I have a .30 caliber Italian cartridge. Shortened 7.35 Carc

Ok, I picked this cartridge up a few years ago at SLICS I think. I alway thought it was just something some wildcatter did or someone just playing around who had to much time on their hands. I assumed it was a 7.35mm case and bullet. It is made out of a shortened 7.35mm or 6.5mm Italian Carcano case. It has a cracked case neck so I recently pulled the bullet out and measured it and found it was .308 inches in diameter. I then compared it to a 7.35mm bullet that I pulled and found it was shorter then the 7.35mm bullet while it weights about the same. It is 127.7 grains vs. 127.5 grains for the 7.35mm bullet. It had a load of 21.3 graind of smokeless powder. Which looked exactly like the powder from the 7.35mm cartridge. The case is 1.517 inches long. The case neck is .340 inches in diameter but it is cracked. Look at the pics and see if you agree that the bullet seems to be of simular construction and design? While the .308 cal. bullet has two cannelures and the 7.35mm bullet only one. I guess I am wondering if this is some Italian military or even and experimental cartridge? Wow! After all that I just figured it out! It is a 7.62x39! But why a .308 bullet, and not .310? Is it Italian or what?

I have no idea who converted this case to 7.62 x 39 - could be an individual, or while I have only seen blanks so done, could have been Finland who made lots of 7.62 x 39 blanks out of this caliber.

The only two cases that are really proper for making the 7.62 x 39 mm cartridge, something a lot of us with SKS Carbines, Valmet 62s and the lot were doing when you couldn’t get any of this ammunition, were the 6.5 Carcano and the 6.5 Mannlicher Schoenauer. I made several hundred 7.62 mm cases out of the latter, and they turned out perfect, with spotless functioning in three different semi-automatic rifles. Some books suggest .308 Winchester cases, but that is a lot more work for less satisfactory results. Some recommended .308 bullets, but they gave very poor accuracy, as can be expected. I used the only bullet I could get that gave good accuracy results (since I was target shooting, not hunting, although a friend took a California coast deer with one of my handloads and his Valmet rifle), and that was 150 grain .303 (.312") bullets intended for the .303 British. They gave outstanding accuracy, although the trajectory was pretty much a rainbow - 300 meter sight setting to hit dead on for a properly zeroed iron sight rifle.

Long story short - this conversion is fairly common, although again, I have no idea who did it.

John Moss

John is right,Finland acquired a great number of Carcano 7.35 mm rifles with ammunition.
Conversion to 7.62 x 39 mm was fairly common .It is not an italian military cartridge

Would also believe more in Johns writing that it was a US rework from a shooter long time ago when there was no 7.62x39 available in quantity.
There have been a few loaded in Finland as Ball, but first they used the Finish 8 gram bullet and also the ones I’ve seen had the normal crimp at the casemouth like its known from LAPUA or SAKO.

Steve Fuller’s book on the SKS rifle has a section describing how to rework 7.35 Carcano into 7.62x39mm, including how to swedge up the Italian bullet to proper diameter for the 7.62. I beleive the original powder was reused too… I’d wager that this is exactly what happened in this case.


Probably done by the Finns, as that double-knurl bullet is a training projectile often seen on reloaded Finnish 7.35s.

The finish Training bullet is a hollow jacket only and more rounded - also you can see the base has a filler at this bullet.

I have at least one example of that exact bullet loaded into a 7.35 case. It is a Finnish loading, not Italian.