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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked this up from a collector friend yesterday. He was showing me his large collection and I noticed this sitting in one of the racks. I was looking at it and he said he'd sell it to me. I was astonished, I've never seen one of these in person before, and an Austro-Hungarian capture Berdan II has been near the top of my "Holy Grail" list.

It's an 1880 dated Sestroretsk. Unfortunately, it's missing the cleaning rod, Austrian wire hangers, and none of the numbers match, but it's in fairly good shape for being 137 years old. The bore is pretty good and the stock is sound though. The metal is covered in old dried grease, which is why it looks brownish in the pictures.

Did the Austrian's issue these on a large scale, or were they more or less "cataloged" and put in storage?

I really wish this thing could talk, I bet it'd have a heck of a story to tell.
 

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Oak Leaves with Clusters Member
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I'm sure lots of Mosin collectors would have jumped on that one. I got one in similar condition years ago and later found one that had been reblued with the stock crudely refinished. It looked like something from Afghanistan. I had shot my antique condition one and decided to buy one just for a shooter. I had to learn to reload and cast bullets but ever since, it goes to the range with me every time I go. I love the black powder smoke and it is decently accurate at 100 yards.

They are an interesting part of Russian rifle history. Congratulations on your cool Berdan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys! I'm really happy with it.

I'm tempted to load for it, but I don't think I'd want to take the risk with this rare of a rifle. I'd hate to mess it up in any way. It looks good standing in my safe next to my Austrian Captured M91 Carcano
 

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Field Editor ~ GUNS Magazine, Co-Author ~ Serbian Army Weapons of Victory &PH - Kudu Safaris
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Morning Gents,

The captured Berdan II Rifles were issued to rear echelon troops or converted to flare guns.

Original Austro-Hungarian issue Berdan II Infantry Rifle from my Collection.

Rifle Gun Trigger Air gun Gun barrel


Wood Metal


Wood Plant stem Metal
Wood Shotgun Metal


Wood
Shotgun Wood Metal


Soldier Headgear Infantry Uniform Non-commissioned officer


A-H Landsturm w Berdan II Infantry Rifle. Note the ersatz bayonet scabbard. Some rifles were issued with the original sling swivels, as can be seen here, while others were converted with the addition of different types of ersatz sling swivels.

Gun Firearm Rifle Trigger Shotgun


I photographed the flare gun conversion in the collection of the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna.

Nice find! It's a shame somebody removed the ersatz wire sling swivels! Acquire any Austro-Hungarian manual and they are referred to as sling swivels.

These are "Hangers"

Fashion Fun Gesture Photography Performance


Repro rods turn up, but when they do, they are expensive.

Warmest regards,

JPS
 

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I haven't a clue as to why these photos posted in different sizes? I much prefer the smaller photos that can be opened and substantially enlarged.
 

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JPS--did the AH make ersatz bayonets for the BII?
 

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JPS--did the AH make ersatz bayonets for the BII?

Not per my recollection? All my notes are currently in storage along with my library, but based on memory, I don't believe so.

They did produced ersatz bayonets for the M1891 Three-Line Rifles, but they captured a huge number of rifles from Russian forces and were supplied even more by the Germans. The typical ersatz bayonet for the Russian M91 is similar in design to the cork-screw mounted bayonet in this photo. They are extremely rare! This particular example is of the same basic design, but was produced for the M1867/77 Werndl Rifles.

Tableware


It's possible that they produced a similar bayonet for the Berdan II, but I have never seen one or come across any reference that would confirm this.

Warmest regards,

JPS
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the info JPS!

I'll try to find a reproduction cleaning rod for it. I found a website that sells them for $100.

Do you or anyone else have any idea how these made their way to the U.S.? Some kind of Post-War Imports? Or would they have been brought over by some other means?
 

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All the remaining Berdans in Finnish Army storage were sold to US importers in the 1950s, iirc, only a few thousand--don't know of other sources of any quantity.
"Ye Olde Hunter" was advertising Berdan II rifles in 1959 for $13.95. (about $116 today) "The world's last lot of Berdan rifles". In January 1960 an ad from "International Firearms Corp" of St. Albans VT (sound familiar?) sold Berdan II rifles 1 for $12.50, 3 for $30, 5 for $45. Ammo $9.95 per 100 rounds.
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All the remaining Berdans in Finnish Army storage were sold to US importers in the 1950s, iirc, only a few thousand--don't know of other sources of any quantity.
"Ye Olde Hunter" was advertising Berdan II rifles in 1959 for $13.95. (about $116 today) "The world's last lot of Berdan rifles". In January 1960 an ad from "International Firearms Corp" of St. Albans VT (sound familiar?) sold Berdan II rifles 1 for $12.50, 3 for $30, 5 for $45. Ammo $9.95 per 100 rounds.
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According to M Palokangas In 1956 Finland sent their remaining 800 Berdan II rifles that were in their inventory to Interarmco
 

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Thanks for the info JPS!

I'll try to find a reproduction cleaning rod for it. I found a website that sells them for $100.

Do you or anyone else have any idea how these made their way to the U.S.? Some kind of Post-War Imports? Or would they have been brought over by some other means?
I might have one that works. I bought it thinking it was for an M91, but it seemed too large. The thread pattern fits an M91, the rod is just too long. Here's a link to the thread. http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?743450-Help-with-cleaning-rod-ID-Russian
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the info JPS!

I'll try to find a reproduction cleaning rod for it. I found a website that sells them for $100.

Do you or anyone else have any idea how these made their way to the U.S.? Some kind of Post-War Imports? Or would they have been brought over by some other means?
I might have one that works. I bought it thinking it was for an M91, but it seemed too large. The thread pattern fits an M91, the rod is just too long. Here's a link to the thread. http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?743450-Help-with-cleaning-rod-ID-Russian
Willy,

If that's a Berdan rod, I'd definetly be interested. I'll try to find a picture to compare it.
 

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Thanks for the info JPS!

I'll try to find a reproduction cleaning rod for it. I found a website that sells them for $100.

Do you or anyone else have any idea how these made their way to the U.S.? Some kind of Post-War Imports? Or would they have been brought over by some other means?

Sorry Dan!

I can't help based on comparative photos showing both a M70 and a M91 clearing rod together, but I do have this photo of the original rod from my matching 1874 dated M1870 Berdan II Infantry Rifle.

Trigger


Hope this helps?

Warmest regards,

JPS
 

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Occasionally, I see "M91 Berdan" bayonets advertised from an individual on ebay. Were any of the M70 Berdan bayonets converted to fit the M91 M/N? I have been trying to locate an M70 Berdan bayonet for awhile, and this is all have found.
 

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Yes, during WWI the Russians did utilize an unknown number of Berdan II bayonet blades to produce ersatz bayonets for the M1891 Three-Line Rifle. They are quite rare. The question is whether or not the seller knows the difference and has actually listed it accurately?
 
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