Italian WWII ammo display (VWM)

The real story of how the 7.35mm came to be developed and adopted (albeit briefly) is unusual - as I’ve had confirmed to me separately by two Italian military historians.

In the interwar period the Italians had huge quantities of 6.5mm rifles and MGs, but they were all getting old and the barrels were often worn out (the main cause of the inaccuracy). They could not afford to buy new barrels for all of those weapons. So someone had the bright idea of saving money by reaming out the existing barrels to a larger calibre and cutting new rifling in them. The optimum calibre for this turned out to be 7.35mm, so the 6.5mm case was simply necked-out to this calibre. Obviously the barrels were then somewhat thinner, which perhaps helped to account for the fact that the 7.35mm was loaded to a relatively low pressure.