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Distribution of M41 Carcano across RE


New Member
Hello, I thought I'd make a new thread here and ask some questions about the M41 Carcano and other small arms in the Regio Esercito.

When the M41 Carcano was fielded where was it mainly being shipped to? I know some units in Yugoslavia and Russia recieved them but actual numbers on where these rifles ended up and to which units would be great.

I've seen Jeff, on the Gunboards thread from about 2020, say that there seemed to be a mix between the M41 and M91/38 according to photographical evidence and how it was referred to as the Fucile per Alpini. Was the rifle given in vaster quantities to Alpini Divisions? Or were Infantry Divisions also in the pool for recieving these?

Thank you


Staff member
Hummmm, I will need to look at that Gunboard thread to ensure I remember the context of that comment.

No one has been able to pin down why the R.E. developed/issued the M41. No one has found any discussion of why the M91/38 needed to be replaced. Non one has found any documentation that indicates whether the M91/38s were replaced by M41, or whether M91s as well were replaced. The only differences between the two is that the M41 was longer, it had an adjustable sight, and could fit the M91 bayonet. Soldiers of most countries weren't taught sufficient marksmanship to leverage the longer range; an adjustable could have been fitted to the M91/38, and the folding blade bayonet had been replaced by a fixed blade.

A SWAG is that the change was based on perception rather than any proven problem with the M91/38. The R.E. was pretty conservative, so many might have blamed the failures of the army to changing to a short barrel rifle. The fact that the M38 series foreshadowed the development of postwar weapons (shorter, lighter, fixed sights, etc.) is one indicator that the rifle wasn't the problem. Of course, people today are still arguing whether soldiers should be equipped with a long-range battle rifle. BTW, please don't discuss whether a longer or shorter rifle is better unless it is tied to primary Italian documents addressing that issue. Gunboards is a better place for that discussion.

Note that my thoughts are only a possibility with no real evidence in support.

No records apparently exist that would tell us which units received the M41. The M91/38 never fully replaced the M91 in the army and the T.S. series of carbines remained in service. If the use of a short rifle was the problem, I would expect that the M41 replaced any M91/38s in service. As we don't known which units received M91/38s, this is likely an unsolvable issue.

If I remember my Gunboard comment, I had thought that the Alpini were never issued the M91/38. All the pictures I have seen of Alpini show them carrying a long rifle (M91 or M41, hard to determine which in photos). Then I found that picture of the Alpini in Athens who was carrying an M91/38. Was that a one off, or an indication at the least some Alpini units received M91/38s.


Pista! Jeff