Italian Carcano Carbines

Troops in pic are carrying TS carbines

Moschetto TS

M91 - manufactured by one company:  6.5mm    Photo
Brescia; 1898 to 1919
M91/24 - 6.5mm long adjustable rear sight from rifle.  Photo
M91/28 - manufactured by six companies:  6.5mm  Photo
Gardone Val Trompia;
Pietro Lorenzotti;
Metallurgica Bresciana;
M91/28 Tromboncino Launcia Bombe  Photos  (new)
M38 - manufactured by two companies:  7.35mm  Photo
Gardone Val Trompia;
M38S - manufactured by two companies: 7.92mm  Photo
Brescia, R.E.Terni
M91/38 - manufactured by two companies:  6.5mm   Photo

Moschetto per Cavalleria

M91 - manufactured by three companies:  6.5mm
Brescia; 1894 to 1936
Gardone Val Trompia; 1935 to 1937
R.E.Terni; 1928 to 1937

M38 - manufactured by four companies:  7.35mm
Beretta; 1939
Brescia;  1938
Gardone Val Trompia;  1939
R.E. Terni; 1938 to 1939

M38S - manufactured by two companies:  7.92mm   Photo
Brescia; 1939 to 1941, R.E.Terni

M91/38 - manufactured by three companies:   6.5mm   Photo
Beretta; 1940 thru 1943, fixed sight
Gardone Val Trompia; 1940 to 1945, fixed sight, after 43 this gun had no markings other than serial number
Brescia manufactured a carbine during this period but it remained in the 91 configuration with adjustable sight.   1940 thru 1943

While the above are all of the guns called Carbines, the Fucile Corto is within the 21" barrel length to classify it as a carbine, so I am going to add it also.

Fucile Corto

M38- manufactured by four companys: 7.35mm
Gardone Val Trompia;
R.E. Terni;
M38-manufactured by four companys: 6.5mm
Gardone Val Trompia;
R.E. Terni;
M38-8mm conversion done by Heinrich Krieghoff at plant 12
Receiver marked HK

Cleaning kit for all versions

Reference books:
The Carcano Italy's Rifle -- by Richard Hobbs
Web Reference:
The Carcano Home Page
Great web page for the Carcano enthusiast

Insignia for the RSI Black Brigade
Photos like the one below of Italian Troops

Italian forces in N. African Desert

The Carcano and Israel

      by Dan Reynolds

Prior to the British withdrawal from Palestine in 1948 Jewish agents were combing Europe for rifles.  They were buying anything they could find.  A deal was struck for 8mm Carcano carbines and they were stored on an airfield in central Italy which had recently been used by the RAF.  This was a relay point for contraband being smuggled by air from Europe.  In May of 1948 Israel declared its Independence and and was immediately invaded by the Arab Nations.  By July a major arms deal was struck with Czechoslovakia for rifles, machine guns, ammunition, pistols, smgs, and aircraft.  Nightly illegal flights from Bratislava in Slovakia in a Dakota (C-47) twin engine aircraft with phony RAF markings and radio call signs were refueling at the Italian air field before flying on to deliver the 98K type 8mm Mausers to Israel.  Arab agents were at this time seeking to buy rifles for their forces and were duped into buying the Carcano's from the Israeli agents as Israel no longer needed them.  Some or many of them were tampered with so that they could not be of use once it was discovered that they would blow up.  I also found out that the Brescia guns were never fully developed thus causing many failures.  10,000 were  assembled to fulfill a contract even though they would not function correctly.   Some of the 8mm were kept by the Israeli military and are marked with the Star of David, others bare Arabic writing but I do not know from which country as Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Syria and Iraq were all involved.

Other Items of Interest

The British shipped a large number of captured Italian small arms to the Dutch in East Indies after 7 Dec.'41 as aid because they could not spare rifles or MG's of their own.  A huge number of Italian small arms were floating around North Africa and Middle East that Arabs and Turags took from Italians or picked up from desert as they collapsed.  These were smuggled south in Kenya and northeast into Arabia, Trans-Jordan, Palestine and beyond in the late forties as well as being used in Algeria, Morrocco and Tunisa by anti French movements up into '50's.

copyright 2003-2008 RK Smith-Dan Reynolds