picked up what i thought was a 96 swede a few years ago. siderail marked mod. mauser 1896 ludw. loewe & co. berlin. ser.#b928x. no other markings on receiver/bbl. bands/buttplate. bolt mismatched to gun, but all matching to itself. stock heavily sanded. great shape otherwise with good bore. bbl./receiver/sights/floorplate/triggerguard all match. 7x57 caliber! liked to never figured that one out. is this a boer war rifle? looks to be in real good shape for a war gun. any kind of value as a collectible? will try to post some pics if i can figure it out.
In my limited knowledge in this area I have mainly seen Boer Mausers marked "OVS" on the receiver. Its an Afrikaaner acronym for "Orange Free State". Take this with a grain of salt, its what I've learned on the web-r-nets.
You do indeed have a Boer War Mauser rifle. It was purchased by the South African Republic known locally in South Africa by the abbreviation "ZAR". All ZAR rifles and carbines were made with blank receivers and were without national markings unless carved in the stocks by their owners. All OVS rifles were marked "OVS" on the receivers and/or stocks, so you can be confident that your rifle is not an OVS piece. "OVS" by the way is an abbreviation, never an acronym.
All 10,000 ZAR long Mauser M1893's in the B series were sent to the ZAR in three shipments in the Summer of 1896. They were all marked "Mod. Mauser 1896" on their side rails becuase they were purchased in 1896. OVS rifles ordered from Ludwig Loewe in 1895, 1896 and 1897 were marked "Mod. Mauser 1897", or 1895, or 1896.
Yes, Boer War rifles are uncommon but not rare. There were many brought back and the British Government even gave away many hundreds to veterans in Canada, Austrlia, and New Zealand after the war. Unfortunately, I am unable to enlarge the pictures you posted so I cannot see any details. Generally speaking Boer War Mausers in untouched original condition with good level of reamining bluing normally bring over $1,000 apiece or more among knowledgable collectors and likley more if purchased retail from a knowledgable dealer. Nicely carved rifles can being double that....or more if it can be identified to a Boer or Commonwealth luminary. However, because ZAR Mausers are unmarked, the relationship to the rifle's history has often been lost over the years, resulting in damage and sporterizing to many of these weapons. The loss of your rifle's bolt and the heavy sanding of the stock (and loss of its serial number and inspection marks) are big price downers. If the stock's wood loss is severe, the value could be dropped into the several hundreds. The only way to know for sure is to offer it in an auction.
Regarding the gun's safety, there is no way we can answer that from a few photos and your post. I think most folks would advise you to bring it to a good gun smith and have him do a safety inspection.
Last edited by John Wall; 01-31-2011 at 06:59 AM.
thanks for all your help. guess i need to get a digital camera. so what i am gathering is i need to put any gun i want to know the value of is to put it on gunbroker. do not want to do that. BTW i gave $100 for it to a kid who said " it's an 8 mm mauser and shoots great" there were cob webs down the barrel. anyways thanks to all that replied!