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Thread: 1918 Mauser Tankgewehr

  1. #1
    Senior Member chrisftk's Avatar
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    Default 1918 Mauser Tankgewehr

    Hi all,

    This was one of my bucket list rifles. A couple pop up every year and timing and price were right. As many of you know these were chambered in 13.2mm TuF (Tank und flieger) and were manufactured in mid 1918 through the end of the war. While they could technically pierce armor in certain instances, they did not produce any game-changing impact.

    The first incarnation of this rifle was the "Kurz", a heavier model with a short and thick barrel. Ultimately, sufficient results were obtained with a longer, thinner barrel. The kurz was only produced through SN 281 or so. Subsequent production was standard configuration

    I've been keeping track of these and will be posting my serial # study in the near future. This is rifle #5938 and is in pretty great shape. The features are all text book based on my research. Total production was around 15000 units, but I have not seen much higher than 8000ish in my survey. I'm assuming much of later production never reached the field and was destroyed postwar.

    The stock is a 2-piece Elm (RŁster-- hence the "R" on the stock), which is very typical after the first 200 or so rifles (which have single piece walnut furniture) Elm doesn't seem to hold stamps well, so these are rather crisp compared to many.

    The rifle matches except for the bolt, which matches itself-and rather close in SN proximity . The bolt body SN is very faint. And appears to have been cleaned long ago. The bolt is simply massive, though the cocking piece and safety are close in size to a Gew 98.

    The bipod is the MG08/15 type. (One of two correct variants) there is a trademark stamped below the bipod. In my sampling there is around a 50/50 mix between this and the tubular style bipod with large feet. Initially the MG08/15 bipod was used exclusively, but in muddy conditions, the small spikes and feet caused the rifle to sink under its weight, necessitating a design change.

    The take-down of this rifle is quite involved, much more so than standard 98 Mauser. I took extra time to photograph it in detail, as nice studies of these do not typically exist.

    As a sidebar, this exact rifle was featured on Forgotten Weapons earlier this month. The two models were compared. Didn't realize when I bought and not like it adds anything, but still neat to see it. Lol

    Here is some data:

    Receiver: 5938
    Barrel: 5938 (on barrel and in front of rear sight) marked KK in front of band
    Bolt body: m/m
    Bolt shroud: m/m
    Cocking piece: m/m
    Safety: m/m
    Firing pin: m/m
    Stock: 5938
    Barrel band: 5938
    Triggerguard: 5938
    Front guard screw: 38
    Rear guard screw: 38
    Front sight: 38
    Rear sight leaf: 938
    Bolt release: 5938
    Bottom of rear sight: 38
    Trigger: 38
    Bipod: Stamped, green paint. MG08/15 style. Unnumbered.



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    Last edited by chrisftk; 02-03-2021 at 10:00 PM.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member chrisftk's Avatar
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    Last edited by chrisftk; 02-03-2021 at 10:18 PM.

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    Senior Member Battle's Avatar
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    Default

    That is awesome!

    Seeing the comparison between the two bolts really shows how massive the Tankgewehr is. Great photos!

  6. #6
    ax - hole Warrior1354's Avatar
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    Awesome rifle Chris
    "Don't use your musket if you can kill 'em with your hatchet"

    Major Robert Rogers 1757 Founder of the U.S Army Rangers

  7. #7
    Senior Member MichaelWC's Avatar
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    Default

    Congratulations Chris. It looks to be in great shape to.
    Last edited by MichaelWC; 11-25-2020 at 09:57 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cj556's Avatar
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    Default

    Congrats Chris. Iím glad you were able to cross this one off your list. Big accomplishment. Very nice example of a standard Tank Gewehr. Iím looking forward to any info we can glean from these.

  9. #9
    Moderator Slash's Avatar
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    Default

    Great rifle Chris and well done with the detailed photo spread. Good reference. I am a student of these rifles as well and have researched for some time. Personally, I feel that only the heavy tubular machined bipod is correct. From my observations more rifles are observed with the MG08/15 stamped bipod. As noted, somewhere in the area of 15.000 Tankgewehr produced while a significantly larger quantity of MG08/15 were manufactured. The MG08/15 bipods was manufactured in much higher numbers making them easier to locate than the correct tubular type. Over the years I've seen far less of the tubular bipods offered than the stamped MG08/15 version. There are period photos of the Tankgewehr mounted on the MG08/15 bipod although some are of captured weapons which could have been fitted with whatever bipod was readily at hand. Again, great rifle.

  10. #10
    Moderator Slash's Avatar
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    An additional size comparison that might be of interest. Original Tankgewehr rounds are quite scarce and highly collectable as well .....
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