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Discussion Starter #1
Original thread title: "Initial firing test of TS 8mm carcano (long)"

Frank
Posted - 12/28/2003 : 8:08:43 PM
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I had some spare time this afternoon, so I finally gave my TS 8mm it's first fing test. Short report: it is going to be a good shooter. Long report: After careful reading of the recent discussions concerning these carbines, I decide to approach this project with caution. Also,not having any 8mm head space gauges I proceeded with the following.

After selecting some once fired US commercial 8mm Mauser cases that were a slightly tight fit in the Carcano's chamber, I neck sized the cases and loaded them with the minimum load for IMR 4895 powder and Speer .321 170 grain bullets. This load approximates the US commercial loading which is mild due to all the Model 88 Commission rifles still around plus other liability concerns. Six suitable cartridges were produced that would just close with slight extra bolt pressure (with the firing pin removed from the bolt).

Thus, I proceeded about a mile into the woods behind my house. Air temperature about 8 degrees F. with 8 inches of snow. I did not want to upset the local cross country skiers !! Tied the carbine to a tree while aimed at a safe back stop. Using a long string plus eye protection, I fired the first round which was a US commercial cartridge just to see if the carbine was going to hold together. Everything checked OK with a little brass expansion at the base but with easy extraction. Next, three rounds of the reloads where fired with the rifle still tied to the tree. Normal function and extraction with normal expansion at the base of the brass (less than with the commercial load). Next three reloads were fired offhand at 50 yards producing a 3 inch group at point of aim using the Italian sight picture (front sight low in rear vee notch).

Conclusions: This particular rifle functions OK with reloads equivalent to US commercial loads. Accuracy appears good from this short test. Next: continue testing with fire formed mild reloads and various brands of US commercial ammunition to see which gives the best accuracy. I do not plan to test this rifle to destruction; but will fire some military surplus cartridges in the next testing later this week, just to know the results.

Frank



woettinger
Posted - 12/30/2003 : 8:53:47 PM
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Kewl.. Keep us informed



Emperor
Posted - 12/31/2003 : 10:31:36 AM
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Last week I finally shot my 8mm purchased from Springfield Sporters before they closed. After all the discussion, it was a little scary. But it didn't blow up on the first shot so I tried a few more.

The problem I was having was extracting the fired shell. I had to pound the bolt handle against the wooden table to move it back. Each time I did this the extractor would get pulled out of the bolt. To get the shell out of the chamber, I had use a cleaning rod pushed down the barrel. Needless to say, I didn't miss not having an 8mm clip to hold more cartridges in the magazine! After about five tries, I was done.

What is the solution to this problem, polishing the chamber?



Carcano
Posted - 12/31/2003 : 10:33:54 AM
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Emperor: what ammo were you using ?



Emperor
Posted - 01/01/2004 : 7:24:43 PM
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The ammo was some German 8mm that I got from J&G. It is very clean on the outside, I think dated 1939.

I have not cleaned up and tried any of the recent 8mm rifles I purchased from Century during their special. It will be interesting to see if the extractors on those are a little more secure.



Carcano
Posted - 01/03/2004 : 1:45:56 PM
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Emperor: your ammo is part of the problem. While I will concede that a decently-made gun "should" digest 8mm milsurp without any problem, we have counselled time and again against such practice...

I did test fire another Moschetto TS 38 "S" today (serial no. 189 on barrel and RA 189 on buttstock, marked 7.9 on rear sight). The extraction was absolutely smooth and flawless, and accuracy at 50 metres was a truly delightful surprise (I fired from about 16.00-17.00 hours, with already waning light). I used Igman, Remington and Winchester ammo.



Hambone
Posted - 01/04/2004 : 10:11:29 AM
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If Emperor's problem is the ammo, and the ammo he was using was standard German WW2 issue 8mm, then what was the TS 8mm designed to fire? There has long been speculation that a reduced loading was required, but wouldn't that defeat the purpose (i.e., interchangeability) of the 8mm chambering in the first place? Troops in the field don't have the luxury of reloaders, chronographs, digital powder scales, and time to custom tailor specific loads to individual rifles. My extraction problems were exactly those described with three kinds of 8mm surplus.



Carcano
Posted - 01/04/2004 : 10:47:39 AM
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The observation of Hambone is justified; I am not aware of any "reduced" 8mm loadings, apart from the (rare) civilian Norwegian 8mm load for converted Krag rifles. This conversion is - as many converted weapons are - not one of the best: just see the rather crudely drilled chambers of many.

My previous 8mm carbine had very hard extraction with the Portuguese FNM ammo. The latest one of yesterday (serial no. 189 / RA 189) I have not yet fired with surplus, but its accuracy was surprising: I managed to fire a 0.5" inch group of three shots at 50 metres with Remington SP, but the waning light made the five-shot group open up, since I was not able to align the front sight properly anymore. Five earlier shots of Igman 170 gr SP ammo had grouped at 1.25" x 2" at 50 metres, which is not too bad either: well, non of my guns shoots better with Igman, so it's about the optimum that can be achieved.

The full-power Igman shot 15" high, while the milder Remington was only 2" high at 50 metres - which tells us something about the different muzzle velocity.



carlnpa
Posted - 01/04/2004 : 1:15:31 PM
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I have four of these all with rough chambers and believe this may have been done intentionally. These rifles were all finished with care in many other areas. I would not smooth out the chambers as I think this very roughness significantly reduces the load on the bolt.



Carcano
Posted - 01/04/2004 : 2:52:10 PM
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*Scratches head*

Yes, carlnpa - that indeed was my initial assumption too (as witnessed in some olden postings of mine to rec.guns, in the Gun & Knife fora and elsewhere). But I am not so sure anymore whether I was right there. Might still be.



Kivaari
Posted - 01/11/2004 : 3:56:04 PM
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Frank
Interesting proofing technique...:^)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Lars
Posted - 02/06/2004 : 10:25:16 PM
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As I recall if you have the 8mm version of the Carcano M38 it should already have the 8mm clip latch installed. In which case you can use a standard Carcano clip, (the brass type is more flexible for this) and you can put at least 5 rounds in the clip. Load up and go.
The 8mm clip latch is marked with a 'J' (or an 'S', maybe?) and is found inside the mag well. It holds the clip the proper height for feeding. With the wrong clip latch it won't feed because the ammo's not held at the correct height.
Before doing anything to the rifle, the cheap and easy way to proceed is get a couple clips and see how it cycles ammo thru - with due safety of course.

I used some watered down American style Federal Cartridge 8mm soft point ammo in mine and accuracy was pretty darn good - and the brass is great for reloading. Had to build up the front sight to line up the elevation.



Lars
Posted - 02/07/2004 : 9:30:55 PM
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I know you don't need a nanny but I wouldn't use Turk ammo.
I tried a couple rounds and it was like a WWF Death Match wrestling that bolt open. I got a set of dies and with Turk powder weight reduced 10% (less approx 4 grains) it shoots and operates well.
As I recall the Romanian 8mm works OK too.
Your mileage may vary. Be careful out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Carcano
Posted - 03/28/2004 : 06:39:56 AM
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(...)
Since you wished me good shooting: I shot 8 rounds from my Moschetto TS 38 S yesterday. Flawless, smooth extraction and quite manageable recoil and jump "as such". But the gun did not like the specific ammunition very much (the new Sellier & Bellot match ammo with the 198 grains Sierra Matchking bullet), it shoots better with Geco SP RN.



Carcano
Posted - 09/01/2005 : 10:55:38 AM
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4. I just shot one of my 8mm carbines again. Handles quite nicely, but it's accuracy is extremely ammo dependent.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
8mm Carcano range results and questions

The following posting of Patrik ("Lebel1886" from the French Firearms board) would be most interesting if... yes, *IF* his images had still existed. But they have gone away on the Old Server. Maybe you would be able, dear Patrik, to repost them here again, in this thread?

Merci beaucoup, avec l'assurance de mes sentiments chaleureux,
Alexander

* * *

1886lebel
Moderator French Firearms Board
Posted - 05/23/2004 : 9:39:34 PM
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I recently just purchased a Moschetto Truppe Speciali M38 S chambered in 7.92x57mm as I always wanted to shoot one of these beasts and to my surprise the recoil is not all that bad ... kicks just as hard as my Berthier Carbines ...

I took it out today firing a total of 40 rounds, 20 rounds at 50 yards to find where it was shooting and rest at 100 yards, once I got the feeling of where it shooting I was able to get excellent results.

Here are the 100 yard targets .... I was using Commercial Remington 170 gr. Core-lokt SP

Download Attachment:
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Also I believe that this weapon was a post-war modification as the only marking on the whole weapon is the serial number on top of barrel and on the left side of stock at buttstock.
Question for Mon. French collector who knows nothing about Italian guns ... I believe that I just purchased an 8mm Carcano packet clip of ebay, I could not find anything about this particular packet clip ...

Download Attachment:
15 KB

Thanks
Patrick
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Vive La Belle France, Lebel y Poilu
http://www.reenactor.net/units/151ri/



NebrHogger
Posted - 05/23/2004 : 10:01:44 PM
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I don't know about the clip, but that's darn respectable shooting forthe coarse sights to be found on a Carcano! SW



tbaus
Posted - 05/25/2004 : 12:13:32 AM
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I agree with NebrHogger. That is darn nice shooting. I have a couple of rifles with the same type of markings (very few). I just posted some results with mine at 100 yards with a scope (under Dangerous 8mm thread title).

I just got mine sighted in for the last few rounds, but your shooting is every bit as good ( better) than mine. I am helping dispell too often repeated myths. Myth one -- the 8mm Carcano is not accurate. (hogwash as you just proved) myth two that the guns are somehow all dangerous ( more hogwash) -- and the myth that these guns are simply punishing to shoot.. (again more hogwash) ( I guess if all you ever shot was .22 LR, then this may be true.) I fired the same ammo by the way. Good job. Good shooting. Keep it coming. Good shootin'...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Frank
Posted - 09/20/2004 : 12:20:09 AM
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Shot my 8mm Carcano today using loads worked up for the 190 gr. cast lead bullet. From classic sitting position about 4" groups at 50 yds. and (luckily) 6" groups offhand at 75 yds. These are fun little rifles to shoot with the reduced loads.

I have made several mods. to get the carbine to function reliabily. I swapped out the clip retainer latch with one from a 6.5 because the original latch was holding the clip too low in the receiver. Also, had to file some on the openings at the rear of the brass clips to allow for the larger 8mm cartridge head. Clips will now hold 5 8mm rounds rather than the 6 6.5mm rounds.

Groups were about 4" low at 50 yds. using a normal sight picture. I will increase the powder change on the next reload to raise the point of impact. Would rather tailor the load to the sights that file on the front sight; thus keeping the sights usable for full power loads. With that in mind, I keep the loads equal to the US commercial power level to err on the safe side. Have tried the rifle with 7.9mm surplus just to see if things will hold together. Now that I have proved that, I will stick to the lighter loads !!

More updates as load development is done.

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter #6
airdale
Posted - 07/10/2005 : 3:42:00 PM
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Mark, most of these I see that are in excellent condition run in the $75-100 range.

I shoot mine using 47.5 grs. H414 and Speer 150 gr. SP bullets. This is a starting load from the Lyman 47th edition reloading manual that is a low pressure load (30,000 CUP) that is about the same pressure level as a 30-30 Win starting load. This tames the recoil to about the same as the 6.5 Carcano.

Also beware that a good many of these has excessive headspace. Mine will close on a field gage. I fireform my cases using 10-12 grs. of bullseye with the rest of the case filled with cream of wheat and capped with a wad of bread. I then neck size the cases for reloading.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
airdale
Posted - 10/23/2005 : 12:27:45 PM
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Roger I would start at the lowest load listed in your manual. My favorite load for the 8MM carcano is from the 48th edition Lyman manual using 150gr Speer SP bullet and 47.5 grs. H414 powder. This is a low pressure load (30,300 cup) that tames the recoil to about the same as the 6.5 Carcano and is very accurate in my rifle.
 
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