Vetterli Model 1869/71

Bolt Action, 10.4X38 (.41) Swiss Rimfire, 12 round capacity


Make:  Vetterli

Model:  1869/71

Arsenal:  W. von Steiger Thun

Serial #:  24483

Caliber:  10.4X38 (.41) Swiss Rimfire

Date of Manufacturer:  1871-1874

Action:  Bolt action

Capacity:  12 (11 round tubular magazine +1 in the chamber)

Barrel Length:  33.1"

Overall Length:  51.2"

Other Numbers: All Matching

Import Mark?:  None
Weight:  10.4 lb.  










This gun is very confusing in trying to figure out exactly what model it is.  According to this page W. Von Steiger, Thun only manufactured the M1869 between the years of 1869-1874 producing only 15,200.  This model does not have a bayonet lug.


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Vetterli rifle
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Vetterli rifles were a series of Swiss army service rifles in use from 1869 to circa 1890, when they were replaced with the Schmidt-Rubin rifles. Modified Vetterli rifles were also used by the Italian army.

The Swiss Vetterli rifles combined the American M1866 Winchester rifle's tubular magazine and a bolt system derived from the German Dreyse needle gun. They were also the first repeating rifle to feature a self-cocking action and a small caliber. Due to the Swiss Federal Council's early 1866 decision to equip the army with a breech loading repeating rifle, the Vetterli rifles were at the time of their introduction the most advanced military rifles in Europe.

Repetiergewehr Vetterli, Model 1869/70
The 1869 Repetiergewehr Vetterli (English: repeating rifle, Vetterli) was the first iteration of Vetterli rifles. It was designed by Johann-Friedrich Vetterli (1822–1882), a Swiss rifle maker, who worked in France and England before becoming director of the Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft's armament factory in Neuhausen. He also adapted his rifle into a single-shot variant procured by the Italian Army.

Repetiergewehr Vetterli, Model 1871
Even while manufacture of the M1869/70 was underway, a new 1871 model was put into production. It omitted some redundant parts and featured a modified sight as well as a stronger barrel and stronger iron hoops.

Repetierstutzer Vetterli, Model 1871
The Stutzer (carbine) variant of the 1871 rifle was used to equip the Scharfschützen (sniper) companies of the army. The Stutzer were equipped with a sensitive Stecher action and featured a shorter barrel.

Kavallerie-Repetierkarabiner Vetterli, Model 1871
The Kavallerie-Repetierkarabiner (English: cavalry repeating carbine) was another shortened variant of the 1871 rifle for use by the cavalry, which at that time was still armed with percussion pistols.

Repetiergewehr and -stutzer Vetterli, Model 1878 and 1881
To accelerate the sluggish production of the Vetterli rifles, the federal authorities built a new arms factory in Berne, the Eidgenössische Waffenfabrik (W+F), in 1875. That factory produced the 1878 variant of the Vetterli rifle. Its some 25 improvements included a new bayonet and lug, improved sights and a finger hook on the trigger cover. An Stutzer variant with a Stecher action, but otherwise identical to the rifle, was also produced.

A later 1881 variant of rifle and stutzer was equipped with an improved sight that allowed a practical range of up to 1,600 meters.

Other web sites with information about the Vetterli

Swiss Vetterli rifles


Historic Firearm of the Month, July 2001

Vetterli Rifles Message Board at

Shooting the Vetterli by "Parashooter"


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