Sunday, September 11, 2022

RTI Italian Vetterli Model 1870/87/15 Part 3 - End Result

The Royal Tiger Imports Italian Vetterli Model 1870/87/15 is finished up and restored to a fully functional state. As this rifle was twice converted, and the barrel sleaved down to the current 6.5 Carcano, it's had a reputation of being a bit on the iffy side with regard to safety. This was the case when it was issued, much less 100+ years after its retirement. I will send a few low pressure rounds down range, probably with the safety of a bench rest and a lengthy trigger lanyard! The Italians make some of the finest shotguns, but there military rifles left a little to be desired.  

After the complete disassembly and some of the wood cleaning I described in Part 2, all of the metal parts went into an ultrasonic bath with a solution of water and Simple Green, followed by drying in the air fryer (don't tell Gemma, but this works great!!) For teh most part, the metal is in decent shape, with crisp stampings and some light surface pitting. The barrel cleaned up OK, though the rifling is worn with considerable corrosion near teh muzzle end. I made some of the minor stock repairs necessary to avoid further damage, and blended stain to match the stock as best as possible. The goal here was not to hide any repair, or restore the stock to a newer looking condition. Remaining light surface rust was removed with Break-Free MilSpec CLP and #0000 steel wool, which leaves any remaining bluing and existing patina intact. 

Overall, this was a fun an inexpensive project. I brought back to life a rifle that likely saw a great deal of action in the late 19th century past the first World War, both in Europe and Africa. Would I have wanted to carry this into battle? Hell no!!! I'll stick to Swiss made version, or just about any other late 19th century military firearm. However, it will fill a nice little niche in my collection 


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