The Vault

Franchi LF-57

The LF57 was the first production submachine gun made by the Italian Franchi company. It was introduced (as you might expect) in 1957, and was adopted by the Italian Navy a few years later, in 1962. That was the only major contract it won, though, as there was significant competition in the SMG market at the time – including the also-Italian Beretta PM12, which won the Italian Army contract.

Franchi LF57 submachine gun

Franchi LF57 submachine gun

The LF57 is a simple and effective design, made largely with steel stampings. The barrel is held in place with a barrel nut like the Uzi or Madsen M50, and operation is accomplished with a simple blowback mechanism. The majority of the bolt mass is located above the barrel – this looks like a gas piston, but is not. The weight of the bolt keeps the rate of fire to a manageable 460 rounds/minute of standard 9x19mm cartridges. Most internet sources list the LF57 as using 20- and 40-round magazines, but the original Franchi brochure (see below to download) we have indicates a 30-round magazines was provided with the gun.

Loading the LF57

The LF57 did not have a manual safety, but was built with a large grip safety in the front of the pistol grip. A push-button selector at the top of the grip allowed the shooter to choose semi or fully automatic fire. In recognition of the close-range use of submachine guns, Franchi zeroed the fixed iron sights at a range of just 50 yards.


Franchi LF57 sales brochures (English & Italian)

Franchi LF57 sales brochures (English & Italian)

3 comments to Franchi LF-57

  • Mike Cox

    Might also like to look at the Walther …

    • Emilio

      Walther MPL 9 mm. caliber disclosed in 1963 could be a copy of Franchi LF 57 sub machine disclosed exactly 6 years before in 1957 (“Small Arms of the World” W.H.B. Smith)

  • Brian

    Unfortunately, the semi-auto carbine with a 16′ barrel that was imported to the US was classified as a machinegun due to it’s open bolt. They were marked M-62 Semi-Automatic Carbine. Some of these were converted back to the LF-57 configuration and are on the transferable market.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>