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Mystery case found
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On a hike yesterday I found a case that I can not I.D. (I am away from my books at home).

The odd thing is the headstamp: It is in relief; ie, the lettering sticks up from the case head, and is bordered by a raised rim.

The headstamp reads: B-P, then, B-18

The body (near the rim) measures .450", and is 2.060" OAL. The neck i.d. is .265" (either a loose .257, or tight .264" bore).

I think it is very old, as other cases I have found on this trail (closed to shooting for over 50 years), have been Krags marked "30 USG".

I will try to post a pic this weekend, unless someone nails it.

Thank you, Doug
 
Posts: 192 | Registered: 30 December 2004Reply With Quote
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Doug

More info or a photo will help. Raised headstamps are tpical of Euopean military cartridges. From the 3 dimensions you gave it could be a 6.5 Carcano. Just guessing. Is it rimless? Bottleneck? Shoulder diameter? Rim diameter? Neck O.D.?

Ray


Arizona Mountains
 
Posts: 1560 | Location: Arizona Mountains | Registered: 11 October 2004Reply With Quote
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It is a modern, rimless, bottle-neck design. The body diam. at the shoulder is .0435", for .015" body taper. The neck is about .300" long.

The Concarno crossed my mind, but this thing looks so modern, and the lettering looks English-esq.
 
Posts: 192 | Registered: 30 December 2004Reply With Quote
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Doug

All those dimensions agree with the 6.5 Carcano. I grabbed one from my collection and it has a headstamp of SMI 936 but it's an old military load. I think at least one manufacturer loaded modern ammo for those guys who had surplus rifles (Lee Harvey Oswald) so it may not be old. Maybe somebody was shooting where they shouldn't have been.

ray


Arizona Mountains
 
Posts: 1560 | Location: Arizona Mountains | Registered: 11 October 2004Reply With Quote
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Doug

I got out my 7.35 Carcano and the headstamp is C-A B-39. Not the same as the one you found but similar. Same raised lettering and border as yours.

Ray


Arizona Mountains
 
Posts: 1560 | Location: Arizona Mountains | Registered: 11 October 2004Reply With Quote
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Thank you Ray...it looks like you nailed it!

This is the first time I have seen the raised lettering on any cartridge...it looks kinda cool.

In looking at the case, I am surprised that know one has thought of it for the Contender. The .450 head diam. would allow higher pressures (than the .444 Marlin based rounds), and the caliber and powder capacity are just right.
 
Posts: 192 | Registered: 30 December 2004Reply With Quote
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Doug

There have been several wildcats using the high quality Norma brass including at least one Benchrest cartridge.

ray


Arizona Mountains
 
Posts: 1560 | Location: Arizona Mountains | Registered: 11 October 2004Reply With Quote
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Hi Doug -

Ray is correct in the ID of the 6.5 Carcano, but the one you found is (was) a military loading.

The "BP" represents the "initials of the chief government inspector" according to my references . . . whether of the particular factory, military rifle ammo, all military ordnance, or whatever is not explained. The "B" portion of the "B-18" is the plant, Pirotecnico de Bologna - one of the largest of the early Italian arsenals to judge by the amount of Italian Vetterli, ordnance revolver and 6.5 Carcano ammo I've seen so marked. "18" is of course 1918. Undoubtedly this was some milsurp ammo which made its way to the US, possibly even before WW2.

Raised headstamps look odd today, but they were common in the 1800s, particularly in Europe, although it was also done in this country up until roughly 1880 on some commercial ammo. It was easier to engrave a female headstamp bunter than create a male one. By WW2, only the Italian loadings and Russian 7.62x54R continued with the raised headstamps.
 
Posts: 219 | Location: NH, USA | Registered: 12 May 2002Reply With Quote
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Iconoclast,
Thank you for that very informative post. It fully explains everything.

This cartridge stumped me! I usually pick up a case on the trail and take pride in I.D.ing it without looking at the headstamp (found one last night, it was a Western .22 Highpower), but this one, I carried it for a mile before I looked at the headstamp-and still could not figure it out. Made for a good hike though!
 
Posts: 192 | Registered: 30 December 2004Reply With Quote
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One additional note - the 6.5 ammo which Oswald allegedly used was from a clandestine contract Western filled in the 1950s. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever (publicly) identified for whom it was produced (although the CIA is a leading candidate) nor where this ammo was to be sent. In fact, IIRC, it's probable it never left the country and was dumped into the milsurp market. They made one more, far more limited, run in 1963 to match the exact loading of the lot found with the rifle Oswald allegedly used. This was done on an extraordinarily expedited basis upon a direct request from on high (LBJ or RFK) for the forensic tests conducted on the rifle by the feebs and Aberdeen. I have one of the empty boxes and one of the fired cases from the Aberdeen end of the investigation in my collection.
 
Posts: 219 | Location: NH, USA | Registered: 12 May 2002Reply With Quote
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