Carcano Bibliography

Titles preceded by an "*" have not been subject to bibliographical autopsy yet, and thus are only referred to from second hand. I shall try to get my hands on them as soon as feasible :-).

The bibliography is divided into five parts:
Part I contains Carcano-specific literature,
Part II lists sections about Carcani in general firearms reference works,
Part III tries to gather some of the dispersed and hard-to-locate references on Carcani in general military and historical literature,
Part IV gives a few leads to the Japanese contract "Type I" Carcano relatives,
Part V deals give the role of a Carcano in the assassination of US president John F. Kennedy.

Every help and input as to further additions to the bibliography is most gratefully accepted. Foreign periodicals literature (magazine articles) on firearms is almost impossible to search, for lack of comprehensive indices and bibliographies. Please kindly help me here with further material. Thanks!

I. Carcano specific literature

Die neuen Waffen unserer Verbündeten: Das italienische 6,5 mm Repetirgewehr M. 91
in: Kriegstechnische Zeitschrift, 1898, pp. 462-473, 10 ills.
Very thorough article with a lot of interesting small details which cannot be found elsewhere.

* Parravicino, Gustavo
Il tiro colletivo di fucileria e l'armamento mod. 1891
©1901, Milano: La Perseveranza, pp. 28, in-4

* Montú, Carlo
Storia della artiglieria italiana
©1934 ff. (-1955 ?), 12 vols. vel 16 vols., Roma: Rivista d'artiglieria e del genio

Simone, Gianfranco; Belogi, Ruggero; Grimaldi, Alessio
Il 91
©1970, Milano: Editrice Ravizza, pp.191
The only monography; unfortunately it is scholarly quite insufficient because of lack of source indication; contents:

Marcianó, Emanuele; Morin, Marco
Armi da fuoco portabili delle Forze Armate Italiane. Vol. I: Dal Carcano al FAL
©1974, Firenze: Ed. Olimpia, 418 pp.
This book became somewhat of a "classic" reference handbook for Italian firearms, simply because it was the first in its field. Research has now progressed and model identification of the Carcani is much finer now, e.g. This volume is still valuable, however, for its unsurpassed wealth of information on Italian military cartridges and its many pictures. Library catalogues often list it under its subtitle, because this one is indicated on cover and spine.

Bloomgarden, Henry S.
The Gun. A "Biography" of the Gun That Killed John F. Kennedy
©1975, New York: Grossman Publishers, 152 pp.
ISBN: 0-670-35763-4
About the historically famous Fucile M 1938, serial no. C 2766; beyond much Carcano information, it gives rare insights into the surplus small arms import business of the 1950s and 1960s. There is also a short review from Deanie Richards available via Gopher.

Ceramelli, M.
Carcano, Salvatore
in: Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Vol. 19, pp. 749-750
©1976, Roma: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana

* Pignato, Nicola
Le Armi della Fanteria Italiana nella Seconda Guerra Mondiale
©1978, Ermanno Albertelli, pp. 80, Lire 8000
Available from: Tuttostoria, PO Box 395, I-43100 Parma, ITALY

Bartocci, Alfredo; Salvatici, Luciano
Armamento Individuale dell'Esercito Piemontese e Italiano: 1814-1914
Firenze: Edibase
Vol. 1: Cavalleria, Artiglieria a cavallo, Treno di provianda, 1978, 199 pp., in-folio
Vol. 2: Fanteria-Bersaglieri, Artiglieria-Genio, Stato Maggiore-Piazze, Servizi Amministrativi, 1987, 303 pp., in-folio
Vol. 3: Armi e Corpi Speciali: not yet published
A superb two-volume folio work with hundreds of detailed luscious drawings; heavy on edged weapons, also on Vetterlis and Vetterli-Vitalis, but also covers Carcani. Founded on original Italian sources; very valuable excerpts about small Carcano model changes. Worth almost any price alone for its graphic beauty.

Miller, Al
6.5x52mm Carcano
in: Handloader
, No. 93, September-October 1981, pp. 28-30, 58-60, 7 ills., 1 table
An astonishingly well-informed and helpful article on reloading the 6,5 mm Carcano, strongly recommended !

Bierman, Harris
Carcano Model 1891
in: Guns & Ammo's Complete Guide to Surplus Firearms
(Guns & Ammo Action series, Volume 5, Number 3), pp. 34-37, 24 ills.
©1987, Los Angeles: Petersen Publishing Co.
ISBN 0-8227-25666-5
This may constitute the opening "Volume I" of the later renamed "Surplus Firearms" series; I am not sure of its exact bibliographical serial taxonomy.
An abysmally bad article, probably among the worst I have ever read on Carcani. Throughout ignorant, devoid of historical knowledge and littered with errors; the author did not even succeed to get the most basic facts straight. Readers be warned not be trust any statement there.

Grep, Hans-Joachim
Not macht erfinderisch. Der Carcano-Karabiner der deutschen Wehrmacht
in: Deutsches Waffen-Journal 1987, Heft 11, 5 ills., pp. 1344-1347
About the Moschetti 38 TS in 8x57 IS Mauser, coming to erroneous conclusions, which were refuted in the two following articles.

H.H., and H.R.v.St.
2 letters to the editor, titled 'Zu: "Der Carcano-Karabiner in der deutschen Wehrmacht"(DWJ 11/1987)'
in: Deutsches Waffen-Journal 1988, Heft 1, p. 6
First letter about the very rare genuine German army and Volkssturm conversions, convincingly arguing against Grep's hypothesis; second letter about the bayonet sheath for the Fucile 1938 bayonet.

Wacker, Albrecht
Disputatio ad arma. Zur Verwendung kaliberaptierter Waffen des Musters Carcano in der Wehrmacht
in: Deutsches Waffen-Journal 1988, Heft 2, pp. 240-241
Very valuable use and quotation of German archival material about the rare German Carcano conversions, which was undertaken from January to March 1945; Wacker, renowned small arms historian and author of a monography on the Kar 98k, refutes Grep conclusively.

Hintermeier, Heino
Fremdländische Gewehre in der k.u.k. Armee (Teil 3): Lückenbüßer.
in: Deutsches Waffen-Journal 1990, Heft 10, pp. 1562-1566, 10 ills.
Treats the Russian and Italian capture arms used in the Austro-Hungarian Imperial & Royal Armed Forces; both of which were rechambered, the Mosin-Nagants to 8 x 50 R Austrian, and the Carcani to 6,5 x 54 Mannlicher-Schönauer (Greek cartridge). The Carcani were stamped "Jt. u. Gr" on the right side of the buttstock and "AZF" on one barrel facet. The article could also solve the riddle of the Moschetti TS in 8 x 57 IS, since it might refute Richard Hobbs' "fucili Russi" hypothesis.

* Pagani, Massimo
Guida pratica all'identificazione delle armi lunghe d'ordinanza. Fucili a ripetizione semplice (1890-1955)
©1991 (1990?), Brescia: self-published by Pagani, 4°, 320 pp., Lire 87.000
ISBN 88-85369-00-6

Micheli, Aldebrano
Il fucile Modell 1891
©1991, Terni: Self-published calligraphic manuscript by Stabilimento Militare Armamento Leggero Terni; 49 pp., 19 plates

Roatti, Alberto; Bianchini, Fiorenzo; Ranuzzi, Ermanno; Marzari, Paolo
il '91. Centenario di un fucile storico
©1991, Firenze: Editoriale Olimpia, 4°, 112 pp., richly illustrated, Lire 47.500
Available from: Viale Milton 7, I-50129 Firenze, ITALY.
Now this is what one would call a coffee table book: nice layout, many pictures, little information, no sources, and an interesting facsimile appendix; it will leave all your questions about Carcani unanswered and pose many new ones.

* Calamandrei, Cesare
Baionette italiane (1814-1991)
©1991, Firenze: Editoriale Olimpia, 8° 376 pp., ills., Lire 70,000
ISBN 88-253-1928-2

Matthews, Greg
6.5 x 52 Carcano (Compact Cartridges Number 27)
in: Australian Shooters Journal, May 1992, p. 32-34,4 ills., 1 table
An interesting mixture of crass ignorance (in this respect, the worst of all the entries in this bibliography) and sheer audacity. Entertaining for the advanced reloader, becauses it shows the cartridge's potential in enterprising hands.

Ayoob, Massad
The Ayoob Files - The JFK Assassination: A Shooter's Eye View
in: American Handgunner, March/April 1993
Gun experts examine a number of issues related to Oswald's MC rifle, his shooting skill, ballistics, and the reaction of Kennedy to the shots. The single-assassin theory is found to be well within the limits of plausibility.

Pierallini, Livio
Per controllare il '91
in: Diana Armi 1993, No. 6 (Giugno), pp. 88-93, 21 ills.
Original article about the various gauges and control tools for the '91 family; includes a picture of a Fucile 91 the superb finish and quality of which put out any Swedish M 96 rifle to shame.

Sambo, Giorgio
La bandoliere e giberne di cuio grigio verde per cartucce '91 della 1a e 2a guerra mondiale
in: Diana Armi 1993, No. 6 (Giugno), p. 123, 5 ills.
Shows bandoleers and ammo pouches for the Carcanos in two world wars.

Benke, Charles A.
.268-Inch MoLoc
in: Handloader #163, May-June 1993, pp. 56-61
About proper bullet diameters for reloading the 6.5x52 Carcano; includes loading data also for other 6.5 mm cartridges.

Benke, Charles A.
6.5mm Carcano
in: Handloader #169, May-June 1994, pp. 36-69, 5 ills., 1 table
Contains several errors, and historial research is insufficient; nevertheless a helpful article for the handloader, with lots of data.

Scarlata, Paul
Beretta M 1934 & Carcano M 1891
in: Combat Handguns 1995, November, pp. 42- 46 and 60-62, 13 ills.
Short article which features and tests a Moschetto 91 TS; historical information and model identifications are thoroughly faulty; pictures nice, but too small; groups fired at 70 yards were bad, but it is unclear whether that was due to the bad sights, the flimsy rest, or the unsuitable target which the author chose.

Grap, Hans-Joachim
Eingedeutscht. Der Carcano-Laderahmen fuer die deutsche Mauser-Patrone 8x57IS
in: Deutsches Waffen-Journal 1996, Heft 5, p. 792, 1 ill., 1 detailed dimensional table
On a newly discovered unmarked charger clip for the Moschetto 38 TS in 8x57IS Mauser, clearly distinct in shape from the usual clip.

Hobbs, Richard J.
The Carcano: Italy's Military Rifle
©1996, 2nd ed. 1997 (slight changes)
Available from the author at Good source regarding specifications of the models and variations thereof; by far the best available reference work in English language. Not yet a thorough monography, but indispensable !

Camarlinghi, Carlo
91/38: un fucile che non avrebbe potuto essere migliore (91/38: a rifle that couldn't have been better).
in: TAC ARMI 12/1994
The genesis of Fucile Corto 91/38 and its following variants.

Camarlinghi, Carlo
91/38: la guerra e il dopoguerra (91/38: war and postwar).
in: TAC ARMI 1/1995
Technical analysis, markings and production during WWII and postwar period of 91/38 and 91/41.

Camarlinghi, Carlo
91 ultimo capitolo (91 the last period).
in: TAC ARMI 2/1995
Technical analysis and up-to-date hypothesis about 8X57 transformation in WWII and postwar period. The Arabian or Middle East supply (Lybia?), the name of maker (L.Franchi in Brescia) and a probabile year (1957?) are only intriguing and unanswered questions. Very interesting!

II. Carcano sections in general firearms reference works

Smith, W(alter) H(arold) B(ingham-Black) [1901-1959]
[Section 14.] Model 91 Italian Turning-Bolt Magazine Rifle,
in: pp. 81-88, 2 ills. pages, of: Mauser, Walther & Mannlicher Firearms
©1971 Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole (this is but a reprinting)
ISBN 0-8117-0995-7; separate paginations: 236 pp., 198 pp., 239 pp.
originally published as:
Mannlicher Rifles and Pistols. Orginal Drawings by Von Kromar from the Steyr Armory. Famous Sporting and Military Weapons
©1947 Stackpole Company
Superficial, second-hand, erroneous. It is evident (and also acknowledged by the author) that Smith did not have a '91 on his hands, but just rendered the factory records and interpreted the drawings. This lamentable section and its wrong assessments (not to mention many factual errors) have influenced and distorted the image of Carcano rifles for many decades. We still suffer under the fallout from this book.

Morin, Marco; Held, Robert
pp. 216, 220-222 (text); 215, 265, 266 (4 ills.), in:
Beretta. La dinastia industriale piu antica al mondo. The world's oldest industrial dynasty
©1980 Chiasso, Switzerland: Acquafresca Editrice
ISBN 88-85035-02-7, 283 pp., richly ill.
This sumptuous and richly illustrated work on the Beretta family and their guns focuses mainly on the 17th and 18th century, and hardly mentions the Beretta-made military Carcano Fucili and Moschetti at all. Interesting is the photograph of an engraved luxury Moschetto per cavalleria Mod. 91, maybe made for the Duke of Aosta (Governor General of Italian East Africa and Commander-of Chief there in WW II). Also of interest the allegation that it was Pietro Beretta who would have approached the Italian Ministry of War with his (patented on 13th April 1915) idea of converting the old M 1870/87 Vetterli-Vitali rifles to the 6,5 mm M 91 service cartridge in World War I, which the Ministry would have adopted subsequently, giving him the contract (page 216).

Walter, John
pp. 136-139, 5 ills, in:
Rifles of the World. The definitive illustrated guide to the world's centrefire rifles, from 1875 to the present days
©1993 Northbrook, IL: DBI Books, $ 20.95
ISBN 0-87349-150-5, in-4°, 320 pp., profusely ill.
On the various Carcani and the Japanese Type-I rifle. Informative and laudably detailed, but marred by a couple of severe errors (e.g., the Fucile 91/41 is addressed as being very rare, of which only 1000 are said to have been assembled, whereas it really is one of the most commonly found Carcani, with several 100,000s having been made. The pasage on the Moschetto 38 TS in 8x57IS Mauser is also wrong; this gun is quite different from the author's idea). A good initial reading and overview, but should not be overly trusted.

Barnes, Frank C.; Bussard, Mark (Editor)
6.5x52mm Italian Carcano (Mannlicher-Carcano) & 7.35mm Italian Carcano
in: Cartridges of the World: 7th Edition p. 267 & p. 269 respectively, 1 ill. & 2 tables.
©1993, Northbrook, IL: DBI Books
ISBN0-87349-145-9, 464 pp., ill.
Briefly describes the relative merits & shortcomings of the Carcano rounds. This book is a good general reference for almost all cartridges produced; for more Carcano-specific information, see the Italian works in this bibliography. This title is now in its 8th edition.

De Haas, Frank
Bolt action rifles
Part 1, chapter 9: Italian Carcano Actions
1995, (Northbrook, DBI Books (1st ed. 1971, 2nd ed. 1984)
ISBN 0873491688
A classic description of Carcano action with take-down and assembly.

How to convert military rifles
Series: Williams Guideline
5th Edition 1968, 76 pp.; 6th Edition 1969
pp. 44-45: Converting Italian 6.5 Carcano Model 38 7.35
Interesting example of the popularity of ruining historical rifles, including Winchester 95 and Krag! Typical of the American Fifties and Sixties. However, it may prove worthwhile if you nevertheless intend a sporter conversion e.g. to .35 Rem. or 7,62 x 39.

*Mullin, Timothy J.
Testing the War Weapons: Rifles and Light Machine Guns From Around the World
Paladin Press, 1997, Paperback, ISBN 0873649435
Not yet seen; the author tested and rated the Carcano Fucile M 1938 very highly, as is reported by others.

III. General military and historical literature which mentions Carcanos

An addition: the literature on the large-scale use of Carcani in the German Volkssturm (people's militia, from 9/1944 to 5/1945) is extremely hidden, and hard to access. Often, only short comments pertain to the (mostly foreign) small arms and few rounds of ammo with which the poor Volkssturm old men and HJ boys were supplied.

Seidler, Franz W.
Deutscher Volkssturm: das letzte Aufgebot 1944-45
1st ed. ©1989, 2nd ed. ©199x, Muenchen: Herbig Verlag
ISBN 3-7766-1608-3, 415 pp., ills.

Holztraeger, Hans
Kampfeinsatz der Hitler-Jugend im Chaos der letzten Kriegsmonate,
©1995 AGK-Verlag, Dinklage
(Series: Publikationen des Arbeitskreises fuer Geschichte und Kultur der deutschen Siedlungsgebiete im Suedosten Europas e.V., Reihe I: Geschichte und ihre Hilfswissenschaften, Vol.4)
ISBN 3-928389-15-7, 133 pp. + 29 pp. non-numbered appendices

IV. Literature on the Japanese Contract "Type I" Carcano rifles with Arisaka Mod. 38 features

Venturoli, Ugo
Type 'I' Not 'Made in Japan'. Carcano-Arisaka built by Italians under a 1937 mutual-aid pact
in: The American Rifleman 1971, December, p. 62 s., 3 ills.
An early, brief article with some errors but also with valuable information.

Honeycutt, Fred
Japanese Military Rifles

V. Carcano material related to the assassination of US president John F. Kennedy

Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy [Warren Commission Report].
©1964, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office [GPO].
Whether or not you believe in the overall conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating John F. Kennedy, this report gives some insight into the pervasiveness of erroneous heresay regarding the capabilities of the Carcano.

Lattimer, John K.
Kennedy and Lincoln. Medical and Ballistic Comparisons of Their Assassinations
1980 New York and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, XXI and 369 pp., 147 ills. (b-w)
ISBN 0-15-152281-2
An excellent scientific study with a wealth of empirical data gathered by actually experimenting with a Fucile M. 1938. Valuable facts on accuracy, shooting speed and terminal ballistics (which will surprise you).

* Menniger, Bonar (with Donahue, Howard)
Mortal Error: The Shot that Killed JFK
1993: St. Martin's Press