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Italian Vetterli Model 1870/87 Caliber 10.4x47mmR

Italian Vetterli Model 1870/87 Caliber 10.4x47mmR

Our Price: $499.99

Quantity in Stock:(Out of Stock)
Product Code: VETT0002

Hand Select Overall Condition (+$100) [Add $100.00]


We just received a small quantity of original Italian Vetterli Model 1870/87 rifles. All rifles are chambered in the 10.4x47mmR cartridge.

The condition is astonishingly good overall condition. The last remaining rifles have some small cracks in the stock and minor pitting. Hand select rifles are generally good to very good overall condition. These rifles have been in storage in Ethiopia for a century.

We offer a hand select option for an additional $100.00. Rifles may have a modified or different rear sight. Trigger sear spring may be broken.

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. Please email your license to ffl@rtifirearms.com along with your order number. Thanks for your business!


Please note: please view our Terms and Conditions Section 9 in regards to the condition of these rifles. Thank you for your business.


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.


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The clip is pressed into the magazine, until the last round catches under the Cartridge retainer, and then the clip is withdrawn using the "pull string" in the top wooden frame of the clip.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.

Average Rating: Average Rating: 5 of 5 5 of 5 Total Reviews: 2 Write a review »

  1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 Presently surprised October 8, 2021
Reviewer: Ben Krause from Oxford, Michigan  
This was my first time ordering from Royal Tiger and I can honestly say I am happy with the rifle I received. I added $100 for a hand picked rifle and it seems that it was worth it. My vetterli is very solid with no rust, no cracks on the stock, visible markings, and a bore that cleaned up near perfectly. It has its cleaning rod and is only missing a front sling swivel which I am sure I can find a replacement for. Shipping speed left something to be desired but I can't really blame that on Royal Tiger. Had some small issues getting my ID photo sent in and it took a couple days and about a dozen calls to get a hold of customer service, but once I did, Alissa was very kind and helpful and immediately got my issue sorted out. Just like the other reviewer said, I was a bit worried by some of the other reviews I had read, but Royal Tiger definitely delivered. All in all, I am very happy with my purchase.

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  1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 Great find and very pleased. September 29, 2021
Reviewer: Cairan Bergstrom from Denton, TX United States  
This is I believe the fifth rifle I have gotten from RTI and I really could not be happier. $500 for a rifle that is pretty hard to find due to most being converted to the 71/87/15 variant is a pretty good deal as most on marketplaces go for more.

Shipping took a little longer than usual (about 3 weeks) but I know that it was covid realted so that is fine. When I opened it it was definitely the cleanest guns Ive gotten for them, literally only needing a small wipe down and no visible rust to be found. All the markings are clearly visible with no cracks in the stock at all. Only thing missing is the cleaning rod but thats not super uncommon an issue.

Like most, after seeing reviews online for RTI I was nervous. But time and time again I am thoroughly surprised with what I get. Most of the negative reviews are people expecting guns that just rolled off the factory line which just neglects the history and story of where these guns are from.

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