The Italian army actually adopted a semiautomatic rifle in 1939: this Armaguerra Model 1939. It was intended to supplant the M38 Carcano bolt actions, but ultimately never managed to get into mass production.
The rifle was adopted initially in the new 7.35mm cartridge, and then quickly cancelled, as the new cartridge was dropped for […]
This rifle started out its life an a normal M91 Carcano long rifle, before being converted into an experimental self-loader by the Terni Arsenal. Rather than adding a gas piston to the barrel, Terni engineered a short recoil system. The barrel and bolt recoil together about a centimeter (3/8 inch) upon firing. Instead of […]
With the development of the Model 1931, Beretta had nearly arrived at the first really popular pistol (the 1934/5). The 1931 was the result of taking the exposed-hammer 1923 design, shrinking the frame down to a more compact size and changing the caliber to .32 ACP (7.65mm Browning). This smaller cartridge reduced the need […]
Beretta offered its first semiautomatic pistols during World War One, with the Model 1915 chambered in 9mm Glisenti. This was quickly supplemented by the 1915/17 scaled down to the .32ACP cartridge, which was both handier to carry and less expensive to make. After the end of the war, Beretta looked to deign a more […]
The Model 1918/30 is a semiauto-only carbine made by Beretta in between the early Model 1918 submachine guns and the excellent Model 38 family. It was marketed (well, sold) primarily to security and police forces, for whom the semiautomatic limitation was not a particular hindrance. It is chambered for the 9mm Glisenti cartridge, which […]
The Villar Perosa is one of the first small machine guns developed and used by a military force. It was designed in Italy and introduced in 1915 as an aircraft weapon, to be used in a flexible mount by an airplane’s observer. The gun consists of two independent firing actions mounted together. Each fires […]
This rifle is pretty much a big mystery – I have virtually no good information on it. Through inspection, we know it is a mechanical copy of the Soviet SVT 38 or 40 – it shares the same exact bolt, locking system, and gas system. Even many aesthetic features like the metal front handguard, […]
The Pavesi Model 1942 is a prototype Italian semiauto rifle chambered for the 8×59 Breda cartridge. It is a short recoil action with a 4-lug rotating bolt, and appears to use a Mannlicher type en bloc clip like a Carcano (no sample clip was available for me to look at). It is marked on […]
First up, a 75mm Maxim-Nordenfelt cannon that was on display at the Carabinieri Museum in Rome. Guns like this one were pretty widely used by countries all over the world, with a wide variety of details in the carriages. This particular example is (according to its display tag) an 1886 model gun. The action is […]
In the 1930s, the Italian military (like all major military forces at the time) was investigating options for a semiautomatic service rifle. Beretta’s Tulio Marengoni developed one such rifle, and submitted it in two forms.
The first version of the rifle was produced in 1931, chambered for the then-standard 6.5x52mm Carcano cartridge. It was […]