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Discussion Starter #1
Gentlemen,

Is there any member who knows the exact bullet dimensions for the
M/68 17.5 mm Carcano needle rifle? We wish to have a hollow base
bullet mould made so that we can thoroughly test this early and
important breechloader.

The Carcano needle rifle bolt has no provision for breech seal
(unlike the rubber obturator of the Mle. 1866 or male to female cone
sealing of the Dreyse system), so there is a lubricated felt wad at
the base of the cartridge for this purpose (similar to the Patrone
M/72 for the Beck system of the Dreyse). Furthermore, there is a base
expanding sabot with primer under the bullet all of which making this
a most facinating project.

Having a custom bullet mould made requires an expensive layout in the excess of £200 so we
hope to get it right first time.

We have a few salient dimension such as bullet height 24.5 mm,
diameter 17.80 mm at widest point, diameter of base 17.20 mm.
However, we are not sure whether these critical dimensions are valid.

In anticipation,

Guy and Leonard A-R-West FHBSA
 

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Carcano cartridge

Here you have an Italian image. Carcano cartridge's Dimensions can be seen, though no very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Caracano needle fire cartridge

Thanks Carvil,

Unfortunately the image is too obscure to obtain any salient dimensions. Where did you get your information from?

Regards,

Guy A-R-West
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Carcano needle fire

Thanks again Carvil,

Any information gratefully received.

You mentioned Beck. We have duplicated the Patrone M/72 for the Beck system for our M/65. Its base is very similar to the Carcano cartridge inasmuch there is a lubricated felt cup in the base to lubricate the needle and help seal the breech. The cup is left in the chamber after discharge and is forced out on the next discharge cleaning and lubricating the bore.

After testing the Beck system we were very impressed, no gas leak from breech, velocity and range dramatically increased - not that far behind the Mle. 1866. If the system was used during the conflict, the war would have most likely come to a quicker conclusion.

Regards,

Guy and Leonard A-R-West
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Carcano needle rifle

Thanks Carvil,

As you rightly put it, not much information only posing.

However, we shall keep looking and if you can find out if there is any useful literature on the subject to assist our ongoing quest we shall be grateful.

Regards,

Guy and Leonard A-R-West
 

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About Beck system:

I knew the 1872 Beck cartridge, similar to the Carcano one, as I have illustrations of Dreyse’s cartridges, but my doubt came from the author John Walter, who in his excellent book “Rifles of the World”, describes the “Aptierte nach Beck” Dreyse guns, whit a leather washer and a movable bolt head (inspired by the Chassepot), but he says nothing about a 1872 cartridge with rubber base.

I think that the 1872 cartridge is for non modified guns, and as I have never seen another reference to this modified model with leather washer, so I have doubts about the existence of these “Aptierte nach Beck” rifles.

Regards.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Beck System

Carvil,

The Beck system was an official modification specifically for the Patrone (n/A neuer art) M/72, examined by the army before the conflict (about 1868) as the Prussians realised that the Mle. 1866 outperformed the Dreyse. However, it was not officially implimented until after the war was over as modification of the Dreyse system including sights (schieberklappe graduated to 1,200 paces) and manufacture of a new and more complicated cartridge would have left the Prussian army with a logistic problem so they continued with their Patrone M/55.

The Patrone M/72 does not have rubber in its base, it has a lubricated felt cup with a concentric cross-cut for ease of needle penetration. The base cup lubricates the needle, reduces bore fouling and assists in sealing the breech. The cup is left in the chamber and expelled with the next round and passing through the cross cut. The bullet was lighter (21.9gm with 12mm diameter compared to 31gm with 13.2mm diameter) than that of the Patrone M/55 with an increase in velocity of 50 m/sec.

The Beck system bolt was modified by insertion of a sliding flat bolt head in front of a rubber washer in place of the luftkammer and retained by a prominent screw on the bolt body. All Dreyse bolts have in their mechanism a leather washer/disc fitted with their needles as this prevents fouling entering the body.

We have thoroughly tested the Beck system in a M/65 Jager rifle with its Patrone M/72, and found no breech gas escape, no needle or breech fouling, and the cartridge can be chambered by the bolt. We have taken footage of both standard and modified systems and no gas leakage is evident with the modification.

The Patrone M/72 is designed specifically for the Beck system as needle length was altered for the greater powder charge.

We hope that the above is of use.

Regards,

Guy and Leonard A-R-West
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Carcano needle fire

Carvil,

We have now had a bullet mould made that duplicates the original 17.5 mm projectile. Furthermore, we are engaged in machining a two-piece press tool to fabricate the rolled culot that sits under the bullet. The culot has two functions: it holds the primer and expands the bullets base on ignition.

Regards,

Guy and Leonard A-R-West
 

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M68 Carcarno cartridge

Guy & Leonard,
e-mail me at [email protected]. I believe I have what you are looking for and can give the appropriate citation but I haven't yet mastered posting pictures on this forum.

Joe Puleo
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Carcano cartridge

JV Puleo,

You requested that we contact you regarding the Carcano needle rifle cartridge we are currently constructing for ballistic evaluation.

Attached is our result so far of our hollow base cast bullet seated on its rolled and formed paper culot we have now finished developing. The next stages in drawing the cartridge to its conclusion i.e., minutiae of developing the case, lubricated felt base cup and star shaped base disc. The base felt cup is similar to the one seated at the base of the Dreyse Patrone M/72 (detailed on this forum) but with a larger diameter.

Any further information on the cartridge and the Carcano needle fire system would be gratefully received. Beside the the challange, we are interested in the Carcano as it was precursor and the intrim between the muzzle loading system leading to the breechloading Vetterli. We have aslo evaluated the Vetterli in its black powder and smokeless amelioration.

We too find it a bit daunting attaching pictures/footage to the forum and have thus been deterred from attempted to try again until we become more au fait with the system. We did send footage of us demonstrating Werder M/69 Lightning Rifle at Bisley to a forum member for inclusion, but it seems that the file could not be opened.

With regards,

Guy and Leonard A-R-West
 

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I have been looking for some information in the Italian book but it gives no clear data about Carcano bullet, but it says that in 1867 the Italian Army adopted the French model 1863 bullet, cal. 17.2 mm, though it don’t say if it was for the Carcano or for muzzle loaders in store.

The model 1860 Rifle-musket barrel had a caliber of 17.5 mm between lands and its Minié bullet had a diameter of 17.2 mm, smaller as it was a muzzle loading gun. In the Carcano conversion we must have the same barrel caliber, but being breech-loading the bullet normally will have a bigger diameter to take the rifling, though in this case, using an expansive bullet it can take it anyway.

The cartridge initially had a rubber base, that voids gas leaking, that gave some problems when it wasn’t correctly centered, but it was latter substituted by a wool fabric (felt, I suppose) one greased with tallow.

I can send you the pages devoted to Carcano, by photocopy, CD or e-mail.

I hope you enjoy shooting with the Carcano.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Carcano cartridge

Carvil,

Thanks for the assistance. The Carcano bullet has two diameters: major 17.8 mm, minor 17.2 mm, to these diameters our bullet mould was made by CAD.

The bullet is expanded to fill the grooves by a discarding base culot which also contained the priming compound.

We shall keep you posted regarding the project which we hope to start early next year.

When all of this has come to a satisfactory conclusion for the next needle fire project we hope to test a British Dreyse needle rifle.

Please send the information to: [email protected]

We can then send you attachments of the cartridge progress so far.

With thanks,

Guy and Leonard A-R-West
 

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I have sent severall e-mails to you, but they were returned ('Technical details of permanent failure: PERM_FAILURE: DNS Error: Domain name not found'). Is there any problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Carcano cartridges

Carvil,

Sorry - not aware of any problems. Other people have managed to contact us.

However, if you send your e-mail it might work out by reply.

With regards,

Guy and Leonard A-R-West
 
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