Italian guy


#1

There was an Italian officer who designed many riffles, machine guns, gas riffles for the Italian goverment in the pre 1900 years.
His name was Cei.

have you a resume of all the weapons he designed ?

Thanks
JP


#2

Dear JP,
Major of Artillery, Cei-Rigotti, is best known for his self loading Auto rifle of 1900, which came in several versions. The Carbine, the Long Rifle, and the Naval Short Rifle.(Burst fire).

The mechanism was the first appearance of the Tappet gas system (Piston separate from connecting(actuator) Rod to Bolt, which bolt was a design similar to the Mannlicher Straight Pull Bolt Body. Carbine and Rifle had a standard Carcano M91 6-round clip magazine. Other fittings were similar to M91 fittings.

The Naval Short Rifle, was fitted with a 20 shot magazine (Removable Box) and had the capacity for “Burst Fire” (Full Auto), and was meant to be used in a “Hose” or “Shotgun” Manner (it had Shotgun type Bead and Notch sights, fixed—The Carbine and Rifle had Normal M91 type sights).It was initially touted as a “anti-Boarding” Gun, and later ( by 1908) as an “anti-balloon and anti-aircraft Rifle”…Nothing came of these approaches, and the only reference specimens are in the Proof Room (formerly Enfield) and Possibly at the Terni Army Factory Museum(?).

All were tested in Italy in 1899-1900, and also in England in 1900-1901. Problems of water damage to ammunition, parts breakage in Full Auto fire,etc led to the English rejecting the ideas. The Construction Ideas disappeared until the 1930s, when the Scotti and Beretta rifles were developed, with similar tappet gas sytems and “straight-pull” type Bolt mechanisms. Conservatism with again a 6-round clip magazine and other failings, led to only prototype trials quantities being made. Some of the Latter(1930s) examples have survived WW II, usually being Mistaken in US Milsurp sales, as being “M91 rifles” when in Bulk shipments ( same length, same furniture).

I know not of other ordnance developments by Cei-Rigotti (MGs, etc) but will check with my Italian sources.

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#3

Thank you very much.

The guns I am refering to are from 1892 to 1898 (I am still not at these later years)

I can send you the infos I have if you are interested.
Indeed he seems to have designed a lot of guns.

About me the only one interesting me is the one using gas instead of powder.

JP


#4

[quote=“DocAV”]Dear JP,
The Naval Short Rifle, was fitted with a 20 shot magazine (Removable Box) and had the capacity for “Burst Fire” (Full Auto), and was meant to be used in a “Hose” or “Shotgun” Manner (it had Shotgun type Bead and Notch sights, fixed—The Carbine and Rifle had Normal M91 type sights).It was initially touted as a “anti-Boarding” Gun, and later ( by 1908) as an “anti-balloon and anti-aircraft Rifle”…Nothing came of these approaches, and the only reference specimens are in the Proof Room (formerly Enfield) and Possibly at the Terni Army Factory Museum(?).[/quote]
that appears to be the one of the very first purpose-designed assault (or anti-assault ;)) rifles. Doc, do you, by the chance, have any pics of this Naval version? i saw photos / pics of the standard Cei-Rigotti rifle, but really want to see this one

thanks!


#5

What cartridges did all these experimental rifles use?


#6

IIRC standard 6.5x52 Carcano.


#7

I did some further research into the Cei-Rigotti rifles, and found the following items. (Corrections of my previous posts…many mistakes)

Major Amerigo Cei was an officer of the Bersaglieri ( NOT Artillery) who initially developed the Rifle in about 1890.

Rigotti (Rank unknown) worked on improving the design in about 1897-1900, and the examples known show the M1900 Carbine (TS type), the Long Rifle and the Naval Short rifle.

The Calibre was initially 6,5x52 M91/95 Italian.
The prototypes were available with the normal 6 round clip of the M91, and also a 25 round curved stick magazine.( for the Naval “sprayer” gun)

Other research by Austria-Hungary and Imperial Russia developed respectively 8x50R and 7,62x54R versions as an intermediary on the line to the Federov M1916.

Some of the Cei-Rigotti design principles were carried over to the Scotti Mod.“X” ( 1932) and the Beretta M31 Auto Rifles.

All of the above rifles had fragility problems, especially in Full Auto fire.

Good photos of the M1900 C-R Carbine are extant on the Web ( just Google “Cei-Rigotti” and they will come up.)

Other info in my post is substantially correct.

The Naval gun looks just like a Browning Model 8, in profile, but with a 25 round
slightly curved magazine. ( a real “Assault Rifle” Look)

All guns were short-stroke Tappet Piston operated ( Just like the “M1 Carbine”).

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#8

[quote=“DocAV”]I did some further research into the Cei-Rigotti rifles, and found the following items. (Corrections of my previous posts…many mistakes)

Major Amerigo Cei was an officer of the Bersaglieri ( NOT Artillery) who initially developed the Rifle in about 1890.

Rigotti (Rank unknown) worked on improving the design in about 1897-1900, and the examples known show the M1900 Carbine (TS type), the Long Rifle and the Naval Short rifle.[/quote]

Doc, are you sure about Cei & Rigotti being two different persons?
I have an e-copy of the Swiss patent # 31767, issued March 12, 1905, to someone Amerigo Cei-Rigotti, of Milano, Italy, for the design of automatic rifle


#9

In 1895 infantry (Bersaglieri) captain Cei designed his rifle and tests were done by the italian government

Venise arsenal started production during the first trimester of 1896 and the rifle was adopted for trials by the Navy
this rifle can use either the carcano clips (for the Army) either 50 rounds high capacity magazines (for the Navy)

The gun looks like a the m91 carcano.
It has the same barrel and uses the same ctges
With his bayonnet it weights 4.5 kg
There is a cylindrical cover around the barrel, the back of the stock is in wood, the front of the stock is in aluminium

jp


#10

The Names Cei and Rigotti and Cei-Rigotti appear in many Web entries in both Italian and English. One Entry mentions them as TWO different persons, whilst most of the other entries make a “Hyphenated name”, assuming it is one and the same person.

The name Cei on its own is a typical Piedmontese Name (North Western Italy)
whilst Rigotti is found predominantly in the Veneto -Trentino (North Eastern Italy). The one entry which separates the two names into two different persons, makes the Rigotti name seem to be the Technician at the Venice (Naval) Arsenal who improved the design from 1896 to 1910 or so, and supervised the definitive prototyping of the Naval and other designs.
Patents were issued to both designers conjunctively, hence the possibility of “Cei-Rigotti” becoming a Collective name for the Patent ( as shown in the Swiss Patents).

Over the years, it may have been “assumed” that the joint name referred to one person only, and hence the confusion. Probably the only way to clear up the doubt on this is to refer to the Archives of the Bersaglieri, to see the correct name of Major Cei, of the 10th Bersaglieri Regiment, from his service record. Also, any archives of the Arsenale di Venezia (Founded about 1200) and still in operation after WW II as a Naval Installation (Now a heritage site), as to the indentity of Rigotti, ( as a Senior technician in Small arms, his records should also exist as well).

Any of our Italian resident IAA members/Posters who can help us here? I am a bit far away to be able to contact directly any official sources. Articles on these Auto Rifles have appeared in “Diana Armi” (ed. Olimpia) in the 1990s.

Regards
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.