Breda 38

The Mitragliatrice Breda calibro 8 modello 38 per carri armati was an Italian tank-pattern machine gun used in the Second World War on the Fiat L6/40, the Fiat M11/39 and the Fiat M13/40. It was also adapted as infantry machine gun. The M38 is based upon the Breda M37. The Breda 38 received the German identification code Kampfwagen-Maschinengewehr 350(i).

Mitragliatrice Breda cal. 8 mod. 38 per carri armati
A Breda Mod 38 at display at the Forte di San Leo
TypeTank machine gun
Place of originItaly
Service history
In service1938–43
Used byItaly
WarsWorld War II
Production history
ManufacturerBreda Meccanica Bresciana
Mass16.3 kg (36 lb)[1]
Length897.5 mm (35.33 in)[1]
Barrel length600 mm (24 in)[1]

Cartridge8×59mm RB Breda
Rate of fire550 rds/min theoretical, 350 rds/min practical[1]
Muzzle velocity770 metres per second (2,500 ft/s)[1]
Effective firing range300 m (330 yd)[1]
Feed system24-round vertical box magazine


The Italians have also adapted it for use as an infantry machine gun.[2] For this purpose the gun is mounted on a machine-gun means of an adapter, and is fitted with a temporary rear sight on the right of the body and a temporary front sight on the right of the barrel at the muzzle. These temporary open sights take the place of the optical sight used when the gun is tank-mounted.

Design details

The gun is air-cooled, gas-operated, and magazine-fed, and has a quick-change barrel. Its operational features are simple, and it is extremely easy to field-strip or disassemble completely. The barrel is sufficiently heavy (9⅞ pounds) to enable it to fire a large number of rounds in quick succession without overheating.


  1. Pignato, p. 43.
  2. U.S. Military Intelligence Service (June 3, 1943), "Italian 8-mm Breda Machine Gun, Model 38, WWII Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 26",, retrieved 6 October 2015
  • Pignato, Nicola (1978). Armi della fanteria italiana nella seconda guerra mondiale (in Italian). Ermanno Albertelli Editore.
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