Scotti Machine Guns

In 1928 there appeared the first of a series of machine suns by an Italian designer named Al-

fredo Scotti, who maintained offices in Brescia, Italy. In practicing his profession, Scotti always depended upon companies with manufacturing facilities to make and promote the sale of his weapons on a contract and royalty basis. His place in design history rests upon the exploitation of a single principle or system. In itself, it was not original, being based solely on the act of unlocking, bv rearward movement of a <>as o t r?

piston at a time when a high enough residual pressure remained in the chamber to complete the cycle of operation. While automatic firing mechanisms bearing the name of Scotti range from pocket pistols to cannon, they all have the rotating bolt head actuated by a gas piston.

A number of firms have been associated with weapons designed by Scotti. The Grandi Co., located at Solhiete, Italy, near Milan, manufactured many models for test including sub- and j o light machine guns and a 20-mm cannon. The Ansaldo firm in Italy produced a light machine gun and a 37-mm automatic cannon that was entered without success in an Italian Navy test in 1931. The main producer of Scot t i s models was the Isotta-Fraschini Co., Italy's largest auto-1 mobile and aircraft engine manufacturer. It fab-ricated one or more models of 30-mm cannon and several aircraft mac bine guns ranging in bore from (>.5 to 12.7 millimeters. Guns made by this company in 7.7 and 12.7 millimeters were used to a limited degree by the Italian Air o i

Force throughout World War II.

Scotti's activities were by no means confined to his native land. To handle the manufacture and sale of his weapons in all countries outside of Italy, he established Scotti-Zurich, a firm in Zurich, Switzerland. Some of the main components for these guns were made by the Swiss firm, Oerlikon, while lesser ones were obtained by contract from the Swiss Industrial Society at Neuhauscn. In November 1932, Oerlikon purchased outright Scotti-Zurich, including all foreign rights to Scotti-type guns. Italian rights were reserved by Isotta-Frasc hini.

Fhe only variations in Scotti guns were in size

/ n and external appearance. Fhe most radical of his designs on record was his triple-barrel machine gun, made in bores of 6.5 to 8 millimeters. It employed a handle to rotate a fresh barrel into position, thereby allowing the gunner to keep up continuous fire by having a cool barrel available at all times. While this may have seemed very original to Scotti and he was given a patent on it, both he and the patent researc hers must never have seen the specifications of the hand-operated Lowell gun, recorded in the Lnited States in 1875.

Scotti Aircraft Machine Gun, 7.7 mm.

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