Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1618: Gardone V.T. 91/38TS Carcano, 'Tromboncino M28' Grenade Launcher

Auction Date: April 14, 2018

Gardone Val Trompia Carcano Model 91/38TS Bolt Action Rifle with Rare "Tromboncino M28" Grenade Launcher

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $3,000 - $4,500

Gardone Val Trompia Carcano Model 91/38TS Bolt Action Rifle with Rare "Tromboncino M28" Grenade Launcher

Manufacturer: Carcano
Model: 1938
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 6.5 mm Carcano
Barrel: 17 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue
Stock: hardwood
Item Views: 3434
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 280
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

Developed in the late 1920, the Tromboncino M28 works on the same mechanical principles as a typical "cup" launcher (a discharged cartridge supplies propellant gas to a projectile resting in a chamber), but with a twist; instead of simply attaching a grenade chamber to the muzzle of a rifle, the M28 uses a dedicated blank-only receiver with mounted grenade chamber, which is then affixed to the right side of a complete infantry rifle. This combination was only in use from about 1928 to 1934, where it was retired in favor of a dedicated light infantry mortar; most were scrapped with the base firearms returned to standard configuration. The trigger mechanism is interconnected to both the rifle and the launcher, and in order to save weight and prevent inadvertent discharge both share a single bolt. For sighting, the rear sight is notched and marked for both the rifle and launcher, with the rifle front sight in the conventional location and the launcher front sight mounted to the left side of the stock (akin to some types of volley sight), "1930" marked on the chamber and "MADE IN ITALY" on the barrel. The launcher receiver is marked "MBT-1930", and numbered to match the rifle. Fitted with a smooth straight wrist stock, which is properly cut to accommodate the launcher components, with a Terni stamp and matching serial number on the left side.

Rating Definition:

Fine with 70% of the original blue finish, showing some areas of brown patina, mild spotting and scattered handling marks. The launcher is in equal condition, with some denting and scuffing. The stock is very good, with mild scuffs, dents and stains. The bolt is a bit of a tight fit for the launcher, but both launcher and rifle are in good mechanical order. NOTE: Per BATFE guidance on WWI/WWII 'cup' launchers, the Tromboncino-equipped 91/38 is a Curio & Relic Long Gun and not a 'Firearm' per National Firearm Act definitions, so long as not combined/grouped with a live grenade.

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