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Old January 27, 2014, 01:14 AM   #37
Knight cadet
Join Date: January 15, 2014
Location: The Gunshine State
Posts: 70
Everything I've read indicated that the Jap carcanos were sold to the Japanese navy because the Army was the senior service and prevented the Navy from procuring Arisakas, which they would have preferred.
The Type I Carcano rifle was produced by Italy for the Japanese Empire prior to World War II. After the invasion of China, all Arisaka production was required for use of the Imperial Army, so the Imperial Navy contracted with Italy for this weapon in 1937. The Type I is based on the Type 38 rifle and uses a Carcano action, but retains the Arisaka/Mauser type 5-round box magazine. The Type I was used primarily by Japanese Imperial Naval Forces and was chambered for the Japanese 6.5×50mm Arisaka cartridge. Approximately 60,000 Type I rifles were produced by Italian arsenals for Japan.
The Carcano action mated to a Mauser magazine is vastly superior to the M91 in its original configuration IMHO, but I would agree with just about everyone else in the world and time that the Arisaka is superior to ANY carcano.

And regardless of how the Carcanos ended up in Finland, they were deliberately sent there out of Italy and into Finland. Both the exports of unmodified rifles to Finland and purpose built rifles for the Japanese Navy contract would certainly qualify as exports. The rifles used by the British were likely captured Italian rifles so I'll admit that's a stretch.
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