Original German Mauser Model 1871 Bavarian Marked Infantry Rifle by Amberg dated 1883 - Matching Serial 3474

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a nice example of the Mauser Model 1871 Infantry Rifle, manufactured by Amberg Arsenal in what was then the kingdom of Bavaria in the German Empire. It is covered with Imperial German inspection and acceptance markings on the metalwork. It bears serial number 3474 on the barrel, receiver, bolt, barrel bands, and rear sight, with shortened number 74 present on many other components. That makes this a very desirable "ALL MATCHING" example, with no parts swapped out over the years, and it's a great one!

The receiver is dated 1883 and marked J. G. M/71 on the opposite side in German "Black Letter" type. This stands for Infanterie Gewehr (Infantry Rifle) Model 71, as "J" was often used in place of "I" in German abbreviations. The date has an 87 stamped next to it, which may indicate that it was returned to arsenal for servicing. The top of the barrel nocks form is marked (Crown) over Amberg, for the Bavarian (and later Imperial) arsenal in Amberg, in the Kingdom of Bavaria. Below this is the Crown over L proof for Ludwig II of Bavaria, often called the "Swan King" or "The Fairy Tail King." He reigned from 1864 until his very suspicious death in 1886.

The butt plate tang bears the Bavarian regimental designation B. 2. A. F. 5. 135., which we believe is for the 2nd Royal Bavarian Field Artillery "Horn" Regiment, raised 16 March 1824 and garrisoned in Würzburg. This regiment was part of the II Royal Bavarian Corps until the end of WWI. It is also possible that this designation indicates issue to the 2nd Royal Bavarian Foot Artillery, which was also part of the same corps. This rifle does not appear to have been re-issued for reserve use later on.

The Rifle comes complete with the correct cleaning rod and is in very good condition overall. Interestingly, it has a brass trigger guard installed. The rifle still has both sling swivels intact, which move freely. The exterior metal finish shows years of polishing, and the original bluing on the barrel has now faded to a gray patina. The receiver and bolt are still partly the original bright steel, with staining from age and exposure. The bore is in excellent condition, with crisp lands and grooves and a bright finish. There is little evidence that it has ever been fired at all. This is not surprising considering that it was made just before the Model 1871/84 magazine rifle was introduced.

The stock looks very nice, though it may have been arsenal reconditioned, which has made the original proof marks somewhat faint. It has a lovely color and great grain, with the usual dents and other marks from years of handling and service.

Overall this is an very nice example of a German Mauser model 1871 from Bavaria, complete, the perfect addition to any German Mauser collection!


Year of Manufacture: 1883
Caliber: 11x60mmR Mauser
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 33.5 inches
Overall Length: 53 Inches
Action type: Bolt-Action
Feed System: Single Shot

History of the Mauser 1871

Adopted as the Gewehr 71 or Infanterie-Gewehr 71, or "Infantry Rifle 71 ("I.G.Mod.71" was stamped on the rifles themselves) 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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