Carcano Model Identification (2024)


The model nomenclature and identification of the various Carcano rifles and carbines varies wildly and confusingly in both Italian andforeign literature. While it may be preferable, in the long run, to staywith the "official" Italian army nomenclature, it is not always clearitself and often too ambiguous.
  1. Richard Hobbs uses the following approach:Following Italian parlance, he distinguishes (only) two basic models for the Carcano, designated by the years in which the model was introduced: Modello 91 (M91) in 1891 and the Modello 38 (M38) in 1938. The crucial distinction between both models is the intended caliberfor which the gun was chambered: 6,5x52 Carcano for the M91 and 7,35x51Carcano for the M38. As a result, those apparent Model 38 guns which -after 1940 - were again chambered for the older 6,5mm caliber are alsocalled M91/38. The model number is followed by the year in which asignificant variant was introduced (hereafter refered to as thesub-model), if applicable. For example, the M91/24 appeared firstin 1924, being a conversion of M91 Fucile to Moschetto T.S. specification.The M91/24 is sufficiently different from the preceding M91 Moschetto warrant a separate designation.

    The model designation should be followed by the phenotype, when notredundant: Fucile, Moschetto Cavalleria (Cav.), Moschetto Truppe Speciali(T.S.) and Fucile Corto. Cases where the phenotype is redundant is the M91/24 Moschetto T.S., M91/28 Moschetto T.S. and M91/41 Fucile.

    This approach is a fairly compact method, but imprecise if the modelspecifications and naming conventions are not fully understood andinternalized.

  2. Alexander Eichener, on the other hand, while recognizing theformal correctness of a mere model distinction, prefers another descriptive approach for clarity and easiness of identification. He maintains that Carcani should best be identified:
    • first by their phenotype, that is either long rifle, short rifle, cavalry carbine, or special troops' carbine.
    • second by their model/sub-model number, e.g. M91, M91/41 (the two long rifles), M91 TS, M91/24 TS, M91/38 TS (all these are full-stocked special troops' carbines)
    • third by their caliber, id est 6,5 mm or 7,35 mm.

    While an argument could be brought forth that it be sufficient to use themodel number alone to also identify the caliber, this is very obscure evenfor the specialist, much more so for the non-initiated everydayreader.
    Here is an example: stating "I have a Carcano Moschetto TS Mod. 38 in 7,35mms for sale" is a lot for clearer than just calling it a " Carcano Model 38" and letting the reader wonder what it might turn out to be in the end(a short rifle ? a cavalry carbine ? a special troops' carbine ?).

An interesting other "Carcano" model, in the wider sense, is the Tipo I, which was produced 1938/39 on foreign contract for use by the Japanese aspart of Axis mutual aid pacts, and which is chambered for the 6,5x50 RJapanese. Unlike the other Carcani, which have a 6 round charger-clip magazine, the Tipo I, has a 5 round box magazine (for stripper clips). Stocks and sights also differ from the Italian type in that they closely resemble the Japanese Type 38 Arisaka long rifle from 1905.


In addition to the basic models, there are sub-models identified by the year when revisions to the basic model were introduced. For example, the M91/24 T.S. is a rework begun in 1924, converting the M91 Fucile to T.S. specification. The M91/28 (special troops' carbine) and M91/41 (long ifle) are sub-modelswere introduced in 1928 and 1941, respectively. A slight exception to this rule is the - already mentioned - M91/38 which was actually introduced in 1940. The M91/38 derived it nomenclature from it being a M38 chambered in 6,5x52 Carcano, instead of the originallyintended 7,35x51 Carcano. M91/38's are often also referred to as "M38 in6,5x52 Carcano". Incidentally, there is no evidence to supportthe often-read and repeated rumour that any M38's were converted from7,35x51 Carcano to 6,5x52 Carcano (by changing the barrel), according toHobbs. But a number of M 38 guns in 7,35 mms were made using older 6,5 mms barrels and receivers, the markings of which may still be foundpartially visible e.g. on the barrel base.
Regardless of the formal distinction which we undertook above, it iscommon to find the sub-models being referred to as models (i.e. M91/28 asM28; M91/41 as M41). Just keep this in mind when interpreting a reference.

Variants or Types

From these basic nominal "models", several discernible variants existed:the Fucile, Fucile Corto, Moschetto Cavalleria (Cav.) and the MoschettoTruppe Speciali (T.S.).
These are the denominations most helpful for you, and which Alexander Eichener had also called "phenotypes" because they are immediatelyrecognizable at sight.

Fucile (Long rifle):
Two long rifles exist, namely the M91 and the M91/41 (the preceding M91/40 was a long trial rifle which was never distributed at large). Theyare distinguished in the following ways:
- Length
- Rear sight blades: M 91 graduated from 600 metres to 2000 metres, M91/41 from 300 metres to 1000 metres
- Sling bars and swivels: only at the bottom for the M91, whereas theM91/41 also has side bars. A few M 91/41 may have their bottom swivels milled off after production.
- Buttplate: the M91/41 buttplate is slightly flatter and curves aroundthe upper side of the buttstock, so the upper screw enters from above,vertically.

Fucile corto (Short rifle):
They exist in 7,35 mms (Mod. 1938 or 38) and in 6,5 mms (Mod. 91/38). Identical except for caliber and sight zeroing distance (7,35 mms at 300metres, 6,5 mms at 200 metres). Only the very first M1938 short riflesinitially had a different handguard and nosecap and no second barrel band (and these are not "prototypes", as Richard Hobbs incorrectly namedthem, but regular production). Upon negative reports from the troops,these features were changed, and the old style rifles were almost allretroconverted to the later (common) standard, by exchanging thehandguard and nosecap and re-milling the stock's front end toaccomodate the new nosecap.
The Short Rifle is often confused with the Moschetto TS. Beware.See the explanation later on this page for a listing of the differences.

Moschetto TS
A short carbine, stocked almost to the muzzle, with a bayonet lug and a handguard. Comes as M91 (in various modifications), M91/24, M91/28, M38,M38 S (in 7.9/7.92/8mm Mauser) and M91/38.

Moschetto per Cavalleria
A half-stocked cavalry carbine, with the unmistakable triangular folding bayonet; it is fixed to a permanent muzzle mounting, but hinges back under the stock, into a slot there. Not infrequently the bayonet is missing. Exists as M91, M38, M 38 S, M91/38. One manufacturer, FNABrescia, continued its previous M91 pattern throughout the Second WorldWar and never made a M91/38 with fixed sights. Please note that the roundbarrel base (instead of the old half-octagonal configuration with fivefacets on the upper side and a round base) was already introduced waybefore 1938 for the last M91 carbines and is not a sign for aM91/38 model in and by itself.

How to distinguish a Short Rifle and a Moschetto TS:

  • The Short Rifle has a gripping groove milled into each side of thewooden forearm; the Moschetto TS not.
  • The Short Rifle has a buttplate with a small (hard-to-pry-open) trapdoor for its three-piece cleaning rod; the Moschetto TS has its rod right underthe barrel, screwed into a channel like the Fucile 91.
  • The Short Rifle is xxx cms (40 inches) long, the Moschetto TS only xxcms (36 inches).

How to distinguish the manifold Moschetto TS sub-variants:
Have you ever taken a broom and begon to sweep the forest ? *Sigh* The Moschetto TS underwent constant minor modifications and alterations like no other Carcano, and I find it very difficult to gain an overview. Collectors hould keep in mind that these were all undertaken man mano, that is, successively as soon as a gun would have to be repaired and came back to the arsenal. Many different stages and variantsthus co-existed at the same time and to speak of "introduction times" would mislead the reader. The changes mainly involve the following parts:

  • bayonet lug on original nose cap altered from transversal TS shape tousual straight fucile shape
  • handguard retainer hook added to nosecap; handguard accordingly loses its retaining inner front metal lip, like the fucile's handguarddid earlier
  • additional side sling swivel mounted into the forearm
  • long curved nose cap exchanged to short fucile style
  • second barrel band added (fucile style)
  • side sling swivel added onto the fucile style barrel band.

There are other Carcano variants, but these tend to be extremely rare or conversions of other types. For example, there are the Guardie del Re (King's Guard) and Moschettieri del Duce (Mussolini's Guard) variants, both of which are rare, and are distinguished by the coloring (gilded ornamentation and black stock, respectively), and non-standard stock/bayonet treatments.

One conversion is the Tromboni Launchi Bombe (aka Troboncino Launcia Bombe), the Grenade Launcher variants of the M91/28 T.S., M38 T.S. and M38 Cav. The Tromboni Launchi Bombe is permanently attached to the right side of the gun. Guns with the Tromboni removed should have a small notch cut on the top of the chamber end of the barrel and the right side of the stock inletted. 1943 saw the introduction of a German style grenade launcher that fit underneath the barrel of the M91, M91/41 and T.S.'s.

There are also late war official German 8x57 IS conversions, undertaken as an emergency measure for the Volkssturm in both magazine and single-shot configurations (Heinrich Krieghoff branch factory in Tyrol). These arevery rare, and must not be confused by the much more commonly offeredfollowing variant:
Some Moschetti TS M38 were chambered for the 7,92x57 Mauser (aka 7,9x57Mauser; 8 x 57 IS; 8mm Mauser). We call them "M38 S" here, because theyusually bear a large "S" mark on the receiver, and often also on the bolthandle; their receiver breech end has a half-moon cut to accomodate forthe longer 8 x 57 IS cartridges (just as with the Norvegian Kar 98kconverted to .30-06, and the Turkish M 1903/38 conversions).
Richard Hobbs thinks, based on an oblique and unclear remark in Italian army supply documents, that these guns were intended for Italian troops operating on the Russian front, and he thus calls this sub-model the Moschetto M38 TS Russi (Russian); but this appears to be a naming afterthe fact (unless further Italian sources be discovered).Others disagree, based e.g. on the argument that the term "Fucili Russi8mm" could as well and even more literally refer to two not uncommonRUSSIAN World War I bounty weapons:to the Austrian-captured Mosin-Nagants converted to 8 x 50 R Steyr and tothe German-captured Mosin-Nagants converted to 8 x 57 IS. Besides, theItalian armed forces had enormous stocks of original Austrian M1895 riflesand carbines, and also used them in WW II.These critics identify those Moschetti either as post-war conversions donefor Egypt, some of which were captured by Israel, or as directwar aid deliveries to Israel.
The most likely conclusion is therefore that at least two, maybe threedifferent Carcano types in 8x57 IS exist; their history still remainssomewhat unclear until now.

For those of you who are challenged by the Italian language, the table below is a translation of the model/variant nomenclature:

Carcano Variants
Fucile CortoShort Rifle
Moschetto Cavalleria (Cav.)Cavalry Carbine
Moschetto Truppe Speciale (T.S)Special Troop Carbine
Typo IType I
Tromboni Launchi BombeBomb Launching Horn
(Grenade Launcher)


As previously mentioned, the Carcano rifle was produced in 4 calibers, and also "typically" found in a 5th caliber:
  • 6,5x52 Carcano (M91's, and the submodels M91/24, M91/28, M91/38, M91/41))
  • 7,35x51 Carcano (M38 only)
  • 7,92x57 IS Mauser (M38 S and German Army Conversions)
  • 6,5x50 Japanese (Tipo I only)
  • 6,5x54 MS Greek (Austrian rechambered WW I capture guns)
The caliber of a Carcano, actually just the bore diameter, can be found imprinted either on the Mod. 38 and Mod. 91/38 fixed rear sight, or as a later proof mark on the barrel's muzzle end (United Kingdom proof) or breech end (German proof). In the case of 7,35x51 Carcano chambered guns, the left side of the buttstock should also be imprinted with a large-lettered "CAL. 7,35", unless the gun has been re-fitted with a M91/38 stock.


The Italian government sought to produce their guns entirely within Italy. Various manufacturers had produced Carcani since 1892, most guns having been manufactured in the Terni and Brescia Arsenals, with other manufacturers coming and going over the years depending on demand. Some may one have been final assembly plants of subcontracted parts made elsewhere. The "manufacturer" of each gun imprinted their identifying name or logo on the chamber end of the barrel.

In addition to the manufacturer's identifying logo, the year of production (up until mid-1943) and the serial number should be imprinted on the chamber end of the barrel.The year of production is typically a 2 to 4 digit number indicating the year. For example a gun manufactured in 1918 may have a shortened year such as '918' or "18" imprinted.In addition to the A.D. Christian year, there is from 1929 until 1943, the year of the Fascist Era (which was counted from the March on Rome in autumn 1922) also stamped in Roman numerals on most barrels. Since Fascist year and common era year are not identical (just like secular and liturgical year diverge from each other), this allows to identify whether a gun was produced before or after the anniversary day of the March on Rome in a given year.
Typical serial numbers of Carcani consist of either 1 or 2 letters followed by 4 numbers. Guns produced at Roma in late World War I often have a 'OR-' prefix before their whole serial number. Some guns with a number only also exist.

The Model 91/24 T.S.'s, being shortened long rifles, should bear their original manufacturer markings and an additional small oval rework marking on top of the barrel breech, indicating the reworking arsenal (mostlyif not always it's FARE TERNI and the last two digits of the year).

Below is a table of manufacturers showing the production years for the models and variants.

Years of Manufacture of Carcano
Manufacturer9191/2491/283891/3838 S91/41Tipo I
Armaguerra Cremona



(aka F.N.A. Brescia)
Gardone Val Trompia
(aka Gardone VT)



Pietro Lorenzotti (Brescia)


Metallurgica Bresciana
(aka MBT)


Mida Brescia1917-1918


R.E. Terni (aka Terni; FAT)1892-19361928-1937



Torre Annunziata1893-1900

Other Markings/Features

Other markings and features you may find on a Carcano are:
  • Tiro a Segno Nazionale (Two crossed rifles superimposing a bullseye target stamped on barrel or stock).
    The significance of this oft-encountered mark is still not totallycleared up. It is quite certain, however, that this was neither a unitmark denoting actual sniper usage, nor a sign for "prize guns" inshooting competitions (as was the case with some Fucili Vetterli M1870, which were not serial numbered, bore the same sign, and were given as prizes to the winners - thence the tradition is derived). Nor canone assume that all those many rifles (and cavalry carbines) were used bysharpshooters; rather, they may have been the pool from which propersnipers (tiratori scelti), as well as any unit's "good shots" couldselect their guns.
    Rather than actual usage, the "two stylized crossed rifles" indicate thatthese guns were by the selected by the factories right after production,though I am not sure whether the grading was based just on barrel diametergauging, or on the results of test shooting showing superior accuracy.Such a sign can be found on all models, also on short rifes, cavalrycarbines and special troops' carbines.Incidentally, many guns with this sign have rather used or bad barrelsnow, and thus are not worth more. The stamping is, in my experience, morecommon than some think: I would say between 5 % and 10 % of the guns boreit.
  • Dual Target Triggers.
    Some guns produced for competition have dual set triggers.
  • Regia Aeronautica (Letters 'RA' stamped).
    These guns were issued to the Italian Royal Air Force.
  • San Marco (An anchor stamp).
    These guns were issued to the San Marco Marines or to the "San Marco" RSI infantry division (post-1943).
  • Finnish Army (Letters 'SA' in box, meaning "Suomen Armeija").
    M38 short rifles given to the Finns as war aid for use against theRussians have this stamp. In addition, the front sights have receivedhigher blades to provide for a zeroing distance of only 150 m.
  • "Large S" on 7.92x57 IS Mauser caliber gun.
    Mauser caliber guns required slight reworking of the bolt and receiver to accept the 8 x 57 IS Mauser round, and are stamped as such.
  • German WaA Markings.
    Guns used by the Wehrmacht and the Volkssturm may have these armed forces WaA acceptance markings and/or military proof marks.
  • Bavaria Police; Bavaria Rural Police.
    The Bavaria Police used M91/24's after WWII as carbines.
  • Heinrich Krieghoff (Letters 'HK' in circle - 8mm conversion).
    Guns reworked to accept the 7.92x57IS Mauser round. These guns were either repeaters or single shot and have original serial numbers crossed out and new numbers that start with 'H'.
  • Star of David and/or "zahal" mark.
    After the establishment of the Israeli state, the Israelis used any gunsthey could procure somehow. Some M38 in 8x57 IS found their way to Israeland are mark with the Star of David and the Israeli armed forces mark("zahal").
  • Tubato (Tubular rifling insert).
    In the 1920's some guns were reworked via the Salerno method by boring out the worn barrel and inserting a rifled, tubular barrel liner. These guns are marked Tubato, letters running in a "U" shape on themiddle barrel facet, and may bear the additional date of the rework. The Finnish used the same method not much later for some of theirMosin-Nagants.


The primary distinction between the models/sub-models/variants is made by the year of manufacture (indicated on the barrel up to roughly mid-1943), length, and the bayonet mounting. The table below shows the specifications for the models/sub-models/variants:
Specifications for Common Carcano Rifles
ModelCaliber (mm)Twist TypeSights (m)WeightLength (cm)Bayonet
91 Fucile6.5x52 CarcanoGain450-2000300
8 lb. 7 oz.78128.5Detachable
91 Cav.6.5x52 CarcanoGain450-1500300
6 lb. 14 oz.4591.3Attached/Folding
91 T.S.6.5x52 CarcanoGain450-1500300
6 lb. 8.5 oz.44.992.2Detachable
91/24 T.S.6.5x52 CarcanoGain450-1500300
6 lb. 8.5 oz.45.292.1Detachable
91/28 T.S.6.5x52 CarcanoGain450-1500300
6 lb. 13 oz.45.791.5Detachable
38 Fucile Corto7.35x51 CarcanoFixed

2007 lb. 9 oz.53.5101.8Detachable/Folding
38 Cav.7.35x51 CarcanoFixed

2006 lb. 9 oz.44.791.5Attached/Folding
38 T.S.7.35x51 CarcanoFixed

2006 lb. 10 oz.45.191.5Detachable
91/38 Fucile Corto6.5x52 CarcanoFixed

2007 lb. 7 oz.53.8101.8Detachable/Folding
91/38 Cav.6.5x52 CarcanoGain450-15002002007 lb.44.691.5Attached/Folding
91/38 T.S.6.5x52 CarcanoGain

2006 lb. 6 oz.45.992.7Detachable
91/41 Fucile6.5x52 CarcanoFixed300-1000200
8 lb. 8 oz.69.2116.8Detachable
38 S Cav.8x57 IS Mauser

2006 lb. 14 oz.45.691.8Attached/Folding
38 S T.S. 8x57 IS MauserFixed

2006 lb. 10 oz.45.292.1Detachable
Tipo I6.5x50 JapaneseFixed400-2400300 ?
8 lb. 12 oz.78.1128.9(Long)
Detachable Arisaka bayonet
Special thanks to Richard J. Hobbs for specifications and manufacture years.
Carcano Model Identification (2024)


How much is an Italian Carcano worth? ›

You would expect to pay between $50 and $125 for a specimen, depending upon quality (finding a Carcano in excellent condition for $50 is luck; paying $100 for the same in "well used" condition means you've been over a barrel, and not a rifle barrel...).

Are Carcano rifles any good? ›

Unless your Carcano shoots the 0.264″ bullets well, or you found some rare 0.268″ soft points to reload with, I'd strongly recommend against hunting with a Carcano. You may need to modify the sights, the safety is terrible for hunting, and there are just much better new production hunting rifles.

Which Carcano was used in ww2? ›

The Carcano M91, M1891, or the incorrect title of Mannlicher-Carcano was a bolt-action, rifle that was used by Italy during both World War I and World War II.

Did Beretta make Carcano rifles? ›

Beretta Gardone 1940-XVIII Carcano M91/28 Bolt Action Carbine.

Can you buy a Carcano rifle? ›

Italian M91 Carcano Cavalry Carbine - 17.5" Barrel 6.5 Carcano 6 Round Capacity - Italian Carabinieri Rifles - NRA Surplus Good to Very Good Condition - C&R Eligible.
Caliber/Gauge6.5x52mm Carcano
ActionBolt Action
Barrel Length17.5"
5 more rows

How much is a Carcano rifle worth RDR2? ›

The Carcano Rifle can be purchased in RDR2 Story Mode at the Gunsmith for a price of $190.00.

How much is the Carcano rifle RDR2? ›

Carcano Rifle
DamageRangeCost (Story)
3 of 43.2 of 4$190.00
Oct 26, 2018

Is the Carcano a good rifle rdr2? ›

Red Dead Redemption 2 Carcano Rifle is a Sniper Weapon Type, which is ideal for hunting Medium and Large Animals. This weapons best stats are Accuracy 3.5/4 (Best) and Accuracy 3.5/4 (Good) and its lowest stats being Rate of Fire 1.5/4 (Weak).

What rifle did Italy use in ww2? ›

TypeBase modelRounds
Carcano M1891/28Carcano M18916
Carcano M1938 carbineCarcano M1938 carbine6
Carcano 91/38 (Modello 91/38) short rifleCarcano M1938 carbine6
Steyr-Mannlicher M1895Steyr-Mannlicher M18955
5 more rows

What does a Carcano rifle look like? ›

The Italian Workhorse: Carcano M91 Rifle - YouTube

What was the best bolt action rifle of ww2? ›

According to The History Channel's Tales of the Gun, the Mauser 98 was “the best bolt action rifle ever made.” Author Robert W.D.

Is the Carcano rifle Italian? ›

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.

How do you pronounce Mannlicher Carcano? ›

How to pronounce .25 Mannlicher-Carcano? - YouTube

What caliber is 6.5 x52? ›

The 6.5×52mm Carcano, also known as the 6.5×52mm Parravicini–Carcano or 6.5×52mm Mannlicher–Carcano, is an Italian military 6.5 mm (.268 cal, actually 0.2675 inches) rimless bottle-necked rifle cartridge, developed from 1889 to 1891 and used in the Carcano 1891 rifle and many of its successors.

What gun did Lee Harvey Oswald use? ›

The Commission has evaluated the evidence tending to show how Lee Harvey Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, serial number C2766, was brought into the Depository Building, where it was found on the sixth floor shortly after the assassination.

What does C and R eligible mean? ›

Firearms automatically attain C&R status when they are 50 years old. Any firearm that is at least 50 years old, and in its original configuration, would qualify as a C&R firearm.

What is better rolling block or Carcano? ›

Carcano vs Rolling Block Rifle: The Best Sniper Rifle in Red ... - YouTube

Where can I buy a Carcano Rifle? ›

The Carcano Rifle can be purchased at the Gunsmith in Blackwater for $1100, or $550 with high Honor and Fame or only $225 if Marston has the Savvy Merchant Outfit equipped.

Is Arthur Morgan tall? ›

Obi-Wan Finale - The Loop
Arthur Morgan
Height6'1” (185 cm)
Weight180 lbs (81 kg)
Blood typeB-
23 more rows

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Zonia Mosciski DO

Last Updated:

Views: 5860

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Zonia Mosciski DO

Birthday: 1996-05-16

Address: Suite 228 919 Deana Ford, Lake Meridithberg, NE 60017-4257

Phone: +2613987384138

Job: Chief Retail Officer

Hobby: Tai chi, Dowsing, Poi, Letterboxing, Watching movies, Video gaming, Singing

Introduction: My name is Zonia Mosciski DO, I am a enchanting, joyous, lovely, successful, hilarious, tender, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.