East german militaria

The Italian Model 1870/87 infantry rifle employed a bolt action mechanism developed by Friedrich Vetterli, whose design was adopted by the Swiss Army in 1869. Initially the Italian rifle was issued as a single-loader but, from 1887, was adapted to accept a box magazine, designed by Giuseppe Vitali. Model 1870/87 rifles were still in service with second line Italian units when Italy entered the First World War. Subsequently, most were re-chambered for the modern smokeless service cartridge. Prior to the First World War, as the Italian Army began to be equipped with the Model 1891 rifle many Vetterli-Vitali rifles were sold to arms dealers. A consignment of these, was purchased by the Ulster Volunteer Force during 1913-14. The UVF was a Protestant organization, created to oppose plans for Irish Home Rule. It would appear that most of the Italian rifles were issued to UVF volunteers in the rural counties of Armagh, Fermanagh and Monaghan, with more modern Mannlicher rifles being employed elsewhere

East german militaria

east german militaria

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