You have an Italian Vetterli service rifle. These were first issued without a magazine (single-shots) and fired a black-powder cartridge. They were issued these bolt-action rifles when we were still using the Trapdoor. Some time later, the Italians attached a Vitale magazine to these rifles, converting them into repeaters.
Yours has gone one step further and was rechambered in WWI to the 6.5 Carcano round (and in the process received a newer, Mannlicher magazine) for use by rear-echelon and colonial troops. The rifle is probably strong enough for the 6.5, but barely so. I would hand-load for it and load it down some to keep things safe.
August 12, 2004, 10:12 PM
Here is confirmation of what Ash said. :)
August 12, 2004, 10:17 PM
Super, thanks for the quick response guys!
August 12, 2004, 11:26 PM
Ash left out one important piece of information.
Even downloading the 6.5 Carcano cartrige for this rifle is still questionable. They (this model of rifle, revised) were issued to units/troops who were very unlikely to ever fire them.
It makes a splendid wall-hanger, IYGMD.
August 12, 2004, 11:28 PM
I saw a long distance photo of this on Glocktalk with no markings etc. He's right.... and teh hole in the bottom of the magazine is a bonafide no mistaking it mark of a Mannlicher-clip-system rifle. After the last shot the clip falls out the bottom.
August 13, 2004, 09:40 AM
That's a "No shoot! I Droppa da Gun!" Italian rifle :p
August 13, 2004, 07:45 PM
Big G wrote, "That's a 'No shoot! I Droppa da Gun!' Italian rifle".
Actually the main reason for converting those old rifles was due to the huge losses of men and equipment in heavy fighting in some of the worst country in Europe, the eastern Alps. While stymied in part by poor leadership (seemingly almost a given on the Allied side in WWI), the Italian troops fought with very great courage and determination, and kept a large part of the Austro-Hungarian army tied down and off the Western Front.
That fighting is one of the least known parts of WWI history. Whole shelves of books have been written about the Western Front and the Russian campaigns, but very little about the Alpine fighting and the Italian front. The only book about that area I can recall offhand is "A Farewell to Arms", which is hardly a detailed history.
August 14, 2004, 03:55 AM
One of those shotgun news had a big article about thes rifle, it was pretty recent. i just remember them talking about not firing these rifles because they were rechambered for a round they couldnt handle.
August 14, 2004, 02:22 PM
One of those shotgun news had a big article about this rifle
I'm going to try to find that article. If any knows which issue it was or can tell me where to find it, I'd greatly appreciate it.
August 20, 2004, 04:12 PM
Jim Keenan wrote: That fighting is one of the least known parts of WWI history. True, Jim - - You mention A Farewell to Arms as one example, saying it is "hardly a detailed history," which is also quite true.
Another worthwhile work of fiction, with a good deal more detail of the soldiers' lives, and some interesting combat scenes: A Soldier of the Great War, by Mark Helprin. That author's style is nearly 180 degrees from Hemingway's, and makes an interesting contrast.
Apparently Helprin either has some firearms knowledge of his own, or did some astute research - - The young narrator, an Italian soldier, takes care to obtain a Mauser for his long range shooting chores, observes the type rifles in use by the Austrian opponents, and makes good use of a sidearm on occasion.
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