Moschetto Modelo 1891

01. Original name Moschetto Modelo 1891  
02. Other official names Moschetto M91  
03. Popular names Carcano Cavalry Carbine, M91 Carbine  
04. Chamberings 6.5x52mm  
05. Designed by Salvatore Carcano / Torino Army Arsenal  
06. Design date 1891  
07. In service date(s) 1893  
08. Adopted by Italian Army, Carabinieri and Air Force  
09. Production quantities 286,000  
10. Mechanism Bolt Action  
11. Weight 3.2Kg / 7Lbs  
12. Mountings None  
13. Practicality in action   
14. Comments / Other information The Moschetto Modelo 1891 or Model 1891 Carbine (“il novantuno”) is chambered in 6.5x52mm, a rimless cartridge with a 10.5 gram (162 grain) round nosed bullet developing a velocity of 700 m/s (2300 fps). The M91 bolt design is accredited to chief technician Salvatore Carcano of the Torino (Turin) Army Arsenal and was submitted as part of rifle trials held in early 1892. The rifle and carbine used a licenced Mannlicher clip magazine holding six cartridges and the shape of the clip allowed insertion either way up much the same as the German 88 commission rifle. The 41.5cm (17 ¾ ins) barrel has progressive twist rifling where the rate of twist increased from a 3° pitch to 6° at the muzzle to accelerate bullet spin velocity in an attempt to prevent damage to the bullet. It has a quadrant rear sight with a fixed notch for 300m, an adjustable notch for 450m and a leaf that is adjustable from 600m to 1200m. The M91 carbine entered service in 1893 complimenting the M91 rifle adopted in late 1892. The carbine remained in production in slightly different variants until 1940. Approximately 286,000 M91 carbines were made at the Brescia Arsenal between 1892 and 1919. These carbines were issued to units of the Cavalry, Royal Carabinieri, bicycle mounted Bersaglieri battalions and Air Force guards and would have been used in all theatres where Italian troops were present between May 1915 and the end of WWI. It is relatively small and light at only 92 cm long (36 ins) increasing to 126cm (49 ¾ ins) with the folding bayonet extended. It weighs 3.2Kg (7lb) when unloaded. The example featured here is a later version produced in 1936 but differs only in having a top handguard and slightly modified rear sight (to allow it to sit into the top handguard). It has the improved bayonet locking mechanism as introduced in 1916. A sling can be side mounted on the barrel band and the butt on the opposite side to the turned-down bolt.