Vetterli Rifle

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The Vetterli rifle is a system designed by Swiss rifle maker Johann-Friedrich Vetterli. The Vetterligewehr marked the beginning of the multi-shot repeating rifle in the Swiss infantry in 1869. The weapon was one of the most advanced of its day in Europe. With an eleven-round tubular magazine and the rotary bolt with cylinder by Vetterli, this repeating rifle was superior to the infantry weapons common at the time.

During the American Civil War, the superiority of repeating rifles over single-shot rifles was clearly demonstrated. This led the Swiss Federal Council to instruct the Commission for Army Armament to consider the introduction of such a rifle. The results were recorded in writing in a detailed message from the Federal Council to the Federal Assembly on January 9, 1863. The results of the shooting tests gave rise to a closer look at the choice of caliber.

After trials with the Henry and Winchester rifles, it was decided for the time being to acquire such weapons in the Swiss 10.5 mm ordnance caliber or to manufacture them themselves. After various trials, however, the commission agreed on a system developed by Johann Friederich Vetterli in 1867, combining the Winchester tubular magazine and cartridge feed under the barrel with a Dreyse cylinder breech. In contrast to the rifle introduced in 1869, the 1867 prototype had a hammer instead of the firing mechanism integrated in the breech cylinder. In 1870, Vetterli filed patent US109277 on the improvements.

Vetterli rifles served in the Swiss army from 1869 to 1890 (M1869/70, M1871, M1878, M1881 versions, both rifles, and carbines). The Italian army also adopted this rifle as the M1870 (single-shot version, in 10.35x47mm R) and later put on service a modified version known as the Vetterli-Vitali equipped with a four-round box magazine designed by Giuseppe Vitali, also found on the Beaumont-Vitali Rifle (M1870/87 in 10.35x47mm R and M1870/87/15, converted to 6.5x52mm). During World War I, a party of Vetterli-Vitali rifles were purchased by Russia. The Vetterli Rifle was gradually replaced by the Schmidt-Rubin Rifle as the standard service rifle for the Swiss Army in the 1890s.

Vetterli rifles can be identified by the unique shape of its trigger guard.

Contents

Specifications

Vetterli Modell 1869/71

Type: Rifle

Caliber: 10.4 mmR Swiss

Weight: 4.6 kg (10.1 lb)

Length: 1.3 m (51.18 in)

Barrel length: 842 mm (33.14 in)

Capacity: 11-round tubular magazine

Vetterli Model 1869/71

Vetterli Repetiergewehr Modell 1869/71 - 10.4mm

In improved variants, it was to remain the main weapon of the infantry until the introduction of the Schmidt-Rubin Model 1889. The Model 1869/71 is the first improved version for the Gewehrpatrone 71 (10.4mm rimfire). The model was 1300mm long, weighed 4.7 kilos, had a walnut stock, and sight up to 1200 meters. The tubular magazine under the barrel was inspired by the Winchester rifle. The cavalry got a short model with a 6-round magazine.


The Vetterli Model 1869/71 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:


Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
Finances of the Grand Duke (Die Finanzen des Großherzogs) A conspirator Supposedly M69/71 1924
Frontier (Aerograd) A sectant Rifle of unclear model 1935
Boris Dobronravov Aniky Shabanov Converted shotgun
The Last Chance German soldiers and Italian partisans 1945
Is Paris Burning? Roland Armontel An elderly French Resistance fighter 1966
The Last Hunt (Poslednyaya okhota) Afanasiy Trishkin Schulz Sporterized M69/71 1980
Serenity Weston Nathanson A bank clerk Carbine M69/71 2005

Television

Show Title Actor Character Note Air Date
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (Priklyucheniya Sherloka Holmsa i doktora Vatsona) Nikolai Kryukov Colonel Sebastian Moran Sporterized rifle based on Vetterli system 1980
Vitaly Solomin Dr. Watson
Boryslav Brondukov Inspector Lestrade

Anime

Title Character Note Date
The Empire of Corpses Nikolai Krasotkin 2015
Ulysses Simpson Grant

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Hunt: Showdown "Vetterli 71 Karabiner" Scope and bayonet available Vetterli M1869/71 Carbine 2018


Vetterli Model 1870

Vetterli Kadettengewehr Modell 1870 - 10.4mm

The single-shot M1870 was issued only to army cadets and was the basis for further improved versions. It fired a somewhat weaker cartridge which was inserted into the chamber from the top instead of through the side-mounted loading gate. The stock was made entirely on wood


The Vetterli Model 1870 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:


Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
The Last Chance Italian partisans 1945


Vetterli Model 1878

Vetterli Repetiergewehr Ord. 1878 - 10.35x47mm R

To increase production, the weapon was simplified and manufactured at the newly built Eidgenössische Waffenfabrik Bern. The 1878 and 1881 models had a new saber bayonet with a saw, improved sights, and an additional finger hook on the trigger guard. Magazine capacity rifle 12 plus 1 round. The M1878 was only built for a very short time and differs from the M1878/81 and M1881 mainly by the rear sight. Many supposed M1878 are actually M1878/81; most weapons were rebuilt and many weapons built as M1881 were still stamped with M.78 on the receiver.


The Vetterli Model 1878 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:


Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
The Kaiser's Lackey German soldiers 1966


Vetterli-Vitali M1870/87

Vetterli-Vitali M1870/87 - 10.35x47mm R

Modification for use by the Italian army, equipped with a Vitali 4-round box magazine. The Vetterli-Vitali is notable for being probably the first rifle to have a charger device (clip), with that could fill a magazine in the shortest possible time.


The Vetterli-Vitali M1870/87 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:


Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
The Death Ray (Luch smerti) seen on the ground 1925
Do Not Set Traps for Leshiy... (Ne stavte Leshemu kapkany...) A bandit 1981
The Winter Hut on the Studyonaya (Zimovye na Studyonoy) Dmitri Nalivaichuk Liodor Converted shotgun, probably based on M1870/70 1986
Yuriy Dubrovin Mikhey Zotych

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Rainbow Six Siege Unusable 2015
Battlefield 1 M1870/87 and M1870/87 Carbine. Introduced in "In the Name of the Tsar" DLC (2017) 2016
Tannenberg "Vetterli-Vitali M1870/87" 2019

Vetterli M1870/87/15

Vetterli M1870/87/15 - 6.5x52mm


The Vetterli M1870/87/15 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:


Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
Operation Caviar A German soldier 1961


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