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Discussion Starter #1
The earlier thread about the 6.5 Carcano set me to thinking about its rep as being terribly inaccurate. I can’t believe that any military (except our own, and I’m not going into that here) would design, manufacture and equip its troops with something that bad, although neither of my Carcanos shoots worth anything. They are both solid guns, chambers aren’t sloppy, and although I could measure freebore I haven’t – I don’t think that’s the problem anyhow. I came up with a couple of ideas, maybe wrong, maybe not, and I’d sure be open to anybody else’s theories.

First off, the Carcano was made for a .265” diameter bullet, not our standard .264”. I don’t know how much difference this makes. The cast bullets I’m shooting are sized to .264” from an as-cast size of about .266”. Maybe try them as-cast?

Second, and I’m thinking this might be more on the right track, the Carcano utilizes gain-twist rifling, from about 1 in 19 to about 1 in 8. I don’t know the theory behind that, but does that maybe make the gun more sensitive to the load? The original military spec was a 162 grain jacketed bullet at 2296 FPS. I don’t know of any .265” jacketed bullets on the market, but Hornady makes a 160 grain round nose (#2640) that might be close enough. I calculate 34.1 grains of IMR4350 (35.0 grains max load) will drive that bullet out at just about the mil spec velocity. Would that make a difference?

Open to any suggestions.

DC
 

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When a 6.5 has a fast twist rate like that, you can bet it has a very long throat to make room for the very long military ball projectiles. Check and see if you can contact the lands with Hornady 160 grainers and still seat to the base of the neck. If you can, and you still get lousy groups, go to www.hawkbullets.com and try some of Andy's 160s...they really slug up in the bbl and seal it when shot.

If you can't reach the lands, you could set the bbl back and move the chamber forward, but that's expensive and you still may not get good groups.
 

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If you know of anyone who keeps old issues of "Handloader", the one you want is May-June 1994 (#169). Has a bit by Charles A. Benke, "6.5mm Carcano".

In general, there were some variations produced, including some early ones with gain twist rifling. the best he could manage was 3MOA and he used s pistol scope mounted where the rear sight should have been.

Many smiths do "poo-poo" the Carcano (and not without some reasons), but they were made like Mausers of the time...to be of a hardness level wehre they'd not shatter from an overload, but to streach and deform. Doubt if yours has been abused or is significantly different from when it was produuced (unless it was in a fire...if the stock is chared and the springs are dead, then that bad boy is annealed and needs to be cut in half long ways so you can mount it on the wall and it looks like you have two of them).

One of the problems is the Italian idea of "battle zero". This will put the rounds about a foot and a bit high at 100 yards...the idea being that a soldier could hold on the belt line from zero out to about 300 yards and still get a hit on a standing enemy. Not exactly what a hunter needs.
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One quick check. IF you can find a .258" bullet (standard for our .25cal rifle rounds) and try to drop it down the bore. If it slides down the bore, it's over sized. Won't give you an idea of how deep the groove-to-groove diameter is, but will give you and idea bout the land-to-land. Not unusual to find bores as large as .266"-.268" and US made bullets are usually .263"-.2635".
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the ideas. I'm not really sure why I talked myself into trying to work out a load that is fairly accurate, I'll never use these rifles as "real shooters", but I'm going to give it a whack. Last week i found 3 more of the rifles at my local dealer's and bought them - dirt cheap, nobody wants them. What i really want them for is to experiment with some refinishing techniques - don't want to wreck a good rifle while I'm learning.

I guess I'll try Hdy 140's and 160's along with the 150 cast bullets I've been using for banging away. I've got some 120 grain Sierra's I use for a Roberts that I'm thinking of paper patching. Never tried that before but I've heard good things about it.

DC
 
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