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Thread: Fun times with the Gew 1871/84!

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub El Gato's Avatar
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    Fun times with the Gew 1871/84!

    Hello Everyone!

    I finally got to shoot my 1871/84 Spandau which served Bavaria. It was my Christmas Present to myself. My wife bought me dies from E-Bay and a Lyman mold from Midsouth.

    Here are a couple of shots. I had given up shooting for Lent so this was a real treat!

    Anyone else shoot anything cool lately?

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Smokeless or Black?
    Eleutheromaniac

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub El Gato's Avatar
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    70 grains of Goex FFg powder. I used vegetable fiber wads to make up the space.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Back when I lived in Michigan, the club banned the 71 and 71/84 from blackpowder matches because they were too accurate. Very good rifles, they are. Designed for a dead soft swaged bullet, paper-patched.
    Eleutheromaniac

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I’ve never had the chance to shoot one of those and always wanted to. I do have 1 CIL .43 Mauser cartridge in case....
    Beautifully made guns.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub El Gato's Avatar
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    How strange that they would ban a rifle for accuracy... I think with a little more load development I will have an extremely accurate Mauser.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    I had my Webley-Fosbury automatic revolver out last weekend, always a hoot to shoot!
    NRA Endowment member
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  8. #8
    Boolit Bub El Gato's Avatar
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    Nice! I have examined one once...a finely made revolver.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    There was a card wad then beeswax wad and lastly another card wad under the
    paper patched swaged bullet.
    The standard charge was 77 grains Fg powder.

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub El Gato's Avatar
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    Cool! Thanks for the info.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Gato View Post
    How strange that they would ban a rifle for accuracy... I think with a little more load development I will have an extremely accurate Mauser.
    Not that unusual. 115 years ago the Krag rifle was banned from military matches because the newfangled 1903 Springfield couldn't outshoot it. Today the ASSRA bans bolt actions from their modern-day Schuetzen matches, even though Dr. Hudson did once use one just before WW1. If they allowed bolters on the slim basis that somebody used one once, all the fine Ballard/Stevens/Winchester falling-blocks we prize so much would never come out to play, having no chance to win or even place.

    Get yourself into paper-patching. That's what these rifles were designed for. Many of them have throats that are a little too small for a naked, greased bullet,, unless it's cast dead soft, equivalent to the original swaged ammunition. That's how some of the big American single-shots were chambered during the paper-patch era, too.
    Eleutheromaniac

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub namsag's Avatar
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    That is a very interesting rifle and it looks like a fine example you have. I don't think I have ever seen one "in person." Did fouling affect the operation of the bolt mechanism during a combat situation where there wasn't time to be cleaning after each shot?

    That appears to be a very advanced arm for the period, at a time when US troops were shooting the Trapdoor Springfield, if I am correct? It would have been quite a difference in fire laid down from similar sized units of riflemen it would seem.

    I would love to have the opportunity to shoot one. Looks like a ton of fun.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    As it happened, these Mausers fell between the Franco-Prussian War and WW1, so none were ever used in combat, at least in Europe. It seems that many were never even issued, because after WW2 somebody found a considerable stash still in original grease, and exported them to Canada. Canadians usually cut them down for hunting, and there were enough of them that CIL actually produced a smokeless load for them. How some of those pristine examples made it to the USA I do not know, but mine is one. Somebody sanded the wood down and refinished it, and "jewelled" the receiver, but the bore is immaculate, and there is no sign of wear in the action at all. I would believe that it has never been fired after proofing at the factory. It's on my bucket list to fire it, but so far I haven't. I gave $175 for it. They 'e bringing three times that today.

    Yes, they were considerably advanced over anything we had here in the '70s and '80s, no doubt about it.

    The chambering with its' tight neck was a way of coping with a fouled barrel. The bullet was small enough to enter the rifling, however much fouled, and would "slug-up" on firing to fill the grooves.
    Eleutheromaniac

  14. #14
    Boolit Master JoeJames's Avatar
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    A very good short story “The day of the Mauser” by Jeff Cooper in his book: To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth, concerns some German troops, and a couple of German farmers at a small outpost in Africa armed with 71 and 88 Mausers.
    Britons shall never be slaves.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub El Gato's Avatar
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    Mine seems to have been carried a great deal and shot very little. If I remember correctly, a lot of Gew 71/84s wound up with the Landwehr Reserves in WW1. In terms of fouling, after 20 shots there was very little on the bolt head.

    There is a local black powder rifle shoot that I will try it out in.

    Thanks for all the great info!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check