Bodeo Model 1889

The Bodeo Model 1889 (Italian: Pistola a Rotazione, Sistema Bodeo, Modello 1889) was an Italian revolver named after the head of the Italian firearm commission, Carlo Bodeo. It was produced by a wide variety of manufacturers between 1889 and 1931 in both Spain and Italy. The Bodeo was employed by the Royal Italian Army in World War I, the Interwar Italian colonial wars, and World War II. The Bodeo comes in two distinct varieties with only superficial weapons differences.

Bodeo Model 1889
A Bodeo Model 1889, with folding trigger.
TypeService revolver
Place of originKingdom of Italy
Service history
Used byRoyal Italian Army
WarsWorld War I
Second Italo-Abyssinian War
Spanish Civil War
World War II
Production history
Produced1889 to c. 1931
Mass950 g (2 lb 2 oz)
Length232 mm (9.1 in)
Barrel length115 mm (4.5 in)

Cartridge10.35mm Ordinanza Italiana
ActionDouble action
Muzzle velocity256 m/s (840 ft/s) [1]
Feed system6 round cylinder
SightsFixed iron sights


Made by a large variety of Italian gun-makers, the Bodeo became the service revolver of the Italian Army in 1891.[2] The revolver was named after the head of the Italian commission that recommended its adoption, Carlo Bodeo.[3] It remained the principle handgun of the Italian Army until it was increasingly supplanted by the Glisenti Model 1910.[2] The revolver was never declared obsolete and remained as a reserve weapon until the end of World War II.[4] The Italian manufacturers identified with the production of the Bodeo include: Societa Siderurgica Glisenti, Castelli of Brescia, Metallurgica Bresciana, and Vincenzo Bernardelli of Gardone Val Trompia.[5] During World War I, Spanish manufacturers Errasti and Arrostegui of Eibar produced the Bodeo for the Italian government.[5] The Italians nicknamed this revolver coscia d’agnello ("leg of lamb"). During World War II, the Wehrmacht designated the Bodeo as Revolver 680(i) when utilized as an alternative firearm.[6]

Design details


The Bodeo Model 1889 is a solid-framed, six-shot revolver.[5] The revolver was designed in two distinct versions: a round-barreled version designed with a trigger guard, and an octagonal-barreled version with a folding trigger.[3] The octagonal-barreled version was produced for rank and file Italian soldiers, while the round-barreled version was produced for non-commissioned officers and field officers.[5] The folding trigger version was produced in greater numbers.[4]


The Bodeo was considered simple and robust.[3] Due to the revolver being produced by a multitude of manufacturers, the quality of the weapon varied greatly. Frames were made from a wide variety of materials ranging from brass to brazed copper plates.[7] The gate was connected to the hammer[4] with the barrel screwed into the frame.[3] Ejection was achieved by the rod normally housed in the hollow axis pin.[3] The hammer block was designed to prevent firing unless the trigger was fully cocked.[4]


  1. Miller, David. Fighting Men of World War II, Volume I: Axis Forces--Uniforms, Equipment, and Weapons (Fighting Men of World War II). Stackpole Books. p. 348. ISBN 0-8117-0277-4.
  2. Hogg, Ian, Pistols of the World 4th Edition (2004) p. 49
  3. McNab, Chris, The Great Book of Guns (2004) p. 105
  4. Hogg, Ian, Military Small Arms of the 20th Century 7th Edition (2000) p. 59
  5. Hogg, Ian, Pistols of the World 4th Edition (2004) p. 50
  6. Luciano Salvatici. Pistole Militari Italiane
  7. Kinard, Jeff. Pistols: an illustrated history of their impact, p. 157, ABC-CLIO, Inc. 2003.
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