Will 1891 Carcano bayonet fit older 1870 Vetterli

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Discussion' started by Popgun, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. Popgun

    Popgun New Member

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    I have an Italian 1870/87-15 Vetterli Vitali infantry rifle that I own and shoot. It's one of the rifles that was re-sleeved to fit the 6.5x52 Carcano cartridge. I was interested in purchasing a bayonet for my rifle but the long 1871 bayonet/swords are rare and expensive. There are quite a few of the later 1891 bayonets on the market that were issued with the Carcano rifles of WW1 and they look like there are the same mounting design as the older 1870's.

    My question is; have any of you Curio & Relic guys ever tried fitting these two items together to see if they are in fact the same mounting? FYI, the reason I like this rifle is that 30 years ago my grandfather held this gun in his hands and told me it was the same rifle issued to him in 1810 when he served in the Italian army.

    Thanks for your consideration and comments
     
  2. marysdad

    marysdad New Member

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    The Vetterli-Carcano conversion rifles mount the M1871 Vetterli bayonet, not the M1891 Carcano bayonet. The Italians shortened older M1871 bayonets for issue with the Vetterli-Carcano rifles during World War I. The shortened bayonets can usually be had for under $100.
     

  3. Popgun

    Popgun New Member

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    Thanks for your response. The one distinctive characteristic I've seen with the M1871 bayonets is the curved front quillon. The M1891 seems to always have a straight cross-guard with a short stubby quillon. All of the bayonets I seem to see for under $100 are the M1891 model. Just to be clear if I may, are you saying an M1891 will not fit on an 1870/87 rifle barrel? If they won't fit, do you have a list of some sources where I might find M1871 bayonets, even shortened ones.

    Thanks again
     
  4. marysdad

    marysdad New Member

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    The M1871/87/15 bayonets had the blade shortened to 9 inches and the lower quillion removed. These come up for sale frequently on eBay. The shortened version is correct for the Vetterli-Carcano and is less costly than full-length examples. Shawn Gibson has a couple on his site at http://www.bayonetconnection.com However, these are a little pricey. Dennis Ottobre doesn't have one posted at the moment, but frequently offers them for sale on his site at http://ebayonet.com/

    A M1891 bayonet will not mount to a Vetterli-Carcano rifle. The M1891 bayonet's muzzle ring diameter is too small and the muzzle ring is too high to mount to the Vetterli. Compare the muzzle ring diameters and hilts pictured on the Italy Page of my site. The differences are significant.