A hard look at the very curious Italian Vetterli-Vitali rifle (VIDEO)

Based on a mid-19th Century Swiss design, the Italian Vetterli-Vitali 1870/87 looks more steampunk that reality, and Othais and Mae over at C&Rsenal cover the strange gun in-depth.

Johann-Friedrich Vetterli’s series of breechloading repeating rifles, the Swiss repetiergewehr, were among the most advanced designs of their day when the Swiss adopted them.

Using a four-shot magazine design added by a guy named Vitali, an Italian artillery officer, the single shot M1870 Vetterli rifle was adopted in the land of spaghetti in 1887 as the Vetterli-Vitali 1870/87– just rolls off the tongue, eh? This funky and awkward rifle served in one form or another with the Italians into the Great War, which makes it a target for C&Rsenal’s WWI Primer series, shown above.

While the feature-length video runs deep into the background, nomenclature, and manipulation of the systems of Vetterli and Vitali, it is worth it if you are a fan of vintage military rifles.

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