10.4 X 38R Swiss Vetterli cartridge

  • If somebody has in his collection the original Swiss 10.4X38R cartridge made in the 19th century, I would like to see some pictures of it. This type of round was adopted in 1869 for the 10.4mm (0.41-inch) Vetterli rifles and carbines used by the Swiss military in 1870s and 1880s. I understand that the official military 10.4X38R cartridge was rimfire. => The Vetterli rifle has a tube magazine under the barrel and it was the first magazine-fed rifle to be adopted for military service in Europe. Thanks in advance for any help, Liviu 06/12/09

Here you are, the headstamp is a cross within a circle.

  • @ Armourer: Nice 10.4X38R Vetterli cartridge, thanks! Is it any way to know the approx. year of manufacture??? Liviu 06/12/09

I think that the paper patch bullet was introduced in 1878, so this round must be around then. There are 4 “dots” in the headstamp which may mean someone with more knowledge can date it more accurately. I have seen photos of headstamps with no “dots” and 2 or 3 “dots”.

The dots only indicated the loading line. They range from 0 to 5 dots.

Liviu–If you have not found it yet, check your email for a 11 page article I wrote back in 1985 detailing all the different 10.4x38 Vettrerli. If anyone else wants this article, email me. It is too long to post here.

Ron, what is a loading line?

A production line to make the cartridge, usually with machinery. A large facility
like Thun or St. Louis might have several production lines all running at the same time making the same cartridge.

  • @ Ron Merchant: Yes, I got the material you had e-mailed me, thanks! I also sent you my reply. Liviu 06/12/09

Vetterli Cartridge …

old packed from 1891 of 10 vetterli cartridge’s


Had they always been made with paper patched bullets?
I have an identical round without the paper

1 GP1867, Kal. 10,5 mm Rand
2 GP1871, Kal. 10,4 mm Rand
3 GP1878, Kal. 10,4 mm Rand
4 GP1890, Kal. 10,4 mm Rand PC 89
5 GP Kart

WOW , super info and super website

  • @ gyrojet: Thanks (bedankt) for your pictures and the excellent Web-site you posted above. => The reason I’m interested in the originally military 10.4X38R rimfire cartridge [.41" Swiss] is because I recently got a Swiss made Vetterli M1871 socket bayonet which is for the 10.4mm Mod.1869/71 rifle and the 10.4mm Mod.1871 short rifle [both these weapons fire the same 10.4X38R round]. The Swiss Vetterli M1871 socket bayonet and the 10.4mm Vetterli rifles can be seen here at swissrifles.com/vetterli/detail/index.html I only have the Swiss Vetterli M1871 socket bayonet (I collect socket bayonets too), I don’t have any 10.4mm Vetterli rifle. => NOTE: I would be interested to get an original Swiss 10.4X38R rimfire fired shell case if possible. Liviu 06/14/09

Liviu your welcome!!
I will look for a 10.4x38R fired case for you.

best regards