Rifle: Italian Carcano M41

Italian Rifle Carcano M1941 Tilt

Rifle Carcano M41 Manufacturer Terni, Armaguerra
Cartridge 6.5x52mm Overall Length 40.2″
Action Rotation Bolt Barrel Length 27.19″
Magazine 6 rnds enbloc Weight 8.5 lbs


We’ve heralded the Carcano before; and recommend reading about the M1891 before proceeding.  Lessons in WWII had the Italians reaching for a more accurate, adjustable sighted long rifle.   After some unique modifications to the Model 1891, they gave up and settled on this.

Italy had already failed to adopt the 7.35mm cartridge due to the strain on the supply chain during war.  Now it was fighting with a mix of older and newer 6.5mm rifles and carbines.  The latter now with extremely simple fixed rear sights designed for close combat.  Unfortunately it was fighting in theaters that often required longer range or more accurate fire.  In a bid to get more out of their Carcano rifles, a pattern M40 was adopted.  It was never issued outside trials, but it was adopted.Carcano M41 comparisonMost likely Italy was reaching for a better sighted rifle capable of pushing 6.5mm to its maximum velocity, without the crippling halt a full change in production would cause.  The M40 resembled the Carcano M1891 long rifle, with a slightly shorter barrel (without gain-twist rifling) and overall length.  It still sported a straight wrist stock, 6-round enbloc clip fed magazine, and barrel mounted rear sight.  That sight, however, was an aperture design with a finely adjustable range dial (not unlike the Garand).

Italian Rifle Carcano M1941 rear sightUnfortunately even this change was too much for overstrained Italian manufacturing.  So the handiest adjustable sight available was selected, the older 1891 Carbine sight, still found on some Model 38 Cavalry arms.  This traditional “V notch” sight folds all the way forward for a 200 meter battle sight, or flips back with an adjustable range of 300-1000 meters.

In 1941 production of the Modello 41 began at Terni and then Armaguerra the next year, with roughly 900,000 completed by 1944.  While the 41 was an excellent Carcano, it was still a dated design and existed purely as a poor stop gap.  It mostly saw issuance at home due to the short time before the capitulation of Italy, although some likely saw combat.  A relative handful were adapted to single-shot 8mm Breda, with heavier barrels, as an experiment.  After the Italians left the war, Germany occupied regions of northern Italy and seized large numbers of Carcano for second line and Volkssturm use.  These were often left as-is in 6.5mm and may display German HZa markings under the stock wrist.  Some were even converted into single-shot 7.92mm rifles and should have wood plugs in the magazine well.

Italian Rifle Carcano M1941 sides

The Model 41 is fairly common in the US collecting market as many were exported from Italy not long after the war.  These barely-used rifles were cleaned up further and are regularly found stamped “Made in Italy.”  While not the most exciting milsurp in history they do serve as a reminder of what was on the minds of military planners in the midst of a tiring war and they were present for the landings in Italy and the German resistance.  For their average price they are a worthy collectible.

Italian Rifle Carcano M1941 top

Special thanks goes out to Carolina Arms and Ammo for sharing this piece with us and all of you!


6 Responses to “Rifle: Italian Carcano M41”

  1. i bought this gun & it is stamped pat41 & 6849 number is this the 6.5x52mm cal thanks norman

  2. Elmer says:

    I have this Riffle and would like to know more about it.
    On the barrel is (Terni, LI 2469, PR, 06)
    It looks like the Carcono Model 41
    Is it a 6.5x52mm

  3. Richard says:

    My carcano has Terni on top and engraved on left side KM 9126. On the right side it has AZF 03. Can you tell me more about the carcano I have

  4. maxpein delvalle says:

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  5. Chris Furman says:

    I have this rifle stamped FAT 41 made in Italy E704. I would like to know what those markings mean?

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