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Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
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Posted: 11/3/2015 10:09:07 PM EDT

So I stumbled across an old gun at a local pawn shop (I rarely shop pawn places, but this is the only one in the area with a gun counter).

The ornate trigger guard and fat bolt shroud immediately suggested a "Vetterli" - but my knowledge stopped at the name.

Surprisingly, the tag said "6.5mm" for the caliber.  I think they wanted about $100 for it - which was also a surprise because this shop's prices tend to be sky high.  What was I looking at?

My weak Google-fu turned up this strange tale:


It's a good read.

For the TL;DR crowd: this Vetterli started as a single shot black powder gun in 1870.  Then in 1887, they bolted on a magazine system.  Then, desperate for guns during WWI, they soldered in a rifled barrel liner in 6.5 Carcano and started shooting smokeless loads out of these.  Then for WW2, they shipped them off to Italy's African colonies.

As interesting as the gun's history is, I just don't want one - not even for $100.  I'll shoot most any old gun in good condition.  But this cobbled-together version of a gun introduced just after our U.S. Civil war is just too much - even for me.

If anyone in the DC area is desperate to own it, shoot me a PM & you can go see if it's still there (hope that's OK with the moderator; if not, I'll happily remove it.  And no, this isn't my gun and never was nor will it ever be).

Link Posted: 11/3/2015 10:24:01 PM EDT
The conversions to 6,5 are unsafe.  It's a wall-hanger.
Link Posted: 11/4/2015 1:52:30 AM EDT
I have a 70/87 with a matching serial number bayonet. The only one I've ever seen.
I see lots of 70/87/15 guns pretty cheap. Don't shoot it.
Link Posted: 11/4/2015 2:51:33 AM EDT
I also have one. Payed $100 for it. I wont shoot it but it looks cool with therest of my collection.
Link Posted: 11/4/2015 11:25:16 AM EDT
Thanks for the replies fellas!

I am usually the first guy urging owners of old guns to shoot them if they are in working order, but this Vetterli conversion gives even me the shivers.  

I walked away from it and I don't plan on going back!

However - what I liked about the gun was the styling and elements that I can only call "artistic".   That trigger guard has no practical purpose on the battlefield, but it just looks cool.  I  certainly can appreciate you guys wanting to own and display a gun like this one - especially one with such a long and interesting history!


Link Posted: 11/4/2015 6:42:39 PM EDT
That is a picture of a Vetterli 1870/87
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