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Thread: Mauser oberndorf sporting rifle question

  1. #1
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    Default Mauser oberndorf sporting rifle question

    I have a Mauser Oberndorf sporter that does not have a caliber marking on it. It appears to be 8x57 Mauser. It chambers the 8x57 perfectly but I dont know if it is the J round or S round. The following numbers are stamped on the gun. 240.7,85.8,2. Does this mean anything? Besides me slugging the bore does anyone know what it is? Thanks in advance

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    Slugging the bore will only give you half the story---bore diameter. Have you had the rilfe out of the stock? On real sporters made in Germany (and Guild rifles) the cal. and other info is usually stamped on barrel beneath the wood. The way you have typed the numbers is confusing also---in Europe a , is used in place of a . as we would use, such as 7,9 instead of 7.9----and where exactly are these numbers on the rifle?

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    I would agree with Dave, the numbers are somewhat confusing as written, and there should be more stamped markings on the barrel, probably under the wood. Proof markings on German commercial arms made between about 1891 and the end of WWII will vary as to both the legal requirements in force at the time of proofing AND the practice of individual proof houses. The proof houses will always include the tests and markings required under law at the time of proofing, but often they continued to include obsolete markings too. Commonly, but not always, there will be a code stamp for the proofhouse used, a number which indicates what number the gun is on the registry of the proofhouse that year ( ie. the 240th? ), the BORE diameter (7.85mm?)......and the month and year of proofing; expressed as something like 6.33 (June 1933). With that info the proofing data of a gun can be traced to a specific proofhouse, and in cases where there is no "makers mark" (common on guild guns), the ID of the shop that put it together will be learned. The number that confuses me most here is the 8,2. If the other two #'s represent the number of the gun on the proofhouse registry and the bore diameter, I'd think that the 8,2 should represent the date (August 1902?) but my way of thinking is that it would read 8.02, but then again I'm uncertain as to the accepted practice in the first decade of the 20th century. Also commonly there will be stampings indicating the proof load, but those markings too varied as requirements changed.

  4. #4
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    Default Oberndorf sporter

    I looked closer but still did not find a caliber marking. There are 2 proof marking scattered on the gun. One is a crown over B and the other is a crown over U. There is 156.14 stamped under the barrel near the receiver. On the left side of the receiver is marked WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER-ORBERNDORF and the serial number of the rifle. Numbers match on the parts throughout the gun. The original number in question from my first post is stamped upside down on the left rear side of the barrel near the receiver. I think this is a Model B sporter. Nothing super fancy but a good looking well made and well balanced rifle.

  5. #5
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    sounds like a guild military conversion 98K, still oughta be a good shooter...
    be safe, enjoy life, journey well
    da gimp
    OFC, Mo. Chapter

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GBEAR1 View Post
    I looked closer but still did not find a caliber marking. There are 2 proof marking scattered on the gun. One is a crown over B and the other is a crown over U. There is 156.14 stamped under the barrel near the receiver. On the left side of the receiver is marked WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER-ORBERNDORF and the serial number of the rifle. Numbers match on the parts throughout the gun. The original number in question from my first post is stamped upside down on the left rear side of the barrel near the receiver. I think this is a Model B sporter. Nothing super fancy but a good looking well made and well balanced rifle.
    Under the proof law of 1891 the official "caliber" designation of rifles was given in "gauge" (not mm), very much as was done for shotguns. Your rifle is of 156.14 guage, which according to Table III, Law of 1891 (Proof of Guns Designed to Fire Solid Projectiles) offically equates to a BORE of 7.87mm, however with your rifle the bore actually slugged out to 7.85mm when examined at the proofhouse. I assume that the observed 7.85mm figure is within the allowed + or - factors for a rifle of 156.14 gauge, otherwise they wouldn't have stamped the gauge #. The crown/B indicates a single "provisional" proof load, something that was equal to the official charge indicated on Table III, but a "home brewed" pill made up by the proofhouse. The crown/U is a "supplementary" mark certifying that the gun was still in one piece following the discharge of the proof round. There were number of changes made to the proof law between 1891 and 1939. For example from 1912, and onward, rifles were usually stamped with an actual caliber designation (ie. 9.3mm/82, 8mm/57, ect. ).

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    The answer may have been in front of us all the while. I believe that the German military 1st loaded the "s" bullet in 1905? Were there any commercial "S" loadings prior to that year? If not, and your rifle was indeed made in 1902, I'd have to assume that it has made for the "J" bullet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by da gimp View Post
    sounds like a guild military conversion 98K, still oughta be a good shooter...
    No K98k would have the Mauser name on it, Guild rifles were usually scrubbed anyway.

  9. #9
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    I believe that sporters were made after 1905 in the old J loading. It was a very good sporting round, equal to the .30-06 and loaded with several bullet weights up to 250 gr. It was very popular in Europe. And hunters are very reluctent to give up calibers they have used for years. There were no military rifles made in the J loading after 1905 however.
    Last edited by dave; 07-20-2012 at 08:04.

  10. #10
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    Have a 98K sporter marked Waffenfabrik Steyr,Austria, in calibre .30-06, double set triggers, early Lyman long slide rear peep,originally wore a Mannliher stock, the old gent I got it from had it built in Austria prior to WWII.....he was attached to our embassy
    Last edited by da gimp; 07-20-2012 at 03:50.
    be safe, enjoy life, journey well
    da gimp
    OFC, Mo. Chapter

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