View Full Version : Kurt Jaeger Mainz? German engraver

Desert Dog
May 22, 2004, 10:29 AM
I am doing some research for my father on an old M&P .38 he has that was engraved by Kurt Jaeger Mainz back in the '50's. I was wondering if he has "following" or has done any weapons of note. Here is a closeup of the side of the old .38. It is EXTREMELY dirty (my dad doesn't maintain his guns very well) so do not razz me about the condition, just note the intracacy of the engraving. I personally think it is beautiful work:


Mr Nolden, have you ever heard of Kurt Jaeger Mainz?

Harley Nolden
May 22, 2004, 01:04 PM
I spent some 6 yrs, on and off in Mainz Germany. In fact I shot with the local shooting club, and in fact qualified for the 1972 Olymics with that team.

The name, Jager, rings a bell, however, I know nothing about his background or his work. Looking at the photo, if he did the work, his work is typically German, Perfect to the letter, and professionally done.

Looking at the photo, is Kurt the engraver, or is he the one the gun was engraved for?

YOu possibly may find out by going to search and seeking the following"

Kurt Jaeger, Mainz Germany

engravers Mainz Germany
Gunsmiths Mainz Germany
Shooting Sports Mainz Germany


Helmut Bloss Mainz Germany

You may also try the Deutsche Shutzin Bund in Bonn Germany. Possibly someone there can help you.

Helmut is a very deer friend of mine, but I don't know if he is on the internet.

YOu may also try in search:

Mainz Schutzen Geselschaft (Mainz Shooting Hause)


Desert Dog
May 22, 2004, 07:58 PM
Mr. Nolden,

So "Mainz" means Mainz, Germany? Interesting. My father was stationed at Landstuhl air field in Germany when he purchased this gun in 1957 and had it engraved. I think he paid $30 US to get it done...

So that would mean then that the engravers name is Kurt Jaeger.

Thanks to you sir for the information...



November 16, 2004, 07:54 PM
Desert Dog & Mr Nolden,

I'm not sure if you are still interested in the engraver, Kurt Jaeger...
My husband purchased two rifles and a shotgun at the Wiesbaden Rod and Gun Club in 1958. He took them immediately to Kurt Jaeger in Mainz for engraving and silver inlay.(he did guns for Patton, Eisenhower and many other Americans)

We were selling them through Butterfield & Butterfield when they were stolen in transport...I guess...!!!


Harley Nolden
November 17, 2004, 06:41 AM
The world grown smaller. I too was a member of The Wiesbaden R&G club, and was the auctioneer during their monthly meetings. The First time around the early 60, and the 2nd time in the mid 70's. BOY; do I remember those times. (some not LOL)


Paul Smith
January 31, 2008, 02:51 PM
This thread is very old now but I thought I'd reply anyway in the hope you might still see it.
I just joined "The Firing Line" today and read this thread with a lot of interest. From May 1956-Sept. 1958, I was stationed at the US Army's Rhine Ordinance Barracks in Vogelweh, Germany (near Kaiserslautern). The base was also only a couple of kilometers away from the Ramstein/Lansdstuhl Air Base where I was a member of the Ramstein R&G Club. Who knows, I may have even unknowingly met your father there at one time or another (it really is small world), and I also spent some time around Landstuhl as well. Anyway, more to the point, it was during my military tour there that I purchased a couple of firearms through the club. One is a J.P. Sauer side by side 12 ga. shotgun which is heavily engraved by the master engraver himself, "Kurt Jaeger" of Mainz, Germany. The work is impecable and some of the finest engraving I personally have ever seen. There are hunting dogs on one side and and game birds on the other. It is so perfectly done, the man was truly amazing, such talent.
I also brought a Czech VZ 24 Mauser action with me to Germany and had him build a very beautiful hunting rifle with a German "Laufstahl" barrel (cal 30-06) and he also installed a Kahles 4-12X variable power scope on a Jaeger, quick release mount. The stock was made by another master, "Karl Fuchs". There are ivory and ebony inlays and a carved ebony forend with oak leaves. Unfortunately, I never met Mr. Jaeger, or Mr. Fuchs, that would have been a really great memory. I would really like to know more of these "masters" if you or any other members have additional info.
Best regards,
Paul Smith

February 8, 2008, 01:27 AM
Is there any way I can get pictures of some of these guns for Detrich Apel, Mr.Jaegers nephew. He is writting a book on Jaeger rifles. His other Uncle was Paul Jaeger. Detrich is the head editor for the German Gun Collectors Association, and can be reached on there web page.

February 8, 2008, 01:37 AM
The American Legacy No. 2, from Columbus to the Declaration of Independence.
by Dietrich Apel
There are many fine engravings in this country done by Emil Willig or his son, Claus Willig. In the early years after World War II an American serviceman could have Emil Willig�s engravings for a few cartons of cigarettes. These were hard times for gunsmiths and engravers, because the only ones allowed to have guns were these American servicemen.

Many of these early guns were not marked with the Willig name but with the names Kurt J�ger,Mainz or Paul Jaeger, Jenkintown, Pa. Even when German gun makers were again allowed to make and work on guns, the American soldiers and officers remained good customers. For a time Kurt J�ger managed the gun shop of the Wiesbaden Rod & Gun Club of the American Air Force. One dollar was equivalent to more than four Deutsche Mark.

I also can remember that the gun dealer, Mr. Jaqua in Findlay, Ohio ordered many a fine engraving on shotguns that periodically come on the market now.

Claus Willig did not want to follow in his father�s footsteps, but wanted to be a musician. Dad must have convinced him to serve an apprenticeship as an engraver first, and this he did. When he went off to a school of the arts thereafter, he still had music in mind and perfected his skills in playing the violin.

He also had a great talent for drawing, and he ended up making his living as an engraver and playing the violin and collecting violins as his hobby. Most of the good engravers I know about are artists first and engravers second. So it is with Winston Churchill, the world renowned engraver who lives near me in Vermont. He is not only a top engraver, but also a very good photographer and a sculptor who creates wonderful bronzes.

He also likes to play the guitar and sing with his wife. I know, because he gave me a wonderful present for my 70th birthday: a tape of their songs.

Aggie 02
December 11, 2008, 12:12 AM
I was cleaning my rifle this evening and decided to due some more research into its history. This rifle was purchased by my granddad in Germany when he was stationed there back in the 50s. Kurt Jaeger, Mainz is on both the barrel and scope. It is a 300 Holland and Holland that was rechambered into a 300 Weatherby Mag. Sad to say my uncle had sold it following my grandads death.When I was growing up I always heard stories about this rifle as it was my granddads pride and joy. During those stories I always said I would track it back down. Luckly 1 1/2 years ago I was able to get it back. DONT SHIP GUNS UPS. They snapped mine in 2 right passed the trigger gaurd. First time I ever saw this gun it was in 2 pieces. It was repaired by a gunsmith in Dallas and is again fully functional (you may be able to tell in the pics). Ok, there's the history for this one.

My question is did Kurt Jaeger do only the wood engraving or would he have done the rechambering as well.


December 11, 2008, 01:20 AM
Kurt Jaeger is German for "Short Hunter", and may describe the style of rifle (short hunting rifle).

December 11, 2008, 07:14 PM

kurtz is the german word (one of many and this one is more slang than proper) for short/brief and yes, while jaeger is german for hunter it is also many persons last name. So, while you could do a somewhat literal translation for short hunter, i think that the person might take offense :D unless he is of short stature :cool: If you need any further german lessons give me or my wife a call (she is born/raised in germany and has her german family back there and my dad is german born and raised as well and he taught us kids the language)

I was stationed in Mainz in the 02-05 timeframe (Mainz-Kastel to be exact) and man I wish they still had folks like that around. Unfortunately the shooting sports are very limited nowdays . Stuttgart still has a decent rod and gun club, but not much inthe way of shooting competitively unless you join a local german club and go through the training and get the licenses and buy a gun on the german market (I did this and it was fun, but took a long time just to get the permits).


December 11, 2008, 08:24 PM
"Kurz" (no "t") is actually the German for short, and, as mentioned, Jaeger is a common German last name, in the same way that "Smith" or "Hunter" is here.

December 18, 2008, 06:02 AM

All correct, with the addition that "Kurt" is/was a widespread first name in Germany.

February 9, 2009, 09:31 PM
I realize this thread has roots that are a few years old, but it is one of the ony sources of information I have found on the German Engraver, Kurt Jaeger, so I felt compelled to add another thread to those who might follow. I was given a beautiful rifle by a dear friend many years ago. The rifle appears to be a custom made bolt action with an "FN" barrel. KURT JAEGER MAINZ is engraved near the top center of the barrel. The bolt, receiver, trigger guard and floor plate are all beautifully engraved in an oak leaf design. The floor plate has an engraving of a bear and dog fighting. There is also gold inlay on some highlights and the barrel. The light colored monte carlo stock also has hand-carved oak leaves, ivory colored inlay of oak leaves and ram, and a beautiful carving of a stag on each side, as well as grip cap of an ivory like material. There is a custom made Pachmayr recoil pad on the stock with the words RAMSTEIN ROD AND GUN CLUB. I first saw the rifle in 1972, and it was given to me in 1994. It is a beautiful piece, both with the style and quality of engraving and the gorgeous carving on the stock. Kurt Jaeger was certainly a master of his craft. I have no idea who made the stock. I doubt that I will ever shoot this weapon, as lovely as it is, and I would really like to know more about Kurt Jaeger! Best regards. FM

February 12, 2009, 02:29 PM
Im New to This website,My Dad had a 257 Roberts Rife Done By This Man In Germany During the War. It Has His name On The Barrel and Other parts Of the Gun. It also has twin Triggers and Is a Nice Gun. I read were somebody was looking for pic and info on these guns ? Any info would help me with what this gun is worth. My dad Passed away back in 2001. I wanted the gun to keep in the family,since it has his initials on the stock in ivory.
Thanks Bill Pendleton

April 26, 2009, 02:15 PM
Like someone mentioned above, this is about the only source of information I have found on Kurt Jaeger rifles so far. I have a rifle that I am always looking for informaiton on; specifically where to go for an accurate appraisal. Engraved into the barrel is K. Jaeger, Wiesbaden. It looks just like the rifle in the pictures that Aggie 02 posted to this thread, except without the mural engraved in the butt stock, and it has double set-triggers. It is chambered for .270. I know that a great uncle of mine had it custom made by Mr. Jaeger in Germany shortly after WWII. It has a custom made side scope mount, a custom V rear site built into the barrel, an engraved trigger plate, and ivory inlay. It appears to have been frequently used over the years, but still in great shape considering its age.

I took it to Cabela's this morning to test their apparaisal methods, and I'm not satisfied with the results I got for this gun. I shared none of the above information with the gun library guy, other than the fact that my great uncle had it custom made shortly after WWII (didn't even mention the name Kurt Jaeger). After apparently just eyeballing allignment and barrel straightness, he gave me an answer of $650 with nothing in writing. He gave me the genaric line "custom rifles were made for a specific person, and do not carry high resale value." He didn't mention anything about the creator of this gun, and didn't appear to even look for this information on the barrel. Considering the materials used to make the gun, and the hand-crafted nature, I definately feel this appraisal was way too low... possobly because Cabela's buys used rifles for resale. If anyone has a better idea of what my rifle is worth, or where to find a more accurate appraiser who gives results in writing with better reasoning, I'd love to hear from you. My email address is [email protected]

October 11, 2009, 11:14 AM
I just stumbled across this thread on Kurt Jaeger on the forum. I was just doing an inventory of firearms for insurance purposes and one of the weapons is a Winchester Model 12 full choke (adjustable choke added) shotgun that my father bought when we were stationed at Wiesbaden AFB in the 1963-1965 time frame. Dad purchased the shotgun from the R&G club had had it engraved by Herr Jaeger in about 1963. The scene on the receiver is of pheasants and a bird dog (inlaid silver) with a surrounding woodlands scene. On the trigger guard he engraved Dad's initials and in a space between the sides of the receiver and the top is his "signature": Kurt Jaeger Mainz.

If anyone is interested I can post some photos of the shotgun.

October 11, 2009, 06:08 PM
While I was inspecting the gun today I discovered what I think may be the actual engraver's marks. It is my understanding (based on some web-searching today) that Kurt Jaeger did not necessarily do all the engraving in his shop. The marks in the photograph are on the top of the receiver and the barrel (where the barrel mates to the receiver). The appear to read "PW" or possibly "PIW".

If anyone else has a Kurt Jaeger piece, I'd be very interested in seeing if you also have these very small initials embedded in the engraving. Note the incredible detail in the tiny acorns!

October 12, 2009, 02:02 AM
PW means Winchester Proof. Very nice of the engraver not to obliterate the proofmarks.

October 12, 2009, 09:22 AM
Thanks for that - its a learning experience

John Wetzler
February 12, 2012, 09:41 AM
I was stationed at Lee Barracks in Mainz in 1961 and made a visit to Jaeger's gun shop to see about having a 370 caliber rifle made with a mauser action using a set trigger. While visiting I was shown a 30.06 rifle w/set trigger that was done for the Shah of Iran. It was engraved from the breach to the end of the barrel and gold inlaid.

February 14, 2012, 08:26 PM
Guys, this is an ancient thread. Three years old and resurrected? It first appeared in '04, was rejuvenated in '08, and then again in 2012. That makes the original thread 8 years old. How about a new thread.

Sorry, feeling ornery tonight!

February 23, 2012, 03:41 PM
Nice Thread....I've been watching it for awhile. I have a SMITH & WESSON M & P VICTORY MODEL REVOLVER IN .38 CALIBER which was my grandfathers. I know that he got it while stationed at an Air Force base in germany, around the time of the Berlin Airlift. It's very intricately engraved with small oak leaves, covering all but the handle, with a custom engraved trigger and engraved initials. Luckily it's been kept up to 100% of original condition. I'd really like to find a matching revolver to this one!!!

April 18, 2012, 11:14 AM
This is the pictures of the 38

Bill DeShivs
April 18, 2012, 12:41 PM
Wonderful engraving on the .38.
Did you know the barrel was also shortened, as was the grip frame? New grips made, too. A beautifully done, full-custom gun.

April 19, 2012, 05:11 AM
I don't know to much about this weapon except it was done in the mid fifties .
I inherited it. and I'm trying to get a value on it.
I have never seen a more complete engraving in my life.

May 6, 2014, 08:50 AM
Just a few photos of 1954 Winchester Model 12 - 12GA engraved by Kurt!


I have no idea of the value.

May 6, 2014, 05:18 PM
I don't have any idea of the value but it is pretty.

May 15, 2014, 08:05 PM
I doubt that anyone has a WW II vintage rifle engraved by Kurt Jaeger, as he was drafted into the military and ended the war as a POW. He appareently ended up on the wrong side fo the Iron Curtain and slipped across with his wife. He died in 2003.

I have two weapons that were engraved by him. A Styer Mannlicher-Schoenauer Model 1960 MC 30-06 and a Browning Lightning 12 Ga. Superposed shotgun. The engraving is spectacular. My uncle was stationed in German and bought the guns at the Wiesbaden Rod and Gun Club. He purchased two 03-06's one for himself the other for my dad, and the Superposed. My dad almost had a heart attack when he got the bill. This would be in the late 50's and $500 was a lot of money.

The scope on the 30-06 is stamped with his name. I found this thread while trying to find another claw foot scope mount for the rifle. I would like a more modern scope, but do not want to damage to original. I'll post some images this weekend of the guns.

Manassas VA