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Formally known as the Moschetto da Cavalleria mod. 1870, this single-shot carbine utilizes the same bolt mechanism design as the Fucile mod. 1870 rifle adopted by the Italian infantry. The Vetterli cavalry carbine was formally adopted in 1871, issued to Italian cavalry units starting in 1872, and continued to see use in some form through the early 1900s, despite the development of magazine fed replacements. As a result, these arms are difficult to find in good, unconverted condition and complete with both bayonet and cleaning rod. One feature that makes the Cavalleria a unique cavalry piece is the long, almost 21 inches, socket bayonet. Having a cruciform blade just over 18 ¼ inches, the bayonet, when not in use, is stored in a reverse position under the barrel with the blade inserted into the forearm and the socket locked around a lug on the underside of the barrel; a design that gives the Moschetto da Cavalleria mod. 1870 an interesting and distinctive appearance. The Moschetto da Carabinieri Reali mod. 1870, employed by the Italian Military Police, also has this bayonet stow design, but the Reali is a much longer firearm.
This Moschetto da Cavalleria mod. 1870 was manufactured in the Torre Annunziata factory in 1882 and is COMPLETE with the very rare, folding cleaning rod, an intact and functional dust cover, and a bayonet with matching SN. The cleaning rod is just under 10 ½ inches in length when folded and stored in the buttstock trap and unfolds at a center hinge to become just over 20 inches when fully exttended. The Vecchi quadrant rear sight with spring-loaded ratchet adjusting system and Clavarino safety catch are both correct for the manufacture date. The SN is marked on the nocksform, bayonet, and right, rear buttstock. Very faint remains of the Torre manufacturer’s cartouche are present on the stock, just above the SN and their name is also found in a two-line address on the nocksform. All inspectors’ marks are correct, and no arsenal repair, arsenal refit, or importer’s marks are present.
The bolt, butt trapdoor, and bayonet all function as intended. Very good overall condition with some handling marks present. Bore is fantastic and is clean, bright, with well-defined rifling. See pictures for overall condition. This Vetterli cavalry carbine is a great item for collectors of Italian military arms! Antique. Check with a local FFL dealer to confirm your state laws governing ownership of an antique rifle before purchasing this item.
Reale Fabbrica d'armi di Torre Annunziata
Moschetto da Cavalleria mod. 1870
~17 ¾ inches
excellent, clean and bright with well-defined rifling.
36 ½ inches
7 ¼ lbs