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Thread: 1869 Vetterli

  1. #11
    Senior Member Waterloomike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennymo View Post
    Tradeex is the only place I've found listing it so far (PRVI), but it's out of stock. I'm probably ordering up a box of loaded PRVI and pulling the bullets. Twenty cases will be enough for my purposes right now anyway. I'm hoping to get my hands on a Lebel or Berthier eventually anyway, so I'll eventually recycle the leftover components at some point.
    I got a box of Fiocchi loaded. I had to get custom made dies and molds.

    I'll take a look at prvi.

    Thanks!
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  2. #12
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    Next step, turning the one on the left into the one on the right.....

    IMG_2264.jpg

    IMG_2265.jpg

    My 41 Swiss casing won't chamber in my rifle though. It binds around the base about 1/4" from closing the action. Chambers supposedly vary wildly though. Note the double strike from the dual firing pins.
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  4. #13
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    IMG_2302.jpg

    Got three pieces of 'experimental' brass going. Trimmed most of the neck off, then bumped them into a 44 mag sizing die with the decapping pin removed to start a new shoulder. We'll see how this goes before I form the rest of the box. I'm mostly worried if I'll need to reanneal these before fireforming. The PRVI comes with signs of annealing already, and I'm below where most of the sizing took place, so.....fingers crossed. Otherwise I'll probably decap all the rounds before holding them to a torch. Next step, about 9 grains of shotgun powder (whatever the closest Lee dipper is), cream o' wheat and a bit of wax.

    I picked up a pack of RCBS headed decamping pins to serve as the new firing pin. I'll be looking for the right piece of scrap metal at the farm to shape the new firing pin carrier this weekend, and then I'll need to make a date at the cousin's place to borrow his mini lathe and drill the new firing pin hole in the bolt face.

    Looking at ordering some cast projectiles through Jet bullets if I can. He's got the right diameter and heavy flatpoint I need and the site claims they'll cast to whatever hardness I want......thinking of going a hair on the softer side to increase the odds of the bullet base upsetting to suit the grooves. I'm also going to leave the cases somewhere between 40 and 42mm instead of the original 38mm to help with bullet alignment. The original Swiss bullet was heeled, hence the ridiculously short neck on that original case.

    The Lebel rim and cartridge base dimensions are damn near identical to the rimfire. I was watching C&Rsenal last week, and discovered that this was because the French copied the dimensions of their old casing in their haste to develop the Lebel when they happened upon smokeless powder in the 1880's. And a bunch of the old European military rimfire cartridges all happened to be based on the same case. Handy.
    Last edited by kennymo; 06-06-2018 at 11:36 PM.
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  6. #14
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    64B91E13-6F9F-4460-BB27-D3A925D9FF2A.jpg

    5/64 drill bit nice and square through the centre of the bolt face, the RCBS decapping pin fits in there like it was made for the purpose.

    EB9B26EA-41EC-498B-96DC-9DE265508653.jpg

    I went the cheap Ukrainian route and opted to use a nylon zip tie as the retainer. Drill the same 5/64 dead centre and clean up the edges with a course file until it fits snugly.

    C3E511DD-A9A3-4096-B85A-1AEE8ECC74D1.jpg

    Trim up the zip tie, reassemble the bolt, then with the striker in the ‘fired’ position, file the pin down until it only protrudes 0.050” from the bolt face. Disassemble, round off the pin on a stone or fine file and reassemble. Double check pin protrusion and make sure there’s no way the pin can bind sticking out. This can cause an out of battery discharge while chambering a round. (It’s way less of an issue with the zip tie. There’s some very specific tolerances that need to be followed if you’re making the retainer out of metal)

    We’ll see how this works on the weekend, provided the weather holds.

    Note: Not a gunsmith, do your own research before trying this at home.

    Should add, I’m not reinventing the wheel here. Working mostly off articles from swissrifles.com and milsurps.com.
    Last edited by kennymo; 05-13-2019 at 07:50 PM.
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  8. #15
    Senior Member Mark-II's Avatar
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    Neat. I wonder how long the zip tie will last. If it breaks your firing pin falls out inside of the bolt somewhere?

    I had an old Savage .22 schutzen rifle once, and a firing pin had been fashioned from a bit of ardox nail

    It lasted not at all long lol
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  9. #16
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    I think I’ll eventually be making one out of either a solid piece of nylon or aluminum. Cutting boards and dog chews from the dollar store can apparently be a good source for the nylon. I’ll need to finally invest in a drill press though. Oddly, I caught a sale on a large cross slide vise about a year ago. Which I wound up throwing on the deck to hold the bolt steady while I had at it with the Makita.... Good thing I get plenty of practise at work, I probably couldn’t have done much better with the press.

    Couple notes already.
    #1, after you file the pin, don’t forget to reinstall the extractor.....twice....
    #2, the hole through the nylon needs to be a snug fit on the pin. Friction fit good, loose fit means cursing in all official Swiss languages.
    #3, the ears on the retainer need to be rolled back and fit snugly in the slot on the bolt. If they pop out of the slot, the action is unhappy about it and won’t open far enough to eject and operate the lifter.

    Mk III retainer coming up shortly.
    Last edited by kennymo; 05-13-2019 at 07:38 PM.
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  11. #17
    Senior Member 2012Cvoguy's Avatar
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    I wish I had your time to putz with stuff like this..... Seriously.

  12. #18
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2012Cvoguy View Post
    I wish I had your time to putz with stuff like this..... Seriously.
    About an hour and two beers for this bit. Going to frick around with zip ties after the kid is in bed. My ‘spare’ time is the hour and a half between me getting home and the time I have to pick up the kid from daycare across the street. It only occurs if my day ends at 8 hours.... So I feel your pain somewhat. Free time has been at a premium since late July 2014. Luckily the time killer and me are good buds....
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  13. #19
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    Neat. I wonder how long the zip tie will last. If it breaks your firing pin falls out inside of the bolt somewhere?
    I think it will hold up for quite a while. The only contact it has with any moving parts is the pin sliding back and forth through the hole. The pin is sort of free floating within, and the striker doesn’t come forward far enough to cause the head of the pin to strike the plastic. And since the pin is guided by the hole through the bolt face it can’t really wear loose. These RCBS pins really are cat’s ass for this task. Anyway, looks like MkIII configuration will win the day. I swapped the white ties for a black one that is a perfect friction fit in the slot. Pre-folded it around the pin a bit to create just a hint of a crease on both sides of the head, then trimmed the ends so that they were just a hair past the back end of the slot. When I tuck them in against the side of the striker it creates a wee bit of ‘spring’ tension that should keep the whole thing in place. It assembled well and withstands hard racking of the bolt. Needs a good jerk right at the end to pop the Winchester/Henry style lifter/ejector up.

    0DA7F1AD-20CF-4C19-A2D7-8A4DC1309388.jpg

    5000660F-12FC-493C-81E7-8EF767E3728D.jpg

    I’m actually impressed by how this bubba assembly looks now.....
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  15. #20
    Resident Combine Pilot JustBen's Avatar
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    I’m impressed!

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