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Thread: Carcano steels

  1. #1
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    Default Carcano steels

    I found some sketchey info on Czech steel used for carcano production and royalties paid the czech's for a certin propritary type used. any information of when this occured the quantites and the #'s produced in each type, I could see where war time shortages of key mineral's in steel production would lead to certin production runs being perfictly suitable for 6.5 but those peace time production rifles would be more robust from a metalurgical standpoint are what I would like to know about, both the model 91 & carbine I have were WWI production and appeard crude by comparrision to the 1930's mfg models I was able to inspect.

  2. #2
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    Default Steel in Carcano rifles

    Original steel specs for Carcano rifles (Bolt especially) required Poldi special steel from Kladno in upper Bohemia (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.)...The Name comes from a contraction of "Leopoldina", the wife of Karl Wittgenstein, a German family of Steelmakers and entrepreneurs (with many famous connections, amongst them the 20th century Philosopher, Wittgenstien); the original name of "Leopoldina-Hutte" became with time, simply "Poldi" of Kladno. Poldi was still in business when the new state of Czecho-slovakia was formed,(1919) and supplied steel for the manufacture of both Mauser (Vz24 etc) rifles and ZB26 type LMGs (The British copied the Poldi specs when making their own Bren Gun Steel.). The Germans, after 1939, utilised Poldi steel, as did the Eastern Bloc after 1948.
    The Communist Enterprise was "privatised" in 1989, and almost was bankrupted in 1998; it was saved by a German Steelmaker, and now (much re-structured) again supplies special steels to the European market. Poldi steel is still used for quality gun-barrels, and some say it exceeds the famous "Krupp-laufStahl" in quality and performance.

    The connections between steel works and arms manufacturers transcended Political and National boundaries...see the links between Vickers-Maxim, Krupp & DWM, between Vickers-Armstrong and Odero-Terni-Orlando in Italy; and so on. technology and supplies were cross-traded, (cartels), and everybody made money by competition for the customers...Countries such as China had as many Krupp guns and warships as they did of Vickers-Armstrong (Same with Turkey)...it just depended on who gave the better "deal" at the moment...

    Search Google for many articles under "Poldi Kladno" (avoiding the majority which refer to Hockey and other Sporting teams). Some articles are in Czech, the majority in English.

    The Kladno area is just about 20 km west of Prague, and developed in the mid-1800s as a major steel making and industrial area. It is now like Pittsburgh USA, a "Rust-belt" city, struggling to re-invent itself with modern, efficient industries.

    regards,
    Doc AV
    AV Ballistics.
    Last edited by DocAV; 05-01-2008 at 06:33 AM. Reason: Correction of factual errors.

  3. #3
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    Default The joy of reading

    I alwase appreciate your in put its informative and to the point and professional.

    Thank you Doc AV

  4. #4
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    Default

    Very informative, Doc! Do you know what the Italians used while they were at war with Austria-Hungary? Did they have stockpiles of the Poldi steel, or did they switch to something else?

  5. #5
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    Default Mida Brescia M91

    I have a Mida Brescia #2909 that would fall in this time frame "1917-1918" and would like to know this as well, I did some checking the Google sites but will require more input to narrow my searches.
    The mention of early production bolts removed & shelved and later installed on new production run weapons was interesting,
    There is a old fella here in OTZ who claims that he had accidently dropped a carcano bolt on a concrete floor and it shatterd "early 1960's". was this a pre WWI production bolt that was that brittle? These type story's crop up giving the carcano a very dark reputation,
    The Gremans were indeed desprate to convert some to 8mm but must have had a sound reason for doing so
    believeing the acition would be able to withstand the pressures generated Did they select only 7.35 carcano's for conversion believeing the metalurgy was sufficent from the time frame of production?
    The post WWII surplus sales & modification of Carcano's shipped abroad
    is very interesting and the un-documented conversions of Carcano's into non Italian calibers.
    Last edited by Rex in OTZ; 05-01-2008 at 04:30 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Early bolts were replaced because they had the first type of extractor design, which went through a hole in the lug, weakening it. Never heard of any problems with either the barrel or bolt steel with Carcanos,. On the contrary production has been remarkably consistent even during wartime.

    Carcano barrel production gradually converted to Italian-made steel bars. On page 55 of the new book by DiGiorgio and Pettinelli there is a table with the steel production stamp on barrels, by model, date and by arsenal. According to this table the last PO (Poldi) stamps appear on Brescia M91TSs in 1911. Subsequently different steel manufacturer stamps remain in use. "K" is also a stamp indicating a foreign steel (presumably Krupp or maybe again Poldi which is located in Kladno). The Italian steel stamps that are subsequently used are for example AT (Acciaio Terni) , FP (Ferriere Piemontesi), FK (Falk), and others. I tried to find out what Riepe says in his book on this subject, but unfortunately due to my lack of knowledge of German I can not say.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DMala View Post
    Never heard of any problems with either the barrel or bolt steel with Carcanos,. On the contrary production has been remarkably consistent even during wartime.
    Both DMala and the old fellow of Rex' acquaintance are right in a way. The elder chap only misexpressed his (certainly truthful) remembrance a bit.

    1. The general statement of Dionigi is very true.

    2. Not only older Carcanos have case-hardened parts that can shatter when e.g. falling down on a hard concrete floor. SImilar effects have e.g. been observed with Gewehr 98 receivers at the thin tumbhole area. The explanation is simple: older bolts had a differently shaped cut-out notch at their end, where the safety tube's nub runs in a channel. The metal was extremely thin there, consequently the case-hardening could render the bolt brittle (only) in this very area by "hardening through". I have seen several old bolts with a crack or a part broken away there; it does not impediment function nor safety.

    I tried to find out what Riepe says in his book on this subject, but unfortunately due to my lack of knowledge of German I can not say.
    The barrel makings are listed on p. 352 s. There, Riepe lists some maker - year - barrel code combinations, but does not offer own explanations apart from a reference to Cascino w.r.t. the Poldi-Hütte.

    Interlibrary loan might yield more information about the barrels:

    50 Jahre Poldihütte 1889-1939 - Entwicklung, gegenwärtiger Stand, Arbeitsverfahren, Erzeugnisse.
    84 S. Bild / Text-Band. Ln., ca. 20x29 cm.
    Hg. Poldihütte, Prag 1939


    The old connection between Italy and Kladno has been revitalized in the last year, by the way:

    "Trieste, 07 nov 2007 - È stato inaugurato nella cittadina di Kladno, al centro della Boemia (Repubblica Ceca), lo stabilimento siderurgico Trafil Czech specializzato nella produzione di trafilati in acciaio di alta qualità, di proprietà del gruppo industriale italiano Lucefin, che ha sede in Lombardia. Lo comunica l'ICE.
    La realizzazione dell'impianto produttivo ha comportato un investimento di 10 milioni di euro ed è già pronto un piano di ampliamento della produzione da 36 mila a 50 mila tonnellate l'anno. La fabbrica è situata nella vecchia area siderurgica di Poldi, un sito industriale che ha fatto la storia della lavorazione dell'acciaio in Europa."

    Alexander
    Last edited by Carcano; 05-05-2008 at 04:12 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Metalurgy

    Thank you guy's for shareing that very interestin information, I'm a little limited on access to processing the overseas languages into somthing a fella could understand.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Gosh Rex, you speak lower 48 real good...

    :-)

    Dino in Reno
    (who spent the worst year of his life in Galena AK thanks to the USAF)

  10. #10
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    Default It come's & go's

    Yea I was one of Nebraska's Great exoprts of the 1980's and fled the smashed Farm economy, sold my quarter horse mare and went to aircraft maintenace school after landed a job working for Cape Smythe Air in Barrow & Kotzebue, stay'd in Kotzebue "OTZ" since now working a less stressful non-aviation job.

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