Italian Rifles

 

If you are interested in the Carcano rifle, then you should visit the Carcano web site (both versions) maintained by Alexander Eichener at http://attila.stevens-tech.edu/~glibera1/carcano (American version) or http://wwwrzuser.uni-heidelberg.de/~c96/carcano (also in English but based in Germany).

 

The following article is from the April 1999 issue of the Military Rifle Journal.

 

THE CARCANO CLIP

 

Doss White

 

While cleaning out my "gun supply" closet I "consolidated" my meager supply of Carcano clips. Upon examination I noted the following markings located at the positions shown in the drawing.

 

 

BRASS

BLUED STEEL

1

2

3

1

2

3

BP

+

C16

RR

 

M36

LN

+

C16

SMI

 

*39

SMI

+

16

 

 

 

S-B

+

B-17

 

 

 

LN

+

C-17

 

GREY STEEL

 

BP

+

B-18

1

2

3

SMI

 

*24

INUI

 

942

SMI

 

*27

 

 

 

SMI 

 

*36

 

 

 

(* signifies a five pointed star)

It is possible that the number in position three (3) is the manufacturing date of the clip. It is not necessarily the date, in some cases, that the clip was loaded. I have an opened box of 6.5 ammunition "Armi Mo 91....Bologna FP 1923...". The clips are stamped S-B + B17. A 17 date ( .~) clip loaded six years and manufactured in 1923!

 

Based on the above table 1936 marked the change from brass to steel for clip manufacture. However, the above table leaves several questions unanswered:

 

When was the change from blued steel to 'unblued'?.

 

What companies (7) do the initials in position one (1) represent?

 

What does the "+" (position 2) represent?

 

What does the "*" (five-pointed star) represent?

 

What does the letter prefix to the left of the "date" represent? The same initials in position one seem to have the same letter prefix in position 3, ie. LN with C, BP with B.

 

And, what clip markings are in your collection?

 

Doss White, 4001 Windermere Dr, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405-2768, 205 5564)086, Fax 205 554-1070. email, namban@msn.com

 

 The following article is from the April, 1999, issue of the Military Rifle Journal.

CARCANO "TAKE-DOWN"

 

Doss White

 

At the January Missouri Arms Collectors show in St. Charles I met Mr. Edward Kohlberg. In our conversation, I mentioned that I had an interest in and collected Carcanos and Arisakas. Mr. Kohlberg noted that he had once owned a Carcano 91/38 cavalry ' takedown' carbine and said he would bring in photos the next day. True to his word the photos were there the next morning and Mr Kohlberg kindly loaned them to me for this article.

 

The carbine was obtained from the veteran who brought it back after WW II. The handguard and bayonet were missing when purchased by Mr. Kohlberg and the rifle had no serial numbers. There was a number on the stock, a two (2) or perhaps a one ( 1).

 

The metal on either side of the two halves can be seen in the photos, this is similar to the Japanese Model 0 and Model 2 take-down models. What is not clear is the takedown mechanism on the bottom of the rifle. Mr Kohlberg noted that there was a serrated lever on the bottom that was either pushed or pulled, he did not remember which, to release the two halves.

 

The photographs are too dark and small to show the stock joining area clearly. One of the photographs are reproduced below as a matter of record. A drawing of the right side of the carbine, made from the clearest photograph, is reproduced below.

A 'basement' gunsmith/machinist can make-modify almost any item made by the military. I once owned a Model 14 Nambu that had been modified to Baby Nambu size and I recently examined an Arisaka in which the bolt, extractor, spring and firing pin had been shortened over an inch and still worked. Some years ago a west coast "gentleman" reproduced Japanese snipers, Model 38 short rifles and Model 100 bayonets good enough to fool the experts. My first guess is that this was a post-war modification. BUT it may be an original piece that some GI acquired at an arsenal. With no more information than the above the "jury is stil1 out."

 

 

 The following article is also from the April 1999 issue. There is an update on this article in the May issue which will be included in the next revision of this web site.

The anti-aircraft rifle sight for Carcano and Vetterli

 

by Ron Azzi

 

When there is no recorded complete item of any given kind, one may safely conclude that that particular item is very scarce. Such is the case with this obscure gadget that very few people have ever heard about, let alone seen one. Years ago, an article appeared in DIANA ARMI (an Italian gun magazine) researched and written by a very lucky fellow who, combing a World War One battle ground with a metal detector, had found a mysterious as well as rusty object. It turned out to be the front part of a sight system designed to fit the Carcano 91 so that the rifle could be used against enemy aircraft. Later, a Diana Armi reader found a similar object among the war souvenirs left by his grandfather who had fought in the Great War. Because of the article that had appeared in the magazine, he was able to identify the object, though this one was slightly different and made to fit the Vetterli-Vitali, possibly in its 1870/87/16 variation. This sight was also incomplete, as the rear sight was missing. To my knowledge, none has survived.

 

Though there is no official drawing, nor pictures of these sights, their existence is proved by a reference to their use found in an obscure Royal Italian Army manual of the time. The description indicated that the sight system had indeed a REAR piece to be mounted on the rear sight of the rifle. This rear sight would slide in three different positions which, theoretically, would allow the rifleman to properly sight the enemy plane compensating for the different angles of approach. A bit complicated.

The drawings are in 1/1 scale with measurements in millimeters. The front sight has FOUR blades inscribed with letters: A (Alto = high); B (Basso = low); S (Sinistra = left) and D (Destra = right). These refer to the direction from which the enemy plane would approach the shooter. When the "A" post was folded down, the regular front sight could be used. Notice that the Carcano sight was to be clamped right over the bayonet lug. The Vetterli sight had to be opened and then tightened on the nose cap of the stock.

 

 

Ask the Expert(s)

 

The following individuals have extensive knowledge of these rifles and have indicated their willingness to answer questions on these rifles.

Richard Hobbs, author of the most comprehensive reference on the Carcano rifle, has agreed to answer questions you have on Italian rifles. His e-mail address is fucili@innercite.com .

 If you are willing to volunteer your expertise (or can suggest someone else), please send an e-mail to namban@email.msn.com .

 

 

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