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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a 1915 Gew98 in wretched shape recently at a gun show. It was all matching, except for the buttplate and lower band, which were missing. I bought it for parts and it was cheap enough, but when I got it home I found that it had a rod welded in the barrel.
I expect that it was a VFW or Bond drive rifle at one time. The firing pin on this one was not clipped. I believe most of the VFW and Bond rifles I have seen reported here were "neutralized" as the French describe such firearms.
My question:Why did they mutilate/deactivate the rifles? In 1918 the paranoia surrounding guns was not well-developed in the US. Was there a requirement stemming from the military, or from civilian gun suppliers afraid of a flood of war trophies ruining sales? Other bring-backs were not ruined this way, it seems.
 

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Demilitarisation of firearms was without any specific rules until the seventhies in my part of the world village. If I could have had a dollar for each warning I gave to those who were thinking that if a cartridge went smoothly into the chamber all was fine ... Hole drilled into the chamber, lead poured into the barrel, a "drop" welded into the chamber etc. etc. were not suspected by the unwary ones. They learned it the hard way!
NEVER, I would fire an unknown rifle without have taken apart the metal and the wood ... because of this precaution I still have all my fingers and both eyes. NEVER trust the seller's word about the condition of a rifle/handgun you want to shoot later on (he may not know it himself) ... evaluate yourself or ask somebody knowledgeable you trust. There are dangerous things out there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Demilitarisation of firearms was without any specific rules until the seventhies in my part of the world village. If I could have had a dollar for each warning I gave to those who were thinking that if a cartridge went smoothly into the chamber all was fine ... Hole drilled into the chamber, lead poured into the barrel, a "drop" welded into the chamber etc. etc. were not suspected by the unwary ones. They learned it the hard way!
NEVER, I would fire an unknown rifle without have taken apart the metal and the wood ... because of this precaution I still have all my fingers and both eyes. NEVER trust the seller's word about the condition of a rifle/handgun you want to shoot later on (he may not know it himself) ... evaluate yourself or ask somebody knowledgeable you trust. There are dangerous things out there!
I agree with you entirely. I was not tempted to fire this rifle in any case, given the terrible condition. A look down the barrel confirmed all the suspicions I had. I did not need to look further. I had bought it for parts, anyway.
However, I would still like to know why they were demillitarized in this fashion, if this was indeed a VFW or Bond Drive gun.
 

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My question:Why did they mutilate/deactivate the rifles? In 1918 the paranoia surrounding guns was not well-developed in the US. Was there a requirement stemming from the military, or from civilian gun suppliers afraid of a flood of war trophies ruining sales?
This question has been on my mind for years. I have two 88's that were vet bring backs, and one I suspect might have been a Liberty Bond Rifle. The bond rifle was complete except that the firing pin was snipped / broken off, and the bolthead was missing.

The bring backs were both duffle cut, snipped firing pins, missing the boltheads. Back in the '70's my Uncle, an older brother in law of my father, had an 88 that was brought back by his Dad or older brother. It was not duffle cut that I remember, (I was a school kid back then), it had a bolt head but the firing pin was snipped. I remember my Dad saying what a waste that some one did that. I recall that my Uncle said it had to be done to bring the rifle home.

I too am curious, was this a US Govt thing, or was it required by France?
 

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Hey Gus, what type of tire is you B.I.L.????????
No tire, he is a plumber, but I have to admit to tying a cord to the trigger of a rifle to test it. I was trimming branches on a tree in the front yard, when a neighbour stopped by, I handed him a Ruby pistol I had recently acquired, and let him shoot a few branches off, when he had emptied the mag, I said that I had just gotten the pistol and had been afraid to shoot it, but I thought it was safe after he shot it, he gave me a dirty look, and then realized that I was pulling his leg.

Another thing, many of the German anti tank rifles that were in many of the VFW halls had the barrel cut to demil them, I suspect that the reason that these weapons (including the standard issue rifles) were demilled was because they were the most powerfull rifles made for the military, and thus thought to be inappropriate, there may have been a worry about the use of incorrect munitions.
Best
Gus
 

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Good one on the Ruby Gus! Got a chuckle out of it. Seems you've been reading Dale Carnegie's book "Hoiw to Win Friends and Influence People!"

:clap:

- Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There is a board member who can tell you how to get the plugs out and restore the guns, but it is very time consuming.
Greatbliidildoe
Thanks. This one was not worth much attention, as it was in bad shape...really just suitable for parts.
I did chuck it in my lathe to try to bore out the plug from the front end, just for the experience, but it was really in there. It must have been welded electrically with the barrel used by the welder as the ground.
 

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There is a board member who can tell you how to get the plugs out and restore the guns, but it is very time consuming.
Greatbliidildoe
I've seen "plugs" give away and ... severely wound the shooter. NO WAY I would fire such a gun myself after a so called foolproof restoration. Talk is cheap, "certainty" is what counts. Somebody (I'm certainly not the only one) who saw a lot of barrels fly away because of "underestimation" of powers involved. Like I said before ... there are a lot of dangerous things out there.
 
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