The Italian Fucile di Fanteria Modello 1891 bolt-action rifle was developed by a team led by chief technician Salvatore Carcano, under supervision of a government commission led by general Paraviccini, and was adopted by the Italian army in 1892, together with a rimless 6.5x52 mm cartridge developed for the rifle. Its internal magazine was loaded by a 6-round en bloc clip, which had no particular “top” or “bottom” sides, allowing it to be loaded with either side down. The M91 was also adopted in a shorter cavalry carbine version with no handguard in 1893, and a “Truppe Speciali” (TS) carbine in 1897. The infantry rifle and TS models featured bayonet lugs, while the cavalry model had an integral folding bayonet.
The M91 Carcano was a sturdy and reliable weapon, but the 6.5 mm cartridge was less powerful than many others of the era, so it was decided to convert the weapons to a 7.35 mm cartridge in 1938, but as the retooling lagged behind the 6.5 mm rifles remained the primary version as Italy entered WW2, and the rifle kept being produced until 1945. The M91 was only officially adopted by Italy, but it was also used by Albania, Bulgaria, Japan and Austria-Hungary, which captured large amounts in WW1. After the world wars, the M91 rifles were sold as surplus and became popular as hunting rifles.