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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:49 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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Having looked all over the 'net, I see no information on how to proceed with an Italian arms collection. This is it, and will be a continuing series over as long a time as it takes. All collectors are invited to contribute! I've asked Mybusa to write a chapter on the Beretta pistols and look forward to what he might like to put up that way!

To begin with, we need to consider basic collecting concepts. I'm not especially articulate that way, but the NRA COLLECTORS GUIDE and Flayderman's ANTIQUE AMERICAN ARMS both have excellent chapters on collecting theory & practice. It's always well to have goals for your collection... like what are you collecting? One or several of each model? Every variation and maker of a specific model? It doesn't matter what you want to collect - a plan makes it easier, though.

In general, I'll say you should always buy the best you can afford and go for the scarce items first. What are the scarce Carcano items? We'll try to discuss that in depth one model at a time.

Why collect Italian arms? That's the easy part! Few people are, and even fewer are what I consider die-hard Carcano collectors. Which means there are some real bargains out there. Collectors who have been around a few years easily recall when Japanese rifles were openly scoffed at and could be had for pocket change - literally. It's not that way with Carcano rifles right now, but they are a considerable bargain compared to other genres. That will not last for long! Prices are rising, and don't look for them to go back down. Ever. There's just not much in print about them - the Hobbs book is out of print - the German and Italian books are both quality works, but some language skill is required. There's a persistent rumor that a new American book might happen in the next 5 years or so, and if true, prices will really take off when people learn what's scarce and start acquiring them! Getting in on the ground floor is always a good idea.

So! In the beginning of the Carcano rifles, we start with the M91 long rifle.
Items to look for are antiques ( pre-1898) from any arsenal. Italy was in one war or another for a long time, and there just aren't that many antiques around. Antiques without the "Tubata" ( re-lined barrel) are a somewhat more scarce than those with that mark, but you will want examples of both. Also look for M91 long rifles bearing the Austrian AZF mark. These were almost all captured in battles along the Isonzo river in WW1. The majority have been opened up to 6.5x54 Mannlicher caliber, and some will have "Jt u Gr" stamped onto the stock, which means for "Italian and Greek cartridges". In theory, the rifles could be used with both 6.5x52 Italian and 6.5x54 Mannlicher ammo.

M91s were made by Terni, Torre Annunziata, Torino, Brescia, Ordnance Roma and MIDA Brescia.

Terni made the most - 2.82 million rifles. For my money, I'd look for the others first unless you find one of exceptional quality at a modest price.

Roma made over 244,000... MIDA Brescia made around 120,000... both were in the M91 biz for 2 years only.

Torino made M91s from 1892 to 1898 and is one to look for! You just don't see them very often. As far as I can tell, Torino made around 184,000 long rifles.

Torre Annunziata made them from 1893 to 1900. Not that common, but I've seen them on the auctions recently for decent money. About 148,000 rifles from that arsenal.

Brescia made long rifles from 1895 to 1897 - to the tune of 51,000 according to the Bruno Di Giorgio book.

This isn't a very good start, but you have to start somewhere. I'll add to this as I find new information or come across something I missed - my organizational skills just ain't the best! I ordered thenew Carcano book from Italy that I've heard has excellent production data. ( it just got here!!!!)

For all you lurkers, ( you know who you are, and so do I! ;) ) Log in - ask questions! Heck, contribute! I learn more here than anyone! 8-) SW

**edited to amend production figures**

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:04 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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Reference books: there just isn't much out there. I got my start with Richard Hobb's THE CARCANO. It's out of print, so if you see one on Amazon or fleabay, grab it! Some of the information is pretty basic and some conflicts with reality - like Oswald's M91-38 being a Guardie del Duce - but it will get you started just fine.

Next I got IL NOVANTUNO MANNLICHER CARCANO Das italienische Waffensystem Modell 1891. German language text, but it's fairly easy to figure out the production tables and marking translations. I E-mailed the publisher to see if an English-speaking employee could read the text onto a CD or cassette for the American buyer to transcribe. No reply yet.

I JUST this minute got my copy of 1891 il fucile degli italiani by Bruno di Giorgio and Ruggero Pettinelli. Italian language text. I find it easier to browse than the German book, and the production tables are very much better as are the many photos.

I do not speak German or Italian but I highly recommend these to collectors. Again, there just isn't anyting else out there. I've heard rumors of another American book in the next few years, but they are just rumors.

Another resource to collectors are the various internet forums. Two words of advice here: TAKE NOTES!!! I have dedicated a spiral binder to that and have divided it with a section for each model. I have a poor menory, so you folks may be able to remember what you read... notes are a big help, though. SW

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:06 am 
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Hogger,

If you can whip something together we will put up a sction in the Library specifically for this.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:14 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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I am in the process, but it will model by model and could take a few weeks. I'm having a real slow down translating passages from the foreign books.

Mybusa & I just found a really rare one at auction & I may have to sell more stuff to fund it.

Please feel free to do whatever with the post information as far as archiving it or including it in some data base. I consider it site property. SW

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:25 pm 
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Well the site belongs to you as well so it's yours :lol

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:55 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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Well, all righty, then! 8-)

I should mention here there's a sticky at the top of this forum with good images of the different models. I'm not going to re-post a lot of that stuff - just model-specific differences...

In the scheme of Carcano rifles, next produced was the M91TS = Truppe Speciale = special troops like motorcycle couriers, motor transport, "fortress troops"... stuff like that. A shorter weapon was needed, and the reasons are fairly obvious - I mean, it just wouldn't be too convenient to go zooming around the countryside on your cool military model Moto Guzzi with a long rifle snagging olive branches or grape vines! :-o

So a new design was born, and Brescia made them all. Total M91 TS production is estimated at around 590,000. The big difference here is the bayonet mounting points. Some armchair warrior in design decided there had been too many instances of enemy soldiers pushing the release button of the bayonet during close combat, and removing it to be used against the former owner! :-o

The new and improved design (???) featured a transverse bayonet attachment. Instead of pushing it straight on, it was rotated into place. I have taken mine apart and feel it's a POOR design. Possibly the soldiers who had to use it in battle had other adjectives... it is not a strong design at all.

So many were retro-fitted with a conventional bayonet attachment point. Was it any better? Well, if you have a short TS, and the bad guy has a long rifle, you are at a serious disadvantage before compliments are even exchanged!!

Back to building a collection:

This model was made from 1898 to 1919. Only a FEW made in 1898 so if you see one, don't haggle the price too mch. Production was sluggish until 1915 when Italy entered the war & then it really took off.

Again, unless you find a very nice one for a small price, look first for 1914 production of before. A couple thousand were also made in 1919, and I hope to find one of those one day.

A die-hard collector would look for both types of bayonet mounting attachments, too. But you know how those die-hards are! ;)

It's well to have a couple of these, though. After the war, many were in bad shape and were upgraded to M91-28s. I'll post pics of how that looked when I get around to writing something about that model.

O-tay, budding collectors! Off to the auctions you go to score one ( or preferably more) of these!!! :bigrin:

Top shows the later conventional bayonet attachment point. Then is the special bayonet. I should have mentioned one of these will cost a LOT more than the rifle!!! Bottom is the transverse bayonet lug for the special bayonet. SW


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:10 am 
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When I get a chance, I'll see about gathering up bits of info & compiling them into a .pdf format for the library.

Then we can see about publishing your new Italian Weapons Collector's book :bigrin:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:48 am 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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For now, I'm trying to work up the energy for a post on collecting cav carbines. Maybe after a nap... when I get home :wink: SW

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:56 am 
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Google Language Tools = Easy Translation of Many Languages

http://www.google.com/language_tools

While I don't recommend translating the whole book yourself, it might be helpful for sections. :lol

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:04 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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I've been participating at an Italian misurp site using an on-line translator, and it really leaves a lot to be desired. Some common terms we take for granted just do not come out right.

I had severe trouble just trying to say I had an M91-38TS with a navy anchor on the bolt knob. It kept coming out as "football". Even using the most simple sentences you can imagine, there is communication difficulty.

So I've cut way back at that site. The site has the google page translator built in and I still have trouble with many words or phrases. It's not a bad tool, but has certain limitations. I still look in there often as these guys talk about stuff seen nowhere else. www.worldwar.it/sito Look in there for the pics if nothing else.

I participate on a Russian site but rely on my own language skills... such as they aren't. :? I get by there, but I think that's mostly due to the tolerance of the forum members.

With the German book, it took me a while to discover I needed to download a German keyboard for letters and punctuation not found on an English keyboard...

The whole scenario puts me in mind of the final scene in the Movie, COOL HAND LUKE: "What we have here is failure t' communicate." SW

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:49 pm 
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NebrHogger wrote:
The whole scenario puts me in mind of the final scene in the Movie, COOL HAND LUKE: "What we have here is failure t' communicate." SW



....but it aint because of 'lack of effort..." :bigrin: ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:25 pm 
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Yeah it's not always the best, but it's free 8-) It's frustrated me a time or two as well, but it's quicker than looking up word by word sometimes. :lol

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:43 am 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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The worst part is slang terms. The Russkys are bad about that. SW

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:17 am 
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Here's some shortcuts

Shortcut Result
Ctrl+' Adds an acute accent to the character typed next
Ctrl+' When followed by d or D, creates the old English character "eth"
Ctrl+` Adds a grave accent to the character typed next
Ctrl+^ Adds a circumflex to the character typed next
Ctrl+~ Adds a tilde to the character typed next
Ctrl+: Adds a dieresis or umlaut to the character typed next
Ctrl+@ Adds a degree symbol above the letters a and A; used primarily in Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish
Ctrl+& Creates combination or Germanic characters based on the character typed next
Ctrl+, Adds a cedilla to the character typed next
Ctrl+/ Adds a slash through the letters o and O; used primarily in Danish and Norwegian
Alt+Ctrl+? Creates an upside-down question mark
Alt+Ctrl+! Creates an upside-down exclamation mark

Alt key + Four digits

¤ Alt+0164
† Alt+0134
× Alt+0215
÷ Alt+0247
‡ Alt+0135
± Alt+0177
— Alt+0151
– Alt+0150
¶ Alt+0182
§ Alt+0167
ˆ Alt+0136
˜ Alt+0152
« Alt+0171
» Alt+0187
¦ Alt+0166
‰ Alt+0137
© Alt+0169
® Alt+0174
™ Alt+0153


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

á Alt+0225
à Alt+0224
â Alt+0226
ä Alt+0228
å Alt+0229
Á Alt+0193
à Alt+0195
Ä Alt+0196
Å Alt+0197

À Alt+0192
 Alt+0194
æ Alt+0230
Æ Alt+0198
ç Alt+0231
Ç Alt+0199
ê Alt+0234
é Alt+0233
ë Alt+0235
è Alt+0232
Ê Alt+0202
Ë Alt+0203
É Alt+0201
È Alt+0200
ï Alt+0239
í Alt+0237
î Alt+0238
ì Alt+0236
Í Alt+0205
Ì Alt+0204
Î Alt+0206
Ï Alt+0207
ñ Alt+0241
Ñ Alt+0209
œ Alt+0156
Œ Alt+0140 ô Alt+0244
ö Alt+0246
ò Alt+0242
õ Alt+0245
ó Alt+0243
ø Alt+0248
Ó Alt+0211
Ô Alt+0212
Õ Alt+0213
Ø Alt+0216
Ö Alt+0214
Ò Alt+0210
š Alt+0154
Š Alt+0138
ú Alt+0250
ü Alt+0252
û Alt+0251
ù Alt+0249
Ù Alt+0217
Ú Alt+0218
Ü Alt+0220
Û Alt+0219
ÿ Alt+0255
Ÿ Alt+0159
ý Alt+0253
Ý Alt+0221
ž Alt+0158
Ž Alt+0142 ª Alt+0170
Þ Alt+0222
þ Alt+0254
ƒ Alt+0131
ß Alt+0223
µ Alt+0181
Ð Alt+0208
° Alt+0176
º Alt+0186
• Alt+0149
„ Alt+0132
… Alt+0133
¬ Alt+0172
¿ Alt+0191
¡ Alt+0161
¥ Alt+0165
£ Alt+0163
€ Alt+0128
¢ Alt+0162
¹ Alt+0185
² Alt+0178
³ Alt+0179
½ Alt+0189
¼ Alt+0188
¾ Alt+0190

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alt key + Three digits 128 Ç
129 ü
130 é
131 â
132 ä
133 à
134 å
135 ç
136 ê
137 ë
138 è
139 ï
140 î
141 ì
142 Ä
143 Å
144 É
145 æ
146 Æ
147 ô
148 ö
149 ò
150 û
(Greek letters and
math symbols are
between 224 and 247)
151 ù
152 ÿ
153 Ö
154 Ü
160 á
161 í
162 ó
163 ú
164 ñ
165 Ñ
167 º
168 ¿
248 °
250 · (smaller bullet)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Charts For specific languages
(Alt key + 3 digits is to left of accented letters; Alt key + 4 digits is to the right)
FRENCH

133 à (0224)
131 â (0226)
135 ç (0231)
130 é (0233)
138 è (0232)
136 ê (0234)
137 ë (0235)
140 î (0238)
139 ï (0239)
œ (0156)
147 ô (0244)
151 ù (0249)
150 û (0251)
183 À (0192)
182 Â (0194)
128 Ç (0199)
212 È (0200)
144 É (0201)
210 Ê (0202)
211 Ë (0203)
215 Î (0206)
216 Ï (0207)
Π(0140)
SPANISH

160 á (0225)
130 é (0233)
161 í (0237)
164 ñ (0241)
162 ó (0243)
163 ú (0250)
129 ü (0252)
Á (0193)
144 É (0201)
Í (0205)
165 Ñ (0209)
Ó (0211)
Ú (0218)
154 Ü (0220)
168 ¿ (0191)
173 ¡ (0161)

French Continued

226 Ô (0212)
235 Ù (0217)
234 Û (0219)
174 « (0171)
175 » (0187)
ITALIAN

133 à (0224)
138 è (0232)
141 ì (0236)
149 ò (0242)
151 ù (0249)
183 À (0192)
212 È (0200)
Ì (0204)
Ò (0210)
Ù (0217)

PORTUGUESE
ã (0227)
à (0195)
135 ç (0231)
128 Ç (0199)
149 ò (0242)
Ò (0210)
162 ó (0243)
Ó (0211)
õ (0245)
Õ (0213)
Polish

GERMAN/SCANDINAVIAN

132 ä (0228)
134 å (0229)
145 æ (0230)
ð (0240)
137 ë (0235)
148 ö (0246)
155 ø (0248)
225 ß (0223)
þ (0254)
129 ü (0252)
152 ÿ (0255)
142 Ä (0196)
143 Å (0197)
146 Æ (0198)
Ð (0208)
Ë (0203)
153 Ö (0214)
157 Ø (0216)
Þ (0222)
154 Ü (0220)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:35 am 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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While we are discussing what are good rifles to buy, it's also well to mention what NOT to buy. A long time ago when I was a wannabe collector, a fellow told me "rare junk is still junk". I think there's a lot of merit to that.

Here's a very good example of that not to buy. Shown is what used to be a rare M91 long rifle - an 1893 Torino!!! It's the earliest Carcano I've ever seen! I'm not able to see the steel code on the right barrel flat - Torino used a lot of Krupp steel - when Italy wasn't at war with Germany. The code is K. Not common at all and something else to look for on very early M91 long rifles.

But! The Italian exporter cut down several thousand M91 long rifles and marketed them as "Suprema" rifles. The big give-away here is the lack of a bayonet lug. All Italian military rifles had them. No bayonet lug = sporter. Good as a shooter? No. These had gain twist rifling, and when the tight twist part of the barrel was amputated, it will no longer stabilize the long 160 grain bullets intended for this caliber.

Could it be restored? No. Well, theoretically, I suppose. You would need a specialist to weld another barrel part on to get it back to original length - then find a complete M91 stock with the right cartouches... a long shot and very spendy. Certainly not worth what artisans charge for that kind of work.

Avoid these like the plague! They are only worth the price of the few usable parts. Like $20 tops! You will hear some very creative and convincing stories, though. Like "my ex-girlfriend's great uncle's canasta partner captured this at Redoubt #5 near Sevastapol in the Crimean War!!! Really! I swear it on a stack of bibles!" Or some such drivel. :bull:

Always buy the rifle for its own merits; not the story. I wanted to cry when I saw this, but my gag reflex kept kicking in... I also confess I dropped a $15 bid just so I can say with a straight face to my pals that "I bid on an 1893 Torino but didn't hit the reserve." :roll:

What a dummy! I'll add more to this thread as I find examples. SW

** Here's another one. The owner was posting it's an M91-24 but it isn't. The Italian exporters cut some long rifles down and left the bayonet lug. This one's harder to spot but notice how the handguard has been altered. Also, the rear sight is still in M91 configuration. I've included pics of the present sight and what an M91-24 sight looks like. This sporter isn't nearly as common as the Suprema. SW

Top pic sows a legit M91-24. Notice the odd rear sight seen on all M91-24s. Also scrutinize the handguard which was professionally done at the arsenal. Below that is the M91 long rifle rear sight of the sporter - under that is a shot of the poorly done nose cap and handguard. Look the pics over again - this sporter will sneek up on you. I almost bid on one a while back until I looked closely at the sight.

The bottom 2 pics show the 'Suprema".


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:42 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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I was putting this one off, but today is the day. Carcano Cavalry Carbines. The actual term is Moschetto per cavalleria, but cav carbine gets us all on the same page.

This could actually be a collecting genre by itself due to the many variations and calibers. For starters, they are divided into 2 categories:

M91 and M38 (or M91-38) = Before 1938 and after 1938

The M91 Cav carbines were all made before 1938 - the M38 cav carbines were made 1938 or later and are all in 7.35 caliber. The M91-38 were all made 1938 or later and are in 6.5 caliber. The 7.9 conversions were all made late in the war & were converted to 7.9 ca. 1950.

M91s were made by:

Brescia @ 285,000 from 1893 to 1919
Beretta @ 60,000 from 1935 to 1938
FNA @ 67,000 from 1932 to 1938
Gardone Val Trompia @ 153,000 1935 to 1937
Terni @ 225,000 from 1935 to 1938

In this category, never pass up an antique in original condition. A Beretta is also a good grab. All of these had adjustable sights.

M38 cav carbines were made in 1938 and 1939 only and all have fixed sights ( I think - I've never seen adjustable sights on a 7.35). The Italians started to change over to the 7.35 caliber, and changed their mind after it became obvious what a supply nightmare that would become. While around 300,000 were reported to have been made, you don't see them very often in America. 300 and up seems to be the going money.

Beretta made around 60,000
FNA made around 9,000
Gardone made around 70,000
Terni also shows around 70,000

They should all have 7.35 stamped on the left side of the stock in large numerals. This was supposedly so troops could tell what ammo was needed in the dark... no word on how to tell the ammo apart at that time! :-o

Having halted M38 production, the arsenals began making the M91-38 cav carbine in 1940 = 6.5 Carcano caliber. To simplify things, a fixed sight was used on this model... except those made by Brescia. For some reason, they stayed with the adjustable sights. Not to worry - you can tell them from the M91 by barrel date - 1940 and after = an M91-38.

Beretta made something like 200,000 of this model
FNA made 325,000
and Gardone made over a million.

Unless you are offered a very nice Gardone for a small sum, there are other variations you will want worse.

Probably the most controversial variation is the 7.9 conversion. We call that the 8mm Mauser, but the sight is marked 7.9 or 7.92 You will hear some pretty wild stories about these - The Hobbs book says they were used in the Russian campaign, but that now looks very doubtful. Other ads claim they were altered during the war so Italians and their German allies could share ammo. Hogwash.

While nothing is chiseled in stone, it very much appears they were all converted from FNA-B M91-38TS and M91-38 cav carbines circa 1950 - a couple years either way but figure around 1950. Production is between 5 and 10 thousand. I believe it's closer to 10 than 5, but that's just me. There seems to be no shortage of them on the auctions right now.

A lot if not most of these wound up in Egypt or Syria where they were used as trainers. They had an Arabic word in white paint on the stock. "Taleem" means trainer or a similar concept. The marking adds to the value so it's well to leave it intact.

Go for the best one you can find - the Egyptian trainers are usually beat all TO heck like a daily drill for recruits was "Throw your rifle down and sprint to the rear!" Seriously, they are more often beat up than not.

Another variation to look for is the bayonet release. Most common is the simple button set up. There was a lever lock and a sliding catch. Neither were a very sturdy system and were not around long, but if you have a chance at either, they are worth a slight premium over a button bayonet release.

Is the 8mm conversion safe to shoot? Possibly. Slug the bore and check headspace first - it's not unusual for both to be out of spec. If everyhing is like it should be, you may blast away with a happy heart... if not a happy shoulder. I stick to light cast bullet loads in mine, but you may prefer something else.

The cav carbines were used first by the cavalry, of course. It's such a light, handy arm that use quickly spread. Italian paratroops used them in one form or another. Occasionally, you will see them advertised as "paratroop carbines" but that is mostly advertising hype. Police used them - carabineri, as did partisans who managed to capture same.

I'm sure I've omitted something and will edit this later. Possibly add a few more pics.

Top pic shows a 7.9 conversion with the Arabic "Taleem" marking. Notice the two added recoil lugs to keep the stock from shattering from hot German 7.9 Mauser ammo. Under that is the 7.35 stock marking that should be on all M38 cav carbines. Bottom is a native of the African desert with a cav carbine. You see these in the oddest places!

Thus endeth Steve's crash course on Carcano cavalry carbine collecting! SW

:Thnku: :Thnku: :Thnku: :Thnku: :Thnku: :bigrin:


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:06 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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Here's a photo showing the different types of bayonet locks on the cav carbines. Top is a slider - 3 down from that is a lever lock & bottom is the common button release... which is the best of the 3, but all leave a lot to be desired for sturdy. If you have a choice, take the 1st 2 varieties as they are quite a bit more scarce.

Third down is a first variation M38 short rifle in 7.35. VERY rare!

On the side is an M91-24. It's hard to see & I'll try to post a better pic later on, but on the barrel flat is "PO" = the steel code. Which means Polte, Czechoslovokia in this case. There are a variety of steel codes, but I'll look up what you have rather than post the whole bit. Lazy? Yes and right back out on a train in the AM.

Oh. I also forgot to mention there are at least nine - maybe ten variations of the front sight/bayonet catch housing.

I'll try a post on the M91-24 in a few days. I have one taken apart for pics & some notes compiled. SW

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:37 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:04 pm
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Location: On the couch a lot now that I'm retired
Well, I did a gaggle of home chores - changed oil in wifey's ride - swept the garage - put some turf patch stuff on bare spots in the back yard - was going to mow the lawn, but it's starting to sprinkle! :-o I don't want to push things, so time to goof off on the computey - and post M91-24 information.

Mussolini became the man in charge of Italy in 1922 & soon discovered there was a shortage of rifles... and not much Lira in the treasury with which to buy more. What to do? There was an abundant supply or worn out M91 long rifles from WW1. Gain twist is easy on the breech end of barrels, but cleaning from the muzzle with steel cleaning rods doesn't do much for the tight part of the rifling. These had also seen hard use in nearly constant combat = worn OUT.

So the decision was made to shorten the old M91 long rifles into TS configuration and issue them to rear echelon troops... although the Italian Carcano book shows an elite unit equipped entirely with M91-24s. Possibly a propaganda pic... I'm not sure. :?

Figures vary, but it looks like around 250,000 of these were converted from long rifles.

I like this model for the many varities. You never know what year or arsenal you will find next. If you just can't find the year & arsenal M91 you've been wanting forever, you just might score an M91-24 with the same marks.

Know well you will probably not be taking one of these to the range much. With the tight part of the gain twist rifling having been amputated, the barrel won't stabilize the long 160 grain bullets of dedicated ammo. I have experimented with 130 grain and 150 grain 270 bullets sized down to .268 but have yet to find a viable combination... As in my best M91-24 shooots patterns rather than groups. :-?

But I feel they are still very interesting and hope to acquire more scarce years and arsenals. Get at least one for your collection! More is better, though! ;) SW

The pics:
1) A comparison of the M91 and M91-24. Notice the difference in handguard configuration. The Suprema and other cut down long rifles try to get by with the stock handguard.

2) Notice how the M91-24 has a shortened stock. Sporters don't usually have that or are so obvious you can't miss them.

3) Another (poor) pic of the odd rear sight.

4) Here's another characteristic of the M91-24 that is never faked - a step in the barrel. A special cut in the stock is also needed to accomodate the rear sight attachment. There's a scarce variation that has the barrel step visible between the bayonet lug and front sight. Quite scarce - grab one if possible!

5) Another mark unique to the M91-24: an oval with FARE and date over Terni. FARE = Fabrica d'Armi Regio Esercito ( a Terni mark) & the date will be from '24 to '28. Also visible here is the steel code on the side - PO in this case which is for the Czech foundry in Polte ( or Poldi... I certainly don't pretend to speak any Czech)

There's quite a variety of steel codes, and I'll look yours up on request. I'm trying to give a basic idea what's good to score for the collection - not write another Carcano book. ( call it lazy if you wish! :P ;) )

Now that you are armed with the basics, go forth and score some early ones! I am a sucker for nice examples of this model if you have a spare... not Mybusa, though. I don't think he can have them in PRK! :rotflma: :crzy: :bigrin: SW


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 12:13 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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Since it's a rainy/snowy/can't do nuttin' outside kind of day, let's talk about the next Carcano model - the M91-28. This is the first new model made since Mussolini took over in 1922. These were made between 1928 and 1938. Sometimes the date shown on the barrel will be just 2 digits = 28 to 38.

There's plenty to collect here! In addition to the military rifles, Beretta and FNA made civilian rifles which are easy to spot since they have no letter prefix to the serial number. These were used by police and entities like the forestry ministry or bank guards. It's a fairly scarce variation and a good one to grab!

The makers and approximate productions were:

Beretta - around 80,000 military... maybe 15,000 civilian
FNA - 70,000 or so military - around 9,000 civilian
Gardone Val Trompia - 160,000
Terni - about 90,000
Lorenzotti Brescia - nearly 10,000 ( I've only ever seen one, and I bought it!)
MBT - a fraction of what Lorenzotti made! Never pass one up! Even if the stock has been sportered, grab it. You can get another good one for a stock donor! These go for big money, so if you luck into one for cheep - GRAB IT!!! Even if you don't like Italian rifles, you will make money with it!

Another wild card: a lot of M91TS were upgraded to this model. They are easy to spot by the integral front sight and bayonet stop. Pics below. No word yet on how many M91TS were converted. I haven't translated those chapters yet. They seem to be fairly common, though.

Pics:

1) An overview of 3 variations explained below
2) 3 M91-28s. One has a rack number stenciled onto the stock - probably done in Albania
3) New made M91-28. The key feature is the banded front sight.
4) This M91-28 wears a nose cap made for the greanade launcher model. The Italians wasted very little, and leftovers were all used in regular production. It really doesn't add value but is an interesting variation.
5) Upgraded M91TS. Notice how the front sight base is integral to the barrel - a clincher that this was an M91TS. The integral bump below the froont sight is the bayonet ring stop. As mentioned in that post, the original M91TS bayonets used a transverse mount. You put the ring over the muzzle, and when it 'bottomed out' on the stop bump, you rotated it onto the bayonet lug.

But that system didn't work and is one reason many of the M91TS were upgraded.

Again, this is a basic idea of what's good to add to your collection. There are still plenty of other variations like steel codes and inspector initials. Contact me in this post or by PM, and I'll try to look yours up for you. I just can't see spending hours typing all that in. ( pssst! it's called LAZY!!! :P )

**more possibly later after I discover what I forgot to include in my notes for this post.** SW


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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:21 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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Now for the M38. The Italian Army wanted a more effective caliber than 6.5x52... But hadn't a lot of money so the desicion was made to make barrels in 7.35x51 which would utilize the existing receivers, stock and other parts.

For my money, they would have been better off with a beefier receiver and a change to the 8mm Breda but times were tough in Fascist land and not enough Lira for that sort of monkeyshines. :?

And away they went with the change. The M38 short rifle in 7.35 caliber was made to the tune of about 295,000 units. Some have "Cal 7.35" stamped onto the stock - some don't. I can't give the whys and wherefores of that, but a nice,unsanded stock with the Cal 7.35 cartouche is more desirable.

It soon became obvious the two caliber system was a supply nightmare. Due to heavy involvement on multiple fronts, the Italian big cheeses could not afford to recall any rifles for rebarrelling. After two years, the 7.35 caliber idea was abandoned and production ceased.

Terni made about 245,000 M38 Srs
Gardone made something like 25,000
Beretta made 10,000 ( a good grab!)
FNA made a few over 13,000

What became of the M38 SRs then? Warehoused, mostly. Finland was having serious trouble with Russia right then and needed rifles desperately. Aha! In stepped the Fascists to sell them around 94,000 short rifles in 7.35 caliber with folding bayonets and slings. Also a boat load o' ammo.

Story goes the Finns issued these to rear units like anti-aircraft batteries and "foragers". The Finns didn't especially like these, the story continues, and in 1957, the remaining examples were sold to American milsurp importer, Interarms.

The Finn-used ones have the "SA" in a rectangle stamp on the barrel - the slings and bayonets are also so marked. These are fairly common. Not so common are the plain M38s. In fact you hardly ever see one, so if you have a chance for ne at a modest price, don't pass it up. Same for the folding bayonet. These bring absolutely crazy prices, and an example under $100 is a 'must buy'!! I'm not sure what the slings are bringing, but don't pass one up for decent money.

We already talked about the 7.35 cav carbine in that post, so on to the M38TS. A rare duck, this one!! Seldom seen for sale. A few months ago, a friend peeled out over $700 for one at auction, and it was not a primo specimen! :-o

Beretta made about 35,000
FNA-Bmade 30,000
Gardone made 9,000
Terni made around 50,000

Which adds up to over 120,000, but you simply don't see them around. I've included a pic of an M91-38 (6.5) as they have an identical appearance. Except for 'Cal7.35' on the rear sight and the same stamped onto the stock. If you have to murder your last piggy bank, do not pass one up - you will never see another! Probably. I guess lightning does strike twice inthe same spot... if only for Wile E. Coyote! ;)

Real world shopping? Go for an M38SR without the Finn SA stamp first. Then try to score a folding bayonet. There were four varities of bayonet that looked pretty much alike but only one had a push button for folding up like a pocket knife.

Off to check the auctions, Carcano fans!! 8-) SW

**top pic: M91-38TS. The M38TS is identical in appearance except for 7.35 caliber markings on rear sight and stock. Bottom is an M38 short rifle. **


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