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Mystery FN Bolt gun

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by bob falfa, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. bob falfa

    bob falfa Member

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    The owner of this rifle is a VERY advanced collector of Mauser rifles in Europe, and yet he is stumped on this one.....

    DSCN1205 (6).JPG

    DSCN1206 (4).JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2019
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  2. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO Member

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    Stumped in which regard, by the initials engraved into the receiver? It could be anything from Phillip Harcourt to Provinz Hanover...
     
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  3. bob falfa

    bob falfa Member

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    Yes, stumped by that. The rifle was made by FN, it's an FN24, but the receiver ring markings obviously don't reflect that.
     
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  4. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO Member

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    Is there any reason to believe those are something other than initials?

    Can't quite make out the proof mark. Is it Belgian?

    The pics don't give us much to go on. Is it a nicely done sporter or still in FN24 military guise. Date of manufacture?

    If a sporter, owner initials would seem likely. If otherwise an FN military Mauser, it will take some digging indeed. Polizei Hamburg? Prinz Hohenzollern? Beats me. The Weimar Period was fairly decentralized. A German state ordering specially marked rifles from FN doesn't strike me as at all unlikely. But if the chap trying to decipher it is a very advanced collector, I'm at the very other end of the spectrum throwing out guesses. Sorry to not be of more help.
     
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  5. boom boom
    • Contributing Member

    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Proof mark is BNP--Birmingham (aka British) Nitro Proof which means that it was in Great Britain at onetime.

    Might be able to find the answer in Ars Mechanica, The Ultimate FN Book which covers FN products in glorious color pictures. The same publisher/distributor also has a book on FN Mausers specifically dealing with wartime issues. Might also throw it onto Gunboards Mauser subforum for comment.
     
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  6. bob falfa

    bob falfa Member

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    Thanks so much guys. I'm gonna attempt to put my friend on the line here since he is much better equipped to discuss this that I.
     
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  7. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO Member

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    Birmingham proofs has me leaning even more towards an interwar sporter by a smith in the shires, say a somewhat less well to do junior officer posting to one of the African ends of Empire? Gift to Phillip Harcourt from Mummy and Daddy on graduating from Sandhurst, or his 21st? Full pics would tell us more...
     
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  8. bob falfa

    bob falfa Member

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    All kinds of guns have Birmingham proofs, for reasons much less romantic than the picture you've painted....anything that ever went through one of the big arms houses there has them. They are not indicative of period. By way of example, almost all of the Dutch AR-10 material that came to North America is so marked, simply because it passed through their hands.
     
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  9. Ken T

    Ken T Member

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    Post this on Gunboards or the Kar98k forum.You may have better luck there.It's appears to be in military configuration from the limited photos.
     
  10. bob falfa

    bob falfa Member

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    Dear collector-colleagues,

    here is the already flewn correspondence added, in which the German collector describes the rifle more precisely. Hope, that it might bring some light in the mystery. Please excuse the little bit bumpy english.....

    The factory-legend on the left side of the receiver-wall is correctly: FAB. NAT. D’ARMES DE GUERRE (new line): HERSTAL - BELGIQUE

    I now removed the handguard and found, that the barrel-# matches with the receiver and the bolt. Above the chamber under the rear part of the barrel behind the rear sight from 12 to 9 hours the following stamps are placed: “BNP 7.9 m/m 2.244” 18 tons per (sign for square-inch) Below (funny enough, the calibre is definitely 8x57!!) 7 m/m Mr, followed by a lying capital “T”. below that B.blindee (very deep stamped, basically not readable) crown over R, a little rampant lion (or a K, badly stamped, a line, P.V, star over S and the usual ELG in cartouche under crown.

    By the way, I wonder, that there are no belgish proof-marks on the left side of the receiver.

    And here follows the initial e-mail sent earlier:

    Some days ago I bought an from the 1st view regular FN Mod. 24/30, #26083 on receiver and bolt, 8x57, in quite nice condition, which costed me in the meantime many hours in front of my computer without any chance to bring clearness to the history of this rifle. The intertwined letters, from the first look the usual “FN” logo are differing from that, what can be expected and found generally. I read these 2 letters more as “PH” and I have absolutely no clou about the meaning.. Please have a look at my picture, and I think, you would agree. On the receiver-wall is the usual 2-lines-adress of FN in capital letters. I would like to add, that the rifle has beside the usual Belgian proofs a british proof on the receiver and the bolt-handle and the barrel is 6 grooves and fields and left hand twisted produced, also very unusual. Of course no gap in the reiver to clear the space for bullet-tips, as necessary, if caliber would be .30-06.
    No belgian proof-marks on the receiver wall wheresoever and it looks, there hadn’t been any before, or they were milled out before placing the “PH”-stamp. The style of the digits of the serial-# are matching on all 3 locations stamped to the rifle.

    If I read all these stamps together, I can think, that the original barrel in 7x57 was later bored out to 8x57, that might explain the the unusual twist and the number of grooves and fields. But still there is no explaining about the PH- stamp on the receiver.
     
  11. PRD1

    PRD1 Member

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    Just as a guess, has anyone considered that the rifle (which does show British proofmarks) might have been marked with the initials of the British company for which the rifle was made by FN, and which marketed it in Britain? I nominate Parker-Hale, as a possible candidate. They actually did sell FN 98 Mauser- actioned sporting rifles at least into the late 1960s (the 1200 series), and FN would certainly have marked the receivers on rifles ordered in significant numbers in any fashion desired by the customer.

    PRD1 - mhb - MIke
     
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  12. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO Member

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    That's good thinking. If it were a sporter, that might be a lead worth pursuing but, as we gather it remains in FN 24/30 military guise, and as there is no Parker-Hale legend on the rifle, it seems less likely, albeit more so than Mummy and Daddy giving it to young Phillip...
     
  13. PRD1

    PRD1 Member

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    Parker-Hale were very active in the pre-war period, and the principals of the company were noted participants at the Bisley meets. As they covered most all aspects of the rifleman's needs and wants, I'd not be surprised if they also imported and sold military-style arms, as well. As to the lack of a 'P-H legend' on the rifle: one might consider the prominent marking on the receiver ring (which marking is the topic which began this thread) as a P-H logo, mightn't one?
    I'd recommend looking through early P-H catalogs (which I personally do not have), or contacting the folks connected with one or more of the P-H historical websites, of which there are several, as a logical means of pursuing the possible connection between this rifle and that company.

    PRD1 - mhb - MIke
     
  14. bob falfa

    bob falfa Member

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    Dear collector-friends,

    first many thanks for your hints. I already asked FN, later I contacted wet dog publications, which are publishing a from my point of view very nice FN history-book. Then of course Parker-Hale and than the Birmingham proof-house. Basically no further informations, its hard for me to accept, that somebody cuts such an difficult and surely not cheap stamp only for a single use on one particular rifle. I guess we should keep the caliber in mind, the 8 mm Mauser is surely not widely used in countries or organisations, which have standardized 7 mm Mauser, .30-06 or 7,65 Belgian Mauser/Argentine, for logistical reasons.
    Still strange, interesting and "investigations" are ongoing......
     
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