready to be dismantled. The second cartridge cost me $68.00 to be removed by a gunsmith.

Can you tell me what I did wrong? I tried to follow the rules. I bought a Lee die set, used Winchester LR standard load primers, used the 160gr RN bullet (.268 from Graf & Sons), and used Hodgdon H4895 powder using the Lee loader 1.9cc measuring cup. The shell case came from a once fired Hornady 160gr cartridge. I don't know if I should increase the powder because I'm getting detonation or reduce it because it's too much.

Please help. I like my fingers and thumb and would like to keep them.

Komp



NebrHogger
Posted - 10/20/2005 : 03:34:50 AM
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I'm very glad to hear you are unhurt!! Proceed with caution here.

There are only TWO powders that are compatible with the Hornady 160gr .268 bullet, and then only with Large rifle magnum primers. (H414 and WC 760) I had pressure spikes using IMR 3031 that way,too.

See also: http://www.gunboards.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=51045 About midway down the post is shown Hornady's data sheet for the 160 grain .268 bullet. Do not deviate from the loads listed using H414 or WC 760.

Searching for lower pressures, another forum member & myself have been resizing 130 grain .277 bullets to .268 using custom bullet sizing dies available from Lee for 25 dollars. Recently, I have gotten exceptional accuracy from that bullet and 32.0 grains IMR 4064. - This in a M91-41 rifle. The lighter bullet has given us no pressure signs at all so far.
SW



airdale
Posted - 10/20/2005 : 09:10:57 AM
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Komp it appears that you used a .268 dia. bullet with .264 dia. bullet data. In addition to Nebrhoggers advise I recommend you slug your bore as Some Carcano's have very deep rifling. What model Carcano were you using?



Komp
Posted - 10/20/2005 : 11:38:35 AM
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The data I used for reloading came from page 308 of the "Modern Reloading Second Edition" by Richard Lee. It is for the .268 bullet. I'm not sure how to determine the model number but the barrel has 1934-XII and A2965 on it. Is one of these the model number.

Has anyone determined a proper load for the H4895 powder?

Komp



NebrHogger
Posted - 10/20/2005 : 11:55:59 AM
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The numbers you list are the date of manufacture and serial number. The Roman numerals are the Fascist date - seven years after the Fascists became the governing political body. Somewhere on the receiver there should also be something like Brescia or R.E. Terni to show which arsenal made it.

To learn which model you have, go to the top stickey of this forum and at the bottom of that post is a link to the Carcano website. You will be able to compare yours to the images shown. Also on that site is a very interesting, if lengthy discussion concerning why only two powders are recommended.

I know of no loads for the .268 bullet using H4895. I have been in the Hornady plant and a technician was adamant that only the two powders they recommend be used. SW



WesinMI
Posted - 10/20/2005 : 5:08:59 PM
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I've had pressure problems and blown primers with .268 bullets in my M91 Carcano. I'm convinced that the chamber neck is too tight for that bullet and the pressure spike is caused by cartridge not being able to expand to release bullet (I'd determined by slugging bore that it should have worked). I was using IMR4350, 35.0 gr. I suspect you have a 91-24 that is a cut down M91 and may have the same problem. I shot a .264 bullet in the same rifle with H4895, 30.0 gr. and got good accuracy so I recommend you go back to .264 bullet and try again.



shjoe
Posted - 10/21/2005 : 05:58:14 AM
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i have been using sierra 140gr gamemaster bullets with std primers and RL15 with excellent results in my moschetto carbine. much improved accuracy vs privi ammo without signs of excess pressure. both the gamemaster and sierra 140gr matchking shoot to virtual point of aim out to 100 yds with a modest 3 shot 4" group with ghost ring sights. plenty accurate for hunting out to 130yds. personaly, i thought there were too many variables for consistant loading safety with the hornaday bullet/powder combo. also, i believe that it was designed and worked up for the rifle version not the carbine. the hornaday combo seems to work well for many shooters who adhere to the specific hornaday "recipe". ultimately, i may try rebarrelling a carcano with a 24" .264 barrel, to see what kind of long range accuracy can be obtained. john



BobL
Posted - 10/21/2005 : 7:21:24 PM
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Hi Komp,
Probably a silly question but did you weigh the powder charge or just use the 1.9CC measuring cup?
Bob



mag
Posted - 10/22/2005 : 11:04:58 PM
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The problem is the .268 Hornady bullet. When they tested it they did not understand that the Italians used 4 different bore sizes over the years on Carcanos, that bore sizes do vary, plus gain twist and non- gain twist and that the depth of rifling is critical. The bullet has too much bore resistance due to the jacket material and bullet design. The Italians were using a bore riding type bullet with an open base to seal the bore. It will work fine in a rifle that happens to have the same size land - groove as what they developed with. In other rifles it will have problems. A friend and I tested that bullet in over 25 different rifles. We have identified what size bores it will work in and those that it will not. He has even had the jacket stay in the barrel with the core exiting. In about 25 % of our rifles it shoots safely and accurate, in the others it either shoots poorly, has 400 fps spread in velocity, sticks in the bore, blows out primers, or blows off the casehead. There seems to be about a .002 window on bore size for it to work in. We have had these problems with their load data, and other powders as well. About 20% of our rifles will have bad problems with the bullet, which means about 20% of the other rifles out there will also. That is why there are so many people having problems. mag



dgv2
Posted - 10/22/2005 : 11:55:34 PM
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Gentlemen: It seems like I just have to keep posting on this issue. I have 5 M1891 Carcano rifles and the big Hornady bullets work good in one, okay in one and are possibly dangerous in the other three, having blown primers and separated case heads on several tries. I have traced the problem back to undue bore friction because of
1) thick jackets 2) tall rifling and 3) gain twist rifling.

To further try to identify the rifles which may be a problem, I slugged all 5 bores and I found that if the bore hole (which is measured by measuring between the grooves in a bore slug) comes up less than .256 inch or less, DO NOT SHOOT THE HORNADY BIG 6.5 BULLETS IN THAT RIFLE!!!! Even if the outside diameter of the slug is more than .267 inch, a Carcano M91 rifle with a .256" or smaller bore hole will either hurt you or scare the crud out of you! Please note that I am talking about full length rifles, not M38 TS or M38 Carbines. Please be careful with the big Hornady Carcano bullets, as they may not be suitable for all Carcanos! As I have mentioned before, a better solution might have been to just turn the regular .264" 160-grain roundnose around when swaging it to make a thin jacketed round nose FMJ with an exposed lead base to blow out and seal the bore. Good luck!



airdale
Posted - 10/23/2005 : 09:00:14 AM
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I agree that the thick jacket and deep rifling is the problem with the .268 Hornady bullet. One of my M91 long rifles slugs .255-.269 and when fired with the Hornady recommened loads the cases have to be tapped out with a cleaning rod. However when I swage 130gr .277 bullets to .268 dia. and fire them the rifle is flawless. Another board member and I have been expermenting with the swaged .277 bullets and sharing the information and so far we have had zero pressure problems and excellent accuracy.



Komp
Posted - 10/24/2005 : 1:38:24 PM
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Hi Komp,
Probably a silly question but did you weigh the powder charge or just use the 1.9CC measuring cup?
Bob
Not a silly question, just a silly me. I assumed that using the primer, powder, and bullet specified by the Lee die set would be safe. Since the diagram indicated the bullet is .268 I assumed I should stick with it. Like I said, silly me.

I thank all who have helped. All I ever wanted to do was to shoot my Carcano. I have one and only one priority now - safety. Accuracy is unimportant at this time since my two test rounds not only missed the whole target but they are probably still in orbit!

Since I feel the .268 is too dangerous for me at this time I plan on buying new bullets. So the new direction for this thread is:

Has anyone safely used H4895 and Win LR primers? If so, what bullet did you use? Please provide details so I can purchase some. (WesinMI, I have your response, thanks.)

According to what I can tell from this web site I have a Moschetto TS M91 or M91/24. I can't tell for sure since the rear sight looks like the M91 but the front barrel ring looks like the 24. I'm leaning towards M91/24.
Thanks everyone



Komp
Posted - 10/24/2005 : 1:41:02 PM
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Oh, I forgot to mention that I used the 1.9cc measuring cup. I assume now that was the wrong thing to do, correct?
Komp



DMala
Posted - 10/24/2005 : 4:20:56 PM
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I do not know guys, do not take it personally because I know how experienced you are and respect your opinions, but I have not experienced the issues you described with the .268" bullet when loaded as per Hornady's specs, even if I have tried it in several long rifles (M91s and M41s). At most in one case (notably with a M91/38) the bolt handle was a bit hard to open, and the primer was a bit flatter than usual, but within normal. Note that I keep the bores of my rifles very clean, and I am lucky enough to have headspace gauges so I know they are OK to start with. Accuracy ranged for extremely good to quite good (I mean 1" three-shot groups, to 2.5" at 100 yards). I wish we could identify a reason for this difference in results (there must me some).

The most important thing that I want to recommend however, is to be extremely careful with swaged jacketed bullets from larger calibers. Since they have a standard jacket to start with (very thin for Carcano gain-twist standards), which gets even thinner after swaging, there is in my opinion a substantial risk of break down inside the bore, especially with gain twist barrels. That I know for sure it happened during the testing of the Hornady .268" prototypes, which were .264 bullets bumped up to .266-8". Nasty pressure spikes may then occur. I think it would be prudent to swage only up to say .266 and only for spitzer or boat tail bullet weights up to around 140 grains, which have a limited bearing surface which hopefully would be less subjected to mechanical stress than a larger bearing surface area.



airdale
Posted - 10/24/2005 : 8:10:57 PM
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DMala I have been careful with the swaged bullets checking for jacket seperation. I am using the REM. 130gr PSP which has about half the bearing surface of the Hornady bullet. I am basically using the .268 Hornady data with Varget with this bullet. So far everything has went smooth with excellent accuracy in a M91 and M41 long rifle, I havn't tried them in a carbine yet.

Komp your rifle is probably a M91/28 TS carbine since it has a 1934 date.
I don't know why Lee would recommend H4895 with the .268 bullet when Hornady says in big bold letters in their 6th edition reloading manual not to deviate from the Hornady data. You should be okay with the 1.9cc dipper and H4895 with the .264 dia bullet though.



Jeremy
Posted - 10/29/2005 : 5:31:22 PM
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Why didn't Hornady just make the bullets the right size to begin with? My .268s shoot like crap in a minty M41. But my Italian milsurp ammo (.265-266 dia) shoots nice tight groups...when it goes off.

If they would reduce the diameter it seems most of the pressure problems would go away.



LANT
Posted - 10/30/2005 : 9:36:30 PM
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My past reading on this subject has indicated that ONLY magnum primers should be used in the 6.5 Carcano due to the very deep rifling grooves. The bullet needs a very fast push out of the case mouth to overcome frictional resistance due to the deep grooves which only a magnum primer can provide. A standard primer starts the bullet too slowly with the bullet trying to initially "stick " in the rifling with a consequent build up of excessive pressure . HTH



The Phantom
Italy
Posted - 10/31/2005 : 07:18:15 AM
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I experienced similar problems with a 91/38 (rifle), Hornady .268" bullets and N140.

I switched to W760, no problems until now.

It is not my case, but I know that some 91 with worn out rifling were rebarreled in .264": if your rifle has more than 4 lands, there are good chances that it is on the tight side!

Original ammunitions have the bullets covered by a sort of wax, that was to reduce the friction inside the barrel: I don't have the original recipe for this kind of "wax", but I am going to try some (including Lee "Alox").



Jeremy
Posted - 10/31/2005 : 07:51:24 AM
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Originally posted by The Phantom
I experienced similar problems with a 91/38 (rifle), Hornady .268" bullets and N140.
I switched to W760, no problems until now.
It is not my case, but I know that some 91 with worn out rifling were rebarreled in .264": if your rifle has more than 4 lands, there are good chances that it is on the tight side!
Original ammunitions have the bullets covered by a sort of wax, that was to reduce the friction inside the barrel: I don't have the original recipe for this kind of "wax", but I am going to try some (including Lee "Alox").
Having the original bullet diameter smaller than .268 probably helped a little.



MilSurpFan
Posted - 11/01/2005 : 07:41:33 AM
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Komp,

I think your best bet at the moment would be to get a box of .264 160 gr round noses. That way you can use your 4895 and standard primers and not have to worry about pressure. I was loading 120gr .264 MatchKings and 4895 using the starting load in the Lee book with reasonable success. I imagine the 160 grainers with their long bearing surface would deliver more than acceptable accuracy.

The .268 bullets work well in my 91/38 cav and 41 long rifle. 35.5 gr H414 flattens the primers, but easy extraction.



Aethelbert
Posted - 11/08/2005 : 9:12:20 PM
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Komp,
I have used the Hornady .268 bullet successfully with a load of 34.9 gr IMR-4064 and LR primers with no problems in an M-91 cav carbine, an M-91/38 cav carbine and a 1943-vintage M-41 (w/duffle cut stock) that I bought back in 1966. I have had only one problem with that load and that was with a much more recently acquired M-41. That one worked well, too -- up to a point and that point was cartridge #8... It blew out the primer which apparently somehow ended up in the barrel. Figure that one. DEMARY from Hornady advised me to switch over to large magnum primers to help ensure uniform pressures and avoid that sort of nasty pressure spike. He also strongly advised that I reduce the IMR-4064 load to a max of 33 gr.

So far as using .264" bullets, I've found them capable of acceptable accuracy, sometimes even excellent accuracy. The .268 Hornady bullets have given me somewhat better accuracy and more consistent accuracy but, as I said, the .264" bullets will do for hunting the whitetail deer at North Carolina ranges of 50-120 yards, so do what works for you and especially what you feel comfortable with. Remember -- you're the only Komp we have!



Komp
Posted - 11/30/2005 : 4:52:19 PM
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I bought a scale and some .264 bullets. I used H4895 with Win LR primers and tested 10 rounds each at: Lee Dipper (which is just slightly less than 27 gr), 27, 28, 29, 29.5, and 30 grains respectively. The ones using the Lee Dipper and 27gr felt like I was close to getting detonation. The ones at 30gr felt too stong. 28 to 29.5 had the best feel.

Confidence is building. If I keep this up I may have to buy some IMR4064 with magnum primers and try those .268's again!!

Komp
 

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IMR 4064 Load Data for Carcano

Komp
Posted - 11/30/2005 : 9:05:46 PM
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I am thinking of buying some IMR 4064 powder and WLRM primers to use on my Hornady .268 bullets. I don't want to waste the powder after the .268's are gone so I was wondering if anyone has used IRM 4064 on the .264 bullets and, if so, what the load data was. Did you also use WLRM primers or switch back to the regular primers?

I will be using 160gr bullets for both .268 and .264.

Komp



NebrHogger
Posted - 11/30/2005 : 9:13:16 PM
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I'd stay away from the IMR 4064 and .268 bullets. For that diameter, use only H414 or WC 760 with large rifle magnum primers.

You might wish to review the information provided in your "My Carcano went kaboom" post. All the reasons for the powder selection are listed there.

If you use .264 bullets, IMR 4064 and regular primers are fine - using published data, of course. SW



Komp
Posted - 11/30/2005 : 10:03:01 PM
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Thanks, but ...

What published data? The only data I've seen is in your reference of "My Carcano Went Kaboom" and that is for the .268 bullet. Or are you saying to use that data with LR primers?

Komp



Komp
Posted - 11/30/2005 : 10:24:35 PM
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So back to the .268 for a minute. Are you saying to use the H414 or WC760 because of the article "SHOOTING THE 6.5 X 52 mm, 7.35 x 51mm CARTRIDGES AND THE CARCANO RIFLES" by Dave Emary, October 2002?

The Hornady data says you can use IRM4064, RL-15, Varget, AA4064, H414, and Win760. Is there some reason to not use the others? The only reason I was going to purchase the IMR4064 was to try it on the .268 bullets.

Should I buy H414 instead? Will the H414 shoot the .264 bullets with LR primers using the load data provided by Hornady for the .268?

Thanks

Komp



airdale
Posted - 12/01/2005 : 4:24:52 PM
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Komp while the above powders you mentioned are in the Hornady data most of the veteran Carcano shooters has had the best results with W760 or H414 with the 160gr .268 bullet and WLRM primers. I talked to a Hornady Tech. last year that said it was okay to use the 160gr .268 data with 160gr .264 bullets and a standard primer is fine with the .264 bullet. To speak with a Hornady Tech to verify this the phone number is 800-338-3220.

Also there are some Carcano's that will not digest the .268 Hornady bullet regardless of what powder you use.
 

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Hornady Problems?

DMala
Posted - 12/26/2005 : 2:24:01 PM
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Marysdad, the reports of issues with the .268" Hornady bullets are primarily due to people loading them incorrectly (using .264" data). On this board one or two experienced members expressed their concerns, direct experience and disagreement on the .268" bullet diameter choice, but it seems to me that these are still isolated reports (which I fully believe, but that should also be seen in the general contest). I have shot the .268" bullet quite a bit (in about 8-10 different Carcanos), and never had any major issue. In one single rifle, I had some initial signs of excessive pressure with the factory Hornady ammo (flat primer, bolt a bit hard to open). I see the same using surplus Hungariam ammo in my Mosins, in most it is fine, but in some cases I get flattened primers, split necks or sticky bolts.

Notice that I feel it is a bit puzzling that nobody complains about the excessively hot .264" Prvi ammo (white box), which gives me worst signs of overpressure in about 50% of cases.

In practical terms, like for any other old rifle which you want to shoot with full-diameter bullets, to slug the bore is a good idea. However, a safe approach is also to start with a good .264" load, carefully monitor the pressure signs, and then bring it up to max recommended charge, making sure there is no sign of overpressure. You can do this for example with the Hornady .264 160grain RN, or with a good 140 grain Sierra bullet. After that start with a medium-low level load for the .268": if your specific rifle does not like it, you should be reasonably sure that nothing dramatic should happen (beyond the normal risk intrinsic in our hobby), you may pick up early signs of pressure, and go back to smaller diameters. Again, this is just common-sense when you want to shoot full-sized bullets, not a special precaution just for Carcanos. By the way, again like always for such situations, make sure that the bore and the throat are scrupulously clean.

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DMala
 

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Reloading Pressure Problem with M91

pitted bore
Posted - 07/02/2006 : 11:21:44 AM
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I popped a primer recently while reloading for a M91 6.5X52. I'd like helpful comments and questions to sort out what happened.

The rifle is an 1893-stamped Brescia with good cosmetics. Numbers all match, but the bolt is unnumbered. A ramrod is present. I can find no import stamps on it. The bore has shiny lands and frosted grooves.

I obtained 6.5x52 Grafs brass and Hornady .268 160-grain bullets. My first load was 30.0 grains of IMR-4064 with CCI 200 primers. Ten shots showed no problems, although primers appeared flatter than I expected. Groups at 100 yards showed vertical stringing - about 2 inches wide and 11 inches vertically.

My next load used 35.0 grains of W760 with CCI 200 primers. (Yes, Hornady recommends magnum primers with this powder, not standard.) I quit after two shots when the primers looked pretty flat, and there were burnishing marks on the case heads from the extractor cut.

I decided to drop back to milder loads. I selected IMR-4895 because it has been frequently recommended for use in reduced loads. I picked 25.0 grains as a starting load. In an older Hornady manual this is at least a couple of grains below starting loads recommended for 160-grain .264 bullets. Again I used the CCI 200 standard primers. The first shot showed a primer flattened more than the 30-grain 4064 load. The second shot produced stiff bolt opening and a burnished mark on the case head. With the third shot the bolt was hard to open, and it came back without the case. I used the ramrod to poke the case out of the chamber. The primer fell out of the case.

I have double checked the weight of the powder - it was sure enough 25.0 grains.

I 've reloaded successfully for a number of assorted milsurps, including 30-06, 303, 6.5x55, 6.5x50, 7.62x54, 8x50, etc. However, this M91 has me baffled.

I'm open to opinions about what might have caused the excess pressure. I'll try to answer questions that might help in figuring out what caused problem. And I'd appreciate suggestions on what to try next.
--Bob



airdale
Posted - 07/02/2006 : 12:50:40 PM
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Bob, go to this post and I think it will ansewer most of your questions http://www.gunboards.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=130035

Bottom line is some Carcano's will not handle the Hornady .268 dia. bullet.



NebrHogger
Posted - 07/02/2006 : 12:52:39 PM
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These are picky as heck about what load will work in them! First thing worth tryin is to slug your bore. It might be too tight for the .268 bullets. One way or the other, then try some lighter .264 bullets. Published data for the lighter bullets has worked in my Italian rifles with no pressure issues. I have used a variety of powders & std primers.

I have had pressure spikes, too and resolved to never have one again so I bought a custom .268 sizer from Lee ( 25 bucks) and reduced .277 130 grainers to .268 - so far, I have not had another pressure spike or any signs of high pressure at all.

All the standard caveats and disclaimers concerning what works for me vs. what will or will not work for you apply here. SW



pitted bore
Posted - 07/02/2006 : 10:42:19 PM
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Thank you for your helpful answers. I had looked at previous posts, but had not found the several threads that begin with persons describing incidents similar to mine.

A question about slugging the bore of an M91: Are the standard techniques for bore slugging modified in any way because of the gain-twist rifling? Does one slug the bore at the breach end and then at the muzzle? Any hints will be appreciated.



richardwv
Posted - 07/03/2006 : 02:41:55 AM
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The gain twist has no effect on the resulting slug diameter. For ease of starting a slug, I always start from the muzzle, but the result should be the same regardless.



DMala
Posted - 07/03/2006 : 2:52:45 PM
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Hornady recommends using magnum primers only, because pressure problems occur if the powder ignition is not fast enough. By using a milder load (below starting charge) with still the standard primers, you only made things worse (even less pressure to initiate the bullet through the lands with the same inadequate ignition time). Carcanos need to reach the recommended pressures very quickly, to start the full-size .268" bullet through the very deep rifling they have. As others said, even by following the recommended loads, some samples do not handle the .268" bullets well. Try instead the 160 grain (or so?) Sierra .264" with standard .264" loads.



pitted bore
Posted - 07/06/2006 : 01:27:25 AM
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My thanks to all for their suggestions and answers. Here's an update on my m1891 exploration:

I slugged the bore three times. With each slug, groove diameter measured 0.268 inches; the bore, 0.256 inches. It appears that the 0.268 bullet is about right.

Following Hornady's recommendations as closely as possible with the materials on hand, I tried three different powders: Cases were new unfired Graf's, FL sized in a recently-purchased Hornady die, primed with Federal 215 match magnum primers. Bullets were the Hornady .268 160-grain RN soft points, seated to an overall length of 2.96 inches. I loaded five cases each with 29.3 grains of IMR-4064, 35.0 grains of W760, and 30.0 grains of Reloader 15. All of these are the lowest weights of each powder recommended by Hornady for this bullet. I used Graf's cases and Federal magnum primers, while Hornady's loads were based on a Norma case and Winchester magnum primer. Hornady also used an M41.

I fired these from a distance with the rifle tied to a tire, rather than parking my face behind the bolt. The local medical establishment gets enough of my money as it is. The bore was moderately clean; the locking lugs were lightly greased.

I fired the three loads in rotation, one 4064 then one 760 then one 15, then repeat. This sequence was an attempt to spread out any pressure effect from accumulated fouling.

The first three shots (cylce 1) went smoothly; ditto cycle 2.
The first shot from cylce 3 (a 4064 load) froze the action shut. One bruised palm later I had the bolt open, the primer in hand, and the case stuck in the chamber. The ramrod helped to get the case out. It was well and truly blown with a very swollen case head. I discontinued firing the 4064 load, but fired the remaining three each loads of W760 and Re15 without notable incident.

Except for the one blown round, none of the fired cases show any sign of excess pressure, including those loaded with 4064. I realize that case head expansion is not a reliable pressure indicator, but for what it's worth, all cases but the one show a maximum expansion of 0.0003 inches over the unfired condition, measured just in front of the extractor groove.

I've some ideas about what might have happened, but I'll continue to work with the rifle (from a safe distance) and post events here. Your comments and questions are welcome.
--Bob



NebrHogger
Posted - 07/06/2006 : 06:57:47 AM
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Bob,

For best results, use only W760 or H414 when loading the .268 bullet. The IMR powders will give you pressure spikes. As mentioned above, mag primers are a must with these powders. SW



airdale
Posted - 07/06/2006 : 08:57:34 AM
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Bob, the 6th edition Hornady reloading manual does list Privi Partizan (Grafs) brass with the .268 loads and has in large bold letters that only Winchester large rifle magnum primers should be used with the data.

I agree with Neb that you should stick with Win 760 or H414, most
Carcano shooters get the best results using these powders and the Win LRM primers. You can also speak with a Hornady tech at 1 800 338 3220 about the .268 dia. bullet and load data, I spoke with them about about a year ago and they were very helpful.



DMala
Posted - 07/10/2006 : 4:28:20 PM
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Originally posted by pitted bore
I've some ideas about what might have happened, but I'll continue to work with the rifle (from a safe distance) and post events here. Your comments and questions are welcome.
Bob, one question is whether or not the headspace is compromised, after all these episodes. I think you have reasonably proven that with that bolt/recevier/barrel combo the .268" diameter may cause problems, I politely suggest that you settle on the .264" choices.... If you must insist I would say that a deep bore cleaning and throat scrubbing, including complete copper removal, is a must before of trying anything else, the problems you describe may caused and are definitely compounded by a dirty throat.
 

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.268" Pressure Problem?

wildbill15
Posted - 02/07/2007 : 09:36:01 AM
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I'm new at this hobby. I have a 1917 M91TS that sat in my fathers basement for over 50 years. It had some rust on the bolt and the barrel that I cleaned up. Not knowing much about old rifles I took it to a gunsmith to see if was shootable. He ran some patches thru the barrel and said it looked good. I bought a box of the Hornady .268 amno that I read was the correct ammo for this rifle and took it to the range. I had difficulty opening the bolt after each of the first five rounds and could not open the bolt at all after the sixth round.

I went back to the gunsmith but he didnt not have any headspace gages to check to see if that was the problem (I haven't been able to find any one with headspace gages). He said the fired cases all looked ok. The primer did come out of the sixth round fired but not the other five.

I have since gone back and releaned the chamber and slugged the bore twice. The groove diameter was only .265 -.266. Is the difficltly opening the bolt caused by the Hornady .268 bullet being larger than the groove diameter? If that is the case how did the Italians fire these rifles without incurring the same problem? Didnt the Italian ammo have a bullet diameter of .268? Why would this rifle have a groove diamter of only .265? There must be others that also have a tight bore. I did buy a box of Norma and a box of Prvi Partizan ammo but have not had a chance to see how that ammo works because of the weather here.

One last question - what would be the correct finish for this rifle. I uses lacquer thinner to remove what little finish was left. Would lacquer be the correct finish for a 1917 M91TS?
Thank You



Aethelbert
Posted - 02/07/2007 : 11:18:56 AM
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Welcome to the forum!

Yes, there are other Carcanos with a bore diameter of .265". The smaller diameter (.264") bullets used by both Norma and Prvi-Partizan will work better in those. In the case of your TS carbine, I would not use the Hornady ammo anymore or at least not until I tried the Norma and Prvi-Partizan.

The Norma ammo may still give some small difficulty in chambering/ejecting but it won't be due to bullet diameter. Instead, the problem would lie in the extractor groove which is not radiused the way the Italians intended it to be. Many shooters, though, have reported no problem in this area with Norma so it would be an inidividual rifle problem.

For some strange reason, Prvi-Partizan seems to produce most of their 6.5 Carcano ammo as ball ammo -- suitable mostly as a military cartridge even though (to the best of my knowledge) no military or even police organization in the world uses the 6.5 Carcano or has in many years. There is a somewhat lighter weight Prvi-Partizan round loaded with a soft point suitable for hunting. Be aware, though, that the Prvi-Partizan cartridges do seem to be loaded a bit on the hot end of things (again -- military type loads?). They also give a rather large (about 1 1/2') ball of yellowish flame that I have seen come from my own cavalry carbine at the range on an overcast day!

Please let us know how both the Norma and Prvi-Partizan round work in your carbine -- and especially what accuracy you get. BTW, even though I'm sure you've already noticed, if you get similar function and accuracy from both the Norma and Prvi-Partizan, the Serbian-made ammo has the additional virtue of costing only 1/3 what Norma ammo costs...

Re: Stock finish. Many Carcani had a lacquer finish. Some were left with no protective finish (war time time saver?). I'm not the one to say what to do with yours as I don't even know what color varnish or lacquer to use.



airdale
Posted - 02/07/2007 : 12:26:54 PM
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I agree with Aethelbert that you should use ammo with .264 dia. bullets. Some Carcano's even with a .268 bore with deep rifling will also have pressure problems with the thick jacketed .268 dia. bullet.
I think your rifle would shoot very well with ammo that was reloaded
with .264 dia 160gr roundnose bullets made by Sierra or Hornady.

The original Carcano military bullets were .266/.2665 but most Carcano rifles slug .268-.269 and probably the reason Hornady made their ammo using .268 bullets.

A correct finish to use on your rifle would be just to give it a couple coats of boiled linseed oil (BLO).



DMala
Posted - 02/07/2007 : 1:50:46 PM
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Wildbill, although anything is possible, it would be extremely uncommon to find a 1917 carbine with a tight bore,after going through two world wars. To make sure it is indeed the case (I am not saying it is impossible), and exclude that there is no fouling buildup tightening the bore, use some Sweet's 7,62 until you see no blue residue due to copper fouling. Also, use a tight patch on a rod tip and try to feel if there is any bulging anywhere. You may also ask the gunsmith how he checked the bore, bearing in mind that some partial obstructions may be hard to see even for a trained eye. Scrub well the chamber throat with a .270 brass brush and then after doiing all of the above slug the bore again. I know it is a pain but in my view even before of using .264" bullets a bore obstruction should be ruled out.



WesinMI
Posted - 02/07/2007 : 9:31:49 PM
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I'm with airdale. I shoot a lot of the original Carcano bullets and they average .2665 in diameter. I consider them the best for all of my Carcanos. Shooting the .268 bullet is OK in some of my newer Carcanos (M38, 91/38, M41) but they show similar pressure signs in the older ones, such as my 1891s and 1891 TS which I find have a tighter chamber which do not have enough neck clearance to release the bullet without pressure spikes just like you described. I'd bet that is your problem and the solution is a smaller bullet diameter.



wildbill15
Posted - 02/08/2007 : 2:58:01 PM
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Thanks guys for all your great input. I will follow your suggestions including scrubbing the bore and chamber to make sure there are no obstructions. The bore looks shiny and appears to my untrained eye to have good rifling. I will let you know how I make out after scrubbing it and trying the .264 ammo.
Thanks Again



wildbill15
Posted - 03/02/2007 : 10:28:18 PM
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I finally made it back to the range and shot the .264 ammo. I shot the Prvi Partizan 123gr, the Prvi Partizan 139gr and the Norma 156gr. I had no pressure problems and the bolt opened easily after firing with all three types so the problem must have been with the Hornady .268 ammo. I did have some problems chambering the Norma ammo due to the extractor groove.
Thanks again for the help



daryldiane
Posted - 03/03/2007 : 11:14:14 AM
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I've also some original bullets and they measure .266 exactly. I have some .267 lead 140grn gas check bullets and will try them when I get round to it. I feel there is much less problems with slightly oversized lead bullets, they seem to swage down into the bore without pressure signs. have to keep them below about 1900 fps though.
 
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