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Beretta Model 1918 Sub-Machine Gun

Beretta Model 1918 Sub-Machine Gun

The Beretta 1918, like the OVP, is little more than the VP mechanism presented in a more convenient form. Beretta was approached at the same time as OVP with the request to convert the cumbersome VP into a more practical weapon. The Model 1918 was designed by Tuillio Marengoni.

The modifications consisted of fitting a new trigger mechanism based on that of the standard Italian service rifle of the day, a long wooden stock with an ejection slot underneath and a folding bayonet similar to that used on Italian carbines.

The result was a most practical and handy weapon. The mechanism remained unchanged, still using the rotating bolt system and the slotted curved magazine fitted into the top of the action.

The Model 1918 was issued to the Ardite regiments of the Italian Army early in 1918 and thus became the first sub machine gun to be standard issue, predating the German Bergmann by a few weeks. The Model 1918 remained in service until World War II, but because of the carbine like appearance, they were frequently unrecognized for what they were. Numbers of the Model 1918 were used during the Spanish Civil War and the Abyssinian war and were frequently encountered in the early phases of the Libyan campaign in 1941.


Caliber 9 mm
Barrel 12 inches
Length 43 inches
Barrel Length 6 grooves with a right hand twist
Weight 7 Pounds 3 Ouncs
Feed System 25 round detachable box magazine
Rate of Fire 900 rounds per minute (Cyclic)
System of Operation Retarded blowback, automatic only

Article by: JDG

The Encyclopedia of Infantry Weapon of World War II
The Encyclopedia of Weapons: From World War II to the Present Day


  1. I have a beretta 1918 and need to purchase a magazine? Where can I get one?