Saturday, March 28, 2009

Just Curious...a Custom Ammunition Question

If one happened to have a lovely but ancient Vetterli Swiss Rifle Model 1869/71 (don't hate me if that's not its proper name - tho I think I have it right) and desired to know if it could still shoot...how would one get proper ammunition?

Also, if the wood supporting the barrel at the end 1/3rd is cracked at the bottom (where the rod groove is cut) would that be the end of any future firing of the weapon?

I cannot fathom how people hauled these things around. They weigh a TON compared to modern weapons...but it sure is a handsome thing. I don't think it has a lot of value on the market so in terms of it being useful...well, that's what I'd like to know.

7 comments:

Brigid said...

I believe that rifle used a black powder rim fire cartridge. I doubt any would be available, probably for the last hundred years or so. I've heard they can be converted to fire a low pressure center fire cartridge, but it's not something I would
have the heart to do.

Yes, they are lovely old beasts, and wonderful engineering. Consider that in their day many armies still had muzzle loaders, or single shot breach loaders... and the Swiss rifle was a marvel. It held thirteen rounds, unheard of for the day.

Sounds like a great collectible, and a beautiful wall hanger, but probably not a shooter. Maybe someone with more knowledge could shed better light.

MauserMedic said...

Perhaps this site would be of use?

http://www.collani.ch/Vetterli-Patronen-e.htm

MauserMedic said...

Additional conversion information:

http://collectorguns35625.yuku.com/topic/745/t/Vetterli-Centerfire-Conversion-simplified.html

I'm generally opposed to altering as-issued rifles, but when it's matter of keeping them running rather than making them "tactical" (function vs form).....better to keep an old soldier running than gathering dust.

LauraB said...

Thanks, all!!

I'd found this place also (which helped me ID it in the past...)
http://www.swissrifles.com/ammo/#10.4

I sure would like to keep it as-is vs. editing the gun to use modern ammunition.

Being an ammo newb, I will have to learn a lot more before I can make an educated decision about the thing. I'd hate to have a decorative object if it could be made useful again.

MauserMedic said...

An additional idea: try purchasing an already converted bolt for use, keeping the original bolt for correct configuration. Probably difficult to find, but less difficult than finding that rimfire ammunition. Best of luck!

LauraB said...

I suspect,MM, that is precisely what we ought to do - after all, this is not some heirloom piece and invaluable. But when it comes to putting the thing somewhere else in a holding pattern? Yeah, just the candidate, I think.

So that is a fine search to start working on...matter of fact, I happen to know a gentleman who has all he needs to make the thing from scratch. Hmmm.

LauraB said...

Pfft. Trooper shoved his dumb ol light up in the barrel and said "see? pitting on the side there?" and then pokes at the business end - says something about the crown or whatever.

I know what it is - he just doesn't want ME to have the biggest bang!