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The Italian army actually adopted a semiautomatic rifle in 1939: this Armaguerra Model 1939. It was intended to supplant the M38 Carcano bolt actions, but ultimately never managed to get into mass production.
The rifle was adopted initially in the new 7.35mm cartridge, and then quickly cancelled, as the new cartridge was dropped for logistical and financial reasons. This was not an immediate problem for the company, as they did not have a rifle factory in operation anyway – they began building one in Cremona only after receiving an initial order for 10,000 of the rifles. In the wake of the caliber change, the Armaguerra rifle was quickly redesigned for the 6.5x52mm cartridge. Ultimately only about 100 were made, and the factory was retooled to produce Carcano bolt action rifles instead.
Mechanically, the Armaguerra 1939 is a short recoil action with a pivoting locking block similar in principle to the Walther P38 pistol. It is a sleek weapon, using the front sling swivel as charging handle and thus avoiding any protrusions out from the sides of the action. It feeds from standard Carcano 6-round en bloc clips.
Beretta Model 31 & 37 Semiauto Rifles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE4r9qG6on0
Scotti Model X Semiauto Rifle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AF-yRugPwuI
Pavesi Model 1942 Semiauto Rifle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pJ751Mui64
Pavesi SVT Copy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohpob4cunG8
At Forgotten Weapons I think the most interesting guns out there are the most obscure ones. I try to search out experimental and prototype weapons and show you how they work, in addition to more conventional guns that you may not have heard of before. You’re much more likely to find a video on the Cei Rigotti or Webley-Fosbery here than an AR or Glock. So, do you want to learn about something new today? Then stick around!