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  1. #1
    Senior Member BurtonP's Avatar
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    First Italian rifle acquisition!



    Hi all,
    I'd like to share my first Italianicon rifle purchase with the group. Bought because the price was right and it looked in pretty good condition for a 19th Century rifle.

    A little research has shown that I have an Italian Vetterli 1870/87/15 I believe. It has stamps showing conversion to 6.5mm in the Great War, and another for use by the AOI in WW2. I presume it came to Canadaicon via Britishicon capture in East Africa. I can't find any dates, only a "4" below the Brescia stamp. Under the stock are a lot of inspection stamps with numbers in the 30's which might be dates I suppose, but I didn't photograph these while I was cleaning it all and stabilizing the rust.

    Any info from the experts would be appreciated. I'm really pleased that a spur of the moment purchase turned out to have such a storied life.
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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    Very common in the US but not with the AOI marking. These were a cost savings conversion for Italyicon in WWI to free up first rate rifle for the front lines. Then transferred to colonial troops for WWII.

    One of the few rifles most recommend you do not fire them under any circumstance. The metal is soft, there is no idea of how many shots have been fired through it and the next shot could be the one that blows it up.

    C&Rsenal has several good videos on these rifles both before and after conversions. They had several rifles fail under testing. One with reduced loads.

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    Senior Member BurtonP's Avatar
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    C&Rsenal has several good videos on these rifles both before and after conversions. They had several rifles fail under testing. One with reduced loads.[/QUOTE]

    Yeah, I watched that. Believe me I'd decided not to shoot it even before that.

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    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    Looks like it was designed by Carlo Bugatti.

    And not comparable to the Swissicon one I've examined the odd time.
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

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    Contributing Member Ovidio's Avatar
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    Really beautiful! With the AOI markings it makes for a real pretty find. Congrats!
    34a cp., btg. Susa, 3° rgt. Alpini

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    Contributing Member Eaglelord17's Avatar
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    No direct proof that it would have come to Canadaicon via Britishicon capture. Tons of these rifles were sold off as surplus post-WWII and it is just as likely to have come that way as anything else. Not saying it didn't, but like most things surplus unless there is direct markings, its about trying to piece together the story from a couple torn up notes.

    They are interesting rifles though, one of the few I would argue was worse than the earlier version. Personally I would have rather had a 70/87 in WWI or WWII, or even a 1870 over this version of the rifle, at least then I would be confident pulling the trigger that it is going to do more damage in front of me than at me.

    Nice find!

  10. #7
    Senior Member BurtonP's Avatar
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    Agreed, there's no evidence how it came to Canadaicon. I'm guessing. One thing I do find curious though... I'm most familiar with Lee Enfield Riflesicon, and there are a couple of small parts on this Vetterli that are identical. A sling swivel & that tiny silver piece that helps retain the nosepiece. Is it possible that they are actually SMLE parts, or similar design?


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