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Thread: Trying to get info on Gew 88 barrel markings

  1. #11
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    Ah ha. I knew I'd seen that somewhere once you mentioned commercial trademarks:



    Apologies for the image quality, they're very faint and hard to photograph.

    Left side of the stock:



    Bottom of the stock south of the rear sling swivel:



    Wrist area:



    Do you happen to know if those commercial rifles shipped without the QD sling mount? This rifle came with a normal rear sling swivel installed. I just assumed that the original was lost over time and someone along the way replaced it with something off a Gew98 or similar.

    As an aside, if this is a commercial rifle it seems odd that they would be manufacturing these for non-military contracts as early as 1890. Everything I've read says that that early on the Germans were trying to keep these guns at least somewhat under wraps and were pulling out all the stops to get as many units manufactured for the Army as possible. It seems odd that they would OK commercial sales of their new, top secret infantry rifle in the first place, and also odd that the Army wouldn't be sucking up all production available filing their own orders.

    edit: another question: Did they make commercial guns in a full military configuration? The commercial guns I'm familiar with are the sporters like the Haenel rifles.
    Last edited by Cyrano4747; 03-01-2021 at 08:14 AM.

  2. #12
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    Interesting rifle . The Turks never used any Gew-88 rifles , they had no clips . It is remotely possible they got one by mistake , but they would never rebarrel a rifle they could not use . Slug the barrel . If there is enough rifling left that information may help . IT is the early barrel profile , correct for an early Lowe . If it is the first type barrel at .314 - .321 , it is not a replacement . The rest of the facts are interesting , no army proofs , no updates at all . It appears it was never in German military service ?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernie8 View Post
    Interesting rifle . The Turks never used any Gew-88 rifles , they had no clips . It is remotely possible they got one by mistake , but they would never rebarrel a rifle they could not use . Slug the barrel . If there is enough rifling left that information may help . IT is the early barrel profile , correct for an early Lowe . If it is the first type barrel at .314 - .321 , it is not a replacement . The rest of the facts are interesting , no army proofs , no updates at all . It appears it was never in German military service ?
    There aren't any import marks, which argues against turkish possession.

    I tried to slug the bore, twice, but the rifling seems to be worn enough that it had trouble biting. I ended up with two perfectly smooth slugs at .315. That would at least be ballpark correct for a worn .314-321 barrel if it's gliding along the lands. I'm going to see if I have any softer lead kicking around and try again later.

  4. #14
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    As a pre-98 it does not need import marks . The other reasons I stated tell me it is not Turk .

  5. #15
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    This is the second known, ScottB's and yours, his is a 1891 though, next to mint condition, no signs of German military service. I didn't get a chance to check out the rifle earlier today, but will eventually. It seems to share your rifles characteristics fully, so far as we know this and Scott's example are the only ones known, - and in this instance, its period originality make them very desirable..

  6. #16
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    Thanks for all the info. Looks like I stumbled backward into something really special. I'll put up some additional photos of it later on.

  7. #17
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    Sorry for the delay, I've been busy with work.

    I'm going to dump a bunch of photos. If there's anything else you need a shot of, just ask. I'm erring on the side of throwing up every marking I spotted while I had it apart, so I assume a lot are relatively useless, but hopefully they're interesting at least. I'm also not including things I photographed up-thread, like the receiver ring and the stock and barrel marks.

    Sidewall model designation:



    Serial on receiver and shroud:



    Underside of the barrel shroud. This bit is under the woodline. As an aside, nice preserved blue down there. Would have loved to see what this looked like at production:



    More below-wood shroud markings:





    Rear sight serials:



    Front sight serial:



    Assorted marks on the magazine/trigger housing:



    Underside of same. I want to slap whoever took a wedge screwdriver to this, although from the look of the metal that was probably before I was born:






    Trigger:



    Random markings on the receiver below the wood:



    edit: apparently I need to split this into two posts because of the number of pics. Apologies if I'm breaking a rule by dropping this many pictures, if I am feel free to edit or delete this.

  8. #18
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    Inside of the stock where the receiver beds:



    Inside of the stock in the trigger guard/magazine inletting:





    Inside of the stock. Note the struck out serial and second serial that matches the rifle. I assumed that this was a depot replacement deal previously, just based on my experience with later German military rifles, but the presence of the commercial LL&Co stamps elsewhere on the stock (and lack of the Imperial acceptance stamps) has me scratching my head at that. In-factory swap before it left? No idea.



    . . . but the same serial is also on the buttplate. So, again, no idea.



    Obviously not an official marking but it shows up in a few other pics so here's a detail of it. Whatever it is it's been in the wood for a while.



    Stock lug:



    Assorted screws and bands:













    Bolt. It's mismatched so don't know how valuable that is to you all, but it came with all early features so . . . *shrug*?



    Note: this is how it came. I've screwed it in to the proper depth since.


    edit: didn't grab a pic of the bolt head, can if you want, but it's the early type without the cut at the bottom.

  9. #19
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    Thanks for the extra pictures, very helpful, I was able to review Scott's pictures, he takes excellent photographs, but not as many as I would like... but a couple disparities were revealed (potentially), his has a Crown/V on the barrel tube or sleeve, forget its nomenclature... but the part that screws into the receiver, there is a C/V at the top. ALso his has the crowned acceptance (only one) on the right receiver, - you do not show it so I assume it is absent?

    His stock is exceptional and clear, truly like new, it is unfortunate I can't share his pictures but he is pretty stern about his copyrights and he never did post them on a forum. I only acquired them because he knew my interest in Loewe. Anyway, his is a 1891 and is pristine, yours is well worn, apparently a recycled stock, but period and the right vintage (has the same pattern Scott's has, with Loewe's trademarking) so clearly whoever replaced this stock probably had others and the who would probably tell where these contract rifles went? Possibly some South American contract? Loewe did conduct large foreign contracts, which DWM took over, but without John Wall and Jon Speed's expertise on contract sales I suspect we will never know (perhaps commercial sale also? Need to ask around as commercial markings often mean specific things, domestic and foreign, maybe there is something regarding this C/V?). Though I am sure other researchers exist, but these two are the only ones I know.

  10. #20
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    Possible connection, there is a old book or reveiw on European commercial proofs and markings and it has a review of Germany also, I will see if I can locate it in my piles... it is from the 1930's show may offer some perspective on the C/V meaning. Here is a friends thoughts on a similar application:

    "Interestingly the K71 has the commercial Vorrat stamp (crown/V) which meant it was in hands of a commercial firm on date the 1891 proof law took effect (effective date was some particular day in 1893). Anyway, the crown/V is on the receiver ring and barrel but not on the bolt."

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