If you are aware of the Italian bolt action military principles and weapons, you would have come across a common term called “Carcano”. This is one of the most famous rifles in the history of world wars! Several versions of Carcano have being designed and manufactured. However, nothing stands next to the fame and glory of Type 1 Carcano rifles. These rifles were especially designed by the Italians for the Japanese Empire. More than 60,000 Carcano Type 1 rifles were designed for the Japanese Empire during World War 2.
The Responsible Shape and Design
You will be astonished to know that the rifle has several names. Many people call it “Mannlicher-Carcano”, while some consider it as “Mauser-Parravicino”. Unfortunately, both these names are incorrect. The actual name of Carcano would be Modello 1891 alias M91. The first Carcano design was hand crafted by Ferdinand Mannlicher. He was responsible for the rifle’s basic design and shape.
The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
Perhaps the most notable role that the Carcano has taken in American history is the murder of president John F. Kennedy. Lee Harvey Oswald purchased a used surplus Carcano from a Klein’s catalog (under the name Alek Hidell) and killed the president with it.
Till late 1930s, the rifle has chambers for 6.5x52mm Modello 1895 cartridges. The rifle was capable of using round nosed bullets that weigh 160 grains. These bullets have the ability to generate a muzzle velocity of 2000 to 2400 feet per second. However, the final speed depends on the actual barrel length. As several reports of inadequate speed and performance was seen in both long and short ranges, a new cartridge was design. This corresponds to the 7.35x51mm caliber. Nevertheless, the Italian government was not able to produce sufficient quantities of the new design.
Here is a quick walk through few significant moments in the Carcano history:
- In 1938, ninety-four thousand 7.35 mm Carcanos were sent to Finland.
- In 1941, the lengthier version of Carcano was designed and manufactured. The original M91 gained better levels of fame.
- In 1943, German forced seized as many carcanos as possible from the Italians.
- In 1980, many M91 models appeared in the market again. Several batches of M91’s were released with barrels that show 1938 and 1941.
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