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One of the most substantial and most captivating research threads in the Old Board:

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Antonio
Gunboards Member
USA
Posted - 04/02/2007 : 7:06:18 PM
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I just picked up a 8mm Mod 41 from a friend of mine that has had it for several years but I could never get him to part with it. I attached a few photos of the proof marks

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/Antonio/2007421957_MVC-700S.JPG
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/Antonio/20074219529_MVC-708S.JPG
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/Antonio/20074219547_MVC-710S.JPG
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Can I get some help with ID. The front sight has been built up and a notch has been cut in the top of the receiver for the extra length case. The barrel is very nice and I have shot it with cast bullets. It uses the standard carcano clip that I modified to hold the 8mm rounds. I was very happy to get it.



Arditi
Posted - 04/03/2007 : 09:38:23 AM
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Very nice!



DMala
Posted - 04/03/2007 : 09:47:21 AM
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Dear Antonio, the stamps are different from the way HK conversions normally look. Something interesting in any case.



DocAV
Posted - 04/03/2007 : 11:00:03 AM
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Nothing special, the calibre indication "8x57" and the Eagle proofs with letter "N" (Nitro) are West German commercial proofing, 1989. I can't decifer the shield marking next to the eagles which is the Proof House where the work was done.

Obviously originally imported to Germany in the 1980s, from wherever (Egypt, Syria???) and then passed on into the US market, if they were overstocked in Germany (even though the number of collectors in Europe is reasonably large, the paperwork to acquire a shooter is quite burdensome in some nations...so the excess gets shipped to the USA)
Nice one, Antonio.



DMala
Posted - 04/03/2007 : 12:59:00 PM
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I contacted a friend in Germany and according to his feedback there might be something strange about these stamps. The "Eagle+N" stamp is a German civilian 1939 to 1945 proof stamp, which really has no reason to exist on an Armaguerra M41 made probably in mid-late 1943. The shield stamp seems a post WWII German civilian nitro proof.



Antonio
Posted - 04/04/2007 : 12:49:31 AM
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I found out that the eagle over N proof is a Krieghoff mark from late in the war. It is similar to the W. German mark that is mentioned. What is also seen not too clearly in the photo is a 4UT proof next to the RE Mark. I also found out that the 345 is the date of rework. So I think this could be a very late rework by Krieghoff and not a recent import.



Antonio
Posted - 04/04/2007 : 12:56:39 AM
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Just taked to the former owner of the gun and he has had the gun since the mid 1950's so I think that the 1989 proof is not correct. Also there is no import markings on the rifle so it could not be a recent import to the USA.



DMala
Posted - 04/04/2007 : 4:27:42 PM
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Hi Antonio, if I were in your shoes I would ask your source to prove that the eagle+N is an HK stamp. I have a document showing it is a civilian nitro proof stamp used 1939-45, used nationwide.

If you post a picture of the front sight, we can see if it has the rather typical look of the HK conversions. A detail of the receiver notch could also be interesting. Are the bolt parts electopenciled to match?

Another fact agains an HK provenance (but not a proof by itself), is that the rear sight leaf was typically removed, beause useless.



War is Peace
Posted - 04/04/2007 : 5:34:59 PM
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I don't know what it is, but I know it's NOT one of the late war HK 8mm conversions. Note that the distinctive German style recoil bolt is missing. I think it's a post war, commercial conversion.



Antonio
Posted - 04/05/2007 : 12:32:06 AM
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Thanks for the all input on this rifle. I find it facinating all the different opinions that someting like this raises. I have attached a picture of the front sight and notch. I cannot make out the proof on the top of the reciever. The gun does not have eltctro pencil marks. Thanks for the help.

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/Antonio/20074503057_MVC-712F.JPG
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/Antonio/20074503123_MVC-713F.JPG
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DMala
Posted - 04/05/2007 : 09:57:33 AM
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Hi Antonio, thanks so much for sharing the details and make all of us learn.

The front sight is not the typical HK replacement, which has the blade set on a flat base, below which there is the dovetail. I can not comment on the receiver notch.

The lack of the K98K-style recoil bolt is not an issue, it was not installed on the HK conversions of the Mod. 41s.

Based on the information I have, I would see the following facts:

- The eagle nitro-proof stamps are a civilian stamp used up to April 1945.

- There is a shield-like stamp whose significance is not completely clear. Above is the number 345, also of unclear significance

- There is a caliber designation stamp, the style is not like an HK conversion stamp.

- The front sight is not like and HK conversion replacement. The rear sight leaf was not removed like frequently done in the HK conversions.

- The bolt is not electropenciled like an HK conversion.

- While a receiver notch could be done realively easily by many, a barrel reboring from 6.5mm to 8mm can be done only by a specialized facility.

- The 4UT stamp is normal for a mid-1943 Armaguerra.

- The HK conversions crosssed out the original Italian serial number. In this sample this was not done.

- One or two similar pieces have been reported in the Italian press. As far as I know, no "classic" HK conversions have surfaced in Italy (Italian readers, please confirm if this is true), they all seem to be bringbacks to the USA.

I would suggest a couple more investigations: how many grooves does the barrel have? I can check my two HK M41s and report what I see. Is the stock number matching?


Switching to opinions now, my feeling is that it is not a German military conversion. This can not be presented as a fact, just as a very likely interpretation. The question remains of who/where/when/why would this have been done. The piece remains a very interesting finding.



airdale
Posted - 04/05/2007 : 11:37:54 AM
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Antonio if you plan on shooting any .323 dia. jacketed bullets in this rifle you may want to slug the bore first. If this is a civilian conversion done in the mid forties it could have possibly also been converted to the "J" bore size (.321 dia).



Franchi
Posted - 04/05/2007 : 8:14:50 PM
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Nice rifle. This is a Genuine German war time 8mm conversion. It was made before the "HK" single shot conversion rifles. It was made to be a repeater. These are prototype rifles with commercial proofs. 3.45 is March 45, when it was test proofed. The Eagle "N's" are the commercial test proofs. The marking 8/57 12.8g is also a commercial marking, I believe it is the powder weight or loading 12.8 grams. The Germans couldn't get these repeater rifles to work correctly so not very many were made. This is a rare variation, and I would be happy to have it in my collection.
Want to sell it :)

Is your stock wood marked on the lower butt spine, or anywhere else with an Eagle J?

The front sight looks like it is a German HK M38 sight.

The marking above the 3.45, to me, looks like the standard Italian shield over a crown inside an oval marking.

I have notes on one M38 Cav. carbine and three M41 long rifles reported (to Dick Hobbs) marked exactly like yours. Two are Armaguerra rifles QF84xx and GH4712. These rifles are not marked by "HK" and they use the original Italian serial number.

David Franchi



DMala
Posted - 04/05/2007 : 10:56:14 PM
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Originally posted by Franchi
Nice rifle. This is a Genuine German war time 8mm conversion. It was made before the "HK" single shot conversion rifles. It was made to be a repeater. These are prototype rifles with commercial proofs.(...)David Franchi
Hi David, given that there is agreement that the proofs are of the commercial type, then the interpretation on whether or not the work was done during WWII (by HK or others) is probably subjective, based on the interpretation of the numbers as a date or else. Personally I do not consider it to be likely, but certainly it can not be excluded completely.

I just disagree on the identification of the front sight as being made in HK style. Attached is a picture of a M38HK front sight, and I have seen another HKM38SR also with the same typical HK replacement sight.

Also, the shield above the numbers is not the Regio Esercito acceptance. See picture attached, where the crown has the widest point at the top, not at the bottom. Also the oval is missing in Antonio's sample.

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/DMala/200745225423_HK_M38SR_FrontSight.jpg
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/DMala/200745225546_REI_Acceptance.jpg
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War is Peace
Posted - 04/05/2007 : 11:37:23 PM
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Originally posted by DMala
...The lack of the K98K-style recoil bolt is not an issue, it was not installed on the HK conversions of the Mod. 41s.
Gentlemen:

I still don't know what the subject rifle is, but I guess we all agree it is not an HK conversion.

DMala, I have to disagree with your contention that the M41 HK conversions did not have the German recoil bolt. Every example I ever saw (admittedly less than 6, perhaps 7 examples), had the bolt/lug.

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/war is peace/2003930155522_Carcano Volk2.jpg

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/war is peace/2003930155415_Carcano Volk.jpg

Concerning Dave's post that the rifle is a predecessor to the HK conversions, I have to plead ignorance. I never heard that theory before. If these pre-HK conversions were made in March, 1945, it really doesn't leave more than a month or so for all of the HK conversions to be standardized and completed.

My gut still tells me that this is a post war commercial conversion.



Antonio
Posted - 04/06/2007 : 01:19:56 AM
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Yes Franchi The first photo I submitted of the Eagle proofs that is closest to the 345 mark is a Eagle J mark. It is not very clear in the photo. I talked with Dick about this rifle before I owned it and he agrees with your assenment. Still trying to find info on the Crown & Shield Proof. Also found the Eagle N mark in Kenyon's book on Lugers. On page 42 this proof is listed as # 57 and is described as Quote "Krieghoff commercial proof found on late commercials" The quest continues. Thanks for the help.



DMala
Posted - 04/06/2007 : 1:37:52 PM
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War is Peace, apologies, I should have written:

"The lack of the K98K-style recoil bolt is not an issue, it was not installed on ALL the HK conversions of the Mod. 41s."

My two samples, although sporterized, do not have it. Also, another sample posted online a while ago, with complete original stock, did not have it. It is interesting to see that your sample still has the rear sight leaf. It also has the typical HK front sight replacement.



Franchi
Posted - 04/09/2007 : 8:22:36 PM
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Above is a picture of a commercial Eagle "N" marked German K-98 made by bcd. The proof date is 245 (Feb. 1945). The M41 Carcano in this thread is dated 345 (March 45). There are reported German K98 rifles with commercial Eagle "N" proofs. So as I stated this Carcano was proofed in 1945. There is a pretty good article in an old Gun Digest on German proof marks. In this article they stated the German Eagle "J" mark (also on this M41 Carcano) is a mark for arms re-proved after repair or alteration. Below is part of what I wrote in an older "thread" on this Forum on the "HK" Carcano, note the 1945 Dates...
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I looked over the photos on a better screen and would like to say.... The mark above the 345 might be the marking of the German Proof House who test proofed the rifle. I can't tell what it is.
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The front sight isn't an "HK" sight, it looks like the standard Italian M41 sight which has been welded to make it taller (probably by the Germans).
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There is no doubt in my mind this rifle was test proofed by the Germans in March 1945.

David Franchi
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OLD POST

I have a translation of documents from the German Federal Archive in Freiburg RH12-? (complete number can't be read) "Bundesarchive-Militarchiv, Freiburg Germany, Referance # RH-12?". Suppled and translated by Wolfgang Riepe of Germany.
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The chief of the German armament and the supreme commander of the recruit-army (levy) makes up secret notice numbered 1813/43 at January 8. 1945.
"Der Chef der Heeresrüstung und Oberbefehlshaber des Ersatzheeres verfaßt am 8.Januar. 1945 unter Nummer 1813/43 eine geheime Aktennotiz."
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These files contain discussions by the Chief of engineering at the Waffenamt WaA, Infantry-school in Döberitz, and Supreme Commander or the Recruit-army (levy) about converting Carcanos, testing them, their faults etc. The first document is dated Jan. 8, 45
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From this document (short description, there are 12 pages) it appears the Germans started experimenting with converting Carcanos (Karab. 408( i ), Moschetto Mod. 38 & Gewehr 210 ( i ), Fucile Mod.41 to 7.92 in Jan 1945. (it states three plants were to produce an output of 5000 rifle conversions daily. Cautious estimate will expect only 500 a day) they were still testing them in March 1945. They tried to convert the Carcanos to "repeaters" but gave up and made them single shot in March 1945. They tried everything to make them "repeaters" altered Italian clips, their own "stronger clip", even a 4 round "fixed built in magazine". They couldn't get them to function reliably, and didn't like the drop out clip. (the Germans were worried they couldn't produce enough clips to supply all the rifles and clips would have to be re-used)
.
They state the following about the clips: Durability of the clips is not sufficient. After long use the sides of the frame of the cartridges will bend conically. So the empty frame does not fit in the Magazine and will fall out down the hole. After making a clip of stronger material (could this be the Mystery clip shown above?) the empty clip will fit the magazine better when recharged. The empty clip will hang up at the downward mouth of the magazine and can be fetched and saved by the shooter. The shooter gets the opportunity to use the clip for a longer time.
.
They were originally going to issue the 8mm rifles to the German Army but they weren't accurate enough or reliable. They were then going to issue them to the Volkssturm and factory guards but decided against this too and to only use Italian rifles in the original 6.5 caliber for the Volkssturm and factory guards.. They decided to issue the 8mm rifles only for auxiliary duties.

David Franchi



Antonio
Posted - 04/13/2007 : 2:22:15 PM
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I want to thank all of you guys for your input as to the orgin on this rifle. I have had extensive talks with Dick Hobbs and Woflgang Riepe regarding the markings. There is still research being conducted and I will uinform you all of the results. Thre are two schools of thought on it that is apparent. That is a Late war conversion or a recent commerical import. I am tending to lean to the Late war conversion based on other exapmles that are known with similian markings and from the history of this rifle which I can trace back to the early 1950's. That is what I like about our common intrest. There are alsways questions asked and it is exciting when we find some of the answers. I plan on keeping this rifle in my collection so any new information will add to it's provenience. Thank you again.



Antonio
Posted - 04/28/2007 : 1:06:18 PM
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I just got an E-Mail from Wolfgang Riepe regarding the orgin of my rifle. He inquired at the Proof house in Austria and received this reply. I wanted to share it with you all as this solves the mystery of this rifles orgin. All we have to do is find the rest of them. Thanks for all the input.

Dear Anthony,
now I am proud to congratulate You to Your M91/41 with the civil German provemarks.
I have just got a email of the prove office at Ferlach/Kärnten, Austria (see attachment).
Unexpectedly they justify that 225 Rifles have been proved in March 1945.

I will try to translate the note so correctly as possible:
(own remarks in Italic):

The rifle was proved in march 1945 (345) in Ferlach with a new barrel
(indeed it was a rerifled barrel as the Italian marks show)
with cal. 8x57 IS, weight of bullet 12,8 grams, (length of bullet 34 mm).
(This is the length of the standard Ss-bullet 8x57 IS Ss = schweres Spitzgeschoss = heavy spitzer bullet)
Between 1939-1945 the German civil provemarks and the escutcheon of Kärnten were used.
The calibre 8x57 and 12,8 g were stamped in the usual form at that time.
During March 1945 there were sent 225 pieces of Italian rifles to the prove office for approval.
Kind regards
Christian Pagitz
Beschussamt Ferlach (Prove-office Ferlach)
9170 Ferlach
Austria
phone 04227 2576
fax 04227 4174


Now friends look for the other 224 pieces, which have existed.
The Ferlach conversion is a totally other one than the Krieghoff conversion.
Perhaps indeed it was an order of the Gauleiter Rainer of Kärnten, to convert Italian rifles for use at Volkssturm-Units (levy-units) nearly at the end of the war.
Rainer was responsible for the armament of the levy.
At Ferlach there was only a civil prove office (as now) and no German prove officer was associated with.

Relating to Rainer there are no orders to be found until now.
Anyway, the justification of Ferlach elects Your rifle to a very seldom piece.
You never can tell with Carcanos says Winnie the Pooh.

Anthony, if it takes not to much trouble, please make some more photos with high resolution of Your rifle, especially from the bolt, the receiver, and all the other parts for my own collection of pictures. There is time enough. Please send them via e-mail.

Kind regards and please pardon my mistrust, but it is better to ask for trustful sources than to assert unproved things.

Kind regards

Wolfgang



Arditi
Posted - 04/28/2007 : 10:34:04 PM
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Very interesting! Thanks for sharing.
Arditi



DMala
Posted - 04/29/2007 : 10:44:49 PM
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Antonio, congratulations for the great news, and thanks for bringing your M41 conversion to the attention of this board: this started some questioning that led to an exciting discovery of long forgotten records.



WaPrüf2
Posted - 04/29/2007 : 11:30:02 PM
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Antonio, I second DiMala's comments. First-class work; please extend our thanks to Wolfgang as well.
 
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