Interesting CARCANO headstamp

Never seen it on the 6,5 mm Carcano

DCE should stand for “Direzione Centrale Esercito”, made by Pirotecnico of Capua in 1954

Magistri M37 frangible bullet

Why did Italian Army need Carcano ammo in 1954?


Carcano carbines saw some use by Carabinieri and other police corps well into the 60es

Actually SMI produced ball loads until 1971 and Capua until 1958 ( last known dates).
The latest date can be found on grenade-launcher cartridges made by SMI in 1972 and packed into boxes dated 1984.
These were used to launch tear gas grenades during riots

Re 6,5 Carcano ammo production…I can confirm that in 1975, Carcano Cav Carbines were still is service with the Carabinieri in Regional and Rural areas, and also with such other Gov’t users such as the Finance Guards (GdF) and the Guardie Carcerarie ( Prison Guards), both Uniformed ParaMilitary organisations; in fact, once during a train trip (1975) from Cuneo to Turin, I saw several GCs in transfer with their Kitbags and Slung Cav Car, in uniform. Our local town Carabinieri (pop.7,000) still had Cav Carbines for the enlisted men, and Beretta M12s & MAB 38/42 for the NCOs.

The Tear Gas Launchers were usually converted TS Carcanos ( from Newsreels about the various Right-Left demonstrations and riots of the 1970s ( and Football (Soccer) Riots as well).

The Latest SMI ammo I have (Milsurp of the 1960s) is SMI 62.

I had not seen the DCE headstamp; this marking replaced the normal “Inspector’s Initials” common to all Gov’t produced Ammo in Italy.
Capua also changed its formal Name in the 1960s-70s, as well, and these changes are found on Capua-made 7,62 Nato shells ( Can’t remember it exactly, but “PC” …etc ( Pirotechnica Capua …) seems to come to mind.

Pivi, do you have any HS of this period to confirm my poor memory?

BTW, another feature of the 6,5 Ammo is that right up to cessation of production, it retained the .204" diameter Berdan Primer, with the unique pressed up anvil in the case head, and large lateral flash holes.

AS to foreign sales ( apart from Military Surplus to US importers) it is unknown (by me) whether Italy sold any 6,5 ammo to any Country in the Mediterranean Basin that had quantities of 6,5 calibre firearms after WW II ( Libya, Egypt, Israel, Greece, Ethiopia). That is Official Gov’t to Gov’t sales;
or even Private export sales by SMI or LBC or early on, BPD.

Doc AV

The other headstamps from Capua from the 50es still have the inspector’s initials.

Capua later used PEC and PECA ( Pirotecnico Esercito Capua) in their headstamps

I think that Capua started using the PEC or PECA words in their headstamps in 1966

The latest Capua headstamp with the inspector initials in my collection is on a 8 x 59 Breda headstamped B.P C- 65, then I have a 380 ACP headstamped P.E.C. 9M34 66