It fired the 8×59mm RB Breda Cartridge, loaded into twenty round strips. The drawback of this was that the weapon could only be fired continuously if the loader rapidly fed one strip after the other. Before firing, the operator also had to oil the ammunition, using an oiler which was integrated into the gun.
The maximum range of the Breda M37 was about 5,200 meters and the maximum rate of fire was 460 rounds per minute. The effective range however was much closer at 1,000 meters. It was commonly equipped with a tripod and the total weight including the tripod was 19.4 kg. The tripod can even be reconfigured to an AA mount. The total length of the M37 was 127 cm while the barrel length was 78 cm.
The Breda M37 also had a quick change barrel and can only fire in automatic mode. The firing mechanism was quite prone to jamming and was not very reliable. Even the slightest dirt clog could jam the gun.
The Breda Model 38 Machine Gun was the only variant of the M37 and it had several modifications. It was designed as a tank mounted machine gun, but it itself was later used by infantry. It had some added reliability, but was still prone to jamming. It also had a 600 round per minute rate of fire and was fed by 24 round box magazines.
The Breda M37, as the name suggests, was developed in 1937 and was created out of the need for a machine gun that had a more powerful cartridge than the 6.5mm. It saw extensive use in the North African desert where it served Axis forces and fought mainly British/Commonwealth adversaries. Of course, since the gun was prone to jamming, the sandy, desert environment did not help in the slightest with reliability. The Breda M37 served throughout World War II, never being replaced until after the war.