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  1. #1
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    Default RELOAD: 10,35x47 R for Vetterli-Vitali

    NebrHogger
    Posted - 04/09/2004 : 7:55:53 PM
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    My bore diameter is .430 as nearly as I can tell. I have some cerrosafe on the way and will post dimensions. The 10.4X47R brass I got from Dave at Buffalo arms is a smidge tight, but fits ok.



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 04/09/2004 : 8:08:42 PM
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    (...) I noticed the same thing with 6.5 Carcano ammo by Norma - velocity and accuracy were wanting to say the least. The Norma Carcano ammo didn't fit the GPC clips as well as the Graf brass, either.



    DocAV
    Posted - 04/09/2004 : 8:34:35 PM
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    10,4 Vetterli cases are usually made from .348 Win. Brass. If the head is not swaged approx. by .005, from the Winchester .348 dimensions, there can be some sticking in the chamber. Whilst some advocate a light pass of the head of the case for about 1/4 inch before the rim, in a lathe, I prefer to use "ring" head swaging dies and a screw press (press in, press out). That will definitely eliminate the "stickiness" of the formed cases.

    As to the 6,5 Norma Carcano ammo, most inaccuracies stem from the fact that until lately (with the arrival of Hornady .268 Bullets) all the normal European makers of Commercial 6,5 Italian have used .264 diameter bullets, leading to improper obturation and loss of accuracy.
    Hand load with some Hornady .268 (6,5) prohjectiles, and your accuracy should take an immediate quantum leap.



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 04/09/2004 : 10:00:34 PM
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    Thanks, Doc! I'll see about reducing the resized 348 brass.

  2. #2
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    Default

    An update to this post: After considerable experimentation, the most accurate hand load I found uses a bullet from the dedicated 10.4X47R mold RCBS USED to make and 49.0 grains of 777 black powder sub. I use two .030 Walters wads & get velocities just under 1400 fps.

    Another very accurate hand load was 53.0 grains of Pyrodex CTG with the same bullet & wads. Sadly, I believe that powder is no longer made, but other handloaders may have a supply remaining on hand. Velocities in the 1350 fps range.

    The RCBS mold is only marked "10.4X74 R" ( their typo) apparently it was a limited run. I asked if they yet have the cherry that more could be made but received no satisfactory answer.

    The brass I bought from Buffalo Arms needed only a pass through a FL sizing die to chamber properly. A friend who also shoots this caliber has had good results making cartridges for this and 41 Swiss from 8mm Lebel brass as sold by Grafs. SW
    Last edited by 5thDragoons; 10-02-2007 at 08:33 AM. Reason: spelling and add data
    Of all the things I ever lost, I miss my mind the most.

  3. #3
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    Default 1870/87 bore and chamber cast

    Thank you very much for this very appreciable update, NebrHogger a.k.a. 5th Dragoons!

    Here is another repost:

    NebrHogger
    Posted - 04/13/2004 : 01:11:52 AM
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    I got my cerrosafe today and cast the chamber of my 1883 Vetterli tonight. I also slugged the bore and it's .429 (as near as my cheap dial caliper can measure) Chamber dimensions are the same as the 10.4 X 47R brass I got from Buffalo Arms. There's only the faintest indication of the case mouth - which is consistent with a heeled bullet? I don't have radius gauges, but everything I measured is close enough that I plan to order dies from B.A. for the above cal and the mould from RCBS mentioned by Dmala. If anyone wants specific dimensions, I will be glad to post same. SW
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    If you got to shoot, Shoot! Don't talk!
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    Edited by - NebrHogger on 04/13/2004 08:50:17 AM



    Parashooter
    Posted - 04/13/2004 : 12:14:12 PM
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    What is the diameter of the chamber neck at the junction with the shoulder and at the mouth of the case?



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 04/13/2004 : 2:44:43 PM
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    Neck outside diameter at junction of shoulder- .450 - This is an approximation due to the lack of a well-defined shoulder. The neck diameter at the mouth shows the same. On the brass I have from BA, the case mouth measures .440, and the neck at what I perceive as the shoulder is .456

    I measure the shoulder as .526, and shoulder to mouth shows .530
    The length of the shoulder itself is .3"

    Again, I'm not especially well-practiced at machinist's measuring, and the shoulder seems to consist more of radii than angles. I hope this is of some use. SW



    Parashooter
    Posted - 04/13/2004 : 3:24:57 PM
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    In that chamber, you should not need heeled bullets unless your case neck walls are thicker than .010". With straight-shanked bullets sized .429" to fit your groove diameter, the O.D. of the neck with bullet seated will be .429"+.010"+.010" = .449". If your case neck walls are thicker than .010", it's easy enough to turn them. Your cases measuring .456" at the neck/shoulder junction will apparently need neck-sizing or reaming/turning before use to fit in your .450" chamber at this point.

    Like the familiar .22 LR, chambers made for heeled bullets normally do not display a well-defined "mouth". The Swiss Vetterli chamber illustrated below has a fairly steep-tapered neck/throat that offers some unusual challenges. I'd certainly enjoy seeing a similar dimensioned picture of an Italian Vetterli chamber cast.





    NebrHogger
    Posted - 04/13/2004 : 4:12:39 PM
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    I'll give it a try, but I'm not computer swift enough to add graphics. I also have a bottom end digicam that doesn't show small objects too well. I'm going to work later on this evening - not sure exactly when, but I'll give it a shot when I get back in a couple of days. Thanks for your input!! SW



    DMala
    Posted - 04/21/2004 : 10:48:55 AM
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    If you have access to a scanner it will take a picture of the cast more easily than a camera.
    Last edited by Carcano; 10-02-2007 at 09:51 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Feeding the Vetterli-Vitali 1870/87?

    The following is one of the best and most thorough threads of the Second Board, which I am glad to conserve and retrieve. My respect and thanks to all who contributed!

    * * *

    NebrHogger
    Posted - 03/31/2004 : 10:20:42 PM
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    I got crazed & bought one today. It's in very good shape with an excellent shiny bore, and the rifling is sharp. Sorry about the lack of pics; it's too long for my bottom-end digicam. It lacks a sling & cleaning rod which were my bargaining points to get it for 240 - down from 300. I'll call Buffalo Arms in the am & order some brass. I'm not sure about dies, but I'll check around. In the meantime:

    Does anyone have any recommendations for reloading 10.4 X 47R? Cartridges of the World shows black powder & IMR 4198. It also showed a .430 bullet diameter. Well, I have all those components, and .430 lead bullets in a variety of weights - I've been shooting some hard-cast 325 grainers in my 444 lately. I undertand perfectly if people don't wish to share their actual loads, but I would also like to be pointed in the direction of some data. A link or site, perhaps?

    With the bore in the condition it is and the fine sights, I think this gun could be made to shoot! Thanks! SW



    mag
    Posted - 04/01/2004 : 12:49:49 AM
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    You will need heeled bullets. Buffalo has those also and they are a good bullet. The base of the heeled bullet will be .410 , the body .430. I just neck size with a 41 mag die and seat with a 45 acp die. Other than that you will have to buy high $ dies. My best load has been 21.0 of 2400 powder at 1340 fps. I has really shot well for me. mag



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 04/01/2004 : 1:26:39 PM
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    Thank you for your reply! I just ordered brass, but he said he didn't have bullets or moulds. Would a regular 44 gascheck mould work if the gas check was left off? I also passed on the $90 dies until I can get a bullet to work. Any other bullet suggestions would be greatly appreciated! SW



    mag
    Posted - 04/02/2004 : 12:43:51 AM
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    I have bought the heeled bullet from them. You can give your bullet a try but it has to be close to .410 at the base and seat far enough in the case to stay out of the rifling. Plus you need to be sure your rifle in chambered in 10.4 not the earlier 10.35 . Most with the 87 conversion are in 10.4. A 10.4 will not chamber in a 10.35 gun and the guns bore sizes are different. Yes I know many books list them as the same but they are not, one of those bit of information lost over the years. I have guns in both. Slug your bore to be sure. mag



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 04/03/2004 : 05:28:18 AM
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    Ah, more good information! It's starting to look like I'll have to get a custom mould maker to machine me one. Cartridge overall length minus case length should be a good starting measurement to begin this project, but I'm still uncertain about the heel. Any ideas/advice about the heel dimensions of this bullet? Maybe a book that would have an illustration? Thanks! SW



    Parashooter
    Posted - 04/03/2004 : 11:11:44 AM
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    To determine the heel diameter, first find the chamber neck diameter at the mouth of the case. If you don't want to make a chamber cast, you can "slug" the neck by closing the bolt on a soft lead .45-.50" ball backed by a hardwood dowel the same length as the case-minus-half the ball diameter.

    Image below shows such a setup for the 10.4x38 Swiss Vetterli. For the 47mm Italian case, the dowel would be 1.6" long with a .50" ball.



    For Italian chamber:
    <-------------1.6"--------------->
    <-----------------1.85"----------------->

    Heel diameter is the chamber neck diameter minus twice the case neck wall thickness. For example, if your chamber neck is .440" and your case walls .010", the maximum heel diameter is .420". If you find the maximum heel diameter is greater than the groove diameter, you can use standard bullets without rebated heel.

    Measuring dimensions yourself ensures data will be accurate for your rifle, rather than a reflection of other rifles which might vary from yours. I would be interested to see results of such neck measurements to learn how much variation exists in Italian Vetterli chambers.



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 04/03/2004 : 11:32:03 AM
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    Since I need some stuff from Brownells anyway, I'll get some cerrosafe next week and do as you suggest. I will certainly share the information. What are your thoughts on the length of the heel? SW



    Parashooter
    Posted - 04/03/2004 : 8:25:36 PM
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    The Swiss 1871 design gives a clue about what might be a minimal length for the heel. Total, including the crimping groove, is 7.5mm.



    I take this to be a minimal heel length because the Swiss were apparently doing everything possible to minimize cartridge length for high capacity in the tubular magazine. With the longer Italian case, a longer heel would work if the forward section had plenty of groove-diameter surface to engage the rifling.



    NebrHogger
    Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member
    Posted - 04/03/2004 : 10:41:16 PM
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    This looks very much like the bullet for the 10.35 Italian Vetterli Model 1871 on page 68 of Datig's 3rd cartridge collector's book. Grease grooves exposed and everything. I exchanged e-mail with a single shot collector today, and he thought the heel should be no longer than .2 or .25 inch. After I get the chamber cast and true bore diameter, I'll contact a custom mould maker and see what he thinks. I looked over NEI handtools online catalog today, but they show nothing heeled in this size range. I very much appreciate everyone's input!! The fun part of these obscure firearms is the pleasure of research and feeling of accomplishment when it all comes together. Thanks again!! SW



    Parashooter
    Posted - 04/03/2004 : 11:49:12 PM
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    NEI's bullet for the ".41 Swiss" seems severly undersize at .421" and if the base cavity is really as big as illustrated on their site, I'd expect blown skirts as happened with the failed Swiss 1867 design.





    DMala
    Posted - 04/07/2004 : 4:37:55 PM
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    RCBS can make you a mold for an exact repro of the Italian 10.35mm heeled and hollow-based bullet (except the very tip of the ogive, which is flat), that's where I got mine from. The customer representative had to dig into a large pile of custom mold cutters, but eventually found one. I posted the information on the old board, as well as sample targets, maybe 2-3 years ago. I will see if I have the time to dig out the information and post it here, in the mean time if you wish give them a call and see what they say. Again, the representative himself did not know they had custom cutters, he had to look in their storage area for a while (to be precise, he first e-mailed me they do not have such caliber, and the day after wrote again saying he was surprised to find it).



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 04/07/2004 : 8:56:28 PM
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    Dmala,
    That's great information!! Thank you!! Since I'm a FNG to the Italian Vetterli, do the 10.35 and 10.4 use the same bullet but have different cases? I got my 10.4 X 47R cases from buffalo arms today, and they fit, if a bit snugly. Thanks again for taking the time to reply! I'd planned to cast the chamber when my cerrosafe gets in and contact a custom mould maker. I'll still take the cast to be 100% sure of what I'm doing. SW



    mag
    Posted - 04/07/2004 : 11:46:30 PM
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    Originally posted by DMala:
    RCBS can make you a mold for an exact repro of the Italian 10.35mm heeled and hollow-based bullet (except the very tip of the ogive, which is flat), that's where I got mine from. The customer representative had to dig into a large pile of custom mold cutters, but eventually found one. I posted the information on the old board, as well as sample targets, maybe 2-3 years ago. I will see if I have the time to dig out the information and post it here, in the mean time if you wish give them a call and see what they say. Again, the representative himself did not know they had custom cutters, he had to look in their storage area for a while (to be precise, he first e-mailed me they do not have such caliber, and the day after wrote again saying he was surprised to find it).
    What are the measurements [ body and heel ] of the bullet from that mold? mag



    DMala
    Posted - 04/08/2004 : 1:11:14 PM
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    Originally posted by NebrHogger
    Since I'm a FNG to the Italian Vetterli, do the 10.35 and 10.4 use the same bullet but have different cases?
    10.4 is the American nomenclature for the Italian rifle 10.35mm cartridge, I have no idea where these extra five-hundreds of millimiter came from. They refer to the same cartridge, basically.

    I will post the promised information ASAP, but I have so many other ASAP things to do that my ASAP may not be like your ASAP......sorry!



    mag
    Posted - 04/09/2004 : 01:23:35 AM
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    There are two different cartridges. The first type, then the updated type. The rifles have different size bores. I have 8 different rifles and a friend has 4. There are two different sizes bores found among them. The new type will not chamber the old round. I have found unclear referances to each type in old military papers. I have them in steel. It is the same way in the Swiss vetts, two different cartridges, I have original examples of both rounds and they are different. mag



    Carcano
    Moderator Italian Weapons Forum
    Germany
    1040 Posts
    Posted - 04/09/2004 : 08:33:51 AM
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    I concur with DMala. The contemporary Italian sources which I know (copiously rendered in Bartocci/Salvatici et al.) do indicate a modified cartridge (lubrication grooves and the heel concave cavity were changed), but not a modified bore diameter. Further information would be appreciated.



    mag
    Posted - 04/09/2004 : 7:38:32 PM
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    I do not know any way to give more information other than I have 12 on hand and they all have either one bore size or the other. The cartridges for one type will not even chamber in the other type. I do have the two original Swiss type cartridges, but only the 2nd type origianl Italian. The 2nd type Italian is the same design as the 2nd type Swiss, And my handloads for the 1st type Italian are the same style as the 1st type Swiss. mag



    dgv2
    Posted - 04/10/2004 : 11:45:47 PM
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    Gentlemen, This is a very interesting topic. I have a Vetterli Carbine, dated 1873, and a Vetterli Rifle, dated 1889, both with mint condition bores that I shoot regularly. My records indicate that the 1873 bore is .428 x .410 inch and I use a heeled bullet (I swage .429 cast bullets to .428 and cut a .411 heel on my lathe). My records also indicate that that 1889 bore is .424 x .408 inch. (I turn .429 cast bullets to .424 and then turn a heel to .409 inch). I also note that the brass is not interchangeable, even if the shoulder is set back. Looking at fired cases it appears to me that the brass for the 1873 carbine has a slightly gentler neck than the brass for the 1889 rifle. The end result is that the 1889 brass will go into the 1873 chamber, but not the reverse. A bullet sized to fit the carbine, but with a heel cut to fit the rifle will not chamber in the carbine. My conjecture, based totally on what I can see and measure, is that the Italians did indeed make significant changes to their military cartridge between 1873 and 1889. I do not know why they did so, but since the newer round would still chamber in the older guns, they perhaps felt it was not necessary to issue advisories to the troops and therefore did not widely publicize the change. However, that's merely speculation on my part. It will be interesting to see what other rifles and carbine bores slug. See you at the range!



    Parashooter
    Posted - 04/12/2004 : 01:02:40 AM
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    While there may be no useful analogy to Italian cartridge evolution, it might be helpful to note that there were no less than four primary cartridge designs for the Swiss Vetterli, reflecting both field experience and technolgy developments. All, however, share the same case (with minor manufacturing variations) and could be used in any of the Swiss issue rifles and carbines from the 1867 Peabody thru the 1881 Vetterli.



    1. Model 1867 - hemispherical base cavity.
    2. Model 1871 - bell-shaped cavity adopted after experience with flyers in carbines with 1867 round.
    3. Model 1878 - greased paper patch to curtail leading.
    4. Model 1890 - low-smoke powder, patch extended over case neck.

    Swiss Vetterli's have been reported with groove diameters from .424" to .435". According to the standard reference (D.R.d.S.), the cartridge was originally called the 10.5mm, with a bore tolerance from 10.35mm to 10.65mm. Tolerances were tightened to an upper limit of 10.55mm and the designation changed to 10.4mm in 1871.

    The 3 chambers (M67, M71, M78) I have measured are significantly longer in body than nominal cartridge dimensions, possibly to allow for accumulated grease and fouling.



    dgv2
    Posted - 04/12/2004 : 11:32:59 AM
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    Parashooter, Thanks for the photo. You raise an interesting question. I own and shoot Swiss rifles in models 1869, 1871, 1878 and 1881. My non-updated Swiss M1869 Vetterli has a bore "groove" diameter of .446 inch, the same as the 1871 Mauser, and the bore "land" diameter is .434 inch. I suspect the dimensions you give for the Swiss Vetterli bores up to .435 inch) is actually the bore hole or "lands" dimension NOT the "groove" dimension, at least based on my rifles. I think prior to 1900 most European nations gave bore dimensions only as the "lands" or bore hole dimension and did not overly concern themselves with "groove" diameters. In shooting these old European cartridge rifles, I often find that until they found the correlation between accuracy and filling the grooves completely with a bullet, they tended to be more concerned about fouling and bullets were usually undersize for actual groove diameters. I have noticed this in pre-1900 German, Austrian, Swiss, French and Portuguese rifles. I have also learned from a friend's later model Italian Vetterli cartridge (for the .424 x .408 inch bore), that the Italians went from a heeled bullet technology (.428 x .410 inch bore) to a hollow base bullet technology. I assume this simplified production, kept the grooves cleaner and perhaps added a few hundred yards to the range of the round. It turns out I have been making my bullets wrong for my later model Italian Vetterli, but I have no efficient way to hollow base my bullets, so making them a heeled bullet works okay for me. However, I now think I will follow MAG's suggestion and buy some hollow base bullets from Buffalo Arms for my later model Italian Vetterli. Thanks again for the Swiss analogy. See you at the range!



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 04/12/2004 : 12:25:21 PM
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    What bullet from Buffalo Arms works? I saw nothing in the latest catalog that was close, and when I talked to Dave, he swore up & down he didn't have anything that would work for the 1870/87 Vetterli. SW



    Parashooter
    Posted - 04/12/2004 : 3:32:18 PM
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    dvg2 - Your 1869 Swiss Vetterli seems to have unusually large barrel dimensions. I do know the difference between bore (land) and groove diameters. So far, yours is the first I've seen reported with a groove diameter exceeding .435". As stated above, the bore diameter tolerance prior to 1871 was from 10.35mm to 10.65mm (.407" - .419"). The reference doesn't give groove-diameter tolerances, but I've seen reports from .424" to .435" and personally measured .430" to .434". Your dimensions of .434" bore by .446" groove appear to be way out of tolerance. Perhaps the arm has been rebored and re-rifled. As a sanity check, take a look at Col. Schmidt's drawing of the Model 1871 projectile above. The maximum diameter of this bullet is 10.8mm (.425"). A bullet of this size would pass through a .434" bore without even touching the lands. Although the hollow base might expand enough to obturate, accuracy with the issue ammunition would have been problematical in a barrel this large.

    "Heeled" and "hollow-base" are sometimes combined in the same design. (See the drawings above.) It doesn't have to be one or the other.
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    Edited by - Parashooter on 04/12/2004 3:34:08 PM



    dgv2
    Posted - 04/16/2004 : 12:48:56 PM
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    Parashooter, All I know is my 1869 Swiss slugs .446 groove by .434 lands. How it got that way, I can't say, but it doesn't appear to have been tampered with by anyone and is full military missing nothing. It shoots very well with heeled bullets, and is easy to load for. I might also mention that the rim is exceptionally thick and a friend of mine has both an 1869 Swiss and an 1871 Swiss cartridge in his cartridge collection and the 1869 has the same thick rim and about a .445 heeled bullet. In order to make modern brass work in the 1869, I have to slip a spring steel ring over the case down to the rim to make it thicker. I'll see if I can get a photo of the two (clearly different) Swiss cartridges. See you at the range!



    Parashooter
    Posted - 04/16/2004 : 5:40:07 PM
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    Try neck sizing so the cartridge headspaces on the shoulder and you might be able to dispense with the spacer ring.

    I have never personally examined a Swiss-issue Model 1867 cartridge. I do, however, have a Swiss Model 1867 (Peabody) rifle and can attest that it was made for the 1867 cartridge as described and illustrated in D.R.d.S. where the bullet diameter is listed as 10.8mm (.425").

    Such anomalies illustrate the hazards of making generalizations from individual specimens and the need to measure any antique rifle or ammunition carefully before making any assumptions based on published data or measurements of other examples.



    DMala
    Posted - 04/21/2004 : 12:24:14 AM
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    Originally posted by DMala:
    I will see if I have the time to dig out the information and post it here
    OK, sorry for taking so long, but at the end of the day there is a limited number of things I can do, and even now it is past midnight and can't wait to go to bed.....


    Here is the RCBS mold, there is no model number, but I thought it may be helpful to have a proof that it exists indeed....


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    DMala
    Posted - 04/21/2004 : 12:28:02 AM
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    Just noticed now: the stamp says "10.4 x 74R" : "74R"?
    Maybe that's how they have it catalogued?
    DMala



    DMala
    Posted - 04/21/2004 : 12:32:16 AM
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    Here is the profile of the original M70 ball.



    DMala
    Posted - 04/21/2004 : 12:35:10 AM
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    New try (not clear why it did not upload the image before). Notice the heeled, hollow-base, design:


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    DMala
    Posted - 04/21/2004 : 12:50:02 AM
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    And this is the ball from the RCBS mold. Please notice that when I took the picture it was the first time I ever cast a bullet, as you can see the quality of the cast was poor (nothing to do with the mold, it was my lack of experience), subsequently I got better.

    Another time I will post information on the dimensions, and bullet types reported in the litertaure. Now I am really tired. For now, in a nutshell:

    - the RCBS mold dimensions match quite closely the M70 specs, except for the truncated ogive design

    - I never heard of changes in the Vetterli bore/chamber specs, but: 1) production tolerances at the time were way looser than later standards; 2) I heard rumors that it has been a relatively common practice in the past years to ream the chamber neck wider, to be able to use commercial .44 (off my memory) bullets. In fact an article published a few years ago on a blackpowder magazine specifically tested loads in a rifle that had been modified that way.

    Goodnight to everyone!



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    DMala
    Posted - 04/21/2004 : 12:54:59 AM
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    Here is visible the hollow-base of the RCBS mold. The case is an original military one that I used just for the picture, for shooting I use the Buffalo Arms cases.

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    JPS
    Posted - 04/21/2004 : 03:21:01 AM
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    Yo Gents,

    There is an easier way to do this. I have never purchased a heeled bullet for any of my Vetterlis. I don't even use custom dies. I simply neck size the case with the FL sizing die from my 6.5 Arisaka die set. Then I center a 300 grain, .430 diameter lead cast bullet designed for the .44 Mag on top of the case and allow the case neck to shave the excess lead from around the sides of the bullet. Generally, the lead ring created by the shaving of the bullet simply slips of when it hits the lube groove. If necessary, you can also trim the edges of the bullet at the case mouth with an exacto knife if the lead ring does not pop right off. Simple, easy and inexpensive. I seat the bullets a short distance past the lube groove.

    The cast bullets cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 plus for 500 bullets, depending on where you buy them. My brass is from Buffalo Arms, but I have also fireformed and converted some .348 brass at home. I use a reduced charge of 4198 and a 1/4" thick parafin wade under the bullet and a 3 grain wad of poly fiber fill over the powder. The brass is strong enough and the lead soft enough that I have never had so much as a single buckled case neck using this method.

    I have also shot 240 and 250 grain cast lead bullets as well, but the 300 grain bullets group the best and hit closest to the point of aim with the issue sights. I plan on taking this rifle deer hunting this coming season. I shot a deer this past season with one of my Werndls and the Vetterli is next in line.

    This paticular load works well in all of my Vetterlis that I regularly shoot. Here are a series of photos of both the load and a 50 yard target. The old eyes don't lend themselves to great groups at 100 yards, so I shoot iron sights at 50. Give it a try. It's a damn sight better than screwing around with all of the custom items. Just my $ .02 worth.

    Warmest regards,

    JPS


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    NebrHogger
    Posted - 04/21/2004 : 08:36:26 AM
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    Dmala,

    Thank you VERY much for taking the time to post your pics! I take well to heart your need for sleep and find myself in that condition far too often. Whoever engineered the day with only 24 hours was obviously a gov't employee! I ordered dies yesterday and will call RCBS from work about the mould.

    I closely compared Dmala's and JPS' pics, and there must be two different cartridges for the 1870/87 since Dmala's very closely resembles mine, but JPS' is very different. Notice the shoulder of Dmala's consists more of radii than angles while JPS' is a lot more angular. I believe this graphically underscores the statement in one of the preceeding posts that there were different chamberings for the same rifle.

    I had this concept forcibly thrust upon me in another manner. I recently bought a Savage 1899 takedown clearly marked "22 H. P." I obtained dies and the proper .228 bullets and loaded them into cases made from 30-30. At the range yesterday am, I couldn't get them on the paper at all! At 50 yards! I was thinking some pretty dark thoughts since I purchased the gun on the strength of the shiny bore and the strong, sharp rifling. I shot some other guns I'd brought along, and imagine my surprise when I went downrange to clean my targets from the board to see clear evidence of the bullet having passed through the target sideways!! On the way home, I plotted & schemed how to get the max money for it on one of the auction sites. I was cleaning it for the last time (I thought) when the light blub in my head came on - if a bit dimly. The brush was passing through the bore WAY too easily!! I grabbed the brass from the range bag and an unfired Norma 22HP round to see a BIG difference. Some previous owner had rechambered and rebored it to 25-35 without bothering to mark it as such in any way! With a greater bend in my learning curve, I loaded some 25-35 ammo and am hoping for decent groups.

    The moral of the story and the different cartridge pics: Things ain't always what they seem or should be. Cerrosafe is a great invention! Anyway, I hope my misadventure with the Savage may be of use to someone in the future. SW



    DMala
    Posted - 04/21/2004 : 12:34:31 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by NebrHogger:

    I closely compared Dmala's and JPS' pics, and there must be two different cartridges for the 1870/87 since Dmala's very closely resembles mine, but JPS' is very different. Notice the shoulder of Dmala's consists more of radii than angles while JPS' is a lot more angular. I believe this graphically underscores the statement in one of the preceeding posts that there were different chamberings for the same rifle.
    I politely and respectfully disagree, I would suspect that the shoulder differences are due to the use of the Arisaka die for neck-sizing. JPS could maybe confirm, but in his target picture (congratulations for the nice group, by the way) it appears that the fired cases have a smoother shoulder than the unfired and resized ones. Is it rather just a picture effect?

    In any case, I am quite sure that the chamber specs did not officially change during the production of the Vetterli models, otherwise there would be some trace in terms of chamber stamps, official records, cartridge production, collective memory, etc. I will come back on this with more details, but if I remember well there were changes in the case to make it lighter (within the same dimensions), and maybe a small dimensional change of the bullet rings to optimize performance with the existing chamberings.
    This does not mean that chambers may not differ due to loose production tolerances or aftermarket modifications done by individual owners. After all Italian Vetterlies were imported in the US at the latest by 1907, since I have a 1907 hunting magazine bearing a couple of ads for 70/87 models. So there has been plenty of time for individuals to modify whatever they wanted.

    Concerning the reloading, unless you know you enjoy bullet casting, I would first give a try to JPS's shaving system, which seems very practical and effective.

    However, I would consider the following:
    - use a 10.35x47R die. I doubt that the sharp shoulder obtained by JPS consistutes a safety problem, at least for as long as the brass is malleable. But, based on maybe irrationale thoughts I would be happier using the specific dies if budget allows it, at least in terms of theorethical life expectancy of the brass. Again, in practical terms maybe there would be no problem, I do not know.
    - Conventional wisdom recommends to use only 100% lead in bullets for blackpowder cartridge rifles. Most commercial 44MAG bullets are probably cast in an harder alloy. I doubt that anyone can actually quantify how much risk is added if using harder alloys, and I guess it boils down to individual feelings, rather than hard and specific facts, about perceived safety margin. Your choice.

    DMala




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    JPS
    Posted - 04/21/2004 : 1:15:30 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yo DMala & Company,

    You are right on the money regarding the brass. The use of the Arisaka die does indeed reduce/eliminate the taper of the shoulder. My apologies for not pointing that out in my earlier post. Since the 10.4x47mmR (or 10.35x47mmR if you prefer) headspaces off of the rim, this does not create a problem. It might reduce case life ever so slightly, however, as standard pratice I anneal my brass after every five firings. To date I have put ten loads through my current batch of brass without any problems and not a single case lost. Previous batches generally last from 10 to 12 loadings. When they begin to show any signs of severe wear at the shoulder from fire forming and reforming in the die, I'll chuck the whole lot and buy a new batch. Either way, I will have gotten my money's worth.

    Regarding the hardness of the cast bullets, I would avoid buying intentionally hardened cast lead bullets from a premium manufacturer, but in the case of these bullets, they appear to be quite soft. Based on the purchase price, I doubt that they have a particularly scientific mix of alloys. If the bullets were too hard, I think they would collapse the case mouth and they wouldn't shave the lead base so easily.

    In adition, keep in mind that the last service load for the Vetterli-Vitali during WWI was loaded with a thin jacketed bullet. I also keep my loads on the light side and use the 4198 conversion formula found in Donnelly's book on cartridge conversions.

    As for dies, since I continually shoot the same rifles out of my collection for the most part, I neck size most of my loads. I have so many dies that I have accumulated over the years, that I started going through the reference material out of curiosity, to see exactly what dies could be used to neck size other cartridges. If you are new to reloading or just want to use a proper set of dies, more power to you. By all means, buy a set of correct dedicated dies.

    The heeled bullets are fine too, but I still like being able to buy 500 bullets for next to nothing rather than screw around with additional casting dies or premium purchased bulles just for punching paper. When I hunt, I use only the best bullets available, but for targets I prefer to opt or inexpensive and practical. This doesn't make me right, it's just an alternative that works.

    As for my shooting skills, thank you for your kind words. I haven't lost my touch entirely, but at 50 the eyes have slipped more than I would care to admit. Still, I dropped the buck I shot with the Werndl dead in it's tracks at ninty yards. Not bad for an over the hill ex-PH using military iron sights! He sure has tasted good.

    Best of luck feeding your Vetterli! I love all of mine.

    Warmest regards,

    JPS



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 04/21/2004 : 3:14:00 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dmala and JPS, thanks for your replies! this topic has certainly put a greater bend in my learning curve. JPS, since I plan to acquire more Italian Vetts, I went for dedicated dies and just got off the phone to RCBS for the dedicated mould. Having shot a large quantity of cast bullets for my 45-70 & 444, I don't see why I can't use straight wheelweights and plan to do same. SW



    KingBee
    Posted - 04/23/2004 : 02:26:22 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Coyote, at Mom's Old Guns, sells a .430, heeled, dish-based bullet mold for the Swiss Vetterli. Price is $50 shipped. I just ordered one this morning. It ought to work for both the Swiss and Italian models.
    Last edited by Carcano; 10-02-2007 at 03:08 PM. Reason: The missing pictures did no longer exist on the old server, sorry!

  5. #5
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    Default Range report: 1870/87

    NebrHogger
    Posted - 05/20/2004 : 10:30:02 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After re-learning how to cast and carefully reading the information everyone so generously shared, I fnally made it to the range with the Vetterli today. I previously tried the .29 X grains of black powder IMR 4198 sub, but I only got a 5" group at 50 yards. Rooting around in my powder locker, I found a couple pounds of Pyrodex CTG, so I used that in place of FG black. Everyone here knows the original Italian load was 61+ gr of FG, and I filled the case to the neck for 55.0 gr of Pyrodex. I used the RCBS dedicated 300 gr mold and brass from Buffalo arms. The bulets dropped from the mold just like I wanted them, so I dip lubed with SAECO NRA formula lube - no leading problems at all!.

    I dinged the 50 & 100 yd gongs 2 for 2, so I put a target on the 50 yd holder. In the attached pic, the bottom group was fired first. Thus encouraged, I settled the rifle as best I could - I'd left the rest & chronograph at home - and fired the upper group. I'm very happy with the results, and with a little load adjustment and a proper overpowder wad, I hope to do that well at 100yds!

    Dang! Are these old rifles cool or WHAT!!SW



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 05/21/2004 : 10:51:32 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DMala,
    Thank you again for your help with this endeavor. I would never have guessed RCBS would have had such an obscure bullet mould actually in stock. Now, if I can find an 1870/78/15, I believe it would be fun to try cast loads with one of those, as well. SW



    DMala
    Posted - 05/21/2004 : 3:48:57 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I have a 70/87/15 for sale, ex Dick Hobbs' collection. Let me know if you want any details. I need to make room in my safe and I already have two variations which I feel are adequately representative (a Spanish-marked one and one with the attachments for a Krnka-style ammo feeder which was tested in the mid 1880s, I believe).



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 05/22/2004 : 8:51:04 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yeah, the PM seems to be an on again - off again function, so send details to [email protected] SW

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    Default 1870/87 at the range again

    NebrHogger
    Posted - 06/14/2004 : 8:03:45 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    More load development has produced results. I tried a number of combinations of Pyrodex CTG and primers before I achieved the results below. The first trip to the range was with the dedicated RCBS mold and 55.0 grains of CTG and CCI large rifle primers. I was encouraged by the results but felt better could be had. I tried a number of loads using CCI Large Rifle magnum primers, but for my Vetterli, they simply didn't work. Back to regular primers.

    I tried 57.0 for a max load, but I feel this is too great a charge since one of the primers bulged slightly at the firing pin indentation. I went as low as 50.0 grains of the CTG, but I feared a small airspace below the bullet. That group of three exhibited pronounced vertical stringing, as well.

    Same with 52.0; a 3" vertical group. 53.0 grains was a different story altogether - a nice, tight group of three. To ensure it wasn't a fluke, I fired a group of five on the clean target shown below.

    The group was achieved with Buffalo Arms brass, the 300 gr RCBS dedicated bullet dip-lubed in SAECO NRA formula stick grease. I used a pipe cap to melt the lube on the stove (when Mrs Hogger was downtown!)and dipped the bullets to the top grease groove. They were then sized in a Lee .427 die. I seated them with thumb pressure until the heel bottomed out on the case mouth. No crimp. At the range, the barrel was swabbed every third shot with 2 patches moistened with Windex w/ vinegar followed by a dry patch. This helped cleanup afterward a bunch, too!

    The flyer was due in no small way to the atrocious trigger. I have contacted Hodgdon for advice on substituiting 777 for CTG and will pass along their advice since CTG is hard to find. If I can scare up a pound of FG, I'll try that, too. I had poor results with IMR 4198 sub for black and have abandoned that approach altogether.

    Next time, I'll also take the chronograph. I've been told if I only want a doe, I can hunt on an acquaintence's property, and that idea has potential!!

    The modern rifle guys can have their new & improved 7mm/50BMG Belted Hyper-Mag tooth looseners and Bambi liquifiers; I'll stick to the guns to be found on this forum. MAN!! Are these old rifles way cool or WHAT!! SW



    airdale
    Posted - 06/15/2004 : 07:53:49 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Neb, a friend of mine who shoots a lot of old Sharpes and Remington rifles uses Accurate Arms XMP-5744 to duplicate the black powder loads. I don't know if it will work for you or not but might be worth looking into. Your rifle sure looks like it would be fun to shoot. Good luck on your doe hunt.



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 06/15/2004 : 08:16:56 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I just happen to have an 8# keg of 5744 that I used for 30 Herret & 30-30 when I shot metallic silhouettes back in the day. Do you happen to know the conversion formula? SW



    airdale
    Posted - 06/15/2004 : 12:25:06 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Neb I would contact Accurate directly and ask about your particular caliber. They have data published on 45-70 thru 120 and 50-90 thru 120 and a lot of other obsolete calibers. They should be able to tell you the formula if there is one. Their website is www.accuratepowder.com Hope this helps.



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 06/15/2004 : 12:29:41 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    airdale,
    I sent 'em a message. Thanks!! SW



    Deadeye
    Posted - 06/16/2004 : 12:46:12 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Try IMR 4759 for a substitute. I use 31 gr. under a 500 gr. bullet for my Martini. I use a 1/2 sheet of toilet paper tamped down on the powder to hold it in place. Works great, and does not come off the powder no matter what the handling. That might be the problem with the 4198. If the powder is laying in the case differently for each shot, the ignition will not be the same. Use the eraser end of a new pencil to tamp the paper down, and mash it hard. Cottonelle, or any other squishy type of paper works best. I use magnum primers, but I don't know if they help or not. I'm just sticking with what works.



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 06/17/2004 : 05:41:07 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Deadeye,

    I kept the 4198 in place with 1/4 square of TP and about 3 grains of teddy bear stuffins over that. I got 5" groups at the best. Accurate arms responded to my message with some specific 5744 data, and I'll CAREFULLY try that. I've used that powder in my Marlin 45-70 with good accuracy. SW



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 06/28/2004 : 9:04:48 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The AA 5744 gave good accuracy. With the 300 gr heeled bullet, 22.0 grains averaged 1164 fps from my Vetterli. There was a lot of room to go with the data I received, but I'm not that confident of the Vett's strength with smokeless.

    Average velocity with 53.5 gr of CTG was 1426, and that load recoiled a lot more than the 5744.

    I scored a pound of Hodgdon's Triple 7 and had favorable results just now. Where 53.5 gr of CTG was the most accurate Pyrodex load, 49.0 of 777 did a little better and filled the case to a greater extent. Perceived recoil was not as great as with CTG. I forgot the chronograph, but I'll post velocities after my next trip to the range. I was glad the 777 worked since it's easy to find, and cleanup is MUCH simpler.

    As always, these loads worked well in MY Vett, but be cautious with yours! Working up accuracy loads for this old musket has been quite enjoyable and rewarding, and I'm looking forward to doing the same with an 1870/87/15 that's soon to arrive. Dang, these old rifles are cool!! SW



    airdale
    Posted - 07/01/2004 : 08:29:05 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hello Neb, glad to hear the AA5744 worked out for you. That 777 load sounds like it would make a good sleeping pill for that doe you want to put in the freezer. Good luck.



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 07/01/2004 : 10:55:09 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Airdale,
    The biggest benefit of the Triple seven was Mrs Hogger not making so many editorial remarks about the smell when I was cleaning the brass in the kitchen sink!!Ah, peace and domestic Tranquility!! SW



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 07/11/2004 : 1:07:19 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Having tried IMR4198, AA5744, Pyrodex CTG and Triple 7 in various loads, I've settled on the load of 49.0 of Triple 7 with the RCBS dedicated mould's bullet shot as cast. I use an over powder wad made of legal pad backing - 1/2 width. I'll score some Walter's Wads next time I order something from Buffalo Arms. This load shoots consistent one-hole groups at 50 yards. I run a couple patches wetted with Windex w/ vinegar after every 3 shots. I remembered the chronograph this time, and the load averaged 1375 fps @ about 75 degrees f. As always, this worked for me, but use caution when working up to it in YOUR Vett, etc. and so on...

    It's an amazement how small changes in the powder wieght affect group size. 48.0 of 777 was all over the place, but 49.0 was quite accurate. At 49.5 grains, groups started to open up again. My next project is to find sight settings for 100, 150 and 200 yards. I question how effective it would be on deer past that.

    A couple guys I knew were at the range, and we yukked it up and admired each others' toys after a beak to change targets. I was driving through some buttes wooded with cedar on the trip back to town and saw some turkeys near one of the places I hunt. This is a rather rural community and there was little traffic, so I stopped beside the road to watch the hens & chicks forage for grasshoppers. I turned the motor off and was close enough to clearly hear them clucking and peeping to each other as they grazed along. It certainly looks like we'll have a good crop for turk season this fall.

    What a pleasant morning!! SW

  7. #7
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    Default 10.4x47R Bullet Selection

    melchar
    Posted - 07/21/2005 : 2:55:24 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After scanning through the previous posts on reloading this round, I tried contacting RCBS this morning regarding their custom bullet mould mentioned several times. I was informed that it was no longer available and that they no longer make custom moulds. That said, are there any other options available?

    I have seen mention of a mould made by Old Yoti for the Swiss Vetterli (.421/.430, 313gr). Has anyone tried this in the Italian rifle? It "sounds" OK, but before parting with $60+ it'd be nice to have some confirmation. :-)



    DMala
    Posted - 07/22/2005 : 12:51:16 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I think the Swiss mold would produce undersized bullets for the Italian Vetterli, but bullets can be made in some way that I do not remember from a pistol caliber ... that I do not remember either...sorry.... Another possibility is to find one of those small mold makers that could enlarge the Swiss Vetterli mold. When I researched this topic several years ago I had found one somewhere in the Southwest. This isn't too helpful, ha? I bet that other board members like DocAV or Nebrhogger could help more than me.



    melchar
    Posted - 07/22/2005 : 07:21:54 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, the size may not be a real issue. It's listed as .421/.430 heeled, which I read to mean a .421 heel with a .430 bearing surface. This would be just about ideal for my M70/87. I was planning on using standard straight-sided .430 bullets, but the chamber is pretty tight and such bullets won't fit unless I ream the case necks way too much. I suspect the mould will work fine, but was just being careful seeking a little reassurance.



    airdale
    Posted - 07/22/2005 : 08:26:11 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Try Buffalo Arms, they may be able to help you as they deal in a lot of the old stuff like moulds, bullets,etc. www.buffaloarms.com I would phone them as everything they have is not on the website (208)263-6953.



    B1acksmith
    Posted - 07/22/2005 : 09:21:22 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I have both types of Vs and I have the custom mold from the swiss vetterli forum buy. I have not tried it in the Italian yet ( I am still restoring that one), but if it is undersize there is a trick I read about once. If it is only slightly undersize, put some tape on the inside edges of the mold, cut the air grooves in it and you have expanded the mold. I have not tried it, but worth a try.



    nortonguy
    Posted - 07/22/2005 : 10:47:25 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I use a Lee mold (90858)that seems to be around 305 gr. I size it to the groove dia. on my rifle, of .423. I had to enlarge a .410 sizer with a dremel. Sounds a bit crude, but it worked well. It shoots consistent groups of 2.5 in. at 50 yds.



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 07/22/2005 : 9:37:46 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last time I ordered 10.4X47R brass, I talked to Mr Gullo at Buffalo Arms, and he was very interested in what bullet I was using. He seemed surprised RCBS had it in stock, and he may have bought them out. I was sure surprised when I called them after getting the tip from DMala and they had 'some' on the shelf.

    I can't recall what name NEI goes by these days, but they would be another possibility. And not a lot more than the RCBS mould, either.

    So when you score your mould, I have some data that is accurate in my Vett & will pass it along. SW



    melchar
    Posted - 07/23/2005 : 6:40:55 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I too ordered some brass from Buffalo Arms and inquired as to an appropriate bullet, but was told they didn't really have anything.

    I then tried the RCBS route and was told by a chap in their mould shop that they no longer produce custom moulds as there is little or no profit in it. He didn't seem to know what I was talking about when I tried to describe a mould they already had made, so I gave it up. Maybe I should try again?

    I've used one of Old Yoti's .446/370HB moulds in both my Werndl and Gras rifles with good results, so I thought (hoped) maybe I could apply his Swiss mould to the Italian Vetterli.

    NEI is still NEI, BTW... www.neihandtools.com, but they don't appear to make such a beastie, but it looks like they would for a price.



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 07/23/2005 : 8:30:07 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I'd try RCBS again. I think I had to talk to 3 or 4 guys before I finally got someone who knew what was going on. Way back in the posts is a pic of DMala's RCBS mould, and mine is identical to his. The only markings on it are 10 4X47R over RCBS.

    When I bought mine, I was led to believe they had 'some' on the shelf as in a small quantity. Given that not many people shoot these, I would think some remain, gathering dust. SW



    melchar
    Posted - 07/25/2005 : 12:42:15 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, I tried RCBS one more time and found someone who at least knew what I was talking about. The 10.4x47R (or in their paperwork, 74R) has been discontinued and they will not make any more. I guess it's either the .41 Swiss mould from Old Yoti (made by Lee) or from NEI. *sigh*



    Gianluca
    Italy
    Posted - 07/28/2005 : 10:17:24 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Italian Vetterli requires an heeled bullet properly sized, due to its peculiar chamber.
    I checked the chamber of one of my 70/87, and found the following measures:
    Bore (between grooves) :10.73mm
    Bore (between lands) : 10.4mm
    Case neck and throat portion : 11.22mm
    Chamber case neck portion is the critical point : considering that a 348W case neck thickness is about 0.25mm, and at least 0.1mm clearance are necessary to allow the cartridge to enter the chamber and expand, the maximum bullet diameter shall be not more than 10.62mm.
    As you well know, a straight sided 10.62mm bullet is not good to fit a 10.73mm bore.
    A typical heeled Vetterli bullet sizes are actually about 10.5/10.75mm.
    Of course, due to manufacturing tolerances, chamber dimensions may vary, so in some rifles a .421/.430 (10.7/10.92mm) heeled bullets could work.
    On the contrary, my swiss vetterli M81 works beautifully with straight sided .429 (.44 cal) bullets sized down to .426.
    Anyway, for all antique rifles it is always recommendable to make a Cerrosafe chamber cast before start to shoot.
    Attached, a Terni 1886 Vetterli chamber drawing .

    Pic no longer there

  8. #8
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    Default

    GJD
    Posted - 06/13/2006 : 5:18:23 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I purchased a 1870 model Italian Vetterli carbine in 10.4x47R. I bouhgt 50 pieces of brass from Buffalo Arms but cannot get any of it to fully chamber. The cases average 47.5 mm in length. Would the extra .5mm be the sole reason that the brass is not chambering? Anyone have issues like this? Thanks.



    Peter in CA
    Posted - 06/13/2006 : 6:05:45 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    GJD,
    Are you sure it is the length causing the stoppage?

    I had some Swiss cases that were slightly oversized (for my rifles chamber) at the base of the body and they would not chamber until the body diameter was reduced a couple of thousands.

    Peter in CA



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 06/13/2006 : 6:15:13 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I had to FL size my brass before it would 'drop in' chamber. SW



    DocAV
    Posted - 06/14/2006 : 12:58:17 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The .348 Win. brass used normally for making 10,4 Vetterli brass can be a bit large at the head (even by about 5 thou. of an inch) sufficient to prevent proper full chambering.

    When making 10,4 cases, I first head-swage the .348 case with a ring die, to reduce it to Vetterli specification, and then Full length size and trim back to 47mm.

    I have found this is necessary, with both Win and Rem make of .348 cases, for a lot of the "BP " cases I make , as well as the 8mm Lebel, which is a BP derivative case.

    Some guys are lucky, having a oversize chamber, but others will need to make sure the head diameter of the parent case is "just so" or they may split a FLS die (one or several radial cracks) as I have done making 8mm Lebel cases straight from .348 Win. One may also run into this problem making 10,4 cases in one pass as well.

    The little extra length on the cases is usually immaterial where BP cartridges are concerned...tolerance of Nominal case length could vary up to 2 millimetres above or below the figure mentioned in the designation. Chambers were very liberal to allow for BP fouling, especially at the bullet end.



    richardwv
    Posted - 06/14/2006 : 01:25:54 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since Buffalo Arms does reduce the head on their reformed brass, it is most likely just a case of needing to full length resize. It isn't unusual at all for new brass to require full length resizing before initial use. I just had that problem myself with some new Starline 50-90 brass tonight in making loads for a newly acquired Sharps. You are ahead of me, I didn't test fit until I had a fully loaded round. I thought I was checking for OAL, but it turned out that the case right in front of the head was just a tad too wide....so it was back to the bench to FLS all of the already primed new brass.

    I agree it is highly unlikely (but not impossible) that the .5mm extra length is an issue unless the throat of the carbine has a crud ring built up by someone using shorter brass and not cleaning well enough. I have had this issue on a couple of BP rifles that had received less than perfect care from prior owners...but nothing a wire brush and Krol couldn't cure. My 4 Italian Vetterli firearms (3 rifles, one carbine) all have rather generous chamber dimensions, so I'd be surprised to find one that has such tight tolerances when clean.



    jp
    Posted - 06/14/2006 : 12:48:56 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I have had problems with Buffalo Arms brass in both 8mm Lebel and 42 Berdan, both were formed from 348 Win. and had not been turned down sufficiently at the base to chamber in some rifles. A close look at scratch marks on the cases will show where the hang up lies. I don't know if BuffArms resizes the base of 348 brass, all mine looks like it had been lathe turned and I had to take off a couple more thousandths.



    GJD
    Posted - 06/15/2006 : 5:18:44 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I'm quite the novice. I managed to break my full length sizing die the first time that I attempted to use it. How do you do it correctly?? Thanks!!



    richardwv
    Posted - 06/15/2006 : 6:49:09 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Not to belabor the obvious, but if you broke the die upon first use, something was really wrong. It takes a lot to break most dies (but hey, I've done it once....and an inch and an eighth one at that). The most likely problem is that the case wasn't properly lubed. On the bigger BP cases, I now use sizing wax and haven't had one stuck yet. Failure to anneal a case also contributes to using excessive force, but I can't imagine enough to break the die. While I or someone could go through reloading 101 at some length, anyone new to reloading should get and READ a decent handloading book. It doesn't matter whether for BP or for smokeless, since the real basics are the same. All the major reloading companies put them out, as well as many independents. Most libraries and book stores have at least one to select from (except in major anti-gun urban areas). Many of the reloading companies have instructional web sites as well....but in the end there is no substitute for reading a one of their books. Doing so will undoubtedly save untold time, grieve and money in the long run.



    DocAV
    Posted - 06/15/2006 : 8:44:13 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The problem leading to "splitting" of Dies is due to the relative thinness of the die body in relation to the large(r) cases.

    The use of a 7/8ths die body with a large case such as the 8mm Lebel or a BP case such as the 11mm Gras etc, will lead to a high risk of Die splitting if (a) excessive force and wrong lubing, or (b) an oversized parent case is used (as in the .348 situation) or a combination of these factors.
    As I said above, I have split a RCBS 8mm Lebel die once making Levbel cases from .348 without "pre-Swaging"... So, Once bitten, twice shy>...I must mention I have also split a .303 british die, by overforcing another case in during "head smaging" processes, and the same with a 6,5 jap die trying to do a "243 to 6,5 jap conversion, without propoer head swaging before hand ( adequate Lube, but brass too hard at head...single crack in die. The .303 had multiple cracks..I use it now as a Crimp Finisher for Blanks only.

    So the moral is, Don't abuse your dies with experiments....

  9. #9
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    Default

    John Sukey
    Posted - 04/10/2005 : 5:18:40 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The bayonet is worth a lot more than the rifle! Is it the 10.4 or the 6.5? If the 6.5, I would be very reluctant to pop a cap. If its 10.4, cases can be easily formed from shortened .348 Winchester. You will need a hollow based bullet as the original is stepped like a .22. Restrict this to black powder.
    www.buffaloarms.com
    is a source for the dies, and you can even buy the 10.4 brass from them if you don't want to bother doing the work yourself. I do shoot mine, but not often.



    RP
    Posted - 04/10/2005 : 6:57:30 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thanks John appreciate the reply.

    It is a 10.4. Would you know where can I get a run down on what's required to load up (ie. recommended powder, bullets, any required wadding etc. etc). Load data.

    Cheers, RP



    NebrHogger
    Posted - 04/11/2005 : 05:11:10 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    rp,

    First off, that's a very nice Vetterli!!

    Using brass from Buffalo Arms and bullets cast from the dedicated mold RCBS has in stock, I worked up an accurate load of 49.0 grains of Hodgdon 777 that is quite accurate in my 1870/87. I also use a .030 fiber wad made by Walters. - Also from BAC.

    Another accurate load I found was the above brass, bullet & wad with 53.0 grains of Hodgdon's Pyrodex CTG. Unhappliy, that powder is no longer made.

    The original military load was 62 grains of FG black & a bullet very similar to the one used above. I don't know if the military round used a wad, but I bet DocAv does! I've never tried real black in mine.

    Work up to these loads - they were okay in my Vett, but I can't vouch for yours. As always in BPCR, leave no airspace between powder & bullet. Shown are 2 3 shot groups fired @ 100 yards from a bench rest. I greatly prefer the 777 as it smells better & wifey can't tell when I've cleaned by cases in the sink. SW



    RP
    Posted - 09/11/2005 : 5:22:30 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    OK gents - I'm about a frog's hair from placing an order with Buffalo to load up for this baby. Only thing I'm not really clear on is the right (and/or good) load for my use. I've read a whole bunch of good threads which make a lot of assumptions about skills and equipment. So with that I thought I would list a few key "points to consider" before executing your most gracious replies:

    - I do not cast
    - My bore slugs .422 (condition is excellent ++)
    - I am going to buy the correct dies for this cartridge
    - I am going to buy correct brass as well
    - I am comfortable loading either black powder or smokeless
    - Not hunting with it just punching paper with buddies

    Thanks in advance all,

    RP



    mag
    Posted - 09/11/2005 : 6:41:56 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I have 5 of them and shoot them alot. My best load for accuracy has been 21.2 of H-2400 with the 300 grain cast bullet from Buffalo. This is a heeled bullet that is .411 - .431 dia. I use no filler or wads as I have found that to make the velocity spread much larger. I am getting 1289 fps average with this load. In my best rifle it has a 2.86 average for 8 5-shot groups at 100 yards. I am wondering about your bore size as all of mine are .429 to .431 groove. With your .421 bore, the .431 heeled bullet would be a problem. You can use the formed cases from Buffalo. SR-4759 would also be a good powder. mag



    RP
    Posted - 09/11/2005 : 8:17:50 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Big thanks for the quick reply Mag - some questions...Hope answers help others as well.

    1) Was on Buffalo trying to locate the 300grn. heeled bullet you mention and for the life of me can't find it. Do I need to call and special order this item? If so what do I ask for? Further, do you mean that the bullet comes in dia. from .411 to .431?

    2) I slugged my bore two more times to be sure (total of 4 times in all now) and depending on how I turn the slug and mic it the groove dia. reads anywhere from .422 - .424. and lands from .407 - .408. Not sure I understand your concern about the .431 bullet option. If these bulltes come in a range of .411 - .431 couldn't I just use an in between size a little over or closest to the groove dia.? I realize I could be missing something Mag - apologies. Trying to ask all the right questions.

    3) Does H-2400 fill the case enough not to worry about space?

    4) What primers do you use?

    5) What overall cartridge length do you recommend? Should the bullet touch the lands?

    Big Thanks,

    RP
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Working on a website for my personal collection...any/all comments welcome. www.militaryboltactions.com



    mag
    Posted - 09/12/2005 : 12:47:41 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It is a heeled bullet. That means the top half that sticks out of the case is .431 dia and the bottom half that goes in the case is .411 . With a bullet like that it can only been seated one way, to where the case butts up against the overhang of the bullet. The Italians did make several different size bores and ammo to be used in them as they updated their ammo. Since your rifle is a late one it may be made for the latest ammo, which would be different from what mine are made for. I do not yet know all the facts on this, but I do know it happened. I know of 3 different types and dia of bullets used. A lead heeled, a lead hollow based and a metal covered inside the case bullet [ like modern ammo ]. It sounds like you could use a regular type bullet in yours, but finding a .422 or so bullet will be hard. I will dig out my old original ammo and measure the metal bullet dia. mag



    mag
    Posted - 09/12/2005 : 01:02:49 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    More answers to your other questions. I use a magnum primer in partial filled case loads for a sure light. The load does not come close to filling the case, I feel that does not matter at all with smokeless powder. I use 40% to 50% fill loads all the time with great results. My wife shoots a 6.5mm Swede in our military rifle matches with a light load of only 18.0 grains, that is less than a 50% fill. She has shot over 3500 rounds of this in her rifle. The velocity spread is about 15 fps and she always has 5-shot groups at 100 yards in the 1 inch range in competition. I just did some test shooting today with a Swede 50 cal Rolling block rifle. The load was a 40% fill. The velocity spread was 9 fps. The rifle averaged well under 2 inches with the best 5-shot group a great 0.79 at 100. I use no fillers. I feel that is accurate. Now my standards may be higher than other peoples, so that may be why they claim accurate loads with fillers. I find they cause flyers now and then, maybe they just do not count those. What are you using to slug your bore? How are you doing it? mag



    RP
    Posted - 09/12/2005 : 09:14:04 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thanks Mag. I have a few of those "slug your bore kits." I just follwed the directions, tapping the lubed slug through with wood dowels that come with it. Imprint on slugs seem very clear. Had good results with other rifles I've slugged.

    I use Buffalo's .422" Dia. 350 Grn. FN Lead Tapered PP Bullets with hollow base for my Russian Berdan (at work or I'd post a picture for you). Could I use these or does the bullet need to have gas checks and/or jacketed like a modern round as you mention above.

    Thanks - this is great info mag.

    RP
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Working on a website for my personal collection...any/all comments welcome. www.militaryboltactions.com



    mag
    Posted - 09/13/2005 : 12:30:02 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I checked my original metal bullet ammo. It is date 1912, it has a .423 dia bullet with a little .431 driving band right at where it meets the case neck, there is also an indentation just in front of the band. It looks like it was made to shoot in the later "small" bore rifles by letting the band collapse into the indentation as it passed down the bore making the whole bullet .423. It would also work in the older "big" bore rifle by letting the .431 band fill the rifling and seal the bore. I do not see why the .422 bullet would not work in your bore. The problems I see are: 1. you need to keep the smokeless load light as smokeless tends to break the skirt on a hollow base now and then, if you get a flyer now and then that would be whats happening. 2. you may have a neck sizing problem with that bullet size, you may have to find a die that will get it the size you need. Blackpowder is easier on hollow base bullet skirts so you may have to use it with that bullet. mag



    RP
    Posted - 09/13/2005 : 11:17:45 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mag,

    So, if my bore is slugging 10.75 (.423/.424) and the .422 is potentially going to give me neck sizing problems, then at what diameter do you see "made for Italian Vetterli" dies not presenting an issue. I don't have case dimentions, but I am assuming it's much wider than .422 and closer to the .431 you are loading. Hawk actually makes a 10.75mm (.424 dia.) RN bullet in either 350 or 400 grains. I beleive all of their bullets are jacketed. And Beartooth also makes .424 dia. cast bullet at 380 grns. (gas checked). Do you still see sizing as an issue with these? How much larger can I go?

    If this is something to take offline, happy to do it. I'm not too proud to ask all the dumb questions others won't.

    Thanks RP
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Working on a website for my personal collection...any/all comments welcome. www.militaryboltactions.com



    mag
    Posted - 09/14/2005 : 01:04:05 AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    With a cast bullet + .001 or .002 is fine. Also do not give up on the .422 bullet, if you look at your bore measurements you do have enough [ deep ] rifling to get a good bite on that bullet. At lower velocities it may shoot fine. A perfect example is a GEW-88 I am shooting, a .316 bore with .312 bullets. Go the the Manlicher board under the G-88 heading and it is covered well. Now on the neck sizing, if you get ready to load cases they may be necked for a smaller dia bullet like the .411 heeled. To fix that you need to find an expander ball that will push them up to .002 or so UNDER the bullet size you are going to use. Remember case walls are different thickness on different cal cases. So you can buy a cheap Lee 44 mag die set and turn the expander ball down to the size you need. Chuck it in a drill and use a file, then sand paper to smooth. Same thing if you need to go smaller, you can find a die [ lets say a 303 win sizer or whatever] that you can use to neck them smaller. I have always found some combo that would do what I needed. You need to think about it some and them start somewhere to get a base line. After that you WILL know where to go from there. If you start out with a light load using about 21.0 grains of SR-4759 or 13.5 of Unique you will not get in any trouble even if you are off some with your first trys. Once you have a base line you can move up to a "hotter" load with I-4198 or 2400. It is a little hard to guide you through it online, and I will tend to be light on everything. If you and the rifle were here I could get you going real quick. mag

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    Default Using 10,35mm FMJ reviolver bullets from Fiocchi?

    Carcano
    Posted - 09/20/2005 : 3:03:05 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Has anybody already attempted to use Fiocchi's FMJ revolver bullets in the rifle ? Their unique shape seems identical to the M 1890 rifle bullets.



    melchar
    Posted - 09/20/2005 : 10:59:20 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Interesting idea. I'm fresh out of 10.4 revolver right now, but if I can find any, it might be worth sacrificing a couple rounds (at approx. $1 each over her, BTW) to try. Bullet weight is kinda low, though... 177gr, it appears.

    It'll give me something to try while waiting for my Vetterli mould to arrive. :-)

    Ken

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