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Author Topic: Carcano Cavalry Restore  (Read 5810 times)

Craig010

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Carcano Cavalry Restore
« on: March 05, 2013, 05:59:19 am »
Good Morning, All. 

  I picked up a Carcano Cavalry rifle a while back and finally got around to starting to clean it up last weekend.  Not sure of it's whole story, but the cosmoline was thick and crusty over everything to include the stock.  Overall it was pretty filthy and it felt as if there were sand in the cos dried on the stock along with general dirt.  The bolt and barrel cleaned up real nice and look good for an 80 year old rifle.  My question is the stock.  In cleaning it up I got it down to bare wood.  What I thought was stained wood from dirt and cosmoline turned out to be black walnut.  I'm not sure what the original finish would have been.  I'm guessing BLO or Tung, but there are a couple of recesses that appear to have a tiny amount of varnish or shellac in corners.  Anyone have one of these or having seen one care to venture what I need to use to restore the stock?  My gut says BLO but I'm not sure.  Any suggestions will be most welcomed. ~Craig
Craig King
King's Armory, LLC
Sierra Vista, AZ  85635
http://www.kingsarmory.biz
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    Craig010

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    Re: Carcano Cavalry Restore
    « Reply #1 on: March 16, 2013, 03:41:36 pm »
    I'm guessing since no one jumped in, that this little girl is a bit of an oddity.  She shows the wear and tear of having been a fighting weapon.  Although I can't imagine she saw action in WW II.  The cavalry was pretty much a thing of the past by that time.  Anywho, here it is with the cosmoline, dirt, grit, and neglect removed.  I did 5 coats of BLO on the stock (the wood is still thirsty).  The hand guard piece was also covered in cosmoline leading me to believe it was a replacement part from an arsenal.  The last photo compares the round to others of the WW II era.  The 6.5 Carcano is 2d from left. ~Craig
    Craig King
    King's Armory, LLC
    Sierra Vista, AZ  85635
    http://www.kingsarmory.biz
    Glock Certified Armorer

    Guy1az

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    Re: Carcano Cavalry Restore
    « Reply #2 on: March 16, 2013, 04:11:05 pm »
    I have heard of guys putting a heavily cosomoline weapon in the trunk of the car on the hottest of days for a few days to have the cosomoline ooze out of it so it can be wiped off.  You seem to be past that point though.
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    coelacanth

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    Re: Carcano Cavalry Restore
    « Reply #3 on: March 17, 2013, 03:38:24 am »
    A 6.5 Carcano carbine was my first deer rifle back in the day.  Its a good round and they are decent rifles although your cavalry model is a bit rarer than most.  I think you are on the right track with your restoration, just be sure to check your headspace before firing the old girl.
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    TheCol.U.S.M.C.

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    Carcano Cavalry Restore
    « Reply #4 on: March 17, 2013, 11:50:04 am »
    What is BLO? I have a old M1 Garand and the stock looks worn I was thinking about refinishing it.

    coelacanth

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    Re: Carcano Cavalry Restore
    « Reply #5 on: March 17, 2013, 12:26:22 pm »
    B oiled  L inseed  O il.   
    " A republic, if you can keep it. "
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    Craig010

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    Re: Carcano Cavalry Restore
    « Reply #6 on: March 17, 2013, 01:33:55 pm »
    A 6.5 Carcano carbine was my first deer rifle back in the day.  Its a good round and they are decent rifles although your cavalry model is a bit rarer than most.  I think you are on the right track with your restoration, just be sure to check your headspace before firing the old girl.

    I don't have a gauge for this caliber so I used the tape method with the firing pin removed.  Amazingly well within specs.  I'm thinking this old girl saw a lot of time in a saddle boot but not so much time on a range.  The barrel is in surprisingly good condition and the lands and groove show some wear but are still will defined.   :yes  I had planned on taking it out this weekend to the range, but a sinus cold convinced me to hunker down and chill instead.  Going to try for next Saturday now.
    Craig King
    King's Armory, LLC
    Sierra Vista, AZ  85635
    http://www.kingsarmory.biz
    Glock Certified Armorer

    Craig010

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    Re: Carcano Cavalry Restore
    « Reply #7 on: March 17, 2013, 01:39:15 pm »
    I have heard of guys putting a heavily cosomoline weapon in the trunk of the car on the hottest of days for a few days to have the cosomoline ooze out of it so it can be wiped off.  You seem to be past that point though.

    I've even heard of people wrapping them in a plastic bag and placing them on their roofs.  lol  I have been cleaning up rifles for some of the collectors in this area for awhile and built a heat box using a metal trash can, 4 - 100watt bulbs, couple of racks I salvaged from an old oven the local dump, and a couple of cookie sheets to 'catch the drippings'.  Cuts the clean up time down considerably.   :yes  Got the idea from a article I read on the milsurp forum and it's paid for itself several times over.
    Craig King
    King's Armory, LLC
    Sierra Vista, AZ  85635
    http://www.kingsarmory.biz
    Glock Certified Armorer

    NicVerAZ

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    Re: Carcano Cavalry Restore
    « Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 11:58:48 am »
    What do I need to look for when I intend to buy a Carcano?

    What is the interest of such a rifle, besides its infamous history and probably their price?

    Is it something that every C&R collector should get?

    How complicated are they to reload for?

    Thanks a bunch!

    coelacanth

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    Re: Carcano Cavalry Restore
    « Reply #9 on: May 15, 2013, 01:07:34 am »
    1)  What is your intended use for the rifle?  Shooter?  Wall hanger?  That will determine whether you need a rifle that is mechanically in good shape or one that is just nice to look at.     2)  They have some historical significance but like all battle rifles, they have gone up in price lately.  I would not expect to find a good quality shooter for less than $300 or so.   3)  Probably not since most C&R collectors I know don't have one.  If you find a good rifle at a decent price go for it but just be aware that the market for Carcano rifles is not huge.   4)  They are no more complicated to reload for than any other cartridge gun but finding brass might prove to be somewhat difficult as the rifles and thus the rounds they fire are not as common as they once were.
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    NicVerAZ

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    Re: Carcano Cavalry Restore
    « Reply #10 on: May 15, 2013, 09:37:55 am »
    Thanks.

    I personally like to shoot my rifles. I think that even a Lebel I would try to reload for it and shoot it.

    Prior to Lebel, it would be really depending on the quality of it.

    By historical significance I also meant that dreadful event in Dallas. It would be hard not to mention it to a guest: "Oh, by the way..."

    As far as reloading, this makes it even more exciting: if there is some sort of a technical challenge, I am always up for it. After all, I am a Chevy guy.

    Craig010

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    Re: Carcano Cavalry Restore
    « Reply #11 on: May 15, 2013, 07:04:07 pm »
    I have to agree with coelacanth that what you look for depends on what your motives are.  I'm a C&R collector and have two Carcano in my collection simply because they really aren't very common and make great conversation pieces.  One of mine is the cavalry model (Moschetto per Cavalleria) M91 in 6.5mm and the other is an Infantry carbine (Fucile Corte) M38 in 7.35mm.  If you're looking for a shooter, these can be difficult to supply with ammo, especially the 7.35.  My fascination with Carcano began with the M38 and it's history.  Mine does not bear the SA stamp for the Finnish Army so most likely saw action on the Eastern Front with the Italian Corps (which Hitler didn't want but Mussolini insisted on as a show of solidarity).  Until I researched my rifle, I didn't even realize that the Italians had fought in Russia.  But as coelacanth pointed out, there are a lot of crufflers that don't have a Carcano in their collection.  Their history (less that unfortunate one in Dallas) is the selling point for me.  ~Craig
     
    Craig King
    King's Armory, LLC
    Sierra Vista, AZ  85635
    http://www.kingsarmory.biz
    Glock Certified Armorer

    Dragoon6

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    Re: Carcano Cavalry Restore
    « Reply #12 on: May 20, 2013, 03:54:55 am »
    What do I need to look for when I intend to buy a Carcano?

    What is the interest of such a rifle, besides its infamous history and probably their price?

    Is it something that every C&R collector should get?

    How complicated are they to reload for?


    Now we talkin' my language; "old shizz that many people don't even know exists"!!  I love it! :woot

    1.  So...what should you look for when you buy your first Carcano?  Easy.  Do you like it.  I know that sounds kinda dumb as you would not buy a weapon you did not like, but what I mean specifically is that there are many different variations of Carcanos.  Some re older some are newer, some are longer some are shorter and some fire different rounds.  A few of the models are the M91, M41, T38, 91/38 and the elusive 70/87/15 Vetterli Carcano.  Finally it is about the caliber; Carcanos were made in three made sizes, 6.5x52mm, 7.35x51mm and 8mm Mauser.  There were a few other variants like the Jap, but these are so rare they are not worth going into.  So again it comes down to finding one you like in a caliber you prefer.

    2.  The interest in such a rifle is purely personal.  Myself in particular I have always been attracted to old weapons, old battle rifles in particular.  Another point of interest is their reliablity and durability.  Other then the Arisaka, the Carcano has one of the strongest actions of any military bolt action rifle and can and will outlive you and your great-grandchildren.  Yes I know they have a bad rap overall but it is nothing but propaganda.  Do your own research and you will see.

    3.  Yes.  I do believe everyone should own not only a Carcano but other military style weapons of war as well.  Again, this is more of a personal preference, but I firmly believe you will not regret owning one (or five ;D).

    4.  Reloading for Carcanos is easy as pie.  Dies in both 6.5 and 7.35 can be had for around $30 bucks a piece.  New made brass is only about $45.00 to $50.00 per hundred and is made by Prvi Partisan (do not buy Norma, it is out of spec).  Get some standard large rifle primers and the proper powder (I prefer BL-C(2), max load, most accurate ever!).  Then get a good reloading book, Lee or Lyman (FYI, if you buy Lee dies they include reloading data)

    Now a few side notes to keep in mind.  The 6.5 Carcano is not the standard 6.5mm .264-263 diameter bullet (for the most part).  The Carcano used a 6.5mm .268 diameter bullet.  So make sure you get the proper size to reload with otherwise your grouping will suck.  However there is one exception to this rule; if you find an old (as in 130 years old, old) 1870/87/15 Vetterli Carcano then be aware they need the standard .264-.263 bullets.  Quick backstory; these weapons were retooled from the frames of the old Italian Vitali 10.4mm black powder rifle and rechambered for 6.5mm as a stop-gap measure during WWI.  These are safe (ignore the internet BS, but have a gunsmith check it to be certain, CYOA) to shoot but make sure you understand the difference in bore size.  Lastly, the 7.35 Carcanos require a bullet that is exactly .300 in diameter.  The only (commercial) supplier for these right now is Hornady and Buffalo Arms.  These are good bullets to be sure but if you want to make the "real deal", have a custom swage die made by Corbins.

    In closing (sorry I get long winded sometimes) I own Carcanos in both 6.5mm and 7.35mm, ranging from the afore mentioned 1870/87/15, M91's and T38 Carbines.  They are worth it, they are fun and they are some very very accurate weapons.  Hope this helps!
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    car-ram-rod

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    Re: Carcano Cavalry Restore
    « Reply #13 on: May 20, 2013, 07:47:40 am »
    im sure if your considering one of these itd be beneficial to slug the bore. just throwing tht out there.
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