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Great War Rifles


Steve1871
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Thanks Andy, I do not know how to decipher Turkish, two different calendars and markings, I think there are 4 makers, so I need one more. Believe a friend/ collector has an early one in English / German Type of Maker marking

Edited by Steve1871
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On 19/09/2021 at 07:24, dman said:

... Germans also made use of captured Russian 1891 Mosin Nagants  .  Tens of thousands were captured early in war on Eastern Front at Tannenberg/Masurian Lakes 

Many were shipped to Turkey also.

On 19/09/2021 at 07:24, dman said:

... Germans also made use of captured Russian 1891 Mosin Nagants  .  Tens of thousands were captured early in war on Eastern Front at Tannenberg/Masurian Lakes 

Many were shipped to Turkey also.

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A bit of Turkish history for the rifles

The 1887. Or M.87 short rifle ( Mauser) was finalized. But it was a unique gun. First, it was the last BLACK POWDER Mauser Rifle designed. In 9.5 mm caliber..

Now the French just shook the whole world, introducing the Lebel Rifle, being the first small bore SMOKELESS powder rifle. Making virtually all other guns obsolete.      
Turkey/ OTTOMAN empire had been having internal and external problems for quite some time . As for the contract for the M.87 rifle, Turkey sent a delegation to Mauser, Orbendorf to work on the design ideas they want and wanted to oversee some of production. Mauser went so far as to buy or created  a chateau/ office for the delegation, led by a Turkish general.             
The contract for the 1887 Mauser had 3 provisions set in writing. One was that during the contract, any newer/ better rifles were designed by Mauser, that Turkey could elect to receive the remaining balance/ number of rifles in the newer rifle......      

the second clause stated that any new or improved Mauser arm to be sold to the German military, again, Turkey could do the same thing.    I think in 1888, In May. the first rifles were coming off the assembly line.        
Mauser needed 20% payment to re-tool to start and Turkey took just over half a year to come up with the money. Originally the 1887 was marked all in German. No one knows how many. A friend/ collector of mine has two, one marked in German ( will not sell me🥵) and other in standard Osmanli script ( Turkish). Originally 500,000 rifles and I think 50,000 carbines ( not sure carbine #) were ordered. I have read several different numbers of the actual amount of 1887 rifles were made before Turkey invoked the clause to upgrade.
Most authors say about 78,000 - 85,000. No one know’s for sure.             
There was a short carbine M.87 made as well.   The carbines had just started production when the contract was changed.. It is thought that only a few thousand carbines were actually made out of 50,000 ordered. I have never seen one.  

A few things on the M87,   1887 rifle. Based mostly on the Mauser 71/84, the M87 had an additional lug, rear mounted . With all front tube mounted rifles, the balance changes as the rounds were fired, the M87 kept a better balance from loaded to empty. The 71/84 had a stacking rod but the 87 included a cleaning rod. Also the M87 cartridge of 9.5 x 60R , not that much smaller case, but had slimmer profile bullet and was more accurate. It would seem the M87 cartridge was the best. Black powder cartridge to be made. The Portuguese M86 Kropacheck was in 8mm. But the small bore simply fouled too much to really be very effective

          
Germany left Mauser out/ screwed him over when designing the Commission 88 rifle that Turkey got interested in. Paul Mauser Furious, quickly designed s better rifle in what became the ( Belgian) M.89 rifle. Showing the Turkish delegation his new design, the Turkish delegation agreed, but insisted on leaving out the barrel jacket for their rifle. This new rifle with a few more refinements would be copied to also become the Argentine contract M91   
The Turkish M90, same single stack magazine sticking out below the stock. Same as Argentine M91 a year later, was in 7.65 just as Argentina, was very accurate. But this rifle only lasted about 2.5 to 3 years . The main drawback was the ability to double feed, causing an out of battery fire. On the Mauser M.90 Turk and Arg. M91, I have not found a good close up photo of the rear site. Both have the same ladder, but I not sure , but I think the M90 had a single press/release to slide the site. The original M91 1890-91 production/ often thought as preproduction had just one press release on right side         

( I no have a Turkish M90. , but have a few Arg.91, including matching single press/release lever)
Another big breakthrough came about with Mauser in creating the staggered magazine  which became the Mauser M.93 ( Spanish contract).Allowing the 5 round magazine to fit flush with the stock. With a few more refinements, better lugs,extraction and few other minor things became Mauser biggest success till the M98. The M93 was very rugged, reliable, so Turkey made another contract with Mauser, only adding a magazine cut off and 7.56 cal. , this rifle served throughout the Great War and later upgraded to M98 standard as the M93/33

Great War, Turkey was less prepared than most,   
In “Ottoman” controlled territory, the empire was falling, 1912, Albanian uprising, 1913, had two mini Balkan wars and was failing in the Middle East.  At beginning of Great War in 1914, Turkey had every weapon they could get, their Own Peabody martini, which was seen as late as 1915 in Egypt, Winchester Lever actions, Mosin Nagant adapted from Austria ( Steyr?) , their own Mauser M1903, their most modern, M 93 and M90, as well as the obsolete M87. In 1917, Germany started dumping their Gew88 rifles on Turkey as well. I read that they also had a 1905 carbine, I do not know if Mauser, Mannlicher or what.  
Most of the Great War, Turkey fought in the Middle East, Balkans, and the lower Med I think.  
1. the M1903 was close to or equal with most other countries during war and lasted the whole war on all fronts. 200,000 were on hand at start of war          
2. fielding everything Turkey could, both the M93 and M90 were also thought to be used, in lesser areas.just ordered a book (Arming the Sultan) for more info

3. the M87. No actual accounts of it in combat, but read that in Great War, was sent to the “ Mountains of the Northern region/ Turkish border.  C &Arsebal quoted that excavations in Palestinian   areas to include Egypt, Iraq,Syria have unearthed a fair number of the 9.5 Turkish M87 shell cases. Others have also said this. When the Turks actually used ( reserve or whatever) the Single shot large caliber Peabody Martini, it makes sense that the M87 was in Palestine area, reserve or support troops. 
 

Mostly use  Mauser Military Rifles of World, 2011, 2015, by Ball, C &Arsenal, Turkeyswar.com, Turkey in First World War/Chronology. NZHistory.gov, few other on line sites 

I only have the M87 and M93 rifle

A book I think will help with early Turkish for anybody

 

 

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Edited by Steve1871
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Rifle #20.          
9/24/21

Turkish M.87.  1887 Mauser

Rifle is complete, stock is very good shape, most I see are very dark with age. All metal is uniform grey patina, markings are in Turkish, Omanli writing, looks to be matching with original cleaning rod 

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Edited by Steve1871
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Forgot to add, Wurttenberg , In 1914, start of war, somehow got a small number of M87 rifles with German swivels and used with a few regiments in support roll, most likely inside Germany or part of supply trains from Germany from C@Arsenal,   I never heard of before, but with cancellation of the M87 order, Mauser could have?

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Looks like a nice rifle, complete turkish delivery, we dont see the main inscription of left receiver where is the date, i assume the serial number is 204536 so minimal so many rifles were delivered to Turkey, before switch of remain contract to M90 system. I assume is normal as Wurttemberg got some older undelivered rifles in 1914 as Mauser Oberndorf is located in Wurttemberg but i assume they were normal numeral marked on sight. I assume the bolt is so stamped,and all small parts should be 4536 or 36 marked normally.

Edited by AndyBsk
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Missed that photo Andy, just added it in, left receiver wall

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Thanks for adding it, the date looks like 1307 which should be from internet convertor 1889/90, which corespond with high ser.number.

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Great help there Andy, thanks

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No problem Steve, the Ball book about Mauser rifles of the World speaks about 220000 rifles M1887 delivered to Turkey, so Yours should be one of last 20000 pcs. in Ball book is presented a turkish one M1887 from C.Bauman collection with serial 214504 sn, the german latin alphabet stamped reciever with normal serial western type number is there presented in 222886 so minimum 3000 pcs were left over built from switched/ended  turkish contract. The M90 should be then realised with remains of 500000 pcs also 280000 pcs of M1890 in new serial string probably. The M1887 bayonets are much heavier to found, as the system is different with low ring on crossguard. The M90,93,03 and generic M35 has identical high ring position.

Edited by AndyBsk
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Steve  

As I have posted before Wurttemberg used leftover Mauser 1887 from the Turkish contract to arm LANDSTURM  battalions 

The rifles were made with  leftover from the Turkish order when Turks enforced the upgrade clauses to demand that Mauser ship them upgraded rifle (First 1890 then the 1893 both in 7.65 mm smokeless)  

The Landsturm was the "Home Guard"  made up of men in late 30's, early 40's,  not considered fit for front line service .  Landsturm was used for rear area duties,  as guarding supply depots, strategic points (railroad bridge, tunnels, etc),  prisoners and such 

I have seen the number that some 25,000  Mauser 1887 were taken up by Wurttemberg to arm the Landsturm 

Also should consider that even Turkish marked 1887 wound up in German hands,  probably rejected by the Turks in preference for the later 1890/1893 and not shipped, but put in storage 

Countries rarely toss away weapons, even obsolete ones,  as can be used for reserve or home defense duties 

Have seen where Chasssepot bayonets captured from France in 1870 were reworked to fit Mauser 71 and 71/84  

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank’s DMan

Always good to know.         
Just one more fascinating aspects of the Great War. A war of 2 ages in a way. A World War, with the meat grinder of trench warfare with horrific carnage from massive artillery barrages of the new century, to the more last century,remote areas with Horse and camel charges and Black powder rifles in Egypt, M87 Turk, Peabody Martini’s, to others with native troops in Africa, Dreadnaughts to Square rigger sailing ships ( Count Von Luckner) to supply ships

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The M1887 were mostly offered to other  states too,some smaller numbers evidently existed ,but personally i dont believe that 25000 were diverted from turkish contract, should be looked to historical materials, anyway when buyed by Wurttemberg state so certainly the sights should be numbered with western nummerals as not usable for germans soldiers. So when the larger ammount was ordered by state, that would be real. Mauser in that period was not extra good in finances, they didnt get the Gew.88 contract. So they couldnt made 25000 rifles for depot,wout correct payments.

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On 22/05/2021 at 05:54, Steve1871 said:

    There are a great many post here on GWF on Bayonets, but the rifle post seem to be far less common, I would like to start a post on these rifles. I do have a few British, mostly older Like CLLE , L.E.1 and such, 2 fair /average “ Smellys”, I hope to get home for better photo’s on the British side.But there were MANY countries and different rifles used, I would like to show some of the lesser seen rifles from my collection. A few photo’s mad be a wee off here in there, due to lighting. 
 

If you agent’s like this post, say once a week like my Bayonet post, I should have enough for a few month’s at least. 
I think it would be best to add more photo’s, on each rifle than a bayonet, since there is a lot more parts to show.  

 

My first here should interest some of you out there, as a lot has been posted on their bayonets. 
The Greek Y1903

Lovely examples. What is the button on top of the magazine opening, just ahead of the closed bolt lever please.

Mickster

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1 minute ago, Mickster said:

Lovely examples. What is the button on top of the magazine opening, just ahead of the closed bolt lever please. On the Y1903

 

Mickster

 

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Mickster.   
 

not sure what you are referring to.  On the last photo / show left side of receiver with bolt handle strait up. You see the selector lever to lock off the tube magazine to use as single shot/ conserve ammo.  
What I think you are referring to is a small portion of the bolt’s raised guide rib. The whole M.71 family of rifles, this M87 was the last, they all had split breech receivers. The top rear of receiver was a open channel. A raised portion of rear of bolt guides through the channel.   The Gew 88 was same way.

the Button ahead of bolt handle is the bolt stop. There is a good size screw and a rounded washer that screw into the bolt. When you open/ slide bolt back, the washer stops in a recess made to fit.  Stopping the bolt. Simply unscrew bolt part way, lift washer up and hold trigger back, bolt will slide out

Edited by Steve1871
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Rifle #21.        
10/1/21 

Belgain M.89 short rifle  Mauser

Maker.  Hopkins &Allen,     
 

 Rifle with mismatched floor plate. All the age, wear looks uniform, matching. I have not seen a full length rifle. Bore is very good. Overall nice condition . Just makes a more rounded out WW1 collection 

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Here is my Belgian carbine - mine was produced in Britain (Birmingham) for the Belgian Govt.

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Belg1889Carb4.jpg.31fd76f62038fe4ab9966bba6b8450ae.jpg  Belg1889Carb5.jpg.2ebf2e43437f4f9bb64cd1bf6fd8a1df.jpgBelg1889Carb6.jpg.c25283da1ed7bf3888dc7a8230f87629.jpgBelg1889Carb7.jpg.cfc74ade35489532cfbfdbd184849d86.jpg

 

Pics of long rifle to follow.

Chris

 

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Some bayonet pics (I will have to take rifle ones I think_7-11-15-1.jpg.acb5762f7d31e6a12d5b66a806364b36.jpg

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Found a few:

MCD_0590.jpg.cc46db165525ec2346a8ad73b1a7fe49.jpg

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MCD_0602.jpg.d743f3fe18772ef2928f6bc25f84e014.jpg

 

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Thanks Chris, wish I had the Long rifle , just notice on my bayonet pic, does not mean too much, but the maker was double stamped like the punch bounced off and struck again. An oddity and cheap rarity on markings 

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Looks Steve like a nice piece, mostly M1889/16 carbine i assume, the buttplate marking would be interesting to see. Nice Hopkins Allen bayonets.

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On 28/09/2021 at 18:41, Steve1871 said:

Mickster.   
 

not sure what you are referring to.  On the last photo / show left side of receiver with bolt handle strait up. You see the selector lever to lock off the tube magazine to use as single shot/ conserve ammo.  
What I think you are referring to is a small portion of the bolt’s raised guide rib. The whole M.71 family of rifles, this M87 was the last, they all had split breech receivers. The top rear of receiver was a open channel. A raised portion of rear of bolt guides through the channel.   The Gew 88 was same way.

the Button ahead of bolt handle is the bolt stop. There is a good size screw and a rounded washer that screw into the bolt. When you open/ slide bolt back, the washer stops in a recess made to fit.  Stopping the bolt. Simply unscrew bolt part way, lift washer up and hold trigger back, bolt will slide out

Cheers Steve. Got it now. Its the button is a bolt stop. Thanks

Mickster

 

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Rifle #22.         
10/10/21

U.S.  Enfield Pattern 1917.  ( P-17)

Maker.  Eddy stone.          
Barrel date.  1-18.   
 

Stock looks Arsenal refurbished,, small repair piece on side. I do not have a book on these, looking on line, I have read that originals were blued, have also read that some were Phosphate finish like mine. Have still read that some early blued ones when refurbished were changed to phosphate finish. Anyway, whole rifle ifs like new, including the bore. Weather it went to France or stayed state side, I will never know, but a great piece. Have the correct 2 piece sling in filling cabinet somewhere      
Last photo, show P-17 with Colt Army Model 1917, what the heck😊

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Edited by Steve1871
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Officially US .30 Rifle Model 1917 - Pattern (P) being the British designation for the Pattern 1914.

Interesting to see the repair in the stock - I have not seen that before. Overall the stock looks a little roughly finished (bolt inletting etc) in the pics - somewhat unusual they usually seem to be pretty well done.

I usually associate the phosphate/parkerized finish with inter war refinishes/WWII reissue - I'll have a look in the standard references.

I only have 2 M1917s one is a nice functioning example which shoots very well- the other has the barrel completely blocked by a steel rod (it hung for years in a VFW hall I think) but that means I can display it with my mannequins without worrying about it.  There was a time when these were far more affordable than they are now -- but they still aren't the silly money M1903s go for!

Very nice to see -- thanks for posting!

Chris

 

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