View Full Version : 7.35x51

07-30-2005, 11:19 PM
Just picked up a pristine M38 Carcano short rifle in 7.35 and was wondering if anyone has done any work with this caliber. A shooting buddy gave me 100 115 gr. GCRN sized .303 to try out.

Ed Barrett
07-31-2005, 03:17 AM
I had one back a couple of years ago. I picked it up for $20 and spent a little more than that to get it shooting. You can get 6.5 brass from Grafs and run it through a 7.35 die to make brass. I have some around if you want it. The one I had didn't shoot cast too bad, but the non-adjustable sight left something to be desired. I think I still have the dies too if your interested.

07-31-2005, 05:48 AM
Above is my M38 FC (Fucile Corto) in 7.35x51. The photo was taken just after I got it and it has an incorrect straight bolt handle, which has been corrected to a bent one. Most went to Finland as aid to fight the communists so will have a boxed SA mark. One without the mark is uncommon.

I paid $75 for the rifle and $78 for 100 Norma cases[smilie=l: After Graf & Son offered theirs, I bought another hundred. You'll need the packet clips to shoot it as the extractors are VERY stiff and do not snap over the rims if single loaded into the chamber. I think Sportsman's Guide and GPC have them. The steel ones are fine, the brass ones even better.

Ed hit the main sore spot. Fixed sights. In addition the Italians used a sight picture we're not used to. That is to bury the front blade in the rear V. I forget the range for POI if a regular sight picture is used, but it's a ways out there. What I did was to use some 5 minute epoxy to blob on the front blade and then filed it to suit when it was set up. I made it hit about 4" above POA at 50 yards dso I could hold 6 on the bull and be in the 10 ring.

The Finns changed out the front sight blades on some, but missed mine!

This photo is here only to show that I had turned the casenecks. That's a Hornady 123gr SP BTW. The reason I turned the necks is that as a rule, the chamber neck area in a lot of these 7.35's is tight. Grooves in the barrels can run from .298" to maybe .301" but tend toward the tight side. The groove on mine is .300".

I made up a push through size die to turn .308" cast slugs into .300" ones and it was a tight fit. So I turned the necks to .010" thickness. So far as the rifle as a battle rifle goes, it's a good one. The fixed sights were just fine for combat against human targets, they were soldier proof and not likely to get damaged. The bolt operates rather stiffly and the book issued to Italian troops says to operate the bolt "With Authority" or so goes a translation. A Springfield or Krag bolt it's not.

These were the initial targets I shot with the rifle and various powders & charges. For a boolit I used the Lee C309-150F. They fed just fine although due to it's .300" nose they had to be seated a tad deeper into the case then I'd like. I don't have my load books with me here at work, but some of those targets represent speeds a bit over 2,000 fps.

Another interesting thing is that it shot cast a lot better then it did FLGC slugs! I can live with that :D. Usually what I do is to load up jacketed ammo first with book loads to see what kind of accuracy potential there is. I don't know what the deal was, but none of'em shot very well. Also bear in mind with these targets that the front sight had to be buried in the rear V and a thou or 2 miss-judgement leads to a bigger result out there at 50 yards.

I also have this little M91/38 Moschetto TS carbine, but it's in 6.5x52. I just threw in the photo because it's so cute:cool::-D It's a tiny little thing and it would almost seem that a full sized human type soldier might feel a bit ridicules carrying it, but it's purpose was similar to our M1 carbine. That is for rear echelon and support troops. This one is a post capitulation manufacture is like brand new. I swear you can hold it out one handed and shoot it!

Almost need a shoulder holster for it.


PS: BTW, if you're interested in a push through sizer, let me know.

08-04-2005, 09:56 PM

I've noticed the stiff bolts on both my Carcanos (Carcani?) - an 1891 6.5mm made in 1895 and the M38.

I got lucky with the M91. For some unknown reason I bought 1000 pulled 6.5 Carcano bullets for a 10-spot at a gun show several years before I got the M91.

I would definately be interested in a push-through sizer.

08-05-2005, 03:19 AM
I would definately be interested in a push-through sizer.

They're $15 + rtn shipping and will go in a $3.85 flat rate envelope, so $18.85. These are a push through type and it's threaded 7/8-14 for a press. It comes with the ram mounted push rod. The die will be +/- .0002" of the spec'd diameter. Some more highly alloyed slugs (lino) will have springback, and those softer ones, less. Best to lube-size the as cast 30 cal slugs and seat the GC (or just tumble lube) and then run up through the reducer die.

Just shoot me a PM for my address.