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I picked up from auction and all matching including a lined out stock 8mm version of the M38TS. It is one of the rare versions with the 1938 dated barrels with the letter prefix RB on the barrel and RA on the stock? Serial is RA 269 so I guess the info in Richard Hobbs book is right when they say a small number of them were made. It is marked FNA-B on the barrel top so that equates to Brescia according to my info. It has the S on the receiver top and on the bolt too. The bore is as expected in pristine shape with the butt plate and screws loaded with dirt and scrapes from extensive drilling and little shooting.

There is a lineout number on the stock below 269 number and it is 98669. The rifle looks nice with many little chips and dings from the drilling it had. The bolt works smoothly and the internals have little use but lots of dirt to clean and remove for safe operation. I have some reduced load 8 MM so I may take this to the range for a few shots in the future. Any and all comments invited as I have only one book on Carcanos and only four of them in my collection. This is the first one without an SA marking on it. I am sorry I don't do pictures so don't bother asking. Just not a photographer or a techie I guess. I just shoot, care, and collect them! I kind of get a kick out me starting to look closer at Carcano's now as I started collecting them first before any other Milsurps and now I am getting back into them a bit. If any of the information I have written is dated let me know your source and I will add it to Richard Hobbs notes section. Thanks for comments! Bill
 

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I've read your post a few times and really can't tell if the barrel or the stock is marked RB. If they don't match, that's not unusual. Every letter block begins with 1. The RA block continues well into the 80,000s. There's no consistent number series to the 8mm conversions - you will see TS still in 6,5 caliber numbered higher than some in 8mm. Some of the conversions have RA serial numbers - most seem to be numbered with no letter prefix.

The speculators who assembled these from parts on hand after the war took barrels and stocks in no particular order and put them together. The plan was to assemble rifles as cheaply as possible and dump them for a profit.

As far as the the RB letter block - I have RB - 56. The Italian Carcano book shows the RB block over 5000. The information was taken from dedicated collectors with a large data base.

We also see 8mm conversions with Terni barrels from 1938 to 1941. Not a lot is known about those. Possibly the speculators bought parts left over at Terni... Possibly parts from Terni were taken to FNA after the Terni plant was bombed... there's much to be learned with those.

I haven't my notes at the moment for a solid figure, but many thousands of these were made and sold to Arab armies as trainers. SW
 

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Okay. Found my notes which show over 26,000 of the 8mm conversion TS were made between 1950 and 1954. Going on examples from my small assortment, it doesn't appear the Terni 8mm conversions had their own serial number range. SW
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks SW for the info and I am sorry I did not make my post easier to read and know what I meant. The barrel is marked RB269 and the stock which has a lined out number of 98669 has the number 269 followed underneath it by RA. The difference in the letters is noted and puzzles me. So these were after war builds from parts to make a profit? Hobbs's book says the following and I quote: The Carcano that continues to be a mystery is the 8mm TS and Cavalry carbines. While a few were made in 1938, most were produced in 1941 by the Italians for their own use. The book "IL 91" tells us that contracts were let in 1941 for those rifles. They were produced new at R.E. Terni and F.N.A. Brescia arsenals.

The ones made at Terni were marked with 7.9 on the rear sight, R.E. Terni under a crown on the barrel at the receiver, they had a 1941 date , fascist date of XIX and the serial number on the barrel. The ones produced at Brescia were marked with a caliber 7.9 or 7.92 on the rear sight. FNA-B or FNA-Brescia and the serial number on the barrel at the receiver. Later Brescia dropped the name and just had the serial number.

10,00 rifles were ordered from each arsenal Terni were all T>S> carbines. Brescia made the first 5,000 (approx.) as TS Carbines and the second 5,000, serial numbers 5001 to 10000, as cavalry carbines. Some of the Brescia arsenal ones also have "L. Franchi, Brescia" stamped on the underside of the treceiver tang. This is the only military Carcano I have seen so marked, that is the name of an individual. Luigi Franchi was at Brescia arsenal between 1940-1943.

A small number of these are found with 1938 dated barrels and the stocks have RA or RB letter prefix. RA or RB can also appear on the barrels.

He uses an informational note that the book "IL 91" written by Gianfranco Simone, Ruggero Belogi, and and Alessio Grimaldi and published in 1970 and the Guide to records of the Italian Armed Forces, micro copy roll 373, 000698 The National Archives, Washington, DC 20408 a his references for this information. Using what he printed I am assuming thes rifles were built in the time of the war. What are your thoughts on what he writes and where is your information coming from? I surely want to know where I can look to find more about this rifles and also improve my dated information on it. Thanks for the efforts you made to inform me a bit about it and I apologize for my confusing post. Bill
 

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I use " 1891 il fucile degli italiani" by Bruno Di Giorgio and Ruggero Pettinelli as well as the German Carcano book by Wolfgang Reipe listed in the stickys at the top of this forum. Also noted are examples from my own collection and data bases of fellow collectors here and in Italy. Then there's the issue of clips. Other than a FEW pre-production prototypes, none have ever existed. This explains why the bores are consistently nice; they have never been fired.

Mr. Hobbs also shows the 8mm conversions as being used in Russia which simply isn't true. He cited Italian documents in the National Archives, and my Italian friends say he mis-interpreted them. I take nothing away from Mr. Hobbs. His information started many Italian rifle collections.

Keep in mind a lot of information from Europe has surfaced since he wrote his small book. But believe what you will.

Fellow Italian rifle collector, Franchi has an 8mm conversion with 4UT inspection marks. It's presently the only one known to exist. 8mm conversions that were in fact made during the war were the very few M41s made up in 8mm Breda as an experiment. The Kreighoff 8mm conversions are something entirely different than we discuss here. SW

**ETA** The 8mm conversions are also discussed at length in the new English language book, "Italian Small Arms of the First and Second World Wars" by Ralph Riccio. The English language book, "Italy's Battle Rifle" is completely out of print and no copies are available.
 
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