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Thread: 1893 v. 1895 Mauser

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    1893 v. 1895 Mauser

    This will be ongoing with more photos added.

    These two rifles are both 7x57mm. One is an 1893 model, the other an 1895 model. Both carry the crest of Chile. But the 1893 was not made for Chile initially. It was made for Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (South African Republic) or ZAR. Due to a British navel blockade these rifles never made it to South Africa so they were sent back to Germany where the crest was rollmarked to Chile and off they went.

    The ZAR Mauser has what is called, to collectors, a generic side rail address in that it has no country or model as the 1895 Chilean does. In addition the serial number prefix C, identifies it as one of 5,000 rifles in that series sold to the good and fine Dutch volk of the ZAR who taught the British army some hard lessons in marksmanship and how simple Dutch farmers could deliver a serious case of whoopass to the world's most powerful army. The Dutch farmers were known as 'boers'. (phonetically: boo'er. It is not pronounced 'boar'.) Boer is the Dutch word for farmer.

    Not to further confuse --- there are a couple/few other 1893 Mauser series that did end up in South Africa and some that didn't. Rifles marked with the Chilean crest and OVS were intended for the Oranje Vrij Staat, Orange Free State. These are far more desireable and collectable and valuable than most other South African Mausers. In the late 60s I owned OVS 8776 that was stone mint, brand new-in-grease right out of the original German crate. These will have a bent bolt.

    The ZAR also are supposed to have a bent bolt though the one I have does not as it was sold by SOG in Ohio as a 1895 and came with an 1895 bolt, though it will function and headspace with a 1895 bolt its not the correct bolt. So I purchased a complete bolt from Springfield Sporters for all of $20 to make the world right again, though its not a ZAR bolt it is a 1893 bolt.

    Some of the other South African Mausers will have a siderail address indicating a "Model 1896" or "Model 1897" when they were, in fact, model 1893 rifles. The other South African state to purchase these Mausers was Transvaal.

    To appreciate the history of the South African Dutch you have to start in the 1600s when it was colonized by the Dutch. The same time frame as for what was to become New York, having been New Netherlands first. The Dutch had an extreme landscape to cultivate and an extreme hostile native population, not to mention the imperialist British invasion, not to leave out the honorable Australian army, many of whom are still buried in SA having learned about the 7mm Mauser the hard way. While I like Aussies if push came to shove you'd be staring down the bore of my 6.5x55 m/96 Mauser much the same as your ancestors. (there were Swedish volunteers in South Africa fighting the British, btw, but they used arms supplied by the Dutch).





    The 1895 Chilean Mauser was made from 1895 to 1902. But that's not exactly right. It is believed that there were 3 periods of production: 1895, 1898 and 1902. The reason for this belief is that stocks are found with only those 3 dates under the Chilean crest cartouche on the left-side of the buttstock. Some are stamped without a date and with ME instead, possibly 'Ministerio Ejercito'.



    Though the DWM rifle s/n K4209 has a matching original (and cracked) stock dated 1898 it is considered by BATF as "modern". This is because BATF uses the Ludwig Loewe - DWM parting line to distinguish "antique" from "modern". There's no evidence the stocks were made at the same time and, indeed, there is some evidence the stocks were manufactured prior as the Ludwig Loewe trademark anchor stamp on the DWM rifle cause some doubt as to when it was manufactured. The Loewe/DWM merger occurred in November, 1896.





    This one above is the 1895 Chilean. On the right of the receiver ring you can see a double anchor stamped in the wood. This is a Ludwig Loewe mirror anchor trademark. The Ludwig Loewe company merged with Mauser in 1896 to become Deutsche Waffen und Muntionsfabriken or DWM. (German weapons and munitions factory). ((As an aside- I believe the Ludwig Loewe Mausers are the finest built, best finished Mausers ever made in the world. The quality was never surpassed).

    Ludwig Loewe is pronounced: Lude'vig Low'va.



    The 1893 Mauser has a squared bolt face. It was thought that it would pick up cartridges better. It didn't, so the 1895 has a round bolt face. Other than that they are identical, though there can be markings that are different.



    [/to be continued]

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Fascinating. Would love to see some full length photos. I only managed to get over to South Africa one time but I certainly respect those Dutchmen that settled such a harsh land.

    MLV

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    Boolit Master at Heaven's Range. txpete's Avatar
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    The Ludwig Loewe company merged with Mauser in 1896 to become Deutsche Waffen und Muntionsfabriken or DWM. (German weapons and munitions factory).

    the way I understand it he was phased out the hard way because he was a jew.also if you look at his rifles they have the star of david on them.I sold a mint one(1895) to a buddy last year in 7x57.it was a very accurare rifle.
    pete

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    Boolit Master
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    Last July me and the wife took a 10 day cruise from SF to Alaska, first time ever and loved it. Our waiter in the fancy dining room everynight was a young guy from South Africa, he said yes, he was a Boer. His family has 30,000 acres of farming, ranching, riding , and hunting. I quizzed him about the hunting 'til it pissed everyone else off, but he liked talking about hunting, especially baboon hunting with old Mausers. Apparently the young guys go off for a camping trip, shoot hundreds of baboons, then sit around the campfire at night drinking. I'd sure like to see his dad's gun cabinet. They consider the baboons pests.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Ricochet's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchman View Post
    Ludwig Loewe is pronounced: Lude'vig Low'va.
    I've speculated that some families in the U.S. named Love are descended from Loewes. Probably some Lewises are, too. Lots of German names got Anglicized around the WWI period.
    "A cheerful heart is good medicine."

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    The names also got anglicized when they came through Ellis Island much earlier in history. Our family has the passenger manifest for a previous generation and the name on the list is way different than on his new citizenship documents.

    But that is a digression.

    Dutch thanks for the hsitroy lesson once again.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master doubs43's Avatar
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    Dutch, my 1895's bolt face is round and the handle is straight. The roll mark on my receiver is exactly the same as on your ZAR rifle.

    A difference between the 1893 and the 1895 not yet mentioned is the added 1895's "safety lug" behind the bolt handle root. A rifle in good shape should have a space between the handle and the lug. If the front locking lugs began to set back for whatever reason, that gap closes.

  8. #8
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    "Shooting baboons and drinking around a campfire". And on 30K acres. Dang. And they said SA was an evil place.....

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Question

    Dutchman.... thanks for the interesting info. You got my interest going so I dug mine out of the safe to check it out.

    My 1916 Spanish Mauser (.308 or 7.62 NATO) appears to have no manufacture markings on the receiver ring or side. It does has have a s/n OT-1148xx stamped just behind the gas relief port on the left side. The bolt trigger guard and floorplate all match. Not sure about the barrel as I haven't broke it down in some time. The bolt is the older square bottom series, which I assume makes it a '93 model.

    The stock has no markings outside whatsoever. I'll break it down when I have some time. Overall it is in very good condition with the exception of a few stock dings. Bluing is good and the bore is nice and shiney.



    All I've shot in it is a few Lee 309-113FN in it.
    Shoot Safe,
    Mike

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bret4207 View Post
    And they said SA was an evil place.....

    Only if you're not Dutch



    Dutch - who is

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Grinch View Post
    My 1916 Spanish Mauser (.308 or 7.62 NATO) appears to have no manufacture markings on the receiver ring or side.

    Yours is a Spanish-made 1893 Mauser. Different animal altogether. I should've made a distinction. Yours was mostly likely made at Oviedo, Spain. The markings were scrubbed for some reason during or before the Spanish Civil War circa 1936. Had to do with which side they were on. I forgot the details. In terms of quality of manufacture and materials the Spanish don't come up to German standards. My son-in-law has the same short rifle here in the house.

    Dutch

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by doubs43 View Post
    Dutch, my 1895's bolt face is round and the handle is straight. The roll mark on my receiver is exactly the same as on your ZAR rifle.

    A difference between the 1893 and the 1895 not yet mentioned is the added 1895's "safety lug" behind the bolt handle root. A rifle in good shape should have a space between the handle and the lug. If the front locking lugs began to set back for whatever reason, that gap closes.
    I'm going to have to do some reading on yours. With a matching bolt and a round face 1895 bolt I don't know. It sounds like a generic siderail address that may be another of the South African contracts but I'll have to see some photos.

    I meant to take a photo of the bolt safety notch. Must've missed it.

    Dutch

  13. #13
    Boolit Master doubs43's Avatar
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    Dutch, I've spent 9 hours on the range today shooting in three matches and being Director for two of them. I'm beat and still want to watch the SEC & ACC championship games but I hope to take pictures of my '95 DWM tomorrow.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    more large varmints

    I'll put this post over in the hunting thread. No Mausers involved. SMLEs and such.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master doubs43's Avatar
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    As promised, here are pics of my 1895 DWM Chilean Mauser serial number 519.

















    The muzzle crown is definitely different than later Loewe Mausers.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Very nice Chilean Mauser! Great photos also.
    Shoot Safe,
    Mike

    Retired Telephone Man
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by doubs43 View Post
    As promised, here are pics of my 1895 DWM Chilean Mauser serial number 519.

    What's interesting is there was no DWM in 1895. All the 1895 dated Chileans are Ludwig Loewe. This one will take some study.

    Dutch

  18. #18
    Boolit Master doubs43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchman View Post
    What's interesting is there was no DWM in 1895. All the 1895 dated Chileans are Ludwig Loewe. This one will take some study.

    Dutch
    That is indeed interesting. One possibility - and about the only one I can imagine - is that being very early in the DWM production, stocks that were previously made for Loewe marked rifles and already stamped with the 1895 cartouche were used. The only need would then be to stamp the serial number on the stock.

    Having already collected several Loewe 1895 Chilean Mausers, I recognized the small differences in this DWM right away but I've never made the connection between the stock date and the date that DWM came into existence. This DWM is the only 1895 I still have and I had a couple of real beauties in the Loewes.

    I've been interested in Lugers for many years, so I know a little something about German military production and how serial numbers were assigned.

    Normally, production in any given year began with serial numbers 1 - 10,000. The next block would run from A1 - A10,000 OR 1A - 10,000A. Then the letter B etc. German arms used a letter suffix and it's likely that contract arms used a letter prefix. The serial numbering started fresh for each year; i.e., they started at 1 - 10,000 each new year. However, foreign contract rifles may have continued in sequence as they were not date stamped like German arms were.

    It is because there is no letter prefix that I believe my DWM was first run and the stock cartouche reinforces that theory in my mind. A stock intended for a Loewe marked rifle would most certainly have been used rather than dispose of it. Such waste would not have been thinkable.

    As an aside, if you own a German rifle or pistol, make certain that you include the year of manufacture when recording the serial number as the previous and following years will likely have an identically numbered arm. Also, don't forget the letter as it's part of the serial number.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by doubs43 View Post
    That is indeed interesting. One possibility - and about the only one I can imagine - is that being very early in the DWM production, stocks that were previously made for Loewe marked rifles and already stamped with the 1895 cartouche were used. The only need would then be to stamp the serial number on the stock.
    That theory would be very easy to test simply by examining other 1895 dated Chileans. And you'd see that they are all Ludwig Loewe.

    Normally, production in any given year began with serial numbers 1 - 10,000. The next block would run from A1 - A10,000 OR 1A - 10,000A. Then the letter B etc. German arms used a letter suffix and it's likely that contract arms used a letter prefix.
    Correct, though its 1 to 9,999. And as you know with some contracts the serial number has a letter suffix, not prefix.

    The serial numbering started fresh for each year; i.e., they started at 1 - 10,000 each new year.
    No, serial numbers ran consecutively. With the 1908 Brazilian contract when they reached 9,999 Z they started a double letter like 9999 Aa with upper case and lower case letters. Using German script that can get real interesting try to figure out if its a 'C' or an 'e'.

    It is because there is no letter prefix that I believe my DWM was first run and the stock cartouche reinforces that theory in my mind. A stock intended for a Loewe marked rifle would most certainly have been used rather than dispose of it. Such waste would not have been thinkable.
    Except there's nothing so back up that theory. The 1895 Chileans are a well known series with many early rifles being seen. I believe I saw s/n 2 many decades ago in Los Angeles. It was $100 in about 1970. Wasn't new, either.


    if you own a German rifle or pistol, make certain that you include the year of manufacture when recording the serial number as the previous and following years will likely have an identically numbered arm. Also, don't forget the letter as it's part of the serial number.
    I own a Luger and I've read Fred Datig's book. I'm aware of the fiasco that can happen with Luger serial numbers. S/42 1936. Mine is one of the Russian come-backs. $275 from SOG but had no grips and no magazine. I bought it to learn Lugers and had to really learn Lugers to get it up and running. Its a shooter and boy does it shoot. Only problem is the magazine is too small capacity. Runs out of ammo too quick.

    If its ok with you I'd like to post your photos over on gunboards so a couple of the Mauser collectors can check it out. I looked at data last night for other South African Mausers and this one just doesn't fit in with them. I'm curious enough about that I want to find out where it fits in the great scheme of things. The one problem is there are known to be anomalies in the 1893 series that don't fit anywhere, or don't appear to fit anywhere. Your 1895 may be one of those that no matter what we can't place it where it belongs. Someone more focused on Chileans will probably be able to fairly fast. I've not run across a 1895 Chilean like yours before. I'm stumped.

    Dutch

  20. #20
    Boolit Master doubs43's Avatar
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    By all means post the pictures. I'm as curious as you are.

    With regards to serial numbers, commercial Lugers ran consecutively over the years. One contract Luger that used a suffix letter was the 1923 Finnish Luger that are serialed just as any German military pistol would be. I had one in the "L" block I purchased in Seattle in 1967 and another years later from a different letter block. Both were .30 caliber. The Finns converted many to 9mm in later years.

    Datig was a good reference in his day but so much new and corrected information has surfaced that he's woefully outdated. Jan Still's books are considered the authority along with a few other authors who have done extensive research. Some of those books would cost you more than you paid for your Russian Capture Luger!! BTW, in one of Still's books is a Luger serial number 10000!!

    My theory about a remaining Loewe stock being used on a DWM production rifle isn't as far fetched as you may think. Stocks could be made and finished in far greater numbers more quickly than the barreled actions etc. Only the serial number would remain to be stamped. I'm sure Loewe kept a large supply of stocks on hand so it's more than possible that hundreds or even several thousand stocks could have been on hand already stamped 1895 when the DWM 1895's went into production.

    A good example of a factory using older parts is the Model 52 Winchester. The initial production used screws for the butt plate that were left over from 1878 muskets as I recall. Nothing went to waste.

    Another possibility is the use of an 1895 cartouche stamp in 1896. If only 1895, 1898 and 1902 cartouche stamps are known, they had to use 1895 stamps into 1897 or 1898 when they were replaced. The stamps could also be dated to correspond to the contract dates if more than one contract was made.

    If you examine the picture of the muzzle, you'll see that the rifling extends into the curve of the crown which is unusual. All four lands do that.

    BTW, my first sporting rifle was a mismatched 1895 Loewe that I bought in 1968 from a hardware store in Tacoma, WA for $18.50 IIRC. They had at least 50 or 60 rifle in a long rack. I had the barrel cut to 24", the bolt bent and the receiver D&T'd for Weaver bases. I put a 4x Busnell Banner scope on it and cut the stock down and refinished it. My total investment was $56.25 and I shot thousands of rounds through it, mostly loaded with a Lee Loader... the kind that required a hammer to size and seat the primers and bullets. Surplus 4895 worked beautifully and cost about $2 a pound. It was quite accurate and I'm sorry I ever sold it.

    I also have a Russian Capture Luger but I've never shot it. I have other Lugers to shoot. I have a so-called VoPo Luger too, a 1917 Erfurt that has all major parts matching except the side plate which is force matched. The VoPo Lugers were one of the last of the bargain Lugers because collectors turned their noses up at them. Bet many wish they hadn't now.
    Last edited by doubs43; 12-07-2009 at 07:57 PM.

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