Monday, September 5, 2022

RTI Italian Vetterli Model 1870/87/15 Part 2 Update - Disassembled and Cleaning the Wood

So the Vetterli disassembled quite easily even after 100+ years of sitting in an Ethiopian shed! There is a really good video on Italian Vetterli disassembly at Vetterli 1870/87/15 Rifle Disassembly Part 1 by TheKoba49, so I won't reinvent the wheel. This gun will never be a beauty/safe queen, and teh goal is to restore it to a fully functional condition as opposed to a complete restoration. There won't be any rebluing, sanding down or replacing stocks, etc. Cleaning the accumulated grime was pretty easy with Murphy's Oil Soap and a nylon brush, followed by a little light scrubbing with extra fine #0000 steel wool with the Murphy's, following the grain. Once cleaned, I applied Renaissance Micro-Crystalline Wax Polish. The wear, nicks and compressions of a rifle originally manufactured in the 1870s and converted twice still show in the wood, but some of the grain and original color really show now as well. (Before and After) 

One interesting aspect of these guns as that they were converted twice. The first was from a single shot 10.4mm Vetterli black powder cartridge to a repeater by adding a magazine that would also be adopted by the Dutch Beaumont as well. This required some widening of the receiver well. Later, in the WWI era, it was again converted to a 6.5mm Carcano round by sleeving the barrel and also filling the previously widened stock well. As you can see on mine, one of these stock repaires has come out and will need to be worked on. 

Part 3 will be the complete disassembly of the bolt and receiver parts, followed by a bath in the ultrasonic cleaner and then some TLC on the surface rust. 


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