Unknown 6.5x52

Here is a 6.5x52 cartridge that I can’t identify. It looks like a Mannlicher-Schönauer case type but is not an Italian 6.5x52 or any other experimental that I know of. Any information would be appreciated.


Total Length: 75.76 mm (2.982")
Case length: 51.98 mm (2.046")
Body length: 39.40 mm (1.551")
Neck length: 8.00 mm (0.314")
Rim Ø: 11.35 mm (0.446")
Head Ø: 11.44 mm (0.450")
Shoulder Ø: 10.57 mm (0.416")
Mouth Ø: 7.50 mm (0.295")
Bullet Ø: 6.72 mm (0.264")
Rim thickness: 1.50 mm (0.059")
Primer Ø: 5.30 mm (0.208")



What ever it is, it has a Cracked Head (metal stress, improper draw anneal, before heading.).

What is the Primer diameter? Italian primers are .204" (5,2mm) HP 1936 are .199 (5.0mm); Boxer are .210" I don’t know of any other Cases (Berdan) with .217 Primers.

Cut of extractor Groove is Italian style. One suggestion, SFM did drawings of the cartridge (6,5x52 Carcano) in 1904 or so, possibly for manufacture.

SFM (GG) did quite a lot of “Foreign Calibres”…the French could and did supply anybody with Gold Francs to Pay.

An X-ray (your dentist can be of assistance for such a small item) in determining the Powder type, Primer type, and internal construction of case (is there a step in the Neck, for the RN bullet?)

The original M91 cartridge was flat based ( the M91/95 was the ringed base model), as were the SFM and HP cartridges/designs. Boxer (Norma) are also Flat based, as are WCC ( Winchester, 1950s)

Any other suggestions?

Doc AV

Body and shoulder look slightly different than Carcano ones, although head and shoulder diam are typical of Mannlicher and Carcano cartridges.
Bullet diam is .264" , and I don’t think Carcano cartridges were loaded with this bullet diam until the advent of American sporting reloads and loads. Is the bullet magnetic? Italian carcano cartridges didn’t use bullets with magnetic jacket until 1939

DocAV and Pivi, thanks for your comments. Bullet jacket is cupro-nickel clad steel. Regards, Fede.

Fede, Hola,
Have a look at the WCC 6,5 made in the 1950s for the ( failed) CIA program in Albania (Lots 6000-6003) and later surplussed in the USA. This cartridge looks like an Un-head-stamped version of those. (Boxer Primer, .209-210, CuNi coated steel jacket, etc.)

The more I look at it and compare the measurements listed for it, the more I think it is a “factory reject” ( ie, no headstamp) and may have been surplussed early on, or even have escaped QA and been packed with normal cartridges in “White Packs”… back to what I said earlier, X-ray at the dentist. To confirm or deny " Boxer" manufacture.

Doc AV

What was that CIA program in Albania?

DocAV, thanks for the help, but I can’t see any similarity between the unknown cartridge and those made by WCC, they are different in almost every possible aspect.

Doc, I have always thought that the WCC ammo were lots for the italian government. What about the CIA program in Albania?

The cupro nickel cladding on the steel jacket doesn’t fit the WCC story well. In fact CNCS goes best with a bullet made in continental Europe pre-1939. Jack

The CIA in 1947-50, tried to supply Albanian anti-communist resistance groups with Rifles (Carcanos) and Ammunition. Albania had been occupied by Italy well before WW II, and its Armed Forces armed with Carcano M91 series rifles. Plus after 1943 , and the surrender of Italian Forces in Albania (as well as Yugoslavia) saw a spread of Carcanos across the entire Balkan area.
But before The CIA could get its act together, Enver Hodja, the Albanian Stalinist leader, had already locked down the country under his Power. Whatever Resistance there was, was “liquidated” or escaped to Italy or Greece ( which was in an anti-commnunist Civil war of its own.). Of course, the CIA then eventually “passed” it to Sam Cummings (Interarms) in exchange for other “clean” ammo or equipment. SC and the CIA had a long working relationship…he let them know about sales which might be “questionable”, and they in turn bought surplus equipment for their Covert Operations.
He also took back from the CIA any equipment surplus to their needs. (“The War Business” written in 1970s).

Italy didn’t need any help from the USA in 6,5 ammo…it had stocks of wartime and pre-war ammo, plus its several Factories (except Bologna) were still “good to go” ( esp. the Private companies)
I have BPD and SMI ammo from the late 40s, 50s and 60s).

Doc AV

Doc, thanks for the brief Albania story! Interesting to know.

Anybody here with an image of that WCC hs on those 6.5mm rounds?

BPD made Carcano ammo in 1949 and 1950, Capua from 1947 to 1958 and SMI from 1951 to 1972. Anyway not every year of production by Capua and SMI after WWII is confirmed. For example there is no trace of SMI production from 1956 to 1964, and the only Carcano hds by Capua from 1954 has “DCE” instead of inspector’s initials.

If you have any SMI Carcano sample from 1956 to 1964 please let me know

Production of these cartridges was completed by WCC in 1954 but I don’t think that the actual purchaser/user has ever been verified. According to a letter signed by Olin Corp. is was made under contract with U. S. Ordnance Department and shipped to Raritan Arsenal, Nixon, New Jersey between April 1, 1954 and May 28, 1954. Regarding the Albanian connection, although possible, again, this is something that has not been verified.

This ammunition has nothing to do with Interarms in Virginia (actually still Interarmco at that time) and Sam Cummings. It was available from Century Arms in Vermont, which in turn became the source of many other US distributors. According to one unverified testimony from the FBI files, it was ordered by the US Government to be delivered to Greece as part of the American Aid Program; then, in 1962 it was imported from Greece by International Firearms in Montreal, Canada, and finally imported into the States by Century Arms.


See here for some pics of the WCC 6.5: oldammo.com/december14.htm.


Not to hijack the thread but as mentioned in the link provided by DaveE, this WCC headstamped ammunition was used in the Kennedy assassination & for those interested a VERY GOOD PBS program was done by a local (Phoenix AZ) forensics investigator. The address is: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/cold-case-jfk.html A button to the right allows you to watch the hour long program.

Thank you guys!