When Italy surrendered in late 1943, German troops disarmed the Italian forces in areas under German control, and came away with nearly 400,000 Carcano rifles. These would form the core armaments of the Volkssturm forces in 1944 and 1945. Most were simply left as captured and issued with captured Italian 6.5mm or 7.35mm ammunition. However, something figured that it would simplify logistics if they were converted to use standard German 8mm Mauser. About 15,000 such conversions were made in January and February 1945, by FNA Brescia (under German control) and Heinrich Krieghoff. This M38 Short Rifle we have today is one of them, done by Krieghoff.
The process involved drilling out the barrel to 8mm, replacing the magazine follower with a solid wooden loading block (the Carcano clip was not compatible with 8mm Mauser cartridges), and replacing the front sight to set the new zero at 200m. New serial numbers were put on the guns done by Krieghoff, with specific ranges for different models:
M38 Short Rifles: H6000 – H7000
M41 Rifles: H7000 – H7818
M38 Carbines: H8000 – H9536 (all approximate)
The original barrel serial was oversteps, and the new number also added via electro pencil to the bolt. In addition, and HK stamp was put on the receiver top, the barrel and rear sight were marked “7.9” for the new caliber, and an eagle firing proof mark was stamped on the right side of the barrel below the original manufacture date.