Carcano
Overview
 
Carcano is the frequently used name for a series of Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 bolt-action
Bolt-action
Bolt action is a type of firearm action in which the weapon's bolt is operated manually by the opening and closing of the breech with a small handle, most commonly placed on the right-hand side of the weapon...

 military rifles and carbines. Introduced in 1891, this rifle was chambered for the rimless 6.5x52mm Mannlicher-Carcano Cartuccia Modello 1895 cartridge. It was developed by the chief technician Salvatore Carcano at the Turin Army Arsenal in 1890 and called the Model 91 (M91). Successively replacing the previous Vetterli-Vitali
M1870 Italian Vetterli
The M1870 Vetterli was the Italian service rifle from 1870-1878, when it was replaced with the M1870/87 Italian Vetterli-Vitali variant. The M1870 was a single-shot bolt action rifle chambered for the 10.4mm Vetterli centrefire cartridge, at first with black powder and later with smokeless powder...

 rifles and carbines in 10.35x47mmR, it was produced from 1892 to 1945.
Encyclopedia
Carcano is the frequently used name for a series of Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 bolt-action
Bolt-action
Bolt action is a type of firearm action in which the weapon's bolt is operated manually by the opening and closing of the breech with a small handle, most commonly placed on the right-hand side of the weapon...

 military rifles and carbines. Introduced in 1891, this rifle was chambered for the rimless 6.5x52mm Mannlicher-Carcano Cartuccia Modello 1895 cartridge. It was developed by the chief technician Salvatore Carcano at the Turin Army Arsenal in 1890 and called the Model 91 (M91). Successively replacing the previous Vetterli-Vitali
M1870 Italian Vetterli
The M1870 Vetterli was the Italian service rifle from 1870-1878, when it was replaced with the M1870/87 Italian Vetterli-Vitali variant. The M1870 was a single-shot bolt action rifle chambered for the 10.4mm Vetterli centrefire cartridge, at first with black powder and later with smokeless powder...

 rifles and carbines in 10.35x47mmR, it was produced from 1892 to 1945. The M91 was used in both rifle and carbine form by most Italian troops during the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and by Italian and some German forces during Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The rifle was also used during the Winter War
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

 by Finland, and again by regular and irregular forces in Syria, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria during various postwar conflicts in those countries.

The Type I Carcano rifle
Type I Rifle
The Type I rifle was produced by Italy for the Japanese Empire prior to World War II. After the invasion of China, all Arisaka production was required for use of the Imperial Army, so under the terms of the Anti-Comintern Pact, the Imperial Navy contracted with Italy for this weapon in 1937...

 was produced by Italy for the Japanese Empire prior to World War II. After the invasion of China, all Arisaka production was required for use of the Imperial Army, so the Imperial Navy contracted with Italy for this weapon in 1937. The Type I is based on the Type 38 rifle and utilizes a Carcano action, but retains the Arisaka/Mauser type 5-round box magazine. The Type I was utilized primarily by Japanese Imperial Naval Forces and was chambered for the Japanese 6.5x50mm Arisaka cartridge. Approximately 60,000 Type I rifles were produced by Italian arsenals for Japan.

History

Although this rifle is often called "Mannlicher-Carcano", especially in American parlance, neither that designation nor the name "Mauser-Parravicino" is correct. Its official designation in Italian is simply Modello 1891, or M91 ("il novantuno"). The rifle depends for proper usage upon a magazine system using en bloc charger clips
Clip (ammunition)
A clip is a device that is used to store multiple rounds of ammunition together as a unit, ready for insertion into the magazine or cylinder of a firearm. This speeds up the process of loading and reloading the firearm as several rounds can be loaded at once, rather than one round being loaded at a...

 which were originally developed and patented by Ferdinand Mannlicher
Ferdinand Mannlicher
Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher was an engineer and small armaments designer. Along with James Paris Lee, Mannlicher was particularly noted for inventing the en-bloc clip charger-loading magazine system...

, but the actual shape and design of the Carcano clip is derived from the German Model 1888 Commission Rifle.

Until 1938, all M91 rifles and carbines were chambered for the rimless 6.5x52mm Modello 1895 cartridge, using a round-nose metal case bullet of 160 grains weight at approximately 2,000-2,400 ft/s muzzle velocity, depending upon barrel length. At least one small arms authority noted inconsistencies in powder types in arsenal-loaded 6.5x52mm military ammunition, often with different powder types and ammunition lots intermixed within a single clip of ammunition. The practice of intermixing powder types and ammunition lots in clipped rifle ammunition was generally avoided by arsenals of other nations, as it generally resulted in varying bullet velocities and excessive bullet dispersion on the target.

After reports of inadequate performance at both short and long ranges during the campaigns in Italian North Africa
Italian North Africa
Italian North Africa was the aggregate of territories and colonies controlled by Italy in North Africa from 1911 until World War II...

 (1924-1934), and the Second Italo-Abyssinian War
Second Italo-Abyssinian War
The Second Italo–Abyssinian War was a colonial war that started in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy and the armed forces of the Ethiopian Empire...

 (1934), the Italian army introduced a new short rifle in 1938, the Modello 1938, together with a new cartridge in 7.35x51mm caliber. In addition to the slightly larger caliber, Italian ordnance designers introduced a spitzer
Spitzer (bullet)
A spitzer, also commonly referred to as a spire point bullet, is an aerodynamic bullet design used in most intermediate and high-powered rifle cartridges...

-type bullet for the new cartridge, with the tip filled with aluminum to produce an unstable (tumbling) projectile upon impact in soft tissue (a design most likely copied from the .303 British
.303 British
.303 British, or 7.7x56mmR, is a .311 inch calibre rifle and machine gun cartridge first developed in Britain as a blackpowder round put into service in December 1888 for the Lee-Metford rifle, later adapted to use smokeless powders...

 Mk VII bullet).

However, the Italian government was unable to successfully mass produce the new arms in adequate quantities before the onset of war, and in 1940, all rifle and ammunition production reverted to 6.5 mm, but no 7.35 mm Mod. 38 rifles nor carbines were ever re-barreled to the old 6.5x52mm caliber. Some Italian troops serving on the Russian front were armed with 7.35 mm Mod. 1938 rifles, but exchanged them in 1942 for 6.5 x 52 mm arms.
Approximately 94,500 7.35 mm Modello 1938 rifles were shipped to Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, where they were known as Terni carbines. They were primarily used by security and line-of-communications troops during the Winter War
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

 of 1939–1940, though some frontline troops were issued the weapon. According to reports, the Finns disliked the rifle. With its non-standard 7.35 mm caliber, it was problematic to keep frontline troops supplied with ammunition, and its non-adjustable rear sight (fixed for 300 m) made it ill-suited for use in precision shooting at the varied ranges encountered by Finnish soldiers during the conflict. Soldiers also complained that the ammunition demonstrated excessive bullet dispersion on the target. Whenever possible, Finnish soldiers discarded the weapon in favor of rifles acquired on the battlefield, including standard models of captured Soviet-made Mosin-Nagant
Mosin-Nagant
The Mosin–Nagant is a bolt-action, internal magazine-fed, military rifle invented under the government commission by Russian and Belgian inventors, and used by the armed forces of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and various other nations....

 rifles. The latter at least had the advantage of using commonly available 7.62x54mmR ammunition. By the outbreak of the Continuation War
Continuation War
The Continuation War was the second of two wars fought between Finland and the Soviet Union during World War II.At the time of the war, the Finnish side used the name to make clear its perceived relationship to the preceding Winter War...

, Finnish Army headquarters had got the message. The remaining Mod. 1938 7.35 mm rifles were issued to the Finnish Navy, as well as anti-aircraft, coastal defense, and other second-line (home front) troops.

In 1941, the Italian military returned to a long-barrelled infantry rifle once again (slightly shorter than the original M91), the Carcano M91/41. True sniper versions never existed, but in World War I a few rifles were fitted with telescopes and issued for service use (World War II scoped rifles were strictly prototypes).

Since the 1980s, several lots of Moschetti M91/38 TS (special troops' carbines) chambered for the German 7.92x57mm Mauser
7.92x57mm Mauser
The 8×57mm IS is a rimless bottlenecked rifle cartridge. The 8×57mm IS was adopted by the German Empire in 1905, and was the German service cartridge in both World Wars...

 sS heavy ball round, have appeared on the surplus markets. Two small batches of Moschetti M91/38 TS carbines shows barrels marked 1938 and 1941, but they were not used at these times with any Italian forces, and their peculiar serial numbering suggests that these might just be rebored unused surplus barrels that were converted with other ones after 1945. Many 7.92 mm Carcano carbines were apparently exported to Egypt after World War II, where they served as drill and training carbines. Several also bear Israeli armed forces markings. The occasionally used model moniker "Model 1943 (M43)" for these converted 7.92mm rifles is wrong, as they were never so designated by the Italian military.

German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 forces captured large quantities of Carcanos after Italy's capitulation in September 1943. It was the most commonly issued rifle to the German Volkssturm
Volkssturm
The Volkssturm was a German national militia of the last months of World War II. It was founded on Adolf Hitler's orders on October 18, 1944 and conscripted males between the ages of 16 to 60 years who were not already serving in some military unit as part of a German Home Guard.-Origins and...

 ("People's Militia") units in late 1944 and 1945.

After World War II, Italy replaced its Carcano rifles first with British Lee-Enfield
Lee-Enfield
The Lee-Enfield bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle was the main firearm used by the military forces of the British Empire and Commonwealth during the first half of the 20th century...

s and then with the US .30 caliber (7.62 mm) M1 Garand semi-automatic rifle which the Italians labeled the Model 1952 (M52). Finland sold all of its approximately 74,000 remaining 7.35 mm M91/38 Carcano rifles on the surplus market. As a consequence, large quantities of surplus Carcanos were sold in the USA and Canada beginning in the 1950s. In Italy, the Polizia di Stato
Polizia di Stato
The Polizia di Stato is one of the national police forces of Italy.It is the main police force for providing police duties and it is also responsible for patrolling motorways , railways , airports , customs as well as certain waterways, and assisting the local police...

 retained the rifle, retiring it from service in 1981. Captured 6.5mm Carcano rifles were used by Greek forces post-war, with ammunition supplied by U.S. Western Cartridge Co.

The original Carcano Modello 1895 cartridge (6.5x52mm), was also used in World War I era machine guns in the Modello 30 light machine gun; the latter was employed in Abyssinia and in World War II by Italian troops until the Armistice. In 1935 the 8x59mm Breda
Breda Meccanica Bresciana
Breda Meccanica Bresciana, widely known simply as Breda, is a large Italian manufacturer of small arms and ammunition located in Brescia.-History:...

 cartridge was adopted for some Italian heavy machine guns (rechambered Fiat-Revelli, Breda M37, Breda M38); its longer range and heavier projectile proved much more effective in combat, particularly against motorized troops.

During the 2011 Libyan Civil War
2011 Libyan civil war
The 2011 Libyan civil war was an armed conflict in the North African state of Libya, fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Benghazi beginning on 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security...

, many rebels went into battle with their personally-owned weapons, including old bolt-action rifles and shotguns. Of these, Carcano-style rifles and carbines have been the most frequently observed style of bolt-action rifle. They are predominantly used by rebels in the Nafusa mountains. These old weapons are seeing combat once again due to the rebels limited access to modern firearms. Additionally, some Libyan rebels prefer to use their familiar hunting weapons over the more modern, yet unfamiliar, assault rifles available. According to Al-Fitouri Muftah, a member of the rebel military council overseeing the western mountain front, as many as 1 in 10 rebels in the region are armed with WWII-era weapons. The vast majority of these weapons are likely Carcanos.

Variants

  • Fucile di Fanteria Modello 1891 (long infantry rifle Model 1891, adopted in 1891 in 6.5x52 mm caliber)
  • Moschetto da Cavalleria Mod. 91 (6.5 mm carbine with integral folding bayonet, adopted in 1893)
  • Moschetto per Truppe Speciali Mod. 91 (or 6.5 mm M91 TS, carbine for special troops, adopted 1897)
  • Moschetto di Fanteria Mod. 91/24 (6.5 mm carbine, modification of the original Mod. 1891 with shortened barrel and altered rearsight blade, adopted in 1924)
  • Moschetto per Truppe Speciali Mod. 91/28 (lightly altered M 91 6.5 mm carbine, adopted in 1928)
  • Moschetto per Truppe Speciali con Tromboncino Mod. 91/28 (modified 91/28 coupled with a 38.5 mm grenade launcher)
  • Fucile di Fanteria Mod. 1938 (Model 1938 short rifle adopted in 1938 in 7.35 mm caliber)
  • Fucile di Fanteria Mod. 91/38 (Model 1938 short rifle chambered in 6.5 mm caliber since 1940). This is the model (stamped "1940" to show manufacture date) allegedly used by Lee Harvey Oswald
    Lee Harvey Oswald
    Lee Harvey Oswald was, according to four government investigations,These were investigations by: the Federal Bureau of Investigation , the Warren Commission , the House Select Committee on Assassinations , and the Dallas Police Department. the sniper who assassinated John F...

    .
  • Fucile di Fanteria Mod. 91/41 (6.5 mm long infantry rifle, adopted in 1941)

Users

Kingdom of Bulgaria
Kingdom of Bulgaria
The Kingdom of Bulgaria was established as an independent state when the Principality of Bulgaria, an Ottoman vassal, officially proclaimed itself independent on October 5, 1908 . This move also formalised the annexation of the Ottoman province of Eastern Rumelia, which had been under the control...


} Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946)
} National Liberation Army (Libya)

See also


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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