The 10.4mm Italian Ordnance was adopted in 1874 for the Army Model 1872 revolver that was based on the Chamelot-Delvigne system. It remained in service with the Italian Army until after WW2, having never officially being retired although largely replaced by the 9mm Glisenti pistol in 1910. The cartridge was originally developed as the M.1874 with lead bullet and slightly longer case. The Royal Italian Army adopted the Bodeo revolver in 1889 (named after the head of the Italian firearm commission, Carlo Bodeo), and together with the Geneva Convention did away with lead bullets, considered to be expansive. This was also the time when Italy transitioned from black powder to Ballistite with an added cotton wool wad and the headstamp being done in relief. The primer was also changed from Boxer to Berdan. This change was designated as the M.90. During 1899 the headstamp style was changed for the system used by the Government Arsenals, which bore the initials of the head inspector at 12o’clock, with the arsenal and the date at the 6 o’clock position. This change was designated M.90/99. The main arsenal for production of the 10.4mm was at Capua, along with batches made at Bologna and Turin. (Erlmeier, Brandt Ref. 150).
With great thanks to Fede from the IAA, the details of most the Italian arsenal inspectors were identified. The initial A C at Turin during this period was identified as Allasia Costantino, who was the chief technician at the Laboratorio di Precisione in Torino (1874-1895). The Turin factory ceased production in 1899. The star at the 3 ‘o’clock position is for the Boxer primer changed to Berdan.
The initials E.S are for Ercoli Salvatore who was the chief technician at the Laboratorio Pirotecnico di Capua. The star at the 3 ‘o’clock position is for the Boxer primer changed to Berdan.
The initials B.P are for Pasquale Berdini, the chief technician at Bologna. Bologna was not the principal ammunition manufacturer of 10,4mm Ordnance Revolver although production occurred from 1875 – 1918.
With the change from black powder to Ballistite, the case length was shortened slightly because of less powder being required. Around 1906-08 a three equidistant stab crimps were added to the case mouth.
The initials T.R. are for Riccardo Trozzi.
The initials L.N. are for Nicola Leggiadore at Capua Arsenal, although still unconfirmed at this stage.