I don't know what the thick barrel covering is called, but I saw this gun today in a store. The receiver was also inscribed with 'Danzig', which was in Prussia, then Poland, then Germany....and the gun was NOT a Mauser 98. It's magazine extends from the bottom as with a Lee-Enfield or Mosin etc.
The tag was marked 7.9. Either the caliber was the same as the Sturmgewehr 7.92, or the tag should have said 8 mm, should it not?
The stock was dull but ok and the action worked, with the sound of a firing pin when the trigger was pulled.
:scrutiny: I doubt that it is safe to shoot without a gunsmith's evaluation, even if the tag had been marked 8 mm.
About what is the average street value for the gun, and which model is it?
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March 12, 2008, 08:44 PM
You've described a German Model 1888 Commission Rifle. Despite the popular nomenclature, it's not a Mauser, it's more of a Mannlicher design.
Unless it was rechambered in the early 1900s, it is chambered for 7.9x57J. This is the first version of what we in the US call the 8mm Mauser. It uses a bullet .318" in diameter.
In 1905 the German Army adopted a spitzer bullet and increased diameter to .323". They referred to the round as 7.9x57JS or 7.92x57JS. They adopted some M-1888s to the new round by rechambering them and marking them with a prominent "S" on the receiver. However, virtually all of these rifles were made before 1898 so I wouldn't put modern 8mm ammo in one, even if it was rechambered.
Either the caliber was the same as the Sturmgewehr 7.92
The Sturmgewerhs used the 7.92x33 round, which is shorter than and much less powerful than the 7.92x57 round as used in the Kar. 98k, Germany's main rifle during WW2.
March 12, 2008, 09:19 PM
If it's matching, it's worth a lot to collectors. If it's in good shape and nonmatching, still worth $200. I have four, I like them a lot. Very smooth, and the one with a .323 bore that I shoot on occasion with low-pressure Winchester ammo is a phenomenally accurate rifle.
Vaarok: Very similar and the thick barrel looks identical. Maybe that 'store' already knows the highest street price for the gun. It might be difficult to sell it for much more, without going to a (far away) gun show?
Dave: That's quite a description. Thanks very much.
As for the price, there is supposed to be a website to check used gun value$ (for free?).
A novice buyer would hopefully take it to a gunsmith and check the headspace etc.
Just now searched Google for "Danzig Mannlicher" and don't want to contradict anyone here for slight trivia, but this is on "rememuseum.org.uk/arms/rifles/armgm88. html". Somebody had this to say:
"It is frequently called a 'Mauser' and also a 'Mannlicher', but it is in fact neither. This particular rifle was made by Spandau in 1890". Some of them are labeled GEW (Gewehr/rifle) 1888. All German nouns are capitalized.
You all's info is still as interesting as these rifles. They appear to have been produced in various places, Berlin (Spandau?), even Steyr, Austria.
There is a discussion at "1914-1918.invisionzone.com":
One guy claimed amazing accuracy with such a rifle. The Germans seem to have designed it to counter a French smokeless gun.