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Thread: Boer Mauser - questions more than answers

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold Aussie_Perth's Avatar
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    Boer Mauser - questions more than answers

    Hi everyone.

    Thanks for allowing me to join your forum. Seems there is some great knowledge in this group, so I would really appreciate your comments.

    I bought this Mauser from a dealer in Australia and was told it's a Boer Mauser.
    From a Facebook site, I was told that it's definitely a ZAR Boer Mauser, Model 1893 and manufactured in 1896. The serial numbers are all matching, apart from the bolt missing the last "9". However, I was told this is a factory error only, as the numbers are too close to explain the mismatch.

    Can someone please explain why it has the following marks: "Mod. Mauser 1896, Ludw. Loewe & Co", but it's actually a Model 1893? I know the bolt is 1893, but why not stamp it "Mod. 1893" instead then?

    Also, what are your opinions on the missing number on the bolt?

    As I'm a Boer myself, now living in Australia, this item is of great historical and sentimental value to me. I would love to know and learn more about it.

    Maybe "Dutchman" can leave some comments as well. I see in previous posts he definitely has a great knowledge on Boer Mausers.

    Many thanks in adavance.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    The best thing I can suggest is to go through the Mauser 1893 and 1895 posts of John Wall at Gun Boards Mauser forum.

    There are many posts there and many photos of these rifles including the 1895 OVS versions.

    John Wall lives in Boston, Mass and he does not appear to have posted recently. I don't know if he changed to collecting other rifles or if he even still alive.
    His posts remain though. He was the most knowledgeable collector I ever bumped into on contract Mausers.


    Here are sample threads that he posted on.

    http://forums.gunboards.com/showthre...oer-War-Mauser

    http://forums.gunboards.com/showthre...ight=Boer+1896
    Last edited by EDG; 01-08-2017 at 03:05 AM.
    EDG

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Unfortunately John Wall is no longer with us. He was a great influence on me as a collector and as an example of a gentleman.

    The OVS are 1893 not 1895. I once owned OVS 8776 in new/unfired/unissued condition back in 1968.

    Dutch

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I traded posts and IMs with John Wall several times and I thought he was a fine man. I was afraid that he might be gone when I did not see him post for at least the last year.
    I am glad some of his knowledge was captured in all those posts. One of the other guys mentioned that a chart on these rifles was produced by John Wall and is shown in Ball's Mauser book.

    I have only seen a few Boer rifles. The first was one of maybe 75 Mausers standing on their muzzles in a walled in front porch at an old time gunsmiths house about 1964.
    It was an OVS rifle that he was proud of.
    The closest thing I have owned is a like mint new Chilean 1895 rifle. It is just a Chilean rifle and was never part of the Boer rifles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchman View Post
    Unfortunately John Wall is no longer with us. He was a great influence on me as a collector and as an example of a gentleman.

    The OVS are 1893 not 1895. I once owned OVS 8776 in new/unfired/unissued condition back in 1968.

    Dutch
    EDG

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie_Perth View Post
    Hi everyone.

    Thanks for allowing me to join your forum. Seems there is some great knowledge in this group, so I would really appreciate your comments.

    I bought this Mauser from a dealer in Australia and was told it's a Boer Mauser.
    From a Facebook site, I was told that it's definitely a ZAR Boer Mauser, Model 1893 and manufactured in 1896. The serial numbers are all matching, apart from the bolt missing the last "9". However, I was told this is a factory error only, as the numbers are too close to explain the mismatch.

    Can someone please explain why it has the following marks: "Mod. Mauser 1896, Ludw. Loewe & Co", but it's actually a Model 1893? I know the bolt is 1893, but why not stamp it "Mod. 1893" instead then?

    Also, what are your opinions on the missing number on the bolt?

    As I'm a Boer myself, now living in Australia, this item is of great historical and sentimental value to me. I would love to know and learn more about it.

    Maybe "Dutchman" can leave some comments as well. I see in previous posts he definitely has a great knowledge on Boer Mausers.

    Many thanks in adavance.
    hey cousin!

    I don't agree with "factory mistake" on the bolt number. Its just a mis-matched bolt. It does make you think but such mistakes didn't leave the Ludwig Loewe factory...... IMO.

    I'd have to go read a book to fully explain the 1893/1896 thing. The rifle *is* a Model 1893 Mauser in every way and feature.

    At this very moment I'm about to watch Exodus (the 1960 movie) and its 11:08pm and I'm hungry so I'm not going to get into this right at this moment but I will and I will dig out Robt Ball's book that John Wall helped research before I post again on this subject. I am far from even being adept on this particular subject but since I've owned an OVS Mauser and now own a C-prefix ZAR 1893 I've always had an interest in the subject.

    Send me a PM with your name so I don't have to picture you as an Aussie


    Dutch

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold Aussie_Perth's Avatar
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    EDG - Thanks for the links and I'm sorry to hear that a great collector is no more. Sadly a lot of these older guys with decades of experience and knowledge, are now in their 70's, 80's and even 90's. I can only dream to learn a little of their skills before I get to that age.

    Dutch - I'm glad you're still around, as I've read some of your opinions. You also have a wealth of knowledge and I respect your views. I will PM you with my name, but don't expect the typical Afrikaans one. Although it's my home language and I was born in the Karoo, my names are deceiving.

    Concerning the mismatches numbers on the bolt, I've had many views like yours, but just as many from collectors who say the numbers are too close. According to them, they've seen partial or missed numbers before on guns. I guess it doesn't really matter in this case, as I love the rifle as it is. It adds to the mystery of these Boer rifles.

    Once you had a good rest and a read, please tell me which book you are referring to. I bought "Mauser Bolt Rifles - Olson" and "Mauser Military rifles of the world - R. Ball" last night. I think you are referring to the latter. Paid $200 Aussie for them, but they seem to contain excellent information.

    I would absolutely love an O.V.S. Mauser, but they are hard to come by. Maybe one day....

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Welcome aboard! That is a really nice specimen in my book. All I see any more are sporterized, good or bad.
    Look twice, shoot once.

  8. #8
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    You see that flat bottom on the face of the bolt? That is one of the things that makes it a '93 action. It was made for years and was marked by the model number of whoever bought it, usualy year of adoption for each country.

    -HF
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
    The BHN Deformation Formula, and why I don't use it.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    One thing might give you some information one way or the other on the bolt serial number.
    If original the cocking piece, bolt sleeve, safety and firing pin may all have the last 2 digits of the serial number.
    In your case it would be 69. I cannot make out any numbers in your photos other than those on the receiver.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie_Perth View Post
    EDG - Thanks for the links and I'm sorry to hear that a great collector is no more. Sadly a lot of these older guys with decades of experience and knowledge, are now in their 70's, 80's and even 90's. I can only dream to learn a little of their skills before I get to that age.

    Dutch - I'm glad you're still around, as I've read some of your opinions. You also have a wealth of knowledge and I respect your views. I will PM you with my name, but don't expect the typical Afrikaans one. Although it's my home language and I was born in the Karoo, my names are deceiving.

    Concerning the mismatches numbers on the bolt, I've had many views like yours, but just as many from collectors who say the numbers are too close. According to them, they've seen partial or missed numbers before on guns. I guess it doesn't really matter in this case, as I love the rifle as it is. It adds to the mystery of these Boer rifles.

    Once you had a good rest and a read, please tell me which book you are referring to. I bought "Mauser Bolt Rifles - Olson" and "Mauser Military rifles of the world - R. Ball" last night. I think you are referring to the latter. Paid $200 Aussie for them, but they seem to contain excellent information.

    I would absolutely love an O.V.S. Mauser, but they are hard to come by. Maybe one day....
    EDG

  10. #10
    Boolit Mold Aussie_Perth's Avatar
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    Great info. I don't have it in my possession yet, as our licensing system in Australia takes about 2 months. However, I will definitely have a much closer look once I receive it. I wasn't aware of those numbers on the individual parts.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master sav300's Avatar
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    Hi Aussie,email on way to you.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master sav300's Avatar
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    Hi Aussie.Will try for pics over the weeekend.

  13. #13
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    I know of two groups of orange free state Mauser rifles that were intercepted by the English blockade. The ship or ships caring them were turned away and the rifles returned to Mauser. they were resold to Chile, the blank receivers were roll marked with a Chilean crest and off they went to south america. Many of the guns we know today as Boer war Mauser rifles, are in fact, from these two shipments.

    I'm thinking these were the OVS marked guns (numbers 7901 to 8900) and the Entire "C" serial number block of none OVS marked guns. Makes me wonder which serial number "block" of guns actually made it to the Orange Free State.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub pill bug's Avatar
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    Should of read EDG's linked threads before posting. Looks like i was partly correct, except only the first 4000 rifles in "C" block were turned back by the blockade. And they were to go to the ZAR., Not OVS.

    And the linked threads also answered my question of what rifles actually made it to the Orange free state.They were Lowe contract Mauser rifles with OVS and Lowe monogram on the receiver. OK, think I sort of got it figured out!

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