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DMala
Posted - 09/10/2004 : 11:41:46 AM
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This may be of limited interest, but I wanted to let everyone know that on Gunbroker there is currently for auction a Vetterli 70/87/16, which has the stock plugged where in the late 1880s a Krnka-type ammo feeding device was installed, as parte of experimental evaluations of the Regio Esercito, which never further developed the device. The existing modified stocks were either left with the metal plates where the device was screwed in (like the one I have), or the holes were plugged (like in this case).
This experimentation was part of the general search for incresing the fire power of the single-shot Vetterlis, which shortly afterwards led to the adoption of the Vitali system, and maybe of the 70/87 ones too, since this is dated 1889 (unless a recycled stock was used at some time).

I am not sure if it is possible to post the link of an active auction, so for now I would just suggest those interested to search Gunbroker.com for item 22694134 . I have no personal interest/advantage in the auction's outcome.



War is Peace
Posted - 09/13/2004 : 03:13:31 AM
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While on the subject of modified Vetterli rifles, please take a look at the following photos:

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/war is peace/200491322543_Vetterli Mag Housing.jpg
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/war is peace/200491322625_M70-87-15 Vetterli.jpg
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102.01 KB

About 2 years ago I posted these photos here on Tuco's and I posed the question whether this rifle was simply (and crudely) modified by someone who wanted to mount the rifle to his wall with a couple of screws or whether this piece could have been affixed to a piece of artillery and used as a "spotting" rifle? In similar fashion, the Japanese attached Type 38 Arisaka rifles to their large bore "guns" by way of a bolt which passed through a threaded nut embedded into the buttstock.

The buttstock has the following cartouche:

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/war is peace/200491331531_Vett Cartouche.jpg
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Portions of the script are not legible, and I cannot speak or read Italian, but I believe that the cartouche denotes useage by an artillery unit. Yes? No? Your thoughts?


What are your thoughts about my punctured Vetterli? I have a hard time understanding why someone would drill holes through a rifle in order to mount it to the wall, but, unfortunately, that's the most likely explanation. The piece in question was not modified or abused in any other way and it otherwise remains in very good original condition. Complete with the proper cleaning rod, it cost less than $50.



DMala
Posted - 09/13/2004 : 1:04:13 PM
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Dear War is Peace, the holes in the stock of your piece seem different from the one I was referring to, since they appear to be circular, instead of oval. Do I also see correctly that there is only one hole near the magazine? In the piece with the (alleged) Krnka feeder attachments there is two. Yours also has a hole by the forend. So, I do not know what were they made for. I tend to think that they may be more likely to be related to some experimental tests done during the many years of service of these Vetterlis. I never heard of them being used as spotters on artillery pieces, but maybe experimentally at some point this may have been done, who knows.



DMala
Posted - 09/13/2004 : 1:09:23 PM
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Ah! I forgot to comment on the Officina Costruzioni d'Artiglieria - Roma 1918 stamp. (Artillery Contruction Workshop). This is a stamp that I have seen in basically every 70/87/16. It is unclear to me if this was made when the 6.5mm conversion was made, or if it denotes that in 1917-18 all Vetterlis to be converted undewent an inspection in Rome, but the conversion was acually done at a later stage. The latter hypothesis would be supported by the fact that some 6.5mm Vetterlis have such 1917-18 stock stamp, but a later conversion date stamped sideways to the construction date on the barrel flat.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
DMala
Posted - 01/03/2005 : 1:18:53 PM
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Vetterli 70/87 TS carbines are uncommon in the US, but maybe to define them as "rare" is a bit too much. Over the past 4 years I may have seen 4-5 for sale.

The sample in question [from an exprired Gunbroker auction] is interesting because it has the attachment plates for what it may have been an experimental Krnka-type of ammo feeding device. I never found details about it, but past discussions on this board pointed in such direction. First time I see it on a TS carbine. Once in a while it is possible to find 70/87/16 long rifles with such plates, or their plugged-in holes.



Gianluca
Italy
Posted - 01/04/2005 : 4:20:58 PM
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Those screw heads are not recoil lugs, but the early kind of Vitali magazine attachment, not so common to find. Here you can see an infantry model 70/87/16 with this kind of magazine attachment, along with another one wich was altered in standard Vitali configuration.

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/gianluca/200514162015_early vitali mag att.JPG
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DMala
Posted - 01/05/2005 : 11:17:07 AM
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Originally posted by Gianluca
Those screw heads are not recoil lugs, but the early kind of Vitali magazine attachment, not so common to find. Here you can see an infantry model 70/87/16 with this kind of magazine attachment, along with another one wich was altered in standard Vitali configuration
Dear Gianluca, could you please clarify what you mean by "early Vitali magazine attachment"? As far as I know (based on unconfirmed information, so I may be wrong on this), in the early 1880s the Italian Royal Army conducted various experiments to improve the volume of fire of the single shot Vetterlis. Among other idea tested, an ammo feeding device similar to the Krnka device (actually simply an ammo box attached next to the receiver, to expedite reloading) was tested (see the book "Dal Carcano al FAL"). I presume that the stock plates in the sample under discussion where installed for such purpose. The idea was not developed (luckily!) and instead the efficient and modern magazine system invented by Vitali was later adopted.
Now, do you have records showing that there was an early system of attachment for such magazine, or is it rather an hypothesis (maybe good, I do not know, I never heard it before)?

Ciao e grazie per i chiarimenti da un connazionale residente negli USA.



Gianluca
Italy
Posted - 01/10/2005 : 04:03:44 AM
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Due to his rarity, I thought this kind of attachment was the early , then replaced with standard Vitali system. After your post, I check on many books and magazine articles with no results. Only “Dal Carcano al Fal” speaks briefly about Krnka device, with no pictures. So I decided to ask to one of the most skilled vetterli collectors (the owner of rifles in the picture) about the Krnka feeding device. He told me that he never saw neither rifle equipped with Krnka device, nor picture or drawings about it. He also told me that a magazine article about Vetterli rifles was recently issued, showing a rifle with the two peculiar slots, but with no explanation.
So, your hypothesis could be correct or not, we do not know at present.
Anyway, I will continue to search info about this matter.
I will keep you informed.

Ciao e grazie a te.



DMala
Posted - 01/10/2005 : 3:07:19 PM
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OK, thanks.

Just for everybody's information, the previous discussions I referred to consisted of a forum member who had seen how this Krnka device was installed on Berdan rifles, and stated that these Vetterli plates look quite similar. This was maybe 2 years ago or so.



JPS
Posted - 01/10/2005 : 6:15:08 PM
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Yo Mala & Company,

I was the culpret that produced the photos of the Berdan II with the Krnka quick loading system attached. I am not at home right now and do not have a copy of the photo on my laptop. I'll post it again on this thread when I get home.

The placement of the holes in these Vetterlis would put them in the exact same location as those seen on the Krnka quick loader equipped Berdan IIs. The Russians experimented with this system in an attempt to increase the rate of fire of the single shot rifles.

The device consisted of a sheet metal framework that accepted an open topped cardboard carton of cartridges. When the carton was empty, it was discarded and a new one set in it's place. The concept worked great on the firing range! If only you could have arranged to conduct your battles on the firing range, the system might have been adopted! Needless to say, it was a total failure under field conditions due to constant spillage of the ammunition. It also did not do much to improve the balance of the weapon for accurate firing. A number of different countries experimented with this system during late 1870s. Italy is mentioned in at least one source, as I recall, based on the original thread.

I'll post the photos again when I get home.



B1acksmith
Posted - 01/11/2005 : 08:50:38 AM
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Britian also experimented with a similar device to attach to the Martini Henry, but it was not adopted for the same reason, cartridge boxes on the belt are almost as fast and less likely to spill.



Gianluca
Italy
Posted - 01/12/2005 : 04:04:43 AM
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This is a good news, I will wait for those pictures. May be we could find out the distance between fastening screw to compare with Vetterli oval slots distance.



DocAV
Posted - 01/12/2005 : 08:04:56 AM
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Whilst Karol Krnka (aka "Krenk") had designed a "box holder" for cartridges, some of the British adaptations actually used a spring loaded magazine, which was held on the side of the receiver; Cartridges could be "extracted" by hand from the metal box, as if they were in a Real Modern magazine; No spillage, except maybe when refilling the box...the spring had a thumblever to depress the spring whilst filling the box.
 
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