View Full Version : Identify this mysteriouse rifle
November 29, 2009, 08:29 PM
I received this Rifle from my Grandfather, who is very knowledgeable when it comes to firearms. He calls it a German Mauser. It seems to be one of those Mausers that were modified heavily post WWII. The rear Williams peep sight is an obvious addition, and a former rear sight has been removed (you can still see where it was cut off.) It has the thumb notch on the side of the action for a stripper clip. Also, I was told that military grade German Mausers could not be closed if empty because the bottom of the bolt is flat, it hits the spring thing (sorry I don't know what it is called) that the rounds rest on. This has also clearly been modified so that the bolt hits a slope and can be closed when empty, instead of hitting a flat surface. As you can see the wood stock and barrel are much different than the classic German Mauser. So, what is this thing and where did it come from?
I see know manufacturing information. All that is engraved on the metal is a lot of small circles and saint symbols.
2,45 g G.B.P.
it Fires 8mm Mauser rounds.
November 29, 2009, 09:01 PM
A typical sporterised 98 Mauser military rifle. If there are no markings to indicate a gunsmith or the Mauser markings are ground off the top of the receiver, I suspect you will not find out much about it. I clicked your photos, and there are also some disturbing images of toys in the photo posting. Maybe that frightened away others from commenting. :p
November 29, 2009, 09:51 PM
Ha, funny story about the off topic pictures, the little clown was deemed evil and passed around as a joke. So I brought an end to it...
November 29, 2009, 09:53 PM
I don't know much about it really, what would I need to do to 'unsporterize' it? That may be too braud I understand. Action aside, what would need to be done?
November 29, 2009, 10:15 PM
Certain amount of guessing, certain amount of observation, but here it goes:
It looks like the rifle was originally sporterized in Europe, the stock style is a very Germanic hunting style, not the usual Bubba cutdown of the military stock, or the usual Bishop replacement done to a once-cheap surplus rifle.
The patch on the barrel where a soldered-on rear sight was removed is not from the installation of the military sight, but it is about the size of the base of a folding leaf multi-range sporting open sight popular in Europe.
I think it was bought or seized in Germany, brought back to the states, and the Williams peep sight and low safety added to improve the aim without the expense of a scope installation.
Pity you didn't reproduce the circles and "angel marks" that might give some idea as to where and when it was made. The one stamp you show is for the powder charge and suitability for steel jacketed bullets.
"Unsporterizing" it would be a huge job. Nothing remains of the military rifle except the action, barrel, and trigger guard. You would have to have a correct stock, sights, safety, and all other metalwork. And it would be for nothing, because you make it sound like a lot of military markings have been removed, plus the holes drilled and tapped for the peep sight. I'd leave it as a medium grade sporter instead of trying to turn it back into fake military surplus. If you want a military Mauser, there are plenty out there, and probably for less money than it would take to re-mil this one.
November 29, 2009, 11:18 PM
Germany stopped using the powder charge on the proof stamp in 1912, my guess is you have a commercial Mauser that was liberated and reworked here. Most pre-WWI models I've seen have the military style thumbcut and stripper clip, even if commercial models.
November 29, 2009, 11:38 PM
Hmm, all very interesting replies so far! Thank you!
As far as the Angel marks and circles, if you click on the forth picture you can see some of them, they are really all over that section of the metal and seem to be poorly and unevenly applied.
As for now, the light weight and fast aiming peep sight will make for a great deer drive rifle.
November 30, 2009, 03:08 PM
I had not blown that one up. It looks like somebody was trying to decorate the gun with little skill, kind of like the pawn shop engraving sometimes seen on inexpensive revolvers.
I also now see there a huge dovetail in the receiver ring, filled with a blank; which means it probably once had an European style scope mount. There are also two plug screws which probably mean it once had an American scope mount. Are there signs of a scope base having been on the receiver bridge under the peep sight?
That big dovetail cut over the top locking lug recess did not do anything good for the action strength. No doubt the original owner shot full power European ammo, but I would feel more comfortable with the mild American loads, which will do anything necessary to a deer.
November 30, 2009, 03:49 PM
Yea, there are a couple of screws under the peep sight.
Which is even more puzzling because my Great Uncle sold it to my Grandpa for a scope. So this rifle was descoped before 1960. Interesting...
November 30, 2009, 04:40 PM
The good news on the weakened action is, as an original 98 it still should have the 3rd locking nut, so while you can still get a cracked receiver the bolt is unlikely to come into your face.
I'd actually be more worried to find out if it's really a 8x57 IS (.323) or just the I (.318) version, it's old enough to pre-date the spitzer bullet. Would be interesting to take it out of the stock and see the rest of the proof marks.
November 30, 2009, 07:08 PM
That's all Greek to me, but this weekend when I give her a nice cleaning job I will post what I find hiding under the stock.
November 30, 2009, 07:23 PM
sorry, here's the long version. The Germans developed the 8x57 I cartridge for the model 88. That rifle didn't perform well, so only 10 years later they switched to the model 98, while keeping the cartridge, also known as M88. Some years later they came up with an improved bullet design, known as the spitzer bullet in English, or s.S (schweres Spitzgeschoss) in German publications. The cartridge became known as 8x57 IS. At the same time they increased the barrel diameter from the original .318 to .323. Both cartridges use the same brass, but different bullet diameters. The danger is if your barrel is the old design you're overpressuring the system when firing 8x57 IS.
Since your weapon is proofmarked before 1912 the chance is about 50/50 that it's the older version.
BTW that conversion was followed by the US in the switch from the 30-03 to the 30-06.
November 30, 2009, 07:28 PM
Hmmm, well My Grandfather also gave me a box of shells purchased in 1992 that are 8mm German Mauser rounds. As I stated previously, he is very knowledgeable with firearms so I'm sure he knew what he was doing when using those rounds. I will also make sure to check for further markings. Thanks for the heads up.
November 30, 2009, 10:01 PM
FWIW, the proof marks are commercial, so if it was a military rifle it was reworked and re-proved in Germany.
2.45 g GRP means 2.45 grams (37.8 grains) of Gewehr Blatchen Pulver (rifle flake powder).
St m 6 means the standard bullet has a Stahlmantel Geschoss (steel jacket bullet) weighing 6 grams (92.5 grains).
I wonder if you are reading those numbers right as the don't jibe with an 8mm Mauser cartridge, especially the bullet weight.
Do you know that the rifle fires or even chambers 8mm Mauser or are you just assuming that the ammo you found is for it?
I don't think that crude stippling, which appears to have been done with a nail set, ever came out of a German factory or gunsmith's shop. We may never know all about the rifle, but from a collector's viewpoint it really has had it, and I can't see any use in wasting money or time in trying to "restore" it.
December 1, 2009, 12:06 AM
Jim, it's not St m 6 it's St m G., the weight should be underneath, but is often hidden by the stock
December 1, 2009, 07:26 AM
The box of 8mm shells he gave me has 4 empty cartridges, he said he only shot it 4 times. And yes, it chambers.
December 1, 2009, 08:09 AM
That's the problem, both types chamber :D
December 1, 2009, 07:47 PM
You usually see the G (for Geschoss) but I have seen just "St. m" with the weight, so I wasn't sure if the OP misread it or not. You are right that the actual weight must be under the stock. It should be something around 12,7 to 14,7 grams (195-226 grains) for an 8mm.
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