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World War II Wiki
World War II Wiki

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.


It took the 6.5x52mm Mannlicher-Carcano Cartridge which was fairly small compared to other rifles of the time and it had a 6-round en bloc clip.[1]

As the name suggests, the Carcano M1891 was introduced in 1891 and it became the standard infantry rifle of Italy. The maximum range of the Carcano was 2,000 metres and the maximum rate of fire was twelve rounds per minute. A bayonet could be added to help infantry with close quarter combat and the total weight of the M91 without the bayonet is 3.8 kg empty. The length is about 129 cm and the barrel length is 78 cm.


Carcano M91s were used by Italy all the way back to before the First World War. It was often named the Mannlicher-Carcano because of the en bloc clip which is similar to Mannlicher's design. However Mannlicher did not design or contribute to the design of the main body of the weapon as it was designed by Salvatore Carcano. Carcanos were used by Italy's armed forces until the end of World War II, when they were replaced by M1 Garands. One notable use of a M38 Carcan short rifle was when Lee Harvey Oswald purchased one and assassinated President John F. Kennedy in 1963.


The M91 had several variants that had purposes. The M91 Carbine was either used for special forces or Cavalry units. It was about 95.2 cm and it weighed about 3.4 lb. It still had the same clip like all of the other modified Carcanos. The Carcano M38 was introduced in 1938 (hence the name) and it had a more powerful 7.35x52 Cartridge which was the result of field tests down in North Africa.[2] It also had upgraded rear sights and it was shorter. The new length was 101.5 cm and the weight was 3.4 kg. Although, many of these rifles were later refitted to the original 6.5 caliber.