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  1. #1
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    Default Information On Boer War Mausers?

    I would love to have a decent example of a Boer War era Mauser. Particullarly an Orange Free State or Transvaal ordered and issued rifle or carbine. Probably the closest I'll ever get will be a Model 95 Chilean Mauser. I've researched where because of the British Naval blockade late in the war, many rifles destined for the Transvaal were shipped make to Germany and later sold to Chile. Appearently these have an "A", "B" or "C" alpha character in front of the serial number. Also most of what the Boers used and ordered were with the bent bolt and not the straight (much more common) bolt.
    So my question is this: Would a Chilean Model 95 Mauser with a bent bolt and an A, B or C prefix on a serial number mean that it was originally destined for the Transvaal? Would there be any exceptions to this?
    Any information on this subject will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Until someone chimes in to help you out, I'll try to confuse you

    Mr. Ball's Mauser Military Rifles of the World is a great source of info on these rifles and Mr. Bester's Small Arms of the Angle-Boer War has it all.

    A Chilean Mauser with a '93 action would probably be a rifle intended for the Boers. They should have an OVS serial number or a serial starting with C.

    John Wall has an excellent chart of OVS and ZAR rifles in Mr. Ball's book, hopefully he'll see this and help out.

    Attachment 53867
    My Chilean/OVS
    (replacement stock and m/m bolt)

    HTH

    j

  3. #3
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    About a year ago there was a HUGE artical in shotgun news about the boer wars and the Mausers used.

  4. #4
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    That was the June 20th, 2005 issue of Shotgun News. I've read it several times. It refers to the "OVS" markings for the rifles sent to the Orange Free State. Above the serial number on the left side of the receiver as well as on the stock below the serial number. But the ones sent to the Transvaal are supposed to be marked with an "A, B, or C" prefix in front of the serial number with no other markings. And then there are the ones that were sent back to Germany after being turned back from the British naval blockade at Portugese Mozambique ports late in the war. These were later sold to Chile and had the receiver rings stamped with the Chilean Crest. Some of these had a "C" prefix preceding their serial number. All of this is according to the Shotgun News article.
    The problem is that there seems to be alot of Chilean model 95 Mausers with an "A, B or C" prefix to the serial number. They can't all be from the naval blockade rilfes?
    I'm specifically wondering about the Chilian model 95 rifles that were sent to Chile after being returned to Germany because of the British Naval blockade. THANKS.

  5. #5
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    The OVS rifles turned back by the blockade and returned to Germany before being stamped with Chilean crests are described on page 431 of the 4th Edition of Ball's book. They were serial numbered O.V.S. 7901 through O.V.S. 8900. and were made by DWM. I don't know about the Transvaal, but a good general indication, in many cases, of Boer rifles, is the circular cartouche shown on the bottom left of page 321 of Ball.

  6. #6
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    Bussman
    there is a regular stream of Boer Mausers turning up in the UK. Typically, you could expect to pay $600 for a ZAR rifle, $800 for a carbine or OVS rifle, and up to $1600 for one with elaborate buttstock carving. Add the shipping to the USA. You will hardly ever find one with a good bore (they were all extensively battle-used and not cleaned in the field) and never one in mint condition. If those prices are acceptable to you, I'd be glad to send you details of some which are currently for sale in the UK gun press or websites. Within a few months I am sure you'll get one.
    Rob
    "The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past". (William Faulkner)

  7. #7
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    Sorry to hijack, but I've found a Ludwig Loewe Model 1896 with SN A34XX and "F P MYLES LEICESTER REGT" carved into the butt. Being offered as a Boer Mauser, but it isnt OVF marked. What are the chances it's legit?

  8. #8
    John Wall's Avatar
    John Wall is offline Diamond Member with Oak Leaves and Swords
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyles View Post
    Sorry to hijack, but I've found a Ludwig Loewe Model 1896 with SN A34XX and "F P MYLES LEICESTER REGT" carved into the butt. Being offered as a Boer Mauser, but it isnt OVF marked. What are the chances it's legit?
    Yes, the serial number you quoted is legit, and in fact indicates it was one of the first 10,000 Mausers purchased by the South African Republic, better known by its Afrikans initials, the ZAR, or the Transvaal. There should be no crest on its receiver ring. Most Boer Mausers are ZAR, not OVS which purchased comparatively few.
    Regards,
    John
    Last edited by John Wall; 03-12-2008 at 05:07 PM.

  9. #9
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    To Nyles: Yep, that would be a Boer Mauser, vet bringback. If you get the rifle, can I suggest you contact Dave George, who is bringing out another volume of his book, Carvings from the Veldt, documenting the existing carved Boer rifles?
    His email is Dave George [[email protected]]
    Both the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the Leicester fought in the Boer War, the 3rd right at the end and the 1st all the way through: Cape Town; Bloemfontein; Lydenberg; Nooitgedacht;Johannesberg; Mafeking; Middleberg; Blesbokspruit; Blinkwater; Witbank; Modderfontein; Middlefontein; Pretoria; Burghersdorp; Elandsfontein;Boschman’s Kop; Boschman’s Pan; Naboomspruit;Kruger’s Post; Machadodorp; Germiston; Kasteel;Grootvlei; Klip Nek; Carolina; Kroonstadt; Honing’s Kloof; Aliwal North

    Myles was not on the medal roll for the 3rd Btn http://www.militarybadges.org.uk/mim...al%20Rolls.htm
    nor in the casualty list for theLeicester Regt
    http://www.militarybadges.org.uk/boercas.htm
    so I guess Myles was in the 1st Btn and not wounded or killed.


    To Bussman: In the next Holts auction (20 March) in London http://holtandcompany.co.uk/index.htm
    is a very attractive rifle,
    Lot number 1139 LOEWE, BERLIN 7X57mm 'MOD. MAUSER 1896' BOER CONTRACT BOLT-MAGAZINE SERVICE RIFLE, serial no. B6208, estimated price £250-£350.
    (This rifle is nothing to do with me, but it is one of the nicest I have seen. Not carved, excellent condition. I would buy it, but I already have 10 of these and my wife will get me certified...)
    Last edited by RobD; 03-12-2008 at 06:38 PM.
    "The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past". (William Faulkner)

  10. #10

    Default F.P. Myles - Leicester Regt - Boier Mauser

    Quote Originally Posted by Nyles View Post
    Sorry to hijack, but I've found a Ludwig Loewe Model 1896 with SN A34XX and "F P MYLES LEICESTER REGT" carved into the butt. Being offered as a Boer Mauser, but it isnt OVF marked. What are the chances it's legit?
    Hello Nyles,

    As you have heard from John and Rob, this is certainly a "Boer Mauser". I am close to completing my next book on Boer War rifles that have names or "stock-art" carved onto their stocks etc.
    There are several examples (in my books) of Boer rifles that were brought home as "war trophies" by both individual British & Colonial officers & soldiers, as well as various British Regiments, who often kept them in their regimental museums. you may want to visit www.boerwarcarvings.bravehost.com

    I also have several more examples of Boer rifles with names of British & Colonial soldiers, in my new book (which I hope to publish by late 2008).
    As Rob mentioned, I would appreciate receiving a good clear photo of the CARVING (only) if you end up buying the rifle (I am sure you will not regret the purchase !)
    Cheers,
    Colonial Dave.

  11. #11
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    Well I have been following this topic reguarding Mausers and the Boer War. Not all the Mausers where government issue during the conflict. Many where sporting rifles that the Boers already owned when the Boer War broke out. The most noteable was the "Plesier Geweer", Pleasure Rifle in English, Model 1893 or 1895 in 7mm. It was also called the "Plesier Mauser". The Boers prefered the 7 mm for its long range. And could reach out beyound the range of the British rifles and where used as snipper rifles by the Boers. Many of the Chilean mod 1895 have OVS markings because the Boer War ended before they where delivered not just because of the blockade. A model 1893 or 1895 Mauser "Plesier Geweer" or "Plesier Mauser" in 7mm produced by DVM is in my opinion a true Boer War Mauser as this is what the irregulars used. But thats just my opinion. I'm a bit biased as my wife and her family are South African Boers and very proud of it and their history. Well thats my two cents worth on Boer War Mausers.

  12. #12
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    Default Boer War Mauser

    Of interest to Colonial Dave, I have a Boer War Mauser made by Loewe Model 96 7mm x 57mm with the initials OVJ 1899 carved into side of the forestock on the left hand side under the receiver. The serial number is A123 on all parts and it has a straight bolt.
    Happy to oblige with a photo if you'd like to see it but it's hardly classic carving although it appears to be a real workhorse!

  13. #13

    Default OVJ 1899 Boer Mauser

    Quote Originally Posted by Rigby View Post
    Of interest to Colonial Dave, I have a Boer War Mauser made by Loewe Model 96 7mm x 57mm with the initials OVJ 1899 carved into side of the forestock on the left hand side under the receiver. The serial number is A123 on all parts and it has a straight bolt.
    Happy to oblige with a photo if you'd like to see it but it's hardly classic carving although it appears to be a real workhorse!
    Hello Rigby,

    Thanks for the offer to send me a close-up photo of teh actual carving OVJ 1899 (a "jpeg" image is best for me please). I have a chapter in my next book that features Boer War rifles that have initials only, as opposed to full surnames. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to identify the original owner of these rifles, as many Boers had the same Christian names and surnames....
    Please adde a subject to your email - like Boer Mauser OVJ photo.
    Many thanks, Colonial Dave. [email protected]

    To FN 98: Re. your comments on "Plezier Mausers". Yes, there were a number of these beautiful sporting rifles used during the war. I would like to comment that they were normally only purchased by the more "well-to-do" or wealthy farmers and burgers - not so much by the 'every day' burgers that went on Commando. They were more expensive than the standard 7 x 57mm long rifles and were also very polular with Boer officers.
    Most of the owners had their names or initials engraved on the oval silver escutcheon that is inlaid into the butt of every Plezier Mauser. I have several of these rifles featured in my book "Carvings from the Veldt" and a few more in my next book. They are scarce on the market and popular with collectors - I only own one of them !
    Boere Groete,
    Colonial Dave.

  14. #14
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    Rigby,
    Dave George is right - for example, I have no less that 5 possible burghers named J L Pretorius who could have owned one of mine... However, in your case one can deduce that OVJ stands for "O van J..." since I can't think of Afrikaans 1st names that begin with "V". If that is the case, then the name is "van Jaarsveld", since I can't think of another Afrikaans surname which would fit the bill. Then I am pleased to say there were no burghers named O van Jaarsveld KIA (the site is http://www.justdone.co.za/ROH/Search.asp) . Dave might be able to give you candidate names from the POW list and the medal roll. There is a fair chance you will be able to narrow your rifle down to a handful of possibilities. Since only 40,000 Boers served, you may even find there is only one match, and you might be able to get his service record via Dave. Worth a try.
    Rob
    "The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past". (William Faulkner)

  15. #15
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    Default Loewe 1896 mauser

    Many thanks for this information Rob, unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) the initials I quoted were wrong and they should have read " OJC and not OVJ. I've sent Dave George a JPEG which was a little late as I've been traveling. I have recently started to collect Boer War medals to Boers as well as firearms and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Boer medals are researchable. I'll ceraintly see if Dave George can help me narrow down the possible ownership of the rifle. I've attached an image of the carving for anyone's interest.
    Regards
    Rigby



    Quote Originally Posted by RobD View Post
    Rigby,
    Dave George is right - for example, I have no less that 5 possible burghers named J L Pretorius who could have owned one of mine... However, in your case one can deduce that OVJ stands for "O van J..." since I can't think of Afrikaans 1st names that begin with "V". If that is the case, then the name is "van Jaarsveld", since I can't think of another Afrikaans surname which would fit the bill. Then I am pleased to say there were no burghers named O van Jaarsveld KIA (the site is http://www.justdone.co.za/ROH/Search.asp) . Dave might be able to give you candidate names from the POW list and the medal roll. There is a fair chance you will be able to narrow your rifle down to a handful of possibilities. Since only 40,000 Boers served, you may even find there is only one match, and you might be able to get his service record via Dave. Worth a try.
    Rob

  16. #16
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    I have just come across this thread.
    i also have a Boer War Mauser. It doesn't have the ZAR or OVJ makings but I believe a lot didn't. It is marked Ludw. Loewe and Co of Berlin with MOD 1896 above. The 1896 is not actually the model number it is the date of manufacture and the model is in fact 1893. I believe all Boer War mausers were 1893's and 7mm x 57mm.
    mine is serial number B5108. No carvings on the stock.

  17. #17
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    Your markings and serial number are correct for a ZAR rifle. It should have a straight bolt handle. OVS rifles were marked OVS but ZAR rifles were not marked.

    Regards,
    Bill

  18. #18
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    I thought it would be the straight bolt, I just have to find the bolt in amongst all the junk in the shed as it was stored separate to the rifle and has been hiding in amongst all the man junk for the past 5 years and I can't remember whether it was straight or curved.
    i am having a big clean out so will hopefully find the bolt in the next week or so.

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