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Italian Snipers


Staff member
Posted 05 July 2008 - 03:52 PM by Alan Hume

Hi guys,
I'm still working on this WW2 wargames project and another quandry has come up to which I have no immediate answer, that is... the Italian sniper

In the ordinary footslogging infantry company was there a (or, indeed, a number of) sniper attached?
if so, did he belong to the CHQ or was he parcelled out where needed? did he have a special or a particular

I have heard that Italian snipers were given the German sniper rifle with scope but this is all I know and I dont even know what company they were in


Posted 05 July 2008 - 08:15 PM by Jeff Leser


There wasn't a position called sniper. If a soldier had the talent and a good rifle, he might be given the duty, but there was not attempt to create a body of soldiers with this skill. There were soldiers that earned the tiratore scelto badge, but that is more akin to a marksmanship award.



Posted 05 July 2008 - 10:26 PM by Supermario


As Jeff says, there really wasn't a sniper as such in the Italian armed forces. Often pics come up regarding ' Italian Sniper rifle's' but their origin is dubious. As for being armed with German rifles, don't know about that. Possibly late war, but most post armistace forces seemed to retained Italian weapons.



Posted 06 July 2008 - 09:26 AM by Alan Hume

thank you very, very much guys for the replies :D

that answers my questions perfectly and I will check out the earlier posts


Alan Hume


Staff member
Posted 23 August 2009 - 09:38 AM by Giuseppe

My Mums uncle {now passed} mentioned he had a sniper rifle in greece....at least thats what i understood as my italian is not too good but the hand gestures of shooting for the head and the mention of "un fucile con binocculo" sort of suggested it.

the carcarno would have needed an offset side mount given the system of loading the magazine, the Kar98k sniper rifle is a much better system.


Posted 23 August 2009 - 12:51 PM by Gian

There was no specific training for Italian snipers in WWII but certainly a few scopes were around.
A Carcano Puzzle
Bersaglieri started out as marksmen in the 1800s and then became motorized infantry.


Posted 13 September 2009 - 07:16 PM by Sparviero

Dear all,

Just went through this thread and saw the following phrase: "There were soldiers that earned the tiratore scelto badge".
Is this maybe below badge? If not, anyone has a idea why this badge was given by that organization and where it was worn on the uniform? It has an up side down U to fix it on the uniform.


  • tiro.jpg
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Staff member
Posted 14 September 2009 - 08:43 PM by Gian
Sparviero, this badge belongs to the Tiro a Segno Nazionale, a nationwide society created in the early years of the Italian Kingdom and still in existence, which fosters gun practice for civilians both as a sport and paramilitary activity.


Posted 15 September 2009 - 06:59 PM by Sparviero

Dear Gian,

You are right. Any idea how/where to wear this badge?



Posted 24 September 2009 - 04:44 PM by Gian

So big...Maybe it would only fit on a visor hat.


Posted 16 October 2009 - 05:45 PM by wwt

There was no preparation for sniping as the "war of rapid movement" pretty well precluded their usage. This was most unfortunate for Italy because they had a history that should have really given them something to build upon.

Italian snipers contributed greatly in WWI where they were used rather uniquely to stalk and eliminate enemy forward observers.

Italian rifles were test fired and zeroed at the arsenal and those found to be particularly accurate were identified with a crossed-rifle stamp.


During WW1, after having faced the menace of Austrian snipers, in the summer of 1916 also the Regio Esercito provided a small amount (about 2,000 during the whole war) of Mod. 91 rifles with two different scopes, the "tipo Amigues" and the "tipo Scheibler". The latter, problably designed by count Felice Scheibler, was produced by the Filotecnica Salmoiraghi company and was attached in line with the barrel, making the mod. 91 rifle a single shot weapon (it was impossible to insert the pack of cartridges).
Pettinelli, Il sogno dei collezionisti. Carcano 1891 con ottica Filotecnica calibro 6,5x52, Armi e Tiro, 3/2015

Experiments were made with a prismatic scope for the new mod. 91/38 rifle (caliber 7.35 mm), but both the weapon and the scope did not enter into service. A new Salmoiraghi scope was instead installed on the mod. 91/41 rifle and saw limited use in Russia (CCNN legion Tagliamento), Yugoslavia and by the army of the RSI (Tagliamento again).
During WW2 some rifles with scope, dating back to WW1, were assigned also to the Guardia alla Frontiera and to troops on the Greek front.

Ruggero Pettinelli, "Il sogno dei collezionisti. Carcano 1891 con ottica Filotecnica calibro 6,5x52", Armi e Tiro, 3/2015
Luigi Scollo, "Origini del cecchinaggio in Italia. Una storia 'a corrente alternata'", Rivista Militare, 4/2014.
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New Member
Some units received more training.
Old boy said no designated shooters
"You shoot".
Timo didn't have a scope.


Staff member
Here are two photos of the Salmoiraghi prismatic sight mounted on either an M38 or M91/38.
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