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Recent acquisition.......a much maligned Italian
Old 01-15-2007, 10:28 AM
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kombi1976 kombi1976 is offline
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Default Recent acquisition.......a much maligned Italian

I had some spare money after Christmas and I've been tossing up whether or not to get one of these for a while now so when I saw a good price I decided to blow the dosh and take her home.

For those not familiar with this rifle, it's a Mannlicher Carcano M38 carbine in 6.5x52R.
It's a 1941 model at the Terni factory (a year before the rifle made infamous by Lee Harvey Oswald) and it's in basically good condition.
Here's the receiver stamp:

And the proofing marks on the bbl just forward of the handguard.

Up until recently only Norma and RWS made sporting ammo for this cal but now Privi Partizan (sold as Highland Ammo here in Oz) make ammo and components and since the Lee dies are readily availbale it makes for good milsurp fun.
The Highland Ammo I bought on Wednesday when I picked up the M38 was $26 a pack but I know of places where it sells for as little as $17.50 a pack so as you can imagine, even at $26, it's a much better proposition than the exhorbitant cost of European ammo.
There are 2 catches about the Carcano rifles though for those who haven't seen them much.
Firstly, many of the bores are widely different in diameter and vary between .265" and .269", although the latter is unusual.
Hornady makes a .268" cal 162gn RN specifically for the Carcano but getting those bullets here in Oz may be less than straightforward.
Apparently Turton, a small custom firm here in Oz, also make a .268" cal bullet and these shoot very well by all reports but I don't know if they're cast or jacketed and whether they're just a target bullet or suitable for hunting.
Whatever the case, they're only $20 per 100 so I suspect I'll be trying some out.
They are plenty of M38s, like our club president's pair, that shoot perfectly well with normal .264" bullets so I'll also be giving them a try too.
The other catch about the Mannlicher Carcano action is that it requires Mannlicher style clips for the rifle to operate as a repeater.
I'm presently trying to find some of these because while they are around the sudden interest in Carcanos after the recent appearence of new components has made them desirable and people are unwilling to part with them.
I know they're a common feature on Ebay in the US but few people seem willing to ship worldwide which is frustrating.
Anyhow, at AUD$90 the M38 has been a cheap investment.
It does however need a new extractor spring(I think) because the extractor is not holding onto the rim and as such it only extracts one in 3 cases.
It could also do with a re-crown as the muzzle is dinged up quite noticably so it'll take a trip to the 'smiths sometime this week.
Meanwhile, however, I look forward to some fun with it.
It's light and points well, has a fixed 200yd sight which acquires a target fast and generally feels nice in the hands.
What do ya reckon, guys?
Am I crazy or have a made a nice find?
Cheers & God Bless
22lr ~ 22 Hornet ~ 25-20 ~ 303/25 ~ 7mm-08 ~ 303 British ~ 310 Cadet ~ 9.3x62 ~ 450/400 N.E. 3"

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