What kind of Carcano is this?


Got this cartridge in a trade recently. It has a standard 6.5 carcano steel case but a long strange reduced diameter bullet. Bullet takes a magnet from tip to case mouth. Slight knurl on bullet forward of case mouth.

The bullet diameter forward of the case mouth is 5.90 mm. Overall length is 82.88 mm. Weight of mystery cartridge is 340 gn (weight of the steel case ball round is 336 gn). It does not appear to be home made. Any ideas?

See pics below:

Pic 1 below shows comparison of mystery round to normal 6.5 carcano with steel case.

Pic2 shows a close up of the bullets. Note the reduced diameter of the mystery bullet forward of the case mouth. The knurl is barely visible above the case mouth.

Pic3 shows a closer view of the case mouth and the knurl.

Pic4 shows the base. Mystery is on the left with a blue primer seal.

Thanks for the help.


Are you sure it’s a bullet? It doesn’t appear to be crimped. Have you tried pulling it out of the case?


does not match any Italian military model
In my opinion it is a civilian "reload"
The ball has a lead core or she is a monoblock?
what kind of powder contains?

I think what Ray was getting at is that this could be a pencil or ink pen, not a “real” cartridge.


Bullet(?) is solidly in the case. It’s not a pen or pencil. The weight of the mystery is round is 340 gn and the weight of my 6.5 steel case ball carcano is 336 gn.
Any significance to the knurling on the bullet; its barely visible in pics 2 and 3?



Unless someone can come up with an ID, and a photo or drawing of that “bullet”, you are always going to wonder about it. And, if you won’t wonder about it, I will. ;-)

If it was mine, I would have pulled the bullet a long time ago. A couple of taps with an inertia puller and the wonderment will be over. Before you pull (if you do), weigh and measure everything first.

I know that many guys think that pulling bullets or otherwise dis-assembling a cartridge borders on blasphemy, but I’m not one of them. To me, a cartridge is not of much value if I don’t know what it is. And, I’m always amazed at what I find inside some of the most ordinary cartridges I have. Things I never would have known, or thought of, otherwise.



This is simply a WAG, but I have in the past swaged bullets down to satisfy a particular bore diameter. Not this much but enough to see a similar effect. The faint knurling is, I believe, a result of this sort of swaging. Why partially swage? Got me. I agree with Ray I’d pull the bullet. An enertia puller won’t hurt the components and You could put it together again.

Hello Ray
I am surely agree with you
Only by removing the cartridges it is possible understand the differences in the various models or structural between the various plants
Also often found some nice surprises
Otherwise a 9 Glisenti could be mistaken for a 9 parabellum … of course it is a joke …
I wait to see the pictures of the ball and of the powder

Thanks for comments and advice.
Pulled the bullet(?) this evening. Ray is right that this can be revealing.
See pics below

First pic shows pulled bullet(?) and some of the powder. Bullet(?) weighs 162 gn. Takes a magnet all over. The grey protrusion is slightly magnetic. The dia of the bright copper area is 6.6 mm.

Second Pic shows all of the powder. The bullet looks bent but it is not.

Pic 3 shows base of bullet(?)

Pic 4 shows another view of the base.

Still not sure what it is. Any comments?

The protruding lead in the projectile base lets one assume that this was a regular projectile before wich was run through a die where the projectile got squeezed and enlongated and some of the lead core material went toe way of the least resistance.

Could you weigh the projectile and compare it to a regular one? The weights should be identical then.

powder looks like chopped Cordite.
Could it have been part of a machine gun jam?

That’s standard powder for the Carcano ammo, Solenite. The bullet is an original military one but swaged down for an unknown reason

As expected, came the surprise…
the powder is the Italian standard for that cartridge
the ball has definitely been stretched toward the ball
maintaining the original diameter at the base
this operation did come out the lead
It is possible that it was done without removing the bullet ?
Otherwise you would see a new crimping at the mouth
there is …?

From a Google of Solenite, for those like myself who were unfamiliar with this powder.

Solenite was an Italian military propellant similar to Filite and Cordite, but the nitro-glycerine content being reduced to 33 per cent, with a corresponding increase in the nitrocellulose content. The method of manufacture of Solenite was similar to that of cordite. Solenite was pale brown in color.

I’ve swaged a few bullets in my time, usually a nominal downsizing such as .243" to .230", .458" to .450", etc. Swaging a bullet like the one shown would have taken a tremendous amount of leverage, in a very strong press, using a special die. Even if it was done in steps, it would not have been an easy process. It would have extruded the excess core material exactly as shown. But, it also would have weakened the jacket/core bond depending on the core material. For example, lead and GM would have resisted the compression to different degrees. Lead will tend to keep it’s shape and diameter whereas GM would tend to spring back. That’s why the standard method of making jacketed bullets is to swage them up to a larger diameter, rather than down.

But, having said all that, I still have no idea what the bullet was intended for. Some sort of squeeze-bore??


This here could have been done by “rolling” what is a procedure for reducing diameters without removing material. A procedure used in hitgh tech applications where the material is rolled under radial pressure. This gives a high quality surface which is also denser and harder then then the material that went into the machine before. Maybe somebody was playing around with such a device.

I have swaged or sized thousands of projectiles over the years using several dies but they all had a ram pushing the projectile through the die at the base. The lead would not have been protruding out the base as it would have been squashed. I agree with Ray on the fact that it takes a good bit of force in a conventional setup just to swage a few thousands with the proper lube, let alone this amount.

My two cents worth,


What EOD suggested makes sense. That would explain the knurling.

I’d guess that the “knurling” is the vestige of the original crimping cannelure.


Ray, you know that could very well be.