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    1893 dwm s/n 380

    Just a couple of hours after stumbling across this rifle, some preliminary photos. Everything matches so far (haven't been able to pull bands off yet as they're basically "glued" on with varnish) and the bore's quite nice even though the crown has lost it's crisp edges. The nasty black paint is coming off with denatured alcohol. Biggest bother are the stock decorations...but it's still the nicest Spanish Mauser I've laid hands upon, so:

















    Hadn't even left the seller's shop yet when photos were done, and typically, no overall photo. It's already cleaning up fairly well.



    Have been looking for a nice Spanish Mauser for ages, and this pitiful thing is the best by far.

    More in a few days.
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    Really Senior Member butlersrangers's Avatar
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    Any possibility that your rifle is a Boer Mauser? The stock carvings would then make sense (and be a positive thing). What identifies it as Spanish?

    Photos to help & FWIW - My Spanish Mauser is a Loewe and marked "Mauser Espanol Modelo 1893" and has the remains of a Spanish Royal Crest on the receiver ring.

    Last edited by butlersrangers; 11-06-2015 at 04:33 PM.

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    Really Senior Member butlersrangers's Avatar
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    ZAR (South African Republic) and OVS (Orange Free State) Mausers are often lacking initials and government markings. They are quite valuable and rare to find. Early contracts had the flat-bottomed Spanish 1893 bolt. Stocks will often show floral carving, done by Boer (Farmer)/Citizen Soldiers. I hope you got real lucky!

    "Mit God und Mauser"

    Last edited by butlersrangers; 11-06-2015 at 05:03 PM.

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    You seems to have found a GREAT rarity

    "Have been looking for a nice Spanish Mauser for ages, and this pitiful thing is the best by far."

    Why pitiful? What we can see so far is 100% matching. The stamps in the wood tend to disappear first, and the fact that the 380 is still visible below the receiver ring indicates that the stock has not been maltreated or subjected to climatic extremes. The buttplate seems to match the wood very well - this is the place where shrinkage or sanding of the wood shows up most obviously. In that connection, one has to accept the individual and apparently very old decoration as "part of its history", much as I dislike this often misused phrase. But read on...

    What puzzles me is the crown (?) over a fraktur (black letter) "T" after the number on the receiver. It looks like a Germanicon inspector's stamp, but that does not seem right for a weapon made for a contract that was not for the German army. When you can, please post a photo of this in a larger size, as the form of the crown may help to clarify this point.

    I can only find one instance of a DWM Mauser thus marked - on the last page of the Appendix in "Mauser Military Rifles of the World" - a summary of Boer Mausers. Under "Serial # Range, Item 4, one can read: (My italics to emphasize crucial points)

    "1-10,000 No letter prefix.
    Long Rifle (29" barrel).
    On side rail: "Deutsche Waffe- und-Munitionsfabriken" over "Berlin"
    No receiver crest. Straight bolt handle.
    ...3. One observed DWM rifle (18xx) has no circular cartouches, but does have German military quality inspection marks (a crown over a fraktur letter) in four location.: the left side of buttstock, left side of receiver near the serial number, top of bolt handle, and top of barrel under handguard."

    It looks like you found the second military-marked Boer Mauser. And the decoration is indeed part of its history, having been (unprovable, but very likely) applied by its Boer owner.

    Pitiful? I think not.

    I think that you should purchase a copy of that book in acknowledgement! And write to Ball with some photos, so that he has the info for any future editions.

    Congratulations.


    And for heaven's sakes, DON'T remove any of the decoration or finish, which is probably all-original.
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 11-06-2015 at 06:35 PM.

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    I did some quick research on the 'Mauser Threads' on Gunboard's Forums. I believe you may have a 'Boer Mauser' that went to the ZAR in 1897.

    DWM made two shipments in 1897 to the South African Republic, totaling 10,000 long rifles with 29" barrels. (There were also carbines shipped). These rifles were numbered from 0001 to 10,000, with no letter prefix. They were all delivered. Receivers were marked "Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken (over) Berlin". Stock, receiver & bolt may have an odd marking similar to a Germanicon inspection letter. (Your #380 seems to fit this description).

    I would caution you to do your own research and Don't Mess with the Wood! Boer "carved Mausers" are one of the few situations where 'Stock Mutilation' is a good thing.

    Your bolt face is likely 'round' and not the 'flat bottom' of a '93 Spanish bolt.

    I think you got lucky - Congratulations!
    Last edited by butlersrangers; 11-06-2015 at 06:30 PM.

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    Sorry, I have to say it again:


    You seem to have found something extremely rare. DO NOT FUBAR IT in an understandable but (in this case) misguided attempt to improve it. Just clean it carefully - as the owner would have done.


    There is also a book on the topic of decorated Boer Mausers, called "Carvings from the Veldt". See if you can find a copy.
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 11-06-2015 at 06:36 PM.

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    All that's been done so far as is noted in Post #1: Removal of the flat black paint. Had an IHMSA match this weekend and left the rifle at the workshop, so I haven't even seen it since Friday!

    Only other option that seemed to fit as far as rifle type after arriving home would be possibly a '94 Brazilianicon, base on a brief mention in Olsen's book. But no crest and no sign of ever having any. It seems all the Spanish '93s were Mauser or Ludwig Lowe, so not Spanish, I think. Would be better if I was more of a Mauser guy!

    I still may remove what looks to be a rather newer than 100+ year old varnish. Had no particular inclination to attempt carving removal as it's pretty deep in places. It would require adding wood to do a proper job, and that's more than I'm willing to do. Main thing is to do a proper cleaning. Inside of the bolt has a fair amount of gummy grease deposits. The bands are basically glued to the wood.

    I used the term pitiful in reference to the hastily applied paint and varnish mess. Probably done for display by somebody who just wanted an "old rifle" for the mantelpiece. That and the fact the pawn folk had it out with the other clunkers for a whole US$199. (Didn't even have to pay that much after informing them it wasn't a "98", nor "8mm". )



    Last edited by jmoore; 11-09-2015 at 02:44 AM.

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    JM, you are a lucky lad! As the man on the spot you can judge whether or not the varnish is a later fudge, and act accordingly. I tend to doubt that the original Boer owner would have treacled it up so that the bands were stuck, quite apart from a varnish finish being of no conceivable advantage on the veldt.


    For an expert opinion on Boer matters we need RobD to chime in. Rob, are you out there?

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    'jmoore' - It's a ZAR/Boer Mauser. (Floral stock carving and serial number identify it. The varnish you may be removing attest to carving being old).

    You should direct your research as Patrick Chadwick advises. (Don't be thrown off by odd appearance of rifle muzzles in this photo. Some have the brass muzzle cap/sight protector in place. The young man on the left has a Mauser carbine).

    Last edited by butlersrangers; 11-09-2015 at 10:42 PM.

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    Really Senior Member henry r's Avatar
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    interesting that while the stripper clip feeding has been stated as the mausers big advantage, several are carrying single round bandoleers.

    at least the bloke with the pipe and huge hands is using stripper clips.

    the stock decoration would have put me off originally, but now knowing why it is there, really makes the rifle a special piece of history. nice pick up.
    Last edited by henry r; 11-10-2015 at 04:04 AM.

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