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Thread: Is this sporterized WWII rifle even a Mauser? What do the markings mean, specifically

  1. #1
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    Jan 2012
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    Post Is this sporterized WWII rifle even a Mauser? What do the markings mean, specifically

    I am new to the forum and embarrassed to publish my naivety. I was given this rifle by a WWII veteran who purchased the rifle from another GI after returning from Normandy. I don't know what gun this is. I thought it was a Mauser, but it is 49 ½ inches tall and it looks to be a .22 caliber??? I know how silly that sounds, but the diameter of the bore of the rifle doesn't look much bigger. It has some obviously markings in front of the sight. I gather the German eagle is some sort of firing proof stamp. I have no idea what year. I think I know that Nitro refers to the powder charge of the cartridge to shoot from the rifle, I don't know what the crown with the cross above it means, or the number 1061. I looks like there is a faint N under the crown with the cross. I cannot find any other markings on the entire gun. It is if they have been sanded off somehow, I guess at the time it was "sporterized." And it is particularly sad that I can not even answer the simple question asked by so many friends..."what kind of gun is that?"[ATTACH][ATTACH]Photo0022..jpg[/ATTACH][/ATTACH]
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    Last edited by rundstedt13; 01-25-2012 at 11:21.

  2. #2
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    You have a WW 1 Gew 98 that was sporterized in Germany in the 1920s. It should be in 8mm caliber. The 1061 is the rifle ser nr.
    Sarge
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  3. #3
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    Looking at that rifle, it is a Mauser GEW 98, however, look at the right side of the receiver where is is cut forward at an arc, about where the forward right locking lug would be. Also, the magazine is blocked with a red piece of wood. Probably an adaption of the 98 to .22 caliber.

  4. #4
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    Nitro refers to the proof load used 'smokeless powder'. It has been converted to another caliber and single shot. I would not try to fire it until I knew for sure what caliber it is, there are many .22 cal. cartridges. All original markings were taken off the rifle when converted, except perhaps the serial. The proof mark was undoubtly applied at that time also, it is not a military proof. Its a real odd ball, can't say for sure what it is now!

  5. #5
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    The crown/N is the required nitro German COMMERCIAL proof mark for rifles between 1893 & 1939. Under strict German law any firearm had to be re-proofed at an authorized facility whenever the gun was rebarreled or rechambered, as was the case when your rifle was converted. This also applied to brand new commercial arms of course too. If they have not been scrubbed away, there should other commercial markings on the barrel (maybe under the wood) , depending in just when the rifle was worked on, which should have the codes indicating the proofing facilty, date of proof and maybe the caliber. Firearms proofed during that time period may or may not bear the name of the person or company that made/converted it. The ID of the maker would be recorded in the daily log books of the proofing facilities.
    Of course this rifle would have originally been poofed using German military marks, which are differant from commercial proof markings. Cheap, surplused WWI Mausers were widely used by post WWI German gunsmiths to make sporting guns of varying quality. A large quantity for them were commericially converted into inexpensive shotguns for export (ie. GEHA).
    When WWII ended in Europe the allied military government required that all civilians turn in their privately owned guns . Commonly those guns were either stacked outside the home for pickup or taken to a nearly collection center. It was common for American GI's to pick through those piles of weapons and bring their selections back home with them.

  6. #6
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    qoute;
    When WWII ended in Europe the allied military government required that all civilians turn in their privately owned guns . Commonly those guns were either stacked outside the home for pickup or taken to a nearly collection center. It was common for American GI's to pick through those piles of weapons and bring their selections back home with them.[/QUOTE]

    Wow! You just blew the myth that Hitler banded all firearm ownership in 1939! Actually all he did was renew the Weimer gun laws of the 20's. I knew a WW11 vet tank man, he said the first thing they did when they came to a German town was tell the people to bring all guns to the town center, and they ran over them with the tanks.
    Last edited by dave; 01-28-2012 at 02:10.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
    qoute;
    When WWII ended in Europe the allied military government required that all civilians turn in their privately owned guns . Commonly those guns were either stacked outside the home for pickup or taken to a nearly collection center. It was common for American GI's to pick through those piles of weapons and bring their selections back home with them.
    Wow! You just blew the myth that Hitler banded all firearm ownership in 1939! Actually all he did was renew the Weimer gun laws of the 20's. I knew a WW11 vet tank man, he said the first thing they did when they came to a German town was tell the people to bring all guns to the town center, and they ran over them with the tanks.[/QUOTE]

    In some respects the Gun Law of 1938 (as opposed to the 1939 proof law) actually loosened some ownership restrictions, provided you were a "good German". Unfortunately the law also prohibited ownership to "certain" groups. The one thing it did do was to reenforce the registration requirements. My father's outfit was detailed to picking up those private arms at the end of the war for a short itme. The registration lists held in the local police stations and town halls were of great aid in determining who had guns, how many and of what type.
    As the 1939 Proof Law went into effect in April of 1940 there aren't many guns out there with those markings as the demands of the Geramn military pretty much shut down the commerical production sector.

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