Shooting the Vetterli 1870/87/15 6.5 Conversion

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  • Last Post 12 May 2018
David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 02 January 2018

I have this rifle but have gotten definitive answers as to shooting it with handloaded CB loads. Does anyone have experience shooting it safely or should I just leave it in the safe? 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys & Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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rjmeyer314p posted this 09 January 2018

I had one of these about 20 years ago. I know I shot it, but couldn't find any records of it in my shooting journal. I finally sold it because I wasn't sure it was safe. I never had any problems with it.  I don't remember what accuracy I got with it.

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RicinYakima posted this 09 January 2018

David, I don't have a definitive answer. However, the Italian government thought that it was safe to shoot at least some rounds thought it. History says they did it because they had lots of rifles, no more old ammo and could make the conversion work. It was a third line weapons, guards and clerks, etc. They did fire all the conversions with 40,000 psi standard ammo. So, for cast loads, you might take a chance. Ric

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 09 January 2018

Ric,

That pretty much confirms my research so far. There is just so many conflicting stories on the net, one person saying they have shot theirs many times with factory ammo with no problems, another says he blew up his rifle, you don't know who to believe. My thought is that it shouldn't be an issue with low powered handloads. 

 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys & Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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RicinYakima posted this 09 January 2018

David, IMHO, the internet is not a reliable source of safety information. Where are names, dates and pictures of blown up rifles? Would a government who was short of troops give them a rifle that would "blow up" wasting time, gold and personnel? Each one should be looked at as a single antique rifle and a judgement made for it. Ric

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 09 January 2018

hi david ...  our late good guy joe weist had some vetterlii and shot at the wind hill range ... maybe some of those guys would chime in here, maybe a phone call to dan hudson ... .... and of course there is some vetterli discussion here under * search * ....

... and remember ... you need for safety considerations not only a tight rifle but modern brass ..... stay safe ...

ken

 

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 11 January 2018

Thanks Ken, I had plan on using new or once fired recent made brass and no factory ammo. Since they converted a few hundred 1000 of these and used loads with the first generation of smokeless powder, I figure it should be safe to shoot with some low powered cb loads. The receiver does feature two vent holes which was later did away with. So I think they did not encounter much trouble with the loads of the time. Also I think that any blow-ups in recent times probably occurred with factory loads or hot handloads in rifles that had other issues. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys & Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Paavo posted this 12 May 2018

I  realize that this is an old post but I just now read it. I have an Italian Vetterli like yours and it is one of the most accurate of the many old rifles that I have. Using an oversize bullet [.268] 140 grain cast and 6 grains of Trailboss  at 50 yards I can get  quarter size 5 shot groups and they are subsonic.  You might try 6 grains of 2400 or 5 grains of  Unique also. One of my favorite rifles because it is so bizarre yet it shoots so well. Paavo.

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 12 May 2018

Thank you Paavo, your suggestions is right on par with my research. Really glad to hear you get such accuracy.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys & Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Ed Harris posted this 12 May 2018

Have never shot one of the rifles, but handled one briefly when visiting Giorgio in Italy.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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