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All matching Gewehr 98

Cubamauser

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I thought I would share my 1916 gewehr 98 that is all matching. The only non matching part is the rear action screw. The finish has seen better days and the firing pin has been clipped but the bore is immaculate. I posted it up on another forum and they said maybe a war bond rifle. It's not the most photogenic rifle but I don't run across many (almost) all matching german rifles in my neck of the woods much less imperial german stuff.

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Marlin781

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That's a beautiful Gew98! Whats the story behind that one?
I would love to know! Bought it from a dealer. My guess would be a hard core German WW1 vet brought it home to Bavaria rather than surrender it to the Allies for destruction. After that maybe then a WW2 GI vet bring back? Just one possibility. I've read the Bavarian troops were known for taking extra good care of their rifles due to their hunting tradition. (Amberg was the Bavarian arsenal)
 

gew98

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Lost dozens of matching gew98's and a bunch of other accessories in a fire back in nov'15. These salty gewerhrs are the sexiest...especially if no goober monkeyed with the wood. I had 60 + gew98 rods , two tackle boxes of parts and dozens of firing pins from years of scrounging. A buddy crated it all up after the fire and took it to a mutual friend in Connecticut years ago. He helped alot of people with those parts.
 

Marlin781

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Lost dozens of matching gew98's and a bunch of other accessories in a fire back in nov'15. These salty gewerhrs are the sexiest...especially if no goober monkeyed with the wood. I had 60 + gew98 rods , two tackle boxes of parts and dozens of firing pins from years of scrounging. A buddy crated it all up after the fire and took it to a mutual friend in Connecticut years ago. He helped alot of people with those parts.
Ouch. That must have really stung! I just invested in two more higher end safes and our local fire station is right down the street but a bad fire is still my nightmare scenario as a collector.
 

gew98

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I would love to know! Bought it from a dealer. My guess would be a hard core German WW1 vet brought it home to Bavaria rather than surrender it to the Allies for destruction. After that maybe then a WW2 GI vet bring back? Just one possibility. I've read the Bavarian troops were known for taking extra good care of their rifles due to their hunting tradition. (Amberg was the Bavarian arsenal)
The german Army of the great war was generally the most disciplined...typically german of course. They tended to punish severely neglect of issued equipment and as well had alot of salvage operations at the front from small arms to brass... you name it they picked it up and sent it to the rear for repurpose or rebuild. They even utilized captured slings and repurposed them for gew98's. Many many rifles , pistols and some emma gees "escaped" into germany in 1918-through 1920. Between militias like the EWB , communists and those not trusting many rifles and carbines found their way into closets , barns etc etc. So much so that the german post war government enacted in 1920 and after marking all gew98 and kar98a , and even pistolen in their inventories 1920 - to show they were govt and legal property. If a "citizen" was found with an issue weapon not inventoried under the 1920 regulation it was considered contraband and confiscated. Every now and then they find such rifles squirreled away in basements , attics etc etc. Some ten years or so ago in Bavaria a construction company was tearing out a large old staircase in a former german courthouse and found a stash of 17 gew98's - all of Amberg make I recall , several dozen great war period stick grenaten , several cases of wartime S patronen in bandoliers even !. Under German law licensed collectors can take possesion of said found rifles and put them on their licenses - amnesty if you will. But if goobermint gets them first they are destined for the furnace. A german collector friend told me he and several collectors were called immeadiately and saved all the gewehr's...but ALL the ammo and grenades had to be taken by the polizei. Though his buddies did manage to squirrel off a handfull of the ammo less bandoliers as those WW1 bandos are exceedingly rare.
 

gew98

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Ouch. That must have really stung! I just invested in two more higher end safes and our local fire station is right down the street but a bad fire is still my nightmare scenario as a collector.
Still hurts , such is life. At least a couple were in the house along with my 303's so I did save some. Gave me new respect for fire and less respect for volunteer fire people. The damage they did was almost as bad as the fire itself. And with dozens and dozens of burnt bolt rifles stacked the fire chief ahole was wanting to call the ATF , yeah he is no longer the fire guy. My local constable - good guy set that apparatchiks ass straight and sent him packing.
 

Marlin781

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The german Army of the great war was generally the most disciplined...typically german of course. They tended to punish severely neglect of issued equipment and as well had alot of salvage operations at the front from small arms to brass... you name it they picked it up and sent it to the rear for repurpose or rebuild. They even utilized captured slings and repurposed them for gew98's. Many many rifles , pistols and some emma gees "escaped" into germany in 1918-through 1920. Between militias like the EWB , communists and those not trusting many rifles and carbines found their way into closets , barns etc etc. So much so that the german post war government enacted in 1920 and after marking all gew98 and kar98a , and even pistolen in their inventories 1920 - to show they were govt and legal property. If a "citizen" was found with an issue weapon not inventoried under the 1920 regulation it was considered contraband and confiscated. Every now and then they find such rifles squirreled away in basements , attics etc etc. Some ten years or so ago in Bavaria a construction company was tearing out a large old staircase in a former german courthouse and found a stash of 17 gew98's - all of Amberg make I recall , several dozen great war period stick grenaten , several cases of wartime S patronen in bandoliers even !. Under German law licensed collectors can take possesion of said found rifles and put them on their licenses - amnesty if you will. But if goobermint gets them first they are destined for the furnace. A german collector friend told me he and several collectors were called immeadiately and saved all the gewehr's...but ALL the ammo and grenades had to be taken by the polizei. Though his buddies did manage to squirrel off a handfull of the ammo less bandoliers as those WW1 bandos are exceedingly rare.
Awesome info. Thanks for sharing!
 

gew98

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Id love to find one of the Turkish gew98s to add to the turkish collection. Turk rifles always get a bad wrap but I love my pile of Turkish mausers.
Most of the turked gewehrs got rode hard and put up wet...but every now and then you find a decent one although 99.9% of them are badly mismatched. The germans supplied the turks with large amounts of replacement parts during the war and sold off many too them directly after the war. The brits destroyed bolt of captured turk rifles during and immediately after the war ended - hence the dire need for bolts. The czechs supplied gobs of aprts too with many being left over imperial unserialized parts to include stocks and barrels !. I had so many gew98 nice unserialed parts saved up from turked gewehrs to include a real clean proofed but never serialed stock and a groeous unserialed imperial proofed 29" barrel. I found a matching spandau 1916 action and once mated with barrel and stock it was a fun shooter. Sold it to a collector buddy in AZ many years ago on the cheap as it was a parts gewehr but sure looked great. I bought off an old fella in maryland back in 1999 two five gallon buckets of gewehr 98 bolts , a huge fistful of rods. There were five complete gew98 armorers bolts in the lot , loads of other armorers parts all around poured into those buckets !. A gunsmith long gone used to buy up turk gewehrs and make sporters out of them and tossed all the military parts in buckets and boxes. It was a great treasure trove then. Those were the salad days.
 

Cubamauser

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Sorry to hear about the fire that took a pile of your rifles. That sucks. I had always avoided German rifles just because I know just enough to get myself in trouble and the ww2 stuff is a minefield. I got this gew98 in a trade and when my buddy pulled it out I was expecting a turked gew. I was pretty shocked to see it was all matching and then when I looked down the barrel and saw the bore looks brand new, I knew it was coming home with me. Do you think my rifle could be a war bond or a trophy rifle of some sort? It lacks any plugging of the barrel and only has the clipped firing pin.

I've run across my fair share of rough turkish mausers but they are one of the few rifles I can't turn down. Like most Turkish rifles this gew98 has the right amount of patina on it to make me appreciate it's inner beauty...ha!
 

Story

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I don't run across many (almost) all matching german rifles in my neck of the woods much less imperial german stuff.
Do you think my rifle could be a war bond or a trophy rifle of some sort? It lacks any plugging of the barrel and only has the clipped firing pin.
You know what I think, Jefe?
Your rifle came from south of the border.
At least that's the story I'd tell with a straight face.
The Zimmermann Telegram | National Archives

 

Story

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Ha! Wouldn't that be a dandy of a historical rifle! I'd be excited to see any Mexican mauser in the wild at a gun show around here. They are hard to come across.
A Mauser used in Mexico doesn't have to be marked as such.
That's why it's such a good bullshit story.
You can print this out on a sheet of nice parchment, frame it and hang it next to the rifle.
You're welcome.
On 10 January 1916, Pancho Villa's men captured a train near Santa Isabel, Mexico, and massacred 16 of the 17 Americans aboard. On 9 March his men raided the American town of Columbus, New Mexico, just across the border. Theorizes that the train massacre was a matter of revenge for U.S. support of Carranza, but the raid on Columbus was for another purpose, since only 17 Americans were killed in the entire town. The Germans were interested in fomenting war between the United States and Mexico, and Villa's close advisor, personal physician, and bookkeeper was Dr. Lyman B. Rauschbaum, an Austrian-German. Rauschbaum's compatriot, Felix A. Sommerfeld, became Villa's representative and purchasing agent in New York, and also served as a German agent. The author believes Rauschbaum talked Villa into attacking Columbus in an effort to provoke a war. Rauschbaum convinced Villa that the bank in Columbus was withholding Villa's money, and that the men from whom he had bought supplies in Columbus had been cheating him. Villa was also interested in the possibility of confiscating the munitions and horses at the garrison at Columbus. The raid was successful for Villa but failed to provoke war.

This was one of several brand new Gewehr 98s presented to Villa by Rauschbaum and Sommerfeld. If discovered by the Americans, it would have become another German diplomatic blunder. At some point between March 1916 and February 1917, this Mauser was taken from it's former (very deceased) owner by one of the American soldiers in the "Punitive Expedition, U.S. Army".

Not recognizing the significance of the fresh date on it and without telling his leadership of his prize, he discretely traded it to the owner of a local brothel. It was displayed above the bar in the saloon from 1919 to 1948. One of the sons of that local businessman kept it until 1986. The history of this weapon is purely by oral rendition.
 
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Gazz

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Nice rifle! I bought a couple from the local dump guy some 25 years ago for $75 each. They were both matching except for the bolts and both had clipped fps. I recently read on another form that there are many of the GEW Mausers with clipped fps and that they were were part of war bond drive. I had never heard of that before and wonder how true it is. I had made a comment there on repairing the fp and got replies criticizing me for "destroying the history". A bit much I think. Forward 10 years or so, I bought another from the lgs, this one was all matching but bubba had got to it. He cut the barrel back a few inches, removed the rear sight and whittled on the beech wood sock in an attempt to make a schnable forend tip, a pistol grip and added a butt pad crudely fashioned from a tire tread. Since it was beyond restoration to a proper GEW configuration, I continued with the sporterizing carving the stock into something a bit more presentable and added a extended eye relief scope in the spot where the rear sight had been. The clipped fp can be repaired if you intend to have a complete working rifle and are not worried about "destroying the history".

That's a shame about your fire Gew98 and is something I worry about as well. The local volunteer FD captain told me that houses like mine which was built in 1861 are usually not savable. They squirt water on it till it goes out but do not really try to arrest the fire in a local area as they burn like matches.
 
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gew98

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Nice rifle! I bought a couple from the local dump guy some 25 years ago for $75 each. They were both matching except for the bolts and both had clipped fps. I recently read on another form that there are many of the GEW Mausers with clipped fps and that they were were part of war bond drive. I had never heard of that before and wonder how true it is. I had made a comment there on repairing the fp and got replies criticizing me for "destroying the history". A bit much I think. Forward 10 years or so, I bought another from the lgs, this one was all matching but bubba had got to it. He cut the barrel back a few inches, removed the rear sight and whittled on the beech wood sock in an attempt to make a schnable forend tip, a pistol grip and added a butt pad crudely fashioned from a tire tread. Since it was beyond restoration to a proper GEW configuration, I continued with the sporterizing carving the stock into something a bit more presentable and added a extended eye relief scope in the spot where the rear sight had been. The clipped fp can be repaired if you intend to have a complete working rifle and are not worried about "destroying the history".

That's a shame about your fire Gew98 and is something I worry about as well. The local volunteer FD captain told me that houses like mine which was built in 1861 are usually not savable. They squirt water on it till it goes out but do not really try to arrest the fire in a local area as they burn like matches.
Bond drive gewehrs they were not. Clipped/broken firing pins were generally expected to be done with rifles brought home as souvenirs to prevent 'accidents' on the boat ride home and as a general military feeling of castrating enemy weapons. Alot of small units had similar protocols - in both wars. The rifles supplied to the bond drives were thoroughly deactivated. They had the bolt faces ground - claw of extractor gone , firing pin tip gone and the flange on bolt face gone. The bores were crudely plugged at muzzle with hardened rod pressed into place and usually but not always hardened rod in chamber throat. And I have never seen a bond gewehr with a matching bolt. This work was done in french shops for the American government to aid in the war effort propaganda. As well many pickelhauben and stahlhelms were sent to the USA by the boxcar for bond drives. In early 1918 for example my grandfather before he shipped off from camp hancock to france he and his buddies were tasked with unloading some of this war bond material at the port elizabeth pier in NJ. He had told me when I was a wee tyke the slogan of the day with that material was "$5 dollars for a hun hat or $10 for a hun gun". So if you bought a $5 or $10 war bond you got a prize. After Ww1 there was a "war trophy set upon for dispersal to the states. This amounted to cannons , MG's and rifles surrendered by Germany. By the time this dispersal allotment was all finalized in late 1921 it became "expensive". States that wanted their share of war booty had to pony up the cost of freight and storage to their doors. A fair amount of cash strapped states refused. All these rifles had firing pins clipped . And many went to VFW or legion halls and many even got roughly rechambered to handle M1909 blanks for use by them. The majority of clipped firing pin gewehrs I feel came from these federal to state dispersal trophies. The only sale of these trophy gewehr's I know of happeend in Arkansas nearly 20 years ago. Dozens of gew98's in storage at a ARNG facility there were sold by the state - the rifles had mismatch bolts and clipped firing pins , with a couple having had chambers popped out for 1909 blanks . But the largess of buyers shared information and many of them had each others matching bolts !. But the sale was cut short by state officials and they even went so far as sending threatening letters to buyers to try and cajole buyers to get them back...no dice as far as I heard...all sales are final and they were legal !.

PS - the story of any gewehr98's in mexico for pancho..BS !. The logistics of getting 7,92 S patronen to mexico would have been greater than supplying same to irish rebels or the KS troops in Africa at the time. 7x57 caliber was king in mexico then.
 

Cubamauser

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Thank you for that really nice discussion of gew98 trophy rifles. There was a lot there I knew nothing about. So the consensus is the gew98s with clipped firing pins were either bringback rifles or trophy rifles dispersed to the states from federal stockpiles of captured equipment. Either way the rifle was most likely captured in combat somewhere along the way. I'm going to swap in an extra un clipped firing pin into the bolt group of mine and take it to the range asap. The bore is too nice to not shoot a few times.
 
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