7.35×51mm Italian Carcano Steel Cases

I was contacted by an individual who recently came across three fired steel cases which appear to me to be steel 7.35mm Carcanp cases. He is interested in whether they have any value to collectors. The cases appear to be in almost new condition.

The case is 2" long and the 7.35mm Carcano case is listed as 2.028"

The headstamp is SMI 942.

Are these actually 7.35x51mm cases and if so how scarce are they.

Other information on these rounds would be appreciated.



They are 6.5 m/m Carcano, for which steel cases were made during and after WW.2. The 7.35 m/m is essentially a 6.5 m/m with the neck opened up a bit. I don’t have the figures at hand, but I think Italy made the 7.35 m/m in the years 1938 and 1939 only. Jack


As you know, I know little or nothing about Italian ammunition. I came up with 7.35mm by measuring the case in the photo which is basically 6" on my screen and 2" long so the case photo is about 3x. the case mouth is a bit over 1" so it should be about .30 caliber. The case photo is at an angle which may make it look longer so that may have screwed up my clever calculation.


The angle the photo was taken at emphasizes the front of the case, and there isn’t a lot of difference between the two calibers to begin with. I wouldn’t have commented except the case material and date of manufacture essentially eliminate the 7.35 m/m. Jack

I agree! As I remember the 6.5 mm Carcano steel case is not particularly unusual! I looked it up and it appears that after introducing the 7.35mm Carcano rifle in 1938, the Italian Army decided in 1939 that having two different caliber rifles during a war and reverted to 6.5mm Carcano for the remainder of the war. The source I found stated that the 7.35mm rifles were sold to Finland, but I assume that it means that most were sold to Finland.



Great info, so there was a steel case 7.35mm and the Italian website has only documented it in the 943 date. If the three rounds are actually 942 dates and the caliber is 7.35, then these cases are quite interesting. I will ask the owner for the diameter of the case mouth.

Many thanks!!!


A small has already been said, it’s a 6.5 cartridge, you’ll see when you compare a 6.5x52 and a 7.35x51 side by side to each other.

The steel case development was probably made by Polte
During a visit a the Woodin Lab. I could make a picture from these CWS plated cases.


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An interesting board! What was the headstamp if there was any?
But besides this it is also interesting to see the copper clad cases were copper washed after the extractor groove was cut. Nice detail!

Sorry, I dont look at the head stamp

But now we are talking about Italian cartridges. 
By this visit I also made this picture.

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Jack - the Italian website “Munizione” indicates that the 7.35 Italian
cartridge was made from 1937 until 1943, and for instance, in the
case of Pirotecnia di Bologna, shows photographs of every headstamp
except for 1941. In fact, while it shows the date 1941, they do not have
a headstamp of a 7.35 from 1941 pictured from any manufacturer, so it is possible
there was no production that year.

The only steel-case round they show is dated 1943, from SMI, but there
is a brass-case headstamp shown from 1942 from Bologna and possibly
others, have forgotten now.

While in Italian language, the coverage of the 7.35 mm round on Munizioni
seems to be scholarly and very much “in depth.”

John Moss

John: Speaking anecdotally, as one must more often than would care to, I think that 7.35 m/m cartridges made in years other than 1938-40 are uncommon. And I think the cases above are 6.5 m/m. Jack

Sorry, its not really within this topic, but I really would like to know about 7.35 mm.
Prvi Partizan in its more recent catalogues offers 7.35 mm Carcano cases. They would be a great help to anybody studying 7.35 mm ballistics because they allow avoiding corrosive primers. (I know Finland made non-corrosive primers for 7.35 mm but see no chance to get hold of any significant amount.)
Has anybody been able to purchase some of these PPU cases?
My inquiry involving the German PPU distributor was not a success.

Jack - they may well be uncommon. I was simply responding to
the statement that this caliber was only made in Italy in 1938 and 1939,
which appears to be erroneous.

The cartridge pictured may well be 6.5 Carcano. I didn’t pay too much
attention to that. However, those pictured on the site “Munizioni” are
7.35 mm.

John M.

John: The recollection I imperfectly quoted actually gave dates 1938-40 and was put together a few years ago by an American collector with some care, but obviously not quite enough. As owner of a .30 cal M1906 cartridge case dated 1905 I am aware of the long shots. Thanks for citing Munizione; clearly I should have a look. Jack


I didn’t know about that site until someone post a direct link on this thread.
I struggle a little, but read enough Italian to get a lot of the text, and the captions
are pretty easy. It appears to be a scholarly and well done site. There is more
on the 7.35 Italian cartridge than I have in all my files and books put together, as
far as good, solid information goes.

Its worth a look-see. :-)


Jack, Please explain again why you are convinced this round is a 6.5mm Carcano.

I have done more careful measurements. First I measured some steel case rounds and found the difference between the bullet diameter and the casemouth diameter is about half a mm. When I measure the picture on my moniter the casemouth is 24mm. a 6.5mm bullet should yield a case mouth diameter of 7mm. That would make the image 3.43x (24 divided by 7). Multiplying 3.45 times 51mm, the case length would yield a case length on the image of 1.75mm. The actual image length would be slightly less because the case is at an angle. When I measure the image of the case, it is 152mm

If I assume the bullet diameter is 7.35mm then the casemouth diameter should be 7.85mm and the image on my monitor is 3.08x. This yields a case length of 156mm which is pretty close to the measured value on my monitor of 152mm, particularly when you consider that the angle of the case will slightly reduce the measured length on the image from the true length.

Bottom line is that I can’t see any way this case is a 6.5 Carcano and it sure seems to be a 7.35mm Carcano.

It is also interesting that the case is a black color while the 7.35mm steel case round pictured on the Italian website is clearly a brown lacquer.

Here is another photo the owner sent me which shows the black color pretty well.


I am reasonably convinced this is a 7.35mm Carcano but am open to a discussion on the point.


PS: I just remembered the 6.5 Carcano case length is 52 mm so the image length should have been slightly less than 178.3mm. This doesn’t change the argument above.

I am a little confused as to what you mean.

You’re wanting to acquire PPU 7.35 Carcano brass, to reload with?

Primer size will be Large Rifle. Any modern production primers will be non-corrosive.

I hope this helped.

Lew: If the person who sent the pics to you is a gun person he could see if he can drop a 7 m/m bullet in the case mouth, if he has a 7 m/m bullet. If he has a mike or a vernier caliper he can measure the outside diameter of the neck. Either of those is easily accomplished and will save you and me theorizing from a geometrically distorted image. Jack