Fiat-Revelli M14/35

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Fiat-Revelli M14

The Fiat-Revelli Modello 1914 was an Italian water-cooled, closed-bolt, recoil-delayed blowback operated medium machine gun produced from 1914 to 1918. It was used by the Italian Army in WWI. It is primarily known for its extremely strange magazine called a "strip-feed box" and sometimes referred to as the "squirrel cage." This consisted of a horizontal rack resembling that of an old harmonica gun, but made of what were essentially magazines joined at the sides, each of which accepted a 5-round stripper clip and fed it using a spring follower. Capacity was either 50 rounds for the standard 10-column version, or 100 rounds for the 20-column anti-aircraft version. Rather strangely there was no compatibility whatsoever with the strip-feed box and the en-bloc clips of period Carcano rifles, with the columns not even containing the same number of rounds.

The weapon also had an unusual water-cooling system where instead of a steam escape tube and condensing can being used to prevent the jacket from bursting as it heated up, the gun had a full-blown closed-loop water pump system with a crank-operated pump operated by a member of the four-man gun crew to circulate water from the condenser back into the water jacket.

Likely a more infamous feature, at least among those who had to use the weapon, was that the Fiat-Revelli's charging handle was located directly in line with the top of the spade grips and jumped back five and a quarter inches each time the weapon was fired, slamming into a buffer just in front of the user's forefingers eight times per second. This unnerving feature resulted in the gun's nickname of "knuckleduster."

Specifications

Fiat-Revelli M14 machine gun - 6.5x52mm Mannlicher-Carcano

(1914 - 1918)

  • Type: Medium machine gun
  • Caliber: 6.5x52mm Mannlicher-Carcano
  • Capacity: 50 or 100-round "squirrel cage" magazine (10 or 20 x 5-round stripper clips)
  • Fire modes: 3-position selector, middle is safe, left is semi (marked LENTA, "slow,") right is auto ("RAPIDA," fast, 400-500 rpm)



The Fiat-Revelli M14/35 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
Mountains on Fire Italian soldiers 1931
A Farewell to Arms Italian troops 1957

Television

Title Actor Character Note Air Date
Lenin...The Train French soldiers 1988

Anime

Game Title Character Note Release Date
Porco Rosso Aircraft variant, mounted Macchi in M.5 fighters 1992
The Wind Rises Italian pilots Aircraft variant, mounted in Caproni Ca.3 bombers 2013


Fiat-Revelli M35

The Fiat-Revelli M35 was an interwar update to the M14 designed during a fad for middle-weight "heavy" machine guns using an enlarged high-velocity rifle-like round, in this case the 8x59mm Breda which threw out a 208-grain bullet at 2,525 feet per second. While the heart of the system was the same as the M14, there were overall functional updates, including switching from the bizarre and unreliable "squirrel cage" feeder to a metal belt feed, and eliminating the water-cooling jacket in favour of air-cooling with a perforated barrel shroud.

Despite improvements in practicality and stopping power, it still proved unreliable with the Breda M37 being preferred over it in combat despite the latter's heavy weight and use of feed strips instead of a belt.

Specifications

Fiat-Revelli M14/35 machine gun - 8x59mm RB Breda

(1935 - 1945)

  • Type: Heavy machine gun (at the time, would probably be classified as a medium machine gun in modern terms)
  • Caliber: 8x59mmRB Breda
  • Capacity: Belt feed
  • Firemodes: 3-position selector, middle is safe, left is semi (marked LENTA, "slow,") right is auto ("RAPIDA," fast, 600 rpm)



The Fiat-Revelli M14/35 can be seen in the following films, television series, and video games used by the following actors:

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
The Great War (La grande guerra) Italian and Austro-Hungarian troops Mocked up as Fiat-Revelli M14 1959
Five Branded Women Van Heflin Velko 1960
Silvana Mangano Jovanka
Salvatore Giuliano The Giuliano's bandits 1962
The Camp Followers (Le soldatesse) Abandoned on battlefield 1965




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