Beretta Model 38

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Beretta Model 38 - 9x19mm Parabellum. It is worth noting that in some cases it was equipped not with a spike-bayonet, but (similarly to a folding) knife-bayonet.

The Beretta Model 38, also known as Moschetto Automatico Beretta 38 (literally "automatic rifle Beretta"), or MAB 38 for short, was designed by Tullio Marengoni in 1935-1937, and can trace it linage back to the Villar Perosa Machine Gun, through the previous Beretta M1918 and M1918/30 models. Introduced in 1938, the Model 38 was originally used by the Italian police. The Beretta Model 38A was introduced in 1941 as the official sub machine gun of the Italian Army. The changes was that the shape of the holes in the cooling jacket and the compensator was changed, the folding bayonet of the Carcano M91/38 Cavalry Carbine ​type was also removed. It was a very robust weapon weighing in at 9 pounds 13 oz. fully machined forging and finely finished.

The Model 38A was manufactured from 1941 to 1942, when the simplified Beretta Model 38/42 was introduced. The Model 38/42 was made from stampings and a rolled steel receiver to increase war time production. The Model 38/42 was produced from 1942 to 1944. The Beretta Model 38/44 was introduced in 1944 by the German controlled production line to German troops as a substitute standard. That model was in production from 1944 to 1949 and was issued to the Italian Army and Police after the war between 1945 and 1962, and to the force protection units of the Italian Air Force until the early '90s. Nowadays the Italian Navy is the only user left of the SMG, used in training, kept on board of minor vessels as "force protection and anti-mutiny weapon", and for ceremonial purposes, used only by the common sailors.

The Beretta Model 38 appears in the following movies, TV shows, and video games:


Beretta Model 38A

Beretta Model 38A - 9x19mm


(1941 - 1942)

  • Type: Submachine Gun
  • Caliber(s): 9×19mm Parabellum
  • Weight: 9.26 lbs (4.2 kg)
  • Length: 37.2 in (94.6 cm)
  • Barrel length(s): 12.4 in (31.5 cm)
  • Capacity: 10, 20, 30, or 40-Round Detachable Box Magazine
  • Fire Modes: Semi & Full auto


Title Actor Character Note Date
Rome, Open City (Roma città aperta) Italian Blackshirts and Resistance fighters 1945
Attention! Bandits! (Achtung! Banditi!) Giuseppe Taffarel Commander Vento 1951
Vittorio Duse Domenico
Italian cacciatori and partisans
Soldier of Fortune Seen in Hank Lee's cabin; without magazine 1955
Everybody Go Home! (Tutti a casa) Vincenzo Musolino First fascist 1960
Mario Frera Second fascist
Fascists and Italian partisans
Five Branded Women Alex Nicol Svenko 1960
Italian partisans
Bandits of Orgosolo (Banditi a Orgosolo) Carabiniers 1961
The Four Days of Naples Gian Maria Volontè Capt. Enzo Stimolo 1962
Resistance fighters
Attack and Retreat (Italiani brava gente) Italian soldiers 1964
Our Man Flint James Coburn Derek Flint With removed barrel shroud 1965
Fake and real guards in Z.O.W.I.E. building With removed barrel shroud
In Like Flint Z.O.W.I.E. guards at missile base With removed barrel shroud 1967
The Violent Four (Banditi a Milano) Tomas Milian Commissioner Basevi 1968
Pasha (Le Pacha) Quinquin's henchmen 1968
Don't Take God's Children for Wild Geese Charles' henchman 1968
Che! Rudy Diaz Willy 1969
The Battle of Neretva Italian troops, Ustasha and partisans 1969
The Pacifist (La pacifista) Italian Carabinieri 1970
Massacre in Rome Italian partisans 1973
Borsalino and Co. Adolfo Lastretti Luciano 1974
Siffredi henchmen
The Last Four Days Mussolini's guards and Italian partisans 1974
Emergency Squad (Squadra volante) A criminal 1974
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom Collaborators 1975
The Tree of Guernica (L'arbre de Guernica) Spanish Nationalists 1975
The Cassandra Crossing Soldiers 1976
The Gods Must Be Crazy Terrorist leader Sam Boga 1980
The Fall of Italy (Pad Italije) Daniel Olbrychski Davorin 1981
Igor Hajdarhodzic Lovre
Italian troops, Tito´s partisans
Captain Corelli's Mandolin Christian Bale Mandras 2001
Nicolas Cage Captain Antonio Corelli
Italian infantry and Carabinieri
El Alamein - The Line of Fire Italian soldiers and officers 2002
Senso '45 Italian Blackshirts 2002
Miracle at St. Anna Sergio Albelli Rodolfo 2008
Italian partisans
New Kids Turbo Tim Haars Gerrie 2010

Video Game

Game Title Appears as Note Release Date
Medal of Honor Allied Assault: Breakthrough 2002
Forgotten Hope 2003
Forgotten Hope 2 "Beretta M38A" Misplaced magazine 2007
Mare Nostrum 2008
Mafia II .38 SMG 2010
Sniper Elite III MAB 38 "Axis Weapons Pack" DLC 2014
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Model38 2016
Sniper Elite 4 MAB 38 2017
Call of Duty: WWII "Orso" 2017
Battlefield V "MAB 38" "Trial By Fire" update 2019


Title Character Note Date
Lupin III: The Pursuit of Harimao's Treasure Sir Archer 1995

Beretta Model 38/42

Beretta Model 38/42 (aka MAB 38A42) - 9x19mm
Beretta Model 38/44 (aka MAB 38A44) - 9x19mm. This model replaced the 38/42 and features an unfluted barrel and lacks the recoil spring extension from the back of the receiver.


MAB 38A42: (1942 - 1944), MAB 38A44: (1944 - 1949)

  • Type: Submachine Gun
  • Caliber(s): 9×19mm
  • Weight: 7.21 lbs (3.27 kg)
  • Length: 31.5 in (80 cm)
  • Barrel length(s): 8.39 in (21.3 cm)
  • Capacity: 10, 20, 30, or 40-Round Detachable Box Magazine
  • Fire Modes: Semi & Full auto


Title Actor Character Note Date
You are Attagirl, Anita! (Ty molodets, Anita!) Spanish (?) Soldiers M38/42, M38/43 1957
Consider All Risks (Classe tous risques) Italian police 1960
Five Branded Women Silvana Mangano Jovanka 1960
Vera Miles Daniza
Italian partisans
Bandits of Orgosolo (Banditi a Orgosolo) Michele Cossu Michele Iossu M38/44 1961
Bandits of Orgosolo (Banditi a Orgosolo) A bandit M38/42 1961
The Majordomo (Le majordome) Paul Meurisse Léopold M38/44 1965
Wake Up and Die (Svegliati e uccidi) Italian criminals and police M38/44 1966
The Last Adventure Hans Meyer The Mercenary 1967
OSS 117 - Double Agent (Niente rose per OSS 117) Tuaregs guard 1968
Ho! Stéphane Fey Schwartz-younger M38/44 1968
Pasha (Le Pacha) Quinquin's henchmen M38/42 and M38/44 1968
The Violent Four (Banditi a Milano) Carabinieri 1968
The Battle of Neretva Italian troops, Serbian chetniks and partisans M38/42 and M38/44 1969
The Olsen Gang in a Fix Bavarian mobster 1969
How I Unleashed World War II Waclaw Kowalski Sgt. Kiedros 1970
Marian Kociniak Pvt Franek Dolas
Italian soldiers
Legend of the Living Dead (Legenda o živých mrtvých) Renáta Doleželová Helenka 1971
Stanislav Zindulka Tony Adler
German and ROA troops
Execution Squad (La polizia ringrazia) Carabinieri 1972
Black Turin Carabiniers M38/42 1972
Gang War in Naples Police and criminals M38/42 and M38/44 1972
The Violent Professionals Antonio Casale Casardi M38/42 and M38/44 1973
Luciano Rossi Cruciani M38/44
Carabiniers M38/42 and M38/44
Flatfoot Police 1973
We Want the Colonels (Vogliamo i colonnelli) Paramilitarians, soldiers, carabiniers M38/42 and M38/44 1973
Massacre in Rome German soldiers M38/44 1973
Almost Human Italian Police 1974
Rabid Dogs Police 1974
Shoot First, Die Later (Il poliziotto è marcio) Luc Merenda Commissioner Malacarne 1974
Rosario Borelli Garrito
Sergio Ammirata Curcetti
Street Law Italian police 1974
Silent Action Police and terrorists 1975
Violent City (Roma violenta) Italian Police 1975
Flatfoot in Hong Kong Police 1975
Libera, My Love (Libera, amore mio ...) Claudia Cardinale Libera Valente handed to the partisans 1975
Italian partisans
How to Kill a Judge (Perché si uccide un magistrato) Police 1975
Syndicate Sadists Paterno's henchman M38/42 1975
Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man Italian Police 1976
Bloody Payroll (Milano violenta) Police M38/42, M38/44 1976
Illustrious Corpses (Cadaveri eccellenti) Italian police and soldiers M38/44 1976
Colt 38 Special Squad (Quelli della calibro 38) Police 1976
Weapons of Death (Napoli spara!) Police 1977
Blood and Diamonds (Diamanti Sporchi Di Sangue) Police M38/42 1977
Goodbye and Amen Italian SWAT 1978
Brothers Till We Die Guards 1978
Violent Province (Provincia violenta) Robbers M38/44 1978
Contraband Police and criminals M38/42 1980
Fracchia the Human Beast (Fracchia la belva umana) Carabinieri 1981
The Fall of Italy (Pad Italije) Daniel Olbrychski Davorin 1981
Miodrag Krivokapic Andro
Igor Hajdarhodzic Lovre
Italian troops, Tito´s partisans
Tenet seen in a warehouse 2020

Beretta Model 38/49

Beretta Model 38/49 - 9x19mm. Some sites incorrectly describe this as "Model 4"; the real Model 4 had a folding stock and an attachable bayonet.
Beretta Model 2, folding stock version of Model 38/49 - 9x19mm
Beretta Model 38/57 (also known as Model 5) - 9x19mm

This version included a crossbolt-type safety. If had to keep the gun ready to open fire, once the magazine was inserted, the safety was activated by pressing the crossbar from left to right. In 1957 it was replaced by MAB 38/57, characterized by a new safety, located in the finger groove on the right side of stock. This safety must be pushed in-wards when grasping the stock for the weapon to fire. MAB 38/57 was the last version, produced until 1961.


Title Actor Character Note Date
Code Name: Tiger (Le Tigre aime la chair fraîche) Roger Rudel Mr. Benitez 1964
Benitez´s henchman
The Day of the Owl (Il giorno della civetta) Italian police MAB 38/57 1968
Confessions of a Police Captain Thugs 1971
Emergency Squad (Squadra volante) Tomás Milián Commissioner Ravelli 1974
Street Law Italian police MAB 38/57 1974
Crimebusters (Poliziotti violenti) Police 1976
Rome Armed to the Teeth Italian Police 1976
The Big Racket Salvatore Borghese Sgt. Salvatore Velasci 1976
Italian Police MAB 38/49 and MAB 38/57
Free Hand for a Tough Cop Police 1976
Convoy Busters (Un poliziotto scomodo) Police MAB 38/57 1978


Title Character Note Date
Lupin III: The Pursuit of Harimao's Treasure Lupin 1995
Daisuke Jigen
Malaysian soldiers
Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino Franco 2008

Fake Villar Perosa M1915 SMG

Fake "Villar Perosa" SMG. Photo from Long Mountain Outfitters web site.

Movie armorers often use Beretta Model 38 variants to mock-up the Villar Perosa M1915 aircraft SMG. The most known example is a hand-held variant made by movie armorer Bapty & Co. which was used in several productions.


Title Actor Character Notation Date
The Sicilian An outlaw fitted with wooden stock for off-hand use; a Bapty & Co. mock-up made of: two visually modified inverted Beretta M38A, Bren front grip and a trigger group from an MG42 1987
Batman Joker's goon fitted with wooden stock for off-hand use; a Bapty & Co. mock-up made of: two visually modified inverted Beretta M38A, Bren front grip and a trigger group from an MG42 1989
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Sean Connery Prof. Henry Jones Mounted on the biplane; a mock-up made of two upside-down Beretta Model 38/42 submachine guns 1989

Video Game

Game Title Appears as Note Release Date
Battlefield 1 Villar Perosa 2016

See Also

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