Having been called into question I would like to reply
I can tell part of the story, but thanks to this occasion I would like to tell the more general story of ammunition collecting in Italy, I hope not to bore anyone … and I apologize in advance for my bad English
Over 15 years ago with a couple of collectors there other disciplines we decided to create a general forum on militaria, in a few years the same became a reference point for Italian collectors, some years later due to an inevitable split I decided to create the CESIM of which I was president until about 5 years ago, which we later succeeded in getting into ECRA.
For several reasons a few years later I left the general forum by creating a CESIM forum dedicated only to forum ammunition which, with the association, still exists today.
One of the “commitments” taken by the association was to search for and group together the information gradually recovered.
It should be borne in mind that, in Italy, also due to the war events and the consequent political climate, for most of the common people who collect and study weapons and ammunition is seen as a warmonger, out of time or worse as a dangerous subversive . Unfortunately, after 8 September 1943 most of the documents present at the Italian facilities were confiscated by the Germans, the Allies did the same in '45 as was normal.
. In addition to this, Italian companies have always been reluctant to give information regarding both the war period and the post-war period.
Added to this is that of the companies present until 1945, namely:
private companies S.M.I., Leon & Beaux, Martignoni, Fiocchi, B.P.D. and C.E.M.S.A.
and the state-owned Pirotecnico di Bologna and Pirotecnico di Capua
Today only the Fiocchi for civilians and the Pirotecnico di Capua for the army have remained active, while B.P.D has become SIMMEL and produces ammunition of more than 25 mm
Of the archives of the missing ones there is often no news
Small interests have always fragmented the field of study concerning ammunition and the lack of clarity of the laws has amplified the problem by ensuring that, in Italy, the collection of ammunition was relegated to a secondary role and the study was practically non-existent. As evidence of this it is enough to think of how little our “military” museums are considered that often do not possess a specific and organic collections concerning our specific field.
We then spread a pitiful veil on the only museum that existed but of which, unbelievable to say that the traces have been lost after its displacement in place that still today is vague, of the material naturally no trace
We come to us
Finally, after several attempts we were able to contact the person who had created the Museo della S.M.I (Italian Metallurgical Society).
Personally I participated in the first reconnaissance outings to understand what material was present at the museum and what documentation existed.
Apart from very few specimens unknown to us (association) the material was all known, while for the drawings available, the material was at the moment almost non-existent. However, it was decided to organize and publish everything, with the permission of the Museum management.
At this point, due to internal problems, I have personally decided to continue the ammunition studies in a “personal” way by resigning from the office of President and separating the CESIM website from my www.munizioni.it
Here ends what I know personally, I know that in recent years CESIM has had the opportunity to have access to historical documentation, but I do not know the extent of the findings or their content.
I therefore believe that the question should be addressed directly to the administration of the association.
I believe that help in this regard will come after the presentation of the new book on Italian ammunition that I am getting out of before long and to which an Italian researcher which is part of your subscribers, in a more than substantial way, a text which I know should include the period up to 1945
The Italian ammunition is still largely to be discovered and luckily for us there are often previously unknown specimens.
I believe I am not exaggerating when I say that they are among the most interesting and the scarcity of news did not make us understand the rarity and scientific interest of our production. You all know that it is difficult to assess the rarity of the material if you don’t even remotely know the productions made, everything then contributes in creating mysteries or or otherwise useless chatter …
I hope to have been helpful at least to understand the existing problems…
I apologize again for my English