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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I filled a hole in my collection last week and it finally arrived today. She's all matched down to the screws and as the photos show, I've completely stripped the rifle and everything is in perfect order including the bore. Well, that is save for the duffle cut which I find to be an interesting point on this rifle. It bogles my mind in a good way as to why the rifle was duffle cut, usually that's an accepted sign of a bring back but the only war that would kinda make sense for would be ww1 but these apparently weren't available for rear line use in any appreciable quantity. Also it's odd that its through the buttstock but at least it'll be an easy repair as the buttplate lines and spaces everything out nicely and the cut is not through any proofs. I was thinking just black dyed epoxy in all the areas it is needed would be best. I've also thought about making repair pieces out of walnut but the grain wouldn't line up and probably would look worse. Anyways, with the help of Geladen I was able to find out the unit mark codes out to Bavarian Second Train Battalion, Provisions (rations) Column #3, Carbine #29. Rifle was obviously made by the Suhl consortium for Bavaria in 1877 as evidenced by the barrel and receiver markings. There was lots of dried on grease and I cleaned a good portion of it off but Ill get the rest once im back up in the rifle to fix the stock. Light rust is present on most parts that were left in the white but I don't expect much pitting if any at all after a boil. Barrel is a really nice plum color under the stockline and the white parts also remained white there. It's a clean example minus the duffle cut so I thought I'd post a bunch of reference photos. Rear sight ladder and leaf are serialized matching but the photo's weren't turning out clear. Interestingly there is no serial number on the slider.

Any ideas on what's the deal with the weird duffle cut on a rifle rarely seen cut? Any suggestions on what duffle cut repair would look best? Also, If you'd like to see a shooting update I have a post in the reloading section where I'm documenting testing an 11mm mauser reload method and this will be the rifle used. Cheers!
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That is a very, very nice Kar 71. I have no clue as to why it was duffle cut. Certainly the overall length was shorter than the WWII "duffle cut" length restriction for mailing a box home or possibly fitting into a GI duffle bag.

Mine is marked 6.D.1.145 or 6th (Magdeburg) Dragoons at Mainz, 1st Squadron, weapon #145.

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Very nice VCS Kar71. As for the duffel cut I’ve seen all kinds of odd places for them and in guns you wouldn’t expect. Perfect example a friend has sporting Mannlicher Schoenauer that was duffel cut at the wrist. This one in short could’ve been brought back from either war. I’ve also seen duffel cut rifles from both the Span Am and Boer Wars. (the latter were imported directly from England and later discovered to have cuts under the band).
 

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Nice carbine & thanks for sharing. I have a KAR 71 that is also duffel cut under the rear band. It's all matching except the bolt head and extractor. Mine was issued to the 7th Dragoons and is marked on the butt plate 7D.5.166. I also have a GEW 91 that is duffel cut under the rear band as well as a Wehrmangewehr in 8.15x46R built on an Oberndorf receiver dated 1918 cut under the rear band. I have seen several KAR 88s cut under the rear band also. I suspect that in the last year of WW II anything and everything in Germany that could fire was issued in the last ditch effort to save the fatherland.
Dan
 

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Never seen a duffle cut kar71, but I had a duffle cut 1871 Jager rifle. Either way a very nice scarce carbine, and especially one made by one of the suhl makers. Thank you for sharing, but be warned they multiply! After you get one you kind of want to go after all the manufacturers of them!

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Iirc some 71's saw use in the final days of WWII with those old man militias the Germans armed with anything they could find. Maybe?
I'm not challenging you @ClayBelt but I suspect you are correct. Do you have any documentation on that? The reason is that when I wrote my first book on the blackpowder sharpshooter in combat, I stopped at WW I b/c that's the last time I could prove that a blackpowder cartridge rifle was used in combat (German led Askaris in Tanganika). I suspected the Model 71 or M71/84 were used in WW II, but never found documentation.

BTW, read one GI's account where he stated he could distinguish between weapons by their sound (this is true). One day he heard an unfamiliar sound and investigated. It was a muzzle loader fired by an old German in his hunting outfit. The GI disarmed him (and crocodile tears from my cheeks after reading it), smashed the rifle and told the old man to go home. Likely it was a treasured jager rifle (more crocodile tears).

Oh, in the historic documentary Hogan's Heroes Sgt. Schultz sometimes had a Krag rifle.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Could be ww2 civi confiscation or some weird last ditch sort of deal, I just thought ww1 made the most sense because imperial Germany was actually using the 71 jagers and IG’s in rear units already to free up more modern arms for the front. I would reckon we’d see photos of kar 71s in the same role too had they not already surplused most. Plus the railway rations unit would make sense for a role the 71’s filled that being rail way monitors. Obviously this is all just guessing as Theres no way to know the rifles history for sure but am I the only one thinking that ww1 path to import or are y’all pretty sure it’s a ww2 bring back?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Never seen a duffle cut kar71, but I had a duffle cut 1871 Jager rifle. Either way a very nice scarce carbine, and especially one made by one of the suhl makers. Thank you for sharing, but be warned they multiply! After you get one you kind of want to go after all the manufacturers of them!

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Very pretty rifles, but are the front sling loops replaced or did they make standard shaped front loops too? I’ve got a cherry Kar 88 to go with this rifle. Goal is to have every German cavalry carbine since unification including the werder and dreyse. Maybe the 11mm Mauser converted chassepot carbines too. I’m sure I’ll weasel my way to that goal eventually.
 

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I'm not challenging you @ClayBelt but I suspect you are correct. Do you have any documentation on that? The reason is that when I wrote my first book on the blackpowder sharpshooter in combat, I stopped at WW I b/c that's the last time I could prove that a blackpowder cartridge rifle was used in combat (German led Askaris in Tanganika). I suspected the Model 71 or M71/84 were used in WW II, but never found documentation.
Hearsay on my end, I don't have any definitive documentation I can think of. However, since Italy was pulling out Vetterlis for their second-rate (colonial) units and Japan was pulling out Muratas and matchlocks, I wouldn't be surprised either.
 

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Very pretty rifles, but are the front sling loops replaced or did they make standard shaped front loops too? I’ve got a cherry Kar 88 to go with this rifle. Goal is to have every German cavalry carbine since unification including the werder and dreyse. Maybe the 11mm Mauser converted chassepot carbines too. I’m sure I’ll weasel my way to that goal eventually.
No they're completely original numbered match to both carbines. From the books there are two different styles of rear bands for the slings. Oh, and did have the chassepot kar71 conversion at one time. A good collector friend of mine has it now. That carbine was unit marked to a train Battalion, and it was completely all matching. We did a trade deal on it but I know one day I'll get another. Personally I really do love those conversions.

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Very pretty rifles, but are the front sling loops replaced or did they make standard shaped front loops too? I’ve got a cherry Kar 88 to go with this rifle. Goal is to have every German cavalry carbine since unification including the werder and dreyse. Maybe the 11mm Mauser converted chassepot carbines too. I’m sure I’ll weasel my way to that goal eventually.
The KAR 71 was made with both a regular sling swivel or a split ring on the rear band. I've often wondered why. Hopefully some day someone will start a census noting the maker, swivel type and unit marks as well as any other thing that comes to mind. Maybe date of issue also.
Regards
Dan
 
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TB is Feld-Backerei (field bakery) & TP is for Proviant-Kolonne (supply column).
TPD - Pferde-Depot (horse depot); TF- Fuhrpark-Kolonne - (transport or park column): TL - Feldlazarett (hospital);TS - (Sanitasts-Kompagnie).
 
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