Saturday, July 25, 2020

Beggars Can't Be Choosers...

...but they should still be a little choosy.

Palmetto State Armory appears to have a sizable inventory of Mannlicher-Carcano M91/24 TS carbines in stock. In this time of ammo panics and gun shortages, someone caught out without a long gun might think that's a viable choice. After all, it's a former military-issue longarm, right? And what could be more rugged and reliable than a military surplus bolt-action rifle?

As a bonus, 6.5x52mm Carcano ammo may be expensive, but a quick check at shows that there's plenty of Prvi Partizan and Norma ammo out there to be had, unlike 5.56 or 7.62x39 right now.

There's something to be said for a short, fast-handling carbine in an intermediate military caliber like 6.5 Carcano, but there are rather a lot of flies in this ointment. For starters, the Carcano action is clunky and awkward; there's a reason you don't see it serving as a popular basis for sporters the way the Mauser and its derivatives are.

Secondly (and a lot more importantly) the rifle uses the Mannlicher system of feeding from en bloc clips. Each clip holds six rounds, and the whole assembly is fed into the open action, with the spent clip dropping out the bottom of the receiver after it's empty. Like the Garand, the rifle is a single-shot without the clip. Unlike the Garand, the world is not knee-deep in Carcano clips.

Even as a battlefield pickup, this would be a gray loot drop.