Original Item: Originally, this rifle was a single-shot bolt action in caliber 10.4 mm designed by Vetterli, with black powder propellant for the cartridge. In 1887, the M1870 was updated with a magazine designed by Vitali, giving it a four-round magazine, plus one in the chamber. In 1891, a new rifle and cartridge were adopted, and, when the Great War started and Italy expected to be involved eventually, a program of updating earlier rifles was initiated. The M1870-87 was consequently modified for the new cartridge. Modifications included a 6.5 mm barrel and a new magazine for the new Mannlicher-style clips. The new rifle was designated the Model 1870-87-15. The safety on the new rifle operates in an unusual but very practical way.
This sample is in excellent condition. The stock is made of fine walnut. It retains the unique bolt ramp and flamboyant trigger guard of the 19th Century versions. The Vitali magazine has been replaced with one suitable for Mannlicher clips, but the outline of the original Vitali magazine can be seen on the underside of the stock. This example includes an original cleaning rod and leather sling. The rear sight is of the old nineteenth-century called a quadrant sight. The battle sight setting is for 275 meters, while the maximum distance is 2000 meters.
In addition to its mechanical innovations, the Italian M1870-87-15 is a fine example of the European practice of adapting large-bore Nineteenth-Century black powder rifles to the new small-bore, magazine-loaded rifle configuration of the Twentieth Century.
Condition: Wood, very good plus; Metal, excellent.
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