One of the problems when trying to learn about rare and unusual firearms (rare and unusual anything, actually) is the lack of primary source material. In other word, information about the gun written by someone with direct experience, not information compiled by a second party. Part of the reason we really like original manuals is [...]
So a week or two ago, we took a look at the Italian Fiat-Revelli M1914 – a particularly funky machine gun. The Italian military put up with it through World War I because they didn’t have many other realistic options, but the gun would be significantly revised during the inter-war years and re-adopted as the [...]
The Perino is a gun that really should have been adopted, but wasn’t. Its development began in 1901 when Giuseppe Perino (an Italian Army officer) patented the design for a recoil-operated machine gun with a novel twist. The Perino gun fed from 20-round feed strips (like a Hotchkiss), but instead of ejecting empty cases out [...]
Since we looked at the Breda Model 30 a couple days ago, it seems appropriate to also take a look at another early Italian machine gun: the Fiat-Revelli M1914. Italy had been an early adopter of the Maxim gun, but found the available supply of Maxims dried up quickly with the onset of World War [...]
We just got in a copy of Russ Arendell and Steve Woodrum’s new book on the Carcano, Italy’s Battle Rifle: Story of the Mannlicher-Carcano Series of Rifles. It’s the most useful reference book on the Carcano series that we know of, although it does have some shortcomings:
If you’d like to pick up your [...]
The Breda Model 30 was the standard Italian light machine gun of World War II, and is a serious contender for “worst machine gun ever”. Yes, given the choice we would prefer to have a Chauchat (which really wasn’t as bad as people today generally think).
Breda Model 30 LMG (click to enlarge)
Today we have one of the oldest guns we’ve looked at, a Lorenzoni repeating flintlock pistol. The system was designed by an Italian gunmaker in Florence name Michele Lorenzoni. They were made in very small numbers, and the workmanship is stunning, especially considering that they were first manufactured in the 1680s.
Instead of using a [...]
The Benelli CB-M2 was a submachine gun designed in the early 1980s around an experimental semi-caseless 9mm cartridge developed by Franchi. The gun itself looks fairly typical, with conventional controls, a bottom-mounted magazine, and polymer folding stock. The one external hint of its unusual nature is an open cutout located between the magazine and trigger [...]
Amerigo Cei-Rigotti was a major in the Italian Bersaglieri (light infantry) in 1900, when his innovative self-loading rifle design was first introduced. Unlike many or the very early semiauto rifle designs, the Cei-Rigotti is a light, handy, and pretty compact rifle:
This design is much handier than most automatic rifles of its vintage – [...]
The FNA-B43 (Fabbrica Nazionale d’Armie) was developed in Brescia, Italy during World War II. The Beretta M38 series of submachine guns were serving very well, but the volume of guns demanded by the war allowed the opportunity for other companies and designs to get a foot in the door, and the FNA-B43 was one of [...]