These small cartridges were used in training rifles by the “Young Fascists” in Italy and also known as the Moschetto Ballila. It was a blank firing cadet rifle, the weapon being commissioned by the central presidency of the Opera Nazionale Balilla, which operated from 1926 to 1937, for pre-military training for young people aged between 8 and 14 years. The musket (little carbine) was produced by the company F.N.A (Fabbrica Nazionale d’Armi) in Brescia (formerly known as P. Lorenzotti), Napoleon and Vittorio Castelli (NeVC, Brescia), and later also by Grazian of Verona. From 1937 to 1943 the responsibility for the ONB was transferred from the Education Ministry to the Gioventu Italiana del Littorio, the main Fascist Party youth organization. The rifle was a scaled down replica of the M91 Mannlicher Carcano cavalry rifle complete with bayonet, although the tips of the bayonets were blunted to render them harmless. It is estimated that around 30,000 of these little carbines were manufactured between 1930 and 1940.
4x18R Propulsive Blank
These cartridges were manufactured from machined steel and could be loaded at the back with the small 4x18R propulsive blank, or “Cartuccio per Tiro Redotto per Armi modello 91” which is the same one used on the full sized 6.5 Carcano short range training cartridge that was adopted in October 1913.
The first rifle pictured below is marked “F.N.B./GRAZIAN/VERONA” on the upper right and top flats of the chamber, “1941 XIX” on the upper left, and “G/L” with a Fascist symbol on the receiver ring. The second is has Brescia markings and “1934 XII” on the chamber and “O N/ B” on the receiver ring.