Pavesi-Revelli submachine gun


This gun is sometimes said to have been the result of a collaboration between the prolific Italian arms designer Col. Abiel Revelli and the agricultural engineer Ugo Pavesi, developed in 1920. However the relevant patent protecting the action for this gun was actually filed in 1937 by Gino Revelli, the son of Abiel Revelli. Gino Revelli was known to have collaborated with another arms designer, Giuseppe Pavesi, around the mid-1930s, therefore making it highly likely that the Pavesi-Revelli submachine gun was designed by Gino Revelli and Giuseppe Pavesi, not Abiel Revelli and Ugo Pavesi.

The Pavesi-Revelli submachine gun, at first glance, to be a conversion of the Villar Perosa twin-barreled SMG into a single-barreled stocked weapon in the style of the Revelli-Beretta carbine or OVP submachine gun. However most components of the Pavesi-Revelli were actually entirely new and only the bolt and magazine were recycled from the Villar Perosa. The Pavesi-Revelli submachine gun operated on a delayed-blowback action in which the bolt was retarded by a coiled wire which emerged from a flywheel underneath the receiver and hooked directly onto the bolt handle. The wire created resistance against the bolt's backward travel thus regulating the fire rate to a reasonable level. The inertial delay system of the Villar Perosa, which consisted of a 45
° cant in the forward-most section of the cocking slot, was also retained on the Pavesi-Revelli. Although the patent for the Pavesi-Revelli action was patented by Revelli, it was probably actually designed by Pavesi, who had previously worked on other methods to reduce the fire rate of the Villar Perosa action, including by fitting a pneumatic piston to the bolt.

Patent sketch of the Pavesi-Revelli action, with a wire
pulley attached to a hook-type cocking handle.

The external arrangement of the Pavesi-Revelli submachine gun took cues from other designs, such as the overhead feed of the Villar Perosa, a forward grip like the Erma EMP, and a partially finned barrel in the style of the Thompson gun. As with the Revelli-Beretta carbine, the sights were offset to the right side. This is contrary to Revelli's OVP submachine gun which had the sights offset to the left. As the gun fed from Villar Perosa magazines, it was designed to chamber 9x19mm Glisenti cartridges (specifically the "per Mitragliatrici" variant with an over-powder wad); however it could probably also fire the dimensionally similar 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge.

The Pavesi-Revelli submachine gun was undergoing trials in the 1930s (again contrary to the claim that it was introduced in 1920) and based on the serial number of a known surviving example, it is possible that just over 100 units were made. However the gun was not adopted, and the Italian Army did not introduce an SMG into general service until 1941 when they adopted the Beretta Mod.38A.

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