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Type Battle Rifle
Place of origin  Italy
Production history
Designer Amerigo Cei-Rigotti
Designed c. 1900
Weight 4.3 kg (9 lb 55 oz)
Length 1,000 mm (39.4 in)

Cartridge 6.5×52mm Mannlicher–Carcano?/7.65x53mm Mauser
Action Gas piston, self-loading
Rate of fire Up to 900rpm
Muzzle velocity 730 m/s (2,400 ft/s)
Feed system fixed box magazine
Sights 1,400 meters (1,531 yards)

The Cei-Rigotti (also known as the Cei gas rifle[1]) is an early automatic rifle created in the final years of the 19th century by Amerigo Cei-Rigotti, an officer in the Italian Army. The rifle had selective fire capabilities (single shots or burst) and was a gas operated rifle. Available information on this gun is sparse and contradictory.

According to several publications, the prototype rifle was chambered for the 6.5×52mm Mannlicher–Carcano.[2] The gun was supposedly presented by Cei-Rigotti to his superiors in a private demonstration in 1895. An Italian newspaper reported on this event in 1900.[3] According to another source, a demonstration was actually held publicly in Rome on June 13, 1900, when 300 rounds were fired on full automatic before the gun got so hot it seized up.[4] Yet another source mentions a demonstration in the same year the Brescia Arsenal.[5]

The British also ordered and tested the gun after this event, but they found it unsuitable.[3] The exemplar found at the UK National Firearms Centre in Leeds is chambered in 7.65x53mm Mauser, as is another exemplar found in a U.S. private collection.[6]

The rifle fed from a fixed box magazine, loaded through stripper clips.[6] Reportedly, prototypes with magazines up to 50 rounds capacity existed.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Daniel D. Musgrave; Thomas B. Nelson (1967). The World's Assault Rifles and Automatic Carbines. T. B. N. Enterprises. p. 225. 
  2. ^ a b David Westwood (2005). Rifles: An Illustrated History Of Their Impact. ABC-CLIO. p. 364. ISBN 978-1-85109-401-1. 
  3. ^ a b David Miller (2003). The illustrated directory of twentieth century guns. Zenith Imprint. pp. 224–225. ISBN 978-0-7603-1560-6. 
  4. ^ W. H. B, Smith and Joseph E. Smith, The Book of Rifles, 1948, National Rifle Association, p. 68
  5. ^ Ian V. Hogg (1978). The complete illustrated encyclopedia of the world's firearms. A & W Publishers. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-89479-031-7. 
  6. ^ a b http://www.forgottenweapons.com/early-semiauto-rifles/cei-rigotti/, Retrieved 2013-7-12

External links[edit]