View Full Version : USNR Mauser?

September 11, 2010, 06:43 PM
Hi Folks!

At an auction today, a friend purchased a German-made, WWII-era Mauser K98. It appears to have all the appropriate German markings, plus ... the letters "USNR" stamped in large letters in the stock.

The previous owner was in the U.S. Navy and trained at the Sampson naval training station on Lake Seneca in New York.

Is is possible that this gun was war surplus/salvage and sent to Sampson for training use?

There is a very small proof mark on the receiver that might be a "flaming bomb," but it's hard to tell for sure.


James K
September 11, 2010, 08:18 PM
I have never heard of German rifles being used in the U.S. for training. I guess it would not be impossible, but it seems unlikely.


September 12, 2010, 12:27 PM
I will be a little be more definite and say it was not possible for any type of normal Recruit/Basic training. There are foreign weapons used for familiarly training in certain military jobs, but not routine training.:), Also they are not marked with the Ordnance Bomb.

September 12, 2010, 12:42 PM
It's weird, I know. Also, what I thought might be the "flaming bomb" turned out to be something else. However, the "USNR" stamp on the stock is unmistakable, it's about 3/8 inches tall and stamped deep into the wood.

Go figure. Thanks!

September 12, 2010, 12:50 PM
Are you sure the stock is original?

September 12, 2010, 01:12 PM
I'm hardly a Mauser expert, but it looks like every WWII era K98 stock I've ever seen. It's definitely not sporterized.

When my friend gets back, I'll get some photos and post them. Thanks!

September 12, 2010, 02:52 PM
However, the "USNR" stamp on the stock is unmistakable, it's about 3/8 inches tall and stamped deep into the wood.Harbor Freight has their 3/8-inch steel letter/number stamping set on sale for $19.

September 12, 2010, 03:57 PM
Oh, I fully appreciate the possibility that the USNR stamp was, well, unofficial. Then again, I can't imagine why someone would do that.

On the other hand, I've visited Sampson Naval Training Station on Lake Seneca, and to say it was thrown together and then torn to pieces -- all in a matter of months -- is a huge understatement. In less than six months, the rural area went from having a population of about 100 farmers to having a population of 30,000 to 40,000 construction workers and sailors.

All sorts of ad hoc, seat of the pants stuff went on there -- for example, at least one of the infamous Japanese "mini-subs" was brought to Sampson for testing -- and some natives say the military still has strange and wonderful stuff stashed in large bunker areas that are still closed off to the public.

For more on Sampson, visit:

James K
September 13, 2010, 01:36 PM
There are a lot of weird and wonderful stories around, some, well, dubious.

For many years there was a story in this area that thousands of German rifles and machineguns were buried in a dump near the site of a WWII POW camp for captured German soldiers.

According to the story, the weapons were taken from the Germans before they were confined to the camp. When I first heard the story, I asked the man telling it whether it seemed a bit odd. He said it was a common tale and that he had heard it from his father who had seen the Germans throwing their guns into the pit.

OK, I said, so they captured the Germans in Germany or France, trucked them to the port, put them on a ship, brought them to Baltimore, got them off the ship, put them on a train to the local station, marched them out to the camp and THEN disarmed them? He had to admit that it sounded unlikely but still insisted his father had seen Germans tossing away their guns.

I had visions of a regiment of Panzer Grenadiers marching through our downtown streets in full battle gear, with all their weapons and combat ammo loads, while the regimental band played "Die Wacht am Rhein." Maybe the spectators were waving little Nazi flags, just to make "die Soldaten" feel at home.


P.S. They put in a housing development in that area a couple of years ago and dug dozens of foundations - no guns turned up.


September 13, 2010, 02:17 PM
The popular one with the locals near Sampson is that the military is storing nukes there. So, if you ever see a huge fireworks display in the direction of the Finger Lakes ... :D

September 14, 2010, 05:59 PM
Flaming bomb proof marks are Spanish, not German. So please redo the thread on how the USNR got a Spanish Mauser to play with ;)

September 15, 2010, 02:05 AM
Knowing how reserve centers can accumulate all sorts of out-of-date gear, those Mausers may be from San Juan Hill.

September 24, 2010, 10:29 PM
FWIW, The U.S. Ordnance " Flaming Shell " or Bomb has been in use by the Army's Ordnance Corp since 1832.:)

October 14, 2010, 09:52 AM
The stories about hidden German army weapons and munitions were certainly circulating when I was there in the mid-1960s in the army.

As you all probably know, Mosin-Nagant rifles were manufactured in the United States for the Russian government, only most were not delivered because of the revolution. Some of those ended up in the hands of the militia, if what I read is true.

Concerning underground munitions, there used to be frequent news stories about munitions from WWI turning up during construction in Washington, DC.