Vetterli Union Metallic

Hi guys I have a question
this headstamp was found on the cartridges with brass case 10,35 x 47 Vetterli

exist too UM78 and was identified as the contract for the Italian Government by the Union Metallic Cartdriges but I think this is not correct, can anyone help?

Positively not an UMC cartridge. Probably UM are the initials of the Chief Inspector in the Italian pyrotechnic factory, but as far as I know, he was not identified. Maybe one of our Italian members should know? (Pivi?)

(The round I had in my former collection was blank loaded).


almost impossible, where is the headstamp of pyrotechnic factory?
this must be a production of private constructor for a government contract, but which?

Hi Norby,

I also share the opinion that it was not made by UMC and its manufacturer has yet to be identified, which as you know is also the case for other headstamps found in Vetterli cartridges made in the 1870’s. One of this cartridges was once part of the UMC reference collection, which may have been the reason why it was associated with this manufacturer.

Regarding the UMC production of this cartridge, it seems that information about it is pretty much unknown except for its inclusion in the c.1875 board. As far as I know is not listed in any catalogs.

As seen below, the cartridge in the board is designated “45 Berdan Patent Central Fire Italian Government”, which seems a rather odd designation for a .41 caliber cartridge. However, it is in fact correct because this is not a 10.35x47R Vetterli but a unique case type having a very high shoulder position with a neck diameter of .467" (11.86 mm) and a bullet diameter of .450" (11.43 mm). It has no headstamp.

I believe that this may have been one of the cartridges tested by Italy before the adoption of the Vetterli M. 70 cartridge.



I once owned most of the UMC reference collection. At that time, opinion was, as it is now and was previously mentioned in this thread, that this cartridge was not made by UMC. The reference collection contained many non-American made cartridges. IIRC, the headstamp on the round in the UMC collection was UM over 78.


I did a research of Italian Sources on the Vetterli Rifle and Cartridges, and it seems in the early years (1870-1880,) there were many cases made without Headstamps, or with only perfunctory ID,
The example shown is in the style of then current Italian Government Production (Turin T, Capua C) and with Inspector’s Initials and Year date, just that this one has no Factory Indicator at 12 o’clock.

Inspector “UM” is currently unknown, but deeper research may find the name and where this inspector was located and when (Inspectors, being Artillery Officers, were often transferred between Pirotechnica plants.)

There are listed some commercial makers, with nowadays unknown names. Another feature is that early Vetterli cases (and some later ones) had Boxer Primers. ( also the M74/M89 Revolver cartridge also with Boxer Primers early on…Maybe an American Influence in Cartridge design? (From test samples?).

Doc AV