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8mm Carcano conversion

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  • 8mm Carcano conversion

    I just got a new complete 8mm Carcano, which is an upgrade for the old 8mm carcano I already owned. My old one is missing the handguard, barrel band, and barrel band retaining spring. The stock and bluing of the old one are nicer, both have equally nice bores with no pitting and good rifling. Both look like they are the TS model of carcano with crude notch rear sights.

    I was planning on swapping parts off the new rifle to restore the old, nicer rifle to original configuration, but as I was looking at them side by side I made an observation that I had missed before.

    Between the receiver ring and rear sight, the old rifle's barrel is stamped "TERNI" with a crown above it and "RE" in between the crown and TERNI. On the right side of the barrel, just in front of the receiver ring, it's stamped "1941 XIX". On the left side in front of the receiver ring, it is stamped 7691. 7691 is also stamped on the buttstock. The rear sight is stamped "7.9".

    Between the receiver ring and rear sight, the new rifle's barrel is stamped "FNA-B". On the right side of the barrel, just in front of the receiver ring, it's stamped with what appears to be a crescent. On the left side in front of the receiver ring, it is stamped "769", with the Roman letters "RB" between that and the rear sight. There are also several indecipherable cartouches or proof marks around the "769" stamp. 769 is also stamped on the buttstock. Underneath the buttstock stamping, the old buttstock number is stamped over with a horizontal line.

    There are no import stamps on either rifle.

    The significance of the crown is that it seems to indicate that these were converted by using original Carcano barrels which were bored out to 8mm and chambered to 8x57. That is counter to what most people assume in the research I did, which is that they were converted by having a new barrel installed.

  • #2
    Re: 8mm Carcano conversion

    How safe is that to shoot with milspec SS ball?
    Gregory Peter DuPont

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    • #3
      Re: 8mm Carcano conversion

      I'm not sure what SS ball is, unless you're referring to the 1905 Spitzer cartridge.

      They have a bad reputation strictly from hearsay, much like late war type 99 Arisakas, but there was a lawsuit awhile back where the wholesaler defended themselves by tested a couple to destruction. They tried to blow them up by overcharging them with PISTOL powder and they only succeeded in blowing one up by welding the barrel shut, even then, it was the barrel that blew, not the receiver.

      I just want to check headspace before I shoot mine.

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      • #4
        Re: 8mm Carcano conversion

        I forget- the German word, but the Heavy Pointed( Spitzer) 198-200 grain range...what they replaced the 150 grain stuff with in WW1 when it was discovered that the 8mm Lebel Balle D was outranging the 8mm Mauser loads of the day.
        Gregory Peter DuPont

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        • #5
          Re: 8mm Carcano conversion

          Here are the pictures of my 8mm Carcanos. I've got 2. One with an Italian proof marked barrel, one without. Both have matching numbers (one force matched) but no painted arabic numbers that are so common on these.

          The bores of both are perfect and the patina of both rifles matches the rest of the gun. They were each acquired for approximately $200 in trade value, one a few years ago and the other recently.

          There is a lot of speculation about whether these were assembled from old guns, or were newly built from existing parts, and whether these were German made barrels or rebored Italian barrels. I think that a barrel marked "TERNI" and with an Italian crown on it can't be a new, German made barrel.



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          • #6
            Re: 8mm Carcano conversion

            Originally posted by gripper View Post
            How safe is that to shoot with milspec SS ball?
            Mr Dave Emary of Hornady has a lot of information, Good things to say abut the Carcano. Go to: http://personal.stevens.edu/~glibera...ano/emary.html and read an article by him.
            Knowledge is power.
            Paul the Ammo Guy 8-)

            "Aim small, miss small".

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