Original Excellent Imperial German Mauser Model 1871/84 Magazine Service Rifle by Spandau Dated 1887 with Sling - Matching Serial 3172
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent barely used example of the Mauser Model 1871/84 rifle, the first Magazine rifle widely used by the German Empire. While not quite "Museum Grade", it only shows light storage wear and some staining, and does not appear to have ever been issued. The rifle is covered with Imperial German inspection and acceptance markings, which are still crisp and clear. The serial number 3172 or shortened number 72 appear on almost every component of the rifle, making this a very nice "ALL MATCHING" example. If you were looking for a great example for your collection, this is it!
The receiver is dated 1887. on the right and marked I. G. Mod. 71/84. on the opposite side in "Black Letter" typeface. The rifle is complete with all major parts intact and functional, and almost all of the original finish. The receiver is bright steel with minor staining, while the barrel and other fittings are a lovely blued finish, with just some light wear in areas. It looks like an unissued gun that was kept in storage for decades, with maybe a wipe down occasionally to keep it clean. It has been fitted with an original sling, which definitely shows great age.
The top of the chamber is marked Crown over SPANDAU, for the Prussian (and later Imperial) Spandau arsenal in Berlin, a storied production plant that would produce weapons up until 1919, including the famous MG08 Maxim. Below this is the Crown over FW proof for Kaiser Wilhelm I, who used this cypher during his reign 1861-1888. Next to this is a 10,95 designation, giving the bore diameter in millimeters.
The butt plate tang of the rifle gives the clear regimental designation K. A. R. E. 2. 146.. Research indicates this would be for the Kaiser Alexander Garde Grenadier Regiment, also known as the "1st (Emperor Alexander) Guards Grenadiers". Designated in German as the Kaiser Alexander Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 1, this unit was first raised in 1814 and located in Berlin. The rest of the designation indicates it is for the Ersatz (Replacement) 2nd Squadron, Weapon 146. Guard regiments were usually staffed by the elite of German society, so it's not abnormal to find rifles that have seen very little service marked to these regiments.
The bore is in excellent condition, with a bright finish and crisp lands and grooves. It shows little to no signs of ever having been used, and probably qualifies as truly "MINT". There only the smallest indication of a primer ring on the bolt, so we would wager that this gun was never fired after the proof firing at the factory. The action cycles great, with no issues, and the magazine cutoff is fully functional. The stock has some light dents and small gouges from storage, abut we do not see any signs of service. The cartouches are all still crisp and fully legible. It has a lovely light honey color, most likely being made from beech wood.
This gun is most likely a WW1 Veteran's "bring back" souvenir. Great quantities of these 71/84 Rifles were pressed into service in WW1 since great piles of them had been put into storage in 1888 with the introduction of the M-1888 7.92mm German Commission Rifle.
This is a chance to add a fantastic early Mauser rifle to your collection. Ready to display!
Year of Manufacture: 1887
Caliber: 11x60mmR Mauser
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 32 inches
Overall Length: 51 Inches
Action type: Bolt-Action
Feed System: 8 Round Tubular Magazine
Originally adopted as the Gewehr 71 or Infanterie-Gewehr 71, or "Infantry Rifle 71 ("I.G.Mod.71" was stamped on the rifles themselves) this was the first rifle model in a distinguished line designed and manufactured by Paul Mauser and Wilhelm Mauser of the Mauser company, and later mass-produced at Spandau arsenal.
Paul Mauser developed his bolt-action rifle from 1866 to 1871. During 1870-71 trials with many different rifles took place, with the "M1869 Bavarian Werder" being the Mausers' chief competitor. The Mauser was provisionally adopted on 2 December 1871, pending the development of an appropriate safety. With support from the government's Spandau arsenal, the improvements to the safety mechanism were completed and the rifle was formally accepted on 14 February 1872 as Infantry Rifle Model 1871 by the German Empire excluding Bavaria. The action was not based on its predecessor, the Dreyse needle gun which had seen service during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, and which was found to have a number of weaknesses.
The now well known Mauser "wing" type safety lever was developed for the Gewehr 71. The Gewehr 71 is a conventional looking bolt action chambered in 11mm using black powder cartridges. The action included only a bolt guide rib as its single locking lug, locking forward of the receiving bridge. The original design was a single-shot. The design was updated in 1884 with an 8-round tubular magazine designed by Alfred von Kropatschek, making this Germany's first repeating rifle. This version was designated the Gewehr 1871/84. A version of this repeater was adopted by the Ottoman Empire. Designated the M1887, it differentiated from the M71/84 in that it had a side mounted cleaning rod, a second locking lug on the rear of the bolt, and it was in caliber 9.5×60mmR, which Paul Mauser touted as the most efficient (black powder) cartridge. In the early 20th century a few were converted to 7.65×53mm smokeless by the arsenal in Ankara.
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