Home > Antiques No FFL Required >

Italian Vetterli Model 1870/87/15 Caliber 6.5 Carcano
Italian Vetterli Model 1870/87/15 Caliber 6.5 Carcano


 
Alternative Views:


Our Price: $349.99

Quantity in Stock:8
Product Code: VETT0001


OPTIONS:
Hand Select 100 [Add $100.00]

Qty:  
Description
 

We just received a small quantity of original Italian Vetterli Model 1870/87/15. All rifles are converted for the Carcano 6.5 ammunition.

The condition is astonishingly very good to excellent. These rifles have been in storage in Ethiopia for a century.

We offer a hand select option for an additional $100.00

These rifles are considered Antique and therefore do not require any Licenses. A government Photo ID like Drivers License or passport will be required to purchase these rifles.

History:

The M1870 Vetterli was the Italian service rifle from 1870-1887, when it was gradually replaced with the M1870/87 Italian Vetterli-Vitali variant. The M1870 was a single-shot bolt action rifle chambered for the 10.4mm Vetterli centrefire cartridge, at first loaded with black powder and later with smokeless powder. The M1870 was based upon the M1869 Swiss Vetterli but simplified for economy.

M1870/87

10.4mm Fucile di Fanteria, Modello 1870/87 Vetterli-Vitali

In 1887 (until 1896), the Italian Army began converting the M1870 to a four-shot repeating rifle, based on the system designed by Italian artillery captain, G. Vitali. This conversion added a box magazine fed from a Swiss-style fabricated steel and wood stripper clip holding four cartridges, in the same caliber (10.4x47R mm) as before. The clip is pressed into the magazine, until the last round catches under the Cartridge retainer, and then the clip is withdrawn using the "pull string" in the top wooden frame of the clip. Clips of cartridges were supplied in a soldered sheet steel box, holding six clips.

The conversion to the Vitali magazine was done on the long rifle, the TS (special troops musketoon) and possibly some of the Carabinieri carbines; No Vitali conversions were done to the Moschetto da Cavalleria for metropolitan Italian troops. In 1888, the Fondo Coloniale (Eritrea) requested 500 Vitali-converted Vetterli cavalry carbines for the Eritrean Native Cavalry ("spahi"—Swahili for "horse-soldier"). There are currently five known examples still in existence ( one in Australia, two in the US, two in Italy). Collectors refer to it as the M1870/88 V.V.Eritrean cav carbine. The Regio Esercito (Royal Army) Cavalry units maintained the M1870 single shot Moschetto da cavalleria until replaced by the M1891 Moschetto da cavalleria, in 1893.

The conversion is indicted by a cartouche "Artig. Fab. D'armi Terni 1888" (dates vary), on the butt stock. The center of the cartouche displays a Crest of Savoy and the word, Riparazione (Italian for repair) is directly below the cartouche. Shortages of small arms appeared from the very beginning of Italy’s entrance into World War I on the side of the Allies.

As more of the population mobilized for the first total war in European history, the supply of modern small arms fell short before the end of 1915 and a large number of obsolete Modello 1870/87 Vetterli-Vital were issued to newly formed regiments that were not expected to be in combat, however, troops carried these antiquated rifles into battle on several occasions.

As well, in 1916, Italy sent a large number of Vetterli-Vitali rifles to Russia; ammunition and components were contracted for by Britain to the Remington Armory. These "tsarist" rifles eventually ended up in Republican hands in the Spanish Civil War, as the Soviet Union emptied its depots of all the old black powder and early smokeless rifles it had inherited after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

M1870/87/15

During World War I, many M1870/87 rifles were converted to share the same 6.5mm smokeless powder round instead of the inferior black powder rounds as the primary service rifle, the Carcano, by adding a 6.5mm barrel lining and a modified M91 Carcano magazine. The barrel sleeving was called the "Salerno method"; The bolt face was also machined to accept the smaller diameter 6.5 mm cartridge head, and the firing pin shortened. These conversions were used for rear echelon troops (guards, training, etc.) and were rarely, if at all, fired with standard 6.5 mm military ball ammunition. After WWI, many of these rifles were assigned to the colonies of Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica (Libya) and also to Eritrea and Somalia, again, as rarely-fired training rifles. These rifles were used again in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, mostly by native African soldiers.[1] During World War II, they were used only by fascist Blackshirts paramilitaries.[2]

It is considered by knowledgeable collectors[who?] that due to the rifle's age and general condition (manufactured in 1870-1890s) and converted twice (1887-90s and again 1915-16), that the black powder technology of the Vetterli design is not suitable for repeated use (i.e. intense combat use) with normal Italian ball ammunition of 6.5 mm, or its present-day commercial equivalent. Even back in the 1920s, anecdotal accounts of Salerno sleeves loosening under "hot" fire (they were soft-soldered in place) and subsequent "blow-by" experience since the 1950s appearance of these rifles as surplus has led to safety concerns.[3]

ANTIQUE= NO FFL OR C&R REQUIRED.


Average Rating: Average Rating: 4.5 of 5 4.5 of 5 Total Reviews: 3 Write a review »

  1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
 
4 of 5 Decent August 19, 2020
Reviewer: Josh from Iowa  
The rifle I received was In overall decent condition.the metal pieces were almost rust free and didn't show any signs of abuse. The stock has a spot on it where someone tried to carve something into it way back when, but it's not very deep. The only real issues the rifle has are a broken firing pin and missing front sight blade and cleaning rod.


Was this review helpful to you?

  2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
 
5 of 5 Looks Good July 28, 2020
Reviewer: Chris P from TN  
Been wanting a Vetterli and took a chance on these. Mine is not pristine by any means but that's the way I like it.  Its marked 1886 along with AOI on the stock. Everything is grimy but cleans off fairly easy. Biggest surprise was the barrel is actually decent and still has rifling, not that I intend to shoot it. Everything appears intact and operational. Only two negatives. First cleaning rod is bent which considering the age I'm surprised its even there. Also it seems like someone spilled some white paint on it at some point nothing major. All in all I'm pleased with my rifle.

Was this review helpful to you?

  4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
 
5 of 5 Nice Vetterli Model 1870/87/15 June 30, 2020
Reviewer: Michael from WA  
Just received a fairly nice 135 year old Vetterli from RTI.   It's intact, rust free, and not even too grimy.    I was expecting a wall hanger at best.  I am pleasantly surprised.

Was this review helpful to you?