here is a Carcano box I never seen before (despite the fact I am living close to Italia and such ammo pretty common overhere).
Has anybody info?


The red script indicates steel cases. I suppose this is the only difference from normal boxes.


Vittorio - would this be an “SMI” headstamp? I note that the word "Societ


[quote=“JohnMoss”]Vittorio - would this be an “SMI” headstamp? I note that the word "Societ


Ponte Vecchio! Io ho dimenticato il nome del Ponte. Credo che



I think that some things should be better known on the subject!

The SMI, or Societa Metallurgica Italiana is an industrial concern founded in 1886 and acquired in 1902 by the Orlando family, which still controls it today.
SMI has been present in the Defence sector since 1911, when the management decided to build a new plant at Campo Tizzora, central Tuscany.This plant had been undertaken following a request by the Italian Government of that time, which wanted to end its reliance on foreign Defence products. They knew that SMI had already a solid experience in the metallurgic field, acquired through the production of semi-finished products in copper, nickel and related alloys.

The site of Campo Tizzoro was choosen in view of the deep rooted metallurgical tradition typical of that part of Tuscany.

In 1914, a second SMI production unit began to function at Fornaci di Barga, near Lucca. While the Campo Tizzoro plant concentrated on making ammo for small arms, later with sectors specialising in tracers, armour piercing, incediary cartridges, the Fornaci di Barga made cases and complete cartridges with ordinary bullets.

During WWI, most of the cartridges used by the Regio Esercito (around two thousand million) were made by SMI’s two production plants in Tuscany.
After the war, the SMI technicians increased the scope of their work and manufacturing techniques thanks to foreign know-how.

As a result of this, SLI purchased from WASAG (Germany) the licence to manufacture their tracer cartridges in Italy and in 1935 completed the study of the 8 mm caliber ammunition for the FIAT / BREDA machineguns.
They also pefected the production cycle of steel cases by treatment with anti-corrosion phenolic paint.

SMI’s range was increased with the addition of caliber 20 mm BREDA(SCOTTI), and also 40 mm, the later one being also loaded by the Campo Tizzoro plant for exportation.

During WWII, SMI made approx. three thousand million cartridges, including 6,5 mm M.91, 8 mm, 12,7 mm (Breda SAFAT), 9 mm, and 13,2 mm Hotchkiss for Italian Navy.
The cases were produced almost entirely by SMI and also Metallurgica Bresciana, one of the companies then part of the Group, situated in northern Italy. This is the place where the ammunition ordered by the Wehrmacht was built at the time of the Republica Sociale, until springtime 1945.

After WWII, manufacture of many of this products plus other calibres continued and between the 50 and 60ies, SMI made quantities of cartridge cases for NATO members, including cal. 90 mm M1B1 and cal. 90 mm M114E1 steel ones, cal. 40 mm Mk2 brass cases, cal. 57 mm recoilless steel cases, and cal. 106 mm recoiless steel cases.

During the 50ies, SMI also developped a high-tech brass case for the 76/62 rapid fire gun(60 rpm) from OTO MELARA, then later on the case could be also used with the “super quick” firing (120 rpm) version of this weapon.

At the beginning of the 60ies, SMI radically restructurated its Defence sector, in manufacturing anti-corrosion percussion caps with lead styphenate base mix, and more recently, the cal 20 mm VULCAN, for Italian Air Force fighter planes, including the F104.

Between the 70ies and the 80ies, new fully automatic units for cartridge production were purchased, and this allowed the company a yearly production of 130 million cartridges per year (5,56N, 7,62N, 20 and 25 mm). For instance, the machine is able to produce 600 5,56N cartridges per minute.

In 1976, SMI relinquished its industrial activities and created LA METALLI INDUSTRIALE, thus becoming a holding company at the head of industral concerns. A few years later, its name was changed for LMI-LA METALLI INDUSTRIALE, and finally in 1987, EUROPA METALLI-LMI s.p.A, now fully controlled the Groups’s most recently formed company, EUROPA METALLI-SEZIONE DIFESA SE.DI. S.p.A., from Jan. 1 1991. This company is the direct heir of the old SMI, this logo being still used as a trade Mark on its products.

To answer the questions of the “Florence” localisation, it is extremely simple! The production facilities are chiefly concentrated in the Campo Tizzoro plant, but the management has its headquarters (and address) in an historical “Palazzo” (built in 1472 in Borgo Pinti by the Secetary of Lorenzo the Magnificent), just in the historic center of Firenze(Florence), and called “La Gherardesca”.

The Fornaci di Barga plant is today one of Europe’s most modern factory specialised in the manufacture of copper and copper alloys, with a department for both steel and brass cannon cases.

This (abridged!)details were furnished to me by the management of EUROMETALLI-LMI, some years ago.

Here are the corresponding addresses:


Headquarters:99 Borgo Porti, P.O.Box 549 I-50121-FIRENZE, Italy
CAMPO TIZZORO plant, 71 via Nazionale, I-51023CAMPO TIZZORO(PISTOIA), Italy
FORNACI DI BARGA plant, 257 via della Repubblica, I-55052 FORNACI DI BARGA (LUCCA)_Italy



By the way…sorry, John !!! there is definitely NO ammo factory in Florence downtown…!!!not even close to the Ponte Vecchio!!!




Chapeau, Philippe!