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Thread: .318'' groove No.4 Enfield, what bullet to use?

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  1. #11
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I wonder if he just shot it with some factory ammo first to see...probably shoots great as he says the bore is near mint.
    Regards, Jim

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    This link provides good information from someone who has "been there, done that"

    Replacing a #4 Enfield

    The problem is similar to that in the 6.5mm Carcanos ( a 91/41 in my case), where a groove diameter bullet would enlarge the case mouth so much that the round would be impossible to chamber - a create a horrible pressure spike if it could!

    Hornady makes (made?) "oversize" bullets for the Carcano, but various investigations warn of excessive pressure if one doesn't keep to a rather tight-tolerance powder charge.

    When I made a careful measurement of some original Carcano bullets, I found that they were not seriously oversized, but the jacket had an open base. I think this is part of the answer, as an open base should allow easier upsetting of the base of the bullet to create a driving ring to fill the bore. Ok, the upset may only be 0.001" or so, but that makes the difference!

    So, my tip is: use open-base bullets - if you can find them - but do NOT try anything as large as a .318 diameter.
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 04-16-2019 at 04:34 PM. Reason: Typing too fast - multiple typos!

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    Really Senior Member bob q's Avatar
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    I was the one who put out the testing on the Hornady .268 bullets , and posted warnings . I fired over 400 of them in 15 different Carcanos with many different loads . They were made wrong . It does not matter what powder or charge you use . Yes original Carcano bullets were .266 dia with an open base [ with a first type bore with a .270+ groove ] , just like every other military bullet of the period . They all used " bore riding " . Higher velocity and less pressure due to less bearing surface . The 91/41 has the last [ and smallest bore area ] used in Carcanos . The main problem is the land size [ a tight one will have more problems ] and the gain twist . I never had a round loaded with a .268 not clear a chamber neck .

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    Bob, could you please post a link to the results of you're tests. I don't seem to be able to find them anywhere and I'm really interested in reading more about how you came to the conclusion that Hornady got it wrong in designing the Carcano bullet.

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    Really Senior Member bob q's Avatar
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    It was like 7 years ago . I am not a pc type guy and would have no idea how to find it again . The main problem was the Carcano has very deep rifling , some have gain twist rifling , the original bullets were smaller than groove and there were different land groove combinations used from the 1890's to the 1940's . The guy at Hornady did not seems to know these things and tried to make the bullet for a shallow rifiled , groove dia bullet type modern rifle . By making the bullet close to groove dia he keep tearing up jackets , so he made the jackets very thick . This combined with a long bearing surface made for a lot of pressure as the bullet was engraved by the rifling , and it got worse as the twist changed and tried to re-engrave the thick jacket . We had some where the jacket actually stuck in the last bit of rifling and some of the lead core came out . Now go to the smaller bore area Model 91/41 with no gain twist , but the smaller groove [ some as small as .267 ] would grab the bullet . That with the small differences in land and groove dia on the 50 years of rifles is why the bullet will work ok with some Carcano's . A bullet of .266 with a hollow [ or cupped ] base would have worked fine in ALL Carcano rifles . Maybe the Italians did know what they were doing in the first place when they made THEIR bullet like that .

    ---------- Post added at 05:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:07 PM ----------

    I would not use the .268 bullet in any of My Carcano's . But it does work great in my very early Type-38 Arisakaicon rifles with .270 + grooves . The difference is .002 + groove clearance , shallower rifling , and NO gain twist .

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    I've never had any problems whatsoever shooting the .268 Hornady bullets in my carcanos. My favorites being a Tiro a Segno Nazionale marked M41 and a 1918 dated M91 Truppe Special. I read Dave Emary's article on the carcano bullet and chose to follow his advice to only use the components listed. Perhaps this is why I had no problems.
    Early Hornady bullets measured .268 and had no cannelure, shortly after their introduction the diameter changed to .267"(actual diameter measures .2667") and a cannelure was added.
    Length, diameter and bearing surface compare favorably with original military bullets. However, the thick jacket does not allow for any expansion in soft tissue and they do not yaw easily so they're all but worthless for hunting.
    PRVI is now making .267" carcano bullets in 140 and 160 grain. Perhaps they might expand. We'll see if ever I get interested in hunting again.
    Last edited by vintage hunter; 04-17-2019 at 09:03 PM.

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    Member pisco's Avatar
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    hi i have a bsa smle with a Lithgowicon barrel that measures .318# the barrel is in very good condition i have been told to try paper patching a cast projectile i have the gear to do it just need the time i will use onion skin paper i will still gas check

  10. #18
    Member pisco's Avatar
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    hi found a bullet mould that i lapped out to 321” i have made a dummy round and it chambers so i will load them up and see how they go 15 gr ar2205 should be a good starting load

  11. #19
    Really Senior Member Woodsy's Avatar
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    Stop trying to fix what isn't broken! There is more than enough displacement in a conventional lead-cored .312" bullet to completely fill the .318" groove. Just shoot it!


  12. Thank You to Woodsy For This Useful Post:


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