I finally was able to shoot my Vetterli yesterday. Unfortunately my camera wasn't working correctly and everything was blurry. I'll correct the problem and take photos of the ammo and the target we shot at.
I purchased loading dies and a bullet mould from Buffalo Arms. I had to wait 3 months until the dies came in. The caliber is 10.35x47R for the Italian Vetterli, but they only had the 10.35x46R bullet mould for the Swiss model, but the width of the bullet was perfect and could be used. It's not a round nose bullet like the Italian, but a little longer and has a flat tip. It can't be pushed into the mag unless I re-shape and slightly shorten it, but since I'm firing very few rounds I'm only loading one at a time anyway.
I also purchased 100 pre-formed cases from Buffalo Arms as well for $2.08 a piece, which is expensive. But each case can be re-loaded 10, or 15 times, which will pay for itself. The cases were formed using .348 Win. brass. A friend of mine owns a gas station and gave me around 50lbs. of lead wheel weights, which is hard lead and great for casting bullets. The EPA is no longer allowing lead weights to be used, so I'm still having him put aside some that are being taken off tires in his shop.
My friend's been loading for many years and got all the necessary specs for both black and smokeless powder. When a gunsmith repaired the firing pin he swagged the barrel and the bore measured .434, which is on the large size. The mould was a perfect .436 which fits the rifling perfectly. Those rifles were a mess, cause the bores ranged from .425 to .436. That's why no one will make that round.
I did get that rifle for free, but now between the re-loading equipment, gunsmith service and formed cases I invested over $500. I had also picked up a 1930's Persian Mauser sling and a repro Vetterli cleaning rod that fits under the barrel, which now makes the rifle complete. That's a lot, but I brought home after shooting 80 rounds of live ammo. If I were to find someone selling those rounds they'd cost somewhere around $5 each. But they can't be found. I have $400 worth of ammo that will last a long time for me.
Down the road I'll have my friend re-load some more, but the cost will be near nothing. He had the powder, which he was given for free and had a ton of large rifle primers, which I couldn't find locally. At 50 yards my last 4 shots had 3 holes touching and 1 flier about an inch and quarter. I'm very pleased with that and will do better next time out. The rifle is a pleasure to shoot with a light kick probably due to the light loads my friend used. Maybe I'll have him load up a few black powder rounds just for fun. I'm a very happy man finally shooting this rifle after 58 years.
Last edited by gunsmoke11; 06-06-2013 at 05:28 AM.