Need help identifying Greman Schuetzen rifle

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by MikeB503, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. MikeB503

    MikeB503 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    First, let me start by saying that this is the first post I have ever done so please excuse any rookie errors I might make. I have what I have been told is a 1929 German Schuetzen rifle and I'm wondering if someone can help me know more about it and it's value.

    Only stamps I can identify are Bohler Stahl on the barrel and under the front hand guard are multiple stamps (picture attached) of a GS in a circle, a crown symbol with a B under it, a crown symbol with a G under it, a crown with a U under it, 7.7MM, 46 1/2, SI, 5/29. There is a 4 digit number stamped on the barrel as well and I assume its a S/N and don't know if I should post that.

    The story on it is that my grandfather brought it home from WW2 but unfortunately everyone has passed away that knew anything about it. Sorry for being so wordy but I would appreciate any and all help anyone can give.

    Attached Files:

  2. targetacqmgt

    targetacqmgt New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Messages:
    494
  3. MikeB503

    MikeB503 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Thank you for the reply targetacqmgt,

    I'm not sure at all but I was told the 5/29 stamp was for May 1929. Again I know nothing about it so can you tell me something else I should be looking for? I took it to plenty of gun shops around town and everybody want's to see it but nobody can tell me anything about it.

    Here are a few more pic's. Thank you for the reply.

    Attached Files:

  4. targetacqmgt

    targetacqmgt New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Messages:
    494
    I'll bet it is a Prussian (german Noblemans) hunting rifle.
  5. Archie

    Archie Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Hastings, Nebraska; the Heartland!
    Fair warning: What I DON'T know about Schuetzen rifles would probably fill a moderate book shelf. I am not any sort of authority. I've seen them at gun shows and had a casual word or two about them.

    That IS a schuetzen rifle. It was made specifically for offhand (standing on one's hind legs like a man) slow fire, precision rifle competition. Note the double set triggers, the huge rear sight (to control sun in one's eyes and also act as a blinder to distractions) the curved butt plate to fit into the shoulder and the involved trigger guard also acting as a hand grip.

    It seems to be a falling block rifle, with the control lever on the right side. As such, it is nominally a cartridge gun, but not in our modern sense. Schuetzen rifles were originally from the 14th and 15th Century, and muzzle loaders. The rifles accepted technical changes - like brass cartridges - but the sport did not. This rifle most likely uses a rimmed brass case. From the mark on the barrel, the bore diameter is 7.7mm. However, that does not indicate the 7.7 mm Arisaka round. Normally, schuetzen rifles used lead or lead alloy cast bullets; not jacketed. Also, for premium accuracy, bullets were often seated into the rifle bore with a pushing stick or detachable lever device, then the case with charge loaded behind.

    To determine the correct shape of cartridge, one would probably have to make a chamber cast and compare that casting to known rounds. Schuetzens did NOT follow conventional norms for cartridges, although the proper case was usually available with too much trouble. In other words, this rifle will most likely NOT chamber and fire the well known 8mm Mauser round. If the chambering is for a regular cartridge, it will be a European cartridge and most likely a black powder round.

    If you don't have the current edition of 'Cartridges of the World', this would be an excellent opportunity. Usually one can find something close and informational.

    The other marks on the bottom of the barrel are proof marks (the crowns and letters). The other marks (46 1/2) are probably (not guaranteed) pressure levels, but measured in European units - not PSI, CUP, LUP or anything 'ordinary' in U. S. There are probably some marks showing who made the rifle. The 'St' marking may indicate the maker, presuming one knows what it means.

    I can see a hint of something on the bottom of the receiver. That may contain a name or something. For all I know, the carving of the rifleman on the butt stock may be the trademark that 'everyone knew' identified the rifle maker.

    You now know everything I know. Except I looked on Amazon.com and they have some books on these rifles. You might even luck out with your local library.

    Come back and report what you find. Knowledge is cumulative.

    They were not intended as hunting rifles, although they would usually shoot a big enough cartridge for up to deer sized critters. It's too heavy to carry very far without a wheelbarrow and a Junior Woodchuck field hernia kit.
    knight0334 likes this.
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    It is a target rifle (a Schützen rifle). The caliber is 8.15x46R. The 7.7 (.303") is the bore diameter as tested with a plug gauge. The actual bullet diameter is .318". The "46 1/2" is the case length in millimeters.

    The rifle is an Aydt system, a swinging block action that was very popular with German target shooters and was made by a large number of gun makers, as well as by gun making cooperatives, what we call the guild system. More can be learned, including some recent sales, by Googling "Aydt system".

    The sport of off-hand target shooting is old in Germany and those rifles, first used in the latter part of the 19th century and extending up to WWII, were the result and culmination of the sport. 8.15x46R was probably the most popular center fire target round and was very highly developed. It was never a millitary caliber so was not subject to the restrictions imposed on military arms, either by German law or the Versailles treaty. At the end of WWII, Allied troops confiscated all guns from Germans and many of those that were not destroyed were brought back to the U.S. as novelties. Contrary to some of the stories about "sniper rifles" and the like, they were not captured in combat; they were sporting guns taken from German homes.

    The proof marks are: crown/B means the rifle was tested in finished condition; crown/U is the defninitive proof; crown/G is the proof for rifled barrels. The date of proof was May 1929, as you indicated.

    While the rifle is of excellent quality and workmanship, I doubt it is of a quality that would have belonged to a nobleman or royalty. Such a gun would have been well within the financial reach of a moderately prosperous middle-class target shooter.

    Jim
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  7. targetacqmgt

    targetacqmgt New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Messages:
    494
    thanks Jim would have lost thst bet:D
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    I understand that some of the German shooting contests had "interesting" targets. One I have seen had a picture of an angry-looking Hausfrau wielding a rolling pin. The shooter was presumably free to think anything he wanted about that target as he shot holes in it.

    Jim
  9. MikeB503

    MikeB503 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Thank you Archie, Jim and Target, all of your input has been helpful. Do any of you know a value or the best place to go to obtain a value? I want to insure it and I will need a certified appraisal. Thank you again for all your help
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Antique Iver Johnson 12 Gauge. Need help finding dates and value or any info on the piece Tuesday at 3:05 PM
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Need help identifying Greman Schuetzen rifle Aug 25, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Need help with a Sauer Sohn 16g Aug 19, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Need help with a Browning straight pull bolt 22lr rifle Aug 18, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Hi Folks, Help needed w/ Antique long arms that I know nothing about Aug 5, 2014

Share This Page