Mystery Gun – Model 58

We received an excellent gallery of photos from a reader named Roberto, showing an interesting rifle that he could not identify. After some searching, we have decided that we have no idea what it is either. Any ideas?

Mystery Gun - Model 58

The markings are minimal – one side of the receiver is marked “CAL 7.62” and “MOD 58”, and the selector lever is marked safe/semi/full in Italian.

Model 58 Mystery rifle markings

The gun is clearly a prototype, and it may not be complete. The design appears to have a gas piston mounted under the barrel, but no gas port or gas block on the barrel is evident (also, the rear sight block is not pinned in place). The bolt has a single locking lug that engages with a recess in the top of the receiver.

Does this look familiar to anyone? We would love to have more information on it…


  1. I’m going to go way out on a limb here. Could it be a BM59 prototype to see if it could be made cheaper and quicker out of stamped steel instead of milled?

    • It may have been developed at the same time as the BM-59, but it’s not closely related. The BM59 is basically an M1 Garand with a box mag, and so it uses a rotating bolt. This rifle has a single rising locking lug instead, as well as a different trigger mechanism.

  2. I don’t know what it is, but I want one!!! 😀

    OK, I’ll kick this off…the selector options are in Italian…

  3. Hi, boys
    this must be Italian experimental gun.
    Colpo= 1 shot
    Raffica= automatic fire
    I think that this one was a project
    of spare parts for a cheap gun foe Africa.
    The rumors talk about the “Officina Cantieri Navali”.
    I post father details ( hope late the day )

    • According to Google, “Colpo” is “Hit” and “Raffica” is “Gust”.
      These are direct Italian translations.

  4. This is an early .30-06 version of the Luigi Franchi LF-58. They made a series of prototypes to compete with Beretta and others in the Italian trials which resulted in the BM-59 adoption. I have seen two others, one in 7.62x51mm which looks much more like a modern assault rifle and another in 7.92mm CETME which was supposedly made for Spanish trials. Franchi gave up on military weapons in the early 1960’s after failing to sell any of their designs (except for the LF-57 SMG)in volume.

    • It may have been built by Franchi but it has nothing in common with the LF-59. Everything is different: the LF-59 is of stamped construction, the gas piston sits on top, the locking mechanism is different, the double hammers, etc. It does definitely not seem to fit in the evolution of the LF-59.

  5. I wouldn’t say it’s a LF58, cause the gas tube is underbarrel.
    Neither the BM-59, for it was intended to be obtained from the garand.

    Yet, i have no idea what else could be.

  6. Franchi LF-58 – .30 Carbine assault rifle.
    Very few made in post war world II Italy by Luigi Franchi S.p.A. a company most known by their shotguns, but they did make some rifles,they even made a 7.62×51 Nato (Franchi LF-59)
    Very cool finding, thanks for sharing! Big fan from Portugal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.