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Thread: 1896 Schlegelmilch Mauser trials rifle

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    Default 1896 Schlegelmilch Mauser trials rifle

    I recently acquired a German 6mm trials rifle, this is the description of the rifle as sold to me:

    "Description: Serial numbered "7" and manufactured at an unknown date, this rifle is an intriguing experimental variant of the 1890s Mauser bolt action rifle. An immediate precursor to the world famous Gewehr 1898, the 1890s vintage Mausers were go-to military long arms in Europe and points further abroad, and a rousing success on the export market. The work in this example is attributed to Louis Schlegelmilch, a lead armorer at Spandau, circa 1896 for German Army (GPK) Small Bore Trials of 1896-98, and further attributed as formerly being of the collection of one of Paul Mauser's nephews, Alfons Mauser (1872-1927), son of Paul Mauser's brother Wilhelm. Many novel alterations are present on this example, including significant changes in receiver configuration, barrel installation and manual of arms. Most prominent of the changes is to the receiver, which is a significant departure from preceding and succeeding Mauser designs, eschewing the traditional cylindrical form for a more flat, rectangular profile. In sharp contrast to the 98, there is no front receiver ring; the barrel is not threaded to the receiver, but is instead dovetailed on the bottom, slid sideways into the receiver, secured with a pin driven through the bottom, and further supported by a steel cradle integrated into the buttstock. Additionally, the bolt is guided by a pair of rails on the sides that engaged with a near-full length dust cover/cocking piece, which serves similar to a carrier for the main bolt body, which still features the traditional pair of locking lugs in the front, and a pop-up steel block in the rear of the receiver in lieu of the locking system. Loading is performed via a clip guide, manufactured as a separate piece and secured to the trigger group, which doubles as the bolt catch; the traditional ejector/bolt catch has been deleted, with a spring-loaded central ejector installed in the back of the magazine housing. A single piece magazine/trigger guard is used, with the usual bolts deleted in favor of a steel hook in the front and a flip switch in the back that engages a post in the receiver. The upper handguard is a near complete cylinder, slitted on the underside to pass around the front sight during disassembly. In total, this Mauser variant has a tool-free field strip, a simplified and lighter receiver, and a simplified means of barrel replacement. Aside from the areas cut or filled to accommodate the new parts, the stock is fairly typical, unnumbered, with a smooth flat buttplate."

    If you got to https://www.forgottenweapons.com/sch...the-mauser-98/, there is a 10 minute video of the rifle.

    I have attached several photos of the rifle.

    Most of the parts of the rifle are marked with the number 7, presumably the serial number. I know of only one other in existence, serial number 14.

    There are no proof marks or factory stamps that I can find. There is however a stamp, on the rifle buttplate, that looks like a crown with the letter "F" below it. This mark appears to be repeated, although much smaller, on the buttplate screws, the rear sling mount and both of its screws and on the forward sling loop. I included a photo of the crown, does anyone know what it might indicate?

    The rifle is chamber for a 6x58 rimless cartridge, chamber cast confirms this. Experimental cartridge leading to the 6x58 Forster?

    There seems to be some question as to who Louis Schlegelmilch was working for at the time he designed it, was he working for himself or Mauser or Spandau?

    I would appreciate any information available on the firearms history, the trials it was designed for, the chambering of 6x58, anything of interest.
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    Senior Member flynaked's Avatar
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    Wow! That is incredible, I didn’t know there was a military pattern rifle on this action. I believe Schlegelmilch worked at Spandau as they built a series of hunting rifles on this action for the Kaiser! Actually, serial number 1 is for sale right now.

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    Senior Member Kammerjaeger's Avatar
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    Default World Wars and Collective Guilt

    Holy.Crap..


    KJ
    "Was wären Ihre Männer lieber, müde oder tot?" - Rommel

    Please contact me if you have Hitler Jugend items for sale.

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    Senior Member mauser1908's Avatar
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    That's a beauty!

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    It really is a beautiful rifle. I wish I knew enough to offer some sort of worthwhile opinion, but you truly have a nice piece there.
    Actually I am the master of REAL information! Cartoon characters like you have no real arguments.
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    from Mr. Speed in regards to this rifle.

    "I see now the schlegelmilch 6 mm trials rifle sn 7 was owned by hans lackhoven in germany. I was involved with selling this rifle to a us buyer after hans passed away a few years ago. Lockhoven got this rifle from collection of alfons mauser when family sold collection back in 1970 period.. This rifle in fact came from mauser firm collection and obtained by alfons muser in pre ww 1 period. As far as trials i only know that mauser had 2125 rifles in these trials in 1897 in 6x58 rimless. I don't think the schlegelmilch model was made in more than a few test rifles to evaluate system and none in actual troop trials like mauser.. The barrel take down system was rejected by spandau early on and dirt and dust function tests proved action was ill suited for military use. I have original letter from min mauser rep marcotty about about this model in 1897 i can send you transition off when i get home on weekend. A unique rifle with some aspects used in mauser 66. Regards, jon speed"

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    Jon, thank you, the translated letter would be very interesting. Do you have any idea about the meaning of the stamping on the butt plate? Just a note, my last name is also Schlegelmilch so I have a real interest in the history of this rifle.

    Absolut, the bolt engages in the breach of the barrel, the receiver acts as a support for the bolt and the trigger group, as far as I can see it carries no load.

    Flatside

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    That is an interesting detail. Despite the receiver does not have any relevant functionality, would it still be considered the "firearm part" per US laws? I know it is antique, but would be curious to know if the receiver itself is not much of relevance it nevertheless can be THE gun part.

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    The AR-15 bolt engages with the breach of the barrel as well. Same legal concept I would expect.
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  10. #10
    EOD - bombs and bullets pzjgr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absolut View Post
    That is an interesting detail. Despite the receiver does not have any relevant functionality, would it still be considered the "firearm part" per US laws? I know it is antique, but would be curious to know if the receiver itself is not much of relevance it nevertheless can be THE gun part.
    Yes, in the US the receiver is always the "firearm", if a two piece receiver its the lower receiver, that holds the trigger group that is the firearm...like on AR-15's and FAL's, complete upper receivers are not considered firearms...

    You can buy every piece of an AR-15 without restriction, except the lower receiver, even a stripped one. That part requires filling out the Form 4473 to purchase...

    So in this case, whether the receiver is functional as a load bearing part, or its just there to keep everything together and in line, that is the firearm.

    In fact importers bringing in 91/30's which are really serialed on the barrels have to add the serial number to the receiver, as the ATF requires the receiver to have the serial #...

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