"The 9mm Parabellum Model 1938A Beretta was the first of a series of very well designed finely-made weapons, which were widely distributed in other countries in addition to Italy. The Beretta Model 38A and 38/42 were considered the finest Italian small arms in service in World War II. The first Model Beretta 38 had longitudinal slots in the barrel jacket as opposed to holes in the barrel jackets of later production. Some Model 38As had folding bayonets, and early production had bayonet lugs for the mounting of a removable knife type bayonet.
The early Model 38A did not have the push-through full automatic safety located behind the full automatic trigger and had a dual port compensator rather than the multi-slotted compensator found on the later models. The most common variation of the Model 38A was without bayonet or bayonet lug, and with a multi-slotted compensator.
This model was sold to Romania and Argentina and was made in tremendous quantities for the Italian Army. The Model 38A produced to some extent after World War II, and in 1949 a modification of the weapon, using the cross boss safety mounted in the stock as used with the Model 38/49 (Model 4) was produced in limited quantity. Although it has generally been considered that the fixed firing pin was introduced with the Model 38/42, late Model 38As with a fixed firing pin were apparently made. It is quite possible that these weapons were made after the introduction of the Model 38/42, since the Model 38A was made as late as 1950.
The Bereta 9mm Parabellum Model 38/42 is basically a simplified Model 38A; the barrrel jacket is not used with the 38/42 and all Model 38/42s have a fixed firing pin. The 38/42 uses a stamped receiver and magazine housing and has a fluted barrel (early production). Models of the 38/42 with smooth barrel are called 38/43 by Beretta. There are three distinctly different models of the 38/42 - 38/43, and an additional similar weapon, the 38/44, has a shorter bolt but does not have the operating spring guide found on the earlier Berettas. This can be noted by the absence of the recoil spring guide rod head protruding through the cap on the end of the receiver. .. Pakistan, Iraq and Costa Rica purchased the Model 38/44 submachine guns.
An unusual Beretta Model 38A submachine gun, which apparently appeared in prototype form, has an aluminum barrel jacket rather than the multi-perforated barrel jacket. Another Beretta, which appeared only in prototype form, was the Model 1. This weapon was developed prior to the Model 38/42 and has a folding stock similar to that of the German MP38; it was apparently an expensive gun to make and was dropped in favor of the Model 38/42. A gun called the 38/44 Special by Beretta closely resembles the Model 1 but does not have the fluted barrel of the Model 1 and does not have a cross bolt type safety mounted in the foreend. This weapon is also called the Model 2.
The Model 38/49, also known as the Model 4, is the current standard submachine gun and is covered in detail separately. The Model 5 Beretta submachine gun is basically the sme as the Model 38/49 except that it has a grip safety located in the fore-end.
The Model 5 was introduced in 1957. Another weapon somewhat similar in appearance to the Model 2, and also made only as a prototype, is the Model 4. The Model 4 has a grip safety and a sliding-wire type stock similar to that on the US M3 submachine gun...This weapon is described as a modifieid 38/44 by Beretta...
Copied from W.H.B. Smith's "Small Arms of the Wolrd", 11th edition, pages 391-393.
Sorry, don't know about a dedicated Beretta 38/42 website. Hope the above answers some questions.
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