Posted 2 years ago
This is the Pistola a Rotazione, System Bodeo, Modello 1889, nicknamed the coscia d’agnello (lamb’s leg). It was the standard issue in the Italian Army until it was replaced by the Glisenti model 1910 self-loading pistol. The Bodeo continued to be manufactured and was issued support troops during WWI, and saw some service during WWII.
My particular Bodeo was manufactured in 1922 at Brescia arsenal – almost at the end of Bodeo production. It’s the short barreled version often referred to as the officer's model, although it was not exclusively issued to officers. The ejector rod under the barrel is a bit different from other examples, and appears to be an old replacement. I bought the holster separately, and the brass clasp seen at the top of the holster was a mystery to me, until one day I noticed that it fits perfectly on a brass fitting on an Italian cavalry bandolier of the period that I also have in my collection, so I assume that was the intent.
The handgun is chambered for the 10.4mm Italian Ordinance Revolver round, and the ammo for it is uncommon and usually expensive, so I make my own. The ammo in the photo is made from cut down .44 magnum cases.