Carcano bullet crimps


May anyone tell me about Carcano crimps? If not, is there a good web site explaining Carcano crimps? I don’t know if the crimps I see are original or post-war reload induced. For example, I found that 4 sideway-pointing triangle crimps sometimes all turn in one direction,and sometimes 1 of these 4 triangles points in the opposite direction, and that’s within the same headstamp. Grateful aforehand for any info.

  • All my Italian made 6.5X52 rimless Carcano rounds with brass cartridge cases showing dates of manufacture from WW1 and 1930s have 3 dot crimps like you described. Those dot crimps are deep and strongly made. I don’t have any 6.5X52 Carcano round showing 4 dot crimps like you mentioned above. Are you sure there are not only 3 dot crimps on your rounds??? What about the projectiles??? All my 6.5X52 Carcano rounds have those straight-sided long blunt projectiles with nickel jacket. The length of the projectile is exactly 24mm [0.944-in], measured right from the case mouth to the bullet tip. Liviu 04/29/07


M91 ammo was originally made without neck Crimping (1892-95.) it was found that soldiers" improved" their ammo by adding or subracting Powder from the cartridges, and also that bullets moved in cases under recoil.
Thus with the other improvements in the M1895 cartridge (or M91/95 as occasionally shown on packets) Three triangular deep stab crimps were introduced, as well as a wide crimping cannelure on the bullet ( no serrations).
This was the standard up to the late 30s, when several of the commercial makers (SMI and BPD) commenced using the “neck cone” or crimp method, as there had been found during WW I and then during the Abysinnian war, that a lot of cases cracked at the crimp position (over stressed brass? age cracking?) so with the introduction of Tombac(GM) bullet jackets(original M91 jackets were CuNi), the mouth crimp was introduced as well (around 1939-40. Mouth crimping dies were easier to make than stab crimp dies and “punches”.
The standard Ball projectile for the M91 and M91/95 cartridge was always the 162 grian Round nose as described. After WW I, some experiments with Spitzer AP and Special ammo was trialled, but no suitable pri\ojectile developed, as by 1938, the new spitzer 7,35 cartridge had been introduced…with the onset of war, any “experimentation” was out of the question, and so the Italians persevered with the 6,5mm–162 grain RN Cylindrical projectile.
One wonders if like the Swedes, they would have adopted a 140 grain Spitzer Boat tail for their ammo??? or succeeded in completely introducing the nifty 7,35 cartridge (in a semi Auto carbine, perhaps, like the Armaguerra M39???).

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


Talking about 6,5 Carcano, I have recently found the two uncommon bullets at the right of the photo.
As you can see, they have a different profile, and are both hollow, one (central) with two very small holes (about 2/10 mm) near the tip and a threaded base.
DocAV, some idea?


The one with the holes at the ogive is a “Speciale Incendiario”, the body being turned from solid GM (Tombac) rod, and threaded for a base plug after filling. Similar to the “Calibro 7,7mm Perforante Speciale” of WW II for Aircraft MGs in the Regia Aeronautica. It probably contained a Phosphous compound which ignited on impact ( Aircraft or more likely Hydrogen Filled Balloons of WW I

The last one, may be similar (Incendiary)or it may have contained a Tracer compound with an ignition delay diaphragm to allow sufficient delay for ignition to commence some distance from the gun muzzle, and so not indicate the source of the fire. (???)

Since they don’t show rifling marks, they are obviously dismantled or broken up ammunition of some sort, even battlefield burnt.

The Position of the crimp groove in the middle one suggests either a WW I or 1920s origin, and the lack of crimp groove in the last bullet could make it WW II. (but not exclude an earlier origin…)

Where did you find these…in the WW I battle areas (Venezia Giulia, Carso, Dolomiti?) or elsewhere?

There is a good explanation of a lot of the 6,5 Carcano “Special cartridges” in “Il 91” of Simondi, Belogi & Grimaldi, published about 1971-2, in Italian
(Ravizza Editrice).

Regards, e Saluti,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics
"Che custa l’on che custa, viva L’Austa "


Thanks Doc, that’s what I was thinking! The one with small holes, may be the very rare “BTS”, a phosphor filled bullet that it left a smoke trace after fired.
The source is a private collector, with an incredible large collection of anything of military, including ammo from .17 caliber to 500 lbs aerial bombs, in the town of Terni (this name must remember something to Carcano fans), and I suppose it come out from some old Army store.
Both are not fired and inert.
Ciao e viva Aosta!