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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I Have an old mauser that i believe to be Pre ww1, but i wanted some extra details if any can be provided, as i really want to know more about the history of this beauty.

So far, what i have learned is (and please correct me if i'm wrong):

that the barrel was forged at Schilling forge, in suhl Germany.
The Rifle itself was marketed or sold, or something by BEISSEL & WINIECKI in Posen, Prussia, and at the time part of the German Empire.
The nitro proof dates it to Pre-WW1, but i don't have an exact date.
It was proofed with 2.5 grams of rifle flake powder.
it was proofed with a steel jacketed bullet.
All numbers match the serials on the receiver
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What i do not know:

I am a bit confused by the 7,8m proof under the barrel. I am assuming it is the bore diameter, but i am not sure.

The calibre this rifle actually uses. (I am assuming since it was proofed with 2.5g with a steel jacket that it would be 8x57, but i am going to have to cast the chamber since it's possible that the chamber may have been resized to conform to post - Versailles treaty regulations.)

I do not know what the R.S proof stamp is.

I do not know what the proof stamp is next to the Serial Numbers.

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I have attached Photos below.

thank you for your time.

Wood Air gun Shotgun Gun barrel Gun accessory Wood Natural material Twig Metal Artifact Glasses Sunglasses Rectangle Yellow Grass Audio equipment Electric blue Font Close-up Gadget Light Rectangle Wood Yellow Automotive tire Automotive tire Wood Yellow Synthetic rubber Tire Wood Material property Publication Tread Book Tire Automotive tire Synthetic rubber Tread Rim
 

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You've obviously done some research on the proofs but, didn't get it all...as if anyone ever could. The German and British gun industries even that late in the industrial revolution were still largely cottage industries. The rifle was more than likely made "for the trade" in Suhl, maybe Zella-Mehlis. What all too many mistakenly call a guild gun. It's more likely you will never know the exact date than you will. Between the 1891-93 proof law and the 1912-13 proof law is probably as close as you'll get. Dates were not stamped on rifles until after WWI when the 1912-13 proof law was finally put into full effect. WWI kinda set it back until 1919-20. There's nothing confusing about the 7,8 stamp. The proof houses used a spud inserted into the muzzle to determine the bore diameter. 7,8mm was the largest that would enter. If the rifle was re-chambered after WWI it WAS NOT done in Germany. Had that been the case it would have to have been re-proofed and it would wear a "crown over R" proof mark, denoting repair. Just because it was in the Versailles Treaty doesn't mean all Germans complied with it. A BUNCH did not. Who was going to enforce it? The Weimar didn't give a rip and neither France, England and definitely not the US. None were going to enter a sovereign nation and check hunting rifles for compliance. What you need to do in addition to a chamber cast is slug the bore and determine if it's .318 or .323 groove diameter. The German Army adopted .323 in 1905. However, 8mm sporting rifles were made in both .318 and .323 right up to the beginning of WWII.

RS is not a proof mark. That is probably the stamp of a mechanic who worked on the rifle. Neither is the stamp next to the S/N a proof mark. I would suspect another mechanic's mark/stamp.

The rifle has been re-stocked sometime in its past. That is not the original stock. The schnabel is wrong, the forearm is wrong, too thick and heavy for the era, and the checkering pattern is an American pattern, NOT a pre-WWI German checkering pattern. Someone also jeweled the bolt. The barreled action exhibits all the traits and characteristics of pre-WWI and "between the wars" German sporters; Octagon to round barrel, double set triggers, butter knife bolt handle and at least some engraving. It has the claw mount scope bases which were installed after the fact, not at the factory. If you have the rings you are indeed fortunate. They are available, must be custom mad and are not inexpensive.

Given the work that has been done to the rifle I would not be surprised to learn the rifle has been re-chambered to 8mm-06. If so, you have a peach. If it's still 8 x 57, I or S bore, .318 or .323 groove, (I suspect the former), you still have a peach. You'll just need to shoot either cast bullets correctly sized, buy .318 bullets by Woodleigh or Hawk or, make or have made a .318 die and swage .323 bullets down. I've done and continue to do all three.

Grandpa was nice to you. Do you know if he or someone else had the rifle re-stocked? Given whoever did it tried to mimic an earl 20th century German stock I'm wondering if the original might have been damaged beyond repair. Usually the old rifles were re-stocked to an American pattern. Nice piece. Confirm the cartridge and the bore/groove diameter and enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh wow, that's so much information i would have never thought about. thank you so much for taking the time to respond. i am elated!

My grandfather never said much about the rifle other than he got it from a guy he nicknamed "Pete The Greek", and that he got it in a private party trade back in the 50s or so. the stock is actually broken in the pic and has since been repaired by me. It was broken when my grandfather supposedly shot it using 8mm Mauser ammo and it knocked him on his butt, and that's the extent of my knowledge on the stock. since then he never shot it, so it has probably been a safe queen for about 40 or 50 years.

I had seen some stuff about trade guns, and figured that the stamps were some kind of makers mark, but wanted to make sure. thanks for clearing that up.

again, thank you for the very useful information.
 

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The only makers mark I recognized, you already knew, Schilling Forge. I don't believe any of the others are makers marks but, someone better versed in the German civilian gun trade might recognize one I'm unfamiliar with. I saw the stock was cracked at the wrist.

The 8 X 57, if that's what it is, is a 30-06 class cartridge and unless something is amiss I find it hard to believe it knocked down a gown man....unless he slipped or something, which is entirely possible.

And you are welcome. I'm very fond of the old German sporting rifles. Just for grins and giggles, here's a couple old ones of mine. Bottom rifle, top picture, you can see how the stock on your rifle probably would have looked, either with or without the barrel key.

Air gun Wood Trigger Shotgun Plant


Plant Wood Outdoor bench Grass Outdoor furniture
 

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The only makers mark I recognized, you already knew, Schilling Forge. I don't believe any of the others are makers marks but, someone better versed in the German civilian gun trade might recognize one I'm unfamiliar with. I saw the stock was cracked at the wrist.

The 8 X 57, if that's what it is, is a 30-06 class cartridge and unless something is amiss I find it hard to believe it knocked down a gown man....unless he slipped or something, which is entirely possible.

And you are welcome. I'm very fond of the old German sporting rifles. Just for grins and giggles, here's a couple old ones of mine. Bottom rifle, top picture, you can see how the stock on your rifle probably would have looked, either with or without the barrel key.

View attachment 247072

View attachment 247073
Not to hijack this thread, but I love that bottom rifle in the top picture. I would love to know more about it.
 

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I don't think you're hijacking it howlin'. T_Ball hasn't been back since he last posted. It's supposed to be an 1890 Haenel/Rasch, I was told. It is a Mannlicher action with the split rear bridge but not the Schoenauer magazine. It has the regular "W" spring, Mauser type magazine and follower. It's chambered in 9 X 57 Mauser and shoots the RCBS 35-200 cast bullet sized to .355 quite well. Powder is 34 grs. of IMR-3031. Not a hot load or even close to factory ballistics but it's good enough for deer sized game and shoots to the sights. It has the claw type bases and I don't have the rings. I am a sucker for side panels, the cross bolt and barrel key so it checked all the boxes and then some.

I bought those two rifles in sort of a package deal. I gave either $1,000 or $1,100 for both. I only wanted the Haenel/Rasch but the guy wouldn't separate them. When I received them I discovered I had a couple sleepers. The other rifle is a 7 X 64 Brenneke and is a Wilhelm Brenneke rifle from his Berlin shop. It also has a 28 inch barrel.

Both rifles had been slathered with varnish....and I mean slathered. Metal, butt plate, on the action...looked like a 6 year old did it. I stripped them, no sanding, there really was no dents to raise, and I put a linseed oil finish on them, finished off with rottenstone. I almost feel guilty for what I gave for them. I wouldn't take that for either one.
 
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