Swiss M1878 Vetterli Rifle

SKU: FR1800 Categories: ,


The Swiss Vetterli rifle, designed by Swiss designer Friedrich Vetterli, the manager of the
Neuhausen factory, was adopted in both Switzerland and Italy. It utilized a Henry
(Winchester) M1866 type tubular magazine and a bolt system derived from the German
Dreyse needle fire rifle. The Swiss Vetterli was the first repeating rifle widely adopted for
military service. It was originally adopted by the Swiss military in 1868 and was the most
advanced military rifle of its time. It went into widespread production with the M1869 and
was improved several times, first with the M1871 which eliminated the loading gate cover,
which proved to be redundant. Using a rimfire cartridge, the Vetterli was the first repeating
bolt action rifle to feature a self-cocking action and a small caliber bore. It featured a round
33.1″ blued barrel of 10.4 mm x 38 (.41) caliber which was secured to the walnut full stock
by two barrel bands. It had a 12 round capacity in its tubular magazine enclosed in the
wooden fore stock. In 1875 a new production factory was opened in Bern which produced
the M1878. It featured some 25 improvements, including a new bayonet and lug, improved
sights and a finger hook on the trigger guard. This example profusely marked with
“WAFFENFABRIK/BERN/201841/M.78″ on the left side of the receiver, full matching serial
number on the barrel and matching last three numbers on the bolt, trigger, trigger housing,
trigger guard, and butt plate tang. Numerous inspection stamps. Front blade sight and
folding rear sight adjustable to 1200 meters. Metal retains most of its original blued finish
with scattered surface corrosion. Walnut full stock showing dings and scratches from field
use; the butt stock with figured grain and deeply stamped on top with “D1 (Swiss cross)
C1″ in a rectangle, possibly a unit marking. Lacking the cleaning rod. Overall length 52″.