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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Barracks (Moderators: Delmonico, Pitspitr)  |  Topic: Vetterl-Vitali (down on the farm) 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Vetterl-Vitali (down on the farm)  (Read 3399 times)
Drydock
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« on: August 10, 2017, 07:14:56 pm »


Wondering around a local farm sale a few weeks back, and there on an old kitchen table amidst the bric-a-brac is a looooonnnng goofy looking bolt action rifle.  Looking at the sale bill they handed me, I see "Old bolt action rifle"  Well yeah.

Bore is dirty, but sharp rifling, bet it cleans up good.

I want it.

But its got to go really cheap.  Hmmmmm, how to do it?

I know!  I'll get a coke, hang around the table, and speak the truth:

"Its a Vetterli"
"That's an old Italian Rifle"
"Terni, thems the same folks that made the Carcano"
"10.35 by 47 rimmed"
"Yeah, that's metric"
"Oh no, ya can't buy them, ya gotta MAKE 'em"
"Black powder only"
"8mm Lebel case . . . well the Lebel was an old French rifle . . ."

Hah!  Now I gotta load for the thing.  That's the next post.
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Drydock
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 07:35:23 pm »

Found a guy on "Etsy" making the cases out of PRVI Lebel cases.  

Midway has Lee 10.4x38 Swiss dies.https://www.midwayusa.com/product/729014/lee-pacesetter-2-die-set-104x38mm-rimmed-swiss-vetterli-41-swiss  My calipers tell me the dimensions are close enough except for length, I can probably use them to neck size.  Yep, works just fine, and there is enough adjustment in the decapper to work too.  Seating die works just fine too.  $35.  I've got a Lee universal expander to flare the case mouth.  The provided case holder is too small for the Lebel rim, but I've got one that works.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/511417/lee-2-cavity-bullet-mold-c430-310-rf-44-special-44-remington-magnum-44-40-wcf-430-diameter-310-grain-flat-nose-gas-check  No gas check.  I dip lube it in my can of BP lube, that gets a nice layer of mostly beeswax on the base of the bullet.  It needs all the lube it can get.  Seat it over 55 grains of 3f to the 2nd crimp goove with a light crimp.  I then run it up into a .303 brit sizing die to taper the case mouth into the bullet.  After the initial firing case capacity goes up to 60 grains, right where it should be.

It helps to grind a bit off the bottom of the 303 die, to reduce shoulder set back.

The bore cleans up very nice indeed,  shiny with a patch of frost here and there.  Took it out to the farm today, loaded up 4 in the magazine and tried it for the 1st time.  Made a nice group on a pie plate at 50 yards, once I got the awful sights figured out.  Feeds pretty slick too.  Cleaned up easy, the barrel looks even better now that I've shot it.  The humidity today helped I'm sure.


I need to go to more farm sales . . .
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Drydock
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 07:36:35 pm »

Oh yeah, this one is dated 1886.
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pony express
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 09:44:36 pm »

Well, you're ahead of me on the Vetterli loading/shooting! Had mine for a couple-3 years or so. Got 3 cases from Buffalo. Tried fire-forming cases as described on a post on Gunboards, only resulted in split cases. Just for kicks, fired a few .410 jacketed bullets loaded over some trailboss, hit the target at 20 yards. Bore diameter is about .408-409, so they probably barely stabilized. I understand there's a lot of variation in the chamber neck area. Some are somewhat tight, some are like a funnel. If you're going to make it to the August shoot, bring some of what you made, I'll see if it will chamber in mine! Getting the correct dies from CH4D would cost more than I have in the rifle. And a correct bullet mold from Accurate, another $100 or so.
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pony express
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 09:55:59 pm »

We'll start our own Bersaglieri  outfit:

http://www.d.umn.edu/~jschwetm/fall2009/engl1001/images/bersaglieri.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_4QlVRfDC7rs/TISvfPcgFSI/AAAAAAAAF84/MlYpaNpGWZw/s400/13%28281%29.jpg

Blue coat...white pants...cowboy hat with some feathers....
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Drydock
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 10:23:52 pm »

https://www.etsy.com/listing/512637937/reloading-brass-104x47r-italian-vetterli

Cases are well annealed, then opened up to 42 caliber.  The shoulder fireforms on the first loading, mine have all worked great.  The Lee 41 Swiss die has plenty of adjustment to reset the shoulder as needed.
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treebeard
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2017, 12:08:02 am »

Drydock-- Thanks for sharing your loading tips as iI was like Pony Express and was put off by the cost of the dies.  My curiosity got the better
Of me and I ordered  20 rounds of custom made found it very enjoyable rifle to shoot. I was surprised at how smooth the bolt action worked on extracting and ejecting fired cases and loading fresh one from the mag.
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Drydock
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2017, 03:35:36 am »

The Lee 41 Swiss case holder is a little small for the lebel rim, the Lee #17 (lebel) works just fine.https://www.midwayusa.com/product/422808/lee-universal-shellholder-17-8mm-lebel-43-spanish
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Drydock
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2017, 05:08:36 pm »

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5rigv5uwmG0/T_3H8n4qoZI/AAAAAAAALak/tTHuTW3Y_uc/s1600/bersagliere101.jpg

Hmm, that sure does look a lot like my 1874 Artillery sack coat . . .
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pony express
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 05:35:46 pm »

Sure does-red piping on the sleeves and collar. Just need to pluck some tail feathers from a black rooster.
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Drydock
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 07:17:02 pm »

https://colemans.com/shop/clothing/head-gear/italian-military-bersaglieri-infantry-hat/

Tempting . . .

I'll bring along all 20 of my rounds for you to try, Pony.  I'm frankly surprised how easy this turned out.  Thank goodness the Bodeo taught me about tapered Italian 10.4 chamber mouths and the 303 Brit die.
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pony express
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2017, 08:26:09 pm »

I thought about that, but wondered if the heavier and longer rifle bullets might be deformed by the taper of the .303 die. Besides, since I don't already have a .44 of any kind(oh, the shame!) I didn't have any bullets laying around to play with.
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Drydock
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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2017, 01:51:21 pm »

I'm on my third firing with some of these cases now, and have noticed some of the case mouths are a little uneven.  A Lee .44-40 case trimmer cleaned that right up.  This thing is really making me sort thru my "Box O' odds and ends".  

Humidity was lower today.  While all stayed on the paper plate, I needed the whole plate.  Really need more lube.  A heavier bullet would probably be more accurate too.
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River City John
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« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2017, 02:08:10 pm »

Let me know if there's going to be a Vetterli contingent at the Muster . . .

might be fun to have a Vetterli long range side match.






RCJ
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Drydock
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2017, 08:19:00 pm »

I don't really know why, but this thing really SOUNDS good.  I'm not sure the Italians had that in mind when they designed it, but by damn I love the particular cracking boom it makes.
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pony express
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« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2017, 09:28:51 pm »

With that fairly light bullet and 60gr powder, seems like you have an "Express" round. Have you chronographed it yet? Probably higher velocity than a 45-55-405 round-more powder, lighter bullet, smaller bore.
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Drydock
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« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2017, 07:46:45 pm »

Success!  Pony's Vetterli liked my loads, so they seem to work in rifles other than mine.  Also used the Vetterli and a Bodeo revolver for one stage of todays match, both worked fine, shot clean.  But now I really want a few of those Vitali charger clips!

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5455/9450084079_fc73ee0248.jpg
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Niederlander
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2017, 08:48:11 pm »

Doesn't your local Ace Hardware have those?!
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Drydock
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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2017, 08:50:01 pm »

Back ordered . . .
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pony express
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« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2017, 09:47:48 pm »

I think the local lumberyard may have them(in kit form).

Now I'm gonna have to make up a midway order-Swiss dies, a .44 mold of some kind. If it would work with a semi wadcutter, might make a deer round...
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treebeard
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« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2017, 10:18:34 pm »

Someone over on the gunboards Italian forum was working on getting those four round chargers into production.
I believe he was trying for late this year.
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Drydock
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« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2017, 05:03:03 pm »

Yep, that's AV Ballistics in Australia.  There's a bunch of us waiting to send him some money!

http://avbtechservices.com.au/catalog/  



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pony express
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« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2017, 05:49:28 pm »

And he's planning to make them for Beaumont-Vitali too, so I'll have to order double(if I ever get around to that project. Broken stocks where they cut out for the magazine are common)
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Drydock
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2017, 04:06:42 pm »

Was in Columbia this morning, stopped by Midway and picked up the Lee 430-310 mold.  Cast a half dozen when I got back to Meta, loaded them up, and went out to the farm.  Bingo!  Ah, Bellissima!  The Rifle loves these compared to the 240s I was using.  2" group without really trying.  With my alloy (melted Shot) dropped at .427 at the driving bands, .426 just above the first crimp groove.  I loaded to the 2nd crimp groove, no problems in any of my dies.  Left off the gas check (black powder boat tail) and dipped lubed the bullets.  Had a greasy muzzle.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/511417/lee-2-cavity-bullet-mold-c430-310-rf-44-special-44-remington-magnum-44-40-wcf-430-diameter-310-grain-flat-nose-gas-check

Pony, I think that would make a dandy deer bullet.
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pony express
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« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2017, 09:26:23 pm »

I suspect you're getting better accuracy with the longer bullets because by seating them out a couple of lube grooves, you're leaving part of the bullet at groove diameter. The short bullets, since the entire bearing surface is inside the case, gets "sized" to something somewhat smaller than groove diameter when you run the loaded round into the .303 die. That would only work if it was a hollow base bullet.
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Barracks (Moderators: Delmonico, Pitspitr)  |  Topic: Vetterl-Vitali (down on the farm) « previous next »
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