M.I.D.A. submachine gun
From 1916 - 1918 the Italian Army became interested in adapting the
twin-barreled Villar Perosa submachine gun into a single-barreled,
shoulder-fired weapon that would resemble a conventional SMG. Various
attempts to achieve this were made, such as the Fiat, Ansaldo, Savoia,
A.N., and O.V.P. submachine guns, which were all produced in small
quantities only. In late 1918 the Italian Army decided on adopting the
Beretta Mod.1918 (aka Revelli-Beretta). However, unlike other Villar
Perosa conversions, the Beretta was not a true SMG as it was
semi-automatic only. Therefore Manifattura Italiana d'Armi (MIDA) of
Brescia was commissioned to produce a twin-trigger variant of the Beretta
which could give both single shots and automatic fire.
The MIDA submachine gun was based on the Beretta pattern but deviated from
the original design in several ways. The key difference was, of course,
the automatic fire capability from the forward trigger. However, the MIDA
submachine gun in fact shared very few components in common with the
Beretta carbine; although the general layout is similar, upon closer
inspection it can be seen that there are differences in the furniture,
magazine catch, end cap, ejection chute, and bayonet mounting. The MIDA
gun had a fully-stocked barrel with a bayonet catch akin to the Carcano
M91TS carbine, rather than the semi-stocked barrel with the integrated
folding-type Carcano bayonet that was present on the Beretta carbine. Also
of note is the presence of the Villar Perosa's retracting lever in front
of the cocking handle, which was used to assist in pushing the bolt out of
the angled incline in the cocking slot; this was a feature that had been
removed on the Beretta gun but curiously retained on the MIDA.
The Moschetto Automatico MIDA was produced only in small quantities.
Whether it was ever actually issued during World War I is not known.
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