M1878 & M1881 Swiss Vetterli:

 M1878 Swiss Vetterli Invantry Rifle.

    M1871 Swiss Vetterli - Top.  M1878 Vetterli - bottom
    Note barrel band, stock checkering & sight differences.

M1881 Swiss Vetterli - Top
M1878/81 Swiss Vetterli - Bottom

Photo showing the sight leaf extention of the M1881 - bottom.
A M1878/81  is shown at top.  Not good to use for comparison as the original
M1878 sight had a simpler flat sighting leaf, more akin to the M1871 sight leaf
but set in the M1878 tangent sight housing.

    The M1878 Swiss Vetterli, Left Receiver

    M1881 Swiss Vetterli Left receiver.  Vetterlis were made by a
    number of different manufacturers.  These two by Waffenfabrik.



Speaking of butts ... The M1878 and the M1881 had a curious addition in the way of a butt trap underneath the steel butt plate.  The butt plate does not have a built in access door such as is found on the M1888 Trapdoor Springfield or the Meiji 22 Murata, however, if the butt plate is removed, there is a compartment for holding a spare firing pin, a piece which was easily broken.  Not many people know that there is a spare firing pin there.  :)

There is a firing pin wrapped up in that original paper tucked into the butt stock.


Page first sketched February 17, 1999
Revised September 15, 1999
Revised January 12, 2000