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Swiss M78 Vetterli .41 Caliber


Overall G-VG, with Cleaning Rod

On December 20, 1866 the Swiss committed themselves to adopting a repeating rifle to arm their armed forces. At the time no suitable design existed. The task of designing the rifle was left to designer Friedrich Vetterli, who had joined the Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft Waffen-Department (SIG) in 1864. Vetterli already been involved in weapon design with the Germans, French, and British, and was strongly influenced by American rifle designs, most notably the Henry Repeating rifle. By 1866, Vetterli had already come up with a single shot, bolt operated rifle. The action was a modified Terry action, designed in England in the early 1850s. 1867 saw the wedding of the bolt action concept to the tube magazine, and 1868 resulted in a spring operated bolt. On February 27, 1868 the Swiss government placed an order for 80,000 Vetterli rifles.

This design represented a significant advance in European Military Technology. Up to this point, the Swiss had been using Milbank-Amsler Rifles, single-shot muzzleloaders, which had been converted to fire rimfire cartridges. The Vetterli Rifles were capable of holding up to 13 rounds, and a rate of fire of 21 rounds per minute

This amount of firepower significantly outstripped that of any rifle in regular Military Service of the day. The Vetterli was chambered to fire the 10.4x38 Rimfire round. Although a rimfire round, it shot further and flatter than most of it's contemporaries. The Vetterli striker has a forked firing pin which passes through two firing pins holes in the bolt face for a double strike on the rimfire cartridge, improving the likelihood of ignition.

Barrel Length: 33.1 inches
Overall Length: 52.2 inches
Weight: 10.1 lbs empty
Chambering: 10.4x38 (.41) Swiss Rimfire
Rifling: 4 groove, RH twist, 1 in 26"
Velocity: 1425 fps
Capacity: 13 (12 round tube magazine +1 in the cartridge elevator)
Total Production: 15,770
Manufacture Dates: 1878-1881 Eidgenössische Waffenfabrik, Bern

Although attempts had been made to improve the 69/71 design, the Model 1878 action, aside from some minor improvements, changed very little. Externally, the 1878 had only one barrel band and lacked the stock-dicing of the earlier models. Other changes included the omission of the gas relief holes, the adoption of a curved buttplate, and changes were made to the metal finishing process. In addition, the 1878 front barrel band was fitted with a bayonet lug to allow it to mount a sword bayonet, rather than a socket bayonet. The older style sights were replaced with Schmidt Quadrant Sight Note: many of rifles which are marked M.78, are actually Model 1878/81s. .

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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 18 September, 2008.

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