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2520wcf
Posted - 01/24/2005 : 1:04:53 PM
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Can anyone give me the basics on "Glisenti" 10.4mm service revolvers? Specifically, how do I tell the "lightened" version produced during WWI from the earlier versions? I have a Bernardelli-manufactured revolver dated 1922 which I suspect is the later version, but can't verify.

The revolver is stored elsewhere for the winter but I remember the "V.Bernardelli, Brescia" markings including their swan proof, the date, and what I have been told are pre-Fascist "Tax Police" markings ("Guarda" or "Guardia"--I tend to get Italian and Spanish confused-- "di Finanza". It also has a serial number and what looks like a rack number, anyway another number that is 3-digits.

I got this gun because I like Bernardelli SxS shotguns and have never been able to find a modern Bernardelli revolver in this country to go with my SxSs, although they still make S&W-type DAs in .38 spl, .32 S&WL, and .22/.22WRM, or did when I was last in Italy a few years ago.

The workmanship is 'way better than other Glisentis I have seen, especially the WWI manufactured ones. Shoots Fiocchi 10.4 ammo just fine. Any info greatly appreciated.



DocAV
Posted - 01/24/2005 : 9:24:18 PM
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The Guardia Di Finanza ( Finance Guards, ie, the Tax and Customs Service) have existed in Italy since Napoleonic Times (Not "Fascist" at all!!!) in the 1920s, they were issued with Bernardelli made "Glisenti (or Bodeo, to give the proper name, as Glisenti was the original manufacturer of the Design back in Black powder days, (the M1874..Bodeo developed the later (M1889) shorter, lighter version for use with smokeless powder; Glisenti Siderurgica (Gl. Steel Works) were still the major maker right up through the First World War.
Bernardelli and also SFARE G Vt ( Army Assembly section, Gardone) made or assembled M1889s for all the Services in Italy during the 1920s ( Army, Carabinieri, Colonial Services, Finanza, and Regie Guardie ( State Police); Bernardelli was also able to sell these on the civilian market for Municipal Guards, prisons, etc.

Ammunition was produced by all the major Italian makers, (Gov't Factories, as well as SMI, Fiocchi, BPD, Leon Beaux of Milan, and Martignoni) in the "modern" M89/99 Gilded lead smokeless loading.

There is a little handbook in Italian, by the Editors of "Diana Armi" an Italian Monthly on Firearms, called "Le Pistole Bodeo" ( or similar title;) published som 20 years ago...a good analysis of all types of 10,4mm revolvers, both Bodeo system ( folding trigger,(Trooper's Model) and "officers Model" with trigger guard) and some of the other WW I substitues from Spain ( on the break-top S&W system) of which several tens of thousands were acquired, also in 10,4mm.

By the end of the 1930s, all front line officers and NCOs in all the services had been issued with Beretta M934 Autos, the "Glisenti" revolvers were relegated to Country Carabinieri and Local Police, and Non-essential services where the "Pistol" was more a ceremonial appendage than a tool of trade. Many were also shipped to the Colonies, where the heavy .42 calibre slug was more efficient than the small, 93 grain 9mm Corto projectile in dispatching animals and the occasional recalcitrant native. They were also simpler for the untrained native levies to start off on ( although by the time a native trooper reached Non-commissioned Rank, he usually had already upwards of Ten years service, and was quite well experienced with All types of Italian and Foreign Firearms, given the hotch-potch of equipment in the AOI.



2520wcf
Posted - 01/25/2005 : 08:40:00 AM
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Wow, Doc! Thanks for the summary--it would have taken some serious digging to get all the info you came up with! Do you know if Bernardelli made both the "Trooper" and the "Officer's" variations? Mine has the trigger guard. If I remember correctly, mine seems to have a slightly shorter barrel than the "Trooper" models that I've handled, as well. Is that just bad memory or was the 1883 slightly shorter (or was the barrel perhaps recrowned or cut at some time)?

I remember seeing a Trooper model carried by a member of the African Colonial Police in a book on Mussolini's African colonies. I think the photo dated from the very early 1930s. The book portrayed the conquest and occupation of Libya as a very bloody, near-genocidal business.

What is the status of Bodeo revolvers in Italy now? Can they be owned by private citizens?



Gianluca
Italy
Posted - 01/27/2005 : 02:33:32 AM
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Bernardelli manufactured Bodeo revolvers for civilian market and some municipal guards, but I am not sure about military supply.
Bodeo revolvers "model 1889" can be owned by citizens as antique (according to italian Law, a gun is considered antique if the model is dated before 1990).
I have got the booklet DocAv said, called "la '89". If you are interested in it, I can scan it and send by email.



2520wcf
Posted - 01/27/2005 : 08:33:21 AM
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Gianluca, thanks for the information. I would like the brochure, if it's not too much trouble, and will print it and share with a couple of friends who are aficionados of Italian guns. My spoken Italian is very poor (think "international incident"!) but I can read it well enough for gun-related publications, newspapers, etc. My email address is [email protected] Again, thanks!
Mike Armstrong



Gianluca
Italy
Posted - 01/27/2005 : 4:04:13 PM
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Ok Mike, I will do it within a couple of day.
My email is [email protected]
Ciao
 
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