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(37 customer reviews)

Italian Vetterli Model 1870/87/15 Caliber 6.5 Carcano w/ 1 Free Clip


26 in stock

26 in stock


We just received a small quantity of original Italian Vetterli Model 1870/87/15. All rifles are converted for the Carcano 6.5
ammunition and use en-bloc clips. 1 free steel clip is included with each rifle! Click here to view our Carcano clips

The condition is astonishingly good to very good overall condition. These rifles are guaranteed to function and are function tested. These rifles have some handling wear on the metal and stock, but are generally in great shape for their age. They may have some small dings, dents, scratches etc. in the stock. They may come or not come with a cleaning rod. Hand select rifles are generally very good overall condition, may still have some of the issues listed above. These rifles have been in storage in Ethiopia for a century.

Click here to view our Carcano clip page

Please note: the photo shown above is a rifle in very good to excellent condition.

These rifles are considered Antique and therefore do not
require an FFL transfer. A government Photo ID like Drivers License or passport
will be required to purchase these rifles. Please send your ID to along with your order number. Thank you for your business!


Please note: please view our Terms and Conditions Section 9 in regards to the condition of these rifles. Thank you for your business.


The M1870 Vetterli was the Italian service rifle from
1870-1887, when it was gradually replaced with the M1870/87 Italian
Vetterli-Vitali variant. The M1870 was a single-shot bolt action rifle
chambered for the 10.4mm Vetterli centrefire cartridge, at first loaded with black
powder and later with smokeless powder. The M1870 was based upon the M1869
Swiss Vetterli but simplified for economy.


10.4mm Fucile di Fanteria, Modello 1870/87 Vetterli-Vitali

In 1887 (until 1896), the Italian Army began converting the
M1870 to a four-shot repeating rifle, based on the system designed by Italian
artillery captain, G. Vitali. This conversion added a box magazine fed from a
Swiss-style fabricated steel and wood stripper clip holding four cartridges, in
the same caliber (10.4x47R mm) as before. The clip is pressed into the
magazine, until the last round catches under the Cartridge retainer, and then
the clip is withdrawn using the “pull string” in the top wooden frame
of the clip. Clips of cartridges were supplied in a soldered sheet steel box,
holding six clips.

The conversion to the Vitali magazine was done on the long
rifle, the TS (special troops musketoon) and possibly some of the Carabinieri
carbines; No Vitali conversions were done to the Moschetto da Cavalleria for
metropolitan Italian troops. In 1888, the Fondo Coloniale (Eritrea) requested
500 Vitali-converted Vetterli cavalry carbines for the Eritrean Native Cavalry
(“spahi”—Swahili for “horse-soldier”). There are currently
five known examples still in existence ( one in Australia, two in the US, two
in Italy). Collectors refer to it as the M1870/88 V.V.Eritrean cav carbine. The
Regio Esercito (Royal Army) Cavalry units maintained the M1870 single shot
Moschetto da cavalleria until replaced by the M1891 Moschetto da cavalleria, in

The conversion is indicted by a cartouche “Artig. Fab.
D’armi Terni 1888” (dates vary), on the butt stock. The center of the
cartouche displays a Crest of Savoy and the word, Riparazione (Italian for
repair) is directly below the cartouche. Shortages of small arms appeared from
the very beginning of Italy’s entrance into World War I on the side of the

As more of the population mobilized for the first total war
in European history, the supply of modern small arms fell short before the end
of 1915 and a large number of obsolete Modello 1870/87 Vetterli-Vital were
issued to newly formed regiments that were not expected to be in combat,
however, troops carried these antiquated rifles into battle on several

As well, in 1916, Italy sent a large number of
Vetterli-Vitali rifles to Russia; ammunition and components were contracted for
by Britain to the Remington Armory. These “tsarist” rifles eventually
ended up in Republican hands in the Spanish Civil War, as the Soviet Union emptied
its depots of all the old black powder and early smokeless rifles it had
inherited after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.


During World War I, many M1870/87 rifles were converted to
share the same 6.5mm smokeless powder round instead of the inferior black
powder rounds as the primary service rifle, the Carcano, by adding a 6.5mm
barrel lining and a modified M91 Carcano magazine. The barrel sleeving was
called the “Salerno method”; The bolt face was also machined to
accept the smaller diameter 6.5 mm cartridge head, and the firing pin
shortened. These conversions were used for rear echelon troops (guards,
training, etc.) and were rarely, if at all, fired with standard 6.5 mm military
ball ammunition. After WWI, many of these rifles were assigned to the colonies
of Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica (Libya) and also to Eritrea and Somalia,
again, as rarely-fired training rifles. These rifles were used again in the
Second Italo-Ethiopian War, mostly by native African soldiers.[1] During World
War II, they were used only by fascist Blackshirts paramilitaries.[2]

It is considered by knowledgeable collectors[who?] that due
to the rifle’s age and general condition (manufactured in 1870-1890s) and
converted twice (1887-90s and again 1915-16), that the black powder technology
of the Vetterli design is not suitable for repeated use (i.e. intense combat
use) with normal Italian ball ammunition of 6.5 mm, or its present-day
commercial equivalent. Even back in the 1920s, anecdotal accounts of Salerno sleeves
loosening under “hot” fire (they were soft-soldered in place) and
subsequent “blow-by” experience since the 1950s appearance of these
rifles as surplus has led to safety concerns.[3]

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Item Reviews

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37 reviews for Italian Vetterli Model 1870/87/15 Caliber 6.5 Carcano w/ 1 Free Clip

  1. Michael

    Just received a fairly nice 135 year old Vetterli from RTI. It’s intact, rust free, and not even too grimy. I was expecting a wall hanger at best. I am pleasantly surprised.

  2. Chris P

    Been wanting a Vetterli and took a chance on these. Mine is not pristine by any means but that’s the way I like it. Its marked 1886 along with AOI on the stock. Everything is grimy but cleans off fairly easy. Biggest surprise was the barrel is actually decent and still has rifling, not that I intend to shoot it. Everything appears intact and operational. Only two negatives. First cleaning rod is bent which considering the age I’m surprised its even there. Also it seems like someone spilled some white paint on it at some point nothing major. All in all I’m pleased with my rifle.

  3. Josh

    The rifle I received was In overall decent condition.the metal pieces were almost rust free and didn’t show any signs of abuse. The stock has a spot on it where someone tried to carve something into it way back when, but it’s not very deep. The only real issues the rifle has are a broken firing pin and missing front sight blade and cleaning rod.

  4. AS

    The stock on mine was unfortunately broken (can’t tell if it was already like that or damaged in shipping), but the rest of the gun was surprisingly good for its age. Cleaning rod looks like it was cut off since most of it is still in the gun, but that isn’t a huge deal. Minimal rust but it cleaned up well after a full disassembly. Bummed by the stock but I’ll be fixing that to make it a nice wall hanger.

  5. Jacob Granger

    After a long and tiring battle with Fedex misplacement, Mr. Wiegand and his team happily sent me a replacement after my initial order had been lost. The rifle I received was well kept and had been cleaned well, with all parts functioning as they should, and it even had the cleaning rod!

    Very happy with the products and service!!!

  6. Devon

    I bought one of these a few weeks ago, unfortunately there was a little trouble with sending in a copy of a photo ID but after I called that was settled quickly and the rifle was shipped out immediately after the holiday. Shipping was fast and the rifle was better than I expected it to be and cleaned up nicely, the only major downside was the fact the cleaning rod was gone, but the rifle is 141 years old so its not a surprise. The stock didn’t match either but that is another fault that can easily be looked over considering the rifles age. All in all I am happy with my order and plan to purchase more of these Italian Vetterli rifles, I hope that RTI keeps up the quality of their products and I’ll be a customer as long as they do.

  7. Kyle

    From what I expected to get (A full on resoration/rebuild job) I got a rifle that was better than I expected. It did need the standard cleaning but it is more intact than I thought. I didn’t get much surface rust on mine. After a solid cleaning the Barrel was in absolutely immaculate shape. Stock was beat up a little, as is the way with a 120 year old rifle. I feel bad for RTI because they’re going to be getting a lot of orders from me after this great experience.

    I do plan on test firing 5 rounds via the method RTI put in the description by making lighter loads but after that she’s gonna be displayed proudly.

  8. Cameron Fouts

    I got my rifle earlier today, and in absolutely pristine condition! The only two things I can find wrong anywhere on the gun is that the cleaning rod is bent very slightly, and that the little latch you have to open to remove the bolt from the gun is battered beyond belief (maybe I’m just using it wrong). These are incredibly minor things and the gun seems perfect otherwise. The firing pin is in good shape and the rustiest visible part of the gun is the buttplate, second only to the inside of the barrel. The rest of the gun seems free of rust entirely. Was able to fully disassemble and reassemble cleanly several times.

    I have a single gripe over confusion about the transaction disappearing from my bank for several days before being charged shortly after I started getting worried. When I called and emailed RTI, I got nothing back. But, after all, the gun did get here in such good condition.

  9. Sam

    I bought mine expecting it to be in awful shape. Mine was missing its clip latch, meaning its a single shot, and its cleaning rod. But mechanically it is super sound and has tight headspace and a near perfect bore. I have fired it with full power norma ammo and it has had no issues. I did not buy hand select so all things considered im very happy with this rifle.

  10. David

    Customer service great, gun was in fair condition but after a lil ticketing fires like a champ. Thank you RTI.

  11. Keith E.

    I paid for the hand select and received a really nice gun, with cleaning rod and excellent bore! Needed a bit of cleaning, but that should be expected from a 132 year old gun. Customer service was outstanding!!

  12. Jeffrey H

    Very happy with my purchase. The rifles bluing is in excellent condition, the numbers are matching, and the stock looks very nice! The stock also has a very bold “AOI” Italian East Africa stamp on the stock!

  13. Eli H

    Rifle arrived in great condition (especially for its age) with 80% or better finish remaining on the metal and a stock that had not been sanded or otherwise modified (minus the conversion from Vitali). Not a spec of rust anywhere and the bolt has no cracks or signs of failure. Only thing missing was the cleaning rod, which was a “may or may not be present” item anyway.

    I did NOT choose “hand select”

  14. Dan

    Rifle arrived only one week after ordering and was well-packed. Rifle was expectedly dirty but was in excellent and complete (including cleaning rod) condition. Another great rifle from RTI.

  15. Dan M

    Really nice rifle with a really good bore. Good working condition. No missing parts or pieces besides the cleaning rod (pretty common) No cracks in the stock or anything. The only drawback was the stock was pretty dinged up and no cleaning rod but that is to be expected. Im happy to have it. I would buy again.

  16. Nigel

    Zero blueing. Broken trigger spring. Probably should have paid for hand select,but the rifle is a piece of history.

  17. Andrew

    For the age, the rifle is in better shape than thought cosmetically however the one I received has absolutely no rifling and is more of a musket than a rifle. The stock looks good however after cleaning the stock does have some pretty bad cracking around the trigger area as well as the sides of the receiver. I feel the price was more than what the rifle I received is worth.

  18. Jeff Adams

    I purchased an Italian Vetterli rifle and it’s a hoot! It looks like something carried by the sand people on Tatooine, or a Victorian explorer at a steampunk convention. I spent the extra $100 for a hand select model. Stock is beat-up but solid, no rust, and 70% – 80% of the original blue on the receiver and barrel. If I ever figure out how to remove the bolt, I’ll scrub out the bore and see its condition. I have no plans to shoot the rifle, but it will look dandy hanging on the wall and being envied by my friends.

  19. Paulie

    My first rifle purchase from RTI was a good one. I wanted a Vetterli for my Italian collection and decided to pull the trigger on one. I received a very nice example with a beautiful stock with no cracks. Bore cleaned up nice. Bluing is probably 60-70%. Didn’t have a cleaning rod but I was able to get one elsewhere. Will buy again.

  20. Shane

    I ordered one of these during their flash sale. This one showed up in amazing condition. Stock was amazing. All marking were crisp, had most of its finish in tact, and had an amazing bore.

  21. Julian T

    Bought this during the labor day sale. The metal is in good shape though I can’t quite see how the bore is since it’s very dirty. The wood is decent but needs a good scrub. No cleaning rod but everything else seems present. Overall I am satisfied and would recommend.

  22. John

    First purchase from RTI. Received a Trenti 1890 rifle with little original finish remaining, some minor rust in spots, unbelievably dirty, but cleaned up absolutely beautifully. Excellent rifling. Looks like it was carried around, and handled continuously for years, but rarely fired. Minor cracks in stock, lots of dings and dents, but nothing structurally important. “AOI” stamped on stock, other unit marks on stock are visible, but quite faint from combination of filth and wear. Had one incorrect part, but quickly and painlessly exchanged by truly outstanding RTI customer service representative, Stephanie. Exceptionally pleased with this rifle, and my more importantly, with RTI’s super duper after-the-sale support. I bought two other different rifles after this great experience. Buy with complete confidence!

  23. Darren

    It’s an antique and often they put on a sale. Everything came intact with no parts missing or cracked, mechanically functions perfectly with snap caps. Bore is acceptable given the price. Absolute must for an Italian milsurp collector. Barely any cleaning was needed, just some light Ballistol and it’s good to go. Overall pretty satisfied.

  24. David

    I bought three when on sale at $199. 2 look great, 1 is a little rough, as expected. No cleaning rods. They look like they’ll clean up great. Matching numbers on the 2 nicer ones. Overall, I’m pretty satisfied and will buy from RTI again.

  25. Drew Zelle

    I received this rifle after paying $236 during the flash sale. It arrived dirty, grimy, and needs a significant amount of cleaning. But, it has all components, less cleaning rod, and the stock matches the serial number. I am more than pleased and find that it is well worth the $236 dollar investment and my time to clean it. Thanks RTI! Great gun for a good price.

  26. Kenneth

    Was pleased overall,won’t be putting any rounds through it. Great addition to the collection cleaned up well. Loose bolt but functions properly fine for display!

  27. Rory Lee

    Hard to believe how good the condition was considering the age of the rifle. Barrel was basically new, and looks like it was barely shot at all. Can’t use full power loads so be careful of that. Wood and finish is what you would expect of a rifle of this age. Weighs more than most boat anchors and is almost as tall as I am, but neat shootable piece of history with the proper downloaded charge. Modern replica clip does not work well however, and the last round won’t load properly, but I am not sure it ever did from the final arsenal rebuild, so I can’t blame RTI for that. I really wish it had come with a cleaning rod, but I know they usually don’t.

  28. Fife

    Overall condition when arrived was dirty, dusty, and grimy. After a very thorough tear down and cleanup (many youtube videos on tear down), the rifle was reassembled and test fired. Overall condition of the bore was excellent and does not appear to have had much use. The rifle functions well with standard ammo and recoil is very light. Personally I really like the looks of the rifle as it is very much different from other milsurp rifles. Get one while you can.

  29. Robert Brookes

    I am very pleased with this rifle. It is just in amazing condition for being in storage for so long. The bore was pristine. I’m wondering if it was ever fired considering the corrosive effect of those old primers. It had some light surface rust here and there easily removed with steel wool and a surprising amount of intact bluing after cleaning. Great purchase. Great company!

  30. Scott Bartels

    6-9-23 Rec’d my $300 Vetterli 1870/87/15 and am very pleased with the condition. It will require some elbow grease, but it is a great example of the Vetterli. All the parts are there – including the cleaning rod. The cleaning rod is a bit bent, but, heck, that means it might even had been put to good use. I remember buying only two Lugers in the 90’s for $250 and $450 respectively. That
    warehouse of Lugers emptied very quickly. These Vetterli’s are no different. In ten years these rifles will be selling for $1,500 and you’ll kick yourself for not buying a couple of them. RTI will be
    getting more of my business!

  31. Preston

    This is my 1st purchase through RTI. The rifle I ordered shipped next day. I order the 6.5 Vetterli w/out the “select” option. The rifle I received is very comparable to the rifles represented in the YouTube video in the link… with a bonus- mine had some very unique trench art on the stock. Overall I am pleased w/ my purchase, and have already made another purchase through RTI.

  32. Gabriel Panoussi

    RTI is an excellent company to deal with! I had an issue with one of the four vetterli rifles I purchased and they have gone above and beyond to correct the issue. I highly recommend them and the vetterli rifles! The price point is amazing for a classic Italian firearm. Check out the Carcanos too! They are fun shooters.

  33. Joel

    The rifle was in great shape considering the time period in which it was produced. No cracks in the stock with an amazing amount of finsh left. I have ordered many times from RTI and when I received this rifle it was missing the (1) free steel clip which the description staes is includes. I e-mailed customer service (3) three times and received no response. In my last e-mail I even indicated I would wait for their response to this issue as I would love to give a completly impartial review and would be able to indicate they took corrective action in resolving the clip issue. I never got any return emails after (2) weeks of e-mail communication. That being said, the rifle itself deserves (5) stars as it was described appropriately and I am happy with it. However, customer service and support get (1) star which averages out to an overall (3) star review due to total experince.

  34. Randy Emerson

    I am completely satisfied with this rifle. For a rifle that is over 100 years old the metal was in great shape and the wood as I would expect and it came with the cleaning rod. I love this rifle.

  35. MichaelBrown (verified owner)

    I ordered a standard “A” grade infantry rifle when they were $200 in December 2023. It arrived in a week, had about 80% blue, matching numbers. Mine is a Torino made in 1881. I’m very happy with it. No cleaning rod.

  36. HistoryIsFun (verified owner)

    Customer service was great, grabbed this on sale for Christmas. Gun looks awesome, it’s heavy, it’s clunky, but it’s history and I enjoy it alot. If you want something cool to show off and start a conversation this piece definitely does it. I’m going to eventually try to put a few rounds through it when the right ammunition is produced! Thanks RTI!

  37. JayLancaster (verified owner)

    I received a 70/87/15 rifle made in 1881 in Torino with a very good bore and probably 70-80% of the bluing left. The stock is a bit dinged up, but cleaned up very nicely and has a nice Gardone VT repair/conversion stamp on it. I was amazed at how well this old rifle cleaned up, and I’m very happy with the rifle I received. The bore cleaned up very nicely, just had a ton of copper fouling that a good copper remover handled.

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