Help Identifying Carcano

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Phantom 778
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Help Identifying Carcano

Post by Phantom 778 »

My wife and I were shopping at our local Cabela's Gun Library when we encountered a beautiful Carcano rifle. Attached to the stock was an old piece of paper that read "Italian M91 Calvary Carbine. 1891 Mannlicher Carcano. Lg ring; cock on opening stroke bolt action 6.5M/M. Serial #RA46xxx. Picked up in assembly plant somewhere in Germany." (The note was in handwriting and appeared to be the beliefs of the previous owner.) Although the note looked to have been written many years ago, it did not appear to be entirely correct. In fact, most of our questions about this little Carcano came from trying to substantiate the claims on this handwritten note. Here is what we have so far and any addition help would be appreciated. First of all, my wife and I believe this is a Carcano carbine Moschetto T.S. Modello 38 in Cal 6.5x52. We do not believe this to be a Calvary Carbine as claimed. It is marked with FNA-B on the reciever for Fabbrica Nazionale d'Armi di Brescia. There is no manufacturers date on the reciever. According to the book, "The Model 1891 Carcano Rifle, A Detailed Developmental History" by Giovanni Chegia & Alberto Simonelli with Ralph Riccio, the year the RA serial number prefix was used by Brescia is unknown and is listed as "assente." The rifle appears "brand new" with strong rifling suggesting almost no use. My wife and I believe it was rarely fired because there was very little fouling/copper in the bore. (But of course there is no way to prove this but I felt it important to mention). The stock is beautiful with no damage or signs of an oil finish. There is no caliber markings on the non-adjustable, fix rear-sight. There is also a lion standing on a moon marked into the butt plate. According to the same book mentioned above, this marking suggest the rifle could have been subcontracted to "Ausonia." This marking is "almost exclusively on the buttplates of 7.92x57mm F.N.A Brescia weapons." I am leaning heavily on the words "almost exclusively" because my wife and I believe this to be a 6.5x52. There are no supports in the stock to support the 7.92x57 mm round. And one more thing. The line on the handwritten note that says, "picked up in assembly plant somewhere in Germany." Is this claim possible to substantiate at all? Historically speaking, where there Brescia Carcanos being assembled in Germany? Is this documented? Any reference materials would be greatly appreciated! Please see pictures for additional information and questions. Thank you!
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Last edited by Phantom 778 on Fri May 15, 2020 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help Identifying Carcano

Post by ammolab »

Will a .30 caliber bullet fit into the muzzle? Yes? Then it is an 7.92 bore. No? then it’s a 6.5 or 7.35 bore.

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Re: Help Identifying Carcano

Post by OldRifles »

ZUaUULFTSh+XRbiV6BcPow.jpg (1.49 MiB) Viewed 5108 times
Does it look like the uppermost carbine in the attached photo?

If so, it's a Model 1938 TS Carbine, and the RA serial prefix is correct for one made at FNA-Brescia. These continued in production while the area was still under German control and most found today are in excellent condition, suggesting little if any use. These were produced in 6.5mm, as only the post-war conversions were altered to accept 7.92mm, and were marked accordingly. The latter also had two cross bolts through the stock, which the one in question appears to lack.

These weren't built or assembled in Germany, so that part of the story sounds apocryphal.


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Re: Help Identifying Carcano

Post by Charles Lipscomb »

I believe Oldrifles has it covered.
The line "assembly plant somewhere in Germany " caught my eye. As stated they weren't made nor likely assembled in Germany. But the word "assembly" could mean something else.
Perhaps "assembly area"? Men, arms and equipment would be staged in "assembly areas"
As to Germany, they could have been shipped north from Italy for use by the volkstrum "home guard".
Imagine you are a G.I. in the summer of 1945. Guarding captured weapons. Your co says anyone who wants a souvenir go ahead and grab one . You do and then send it home.
Years later you or your kid writes a note on it. Time and memory confuses the terms a bit. Nut the gist is there..
This is all just speculation on my part.
But it I too am interested how it made it to Germany
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Re: Help Identifying Carcano

Post by RenHoek »

After the Italian king surrendered in 1943, occupying Germans considered that a serious breach of etiquette and seized all weapons they could lay their hands on, disarming entire Italian divisions and emptying armories. These were shipped off to Germany to be warehoused. Some - but not all - went through an inspection and were so marked.

I feel the most likely scenario relates to this being "liberated" from an arsenal or warehouse. REn
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Re: Help Identifying Carcano

Post by burad »

The original M91 TS has a transverse bayonet lug.
The M91 TSM, made starting in 1928, has a normal bayonet lug, and the stock has a band around it a few inches from the front of the stock.
The M91/24 is a cut down rifle, and looks like an M91 TSM, but it has the longer rifle rear sight.
The cavalry carbines have long folding spike bayonets, and the stock ends quite some ways from the muzzle.
Most M91/38 and later have fixed rear sights.
All 7.35mm should say what caliber they are, on top. And usually on the stock as well.

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