View Full Version : M91 1891/41 Carcano

03-28-2010, 6:47 PM
Hey folks, i recently got "into guns" with the purchase of my Marlin 22. Today I was out shooting with a friend and have taken a particular interest in older weapons. My friend had a Mosin Nagant, what a kick to shoot with! Literally, have the bruises LOL.

Anyway, my dad has an old M91 Carcano long rifle thats in great condition. I just need to tear it apart and clean/lube it.

I cant seem to find out how to remove the bolt at all. The only diagrams and instructions i can find are for the 1938 carbine. A slightly different action style. Ive tried everything as far as i know...

Is there anyone on here who knows much about this old rifle???

03-28-2010, 6:56 PM
Carcano actions are all alike. Pull the trigger back to remove the bolt. http://www.surplusrifle.com/carcano9141/rifledisassembly/index.asp

03-28-2010, 7:14 PM
Im gonna take some pics, I tried that, and it wont budge. It seems that the bolt in this is different from every other Carcano pic ive seen.

Palimino Stripe
03-28-2010, 8:38 PM
Then chances are it isn't a M91 carcano. Lets see some pics :)

HUTCH 7.62
03-28-2010, 8:39 PM
Oswald rifle anyone.

03-28-2010, 10:32 PM
Could it be that the rifle is a Steyr m95 rifle? They both use mannlicher style magazines.

I could see how someone who just got "into" guns could make that mistake.


Palimino Stripe
03-29-2010, 12:06 AM
Possibly- but you still take an M95 bolt out the same way. If it ain't budging it must be something else... or it is an M91 Carcano- and a stuck part or operator error is at play.

03-29-2010, 12:47 AM
If I recall correctly, to get the bolt out of an M95 the trigger gets pressed forward while pulling back on the bolt. The M95 is a straight-pull, while the Carcanos are turn-bolt actions, which would help identify the mystery rifle. The Carcano models that I have--M1891, M91/41, M38, M91/28 have basically interchangeable bolts, though the earlier ones have straight handles and the later are turned-down types. It may be that the bolt is just gummed-up, as mentioned before.

03-29-2010, 8:34 AM


03-29-2010, 8:55 AM
That's a Vetterli, not a Carcano.

03-29-2010, 9:05 AM
There. It's for the Swiss ones, but they're similar to Italian Vetterlis.


03-29-2010, 9:16 AM
THANK YOU! They looked so similar, and my knowledge of older guns so LACKING!

03-29-2010, 9:38 AM
Oh, and don't shoot it, or be very careful if you do. Find ammo loaded to those (low) pressures, just because it's the same caliber doesn't mean it's loaded to the older pressures and that it's safe.

When Italians refurbished their old Vetterlis out of necessity (they didn't have enough of the new Carcanos) from 10.5mm BP to 6.5x52mm, the pressures from the new smokeless powder rounds were dangerously high for the BP rifles (especially since Italians weren't good at quality control, so the powder loads varied greatly between even the rounds from the same lot. That is, when they were lucky to get rounds from the same lot in the same clip :)), to the point that the Italian Army only recommended shooting them as a last resort. I guess, that's when the immediate fear of the enemy outweighed the fear of the rifle blowing up.

So, if you intend to shoot it, be very, VERY careful what you shoot out of it. Have it inspected by someone who knows what he's doing (i.e. a decent gunsmith who knows these rifles). Even if the first few shots are fine, it doesn't guarantee that the subsequent shots will be fine, so use caution.

I shot my Vetterli Vitali M1870/87/15 4 times using surplus Italian ammo (yes, that was stupid, I should've asked someone to handload a milder load for me, for Italian surplus ammo isn't exactly known for its consistency). I shot the first two rounds while the rifle was positioned in a tire with a string tied to the trigger (I testfire new to me C&Rs that way, just in case), and the other two properly. On inspection, the rifle seemed fine, but I'd rather regularly shoot something I have more confidence in.

03-29-2010, 12:07 PM
Dont shoot it!? Is there any other source of reliable 6.5 ammo these days or should i just clean it, put it back on the shelf and get a Nagant?

03-29-2010, 1:45 PM
There are a few companies making new-production Carcano ammo, but the Vetterli action was built back in the days of black powder cartridges and is generally thought to be too weak for modern pressures. I'd put it back on the shelf until you either get into reloading and can make some low-pressure rounds or find someone who can. (You'll also need an en-bloc type clip for the Carcano rounds.)

Mosins are bountiful and cheap to feed, but they generally lead to Milsurpitis, which leads to many, many rifles, most of the time.

03-29-2010, 6:16 PM
Mosins are bountiful and cheap to feed, but they generally lead to Milsurpitis, which leads to many, many rifles, most of the time.

The problem with that being? :confused:

03-29-2010, 11:02 PM
Yeah i suppose its the easiest way. Nagant ammo is far more plentiful than Carcano...

Palimino Stripe
03-30-2010, 1:27 AM
Here's a great article on the Vetterli-Vitali 1870/87/15:


Read & consider yourself informed :)


03-30-2010, 9:17 AM
Good info, Thanks!

03-30-2010, 8:31 PM
i use the tire method too nick! great isn't it?