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 Post subject: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:18 am 
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I had the good fortune to find these "under the tree" this year. The M91/38 short rifle was on the rack at Cabela's with a $109 price tag. It was missing the hand guard and a band screw, with a tag saying it was non-functional and for "display only." I asked the salesman, and he said that someone had brought it back after complaining the "gun didn't work," so they were unloading it at their cost. He and I both surmised the firing pin had been ground or clipped (I later confirmed the pin was clipped). It is "Made Italy" marked, 6.5 caliber with a great bore.

The Troop Special Carbine I won at auction for $154. It was covered with surface rust and presented terribly, but has cleaned up nicely. It is a Brescia 1918 restocked to the 1928 pattern. This one also has a great bore. I also picked up a Model 1891 Carcano bayonet. It was a great Christmas for me, I also was lucky enough to obtain a really nice GEW 88/05 from Gunbuff58!
Here's some pics...


Attachments:
Carcano Christmas (1).JPG
Carcano Christmas (1).JPG [ 2.42 MiB | Viewed 3562 times ]
Carcano Christmas (2).JPG
Carcano Christmas (2).JPG [ 2.39 MiB | Viewed 3562 times ]
Carcano Christmas (7).JPG
Carcano Christmas (7).JPG [ 2.39 MiB | Viewed 3562 times ]
Carcano Christmas (6).JPG
Carcano Christmas (6).JPG [ 2.36 MiB | Viewed 3562 times ]
Christmas 2015.JPG
Christmas 2015.JPG [ 2.39 MiB | Viewed 3562 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:03 am 
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Nice pickup

the 38 is shunned by a lot of people but I quite like them and they do shoot reasonably well.

Love your carbine, been after one for quite a while.

Christmas has come to you this year.
Well done, you must have been good.

Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:13 am 
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Looks like you found some very good deals.

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 Post subject: Re: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:56 pm 
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vandle wrote:
Nice pickup

the 38 is shunned by a lot of people but I quite like them and they do shoot reasonably well.

Love your carbine, been after one for quite a while.

Christmas has come to you this year.
Well done, you must have been good.

Cheers


Thanks! I'm with you on the 38. Although I agree with most authorities that the design was long obsolete by 1938, I can understand what the Italians were going for with this one. It is a rugged compromise between the cumbersome long rifle and the (too short for general use) carbines. It was a case of trying to make the most out of what they had at hand, and in that sense was not a failure at all. It handles well and has a really solid feel, especially with that indestructible rear sight.

...and this little TS is a real honey. I can't get over how compact these are--photos don't do them justice!

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 Post subject: Re: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:02 pm 
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Rapidrob wrote:
Looks like you found some very good deals.

Funny story with the $109 deal at Cabela's...
I actually left the store without it at first. We were busy picking up gifts for my nephew, and I was rather distracted and a bit put off by the missing handguard and screw. Also, I was feeling a bit guilty over the fact that I was receiving two nice rifles for Christmas already. Sure enough, upon leaving the store I was instantly hit with regret. I knew that I would eventually want one of these for my collection, and would likely never find one at such a price--the 6.5 versions have become surprisingly scarce and relatively pricey. I told my wife my thoughts and she very sweetly urged me to call the store when we got home and have them hold it for me. I returned the next day and it was mine...

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 Post subject: Re: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:22 pm 
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PennsylvaniaRifleman wrote:


...and this little TS is a real honey. I can't get over how compact these are--photos don't do them justice!


They look toy like but wouldn't like to be facing the wrong end of one. :thumb:

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 Post subject: Re: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:23 am 
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Nice addition to the collection :thumb:

My 38 is one of my favorites to shoot. I was at the gun show in April with all intentions of picking out a nice Lithgow Lee Enfield when this quirky little carbine took my eye. Talked to the dealer, settled on a good price and the deposit was down and application was been sorted, went overseas for a month, came back to my permit, happily collected it jet lagged to hell the same day :thumb:

I'll be honest, whenever I see people bagging them out I do get a touch defensive.....


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 Post subject: Re: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:02 pm 
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TassieAzz wrote:
Nice addition to the collection :thumb:

My 38 is one of my favorites to shoot. I was at the gun show in April with all intentions of picking out a nice Lithgow Lee Enfield when this quirky little carbine took my eye. Talked to the dealer, settled on a good price and the deposit was down and application was been sorted, went overseas for a month, came back to my permit, happily collected it jet lagged to hell the same day :thumb:

I'll be honest, whenever I see people bagging them out I do get a touch defensive.....


I'm with you...in fact just today while trying out my TS carbine a guy felt compelled to tell me he owns a Carcano and doesn't like it as much as his Arisaka or Enfield. He said it's "not accurate" and "kicks too much." I asked him what model it was and what he was shooting in it. By his description, it was a cavalry carbine ("it has the skinny bayonet under it") and he has only shot "PPU" ammo in it. I told him that a lot of commercial ammo uses undersized bullets, and it's not unusual to have to tweak loads for the Carcano, blah blah blah. He was less than convinced and seemed unlikely to ever try to get the most out of his carbine. I should have just told him to "...sell it to me if you don't like it."

By the way, the TS did well for its first time out, although the guy next to me was probably unimpressed. Pictured is its first 15 round group, which measures less than 8 inches (100 yards from the bench). Regulation was a bit high (of course) and left. This was with my .268 Hornady 160 grain handloads. No pressure signs and perfect functioning. Again, for an 1890s era design with coarse sights and a short barrel, intended to give drivers and artillerymen some peace of mind, this is more than acceptable...

(P.S. I'll update this thread with the '38's performance once I get a firing pin for it.)


Attachments:
Carcano TS Carbine 1st group.JPG
Carcano TS Carbine 1st group.JPG [ 2.37 MiB | Viewed 3383 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:35 am 
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An offer to purchase would have been the best response to him.

While not an ideal design for the late '30s, the '38. Its certainly a functional design based on a what was once a state of the art action. I'd love to get my hands on an older model "long rifle" Carcano for comparison.


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 Post subject: Re: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:33 pm 
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I received a new firing pin for my '38 today from LibertyTree. Note how the old one appears to have had its tip intentionally ground or clipped off. The new one has a dark phosphate finish. I was surprised to find the action was noticeably stiffer with the new pin--difficult to open the bolt. If it doesn't smooth out a bit with use, I'm going to have to work on it a bit with some sandpaper or other means...

I also got a bayonet for it. I'll show it here after I finish cleaning it up a bit. It's the fixed-blade type, which from all I've read is probably most correct for a 6.5...


Attachments:
Carcano new firing pin (3).JPG
Carcano new firing pin (3).JPG [ 2.41 MiB | Viewed 3064 times ]
Carcano new firing pin (2).JPG
Carcano new firing pin (2).JPG [ 2.4 MiB | Viewed 3064 times ]
Carcano new firing pin (4).JPG
Carcano new firing pin (4).JPG [ 2.36 MiB | Viewed 3064 times ]
Carcano new firing pin (1).JPG
Carcano new firing pin (1).JPG [ 2.39 MiB | Viewed 3064 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:22 am 
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Well that would do it. There is a big difference in the lengths of the firing pin. Wouldn't have touched the primer. Wonder how the tip broke off? Once fired twice dropped #-o

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 Post subject: Re: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:55 am 
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A lot of the Carcano's that were brought in had their pins cut by the importer because they were " unsafe to fire " . This was brought about due to many people's non understanding about headspace , they importer did not want to warranty headspace on $ 49.00 rifles .


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 Post subject: Re: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:45 pm 
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PennsylvaniaRifleman wrote:
I was surprised to find the action was noticeably stiffer with the new pin--difficult to open the bolt. If it doesn't smooth out a bit with use, I'm going to have to work on it a bit with some sandpaper or other means...


Interesting how that was a new problem with a new firing pin.... My 91/38 bolt was always stiff to operate, especially after firing (basically having to whack the bolt with the palm of my hand to get it to open) I disassembled it completely, cleaned all of the oil off, that resembled motor oil, gave it a good soak in mineral turps, let it air dry and gave all the parts a good hit with Gun Slick Ultra-Lube. That rectified the problem for me. I mean its still a clunky action, but operates with ease :thumb:

I also had the suggestion from my gunsmith that fine-medium steel wool, wrapped around a piece of dowel in a drill, and gently using that to clean out any burrs in the action can improve it, I may give that a try and see if it improves it anymore.

That information is probably nothing new to you though :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:57 pm 
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Yeah it's really strange, with the old striker it felt like a "typical" Carcano--not the greatest but workable. I put this new one in and I mean it is a huge difference--I have to hold the rifle at gut level and give it a forceful tug to unlock the bolt. The only thing that is changed is the striker. Today I even mic'ed the diameters of the striker shaft and the "head" near the tip--they were not any larger than the old one. The striker drops into the bolt and spins freely before adding the spring and other parts--it's not binding in there. I spun the striker in a drill chuck and used some fine sandpaper, oil, and steel wool to polish off some of the phosphate finish, it still feels too clunky. I'll keep at it...

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 Post subject: Re: A Carcano Christmas!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:04 pm 
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diablodog wrote:
A lot of the Carcano's that were brought in had their pins cut by the importer because they were " unsafe to fire " . This was brought about due to many people's non understanding about headspace , they importer did not want to warranty headspace on $ 49.00 rifles .

Yeah I definitely think that was the case with this one. Is there any way to figure out what "batch" it was imported with, and when? The only import/export mark is "Made Italy" on the chamber area (see pic). Also, the stock is missing any cartouches or serial numbers--not sure if this was typical of any of the refurbs done in Italy before export--anyone have ideas on that?


Attachments:
Carcano Made Italy stamp.JPG
Carcano Made Italy stamp.JPG [ 2.36 MiB | Viewed 3009 times ]
Carcano 91 38  (1).JPG
Carcano 91 38 (1).JPG [ 2.4 MiB | Viewed 3009 times ]
Carcano 91 38  (2).JPG
Carcano 91 38 (2).JPG [ 2.39 MiB | Viewed 3009 times ]

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