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Thread: 1905 Amberg Gew. 98 1920

  1. #1
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    Default 1905 Amberg Gew. 98 1920

    Hello everyone, I recently acquired this Gew. 98 off Gunbroker. I wanted a 1920 marked Mauser after learning about the significance of the 1920 property mark. I was hoping that someone here could tell me more about this firearm and the meaning behind some of the markings or even where the refurbishment was done. The rifles is almost completely mis-matched, the receiver and barrel have the same serial number as well as the stock which is marked on the inside (Hard to see in the photo.) Stock is marked "BS" near the takedown disk and looks to be in near perfect condition. The handguard is unmarked and is also in perfect condition (maybe a repro?) The bolt matches itself and is refinished in a dull grey color. Barrel is marked with what looks like an "N" stamped over an "S" and the letters "BSJ". Rear sight parts have some interesting markings. The metal finish is pretty uniform and seems to be reblued. I wish it was matching but I'm happy with it overall because of how nice it looks, and once the weather gets a little nicer I'll take her out to the range and see how she shoots.
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    You would have to do more pictures to tell much, these three are inadequate.

    The property marking is well explained in the thread dedicated to the subject, I suppose you have read it, so you understand the events surrounding it and its purpose. The "BS" is far less certain, though a thorough discussion has taken place here on the subject. Luckily Craig Brown was with us then and his invaluable contribution can be read; but we still do not know its meaning or purpose, persoanlly I think it is organizational, but it could be an ordnance depot, - generally it doesn't follow ordnance depot patterns for placement, but nothing can be stated with absolute confidence 1919-1932, however considering the multitude of police organizations, paramilitary (political factions), militia type organizations during this period anything is possible, Germany was a Banana Republik, politically unstable (an understatement) and its economy controlled by foreign states and banks. Generally I think that it is ridiculous to attribute collective guilt or characteristics to a culture or society, but if such a concept applies to any state, it is a tribute to the German people of the period that they held it together as well as they did, it may not appear to a casual observer that much discipline existed, but such an array of outrages have never been hoisted upon an entire society in such a sort period of time. It is amazing Germany didn't crumble into half a dozen individual states, - and they never really came close to doing so, though there were separatist movements in the Rhineland and Bavaria, but they were more a hostility to Prussian dominance than leaving a united Germany.

    Anyway, try and do pictures of the matching components, especially the barreled receiver and rear sight, and if the stock matches it too (stocks tell you the most "if" they match). If it went through an ordnance depot it is typically on the stock, though in this period, if early enough, they sometimes marked the receiver with special markings or extra acceptance. The barrel, "BSI", probably means it is not original to the Bavarian manufacture. Amberg generally didn't use BSI, but ordnance depots installed Spandau made barrels marked BSJ (same as BSI), if the barrel serial lacks a suffix and the BC in front of the RS sleeve, it could be something Spandau worked, or an ordnance depot. In the Imperial era the state arsenals reworked rifles, though commercial firms in later periods did not, though in all periods old receivers were cycled through commercial firms to recycle this critical component. Detailed pictures will tell you more about what your rifle is, but these three pictures are of little use alone.

    You may have to post a few times to add more pictures, generally you need to post three times to release the restrictions place on new accounts, - an anti-spammer measure.

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    I think you are going to find this a 98M Spanish rework........

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    Here are some more pictures.
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    Can you do one of the right receiver? The fireproof eliminates Amberg as the rifle maker. This Erfurt style FP could be a number of different facilities, Erfurt included, but the RR will tell us more.

    This rifle was recorded off a GB auction early this month, but they didn't show the RR either, good you bought it as maybe we can learn something from it. The barrel is also a very distinctive variation, probably an ordnance spare, possibly Spandau made, but the trademark tends to toss some suspicion over that. Originally it was "assumed" Spandau due to Mark Weiringa's Spandau/17 "H" parts rifle (Hannover build in the d-block); he wrote a brief article on two rifles he acquired, one this Spandau/17. Many aspects of the article were flawed, or uninformed by today's standards, but at the time he was ahead of his time. However, what is not in question is this barrel was a replacement barrel or a barrel used by a depot. The clear image of the N/S trademark is very helpful, three are known, yours included, but this is the clearest shot of the trademark I have seen. There should also be a fireproof on the barrel, probably near the receiver, under the stock line. Try and take a picture of that, if Erfurt style that would be unexpected, but this rifle is very unusual so far so anything is possible.

    You can see a ghost serial above the one applied, probably the original Amberg/05 serial. This receiver probably was salvaged and used to build a rifle at a depot, when is a little tricky, but probably very late war. Then passed to the interwar period where it picked up its property mark.

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    Thanks for the information. The only mark that I could see on the barrel near the receiver was a "K" right above the stock line. Here's some more photos, hopefully they'll help.
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    The RR shows this was an Amberg product initially, so the Erfurt FP is probably counter-struck over the Bavarian Lion. The re-proofing was done when they re-barreled the receiver. Unfortunately the picture is not clear enough to see if the re-inspection stamps have character under them, if so they may identify the facility, but I have seen such stamps with just crowns and no letter, so it is possible better pictures would not help.

    Basically you have a Amberg/05 receiver that was re-barreled during the war, probably Prussian work, whether at Erfurt is unknown, but possible. A higher authority than normal though, the re-proofing and extra re-inspections show it was not a lower level or collection center. The rifle was probably badly damaged and the receiver salvaged and built into a new rifle, though all guessing unless you had the other original components. Of course it stayed in German hands after the war and much of what would have been together in 1918 probably got replaced throughout the 1920's and 1930's.

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