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Awhile back I got some of the 6.5 Carcano ammo AIM was selling and have been slowly pulling it down for components- namely the bullets but also the solenite powder is in remarkably good shape. It seems just the primers and brass had gone south on this stuff.

So after pulling a few hundred rounds and seeing macaroni style solenite, imagine my surprise when I see this case.

The powder is very fine chopped tube- like mini solenite. It is a standard cupro nickel bullet, and the case is stamped LN C-23.

Is this the earlier Ballastite load? The Carcano website says that it went out of use in the mid teens, and this cartridge is very clearly dated 1923. Or? You tell me, what is this stuff?

 

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It seems a balistite charge. The balistite lasted for the entire production of the Carcanos, for special purpose cartridges (as the cartridges for "prova forzata", forced proof, with slight dimensional changes from the standard). Its possible that your is one of them (the "prova forzata" cartridges have a star stamped on the case),or that the wrong charge was used on a normal cartridge for mistake.

http://www.il91.it/Sito/Munizioni/Zannol.htm
 

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Awhile back I got some of the 6.5 Carcano ammo AIM was selling and have been slowly pulling it down for components- namely the bullets but also the solenite powder is in remarkably good shape. It seems just the primers and brass had gone south on this stuff.

So after pulling a few hundred rounds and seeing macaroni style solenite
Dear Jonk, if you'll allow an interested question:

How have been your meanwhile experiences with re-loading the Solenite propellant? Any favourite load weights, any other bullets used in front of Solenite except the Italian milsurp?

Best regards and thanks,
Carcano
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Sorry for the slow response; I was out of the country for a few weeks.

I will examine my notes on the solenite charges this weekend, as they are in my parent's house. The apartment doesn't offer much room for reloading.

A few things I do remember though-

Whatever the average solenite charge was (based on about 10 rounds) I dropped it by about 2 grains. I did this not so much because just transferring the charge caused pressure problems (it didn't) but because I had a hard time getting the whole original charge into a new case, and wanted to normalize the powder weights across all loads anyhow. I THINK that the result was about 30 grains but don't quote me on that until I can check my notes. It meters pretty poorly as might be supposed, and as all dates of cartridges had similar charge weights, within normal variation, I just blend everything together and dispense from a trickler to even out weight.

The big trick is settling the powder when reloading with pulled components. It is very large grain stuff and use of a drop tube or holding the case against a running tumbler is recommended. Some have suggested using a mag primer; I've tried it and not found any difference. Cases were PRVI, dies Lee with the standard expander. The .268 expander allows the bullet to slip too much to provide good ignition.

Best accuracy using both the original bullet and powder from a FAT 91/41 was perhaps 3.5-4". Using the original bullet and new powder, maybe 3". That's the best I've managed for a 5 shot group at 100 yards. Of course the sights are pretty bad too. I've not tried using the original powder with a new bullet, just new powder with the original bullet or both original powder and original bullet.

I've also reloaded some of these bullets and this powder into my Italian made 6.5 Jap Type I with very nice results.

Will get a pic of the headstamp on that cartridge up in the next day or two as well, but it might not come out well- being as the original headstamps weren't so clear anyhow.
 
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