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Thread: swiss vetterli?? Anyone have one ???

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    swiss vetterli?? Anyone have one ???

    Ive taking a likin to the swiss vetterli rifle and the 41 swiss round that it shot, It seems some people convert these center fire by drilling a hole thru the rim fire mechanism......Honestly, if you look at the rifle, I think the old winchesters borrowed from where the lines of the receiver blended into the barrel, even the loading gate......any thoughts or direction would be appreciated..............Regards ........

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    There are a few different ways to convert these to center fire .
    None of them are difficult , I modified an original rimfire pin like you mentioned .
    Take off your buttplate and there's a good chance you'll find a spare rimfire firing pin .

    The henry elevator needs your overall cartridge lenght to stay pretty much spot on 2.2 inches to work .

    I use a proper heeled bullet in mine along with 8mm lebel cases .

    Fun to shoot and very low recoil

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Nobade's Avatar
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    I converted mine to centerfire, it uses RCBS decapping pins for a firing pin now. Very easy job if you have a lathe. I also use 8x60R Lebel cases, and a paper patched bullet from a mold I made. My COAL isn't right for the feed mechanism, so I use it as a single shot rather than buy a mold for the right bullet. It shoots exceptionally well and tracks to the sights perfectly.

  4. #4
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    Mytmousemalibu's Avatar
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    Still an ongoing project for me. I have a nice M78 pattern, all original, numbers matching SN's. I really dont care for messing with originality of military arms especially but I bought it to enjoy shooting it. I luckily scored a spare bolt for mine for centerfire conversion so I can enjoy it. Im just going to machine a new CF striker for it. Unfortunately around here 8mm Lebel brass is hard to come by and .348 Win is no better. The immediate path I chose was to make my .41 Swiss from 32ga brass shotshell. Those are not the easiest to find either, I think Magtech/CBC is the only choice there. Definitely not a straight forward case forming job either, its a hassle. I'm 98% there on that front, I need to make a die to swage the base down at the rim just a little bit more. These are a balloon-head case so its doable. I also need to get me a proper heeled bullet mold as I want to replicate the service loads. Still have work to do but its backburner project, mess with it when I get the itch.Click image for larger version. 

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    ~ Chris


    Casting, reloading, shooting, collecting, restoring, smithing, etc, I love it all but most importantly, God, Family, The United States Constitution and Freedom...

    God Bless our Troops, Veterans and First Responders!

    Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas
    Accuracy, Power & Speed

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Well, I messed around and bought one today. 1869/71 model. I'll be taking the journey with you.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Been shooting one for a while.
    I use 8mmLebel cases.
    East to convert to center fire.
    Haven't shot it for a while.
    If I remember correct, the shell is a little short.
    Not long enough to feed through the tube magazine.
    To get around that, I glued a filler disc at the rear of the lifter.
    So much fun to shoot, and accurate.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Well, I'm committed now. Graf's had dies and lebel brass in stock, so I grabbed them.

    I have some molds that will work for test purposes while I get a better one.

  8. #8
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    The Lee 429-310 mold works well in all of mine.
    NRA Benefactor Member NRA Golden Eagle

  9. #9
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    Lots of writeups at swissrifles.com on the bolt conversion job, there is also a thread on there that will show you what mods you will have to make to your dies. There is a man on Swiss Rifles by the name of Norm Sutton that does the conversions, he is very fair priced and fast. His conversion consists of center drilling the bolt face and silver soldering an extension so the firing pin is one piece. I've done two and they are simple to do, I did have Norm do my third as I wanted to see how his system works.

    Accurate molds has several molds specifically for the Vetterli's I use the 43-335B, Norm just worked with Accurate to make a new mold that is a closer copy to the original.

    Your brass length is going to be dictated by the bullet you choose. Just about any .44 bullet will work, I had real good luck with the Lee 310 and it is long enough to cycle through your magazine with correct length brass. Also when you come up with the final length for your brass I had lee make me case length trimmer it was cheap and works well.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Winchester did work closely with the Swiss in developing their rifle. Winchester had come up with a Model 1867 that looked similar to what would become the 1873. Swiss gov't decided to go with the Vetterli bolt action, and Winchester magazine.
    Last edited by hpbear101; 05-16-2022 at 12:53 AM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    I know Brooks molds makes a HB heeled bullet mold that is just like the original, with the exception of a flat nose for safety.

    I have some work to do before I load ammo. Before I do anything, I have to see if I can clean up the throat. It was a little rusty. I'm going to give it the old scotchbrite treatment and see how it cleans up.

    On a related note, how do you guys crimp the heeled bullets? Or do you crimp them?

  11. #11
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    hpbear101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundermaker View Post
    I know Brooks molds makes a HB heeled bullet mold that is just like the original, with the exception of a flat nose for safety.

    I have some work to do before I load ammo. Before I do anything, I have to see if I can clean up the throat. It was a little rusty. I'm going to give it the old scotchbrite treatment and see how it cleans up.

    On a related note, how do you guys crimp the heeled bullets? Or do you crimp them?
    I would check with Lee and see if you can order a Factory Crimp Die it should work for heeled bullets.

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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