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7.35MM Carcano


Developed in the 1930s, the 7.35mm Carcano was the outgrowth of the Italian Government’s efforts to improve upon the battle-proven inadequacy of the 6.5 Carcano, the case was necked up three calibers (3/100-inch), from 26 to 29.  Bullet weight was reduced from 162-grains to 128-grains and bullet shape was altered from round nosed to spitzer so BC remained similar, and pressure was increased by about 20%.  With these changes, the 7.5 Carcano had significantly improved battlefield performance in all areas excepting the ability to pierce light armor.  Recoil was similar and trajectory was far superior.

However, the relatively light bullet did not offer much in terms of long-range performance and the problems with the rifles remained.  As such, the 7.5 Carcano was just about as bad as the 6.5 Carcano and, in terms of comparative value, the rifle and chambering must be considered one of the worst ever standardized as a battlefield combination.  The best that can be said about it is: it is better than the 6.5 Carcano!  This is a rather good example of damning with faint praise.

Handloaders are severely limited due to the unique 29-caliber (0.298-inch diameter) bullets used in the 7.35 Carcano.  I find exactly zero commercially available as I write this but I did not do an in-depth search.

Raven Rock Precision once offered a 140-grain jacketed bullet under the DKT line.  Lyman once offered two bullet moulds.  Perhaps someone still offers commercial bullets of the correct diameter.  If so, Lee Precision offers the dies the handloader will need to load ammo for this gun.

As noted in the 6.5mm Carcano discussion, the handloader can enjoy making this combination shoot better than most would believe possible and with the right combination, it is entirely capable for deer hunting.

The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
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