View Full Version : Rifle Identification Help

August 22, 2007, 09:21 AM
I need some help here! I have what I think is an old perhaps WWII German military rifle. I know only for sure that the bayonet that my uncle brought back from the war will fit the lug on the rifle. Now for the marking on the rifle, on the top of the reciever where the bolt locks is the inscripsion, DANZIG 1890, on the left side of the reciever as a right hander would sholder the weapon is, either a Gew88 or Bew88 the capital letters are not clear. Under that marking are the letters n m, just above tha danzig 1890 marking is what appears to be a crown stamped on the reciever. Does anyone know what I am dealing with here? The rifle is in fair shape with no cracks or breaks in the stock or bolt, I think it would be safe to shoot.:confused: thanks

August 22, 2007, 09:45 AM
According to your description, you've got what is known as a "Commission Rifle", built at the Danzing Arsenal in 1890. This was Germany's response to the Lebel rifle, but it was quickly replaced in 1898 by the Gew. 98 (and what was modified to the Kar. 98 of WW2). These rifles were chambered in the ORIGINAL 7.9mm Mauser round, which uses a .318" bullet; the current 8mm Mauser round uses a .323" bullet, so don't just slap any old "8mm Mauser" ammo in it, because you could get quite a surprise if you fire it. Some of them were also re-chambered to the 1898 specifications, but you won't know for sure what your is unless you have the bore slugged and measured; the factory re-works also usually cut a little half-moon at the rear of the receiver ring, to allow the bullet noses to clear when you were loading it; the .323" 8mm Mauser used a "schweres Spitzgeschoss" (heavy pointed bullet) that was a little longer than the round these rifles were originally made for, so they cut a notch to allow clip-loading. This page ( http://www.texastradingpost.com/m88/ ) can give you more info.

Jim Watson
August 22, 2007, 10:13 AM
The marking is surely Gew 88, and is on a German Model 1888 Commission Rifle, made at the arsenal in Danzig - then in Prussia, not Poland - in 1890.

The model was obsolete and mostly replaced by Mausers even by WW I. Some were upgraded for use by support troops who wouldn't do much shooting and certainly the Germans used anything that would shoot as things started to go downhill in both world wars.

The action is not as strong as a Mauser and is meant for the early small .318" bullet, not the .323" "S-bore" of 1905. There are a lot of differing opinions about just what is safe to shoot in those old guns; I don't have one and cannot really comment. There is a website with links and a forum at

August 22, 2007, 12:31 PM
many thanks gentlemen, as now i know what i have, no i proably will not shoot the rifle, i just had no idea what it is. do either one of know or maybe would comment on the value?

August 22, 2007, 12:32 PM
the web site will also be very helpful. thanks again.

September 8, 2007, 03:05 PM
hmmmmmm....... no one wishes to reply to my question on value. i wounder then:confused: is the rifle worthless?:barf: or is it very valuable;)?

September 8, 2007, 11:22 PM
From the Standard Catalog of Military Firearms, exc 300, VG 250, Fair 200, Poor 90. The real value is how bad do you need the rent money, and how bad does someone want it.:)

September 9, 2007, 12:03 AM
thanks RJAY, i just had to know. i really am not intending to sell or trade, its just one of those things i wanted to know.