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RIA: Beretta Model 1923

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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 […]

RIA: Beretta 1918/30 Semiauto Carbine

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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 […]

M1915 Villar Perosa Video

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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 […]

Pavesi Prototype SVT Copy (Video)

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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, […]

Pavesi Model 1942 Prototype Semiauto (Video)

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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 […]

A 75mm Maxim-Nordenfelt Cannon and the Type 30 Arisaka

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 […]

Beretta Model 1931 & 1937 Prototype Semiauto Rifles

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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 […]

Italian Scout Bicycle

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So, this is a bit off our normal subject matter, but it appealed to the mechanical nerd in me, and I figured at least a few of my readers would have the same reaction. If not, well, we’ve got a pair of very neat guns coming up tomorrow.

Anyway, I was browsing through the museum […]

GunSpotting in Rome

Italian soldier in Rome with an ARX-160

About a month ago I spent some time in Italy, and noticed a few things that I thought would be interesting. The biggest thing that stood out to me (on the matter of firearms, I should say) was that while civilian gun ownership is far lower than it is here in the US, one actually […]

RIA: Beretta 1915 – the First of the Beretta Pistols

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The Italian military went into WWI having already adopted a semiautomatic sidearm – the Model 1910 Glisenti (and its somewhat simplified Brixia cousin). However, the 1910 Glisenti was a very complex design, and much too expensive to be practical for the needs of the global cataclysm that was the Great War. In response to […]