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    Question .264" Carcano barrel?

    During my recent ammo tests, I drug out a "Bubba'd" Carcano that was purchased for parts. Old hex shank barreled rifle that looks to have been shortened and had some kind of Mauser front sight band installed. Bore condition looked good, so off to range it goes.

    Fired some Prvi Partisan ammo w/o dramas (just function tests, no accuracy work) so moved onto the Hornady factory load. First round into the chamber won't go, even w/ a bump or two, so I try to extract the round. No dice! Pop the bolt handle hard and out comes the case along w/ loose powder flying about, no bullet! End of test for this rifle.

    Get home, knock out bullet. It shows heavy rifling marks on its nose along w/ a lot of scratches from the crimped case neck both forward and aft of the bullet cannelure.

    Check groove dia of bore- 0.264-0.265"! It has even width EIGHT lands and grooves (EACH). Doesn't appear to be gain twist rifling.



    The barrel seems to have been inserted into the old barrel shank and indifferently chambered as the fired Prvi cases swelled more in the body area than any of the other Carcanos fired that day.


    So, finally, my question- Is anyone familiar with the rifling described above? I suspect the barrel may have been robbed from something else, but what? Its been in this rifle a good long time.
    Last edited by jmoore; 09-24-2009 at 02:48 AM.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Sounds as if you were lucky not to be able to chamber and fire the Hornadys!
    I don't mean this as trivial criticism, but it does show up the importance of the standard caution found throughout the Lyman reloading manual when referring to old rifles: "slug your bore and size accordingly".

    Can you measure the twist and groove depth (overall diameter of a slug driven through the bore)- that might help to ID the source of the barrel? 8 grooves does not sound like a typical military barrel.
    If you can post land, groove and twist dimensions, I'll look through the info I have to see if I can find a match, as there were quite a few obsolete 6.5 mm chamberings.

    By the way, land and groove dimensions are not quite enough to select a good bullet fit. The ratio land/groove width is also relevant, so if you can measure, or even estimate that, it would also be helpful.

    Patrick
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 09-24-2009 at 08:14 AM. Reason: too many typos!

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    Ya, kinda stupid on my part, but at least it has a short leade in it! Might have been more interesting had it chambered.

    I started w/ Prvi, knowing that the bullets are undersize. It worked normally! I was kind of looking for something to blow up, but this set up is too interesting; too bad the chamber's sloppy.

    Groove dia. is 0.264-0.265" depending on which ones are measured, not too unusual, except its supposed to be 0.268"! Other dimensions to follow; its not with me now.

    The ratio of the lands and grooves is just about even; kind of weird looking, compared to, say, a Garandicon, where the grooves appear to take up about twice or more of the bore surface than the lands.

    It appears to be a fairly old barrel with very squared off corners in the rifling. I'll try borescoping it directly (soon, that is, to you non-Ex-Confederate types). Probably hook cut rather than broached, just as a guess.
    Last edited by jmoore; 09-24-2009 at 11:07 AM. Reason: period. not comma,.

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    gun nerd alert!

    Rifling width:

    lands- ~0.045"
    grooves- ~0.058"
    Circumferential totals work out pretty close to theory.

    Groove dia- 0.264-0.265"
    bore dia- 0.257"

    twist rate- one turn in about 8"

    Fine finish to bore surfaces- originally at least

    minor dia. of bore shows very small perpendicular machining marks, better than most barrels

    groove dia. has longitudinal machining marks consistant w/ a hook cutter.

    ETA: For some reason I went back to this article again (Thanks, Badger! and Andy!) and Voila!, the action pictures show pretty much exactly the set up I've got. Don't know the first thing about Cooey, though. Possibly this is one them thar' sportster things- HORRIBLE stock, though!

    Link: "Myth Busted" - Proof Testing an Eaton Carcano Rifle - Military Surplus Collectors Forums
    Last edited by jmoore; 09-26-2009 at 11:05 AM. Reason: Read the tech article (again) also thx

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    Broke out the loading manual and the education continues! 6.5x54 Mannlicher-Schoenauer fits perfectly the dimensions of the fired 6.5 Carcano Prvi Partisan cases. So!

    The barrel stub DOES read "6.5MM". The folks doing the conversion just didn't specify WHICH ding-dang 6.5 mm cartridge.

    There's a lesson to be learned here. Will I absorb it? Eh, probably not... Y'all feel free to laugh at me, though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
    During my recent ammo tests, I drug out a "Bubba'd" Carcano that was purchased for parts. Old hex shank barreled rifle that looks to have been shortened and had some kind of Mauser front sight band installed. Bore condition looked good, so off to range it goes.

    Fired some Prvi Partisan ammo w/o dramas (just function tests, no accuracy work) so moved onto the Hornady factory load. First round into the chamber won't go, even w/ a bump or two, so I try to extract the round. No dice! Pop the bolt handle hard and out comes the case along w/ loose powder flying about, no bullet! End of test for this rifle.

    Get home, knock out bullet. It shows heavy rifling marks on its nose along w/ a lot of scratches from the crimped case neck both forward and aft of the bullet cannelure.

    Check groove dia of bore- 0.264-0.265"! It has even width EIGHT lands and grooves (EACH). Doesn't appear to be gain twist rifling.

    The barrel seems to have been inserted into the old barrel shank and indifferently chambered as the fired Prvi cases swelled more in the body area than any of the other Carcanos fired that day.


    So, finally, my question- Is anyone familiar with the rifling described above? I suspect the barrel may have been robbed from something else, but what? Its been in this rifle a good long time.
    Many years ago I read of a similar situation involving a celebrity, I think it was Grandpa Stoneman of the Stoneman singing group.
    He had a Mannlicher Schnauer Sporting rifle and the ammo was reloads which had been topped with salvaged Mannlicher Carcano .268 bullets.
    He did not notice the powder coming out when he pulled back the bolt. In fact he had forgotten he had a round in the chamber and on seeing the empty case he thought he'd simply left an empty in the chamber.
    On jacking a fresh round in he ended up with two oversized bullets in the pipe, probably one shoved deep in the case. Firing that must have been an adventure.
    The gun was not seriously damaged, though brass had cold flowed around the locking lugs. A gunsmith was able to get the brass out somehow ( I suspect he had to take the barrel off first to get at it, then probably chiseled away some and dissolved the rest with a solvent) and the rifle was good as new.

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    Y'all Canadians ought to know more about Cooey, I thought I'd heard the name before, only it was associated w/ a Winchester .22" cal. trainer. Anyway, Mr. Chadwick, maybe you'll have a new entry for your 6.5 barrel data files.

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    Really Senior Member bearhunter's Avatar
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    There were actually a fair number of those rifles on the Canadianicon market in the mid seventies. They were marked 6.5 mannlicher on the barrel and with a Britishicon company stamp as well. Globe Firearms comes to mind.

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    OK Jmoore, now that you have repented of your sins, a financial penance is due - you are going to have to get some proper 6.5x54 Mannlicher-Schönauer cases (Norma or RWS), bullets (round-nose flat-base will do fine - for instance the Hornadys, but in 264) and, what might really hurt, the die set. Then you can load for a classic hunting cartridge. The Sierra manual has some load data. The RWS load data is, not surprisingly, all for RWS powders.

    Have fun, but go very cautiously with the loads - it sounds as if the chamber may already have been overstrained.

    Patrick

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    I think the chamber is fine for the cartridge for which it is actually intended! As noted above, the only caliber or any other marking is "6.5MM".
    Dies and cases will be coming once the credit card is paid down a bit, I've been a bad boy these past few months (doing my part to keep the economy afloat, at least the local shops, anyways).

    Always wanted a Mannlicher-Schoenauer, but this isn't quite what I had in mind!

    BTW What would be really cool is the M-S "pistol" used in the Martin Caiden book "Ice Station Zebra". Read the book in high school but have yet to see a pistol so marked.

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