Carcano Italian Service Rifle in 8mm Mauser chambering

Carcano in 7.92?

L-R 7.92x57 or 8mm Mauser, 6.5x52 Carcano and 7.35x51 Carcano. Image Wikipedia
L-R 7.92×57 or 8mm Mauser, 6.5×52 Carcano and 7.35×51 Carcano. Image Wikipedia

Q: I recently bought what I took to be a 6.5mm Italian Carcano rifle at a gun show to use in military rifle competition. Imagine my surprise when I got it home and found it was chambered for the 7.92x57mm Mauser cartridge. It is marked “7.92” on the rear sight base. Now I’ve found that the 7.92mm rounds won’t work through the standard Carcano charger and it has to be single loaded. I’d be interested in your comments on this gun.
Scott Donaldson

A: In the last year of World War II, the Germans were desperate and scraped up any firearm that could be made to shoot. Rifles were converted to fire the standard German military round whenever possible. The Carcano is

Carcano Italian Service Rifle in 8mm Mauser chambering
Carcano Italian Service Rifle in 8mm Mauser chambering

not what you’d call a “strong” action. Both of the Italian military cartridges in 6.5mm and 7.35mm were loaded to less than 38,000 psi breech pressures. Most military loads for the 7.92x57mm were around or below that figure, but some sporting loads generate 45,000 psi or more. If I were you, I’d not shoot the rifle, but seeing that the number converted was not large, it may hold some interest for a collector of military firearms.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.