This is an Italian Model 1871 Vetterli rifle bayonet that has been officially modified for use in World War One. During WW1, Italy, along with many countries, was forced to re-work older arms in order to meet demand. Stocks of old Vetterli Model 1871 bayonets had their blades shortened and their hooked quillon removed for issue to front-line troops using the Model 1891 Carcano Infantry rifle and carbine. The Carcano M91 was used in both rifle and shorter-barrelled carbine forms by most Italian troops during WW1 and by Italian and some German forces during WW2.
The 242mm single-edged blade has a flat spine above a broad single fuller. The spine tapers to a 30mm upper false edge and the blade terminates in a spear point. The blade is in good condition and has been armoury blued and retains its original finish and fighting edge.
The ricasso bears the Turin armoury stamp, “Torino” with an oval acceptance cartouche containing the initials B. G. The obverse ricasso bears a worn inspection stamp.
The crosspiece with hooked quillon removed is stamped with the serial number of the Carcano rifle it was re-issued with. The obverse of the crosspiece bears a stamped letter A and a worn number 6. The rear of the shortened quillon is stamped with 33 above 51 and an hourglass-like symbol. The crosspiece is in generally good condition with age and use related marks and dings. The blued pommel is in good condition and bears an inspection stamp.
The wooden grip scales are in good condition and are held firmly in place by a rivet and the screw retaining the long external leaf spring. The press stud and spring are in good working order.
The bayonet is complete with its original Vetterli scabbard that has been armoury shortened. The scabbard is in excellent condition and the stitching is intact and tight. The leather is stamped with the Torino armoury name and original production date of 1883. The brass locket and chape bear Turin armoury stamps. The bayonet sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is a very good example of a scarce Italian Vetterli M71 bayonet officially modified for use in WW1.
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