The Armaguerra Modello 39 is an Italian self-loading rifle.
A trial was held by the Italian Army in 1938 in an attempt to look for a new semi-automatic rifle in 7.35mm Carcano, as it was felt that the 6.5mm Carcano had insufficient terminal velocity effectiveness. Nothing came of the trials as none of the weapons fulfilled all of the requirements set.
A second trial was held in 1939 for a similar purpose; again, none of the rifles fulfilled all of the requirements set. However, the testing commission decided that the Armaguerra design was the best of all that was submitted and ordered 10,000 to be produced.
However, Armaguerra wasn't a factory, but more of a workshop for research and development purposes; as such, they were unable to produce the 10,000 rifles required. In order to produce the 10,000 rifles, Armaguerra went around building a factory in Cremona for that purpose; at the last minute, however, the Italian Army canceled the order and all 7.35mm Carcano-related items at the last minute, knowing that they lacked the resources to convert the main cartridge of the army to 7.35mm during the war.
In wake of this, Armaguerra went back to their workshops and prototyped a version of the rifle in 6.5mm, and was adopted in very limited numbers by a variety of different units across the Italian Army in this form in an attempt to increase the effectiveness of these units; by June 1942, the Army had approximately 100 rifles in inventory.
The rifles were supposed handed to soldiers who were considered to be able to exploit the effectiveness of these rifles, however, none of these ever happened; the Cremona factory's production was later retooled to produce M1941 Carcanos, which they produced in large numbers.
Approximately 100 rifles were produced, and are very sought after today due to their rarity.
Designed by Gino Revelli, the son of Abiel Revelli, the Armaguerra uses the short recoil operating principle with a pivoting locking block similar to a Walther P38. The rifle has two sling swivels, with the front sling swivel acting as the weapon's charging handle; the handle is locked in place with a small button located in front of the front sling swivel, which has to be depressed before charging the rifle. The rifle takes standard six-round Carcano clips, with a manual clip release located at the bottom of the magazine housing.
The rifle's bolt locks open on an empty magazine. The rifle has a bolt release located in front of the trigger guard, however, it only functions if the cartridge follower is depressed; when the follower is depressed and the bolt release actuated, the bolt flies forward at a very high speed. If the rifle is used improperly, the force of the bolt flying forward can severely injure the operator.