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Neri submachine gun

[IT] Moschetto Automatico A.N.

In the late months of 1917, the Italian Army's Technical Office received several proposals concerning the transformation of the twin-barreled Villar Perosa submachine gun into a single-barreled carbine fired from the shoulder. This concept was known as the 'moschetto automatico' (literally 'automatic musket') and successful models had already been developed by Bethel-Abiel Revelli and Amerigo Cei-Rigotti by September. Initially dismissed as less efficient than the Villar Perosa due to the challenges that would come associated with introducing an entirely new type of weapon into service, demand for moschetti automatici grew within the Italian Army's assault divisions (the Reparto d'Assalto or 'Arditi') and by the beginning of 1918, some officers were experimenting with issuing such weapons to their troops. One such forward-thinking officer, Major Alberto Neri of 7° Alpini, designed a moschetto automatico which was known under his initials, 'A.N.'. 150 of these guns were produced and distributed to VI Reparto d'Assalto in March 1918 for field trials, and may have been the very first "true" submachine guns to ever see combat.

Never receiving official approval from the Technical Office, the A.N. moschetto was tested in comparison to some rival designs, such as the Savoia, Revelli, and Crocetti systems, but ultimately the requirement for a moschetto automatico was satisfied by Revelli's design as produced by Beretta (the Moschetto Automatico Revelli-Beretta). No further action was taken with the A.N. submachine gun.

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