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Italian
Carcano M1891/41 Rifle

Terni Arsenal
Calibre 6.5 x 52mm
Dated 1943
Serial A13670
£420

Rare Marksman Rifle

The standard Italian rifle of the Great War was adopted in 1891. It was fed with a 6-round clip. The clip was a Mannlicher design and the breech block assembly was designed by an Italian gunsmith named Carcano.

While it is looked down upon by some devotees of the "finer" rifles, it was a rugged weapon that didn't foul up easily
and withstood hard treatment. Its smaller cartridges [Cal. 6.5x52 mm vs. 7.92 mm Mauser] meant a soldier could carry more rounds and its clip
held 6 rounds vs. 5 per clip for almost all rifles of the other belligerents.

It's length was designed for an obsolete method of warfare, allowing an infantryman to fend off the lance or saber of a mounted cavalryman.

By the time of the Second World War, not much about the Carcano had changed. Some shorter versions of the Carcano rifle were in service and the rapid onset of the war had shelved Italy's plans to update the rifle's caliber to 7,35x51. Despite the fact that the older M1891 infantry rifle was mostly being replaced by M1891/38 series carbines, performance in North African campaigns convinced fascist Italy to begin manufacturing the longer type infantry rifle once more. This led to the adoption of the M1891/41 Fucile. Aside from a more compact rear sight, standard non-progressive rifling, and a barrel slightly shorter than the older infantry rifle, the 1941 adaptation is little changed from the pre-WW1 era weapon - it was even issued with the same bayonet.

The M1891/41 rifle was only manufactured at two arsenals, R.E. Terni (aka Terni, FAT) from 1941 to 1945 and Armaguerra Cremona from 1941 to 1944.

This example has the Tiro a Segno Nazionale marking (Two crossed rifles superimposing a bullseye target) marked on the right side of the barrel. Italy did not use scoped sniper rifles in WW2. Rifles selected for accuracy were given the TSN stamp and were issued to proven marksmen to act in the sniper role.
About 5% of infantry rifles are so marked.

A rare example of a WW2 Sharp Shooters Carcano rifle with a good shooting grade bore


Tiro a Segno Nazionale marking (Two crossed rifles superimposing a bullseye target)