Oberndorf Mauser Model 1898 6 m/m Test Rifles - Jon Speed
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Thread: Oberndorf Mauser Model 1898 6 m/m Test Rifles - Jon Speed

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    Default Oberndorf Mauser Model 1898 6 m/m Test Rifles - Jon Speed

    Jon Speed sent me more material on this subject and rather than just add it to the thread this subject first appear on, I thought Jon would prefer a new thread dedicated to the subject of test rifles. I will replicate the threads I posted there here and then add Jon Speed's further observations. I will also add some material regarding Paul Mauser's relationship with the military on compensation, - material that has never been seen before.

    Here is the link to the other thread, just so collectors can have the full picture:

    http://forums.gunboards.com/showthre...rcial-made-Gew
    Last edited by SimsonSuhl; 12-08-2016 at 04:08 PM.

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    Default Comments from Jon Speed

    Paul, I saw the talk again on Commercially proofed and serial numbered G 98 and have some comments on this.

    First, all G 98 were Ring dated along with WFM name. In some cases older Gew 98 receivers had the dates scrubbed off and used for making 8.15X46 R target rifles in the Post WW1 period when new Commercial proofs and SN were added. I have also learned in past 8 years that some Target rifles with ring dates from the 1908-1914 and GEW 98 marked had SN and BU proofs that appeared to indicate a Post WW1 period. Its possible these SN were some type of in-house designated SN group that most likely represented a SN group that was combined with actual Pre-WW1 period G 98 production numbers in those years by Mauser. Such rifles did Not follow the actual Commercial SN system Mauser used, only looked like. Here is A full Commercial Gew 98 SN 77357 BU proofs and WFM 1908 Ring date, Has Banner in stock right side many parts with Imperial Inspection marks. WM under grip and Lang site. This was one of those G98 for Vatican. `The actual SN if in true Mauser Commercial run would be 1913/14 period etc. I have seen other similar examples in past years . Jon
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 3.jpg   2.jpg   1.jpg  

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    Default Vatikan Paepstliche Schweizergarde Gewehr98’s

    Hello Doc, The subject has been discussed on the following sites before, - another one of Jon Speed's revelations, this time largely based upon Hans Lockhoven's work and reputation, who Jon Speed was a close friend of:

    http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php?17253 (lengthy discussion)
    http://www.k98kforum.com/showthread.php?22091 (WWII & recent history)
    https://gewehr98.wordpress.com/2015/...rde-gewehr98s/ (larger pictures of the letters)

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    Default

    Stamm, while this subject is well beyond my specialty, the rifles are a varied lot, - they range from Versuchsgewehr's like John Wall's 1901 #13 and Aberdeen's 1895 #768 (John Wall wrote a brief article on these two rifles April 2007 Man at Arms, and John Wall discussed it on this forum in 2003 and 2011 - I will repost John Wall's words below for everyone to read as these threads are gone or difficult to find...) to a vast number of oddball commercially marked rifles, some dated and some not, some are out of sequence for the date on the receiver, BUT generally they progressively advance from the 47000 serial range in 1902 through 89000 serial range in 1912, but there are discrepancies among this pattern, later dated rifles with low 40000 serials and very low 3-4 digit serials throughout, several with war time dates. (I suspect these discrepancies are a product of the rifles being made for different purposes and the serialing may revolve around those purposes - variations - we may be lumping several groups together...)

    Unfortunately, I have not spend much time studying this subject and John Wall work is lost to us, he and Jon Speed were close friends and Jon may provide better insight to those discussions, but as many are well aware, the best resource is Jon Speed's books, his Mauser Archive and his two Sporter's books. I do not have the time to go through them at the moment, but they would be good places to start a study on the subject.

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    Default Oberndorf Mauser Model 1898 6 m/m Test Rifle

    *** Text may not be complete with all posts, and the format wouldn't transfer, so the spacing and organization may be off in places ***)

    The Mauser Oberndorf test rifle I posted about in the "Twin Serbs Born This Week" thread arrived back from my "Stock Doc" yesterday. The duffle cut has been repaired and the missing handguard has been replaced with a newly fabricated piece which matches the original Oberndorf stock finish quite nicely. The handguard still has its edge finishing to be done. Unfortunately, the gentleman who works on my rifles is off for a month, away from the New England winter at his condo in Fort Myers FL, so the finish work will have to wait for a month. I have taken advantage of the overcast weather to shoot a few pictures of this rare rifle.

    By way of general description, this is a 1901 dated Oberndorf test rifle, referred to in German as a "Versuchsgewehr", pronounced "fair-SOOKS-ga-VAIR" (primary accent on the second syllable) which translates "test rifle", or "trials rifle", or "experimental rifle". These all mean different things in English, and it will take some digging through the turn-of-the-century Mauser research department records to determine what the intentions were for these rifles when they were manufactured. Another of these 1901 rifles is pictured in the February 1998 issue of DWJ, although it is somewhat battered looking and appears to have been 100% completely reblued.

    The marking consist of:

    1. the number "13" on all parts
    2. "Waffenfabrik Mauser Oberndorf A/M 1901" on the receiver ring
    3. The numbers "5,88. 6,18. 170." on the underside of the barrel just in front of the receiver.

    The fits two sets of markings are pretty self explanatory. The last one had me scratching my head for a while until I found the picture of the rifle in the 1998 DWJ article. The caption in the article indicates that the rifle is a 6 m/m test rifle. After I read that, the light finally clicked on. Please correct me if I am wrong, but if the rifle is truly 6 m/m, the "5,88" or 5.88 would likely be the bore diameter in milimeters, land to land; the "6,18" or 6.18 would probably be the bore diameter in milimeters, groove to groove, and the "170" would like be the twist rate.

    It has a 740 m/m (29 inch) long barrel and is built along the general lines of the German Gewehr 98 Infantry Rifle. It differs from the Gewehr 98 is several ways however:

    1. No Lange sight...instead, it was built with a tangent leaf sight patented by Paul Mauser in 1896 which looks a lot like the single button sight later used on the Kar 98a
    2. A stock with a pointed pistol-grip
    3. A buttplate with an elongated tang for unit markings.
    4. A front sight which is mounted on a barrel band rather that a Gew 98 type barrel sleeve.
    5. It is small bore (6 m/m) as opposed the larger 8 m/m bore.

    Now for a few pictures:

    John Wall


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    The receiver ring and its 1901 date of manufacture.

    The newly made handguard, the edge finishing on the curved edges still to be done.

    The unusual (for a Gewehr 98 long buttplate tang, bearing the matching number "13"

    The muzzle and its band-mounted front sight, cleaning rod and bayonet bar. Incidentally, these parts, and perhaps 20 other smaller components, all have German military crown-over fraktur letter inspection marks. Because none of the major parts (barrel, bolt, receiver) are so marked, I believe that Mauser just built up test rifles like this by borrowing from the biggest on-hand stock of un-numbered parts, those of the German Army.

    The patented Mauser tangent leaf sight, distance numbers on the leaf itself and on the sight of the sight base, with bluing buff off to hilight the numerals, as on the Gewehr 98.

    last updated at Mar 29, 2003 11:01 a.m. (1 times)

    The serial number "13" on receiver and barrel. Notice that their is a complete lack of proof marks, commercial and military. From this, I think it is likely that this rifle was never intended to be sold within Germany, or exported or used in troop trials, and was possibly made for testing one of the 6 m/m cartridges listed in the early DWM cartridge catalog as "6 m/m Versuchs, WF Mauser" (6 m/m expriemtal, Waffenfabrik Mauser).

    Hi Jeb,
    Thanks! The number produced? I haven't a clue! ...other than at least 13!
    Frankly, I'm learning as I go on this one. I never even knew any of these survived, other than that one pictured 5 years ago in DWJ. Fortunately, the auction house where I bought it did not know anything either. They catalogued it as a "salesman's sample" rifle in 6.5 m/m Swedish! I love it when people speak of these as if they were sold door-to-door like Fuller brushes or Tupperware!

    John Wall

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    Most incredible. Am I wrong - but I thought that all these 6mm peices were chinese contract developments.It's been awhile since I combed through Olson's book.By the way I have two # 13 rods if your peice needs a # 13 rod. MauserBill

    John ; I noticed the rear sight base has a low setting of 400.Seems weird in that being 1901 it was pre 1903 changes of the 7,92 S patrone sights from 200 too 400. Love to know why a 6mm has a 400 meter battle sight. Is the bayonet lug the pre 1903 type with the "open top" inside barrel channel ?. MauserBill

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    Thanks so much John. Here I am getting bored collecting this stuff, thinking about selling my collection and starting something new and here you come up with a diamond in the rough. What a great rifle! I just love that rear site.
    Clear this up for me John, I do not think it was a test rifle, but a salesman's rifle. It is my understanding that Mauser would leave the serial numbers below the wood if it was an experimental and the salemens copy would have the serial number exposed on the receiver and barrel. True or not true?
    Paul Reckamp

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    Hi Bill,
    The Chinese model 1907 rifles in 6.8 m/m and were made only in 1908 and in very small numbers. (Many others of the same model were made for China in 7 m/m and 7.9 m/m, all before 1910.) I have to admit that 6.8 m/m Chinese was also my first throught when I saw this rifle at the auction preview. It seemed unlikely that a cartridge which had been sold only to Sweden and Luxembourg would be worth building on a 98 action when the Swedes had already made the investment in tooling to manufacture their own 96's. But then I found the DWJ article, and finally matched the barrel numbers to the "6 m/m Versuchs" possibility.

    Thanks very much for mentioning the cleaning rod! I had never checked it before and it is not numbered "13". I would certainly like to have one of ours. I have an accumulation of Gewehr 98 parts. Could you e-mail me your latest list of parts needed? I'm sure we can work out a trade.

    Regarding the bayonet bar, it has the long groove for the cleaning rod I believe. I'll take a photo and post it below.

    Best Regards,
    John Wall

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    Hi Bill,
    Strangely, the low distance number on the rear sight leaf does not match the low number of the side of the base. The numerals on the leaf start at 300 meters while, as you pointed out, the other set starts at 400. I think the reason why this may be is the rifle was used for in-house cartridge testing and demonstrations perhaps (?) and was not fabricated to meet any particular military standards. It's certainly inconsistent! Your guess is as good as mine!

    In re-reading your question on the bayonet lug and the "open top", I don't think answered the question. What open top should I look for in the barrel channel?

    Regards,
    John Wall


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    Hi Paul,
    Neat sight, eh? This is the earliest version of this sight that I have seen.
    Regarding your question on the location of serial numbers, I have never heard this story before. It's totally new to me.

    Frankly, given the extremely small number of true experimental rifles that exist how would you know? And how do we know that any Mauser rifle is a 'salesman's rifle'? What argues against this rifle being a sales sample is the fact that it's illegal. This rifle has no proof marks whatsoever, making it illegal to sell within Germany and illegal to export. If I were a salesman, I would not want a demo model which had not been proven safe. If it had been meant to leave the Oberndorf facilities, I would think that it would have been proofed at the Oberndorf Proof House. (Mauser owned it!) As it is, its kinda like a car without license plates and an inspection sticker.

    Best Regards,
    John Wall

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    I don't know exactly what to say. But Paul is correct. "Expermentals", at least earlier M1892 experimentals along with the M1891 Spanish trials rifles and My M1892 carbine had no external ser#'s on the barrel and reciever. They also have absolutely NO proof/inspection.

    Granted a small sample. But the two M1892 experimentals at APG, the other two at Springfield, the M1891 Spanish Trials rifles, and my M1892 carbine(which I believe is an extention of the 400 Spanish Navy experimentals) all share these features OTOH the M1895(88/97) and 1896(6mm) German trials rifles have full German military proof/inspection.

    Rifles made under contract for a foreign country for trial or purely experimental "samples" did not seem to require proof/inspection?

    I confess I do NOT know EXACTLY what this 1901 Oberndorf is except that it's wonderfull. But lack of proof/inspection..or simple fraktur inspection...., neither would supprise me. But I do not understand the absolute meaning of either?

    My guess, it is a final configuration/extention of the M1896 6mm trials rifles. Official trials are said to have continued into 1902/03 and some 6mm m1896 rifles remained on inventory in the experimental shop into the 1930's according to Fred R.

    BTW, the earliest use of the tangent sight seems to be on the M1896 6mm trials rifles.

    Jack mman

    last updated at Mar 30, 2003 07:01 a.m. (1 times)

    Götz, "German Military Rifles and Machine Pistols, 1871-1945", offers some insight maybe? See p. 125. He's talks of the 2185 M1886 6mm trials rifles. Troop trials with these and the 2000 8mm M1895(88/97) were to start in 1897 and were to last until 1902. (The 10,000 Gew98 Trials rifles were added to these trials also. My example suggests rebuild for reissue post 1902 as it has a new matching safety lugged bolt, a 1902 patent)

    In speaking of the 6X59 cartridge in the last paragraph he suggests that it's superior performance was the reason for the early restraint in production of the 88/97 in Prussia.

    Various references in secret Bavarian files suggest that the Prussians were inclined to introduce the 6mm when the trials were ended. Only the development of better propellents and pointed bullets for the 8mm from 1899-1902 , "were to creat a new situation later."

    We need John Speed's inventories of the Mauser experimental shop. I bet these rifles are included?
    Maybe this rifle is one of the prototypes of what WAS to have been the new German infantry rifle........
    OTOH, who/what to believe? While the trials seemed to have continued, other sources suggest that almost 100,000 Gew98's were delivered by 1901. We know of Navy, KS(Africa) and OE(China) along with the first three prussian Army Corps issues by the autumn of 1901(Walter, "The German Rifle").....

    Jack mman


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    Just a few observations using my (very Poor) knowledge of "technical" German and the way German grammar makes up compound words, especially to convey a "new" meaning.

    Versuchs Gewehr: "Suchen", to Ask or searchor enquire; prefix "Ver:" Converts Verb to Adjective; Thus "Versuchs" infers an enquiry piece ("To try out various ideas", a "testbed", for the Factory designers to grapple with engineering and design problems, or for testing ammunition and sights, etc.)

    This would explain the absence of any beschuss stempeln ( proof stamps) or Acceptance marks.
    As I remember, the new Tangent rear sight was a 1900 Patent, subsequently used on the Type 45 (1902) Siamese, the M1903 Turk Contract, the M1904 Commercial ( later the M907 Brazilian, M1907 Chinese and others.). The Band Foresight ( Common to all the Post 1900 Contract rifles) is also distinct from the Gew 98 Soldered flush sleeve

    As to the "5,88" etc, 170" This is the Bore, Groove, and GAUGE of the barrel (German rifles still had the "Gauge number" ( no.of lead balls of bore diameter per English Pound wt.) well into the 1920s Proof Usages for "Commercial " Rifles. This had to be applied by the Maker, and was checked by the Proof master.( who occasionally still used "gauge"diameter gauges).

    An interesting restoration: BTW, the complete rifle looks almost identical to the sample M1900 Siamese 7mm Rifle based on the Gew98 receiver; This and the M1902 Siamese Mauser then differ only in band designs and addition of a Japanese (Type 35) type Dust cover...forward moving.

    The extra narrow band and short baynet lug will become typical of the M1904 Commercial and the M1904 Mauser Vergueiro Rifles, as well as the later M1907 Chinese Mauser in 6,8mm and 7,9mm.

    I would suppose that with the new 98 style receiver, the Mauser design crew were again toying with the high velocity 6mm Forster (6x5 cartridge, and trying out various design solutions...they probably found, again, that the absence of suitable "cool" powders resulted in rapidly eroded barrels ( as happened with the 6mm Lee, and the earlier 6x58 1897 test rifles).

    Interestingly, the 1904 Commercial AND the 1904 Vergueiro BOTH appeared first in "6,5x58" cartridge, commonly called the 6,5x58 P, for Portuguese. ( Shell cases specifications are different,
    but the conception draws from similar parameters...in 6,5mm, the available powders functioned efficiently; in 6mm, they were Too damaging to the bore.

    Again, an interesting rifle of extreme rarity, has given rise to a multitude of other questions and supposition and assumptions in regard to related Mauser matters...any comments/criticisms/ additions to my line of thinking???
    Thanks for your imput,

    Doc AV.
    last updated at Mar 30, 2003 10:25 a.m. (2 times)

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    Hi Jack,
    Thanks for the information on the numbering the the test and experimental rifles. This matches my observations of the two M1892 type Oberndorf rifles at Springfield Armory used in the US Army's 1892 rifle trials.

    After Jack wrote his post above, we had a long phone conversation during which Jack pointed out that there were important sections in Hans Dieter Götz's book "German Military Rifles and Machine Pistiols, 1871-1945", and John Walter's "The German Rifle" on secret German Army rifle and small bore (5 m/m and 6 m/m) tests which lasted, according to Götz, up to 1902...which puts my 1901 rifle in this time window. Reading these sections and chapters is absolutely fascinating, and raises the possibility that my rifle might be one on these test rifles.

    The cartrtidge used in my rifle can only be determined with certainty by a chamber casting. However, Walter and Götz say that the 6 m/m round was 59 m/m long and was known as 6x59 m/m. Götz mentions a 6 m/m cartrtidge loading that had an initial muzzle velocity of 800 meters per second or 2,625 feet per second. The round was supposed heavily based on the US Navy's 6 m/m Lee cartridge. The cartridge and the rifles all originated with Mauser Oberndorf, and not the German Rifle Testing Commsission.

    Interestingly, the barrel twist rates, number of lands and grooves etc. were being experimented with as well as the cartridges and their loadings. Walter notes that one 6 m/m barrel had a twist rate of 165 m/m, which is 1:6.5 inches, or one full twist in six and a half inches. My rifle is marked with a 170 m/m twist, which is one full twist in 6.7 inches. A glance down the barrel confirms this. There are a lot more twists here that we are used to seeing in other military bolt rifles! I tried to take a photograph of ther barrel twists, but in 25 pictures, managed to get only one semi-decent shot. It sure is hard to hold that camera still and get a focused picture that looks straight down a quarter inch-wide whole which is 29 inches deep!!

    The pictures below are a few of my sorely-lacking attempts to image the inside of the 6 m/m barrel.

    Regards,
    John Wall

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    I just discovered an interesting thing about the 6 m/m test rifle: It uses a bolt unlike that of the Gewehr 98. In fact, if you take a Model 1903 Turkish bolt and stretch it out full length so it fits a standard length 8.75 inch long Mauser 98 receiver, you get the boilt in the 6 m/m test rifle. I have taken few few comparison photos to illustrate this. The photo shows four different (but matching) Model 98 Mauser bolts.

    1. The bottom bolt is from an Amberg Arsenal (Bavaria) 1917-dated Gewehr 98 in 7.9 m/m
    2. The bolt second from the bottom is the 1901 Oberndorf 6 m/m test rifle.
    3. The bolt second from the top is from an Oberndorf Model 1903 Turkish contract rifle in 7.65 m/m
    4. The top bolt is from a 1904-dated Oberndorf Siamese contract rifle in 7 m/m

    And another of the cocking pieces, Gew 98 on the left:

    John Wall


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    Again, the tangent sight was a Mar.7, 1896 patent and used on both versions of the M1896 6mm test trials rifles. See Olson, page 89 in my 1995 edition of "Mauser bolt Rifles" and most definately the sight on M1896 6mm trials rifle ser#4 that is owned by a friend and most definately dated 1896.

    The only reason for adoption of the Lange sight seems to be political/financial. As a patent owned by Loewe, money was to be made by pushing this sight(and the Barrel Jacket on the M1888 and 88/97 for the same reason)....

    Jack mman

    I don't know Doc?
    My M1892 Spanish carbine has the following on the bottom of the barrel:
    7,0 . 7,25 . 220
    If the "220"(and 170 on the 1901) was the "gauge", the 7mm M1892 would be a smaller number(fewer balls/pound) than the 6mm?
    Twist would seem to be in the ballpark?
    Indeed, 220mm equals 8.66", the exact twist listed for the 7X57mm(if my math is correct?).

    Jack mman

    last updated at Mar 30, 2003 11:21 a.m. (1 times)


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    Hi Doc and Jack,

    John Walter also thinks this number is the twist rate. On page 100 of his chapter entitled "Kleinkalibriges-Versuchsgewehr Mauser 1896" (in "The German Rifle"), he refers to the number '165" as "1 turn in 165 mm (sic).
    The patent for the tangent sight is, as you stated Jack, dated March 7, 1896. The full text and drawings of the single button tangent leaf sight can be found on pages 290-293 of "Mauser Gewehre und Mauser Patente". This book was written by R.H. Korn, Paul Mauser's patent attorney, and published in Berlin in 1908 on Paul Mauser's 70th birthday.

    Best Regards,
    John Wall

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    An article in Deutsches Waffen-Journal 5/88 titled "Das Mauser-Quartett" shows a Peru-Gewehrs Modell 1909 on page 652 captioned "Auf der Laufunterseite sind eingeschlagen: 7,0=Felddurchmesser, 7,25=Zugdurchmesser, 220=Drallaenge." It about has to be twist in millimeters since twist is calibres would quickly get to be an awfully big number. Subject of the article was on the four lengths of Mauser receivers, -15 m/m, -5 m/m, Standard and +10 m/m.

    Don B. in Kansas

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    Hi T.P.,

    Yes, I am amazed at the condition too, especially since some GI chopped it in half and carried it home in his barracks bag. The only thing that I can think of that would explain this rifle surviving in such nice condition is that no one wanted to shoot a high powered, un-proofmarked experimental rifle bearing the number "13"!

    Best Regards,
    John Wall


    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Mea Culpa, Again I have not searched more fully the German text on the matter of "dralllange" ( = rate of twist==" twist-length" literally).

    BUT (big but) there are some "German" barrels which are(like pre-1900 English barrels) which are marked in "gauge" figures...maybe some of the English trade Mausers (M71) made on contract.
    (National Arms and Ammunition Co., fore-runner of BSA).

    I see that someone has picked up on the similarity of this VersuchsGewehr with its Contract contemporaries (Turk, Siamese, etc). My original supposition, from the markings or lack thereof, is that this example is an INHOUSE test project, put together with some existing parts by the R&D section, for both testing ammo, and different rifling twists, and assembly design ( some M95 parts and some Gew98/ and patented improvements.)
    Some ideas were dropped (as the long tang M95 Buttplate) and others were either retained or further improved (Rear sights, bayo. Lug length, etc.).

    Anybody have any info on the Powder characteristics and loads for the 6x58-6x59 group of cartridges?? and their relationship to the M904 Portuguese 6,5x58P??? Has anybody ever come across a M1904 Mauser Commercial in 6,5x58P caliber (NOT a Vergueiro)??

    Regards, Doc AV
    ----------------------------------------------------------


    Regards, Doc AV
    Yo John,

    Great find my friend, however, my personal preferences still run with your Serbian twins! Still, this is a fascinating rifle. I would love to browse through my library in serach of a gem or two to add to the discussion, but it's just not possible as I am still a long way from home. A couple of observations from memory.

    Everyone and his brother was experimenting with small caliber cartridges during this period as they were just beginning to better understand the characteristics of smokeless powder and there were newer, more stable powders being introduced on a regular basis. The relationship between goove diameter and bullet diameter was better understood as was the velocity attainable with the much greater pressures generated with smokeless powder. I would not be surprised at all if this particular rifle was part of a test group that was put together to explore the advantages of adopting a smaller caliber weapon. This type of testing was ongoing during this period as they were still working on various items such as bore wear, barrel frosting, metal fatigue, etc. etc.

    On another note, regarding comparisons, the sight base at a glance looks nearly identical to the sight base on the Model 1903 Turkish contract Mauser. It's interesting that the bolt is so similar as well. Based on the time frame of the development of the 1903 and date on your "test" specimen, it's not surprising that there are similarities.

    Regarding commercial cartridges Doc, I wish I were home as I would browse through African Rifles and Cartridges by John Taylor. He lists many of the obscure (by today's standards) turn of the Century sporting cartridges, both English and German in his marvelous book. Anyone else out there have a copy? I'll go through everything I can think of when I get home. One more week...................maybe?

    Great find John! Thanks for sharing this and everything else with us. A truly beautiful rifle.
    Warmest regards,

    John JPS

    ---------------------------------------------------------------


    I've recently read all that I could find on the German "6mm", small caliber experiments using references by Olson, Götz and Walter*.

    It seems that small cal., 5mm experiments started as early as 1892 with modified M1888 Commission rifles. Not much is know about these test...

    Small cal. tests were started by Prussia in Oct 1896 when Oberndorf recieved an order for the 2185 6mm test weapons. These 2185 6mm(M1896 trials)along with the 2000 M1895(88/97) Trials rifles in 8mm were to be involved in troop trials planed to last until 1902. Added to these were 10,000 Oberndorf Gew98 trials rifles. The M88/97 and Gew98 were respectively adopted in 1897 and 98 but the trials seemed to have continued.

    Not much seems to be known about the trials and especially about the 6mm rifles. The 6mm cartridge seems to have been 6X59mm? Some interesting comments(to me) stand out.

    The sources suggest that the 6mm rifles were really "played" with. More than one twist rate seems to have been tested. Comments about conversion to 5, 6.5, 7 and 7.65mm are mentioned. "Testing to destruction" is mentioned also. Walter says that the GPK trials, ".... ultimately decided that the flat trajectory and high velocity of the 6mm bullets could not overcome their inferior lethality and wind-riding qualities,....."

    (It's possible that the Boer War(1899-1901) had a profound effect on the lethality problem. The 7X57's wound ballistics especially at long range were not good. The vast majority of the 22,000 British and allied dead were "died of wounds", NOT KIA! One saying of the Boer War was that British doctors were much more dangerous than the Boer Mausers)

    The "Testing to destruction" really stands out to me. As one involved with Army R&D with the US Army Ballistics Research Lab(BRL) at APG for 28 years shooting everything from hyper-velocity .14 cal thru 2" multi stage gas guns(20,000 fps) up to the 16" HARP Guns, I learned that "testing to destruction" was NOT usually the actual intent. It was especially NOT the intent during troop trials!!!! Indeed, many of my most interesting TDY assignments were involved in firing experimental weapons during trials that we simply could not obtain even a limited safety release for use by troops and I as a civilian gunner would have to fire the weapon......

    I have a feeling that if we ever find a complete discription of the "6mm" trials, that they were "Interesting", and that while the small cal. might have showed promise, they likely scared the shit out of some users. I know from personal experience that very small changes can cause Very BIG changes in performance. As the bore dia. goes down, small changes in any or all of the following become very important and can cause severe problems(eratic performance and high pressures):

    (Change of lot involving propellent, primer, bullet and case causing powder/bullet fouling leading to eratic preasure/velocities. Even with modern methods of measurement we had surprises. I bet the guys in 1900 with only indirect methods of measurement were really perplexed? A slight change in bullet jacket or propellent can cause severe fouling in the throat causing very rapid increase in pressure in the span of a few shots. I've had it happen. I worked in exterior ballistics, but interior ballistics became of upmost importance on a few occasions very fast... I fired almost all the rifles in the Nato trials in the early 70's in limit cycle tests at 300, 450, 600 and 800 meters. Getting spark shadowgraphs shooting thru a 11X11" window at nite in the dark @ 800y used up a bunch of hard to get ammo. On several occasions switching to a new lot of experimental ammo caused big problems....)


    These offical trials of 1895-1902 were done by the German Army. But the rifles and cartridge, at least the initial 6X59mm, were designed by Mauser. I would not be supprised that John's rifle and others like it were a bit of CYA on the part of Mauser?

    Although a few of these 1896 6mm trials rifles appear on the Mauser experimental shop inventory into the 1930's, they were German Army property and Mauser may not have had much say in their use....? The vast majority of these 2185 M1896 6mm rifles do indeed seem to have been "used up"..?
    As the Army destroyed Mauser made rifles outside of Oberndorf control, maybe the boys in the experimental shop decided to "play" with some on their own? CYA, just in case....

    Jack mman
    *
    "Mauser Bolt Rifles", L. Olson
    "The German Rifle". J. Walter
    "German Military Rifles and Machine Pistols, 1871-1945", H-D.Götz


    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Gene Myszkowski in 'The Winchester-Lee Rifle' mentions a couple of 6 m/m cartridges from Germany, 6 m/m Mauser, based on the 7 m/m Mauser but with a more sloping shoulder, and 6 m/m Luger, used in a Navy trials rifle from L. Loewe.
    Comparison with 6 m/m USN:
    USN had .244 bullet, neck .278, base .445, rim .448, case 2.35.
    Luger: .241 .276 .467 .469 2.23
    Mauser: .242 .284 .475 .476 2.23
    Don B. in Kansas
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bolt.jpg   bolt comparision.jpg   buttplate tang.jpg   cocking piece comparision.jpg   ov.l.jpg   ov.r.jpg  

    r.sight.jpg   rec.jpg   rec.serial.jpg   top of r.sight.jpg  

  7. #6
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    Default John Wall's 1902 MO 47585, another "lost" rifle post

    John Wall
    Gold Bullet Club


    USA
    950 PostsPosted - 07/16/2005 : 09:06:26 AM


    Friends,
    A most interesting thread. Not being a collector of German service rifles, I can only add a few pictures of an Oberndorf Gewehr 98 with 200 meter sights. Given that this is a 1902 rifle, it is instructive to view next to sako92s' 1901 Spandau. This rifle was purchased by a friend last year at a sporting goods store in Cambridge Massachusetts. I have not posted the details of this rifle on Graf's sticky since it is not militarily marked nor serialized, and originated at WFM in a production run of Gewehr 98's produced in 1902 for commercial and private sale. But it is a super rifle!
    Best Regards,
    John

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    Edited by - John Wall on 07/16/2005 09:22:33 AM
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  8. #7
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    Default Further Jon Speed's comments

    Paul to add to extended talks on Commercial 98 rifles I see talks went into the 6X68 caliber caliber test or Trials rifles. I explained to John way back then on Status of his SN 13 6 mm from 1902. Lockhoven also had SN 2 of same rifle and I have SN 4 from my 1896 rifle. I also have In white SN 49 of the 1895 rifle. Jon

    1. Mauser drawing of the 6 X 58 round used in 1897 trials rifle called the Model 96 as rings are dated 1896 and there were Exactly 2125 made as shown in Mauser sales list for that period

    2. Close up

    3. Sales records 1895 and 1897 .



    2000 Trials rifles 8X57 for Spandau 1895

    2125 Rifles caliber 6mm in 1897
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 6.jpg   5.jpg   4.jpg  

  9. #8
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    Default Mauser 6 X 58 round History - Jon Speed

    Paul. The Mauser 6 X 58 round had several issues that terminated the interest in such small calibers. The Pressure on this was over 4000 ATM and accuracy at longer ranges was Not stable. The 8X57 round had pressure of max 3200 ATM and more stable accuracy and had better penetration etc.

    Back in the 1895-1900 period the knowledge of bullet materials and form was not well understood as well as brass case structure, powder types, primers etc.

    Paul Mauser had big hopes for this 6mm round, but when he used this in tests of his first self loading rifle he had endless problems. The Germans continued tests of 6mm through 1903 period. What is wild is that Bill Woodin, the well know cartridge history expert, only has one poor example of the Mauser 6mm round. Most ammo was used up in the 1897 trials and later, but that more has not survived is odd but then area of Berlin was massively hit at end of WW2 so any surviving small lots of this 6mm round may have been burned up. Mauser firm did have a few reference rounds in their collection, but then the French got all this as well. in 1929 Inventory book are listed in amm section some 6mm bullets only. Jon

  10. #9
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    Default Mauser 6mm Rifle History - Jon Speed

    Paul some more notes on the 6mm rifles- Jon

    The first test rifles for the 6X58 are Ring dated 1894 and had Bu proofs. We have data on SN 13 and 17

    Next series test rifles were ring dated 1895 and had BU proofs. Have data on in white SN 49

    Last series had 1896 Ring dates and BU proofed. Have data on rifles SN 7 and 15 each with different rear sights and bayonet mounts

    The actual Trials rifles in 1895 and 1897 were all Military proofed and serial numbered in their own series. All had 3 lug bolts and full 1895 patented sleeve units. All were cock on Open.

    The Example Olsen in his book has of the 6mm Lee made for US Navy tests was based on older 2 lug bolt system without later improvements and was Ring dated 1894 and cock on closing etc.

    

  11. #10
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    Default Mauser Oberndorf - Paul Mauser and Spandau - Jon Speed

    Paul, to add to any of your G 98 related history there is one aspect that history books don't cover in Regards, to Mauser. This is the Relationship between the Firm Mauser and its main Designer Paul Mauser and the German Military = Spandau in regards to certain arms developments.

    In next group of docs you will see that Spandau starting in 1895 and onwards had a more or less Forced Agreement (Contract) with Paul Mauser on the future Patent Use for the evolving 98 system and payments made to Paul in these matters. These patent aspects also fell under Top Secret Status. This set of docs came into play in 1895 when Spandau made a Trials test of the 2000 Model 95 rifles in caliber 8X57.

    In the docs you will see Paul was to be paid 1 mark per rifle for first 100,000 units and after that number .50 cents per rifle.

    Then you see signing page for Paul Mauser and Spandau.

    1. First page of agreement with Spandau with list of main features of the evolving 98 system

    2. Payment section

    3. Sign page by Paul and Spandau note date of 1895


    Last docs is identical in format but is the Patent Use for production by the Amberg factory with payments of 1 mark per rifle for first 20,000 then .50 cents after this.

    1. First page Amberg

    2. payment section

    Paul had to make such agreements with all the State and other private plants for the G98. The Patent use agreement with Spandau also covered any changes or upgrades for any 98 system by Paul Mauser. In the text of these docs are the main features found in Paul 98 system and a set of Hand notes added to Spandau docs.

    These docs have never been seen before in print so do what you want with them. Jon
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 7.jpg   8.jpg   9.jpg   10.jpg   11.jpg  

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    Default Further note by Jon Speed...

    Paul, one more point on the Patent Use situation. Paul had to go through same process with Spandau when he sent his first Model Self loader in 6 X 58 to Spandau in 1897 which was called C 98 rifle by Firm. I have these docs as well on file. Jon

    

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    Default

    And here English translations of the German documents:

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    Last edited by 7x57; 01-28-2017 at 02:55 PM.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum

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    Default

    And the last one:

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    Si vis pacem, para bellum

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    Default

    Thomas, thanks a lot for this translation!
    I should publish my Oberndorf 1904 Brazil pics: Brazil 1908 type, but Intermediate receiver length. Same (civil) proof marks as shown above.

    Chris

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