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Thread: New fixer-upper 1891 Carcano Cavalry Carbine

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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    New fixer-upper 1891 Carcano Cavalry Carbine

    Found this yesterday and asked some advice on the advice forum and ended up picking it up today.

    Local gun shop find. Original price $249.95 which I figured was way too high. Did some looking around on Gunbroker and other places and with the advice received here figured it was a bit much for my tastes. But went back to look at it again today to get some more details on markings etc and during my inspection, the shop owner approached me and said he'd make a deal with me on it. It had been marked on sale for $229.95 which was still way too high. He said he'd take $175 for it, I countered with $160 and we made the deal.

    Looking at the photos I'm now wondering what I got myself into. Natural sunlight really draws attention to flaws that don't show up under indoor lighting.

    In any case, there is very little pitting on it despite the large amounts of surface rust. The bore is very good, nice and clean and the action and trigger work great. I have removed the stock from it and found no surprises underneath other than perhaps there is almost no rust at all under the stock. It just looks and feels like something that has sat in a garage through quite a few humid summers to me. Stock interior is a very light tan.

    I bought it as a project gun, I like cleaning these things up but usually it's mostly the stocks not this much metal. It has no import marks and the serial number on the barrel/receiver matches that on the stock.

    These are the before photos, hopefully by the time I'm done it will look a lot better.






    Terni manufacture, small "X" on the stock that I hadn't noticed before.


    I'm guessing the 36 is the year but the XIV confuses me.


    Small number 12, inspection mark or manufacturer mark?


    Small separated section of wood, should be easily repaired, nothing missing. "Nice" overspray on the stock adding to the sitting in the garage feeling.



    Nothing seems to be broken or missing that I can tell, the interior looks almost like new. If anyone can offer any information on it's markings, or advice on cleaning up the metal or wood I'd appreciate it. Wood I'm pretty good with but the metal is more extensive than I've done before.
    Last edited by Aragorn243; 03-26-2011 at 03:50 PM.

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    Member onlycrimson's Avatar
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    Cool little gun that is on my list. If it's just surface rust you should be able handle it easily. Is there some wood missing on the hand guard by the rear sight? Nice score though!

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  6. #3
    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    No wood missing on the hand guard but there is a crack in it. What looks like missing wood is where the guard is carved out for the sight to flip down into. It has a fixed sight underneath the adjustable. The small crack has me a little concerned as the wood is so fine there. I figure I'll try to get the oil out before I glue it.

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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    Found the cleaning rod. Intact and inside its storage area. Metal is cleaning up nicely so far. Getting ready to give the stock a first round of cleaning.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Carcano deciphered

    Aragorn, on another forum you wrote "It is a Turni, round barrel shank 36-XIV, has a 12 inside a circle stamped on the butt stock close to or part of the wrist. There is a 15 inside a circle on the bolt. Barrel also has what appears to be an AT stamped on it that is partially obscured by the wood and a few other non-letter markings near the wood line. Bayonet is marked F90."

    I am posting my answer here, so that readers can refer back to the photos on the previous post.


    You have an Italianicon Mannlicher-Carcano Type M91 d.c. (Modello 91 da cavalleria).
    Manufactured by Terni in 1936 - Fascist year XIV. Hence the marking 36-XIV.

    The crown itself is the acceptance mark, which had previously been applied alone. From 1930 on, R-E was added to distinguish army weapons from those belonging to fascist units.
    (R-E = Regio Esercito = royal army).

    AT is the 1936 barrel code for Terni.

    The small numbers in circles are inspection codes.

    F90 on the bayonet is probably a code for the manufacturer of the blade.

    Patrick


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    I think you did well!

    If you are careful it ought to clean up fine. Wood's nicer than expected. The worst area seems to be the rear sling metal, which is hardly critical.

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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    I just finished cleaning up the rear sling metal. It came out alright. There is pitting on the outside of the metal of this real sling metal and on the outside metal at both screw holes of the magazine and the inside of the butt plate. All is hidden when the parts are installed so I'm just going to stabilize them and let them alone, they are plenty solid. The butt plate came out a lot better than I expected. Got the rust off and it still maintains a patina although a mottled one. That was the one obvious thing that was covered with heavy rust. Stock is going through it's second coat of the spray orange stuff. Lots of black came off the first time around.

    This is after preliminary cleaning:


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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    I've had two days to work in this, probably spent a total of 8 hours on it. The stock was treated with two coatings of citris strip and two coatings of wood bleach on the rust stained areas, rubbed down with steel wool and given one coat of BLOicon. The cracks were glued, I did use the dreaded sandpaper on the butt stock crack repair.

    The metal was scraped with the flat edge of a screwdriver to knock the heavy rust off, wire brushed and lightly steel wooled. The magazine is showing some pitting but everything else cleaned up pretty well. I tried to take the same photos for comparison but this is with flash rather than sunlight as it is now getting dark here.

    Let me know what you think.

    Before:


    After:


    Before:


    After:


    Before:


    After:


    Before:


    After:


    I'm not done with it but was anxious to get it back together. Probably won't get much time to work on it again for a while. I want to go over it again very closely for rust that I may have missed.

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    Feeling better about your purchase now, Strider?

    As far as ammo goes, Norma's the worst, Prvi is a safe but not too accurate choice, and the Hornady is outstanding- IF your bore is in excellent shape. Hornady runs a larger dia. bullet- I like it, but it has stirred some controversy in the past. There's several older threads about ammo and such in this and the "ammunition and reloading" forum. An excellent old MKLicon article as well, I think.

    My little carbine is about the least accurate of my Carcanos, but the front sight's too close for good focus anymore. A younger fellow would probably do better. What's interesting to me is that all my fixed sight Carcanos have spot on combat zeroes!

    Military Surplus Collectors Forums

    More 6.5 Carcano fun coming!

    6.5 carcano
    Last edited by Badger; 03-28-2011 at 09:13 AM. Reason: Edited post to show link with description ....

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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    Yes, I feel pretty comfortable with my purchase now. I figured the metal would clean up but you never really know for sure. I still have to find some clips before I plan on getting ammo for it. I've looked around and found several places that sell them so that shouldn't be too hard. I'm not in a rush to shoot it though.

    Slings appear to be a bit tougher. I found a couple of old ones for sale that don't look like they are correct, one on ebay looks more like a Chileanicon Mauser sling than a Carcano. There doesn't appear to be any repro slings out there either other than K98icon slings which various sources say were used on these. Finnishicon marked slings seem more common but this isn't a Finnish marked rifle so I don't really want to go with one of them.

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