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Thread: Italian 10.4mm Vetterli

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Feb 2010
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    Sandy UT
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    Italian 10.4mm Vetterli

    I would appreciate hearing from anyone that loads for this cartridge, or has, especially if you have a heel-base mould for it. This would be a round nose, 313-334 gr. .430 body with a heel approx. .415.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Feb 2006
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    Kaneohe, HI
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    I load mine so I can use them through the tube mag.
    I've been using a Lyman 429650.
    Works OK, but hangs up when using it through the mag.
    Lots of people are using the Lee 430-310.
    In my rifle the nose is to wide to chamber all the way.
    I tried a Seaco 433 and it worked great.
    Cycles through the mag with no hang up.
    If your going to try a heal base bullet, I would slugg the barrel before ordering the mould.

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
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    Abunaitoo,

    If you have a tubular magazine then you have a Swiss Vetterli, not Italian. Different groove diameter and uses a straight bullet, not heel based. They are both nominal 10.35/10.4 mm, but the Swiss is a nominal .415 groove and the Italian .429-430. I have slugged it and it is .410x.4285 at the breech. What I don't know yet is the shape of the throat. I am hoping it has a large enough ball seat to take the Lee or Lyman bullet. If it does then I can either turn a heel on them or, as a last resort, ream the neck to .453-.457 and simply use either bullet as-is, and use .44 Dies to neck size and seat.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Sorry about that.
    So few of us shoot these, I got all excited when I saw Vetterli.
    I gotta stop doing that.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    246

    Vetterli

    When I wanted to shoot mine, I converted it to center fire first. I made brass out of 8 MM Lebel by expanding the necks out to hold a .429 Seco 265 grain bullet. It has a crimping ring already. I determined the overall length of the case for my gun by making the case a bit to long to chamber with a bullet seated but not crimped. I would try a dummy carefully in the chamber and if there was resistance to chambering I removed the bullet and took another .010 off the length of the case, then seating another bullet up to the crimping grove, I would try again in the chamber. It took a number of tries but I finely got to where it would chamber without resistance. This also worked out to be the correct length for the magazine riser block. Mine shot great with 4759 powder! Hope this helps in your endevor. Oh by the way, I made my dies out of an old steel set of 44 mag dies. They worked great! Best regards, the toolman.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Feb 2007
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    The deep south,... of Vermont!
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB Hunter View Post
    Abunaitoo,

    If you have a tubular magazine then you have a Swiss Vetterli, not Italian. Different groove diameter and uses a straight bullet, not heel based. They are both nominal 10.35/10.4 mm, but the Swiss is a nominal .415 groove and the Italian .429-430. I have slugged it and it is .410x.4285 at the breech. What I don't know yet is the shape of the throat. I am hoping it has a large enough ball seat to take the Lee or Lyman bullet. If it does then I can either turn a heel on them or, as a last resort, ream the neck to .453-.457 and simply use either bullet as-is, and use .44 Dies to neck size and seat.
    From my understanding, the Swiss are all over the map as to bore/groove specs. My brothers Swiss is on the loose end, which is fine, as .432" cast for his Ruger SBH shoot great. With the .4285" groove on your rifle, it should be easy to find a suitable mould. Good luck, and keep us posted.
    Last edited by dubber123; 02-18-2010 at 11:47 AM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sandy UT
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    So far this is where I am. Started with annealed Prvi Partisan 8x50R Lebel brass and fireformed with 16/Unique/cornmeal firmly compressed/wax wad. Cases were shot full length. When shot they come out full length (1.970") of the base case, which is typical of this method of fire-forming. Case showed no indication that the chamber neck was any shorter than this! This is ca. .090" longer than nominal length for the Vetterli case.

    The fire-formed case neck ran from .437 at the mouth to .447 at base of neck, lots of taper! That was close enough to make me decide to ream the neck large enough to take full diameter bullets as so little needed to be removed. Reamed the neck with a .4531 chucking reamer after making a guide bushing for the shank that fit the rear receiver ring to guide it.

    After reaming to the depth of the original neck I finished fire-forming the remainder of 50 cases. The case necks are now .452x.452, .010 thick, and a .430 bullet can be inserted with slight resistance. Now a heel-base mould isn't needed. So far I have only lost 2 cases to split necks on fire-forming.

    I have ordered 100 44-325 LMN LBT bullets from Beartooth. I asked for un-sized, un-lubed, we'll see if they will do that! I will probably buy the Lee .44-310 and remove the check shank instead of a custom mould if I decide to shoot it much.

    I have been looking for a good Vetterli for years. Really wanted a Swiss to convert to CF, but I took what I could find. A few weeks ago two 1870/87 Vetterli-Vitale showed up the same day at the toy store. I picked the one which looked better with a near perfect bore. The real deciding factor was this one was originally manufactured, as a Model 1870 single-shot, at Terni in 1886, which is the year my Maternal Grandfather was born.

    I will probably throw together a few rounds with 429421 or RCBS .44-250 KT and a full case of Trail Boss just to poke some holes in paper. I will let you know what that turns out like when I get a chance to get out.

    Just a comment on fireforming brass to a grossly larger diameter. Most seem to believe an increase of .100 or more will result in a large percentage of split cases, this is simply not true! By using the described methodI have been able to grossly expand cases, with no loss of length or exorbitant case loss. In this case the inside neck diameter is increased from ca. .320 to .431, .111" The largest change I recall ever making was blowing out the necks of 7mm Rem Mag Nickle plated pick-up brass. The neck and shoulder were annealed, cases loaded as above, and fire-formed in my #1 Ruger .458 Winchester. This was an increase of ca. .174", with zero case loss. Not only were the necks enlarged, but the cases actually came out longer than the original cases and required trimming. Fireforming may be a little more time-consuming than using a tapered expander, but better results are obtained. If you were to try to expand a 7mm neck to .45 cal. with a tapered expander the necks will come out considerably shortened, and there will be a near 100% case loss due to split necks! Try this the next time you need to make some .35 Whelen or whatever else requires a large increase in neck diameter, I think you will be pleased with the results. One thing to remember when doing this is to fire the cases with the muzzle of the gun vertical. It doesn't make sense, but for some reason you get a lot higher percentage of fully-formed cases opposed to holding the gun horizontally.
    Last edited by CB Hunter; 02-28-2010 at 02:08 AM.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check