Just arrived from Africa. original Carcano M. 1891 rifles. The rifles are in fair to very good condition. All of them are original and were left in Ethiopia when the Italian forces were kicked out of the country in 1943.Please see detailed pictures. We do have a hand select (best of 20) and an antique option available.These rifles have not been on the US market for decades. A true find of history!
History, taken from Wikipedia.
Carnano Model 1891 Rifle.
A series of Italian bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating
military rifles and carbines. Introduced in 1891, this rifle was chambered for
the rimless 6.5×52mm Carcano cartridge (Cartuccia Modello 1895). It was
developed by the chief technician Salvatore Carcano at the Turin Army Arsenal
in 1890 and called the Modello (model) 91 or simply M91. Successively replacing
the previous Vetterli-Vitali rifles and carbines in 10.35×47mmR, it was
produced from 1892 to 1945. The M91 was used in both rifle (fucile) and
shorter-barreled carbine (moschetto) form by most Italian troops during the
First World War and by Italian and some German forces during the Second World
War. The rifle was also used during the Winter War 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 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 uses a Carcano action, but retains the Arisaka/Mauser type 5-round
box magazine. The Type I was used primarily by Japanese Imperial Naval Forces
and was chambered for the Japanese 6.5×50mm Arisaka cartridge. Approximately
60,000 Type I rifles were produced by Italian arsenals for Japan.
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 magazine system uses en bloc charger clips which were
originally developed and patented by Ferdinand Mannlicher, but the actual shape
and design of the Carcano clip is derived from the German Model 1888 Commission
Until 1938, all M91 rifles and carbines were chambered for
the rimless 6.5×52mm 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 6.5×52mm 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 frequently 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 (1924-1934), and
the Second Italo-Abyssinian War (1934), the Italian army introduced a new short
rifle in 1938, the Modello 1938, together with a new cartridge in 7.35×51mm
caliber. In addition to the slightly larger caliber, Italian ordnance designers
introduced a spitzer-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 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 6.5×52mm caliber.
Some Italian troops serving on the Russian front were armed with 7.35 mm Mod.
1938 rifles, but exchanged them in 1942 for 6.5×52 mm arms.
Model 91 Bayonet
Approximately 94,500 7.35mm Modello 1938 rifles were shipped
to Finland, where they were known as Terni carbines (from the Terni stamp with
the royal crown, the logo or seal of the Regia fabbrica d’armi di Terni arsenal
where they were manufactured). They were primarily used by security and
line-of-communications troops during the Winter War 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 good quality, or any
ammunition at all, and its non-adjustable rear sight (fixed for 200 m) made it
ill-suited for use in precision shooting at the varied ranges encountered by
Finnish soldiers during the conflict. Despite this, it's worth noticing that
the Finns themselves modified the fixed optics on the rifle to operate from a
range of 200 m to only 150 m. Whenever possible, Finnish soldiers discarded
the weapon in favor of rifles acquired on the battlefield, including
standard models of captured Soviet-made Mosin–Nagant rifles. The latter had the
advantage of using commonly available 7.62×54mmR ammunition. By the outbreak of
the Continuation War, 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 telescopic lenses and issued for service use (World War II
scoped rifles were strictly prototypes).
Several lots of Moschetti M91/38 TS (special troops' carbines)
were chambered for the German 8×57mm Mauser sS heavy ball round. This
modification entered service in 1943, just before the Italian capitulation.
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 forces captured large quantities of Carcanos after
Italy's capitulation in September 1943. It was the most commonly issued rifle
to the German Volkssturm ("People's Militia") units in late 1944 and
After World War II, Italy replaced its Carcano rifles first
with British Lee–Enfields 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 United States and Canada beginning in the 1950s. In
Italy, the Polizia di Stato and the Carabinieri retained the Moschetto 38
TS, 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. Some were also converted to 6.5×54mm Mannlicher–Schönauer, one of
the standard cartridges of the Greek military at the time.
During the Libyan Civil War in 2011, 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 were predominantly used by
rebels in the Nafusa Mountains. These old weapons saw combat once again due to
the rebels' limited access to modern firearms. Additionally, some Libyan rebels
preferred 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 were armed with World War II-era
All variants used the same Carcano bolt action, fed by an
en-bloc clip; the rifles and carbines had different barrel lengths and
differences in stocks and sights depending on barrel length. As noted
in the introduction, the word moschetto means literally "musket" but
was used generally by Italian arms makers as a descriptor of Italian 20th
century rifles, often shorter-barrelled rifles in the carbine style meant for
other than regular infantry uses. Regular length infantry rifles are named as
• Fucile di
Fanteria Modello 1891 (infantry rifle Model 1891, detachable knife bayonet,
adopted in 1891 in 6.5×52mm caliber) 30.7 inch barrel.
da Cavalleria (cavalry carbine) Mod. 91 (6.5×52mm carbine with integral folding
bayonet, adopted in 1893) 17.7 inch barrel.
per Truppe Speciali Mod. 91 (or 6.5×52mm M91 TS, carbine for special troops; TS
= Truppe Speciali). These included machine gun, mortar and motorcycle crews,
adopted 1897) 17.7 inch barrel. Both sling swivels are mounted below the
stock and barrel ring, where they are visible from both sides of the rifle.
di Fanteria (infantry carbine rifle) Mod. 91/24 (6.5×52mm carbine, modification
of the original Mod. 1891 with shortened barrel and altered rearsight blade,
adopted in 1924) 17.7 inch barrel.
per Truppe Speciali Mod. 91/28 (lightly altered M 91 6.5×52mm carbine, adopted
in 1928) 17.7 inch barrel.
per Truppe Speciali con Tromboncino (con Tromboncino, with grenade launcher)
Mod. 91/28 (modified 91/28 coupled with a 38.5 mm grenade launcher) 17.7 inch
• Fucile di
Fanteria Mod. 1938 ("infantry rifle" Model 1938, adopted in 1938 in
7.35×51mm caliber, fixed sights, detachable folding knife bayonet) 20.9 inch
Carcano Model 1891/38 Infantry rifle
(carbines) Mod. 1938 (folding bayonet) and Mod. 1938 TS (detachable bayonet)
carbine versions of Model 1938 short rifle in 7.35×51mm, 17.7 inch barrel.
• Fucile di
Fanteria Mod. 91/38 (Model 1938 "infantry rifle" chambered in
6.5×52mm caliber since 1940). The barrel is the 20.9 inch barrel of the earlier
7.35 mm caliber, but now changed to 6.5 mm. Unlike the slightly shorter and
lighter TS Moschetto, it also has both sling swivels on the left side of the
stock, not visible from the right side of the rifle, identifying it as a Fucile
di Fanteria type. This is the model (stamped "1940" to show
manufacture date) owned by Lee Harvey Oswald and determined to be the John F.
Kennedy assassination rifle. From 1940, the Moschetto Mod. 1938 and Mod. 1938
TS were also made in 6.5×52mm.
• Fucile di
Fanteria Mod. 91/41 (6.5×52mm "infantry rifle" adopted in 1941,
adjustable sights), 27.2 inch barrel.
I Rifle (6.5×50mm infantry rifle, produced for export to Japan, adjustable