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Thread: Italian Vetterli Model 1870/87?

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  1. #1
    Member sm121072's Avatar
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    Italian Vetterli Model 1870/87?

    Is this a correct identification of this rifle?

    Any resources available to find out more about it?

    Has stamps of BRESCIA 1879 and LR6615 on receiver.










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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    Brescia is one of the Italianicon manufacturers but the Vertteli's were used by a few other nations including the Swissicon. Beyond that, I know almost nothing about them, a little old for my interest. The internet is a real good source for research, not that it's always going to be accurate but it should be able to point you in the right direction at least.

    The Swiss rifles seem to be a lot more common than the Italian ones in my limited experience. I see them all the time at gun shows and there is a gun shop nearby that has two or three of them in.

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    We used to call them "Gun Shop Herpes". Once the store had it, they could never get rid of it.

    Interesting rifles, but about the only book reference I recall is "Guns of the World". Had a breakdown of the various Swissicon rifles by model. Not all that detailed of a chapter.

    Some folk have converted these rifles to centerfire and have modified cartridge cases to fit. But that's about all I know.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sm121072 View Post
    Is this a correct identification of this rifle?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by sm121072 View Post
    Any resources available to find out more about it?
    Hardly any that I know of. Some mention of it is made in "Il Novantuno" by Wolfgang Riepe, in connection with the development of the 6.5mm Carcano. In WWI large numbers were converted to 6.5 Carcano by inserting a barrel sleeve, had lousy performance in this configuration, and the converted rifle was known to the Italians as "Il Terribile" - The Awful One - (Riepe P. 162), which does not hinder American and Germanicon sellers from advertising them as the "Garibaldi Rifle", which is a load of B-S.

    There was also a book "The Italianicon Vetterli System" by Robert Wilsey, published in 2007 by the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Seems to be sold out now. Try a search. ISBN 0948092599.
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 09-27-2012 at 06:43 AM.

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    The only other rifle that I recall using the Vitalli magazine was the retrofitted Danishicon Beaumont.

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    Member sm121072's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for the responses. Found this in my parents closet. Family lore had it as a Spanish American War Rifle. Haven't found any evidence that they were used in that conflict. Plan on taking it to a local gunsmith who is experienced with historic arms. If anything interesting is discovered, I will post the info.

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    Really Senior Member Midmichigun's Avatar
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    SM,
    I actually have a virtual duplicate of your rifle. I should dig it out a drop some photos here. Mine is an Italianicon Vet. converted to the 6.5mm during the mentioned WWI timeframe.

    I was cautioned about shooting it due to the liner, and possible failures therein. I did purchase "light load" 6.5mm for it, but never mustered up the guts to pull the trigger.

    I believe the bayonets are rather expensive, as I recall.

    I got it for the WWI aspect of collecting, and it sits next to my Beaumonts!

    I was told that they are worth MORE if they are NOT converted to 6.5mm. But as was hinted at, the interest level in the US really isn't here.

    BTW, as with all of my collection, I tag it with all the information that I can find, for future generations.

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    Member morsey's Avatar
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    hi,
    I am after a Vetterli Vitali as they are known preferrably with a hand imprinted on the stock as these were smuggled guns into Northern Ireland during the troubles around 1916 and are known as the Larne guns which is the port they were taken into. They stil come up occasionaly. Why would I want one of these? Well a battalion of the Britishicon Home Guard had a load brought over as they had no arms after Dunkirk and they were something rather than nothing! I collect the different weapons that the Home Guard used during WW2 hence I have Martini Henry carbines in the collection as well as Thompsons. If any one out there has a spare Smiths Gun I would happily pay you for it!!

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    Member sm121072's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Took the rifle to a few LGS in the area. One gunsmith suggested it would make a good lamp. Don't think I will take that route.

    Another (who only saw pictures) described it as one of the first assault rifles (multi shot due to addition of magazine), looked in good condition and was worth hanging on to if interested in collecting or displaying. Ammo would be hard to find. No a good candidate to try and shoot for this reason.

    Have 2 others in the area to contact. One is supposed to be well versed in antique firearms.

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    Really Senior Member HOOKED ON HISTORY's Avatar
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    Beautiful if only to hang above a mantle. Rather elegant looking.
    Last edited by HOOKED ON HISTORY; 10-08-2012 at 09:17 PM.

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