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Carcano Blanks?

#1 User is offline   Frederico Aquini 

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 08:41 PM

I was told that one could use AK47/SKS (7.62x39) blanks for their Carcano and that they fit on the stripper-clip and feed well. Has anyone ever tried this or currently does this? I’m a bit hesitant to buy a 100 rnds. and risk ruining my rifle trying this.

The only supplier I know for 6.5 blanks is Swanson and these have trouble feeding (the last round usually “stove pipes”.). I believe he uses British .303 with the rim shaved down.

Does anyone know of alternative suppliers for 6.5 blanks?

grazie,
Frederico
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#2 User is offline   supermario 

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 09:18 PM

Well, i've never heard that AKM/SKS rounds fit carcano's. Thats a new one on me. I've heard that 303 rounds are supposed to be the ones that are used, but i had a good look at a 303 blank, compared to my 6.5mm and 7.35mm and i can't see how they are used, unless its with some serious machining and retemporing. Personally, i don't think there's enough brass at the base of the 303 to allow the rim to be champfered off, then turned to cut a recess. It would make the case very weak. (And consider that most 303 blanks eminate from India and Pakistan, were manufacturing standards aren't generally as high as those of the US)

I'm gonna have to have a look at some AKM rounds. Many dealers here in the UK now stock AK blanks for the growing Vietnam reenactment scene.

Good luck on your search. Let us all know regarding blanks. Any info will help those across the pond with more restrictive gun laws.

Neil
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#3 User is offline   butcherboy1 

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 11:00 PM

I saw this and thought.. " are'nt AK rounds short?..." and as to .303" being used... ye gods!!! having fired these live and also having to load the f**king things into a bren mag, i would hope that the supplier has a better resource than a antiquated round like the 303. ... i think the possible main issue is the length of the round as opposed to the calibre.. the 7.62mm round is compatible with the bolt of a carcano...(just) but the length falls far short of the integral mag/ spring assembly... now if we were able to get 7.92mm fucile and the , sadly, long gone "czech grey" blank rounds...
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#4 User is offline   Gian 

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 10:50 AM

I've found a website that might be useful: http://www.joeswanso...tureblanks.com/. I believe he makes 6.5 as well. Good luck.
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#5 User is offline   Jeff Leser 

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 12:40 PM

RE: 303

Dealing with several individuals whom reload (and have reloaded ammunition myself), cost and access to components is the important factor. Blanks require crimping, as using some type of plug (like used in frangible ammunition) is basically a no-no due to safety. This means the casing used must be longer than the original ammunition to provide the extra brass to blend over the opening of the round to seal in the powder. The casing used needs to be resized and re-necked to fit the chamber. Since the brass is being bent/shapped, new brass is preferred as it withstands the bending better than fired brass (which tends to crack if bent). Resizing can go only so far, the stress on the metal during the process limited how much one can do. 303 is still made new in quantity, so it is available at a reasonable cost and is close enough that is can be resized and renecked.

I have fired 6.5mm blanks using 308 casings. These don't feed as well as the 303, the extractor rim on the casing being a little thicker than what the Carcano was designed to use. I haven't had any feed problems due to the 303 casing itself; only issues due to the length of the blank round itself. Swanson use to offer a long blank at ~$100 a bag. I have never seen this round, so I have no idea which casing he uses.

The only problems I have had with Swanson's 303 based 6.5mm is the steep feed ramp of the Carcano design. The long bullet would hit the top of the chamber, levering the base of the round into the bolt face. The regular blanks lack the length to quickly lever the round into the correct position, but going a little slower on the bolt normally solves this problem. I have never had a failure to extract; the extractor rim on the casing being quite sufficient to pull the round out.

Pista!

Jeff
btg. sciatori Alpini « Monte Cervino » (reenacted)
19° reggimento fanteria « Brescia » (reenacted)

#6 User is offline   Frederico Aquini 

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 07:41 PM

Jeff,

The feeding problem you spoke of with Swanson's .303 is the same problem I have had and it's usually with the last round. However, it's only intermittently and other times I can cycle the rounds quickly. I have noticed that it feeds differently depending on the stripper clip. Of the eight clips I have (none of them brass), I've noticed three different types: one w/o any markings, one marked 'R.R. M-35', and the other marked 'SMI [star symbol] 39'. I've had the best results with the latter in regards to feeding.

Have you -or anyone else- noticed changes in feeding depending on the stripper clip, in as much as Swanson's blanks are concerned?

Frederick
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#7 User is offline   sergemaster 

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 01:17 AM

I have to echo Jeff on the correct procedure on firing a Joe Swanson 6.5 firing blank, is that if you rechamber a little slower than you would lets say an 8mm blank especially on the last round, you shouldn't encounter any issues..

One thing I have noticed which is worth sharing, when I use the M41 in the field, I have to use this procedure. Now if I use the carbine, I can literally fly through using the bolt with no jamming issues.. Something to think about..


A NOI!!
SERGEMASTER

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#8 User is offline   barcid 

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 01:36 AM

I would need to construct my own blanks here in australia ,so i need to use 6.5 carcano dies to size down new 303 brass & rose crimp the end to get a good feed from the mag clip & what charge & brand type of powder is being used by folks making their own blanks . thanks
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#9 User is offline   l'anziano partigiano 

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 04:30 AM

I believe I posted this elsewhere on the site a couple of weeks ago...

The fellow at Atlantic Wall told me that he has commissioned someone to build a kit that would allow 7.62x39 blanks to be used in the 6.5 Carcano. IIRC it involved some sort of insert for the chamber and a modified feed ramp.

Earliest availability would be Fall 2011.

-bb
Blaine
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#10 User is offline   Jeff Leser 

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:02 PM

Blaine

That sounds like a lot of work for little gain. I bought 200 rounds of Swanson's short 6.5 blanks. At the last 1GM event at Parsons, my M91 handled them quite well. Tony was very impressed how quickly I could cycle and fire the weapon.

What I am discovering is that the individual rifle makes a difference. I have two M41s; one works fine with blanks, the other doesn't work at all. Assuming the feed ramps are the same, I feel the main problem is the strength of the magazine spring. A weak spring with tight clips will keep the rounds from angling up enough to feed slowly.

If you are willing to go through that much trouble, why nopt buy the adapter from Swason and use his 6.5 blanks?

Pista!

Jeff
btg. sciatori Alpini « Monte Cervino » (reenacted)
19° reggimento fanteria « Brescia » (reenacted)

#11 User is offline   Gregorio 

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 05:25 PM

The rifle does seem to make a difference. I have four carcano carbines (mine....and some loaner guns for the unit) and they all have individual personalities! One will feed anything smooth as silk, one only likes a certain kind of blank, some cycle very fast.....and some slow and clanky. If you use the short case blanks you will get hang-ups from time to time. The AK blank round is quite abit smaller overall to a 6.5 Carcano case, even smaller than a short Carcano blank. I can see it being less expensive, but I could also see how it might cause cycling problems.

At the last event some of the guys did use Swanson's newer LONG Carcano blanks. They cost more, but are the same size and dimensions as a live round and functioned perfectly in the weapons. Considering how often there are Italian tactical events (1 or 2 a year) and how you might use 30 or 40 rounds per event....I'd go with Swansons new LONG rounds and skip all of the problems. It's not worth ruining an event with a rifle-gun that won't go BOOOOM!

Ciao, Gregg
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#12 User is offline   captzak 

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 09:27 PM

I agree, the full length Swansons work like a charm.
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#13 User is offline   Jeff Leser 

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 08:40 PM

Greggg, Jeff

Thanks! These ares the first reports I have read about someone using the long blanks. I guess I will need to switch.

Pista!

Jeff
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#14 User is offline   Frederico Aquini 

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 09:52 PM

This is good news indeed! I was aware he made the full length rounds, but hadn't heard of anyone using them.

Not to sound like a broken record, but it does seem to be the individual Carcano that can cause "issues". I attended a small event on April 29-30, went through 30 rounds (short type) and only realized after the event that I had no problems. The last time I encountered difficulties was when using my other Carcano.

Also, individual parts and not the entire rifle can cause problems. One might just need to replace a follower, spring, extractor, etc.

Frederico
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#15 User is offline   AtlanticWallBlanks 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 09:54 PM

I see there is some talk about the conversion we are working on.

I think that some of you may be missing the point a bit.

There is only one other round that shares the same case / rim diameter of the Carcano rounds. That round is the M42 7.62x39 round. Many Carcano rifles were re-chambered to the 7.62x39 round in the 1950's for fighting in communist controlled areas. In this only the barrel and chamber had to be changed due to the cases being so close.

The longer .303 Brit case is one of the easier cases to turn into 6.5 Carcano but
1) .303 brass is never cheap
2) Is a lengthy process where they must be formed 1 at a time. This = high cost.

What we are doing is similar to what the U.S. Navy did with the M-1 in the 1950's by putting the 7.62x51 insert in the chamber. But that didn't work you say!!!!!
No, it didn't but really we are talking apples to oranges here. I will come back to this in a moment.

The insert will be similar to the .30-06 - .308 inserts taking the rifle from 6.5 or 7.35 to 7.62x39 (essentially a Carcano round with a shorter case - the larger "bullet" diameter will not be a problem as it will not be for enough forward in the chamber to reach the rifling)

The insert will also have an extended feed ramp attached to it for a 1 piece design ensuring proper feeding of the shorter rounds.

The insert will be removable or you can lock-tight it in for a semi-permanent install. For those who never want to get it out super glue will do nicely. (

This will give you two options.

Swanson rounds from .303 at 80¢+ each, or an adapter and 3¢-12¢ a round blanks that are just as loud. (7.62x39 blanks are quite loud) We figure the adapters to cost around $50 (estimate at this time but I don't seeing them going much if any higher)

If you are not worrying about the cost of each shot, you can shoot more, and at a far lower cost. For the price of one of Swansons rounds you can shoot over 10 7.62x39 rounds. This helps keep the cost of playing down.

I know you are wondering why these will work when the U.S. Military could not get them to work.

The simple answers are case material and pressure.

With the M-1 inserts the high chamber pressures helped to rip the thing out. Combine that with soft brass that expands as it is being extracted, they were doomed to failure.
The steel cases of the blanks do not expand nearly as much as brass. Combined with almost non-existent chamber pressure out the barrel of a bolt action and the problems the military had are simply not in play here. We have tested HEAVILY with more powerful M-1 rifle blanks in plastic and steel cases and are yet to have a failure that the military did. Change to brass and the problem comes right back.

To remove the insert simply use a 7.62x39 broken shell extractor clean the chamber and you are goo to go.

We know that Swansons blanks work fine, but right now with our proto-type inserts we have shot about 1,500 rounds total in two rifles for about $100. Shooting your Carcano at a reenactment will now be the cheapest rifle of all to shoot.

To answer this question:
If you are willing to go through that much trouble, why nopt buy the adapter from Swanson and use his 6.5 blanks?

Well, if you are going to use an adapter, why not get one that is 1/2 the price as Swansons and will allow you to use cheaper rounds that will work just as well?


If you only do living history and shoot 20 rounds a year then honestly no, this product is not for you. If you do tacticals then this will be very economical for you.

If you have any other questions I will be more than happy to answer.

Robb
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#16 User is offline   Jeff Leser 

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 04:50 PM

Rob

Thanks for the update on your insert. Keep us informed on the progress and when the insert will be available on the market.

I am one who would be interested in the insert. For me, a permanent installation is not desirable, nor an installation that requires some permanent modification to the rifle.

As you pointed out, economics is a factor. For someone who participates in many tacticals, or likes to fire a lot of rounds, your adapter might be the right answer. I do know that at my last WWI, tactical I fired nearly 80 rounds.

It is good to read that vendors are trying to support the italian reenactors.

Thanks!

Pista!

Jeff
btg. sciatori Alpini « Monte Cervino » (reenacted)
19° reggimento fanteria « Brescia » (reenacted)

#17 User is offline   AtlanticWallBlanks 

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 09:14 PM

No problem. I have been telling people we would do this for about 3 years.

Italians never really get much respect in the hobby in either WWII or WWI. There are no Italians at Newville where I play (Imperial German I.R. 23)

The market is small so any weapon related items that are new made will usually be expensive. We looked at it two ways - make expensive blanks as others are doing, or make a simple change to the rifle to shoot cheap blanks that we don't have to spend hours making and charge a lot for. This seamed like the obvious answer to us.

Robb
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#18 User is offline   Jeff Leser 

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 03:14 PM

Robb

Quote

I have been telling people we would do this for about 3 years.


Glad to see you have followed through on this project.

Quote

Italians never really get much respect in the hobby in either WWII or WWI. There are no Italians at Newville where I play (Imperial German I.R. 23)


As you can read here at CS, a few of us are working on this for 2GM. As for 1GM, Newville does have some strict standards (must be a Western Front unit, minimum of six members in a unit).

I and another are reenacting a 1GM unit, 19° regg. ftr. (Brescia). This was a Western Front unit (served in the Italian II Corps). Slowly trying to get some momentum, but Italian isn’t all the popular.We will see.

Pista!

Jeff
btg. sciatori Alpini « Monte Cervino » (reenacted)
19° reggimento fanteria « Brescia » (reenacted)

#19 User is offline   histjunky 

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 01:06 AM

Hello,

Has this adapter been put into production yet for sale?

Cris
Thanks!
Chris
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#20 User is offline   Don_Giovanni 

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 09:57 PM

Just to give an attention bump to Cris above, I'm also interested in hearing if anything has happened with these. I have an M91 and would not want to do any permanent alterations to it, but the number of jams I've experienced have been frustrating. If this could solve that problem, I'd be pleased as punch.

Grazie,

Don Giovanni
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