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Discussion Starter #1
Lawdog734
Posted - 12/12/2003 : 1:16:43 PM
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I have a couple of questions. Mainly, I'd like to know what kind of load do you use? I'm looking for something similar to the standard military load. Where do you get your components at (brass, bullets)? Finally, where can I pick up a few dummy rounds?



jcjordan
Posted - 12/12/2003 : 6:03:02 PM
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Depending on what caliber you have 6.5/7.35 or the 8mm, I'm assuming 6.5. I reload for it but haven't found a good bullet/powder combo yet but have mostly been trying 303Brit & 30.06 loads right now. I've tried the 140gr .264 HPBT Sierra, 140gr .268 SP Buffalo Arms & 160gr .268 RN Hornady with the Sierras & Hornady's doing best. You can get brass from Grafs(Hornady) & Midway(Norma) or buy some ammo at gunshows then reload brass from there. Norma seems to be best brass but expensive. Bullets can be had from Buffalo Arms & Grafs for .268 & MidwayUSA will have .264 dia. If you have a M91/41 you might have luck with the .264 dia if you have another type the .268 would do better. The 7.35 bullets can be had from Grafs or maybe Buffalo Arms as well, it uses the same brass it just has to be necked up larger. As to dummy rounds I just made my own from the brass with no primer or powder & used a bullet from some surplus I found.
I've tried I4064,I3031 with the .264 bullet in my M91/38 but bullet was too undersized for that but may work in M91/41 as some have had luck with them in it. The .268 Honady's came out fairly well using Hornady's suggested load with W760 (email them & they'll send you a copy of it). The Buffalo Arms bullets didn't seem to do well in either so I'm just gonna stick with the Sierra & Hornady's.


GjMan
Posted - 12/12/2003 : 8:48:20 PM
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Jcjordan covered components and availability very well. You can duplicate military loadings--which are around 2300 fps in an M41, IIRC--but you'll generally get better accuracy with milder loads. I use Hornady .268 bullets exclusively now; one good load is 33 grains of IMR 4064, another is 40 grains of Accurate 4350. Some do not recommend powders as slow as 4350 with .268 bullets, but I have never had a problem. I seat bullets as far out as they will work in the magazine. Haven't chrono'ed either load yet, but they shoot well in all my Carcanos. I use Frontier brass and Fed or CCI std primers.

An aid to better shooting involves raising the front sight with a bit of epoxy; that way you can use the familiar, American-style sight picture (top of post even with top of rear sight notch) and zero your rifle for the load it likes best at the distance you prefer.



Deadeye
Posted - 12/17/2003 : 12:43:59 PM
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Good advice on the sight. I had mine welded on my m38 short rifle. My personal hunting load is 42 gr. IMR 4350 and a .264 Hornady round nose. OAL is 2.995". This load chronographed to 2350 fps out of my short rifle. My target load is the same except I reduce the charge to 40 gr. 4350. This load will group to a fairly consistent 1.5". I give up a little accuracy for power on the hunting load. I used the target load to ahoot a CMP match last summer. We use a reduced course of 100 and 200 yards. I scored 405, (out of 500) and I gave up 4 rounds due to a trigger that I lightened too much. I also burned my left hand during the rapid prone because the primary extraction on my rifle is so difficult. It rolled in my left hand as I tried to open the bolt.
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Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #2
pip
Posted - 01/02/2004 : 12:09:01 PM
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Can anyone hear recommend a source for a die that will do both bullet styles.



Aethelbert
Posted - 01/03/2004 : 4:23:24 PM
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I must be the only person in Carcano-land that has experienced _no_ problems reloading both .264" bullets (both 140 gr and 160 gr Speer) and the new Hornady 160 rn bullets. I'm using the same old C-H 6.5 Carcano dies that I bought years ago.



djenkins
Posted - 01/03/2004 : 5:42:13 PM
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The old Lee bullet seater would not accept the larger .268 bullets. I have not tried the .264 bullets since I had them enlarge it.

The .264 bullets shot terribly in my rifle so I cannot envision a circumstance where I would revert to them either.

Dennis Jenkins
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would like to answer to Aethelbert's and DJenkins' observations on 6,5x52 die dimensions by incorporating here an important contribution from Jonk, posted in a parallel thread. I feel that it fully belongs into this context as well, so please forgive the reduplication:

RELOAD: Recycling surplus dud cartridges and powder
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jonk
Posted - 11/09/2003 : 06:38:17 AM
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(He writes about original military FMJ bullets of 6,75-6,77mm (.266"-.267") diameter, salvaged from military cases):

3. I used Lee dies, unmodified; the bullet is a tight fit, yes, but I haven't crumpled a case yet; I DO slightly feel the bullet scrape in the seating die but haven't had one get stuck yet, but it is possible so watch out!


jonk posted a follow-up on 09-21-2007, 03:43 PM:
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Hmm. Well I'll update my original post since Carcano was nice enough to bring it back to life.

3. The Lee .268 expander actually leaves the case neck too loose. However- the Lee .268 seater works a lot better than the original .264 seater.
 

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What was posted about my experience is true; to further elaborate-

1. Using pulled military bullets of .266-.267, Lee's .268 expander does enlarge the brass's neck too much; the bullets are too loose. Using the .264 and chamfering the brass is fine for that diameter bullet. However, as stated, the Lee .268 seater is the way to go as it eliminates the scraping issue- and after the original post some years ago, I have had one or two bullets stick using the .264 seater.

2. However, with .268 bullets, the Lee .268 expander is just fine. I still think you could make do with the .264 expander IF you slightly bell the case mouth with an M die, or Lee's Universal Case Expander die; but why bother?

I don't quite know why Hornady went with 268 when the original was, as mentioned, in the 266-7 range.
 

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Reloading 6.5 Carcano

Jonk - You are not the only one.

I have been using an old set of RCBS dies for my 6.5 Carcanos exclusively.

Had been shooting .264 bullets for years then switched over to the Hornady .268 bullets when they first became available. I had no problem with the neck in seating the larger bullets with dies set for .264.

The bullet that I had had the most success with was the Hornady 160 gr. RN .264 dia. This shot well in my other 6.5mm rifles as well. At that time I also used IMR 4350 in the 6.5 Carcano. Now I use IMR 4895 or IMR 4064. Had used most Speer/Hornady/Sierra 6.5 weights. Now use the .268 160 gr. Hornady only - Good in all my 6.5 Carcanos.

Used to use Norma brass - Now I use Graf & Sons brass. Get a number of reloads with no cracked necks. Most of the componants I get from Graf & Sons.

Mainly shoot an M1891/41, M-38 and M38SR now (also 6.5 Vetterli conversion with lead bullets).

I have been considering using my M1891/41 for the CMP Vintage Match....

Tiledude
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Still an older thread (excerpted):

Aethelbert
Posted - 02/09/2004 : 10:00:37 PM
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What model Carcano are you going to reload for? The load I have found to be best in both my M-41's and both cavalry carbines is 34.9 gr of IMR-4064. I use the same powder load for both the new Hornady .268" 160 grain RN bullet and the Speer .264" 160 gr bullet. This gives best accuracy with either bullet. Go up just 0.1 gr and accuracy starts to fall off. No signs of over-pressure in any of my rifles/carbines. I get somewhat better accuracy with the Hornady bullet than the Speer. I have worked up to this load from 26 gr IMR-4064 and went up to 35 gr.

Please note that I have _not_ tried this load in any of the long, original M-1891 infantry rifles with their long, gain-twist barrels. The pressures may well be different when this load is fired in that model.

Likewise, I have no way of knowing the condition of your rifles/carbines although I would imagine your firearm is probably in pretty decent condition.

Re: the Lee loader with the expander... I have used a C-H die set for many years (no expander) with both .264" and .268" bullets and have experienced _no_ problems whatsoever. There seems to be an unusually strong attachment to Lee dies here on the Italian Firearms Forum -- to each his own but I can heartily recommend the C-H dies for both bullets.

Lastly, you're right on the money when you say that Graf & Sons have a better deal on brass. Excellent brass and easier on the extractor than the much more expensive Norma brass due to a difference in the rim and the way the extractor groove is made.

Okay, so _this_ is 'lastly'... Large rifle primers should work quite well. No problems. Unless (there's that word again) you are going to be going to the range and firing in bitter cold weather, meaning in the low 20's on down. The extreme cold could possibly (according to a very old, established gun shop here in Raleigh - 75 years in the business) retard ignition and cause some pressure problems. To avoid that, they recommend using large magnum rifle primers. They will also do well in ordinary weather, as well.

Happy reloading and do post a report on your efforts.



djenkins
Posted - 02/12/2004 : 4:09:20 PM
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Buffalo bullets also has a .268 140 grain spitzer bullet that works well.

Dennis Jenkins
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Aethelbert
Posted - 02/18/2004 : 6:32:00 PM
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Originally posted by shjoe

i thought i had read somewhere, (maybe on this forum) where the sierra .264 160gr bullet actually had very good accuracy and ballistics in the carcano. i am not sure whether it was used in cut down gain twist rifling or carbine barrels. if true, this would be another alternative to the .268 hornady.
I have used both the Hornady .268" 160 gr bullet and the Sierra .264" 160 gr bullet in both my M-41 and my M-91 Moschetto per Cavaleria. The Hornady bullet did give better accuracy but the Sierra bullet was close on its heels in the accuracy department.

Graf charges less for the Hornady than I have to pay locally for the Sierra ($23.95/100).



djenkins
Posted - 02/26/2004 : 01:04:13 AM
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Buffalo makes a 140 grain .268 spire point. These shoot VERY well but they are $22 per hundred.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
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



NebrHogger
Posted - 03/31/2004 : 4:16:06 PM
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There was an article in Guns magazine 2 issues ago about reloading for the Carcano. The latest Hornady manual has what I consider the best reloading information since they make the .268 bullets. Guns mag said to use only ww760 powder or H414, both with magnum LR primers.

I tried WW760 in small increments from 30.0gr to 33.0 gr with the 160 gr .268 bullets, and my best group was 31.5gr @ 1 3/4" at 50 yards. Velocity spread over the chrono was much better than Norma factory ammo, too. These were shot in my 91TS carbine.

The guns article lets on that extruded powders could give high pressures, and my experience is consistent with that. I loaded ten rounds with a light charge of IMR 3031 for my cav carbine, and some of the primers were WAY flat. The cav carbine had a small headspace problem that I had planned to address by way of neck sizing, but I also got some incipient head separations from rounds with the worst flattened primers. I haven't shot the carbine since I switched to 760 powder. The 31.5 gr/ ww760 load isn't bad at all, and I had a great time at the range dinging the 150m turk and 200m ram.

There may well be other powders that will do just as well, but that's what worked for me. SW



dgv2
Posted - 04/02/2004 : 12:19:37 PM
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Lawdog, I too have had difficulties with the big 6.5 Carcano bullet in several of my Carcanos, as have the other member of our local military rifle shooting club. In order to avoid damage to the guns, or worse yet, yourself, do NOT shoot any light loads in the gun as the bore friction is very, very high and can act like a bore obstruction, causing excess pressure. Nbrhogger seems to have had similar experiences. If you use a powder like 3031, do not load less than 31 grains! On the other hand, buy a 7.35 Carcano if you don't have one as the new Hornady 128 grain 7.35 bullet shoots like a dream! See you at the range!



Aethelbert
Posted - 04/03/2004 : 9:20:04 PM
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I've tried a number of loads with my Carcani (an M-41, an M-91 cav and an M-91/38 cav carbine) using IMR-4064 and both the Speer 160 gr RN (.264") and the bigger .268" Hornady 160 gr RN. Worked up to 34.9 gr IMR-4064 with the Hornady bullet. This load gave best accuracy in all my Carcani. At 35.0 gr IMR-4064 accuracy started to fall off, so dropped back 1/10 gr. At no point did any signs of high pressure show themselves.

Usual disclaimer here -- I can't know what condition your Carcano is in, so the loads are informational only. Work yours up with care
 

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Discussion Starter #9
GjMan
Posted - 02/15/2004 : 10:08:14 PM
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My favorite short-barreled Carcano load is 33 grains of IMR 4064 under the Hornady .268 bullet seated just deep enough so the round fits the magazine. I get groups of 2-2 1/2 inches at 100 yards from the bench with a Moschetto Cav.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Major Rich
Posted - 04/06/2004 : 06:44:15 AM
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Am just about to start loading the 6.5 Carcano. I have coming in the mail some Graf/Hornady brass. I have on hand the Hornady 160 gr (.268) bullets, Lee dies, Winchester LR primers, and H4895 powder.

Then I read in an article in the April 2004 issue of Guns Magazine on loading for the 6.5 Carcano. Two things in the article I am concerned about. 1. "Late breaking news from Hornady: Do not use extruded powders or standard large rifle primers when loading Hornady's 160 gr./.268 diameter bullet in the 6.5x52 Carcano case. Hornady recommends only the use of H414 or WW760 and a magnum primer and max load of 37.0 gr." 2.Use the Hornady New Dimension dies because they will properly seat the .268 bullet.

Will my Lee dies work OK? What's with this new powder info? Has anyone had any problems with LR primers and H4895? Any thing else I should look for on this round?

Rich

P.S. Pasted this from the CSP site. I see in lower posts that some people do use IMR-4064 and LR primers. I am interested in the above recommended powders and primers and mostly can I use my LEE dies with the .268 bullet. TIA



Aethelbert
Posted - 04/06/2004 : 11:51:18 AM
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Attached is a copy of the recommended 6.5 mm Carcano loads I received from the good folks at Hornady. They definitely recommned LR Magnum primers but they don't list H4895 powder. Probably just means they didn't happen to try it but I can't be sure of that. BTW, I use IMR-4064 with a load I worked up to.

I have always used Winchester LR primers over the years with no problem. When I saw Hornady's recommendation of the magnum primers, I asked the folks at Hill's Sporting Goods here is Raleigh (they've been in the business for over 70 years). They said that LR primers _might_ give erratic ignition if the temps are very, very low. The magnum primers would preclude that. I, myself, will give the magnum primers a try when I run out of my supply of LR primers.

Apologies for the size of the attachment -- haven't figured out how to reduce the overall dimensions, yet.

Picture didn't make it
Download Attachment:
255.45 KB



Antonio
Posted - 04/07/2004 : 12:56:01 AM
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Save yourself a bunch of problems and stick with the loads posted by Hornady. Pick up a can of 4064 or WC760 and a box of Magnum primers. I have talked Hornady and these loads are safe. Why risk having a severe problem over a can of powder. Good luck and have fun.



NebrHogger
Posted - 04/07/2004 : 01:32:55 AM
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I agree with Antonio. Before the Guns article, I loaded ten rounds for my cav carbine using light doses of IMR 3031 and the .268 bullet. Some of the primers came out WAY flat, and a couple of them had incipient head separations. Pressures were obviously well into dangerous territory. I scored a pound of WW 760 and some LR mag primers. 31.5 gr of that powder is a sweet load and accurate. I would avoid the extruded powders with the .268 bullet! SW



dgv2
Posted - 04/07/2004 : 12:06:27 PM
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Aethelbert, Thanks for putting up the Hornady Chart on the 160 grain big 6.5 bullets. It explains a lot of mysterious problems I've been having in trying to shoot these bullets in my Carcanos. I notice that Hornady used a M1941 rifle for load testing, which has a .266 bore with relatively shallow rifling and no gain twist. That is an entirely different proposition from a M1891 rifle with very deep rifling and gain twist. I begin to see now how the pressure problems are occurring in the M1891 rifles while the M1941 rifles don't show problems to the same extent. I am no longer attempting to shoot these bullets in my M1891 rifles with gain twist and deep rifling, as the bore friction is much too high and I have already scared myself silly twice with bullets lodging part way down the barrel of M1891 rifles using loads that are within the Hornady chart load ranges. In my opinion, these bullets are not suitable for the Carcano M1891 rifle. A more suitable bullet for the M1891 could have been made by reversing the standard .264 160-grain round nose in the swaging process to produce a .264 hollow-base FMJ. That way, only the base would expand to fill the grooves without undue bore friction and it would have closely emulated the original Italian bullet for the M1891 rifle. My recommendation at this point would be to follow the Hornady chart EXACTLY, which means using the big 6.5 bullets in Carcano M1941 rifles only!



Aethelbert
Posted - 04/07/2004 : 2:17:47 PM
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dgv2,

A hollow-based .264" 6.5 mm 160 gr bullet for the Carcano? I think you have come up with an intriguing idea that might just work if they can come up with a bullet skirt that will adequately expand and still hold together through the gain-twist rifling. It would be worth suggesting it to the Hornady folks.

Not long before the guys at Hornady put the new 160 gr bullet up for distribution, they thought they were ready to market a (then) new .268" 160 gr bullet. It did everything right... in M1941 rifles, M91/38 short rifles and in the cav carbines. Then they tried it in an M1891 ong rifle. The second shot produced horrendous pressures. They said they had to use a mallet to open the bolt and then found the casing had apparently half-melted to the chamber and had to be removed by means I would never think of using. The gentleman in charge of developing this new bullet said that they estimated that the rifle had reached pressures in excess of _95,000_ psi (or cup or whatever). Reason was that they had made the bullet jacket like any other bullet jacket. That didn't stand up to the abrupt change in twist as the bullet neared the end of the barrel. The rifles cut through the jacket material and shredded it. they didn't notice it on the first shot but the shreds left in the barrel acted as an obstruction to the second shot, thus raising the pressures.

I think it was Dmala who forwarded them copies of some of the ntoes from the Italians who developed the 6.5 Carcano cartridge in the first place. Seems they encountered exactly the same problems. Hornady then quit trying to re-invent the wheel, so to speak, and then developed their hunting bullet along guidelines laid down over 110 years ago by Salvatore Carcano and his folks.

This present bullet is developed to be safe in the M1891. The jacket material is so thick that, although it is a soft point with an exposed lead tip, it will not expand -- and this according to Hornady -- even when fired through a 4x4.

So far as bullets lodging part-way down the M1891 barrel, I suspect that, as the loads were developed with the M1941 in mind, the loads may be too mild for the '91. I am also basing this opinion (and that's all I can claim for it, as I lack their instrumentation) on loads I worked up for use in both my M1941 and my cav carbines. I started with a milder load than they did (26 gr IMR-4064) and worked up to 35 gr IMR-4064, then backed down to 34.9 gr. I backed it down that 1/10 gr not because of signs of pressure (conspicuously absent) but because bullet groups, which had been steadily tightening up, started to open up at 35 gr -- not much but measurable. Don't know if 34.9 would be advisable in a '91 but the low end or maybe even the mid-range of the listed Hornady loads. I just don't know.



DMala
Posted - 04/07/2004 : 3:45:19 PM
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Aethelbert, you recollection of the events is correct. Let's also remember that WCC must have gone through the same process, before of reaching the decision to adopt a very thick jacket on the bullets eventually used by Oswald.

Concerning the M91 long rifle, the Hornady .268" bullet is considered by the manufacturer safe to be used with it, with the manufacturer's approved loads. M91 bores are wider than most M41s, and in the great majority of cases also well worn.

As a general safety precaution, after all not even specific to Hornady's .268 bullets, I think it is very important to carefully clean the throat and barrel of any Carcano, particularly if never shot before, since a partial obstruction due to dirt accumulation may be a more real possibility than any other source of problems. With .264" bullets there is more margin for this than with larger bullets.



dgv2
Posted - 04/08/2004 : 11:12:36 AM
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Gentlemen, your comments are very interesting. My personal experiences with the big 6.5 Hornady bullet in the M1891 Carcano rifle have been sufficiently hair raising to convince me that although Hornady made a good try, this bullet still should NOT be used in M1891 rifles. I am afraid someone will be hurt and more rifles wrecked. I am also convinced that a .264 hollow based 160-grain FMJ would work in ALL 6.5 Carcanos, gain twist or not. If I had the time and money, I would have someone make me a swage die that I could use to reverse the ends on their existing .264 round nose bullet and impart a mild hollow base to them, which I think would solve the safety issues and provide equal or better accuracy and game performance. Hollow base bullets played a big part in the development of European military rifles during the late 1800's and is well established technology for deep rifled barrels, which is one reason I feel it would work now just as well. Anyway, thanks for the interesting information on development of this bullet.



shjoe
Posted - 04/08/2004 : 12:33:14 PM
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great topic and information gentlemen. i have ben using yugo prvi 139gr loads in my 6.5 TS carbine (37"long, 17.5" barrel, and 6 lbe field ready weight) with good off hand hunting accuracy (4" groups at 100meters), and without signs of excess pressure. before i begin reloading the 6.5, i may try the sierra .264 160gr bullet also. i am told that when loaded correctly, has some qualities that the hornady bullet does not. i am sure that i will try both, and follow hornadys recomendations.



djenkins
Posted - 04/12/2004 : 07:46:09 AM
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Buffalo makes a 140 grain .268 spitzer shaped bullet that I have used with great success in my M91 with H4895 and regular winchester primers.

Originally posted by dgv2
Gentlemen, your comments are very interesting. My personal experiences with the big 6.5 Hornady bullet in the M1891 Carcano rifle have been sufficiently hair raising to convince me that although Hornady made a good try, this bullet still should NOT be used in M1891 rifles. I am afraid someone will be hurt and more rifles wrecked. I am also convinced that a .264 hollow based 160-grain FMJ would work in ALL 6.5 Carcanos, gain twist or not. If I had the time and money, I would have someone make me a swage die that I could use to reverse the ends on their existing .264 round nose bullet and impart a mild hollow base to them, which I think would solve the safety issues and provide equal or better accuracy and game performance. Hollow base bullets played a big part in the development of European military rifles during the late 1800's and is well established technology for deep rifled barrels, which is one reason I feel it would work now just as well. Anyway, thanks for the interesting information on development of this bullet.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Reloading data straight from Hornady

NebrHogger
Posted - 04/26/2004 : 8:22:23 PM
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Does anyone have handy Hornady's weight range for H414 powder in the 6.5 Carcano? I'm using the .268 160 grainer, of course. I bought some powder this afternoon and meant to jot the info onto the powder can, but the shop owner & I got to swapping stories of the turkeys we'd shot last week. - The first liar doesn't stand a chance! Thanks! SW
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If you got to shoot, Shoot! Don't talk!



Parashooter
Posted - 04/27/2004 : 12:16:33 AM
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This was posted by Aethelbert a little while back -





NebrHogger
Posted - 04/27/2004 : 08:56:49 AM
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That works! Thank you!! SW
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Author Topic
Dave Gafvert
Posted - 05/19/2004 : 4:22:53 PM
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I am in need of a safe starting load for this
caliber. I loaded 20 rounds with 27.2 Grns of
IMR4895, a 160 Grn Hornady JSP bullet and STD
Lg, rifle primer. The result was a face full of oil
and brass particles and a melted rim
on the case (new Graf brass) and a primer
pocket .258 in dia, I have e-mailed Hornady
as the load I used is in the vol,2 book but
have yet to hear from them. 3 days!
The rifle is marked "17" for 1917 and is in
very good condition, headspace checked O'Kay.



Parashooter
Posted - 05/19/2004 : 6:20:22 PM
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The data below is from Hornady for the .268" 160-grain bullet. They spent a good deal of effort developing some specific loads for this bullet. If you want to try other loads, be sure not to use the .268" bullet.





Dave Gafvert
Posted - 05/19/2004 : 9:27:57 PM
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Thanks Parashooter, I will try the IMR 4064 @ 29.3
grns. On the primer, does WLRM stand for Winchester
Large Rifle Magnum ?
In all the years I have been reloading I have never
used magnum primers.
Please disregard the question about the archduke.



Parashooter
Posted - 05/20/2004 : 09:58:11 AM
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Yes, magnum primers are specified and apparently critical for safety. If you look around the old posts on this forum, you may find some information directly from the developer at Hornady.



Aethelbert
Posted - 05/20/2004 : 11:06:25 AM
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Hmmm. I don't have vol.2 of the Hornady book (just the Speer and Hogdon manuals) but it sure sounds like over-pressure to me (disclaimer here: I am certainly no expert!). It could have been the primer although I was told by the good folks at a local firearms store (in business with the same family for over 70 years) that large rifle primers might give erratic pressures in cold weather and that magnum rifle primers would help preclude that possiblility. But I have heard reports in the past of higher than expected/normal pressures developing during hot weather because of factors like the cartridges themselves having warmed up due to exposure to direct sunlight, unequal distribution of the powder inside the case (I've seen shooters at the range actually hold the rounds horizontal and gently shake them to achieve equal distrubution), and also using a minimal powder charge. Apparently, sometimes you can actually get higher pressure spikes with a lesser powder charge?

Did the vol.2 Hornady manual say the load was for the .268" bullet or the .264" bullet? Just wondering.



Dave Gafvert
Posted - 05/20/2004 : 12:06:04 PM
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The Hornady vol,2 calls out .264 dia, bullets and
the loads are for the "M1891 TS CARBINE (TERN).
When I ordered the bullets from Graf they told me
these bullets were for the 6.5 Carcano rifles. At any
rate I think PARASHOOTER solved the problem with the data he posted.
When I try these loads I will tie the cotton picken
rifle down on a tire and set it off with a string,
THEN I will check the cases for signs of high pressure.



old-guns
Posted - 05/21/2004 : 01:23:59 AM
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You noted that you checked headspace before your test fired the rifle with your handloads.

You might want to RE-check the headspace on your Carcano after the incident.

As an aside, which headspace gauge(s) did you use? NO-GO, GO, or FIELD-REJECT? Manufacturer?



Dave Gafvert
Posted - 05/21/2004 : 6:07:01 PM
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I had the headspace checked by a local gunsmith as I
don't have the gages.
I agree that would be a good idea and I will have it done before I shoot it, thanks



Dave Gafvert
Posted - 05/23/2004 : 7:12:26 PM
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I went to the range today with the reloads made to the spec's I received from Hornady (same as those on Parashooters chart).

Rifle check, Lands .2572, Grooves .2690
Hornady 160 grn JSP bullets .2678 dia,
Graf & Son 6.5 Carcano cases. WLRM Primers.
Powder charge, 35.0 Grns of W 760 each checked on a 10/10 scale.
C.O.L. 2.960 Caliper.
Three shots fired. First two had flat primers, but not cratered.
Third shot, primer fell out of case, pocket checks .225 dia,.
See my ad in WTS, Dies and reloading supplies for the 6.5 Carcano
for sale, all new stuff, 5 bullets short of 200. The rifle will go on
display, the ONLY one of my WW1 guns I do not shoot.
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Edited by - Dave Gafvert on 05/23/2004 7:14:17 PM



airdale
Posted - 05/23/2004 : 7:36:17 PM
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Dave, use the .264 dia bullets and you will proberly be ok. I have a 91/41 that has the same problem with .268 dia bullets and i went back to the .264 with no more problems. Both my 91/38's shoot the .268's just fine, these italian rifles are fussy eaters.



Dave Gafvert
Posted - 05/23/2004 : 10:04:16 PM
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Hi Airdale, Is the bullet diameter the only change?
Do you still follow the loading data as to powder
charge and magnum primers. I have never had problems
like this, and I have made ammo for a number of guns
that are really odd balls. like the French mod 1873
revolver.



airdale
Posted - 05/23/2004 : 11:08:23 PM
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Yes the bullet dia is all you need to change but you can use either magnum or standard primers with the .264 bullets.



airdale
Posted - 05/24/2004 : 12:08:23 AM
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Dave, forgot to mention that you need to check your exspander/decapping rod to see if its for .264 or .268. If its .268 then you will have to get a .264 or the bullets will be too loose in the case neck. I have both so i can use either bullet.



old-guns
Posted - 05/24/2004 : 02:49:40 AM
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<<<I had the headspace checked by a local gunsmith as I don't have the gages. I agree that would be a good idea and I will have it done before I shoot it, thanks>>>


You're lucky that your gunsmith even *has* 6.5 Carcano gauges. Many 'smiths don't have them. I'll relate a personal experience that left me cold.

Ten years ago, before I got "heavily" involved in collecting C&R guns, I bought a Carcano rifle. Having no headspace gauges at the time, I took it to a highly-regarded gunsmith in my area. I told him to do a complete safety check on the rifle. He said okay, and he had it for a couple days.

When I returned to pick up the rifle, I asked for a summary sheet of the things he checked. He said he hadn't written down his findings, but he said the rifle "checked out".

Curious, I asked him if he had checked both the NO-GO and the FIELD dimmensions. He got a funny look on his face, put his head down and mumbled, "headspace was okay".

Getting suspicious, I asked him if I could take a look at the gauges, as I was planning to buy a set for myself. He quickly told me he didn't have them at store (his shop was in the back of the store).

I grabbed my gun, paid him, and left quickly, happy in the knowledge that I would never return to his establishment.

Carcano headspace gauges can be purchased from Clymer Tool Company (http://www.clymertool.com) for $50 per gauge ($150 for the set of 3 gauges). 6.5X52 gauges are not common (Clymer makes the Carcano gauges on demand; they don't stock an inventory of them). You would be surprised how many Carcano collectors don't have these gauges!

I now own headspace gauges for all of the "obsolete" calibers (that's what the gunsmiths call them, not me). I own Carcanos, Mosin-Nagants, Arisakas, and Swedish Mausers. I consider headspace gauges to be an integral part of my collection, ranking in importance with earplugs and shooting glasses. I routinely monitor the headspace on guns that I have shot for years, noting any changes from earlier checks.

Safety checks can be done by an amateur. All it takes is a little knowledge of how to detail-strip a rifle and what to look for, a good strong light, a magnifying lens, a dental pick, and a set of headspace gauges.



Dave Gafvert
Posted - 05/24/2004 : 10:43:42 AM
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Hi Old-Guns, Before I went to work for Sturm Ruger I worked at H.S.
Precision here in Prescott, Az. We made test barrels for both the
government and the ammunition companys. One of the other employees
that is still here had a number of odd ball headspace gages he sold
to a local gunsmith.
At H.S. I was the prototype machinist doing all the pressure test ports,transducers and revolver test barrels. We also made Spl,
rifles for the military.
At Ruger I was the supervisor of the Q.A. dept, prior to that I was
a aerospace machinist for 32 years.



Dave Gafvert
Posted - 05/24/2004 : 5:13:50 PM
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EUREKA!!! Thanks Airdale that did it. Bought a box
of Sierra 160 grn, .264 dia, bullets and loaded them
to the same spec,s 10 rounds, out to the range again.
18.6 miles one way.

Fired all 10 with no signs of excess pressure, shoots
high but that is no problem.
One thing it does do. It shakes the hell out of my
faith in reloading manuals. Hornady could have told
me to try the smaller dia, bullet when they sent me
the new data.
 

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My latest information for reloading for the 6.5 Carcano:

A handy device for reloaders is the availablity of custom bullet sizing kits available from Lee Precision. You have but to call their toll-free number and advise them the diameter you want. The dies are $25.00 each shipped, and delivery takes around 3 weeks.

I first used one of these in .268 while trying for better accuracy in my M91-24. With the tight twist portion of the barrel having been cut away, the remainder had too slow a rate to effectively stabilize the long 160 grain bullets - commercial and surplus.

I reasoned a shorter, lighter bullet would have better accuracy potential so I resized some 130 grain .277 bullets. Accuracy was still not as I prefer but was substantially better than the longer bullets. I was getting 4.5" to 6" groups at 50 yards as opposed to 9" and more.

Carrying this idea farther, I have begun sizing down 150 grain .277 bullets and experimenting with Varget powder. While I have only fired 60 rounds so far, I am seeing good accuracy potential. Best of all, I have experienced NO pressure spikes as I have with the 160 grain, .268 Hornady bullet using powders like IMR 3031.

I feel this is a worthwhile experimentation as the bullet would be better for hunting applications than the 160 grainer. I also believe that eventually someone will wreck their 6.5 Vetterli and injure themselves using Hornady factory ammo with the .268 bullet. The resulting lawsuit will surely result in the 160 grain bullet being pulled from the market.

In which case, it's well to have an alternative plan.

It's too soon for me to post what loads I am using as I have yet to find the accuracy 'sweet spot'. I am using my best M41, and once I get an accurate load, I'll try it in an M91 long rifle.

Another Italian collector/shooter is also experimenting with this and may have more to add in the months to come. If anyone else would care to try, I have been using the bullet as described, Varget powder and standard large rifle primers. The kits are meant for cast bullets, but thoroughly lubed jacketed bullets resize nicely, as well.

More to follow in a few months. SW
 

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Discussion Starter #14
6.5x52 dies and case life

Joe in KY
Posted - 12/21/2004 : 10:40:38 PM
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I have been looking for some dies that don't overwork the case mouths on my 6.5 brass. Right now I have Lee dies with a .267 expander but the dies are made for sizing brass to load .264 bullets.
I have been just neck sizing enough to hold the .268 bullet without completely resizing the whole neck. All the die makers I talked to were still making their dies for .264 diameter bullets. I would be interested to know what some of you guys are doing in this area. TIA Joe



Fred J. Wahl
Posted - 12/22/2004 : 01:42:53 AM
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Hi, TIA Joe,
I've had the same problem with my two Carcanos, and ordered in the .267 expander from Lee. What I've done is to neck size the cases by using a Lee 6.5 Swedish Mauser Collet neck sizing die, after shortening the base portion of the insert to conform with the Carcano case length. What I do is run the case up into the Swede .264 collet WITHOUT compressing it down, and it comes out pretty close to being right for the .268 bullet neck tension. In order to get the primer punch/expander to stay in the die, I threaded the rear end of the shaft so a nut and washer will thread unto it, then slid the expander/punch up into the die from the bottom, thru the neck sizing collet, and put the retainer nut and washer on the shaft, then screwed the aluminum retainer cap and "O" ring back onto the die. (You may have to drill out the inside of the retainer cap a bit, so the new nut will fit inside it. It works for me! I've been thinking of having Lee make me a special bullet crimping die in .268, (the original Italian Mil-surp ammo I have, has a bullet crimp on the case neck--)
What have you been using to neck size the cases? I was looking into getting a Hornady neck sizing die that uses bushings of different sizes, but didn't see one in .267 size, you would think they'd make one, since they are the only ones making .268 bullets!
I'd been interested in hearing back from you, on the above, and also how your rifle(s) have fared accuracy wise, with the new .268 bullets. (Did you get a copy of Hornady's (Dave Emary) special load sheet, for the .268 Hornady/Carcano bullets? I've tried every combo they listed, with the powders I have, (some of the ones listed I don't have--) In the event you DON'T have that list, DON'T fire the Carcano! They are VERY specific about using ONLY Magnum Rifle primers, and for God's sake DON'T reduce the loads below what they have listed! I had a bad detonation/spike on my long rifle, (trying to err on the side of caution), before Emary's load list came out. I had used 2 grains of #4064 below what Emary's loads listed, with regular Large Rifle primers, and the 2nd round I fired completly blew the primer out of the (Norma) case, severly expanded the primer flash hole and pocket, and jammed the case in the bore, and fused the head of the case to the bolt! The inherit toughness of the Carcano action saved my bacon, for sure, all I got was a small puff of gas back in my face!
I fired my Carcano Long rifle at the superb N.R.A. range in Va., around Thanksgiving time with the new (Emary)loads, and it did rather well, with the original
"Roller Coaster" sights. Of course, the N.R.A. range is only 50 yards long, so it isn't really a good test, will try it out at 100 yards when the weather breaks.
Cheers, Shoot Safely, Ride Safely, and Happy Holidys!
Fred (Honcho)



airdale
Posted - 12/22/2004 : 4:01:43 PM
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Joe I use Hornady 6.5 Carcano dies and when i want to neck size I use the spacer that came with my RCBS 357/38sp die set between the die and the press. This will size about 3/4 of the neck. I also use the RCBS #9 shellholder because it is a better fit than a #2.



Joe in KY
Posted - 12/27/2004 : 12:44:42 AM
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Hi guys, I hope you all had a good Christmas. Airdale, I am using a similar procedure to you on resizing the brass, I set the die to only resize a portion of the neck, I am using fairly light loads so I don't need to full length resize.
Fred, I have only loaded a few for my 6.5, I have so many other reloading projects going none seem to get all the attention they need. The only load I have used so far is 26.4 grs of BL-C2 with a Winchester large rifle standard primer with Norma brass overall length 2.89". I got 1 1/2" 50 yd groups with no pressure signs that I could see. I called Hornady first to see if they were making the right size die since they were making the bullets-- they weren't.
By the way I am shooting a 1943 M-41. Joe



Fred J. Wahl
Posted - 12/28/2004 : 03:34:04 AM
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Hi, Joe,
The load sheet that Dave Emary put together for the Carcanos was VERY specific about using ONLY magnum large rifle primers, in ALL the loads! (Did you get a copy of the load list? If not, say the word and I'll scan mine and E-mail it to you). Inlooking over Hornady's load list, I don't even see BL-C2 listed as a usable powder! The onlypowders listed were:IMR #4064, RL-15, Varget, XMR #4064, #H-414, and Win. #760. (Of the ones listed, I have IMR #4064, Varget,H-414, and WC 760, and have loaded up all the milder variations and loads, haven't had a chance to test fire them yet).



Joe in KY
Posted - 01/05/2005 : 7:59:03 PM
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Hi Fred Happy New Year! Slow getting back to the boards after the Holidays. I would really appreciate a copy of the Hornady data sheet. Do you have any idea why they specify magnum primers in such a small case? Looking back over some data for other calibers I am reminded that BL-C2 and H335 are both very finicky about what is a good load and what is too hot. In both instances I have had cratered primers or had cases jammed against the bolt face so hard I had to remove the bolt and break the case off over my knee. Both with loads that were below the max listed in several manuals. But when you've got a bunch of it and it meters sooo well and when it's not being cranky is very consistent it hard not to give it a another chance.



DMala
Posted - 01/05/2005 : 10:17:15 PM
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Dear Joe in KY, the topic of the proper loads for .268" bullets has been discussed multiple times on this board. See my post and the other discussions on this thread: http://www.gunboards.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=51045

There are very specific and important reasons not to deviate AT ALL from Hornady's recommendations for their .268" bullets.

Stay safe



kywoodwrkr
Posted - 01/10/2005 : 10:34:33 AM
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Joe,
Lyman made neck sizing dies for the 6,5 for both their 310 tool and the tru-line jr press.
These are the skinny dies which have a very intense thread pattern.
Wish I'd found this question earlier, maybe I could have talked you into going to the Cave City(KY) gunshow this last weekend and I could have brought some of the extra dies I have down.
Lyman also made a set of dies for the 7,35 as I have two sets of them still in the original boxes and wrappers.
Contact me if you're interested in trying these Lyman dies out.
Oh, you need an adapter to thread into the reloading press which is then inside threaded for these littler dies.
Drop me a line if you'd like to converse about these trinkets.
Thanks.
DaveP Kywoodwrkr



Joe in KY
Posted - 01/11/2005 : 2:18:42 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi Dave I'm not surprised that Lyman made 310 dies for the 6.5, seems like I have run across listings for about any caliber in 310 dies at some time or other. Are they sized for the .268 bullet? Thanks Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #15
140gr .264 bullet load

shjoe
Posted - 04/05/2005 : 08:46:08 AM
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does anyone have a decent 140gr .264 reload using either ww760 or imr4064 powder? these will be used in my 6.5 carbine. moschetto cavaliera. this way, if i cannot get reasonable groups, i can always switch to .268 bullets using the same powder. thanks, john



shjoe
Posted - 04/07/2005 : 06:46:06 AM
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i found a decent starting load using a lee dipper and 4895 powder. i will see what happens. thanks, john



Aethelbert
Posted - 04/08/2005 : 12:22:41 AM
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John,
First let me apologize for being so confoundedly slow at responding to your posting.

I used the Sierra 140 gr, .264" diameter bullet a while back and got good results with the load of IMR-4064 indicated on the target.

Distance was 22 yards. Why 22 yards? This was based information provided by the Norma ballistics website. With the bullet weight and approximate velocity and given the military combat sight range, the bullet should pass up through the line of sight at 22 yards. If the bullet is grouping and centered on the target at this 'zero' range, it should also be 'zeroed' for the combat sight range.

The target is patterned after the US Army's 25 meter 'zero' target. The vertical and horizontal lines form 1/2" squares. While we were told in the Army to center the white area (inside the black center of the target) inside our peep sight, I '6-o'clocked' that same white area. I am attaching a scan of one of the targets I fired that day.

The Army wanted us to get a 3 shot group all inside one of the squares, they had us firing a weapon with almost no noticeable recoil (compared with any milsurp bolt-action rifle) and from a prone, supported position toward a target that was slightly down-hill from the firing line. I was firing from a standing position, leaning against an upright at a target on the same level as I was and, obviously, while the Carcano's felt/apparent recoil is less substantial than many other rifle (Mosin-Nagant, Mauser K-98, Arisaka, Springfield, Brit Enfield, etc), the recoil is much, much more than that of the gas-operated M-16A1/A2. Also, instead of a peep sight with laterally-adjustable rear sight and vertically-adjustable front sight, the Carcano has an open sight (with a 'quaint' sight hold), no lateral adjustment (other than with a small hammer and a brass drift). Enough folks have commented on the lesser accuracy of open sights when compared with peep sights that it needs no comment here.

The accuracy and power of this load fired from my M-91 6.5 mm Moschetto per Cavaleria is within the limits necessary for hunting whitetail deer at the usual North Carolina distances of 100-120 yards.

Let us know how the load you decided on works out.

David
http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/Aethelbert/20054801618_Carcano Target, Sierra 140 gr, 10-28-01.jpg
Download Attachment:
229.24 KB



shjoe
Posted - 04/09/2005 : 3:35:12 PM
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nice shootin' tex. i agree, more than adequate for either north carolina or new england white tails. my carcano is one of my favorite hunting rifles. light weight (6lbs field ready), 17.5" barrel, and only 37" long. fast handling with ghost ring style sights,very handy and easy carrying while going through the maine woods. now if i can coax 2 min of angle accuracy out of it, perfect. inter-net info indicates 4064 as an excellant choice. others do well with 4895 and H380 with the 264 bullet. recently it was mentioned to me that Alliant RL-15 can be very good also. i may try 4064 and some RL-15 for starters with the sierra .264 140gr bullet. i will post targets and my developed load data when completed. thanks for you response and interest, john.



Aethelbert
Posted - 04/09/2005 : 11:14:57 PM
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John,
One more thing. I have always used standard large rifle primers in my handloads. Fired well over 1,000 rounds with good results. Last year, though, I had one round with a pressure spike -- part of the primer actually wound up about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way down the barrel. Nothing bad happened as I had noted the difference in recoil and cleared the rifle and checked the barrel.

Dave Emery at Hornady and others right here on this forum advised that only large magnum rifle primers be used to reduce the chance of such pressure spikes.

David
Just a thought.



shjoe
Posted - 04/10/2005 : 06:28:50 AM
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good idea. i have read of the same suggestion in these forums myself. it seems that in very cold weather the ignition can be erratic. also, i am thinking that any time a rifle case is not filled within 20% or less of case volume, the powder may not ignite properly. interestingly, none of the powder companies i contacted suggested magnum primers, even when i asked about them. thanks, john
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Buffalo Arms oversize 6,5mm Bullets

djenkins
Posted - 09/15/2005 : 02:35:51 AM
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I was concerned that Buffalo Arms would quit handling the oversize 140 grain bullet that does so well in my old rifle. Looks like they have just added the 160 grain Hornady bullet also. Maybe this will work out ok after all.<G>

http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm?viewfrom=25&catid=92&step=2

Dennis Jenkins
 

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Discussion Starter #17
airdale
Posted - 09/25/2005 : 5:45:56 PM
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My most accurate load is 36grs Win.760 powder, Win. large rifle magnum primer and Hornady 160gr. (.268 dia.) bullet. You should only use data that is in Hornady's 6th edition reloading manual with the .268 bullet.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Using downsized .270 bullets...

NebrHogger
Posted - 10/23/2005 : 7:23:25 PM
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The FAET68 stamp (of this M 91/41 long rifle) means it was refurbed for export at Terni arsenal in 1968. I also have one so marked. With sized down 130 grain 270 bullets and IMR 4064 powder, it's very accurate. Airdale has been experimenting with the same bullet & Varget with excellent results.



mag
Posted - 10/25/2005 : 3:23:44 PM
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I have a few questions for the guys that are reporting great accuracy using down sized bullets. .308 to .300 , .277 to .268 . I have down sized 1000's of bullets for about 50 different rifles of many calibers. In every case I get poor accuracy and about 20% flyers.

I am wondering if my accuaracy standards are different and that is why I feel that my efforts are not working. I feel a 2 inch 5-shot group AVERAGE from at least 5 groups at 100 yards is accurate. I do not shoot any at 50 yards (stabilization problems do not show up that close), I do not shoot 3 shot groups, I do not pick the best 5 out of a 12 shot group and I count every shot of a 5 shot group, flyer or not. Are you really getting a 2 inch or less average group size? mag



airdale
Posted - 10/26/2005 : 06:43:49 AM
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No Mag I am not getting 2" groupes. I consider a standard mil surplus rifle with issue sights that produce 3" average 5 shot groupes at 100yds as excellent accuracy. One that would produce 2" or better I would call outstanding accuracy.

The .277 to .268 is still very much in the testing stage. I fired 4 clips at 50 yds to get a feel for where the bullets would print on the target and they were grouping 1"- 1 1/2". The other 4 clips I fired at 100yds and they were hanging in the 3" range. I have some more sized and loaded with different Varget powder weights that I am going to test and chronograph maybe this afternoon.
I have had the best results with sizing .308 to .300 with Speer 150gr SP flat base bullets. I tried some 147gr BT FMJ bullets and they didn't work as well, like you say, the flyers showed up.
I only resize bullets for the Carcanos because there aren't many options available and I found it more cost effective to buy the sizing dies and experment myself than to buy bullets from specialty places that are doing nothing but resizing themselves.

BTW when you were testing the .268 hornady bullet did you try different COL lenghts? I have been using 2.980 and 2.960 as COL and am wondering if maybe a shorter COL may help some of the rifles that is having problems with the .268 bullet.



mag
Posted - 10/27/2005 : 01:36:34 AM
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I have test fired over 200,000 rounds through about 1200 different military rifles of every type. I only buy rifles with a good bore and in good shootable condition. Every smallbore rifle no matter what type will do 2 inch 5-shot groups at 100 yards with it's best load. The old bigbores run about 3 inches. I have many that will hold right at 1.25 average which is as good as I can do with issue sights. I have 100's of sub 1 inch groups, but I can not do that every time.

Our rifle club has been shooting monthly military rifle matches for about 10 years. I have scored all the targets. Over the years the guys have got pretty good, it all comes down to the ammo. A 2 inch group is average at each match, with the top placers at about 1.25. We egt several 1 inch groups each match. The club record is 0.62 and we have had many sub 0.80 groups. This is with about 40 different shooters using about every type rifle. Everyone handloads as surplus is a sure ticket to last place. The bullseye on our target is 2 inches, so we use a 2 inch standard as a good shooter. mag



mag
Posted - 10/27/2005 : 01:56:03 AM
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The point I was trying to make is different people have a different standard for accuracy. I use 2 inches as that is what is needed to be competitive in our matches. Now if a guy only shoots at a 12 inch gong, he does not need that. Same for hunting, unless you are after really small deers.
I gave up on the down sized bullets as they could not shoot well enough to hold the bullseye, where as other bullets in the same rifles would. Also I forgot to answer your other question. I feel the bore resistance is the problem with the .268 bullet, that is unrelated to load lenght. And with all the test shooting I do, I do try many different lenghts, powders, velocities and bullets. I have used up over 1000 of the .268 bullets. One thing I have found out in all that testing is .002 will make a big difference and the rifles will vary more than that for several reasons.

My next project is to test the Hornady .329 bullet in my 21 rifles chambered in 8mm Lebel. I have already tested them all with .323 bullets, but with 300 of the new Graf cases in I am ready to try 1000 of the .329 bullets. I have slugged all the bores and figure 8 will shoot the .329 well, 10 are to small to do well, and 3 are big enough but have too deep of rifling which will distort the bullet too much for good accuracy. I will try a few in the rifles I do not think will do well just to confirm, bit I do not have high hopes for them. mag
 

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Discussion Starter #19
NebrHogger
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
1943 Posts
Posted - 11/21/2005 : 7:52:55 PM
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Roger,

Use caution when reducing loads - you can get 'pressure spikes' this way.

If you are using .264 bullets, and your bore is worn and was .268 to begin with , accuracy will most likely not be what you had hoped for.

All of these rifles will not shoot well - you just have to keep experimenting and find an accurate one. So far, I have gotten the best 6.5X52 accuracy from an M41 and a load using resized 270 bullets of the 130 grain weight. I sized them to .268 with a custom Lee sizing die.

I have not tried the Hornady 123 grainer - I used resized 150 grain 30-30 bullets in hard cast & jacketed. I shoot a lot of 30-30, so it's an economical way to go for me. SW



shjoe
Posted - 11/24/2005 : 08:54:52 AM
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i had experienced some keyholing in a carcano rifle at 100yds, just kept it in the "collector" area and dont shoot it anymore. my modified cav carbine cal 6.5x52, 17.5" barrel, ghost ring sights. shot 139gr privi ammo in 14" "group", scatered about the target at 100yds with no key holing. my reloads for this carbine using sierra 140gr bullets and 29gr Reloader 15 have worked very well for me. i now have a 4" 3 shot groups at 100yds, without extraction problems or signs of excess pressure in my rifle. the front fiber optic sight covers about 4moa at 100yds, so there could be a bit more accuracy there. as always, approach all loads cautiously, your milage may vary. being curious, i wonder what a 22-24" .264 barrel and a scope might produce. hmmmm. another project. john



Fred J. Wahl
Posted - 11/26/2005 : 11:06:27 PM
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I haven't seen anybody mention about the set of loads for the Carcano 6.5's put together by Hornady's Dave Emary, I wouldn't use anytyhing else, besides factory Milsurp, or the new Hornady ammo made for the Carcanos in your rifles-- Dave Emary made very strong statements about using only MAGNUM primers in ALL his published loads, and NOT reducing his loads, AT ALL!
I had used an old 60's vintage Hornady manual with their new .268 bullets, (not the .264 bullets listed in the loads), and figured I would reduce the loads a bit, to be on the safe side. BIG mistake, as I experienced SERIOUS pressure spikes! The strange thing was that the first two loads worked fine, with no signs of pressure, but the third one blew the primer clean out of the pocket, and enlarged the pocket tremendously! (No harm done, all I got was a small puff of gas, back in my face-- the Carcano action is one tough dude!) I had to hammer the bolt open with a piece of wood, tho, and the case head was so fused to the bolt, the lettering wasn't readable on the Norma brass! The problem with reducing the load, is that all the powder doesn't always rest at the back of the case, on ignition, and it doesn't all ignite at once. The bullet starts down the bore and lodges there, then the rest of the powder ignites, causing tremendous pressure in trying to force the bullet out of the barrel. The recoil was normal, and there was no discernable pause in ignition, as with a "hangfire". It didn't do any damage to the rifle, again, a testimony to the toughness of the Carcano action.

Dave Emary's loads list is available here on the site, or in Hornady's newest manual, suggest checking them out, and following them to the letter!Keep us posted!

Cheers,
Fred (Honcho)
 
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