ITALIAN BODEO MODEL 1889 ARMY REVOLVER

$475.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1000-2738

Officially known as the Pistola a Rotazione, Systema Bodeo, Modello 1889, this pistol was modeled on the French Chamelot-Delvigne and was adopted by the Italian Army in 1891. It saw long service in the Italo-Turkish War, World War One, Italy’s colonial wars, and even through World War Two, serving side-by-side with the Model 1910 and 1934 pistols intended to replace it.

The pistol was well thought-out, easy to manufacture and to maintain. Its mechanism was clever, but simplified and easy to access for repair. It used solid iron frame, with other parts of iron or steel as necessary and was double-action, six-shot, and 10.35 mm (about .40) caliber. The grip is diamond-checkered wood and it is fitted for a lanyard ring. This is the enlisted version with an octagonal barrel and folding trigger, the latter viewed as a safety measure to prevent enlisted men shooting themselves by pulling by drawing the pistol with a finger on the trigger. (The officer’s version was more conventional, either because they regarded as smarter or would simply not be drawing a gun that often. The loading gate, when lowered, disengages the hammer, another safety feature, but lets the trigger rotate the cylinder for loading or ejection of spent rounds, the latter accomplished by swinging out the ejection rod housing to the side. An external safety blocking the hammer was introduced in 1894, and an internal safety in 1915, which was retrofitted to most of the revolvers.

These were made by several manufacturers, including Spanish firms on contract during World War One. This one is marked on the frame “Glisenti / Brescia,” a large maker of the pistol who got out of the arms business in 1906, thus dating this one pretty early. The top of the frame is stamped on either side of the sighting groove, “Manufacture Francaise d’Armes / & Cycles de Saint-Etienne,” This was France’s first mail-order company, operating under the trade name Manufrance starting in 1885. They were known for selling bicycles, shotguns, and fishing rods, but also various household items. Their merchandise was generally made by others, but marked and sold by the company. The pistol pretty clearly entered the civilian market as army surplus.

The pistol has about 85 percent blue remaining, with just some wear to gray on the edges of the cylinder, the hammer, etc. This would have been part of its post-World War One reconditioning: they were issued in the white, but the markings are sharp. The wood grips are very good, with nice color and only moderate wear to the diamond checkering. The lanyard ring on the butt is in place.

This is good condition Italian military pistol of the late 19th century that shows some very clever engineering, fits into a larger scheme of European revolver development and actually held its own against automatics for some time. [sr] [ph:L]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire!

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