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Thread: Blank Sidewall SM, new low SN

  1. #1
    Senior Member runner's Avatar
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    Default Blank Sidewall SM, new low SN

    And under the category of: Why would anybody buy that? I present my latest find.

    I have a weakness for Standard Modells in particular and strange items in general. While viewing a pretty large selection of
    random mausers for sale, I noticed the large banner on this one, and sure enough it was one of the first variation black sidewall models.
    The blank sidewall versions used a larger banner than the later "Standard-Modell 1924" version.
    As you can see the condition is terrible. Most of the parts have been replaced by what I assume to be Chinese made items.
    I believe the stock, trigger guard and floor plate and bolt are all Chinese made parts. The stock and trigger guard assembly match, and the
    bolt matches itself.

    I don't recognize the marking on the front of the bayonet lug. Can anyone ID that. Also the mark that is on the top of the rear sight ramp?

    I already own blank sidewall #16393, fortunately in a little better shape, but this one was earlier, cheap and I have most of the parts to
    return it to original appearance. Most disappointing was the total lack of barrel markings. On my #16393, they are rather prolific. I first thought
    this was perhaps a Chinese rebarrel, but the SN font on the barrel appears original. The bottom of the barrel does exhibit some pretty
    severe grinding, perhaps the markings were removed?

    Anyway here are the photos in as found condition. After I have cleaned it and replaced the Chinese parts I will post an update.

    Comments and opinions welcome.

    Added a picture of the rifle after replacing some of the Chinese parts with correct era SM parts.
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    Last edited by runner; 04-07-2021 at 11:23 PM.

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    Second set of pictures:

    The first photo in this set shows the Large and Small banner variations used on the different variations of
    Standard Modells, with large version being used only on the early black sidewall version as far as I have
    been able to ascertain.

    I measured the two Banners. The ones on the Blank Sidewall SMs measure 19mm, and the Banner on the later SM, and I believe the Mauser Banner models as well, measure 15mm.
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    Last edited by runner; 04-07-2021 at 11:24 PM.

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    Moderator² Loewe's Avatar
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    I am glad you brought it here, I understand your fascination with it and the overlooking condition, - unfortunately I doubt we will be able to interpret its past as well as John Wall of StanZ could, but I will did through some old MRJ articles by these two collectors to see what they may have to say, or suggest... also Jon Speed's Mauser Archives may help. Do you have it and if so have you looked regrading contracts and shipments to China?

    I am sure this is one of the early contracts Seeckt arranged in China, he worked out raw material exchanges for rifles during his time there, building and professionalizing the Nationalist Army. Did a fine job of it too, though wasted ultimately when it was sacrificed...

    No idea on the BL, probably a Chinese component or one off one of the derelict rifles that ended up in China, it was a dumping ground for all the junk left over after WWI.

    Maybe we will get lucky and hear from Jon Speed, but I will try and email him, maybe Stan if I can find his email (and it is still valid, heard he was around though, which is good)

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    Senior Member runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loewe View Post
    I am glad you brought it here, I understand your fascination with it and the overlooking condition, - unfortunately I doubt we will be able to interpret its past as well as John Wall of StanZ could, but I will did through some old MRJ articles by these two collectors to see what they may have to say, or suggest... also Jon Speed's Mauser Archives may help. Do you have it and if so have you looked regrading contracts and shipments to China?

    I am sure this is one of the early contracts Seeckt arranged in China, he worked out raw material exchanges for rifles during his time there, building and professionalizing the Nationalist Army. Did a fine job of it too, though wasted ultimately when it was sacrificed...

    No idea on the BL, probably a Chinese component or one off one of the derelict rifles that ended up in China, it was a dumping ground for all the junk left over after WWI.

    Maybe we will get lucky and hear from Jon Speed, but I will try and email him, maybe Stan if I can find his email (and it is still valid, heard he was around though, which is good)
    I lost the pictures of my original Blank sidewall SM when my computer crashed a few years ago, so I just snapped a few for comparison purposes.
    One similiar mark is the one on the top of the sight ramp. This same mark appears on my 1933 dated Standard Modell, but is replaced by SN on one that dates to 1935 (date estimated by SN analysis). Unfortunately I do not have a 1934 dated example.

    The barrel marking are quite abundant on #16393 and I had hoped for something similiar on my recent purchase.

    I actually talked to John Wall about #16393 when he and I were sharing data and pictures on SM variations. His theory, and I concur was the Blank Sidewall versions were those that were assembled in Switzerland in 1931 and 1932 to fill the initial Chinese orders.
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    Last edited by runner; 04-07-2021 at 11:28 PM.

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    Senior Member runner's Avatar
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    Pictures comparing the two Blank Sidewall SMs.
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    Moderator² Loewe's Avatar
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    I was away today, but yesterday I reviewed a thread John Wall wrote in 2007 with this same theory (it was regarding a display of SM and Chinese variations he had conducted in Hartford), - I agree it makes sense and is probably accurate.

    That there are so few examples known, especially of this early serial range and pattern means that we can only deal in probabilities rather than in facts, but I think John Wall's theory has a great deal of merit.

    I will try and review old articles over the weekend,
    Quote Originally Posted by runner View Post

    I actually talked to John Wall about #16393 when he and I were sharing data and pictures on SM variations. His theory, and I concur was the Blank Sidewall versions were those that were assembled in Switzerland in 1931 and 1932 to fill the initial Chinese orders.

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    The assembly in Switzerland is an interesting theory, but pretty hard to substantiate.

    Picture of a side by side of the two banner markings.

    Also pictured is my # 64 Large Banner Carbine. It has a blank side rail, which is the only reason I added it to this conversation. Jon and I discussed this carbine through several emails and he found what he believes could possibly have been a sale to India, of 100 of these Carbines. It is dated 1934.
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    Senior Member runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    The assembly in Switzerland is an interesting theory, but pretty hard to substantiate.

    Picture of a side by side of the two banner markings.

    Also pictured is my # 64 Large Banner Carbine. It has a blank side rail, which is the only reason I added it to this conversation. Jon and I discussed this carbine through several emails and he found what he believes could possibly have been a sale to India, of 100 of these Carbines. It is dated 1934.
    How is #64 dated? is it a barrel date?

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    RKI- Reasonably Knowledgable Individual heavy_mech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    ..Also pictured is my # 64 Large Banner Carbine.
    The 64th rifle of this model made? That's a pretty low serial.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    ...he believes could possibly have been a sale to India, of 100 of these Carbines. It is dated 1934.
    Trials rifles for them?
    "Wen Tausend einen Mann erschlagen, das ist nicht Ruhm, das ist nicht Ehre, denn beinsen wird's in späteren tagen gesiegt hat doch das Deutsch Heer. Podest nicht die Paten der Soldaten doner die da Sterben sollen, soll man geben was sie wollen, sahs sie Herzen, sahs sie Küssen, den sie wissen nicht wann sie sterben müssen"

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    Quote Originally Posted by runner View Post
    How is #64 dated? is it a barrel date?
    Sorry, my post was poorly worded. The transaction that Mr. Speed found was from 1934. There is no way to conclusively tie the two together. The rifle is undated as far as I know. There is a 220 marking on the barrel, above the land groove twist marking, but I can't rationalize that being a date, it may be a steel batch code.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavy_mech View Post
    The 64th rifle of this model made? That's a pretty low serial.

    Trials rifles for them?
    I don't think so, but likely first day production. Prior to WWI Mauser used a separate serial number group for Trials rifles. I do not know if they changed this after WWI, but arguably, they seemed to do much less "trials", and adopted FN's practice of offering standard features, ala "Standard Modell".

    I think if I remember correctly they did build limited "sample" rifles which they provided to prospective countries of what their contract rifle would be. It may be possible that this is an example of that, but I somewhat doubt it.

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