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Thread: Italian Vetterli wallhanger

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Italian Vetterli wallhanger

    A dealer in an antique shop in NH had an Italian Vetterli in 6.5mm with matching numbers, including the numbers stamped on the stock and a cartouche on the left side. It had a date of 1875 stamped, a Torino stamp and a bunch of other markings. The bore was decent. But, it had holes drilled in the wood - one in the stock and one in the forearm - that's how it was hung on the wall. And, he didn't know if it had a firing pin. I know the history of the Italian Vetterlis - they were meant to be a last ditch, no other choice weapon and probably shouldn't be fired.
    I asked him the price and he said $130, so I grabbed it. Got it home, took the bolt apart and it does have a firing pin. I'm in the process of cleaning everything now.
    As a rule, after being checked, are they shooters?
    Last edited by Battis; 11-04-2018 at 11:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I'd try shooting it.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy

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    I just sold one that I shot quite a bit. Cast boolit with Unique. One problem I had is there is no adjustment for windage and it shot 4" left at 50 yds. Had to resort to Kentucky Windage. It got a lot of attention at the range.
    So when is this "Old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    These rifles were originally 10.35x46mm, but many were rebarrelled to 6.5 Carcano during WW1. The original M1870 was a single-shot and the earlier rifles were converted to a 4-round box magazine in the M1870/87. With large stocks of the older rifles on hand with the outbreak of WW1 about 400,000 rifles were converted to M1870/87/15 configuration to fire the 6.5x52mm Carcano cartridge, by fitting a 6.5mm barrel liner and replacing the magazine with one which used the 6-round Carcano en-bloc clip. The converted 6.5mm rifles were issued to territorial units, police and second-line units. In 1937 about 120,000 Vetterli-Vitali conversions were issued to colonial troops in Italian East Africa.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    they are safe to shoot. just not magnum or how hot can I go or +p loads. I would use starting loads listed in the book.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    i do have 3 of The same . condition vary from Vg to poor. I have shot them with Both Military surplus and hand Loads with No problem
    I have use anywhere between 87 gn to 140 gn jacket or cast.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Most are wall hangers due to the need for conversion and making ammo. Not due to safety. No idea how the Italian ones were treated, the Swiss one I have you would think the barrel was made last week. SO long as your not trying to make a cannon out of them, they shoot fine.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Swiss Vetterli converted to CF .41 Swiss that's in amazing shape. This Italian Vetterli isn't near that condition but it isn't bad at all. It's dirty, grimy but it's cleaning up nicely. There's those through-holes that I'll probably plug with a dowel and refinish to try and match the stock. All the way home I kept thinking, "Why did I take the chance?" but for $130 what the heck. It turned out well, especially when I saw it had a firing pin.
    This antique dealer sold me a Krag 30-40 rifle a few years ago that he called a wall hanger for $150. It was missing a firing pin but now it's a great shooter.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master mtnman31's Avatar
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    I've got one. I fired a couple shots and decided it was not going to shoot anymore in my hands. I loaded a mild cast bullet. Fired normal and hit the target, but when I extracted the empty brass, it had a misshapen bulge just above the case head. The chamber was somehow messed up. There is not any apparent damage or "bubba'ing". Not sure how/why the chamber ended up that way. It was cheap enough that I don't feel much heartache over it being a wall hanger.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    This rifle is greasy and grimy - it's not cleaning up like it should. Mineral spirits to clean it? I don't think I've ever seen a dirtier gun.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnman31 View Post
    I've got one. I fired a couple shots and decided it was not going to shoot anymore in my hands. I loaded a mild cast bullet. Fired normal and hit the target, but when I extracted the empty brass, it had a misshapen bulge just above the case head. The chamber was somehow messed up. There is not any apparent damage or "bubba'ing". Not sure how/why the chamber ended up that way. It was cheap enough that I don't feel much heartache over it being a wall hanger.
    The shells that come out of my rifle look a bit funky to. The low pressure simply is not enough to expand the thick brass towards the base. So tend to look 'bulged' towards the shoulder.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    If the web of the brass is smaller than the chamber simply put a couple wraps of tape around it until it chambers. This centers the round in the chamber, thus improving accuracy, and allows the brass to expand to the chamber size evenly around the case.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    This rifle is greasy and grimy - it's not cleaning up like it should. Mineral spirits to clean it? I don't think I've ever seen a dirtier gun.
    zIf they used something like Cosmoline, a waxy sticky like substance, then you need to use mineral spirits. Paint thinner works OK, Kerosene works too.
    ref https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/...rplus-firearm/

    Now a number of years ago, I went to clean a Russian Model Airplane engine and they had used a smelly sticky grease like substance to preserve it. I soaked the engine in Gasoline for a couple of weeks and it had marginal success removing the stuff. I found out later it was some kind of a military weapons storage packing grease and it was based on fish oil. Thus acetone would have likely been better in that case.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'd watch these before attempting to shoot a 6.5mm conversion:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PIBzye7to8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qOEh_DwJR0

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Good videos - food for thought. What about black powder in this gun?

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    If this is a dumb question, I'll flame myself.
    Could an Italian Vetterli be relined in something smaller, say a .32?

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    If this is a dumb question, I'll flame myself.
    Could an Italian Vetterli be relined in something smaller, say a .32?
    Like i said , I have 3 . The question should Be Why put Good money after bad. They are what they are . Interesting But Junk
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I have $130 into it which isn't alot. I'll probably shoot it after I clean it up. Just wondering if it could be relined in a smaller, safer caliber.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    I have $130 into it which isn't alot. I'll probably shoot it after I clean it up. Just wondering if it could be relined in a smaller, safer caliber.
    Of course it can.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    I have one that I shoot a lot and it is one of my most accurate of many old milsaps. I use 7 grains of Trailboss and a 140 gr. cast bullet. Even with the stock sights it shoots well but I made a no drill receiver sight that really helps with my old eyes.I have shot 1/2 inch 5 shot groups with it at 50 yards.I hated the look of the Carcano magazine so I took it off and replaced it with a steel plate and filled the mag. well to aid in loading . Now it looks almost like it did when first made as a single shot. One of my favorites because of its accuracy and bizzarre looks . I also have an 1869 Swiss that shoots really good also. Paul

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