German black powder bolt action ID needed

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by Buffalochip, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

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    First, I don't have a picture--spotted this thing in an antique store this morning (80 miles from home) and I didn't have a camera with me. It is a very early 10mm bolt action carbine that looks like a cross between a Model 94 Winchester and a GEW 88.

    Bullets load thru a spring loaded door on the side of the action wall into a tube that is totally enclosed by a rather short forestock. The forestock is pinned to the barrel much like an old muzzleloader. The spent casings are ejected out the the top as the bolt is cycled. It is in excellent condition, no maker mark that I could discern. is stamped "BERLIN". Missing the rear sight and part of the bolt. Price is $150, which I think is reasonable if parts can be located.
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Are you sure it says "Berlin" and not "Bern"? It sounds like a Model 1869 Swiss Vetterli, and the following info is based on the assumption that it is:

    The caliber is 10.4x38R, rimfire, known in this country as the .41 Swiss. No ammo is available except at collector prices and in collector quantity and, of course, it cannot be reloaded. Those rifles have been converted to fire modern cartridges, but the process is costly and generally not worth the cost.

    It may be a carbine, but is more likely a cut down rifle. Parts would be nearly impossible to obtain. The price quoted would be very fair as a curio/relic if the gun were in original condtion and functional.

    Jim
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  3. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

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    Hello Jim,
    You are correct--I finally found it yesterday via Google, although I suspect it is a later model than 1869. It did say Bern Waffenfabrik. I understand Sears sold these for about $7.50 in the early 1900s and junked ones are pretty cheap if you can find one. Apparently, if you remove the butt plate, there is a spare firing pin in a hole drilled in the buttstock (butt no trapdoor/access through the buttplate)--this little known fact may mean it is still there--and one of the pieces that is missing. It looked to me like the forestock was short, but not shortened, although I was paying more attention to the overall condition, which was very good to excellent. I'll check it out again the next time I'm down that way and if it is still available.
    Thanks,
    Chip
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