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  1. #1
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    Default H & A 89 Mauser Carbine

    This is my first post. I was brought here searching for information on this rifle that I found going thru my grandfather's estate last weekend. I got some information from searching these forums but would appreciate any other input.

    The butt, clip, stock and receiver all show a serial # 1600R. The down turned bolt has a serial # 26829. The receiver has the Hopkins and Allen Arms stamp and it has a E/GB stamp mark.

    I'm not a collector but I'm interested in some history. My grandfather never mentioned it and it was found in a trunk with his old WWII uniforms. Thanks for any assistance.

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    Last edited by MPerry9737; 09-22-2011 at 01:15 PM.

  2. #2
    John Wall's Avatar
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    Hello MPerry,
    Welcome to the Gunboards Mauser Forum. You have a very nice Mauser carbine. It is one of about 180,000 Mauser Model 1889's made by Hopkins and Allen in Norwich, Connecticut between 1916 and 1918 for the Belgiam Army. Your rifle, a Model 1916, was one of only 10,000 carbines made at the end of the production contract. (The rest were long rifles with 29 inch barrels.) At the time your carbine was made, the original firm, H&A, had gone bankrupt, and their contracts, tooling and properties in Norwich had been purchased by Marlin Rockwell. All H&A Model 1916 carbines had a letter "R" in the serial number. Unfortunately, the bolt on your carbine is mismatched, reducing the value somewhat. However, it is still very collectible. All 10,000 H&A Belgian carbines arrived in Europe just as WW I was ending, so none of them saw combat service during that war. However, they certainly could have seen colonial service and WW II service in Europe. Most Model 1916 Belgian Mausers were made by firms in Belgian, like Fabrique Nationale. There are a few existing photos showing Model 1916 carbines issued to WW II German troops not serving in front line units.

    Your bolt's serial number identifies it as a correct Belgian Mauser carbine bolt, although it is not made by H&A. The E/GB mark is the carbine's proof test mark. The three letter abbfreviation stands for a French phrase which translates as "Belgian Government Proof".
    Best Regards,
    John
    Last edited by John Wall; 09-24-2011 at 08:27 AM.

  3. #3
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    John, thanks for the history lesson on my grandfather's rifle. I knew he served in WWII and was wondering how he had come by a WWI era rifle. Do you have any suggestions as to how I should have this weapon perserved or cared for. I was thinking of bringing it to a gunsmith to have it checked further, do you have anyone in the New England area that you might recommend.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by MPerry9737 View Post
    John, thanks for the history lesson on my grandfather's rifle. I knew he served in WWII and was wondering how he had come by a WWI era rifle. Do you have any suggestions as to how I should have this weapon perserved or cared for. I was thinking of bringing it to a gunsmith to have it checked further, do you have anyone in the New England area that you might recommend.
    All during WW2 the Nazi's issued captured weapons, initially to rear area troops, but those weapons found themselves in the front lines as the war swept over Europe. John can probably tell you if your weapon made it to Europe during WW1, but it's very common for captured obsolete weapons to find their way back to the US in soldiers' knapsacks after WW2
    Turning relics into near-relics since 2005.

  5. #5
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    If you care for the whole story on these fines rifles, check out the book "Allied Rifle Contracts in America". It is THE reference book on the subject and has all the details.

  6. #6
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    just my 2 cents- find a good gun oil at your local gunshop and cover all metal and wood surfaces. Don't use abrasives or anything made to strip the finish off the wood or metal. Get a bore cleaning kit and clean and lubricate the bore. I would recommend not shooting it- the carbine is relatively rare (even with the mismatched bolt). Some might want you to "restore" the carbine - my opinion- this would take away from the historical uniqueness of the piece. If you do want to shoot it, then get a gunsmith to check it out.
    Can you get clearer photos of the left side of the stock, near the receiver? Markings on the buttstock?

  7. #7
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    Poilu, thanks for the advise. I intend to do nothing to it at this time, it's sat this long, it can wait a little longer till I learn exactly what I'm doing. I have no intention of shooting this. I'll try to get better pictures this weekend sometime. As for markings, the stock near the receiver has two stamps in it. The lower one is the number 1600, the upper one is totally unreadable even with the naked eye, but it is a stamp of some sort. On the right side of the buttstock I just noticed, after your post, that there is a 1/2"x1/2" piece of the wood that was cut out and replaced with different grain wood. It looks to have been done years ago as it is weathered to near perfection to the rest of the stock, only noticable when I looked at it under a bright light.
    Thanks to everyone for the information and keep it coming. I'll answer all questions the best I can, I'm quiet intrigued with this find.

  8. #8
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    You're welcome--I echo the comment about the Allied Rifle Contracts book--It is the best source reference available for information on your carbine

  9. #9
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    Oil the metal. Please dont put gun oil(or any oil) on the wood.

  10. #10
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    I'm not doing anything to it yet. Just looking for opinions first. John mentioned that he goes to gun shows in our area, there is one in NH in Oct, I'll wait and hopefully be able to have him look at it and go from there. From the posts I've seen in here he seems to have the most knowledge on this subject in my area.

  11. #11
    John Wall's Avatar
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    I will definitely be at the show in Manchester on October and look forward to seeing the carbine. There is also a show in Marlboro MA this weekend right off I495. I'll be there tomorrow around noon if that would work for you too.
    Regards,
    John

  12. #12
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    Thanks John. I can't make the show tomorrow but look forward to seeing you at the Manchester show in October. I look forward to having you see the carbine and hearing your opinion on it.

  13. #13
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    More pictures.
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    Last edited by MPerry9737; 09-26-2011 at 07:04 AM.

  14. #14
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    Very nice and rather rare carbine!
    Though a WWI era weapon, this carbine was still in use in active and first reserve Belgian units in may 1940. The riflemen were equipped with Mdl 35 or 36 rifles, NCO's, MG crews and personnel of MG, Mortar and anti tank gun companies were equipped with Mdl 1916 carbines.
    High quality repair work on the stock is very common on post WW I Belgian Mausers.

  15. #15
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    VDB, thanks for the info. What could be the possible cause of the stock repair work? I was wondering if there was some type of stamp there that was removed. Was it common for these models to have stamps on the stock.

  16. #16
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    according to "Allied Rifle Contracts in America" Chapter 3 - The Model 1889 Belgian Mauser- the Belgians continued refurbishing the M1889's through the 1930's and supplied their soldiers with M1889's , rifles and carbines, firing round nose bullets and M1935's and M1889/36's firing spitzer bullets.

  17. #17
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    What would be the estimated value of this carbine. I've received a few offers, but if I decide to sell it I would want a fair value and would take into consideration the seriousness of the collector with the offer.

  18. #18
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    There's not a lot to compare it with-the only other I've seen recently was at Collector's Firearms in Houston. I think they were asking about $900. Seemed a bit high- that carbine's bolt was also mismatched (going on memory). The problem is that you cannot just go to online auctions and do a comparison due to its rarity (Belgian and/or American made). It appears that only 10,000 were made by Hopkins and Allen in the last months of WW1.

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