FIAT-Revelli Modello 1935
Heavy Machine Gun (HMG)
The FIAT-Revelli Modello 1935 was a failed modernization of the troublesome Modello 1914.
Authored By: Nathan Block | Last Edited:
Overall length of the new weapon was 50 inches with a barrel length of 25.75 inches. Overall unloaded weight was 40lb, typically issued with a heavy duty low-profile tripod assembly. The Model 35, like the Model 1914 before it, was a complete weapon system incorporating the machine gun unit itself, the tripod mounting assembly and ammunition supply requiring multiple crew to a machine gun section. Cyclic rate-of-fire was 500 rounds per minute with a muzzle velocity of 2,600 feet per second. Effective range was approximately 1,000 meters.
Of note is that the weapon was also reclassified as a "heavy" machine gun. The modifications were handled by Societa Metallurgica Bresciana of Italy.
While all of these changes were intended to vastly improve upon the original 1914 model, the Modello 35 did not benefit greatly from its modernization program. It appears that the Model 35 was essentially still too closely tied to the failings that were the Model 1914 and the new design never found a proper footing as a result. The fluted chamber did not solve stoppages outright and cartridge lubrication was still required - reissue of the oil reservoirs was undertaken for some of the stock while cartridges were also pre-greased prior to their installation into the belt. The closed-bolt nature of the new design did not work well within the scope of the sustained fire role for, when the cycle was ended by the operator, a final cartridge resided in the now-heated chamber. This inevitably led to inadvertent "Cooking off" of live-fire ammunition. Nevertheless, the Modello 35 was of practical use to the modern Italian Army and the larger cartridge offered improved penetration at range as well as valued repeat fire for suppression of enemy forces. At its core, however, it was hardly much of an improvement over the original troublesome design.
With that said, the Modello 35 actually led a shorter and more forgettable service life than the machine gun she attempted to replace. The Model 35 was, however, issued as a standardized medium machine gun to Italian forces during all of World War 2 and saw service into 1945 before being given up for good shortly after the cessation of hostilities. Production of Modello 35 machine guns by Societa Metallurgica Bresciana spanned from 1935 to 1943 when, in September, the Italians formally ended their support of Nazi Germany and entered the side of the Allies proper.