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I just noticed this board and thought I would post some pics that maybe of interest. This is a german guild rifle built between the world wars out of surplus and scrapped rifles for sporting purposes. It is a hunting rifle in 7.9x57 made from a kar98 action. it has flip up rear sight leafs, set triggers, and a quick detach 4x87 post reticule Norris scope. Bolt handle and safety are altered to clear the scope. My grand father brought this back from europe after WWII. It served as his hunting rifle up till he stopped in 1991. He got it in early 1945 and said it was picked up off a sniper that had been harassing his company. I have read that the wehrmacht rounded up scoped sporting rifles in military caliber and this may be one, but is just the story. Anyway just sharing 2 shots I took of it after he gave it to me this year. The sling is not original, it is a postwar israeli sling, but is of the kind that he said was on it. It also came with a leather "AKAH" marked leather scope case.
 

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Sweet rifle. love to get more pictures of the actual claw mount. Very interesting and nice rifle!

Similarily, I have a 8x60 Mannlicher Schoenauer that was an ex sniper rifle as well. It was captured in 1945 in Munich. NEAT STUFF!
 

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I had one too

I had a rifle very similar to yours. It had the double set triggers, but was 8X63. I guess this was because at one time regular people were not allowed to own military caliber weapons. It was very slim and carried very nicely. I didn't keep it long enough to really enjoy it very much. It was a very nice piece and I regret selling it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will try to get some pics of the mounts in the next week or so, I have alot going on for acouple days. The mounts look very custom, I have never seen any like them. And by custom I don't mean they appear rustic and hand made, they are quite nice, but they made be hand made under part of the guild system. They are case hardened and the windage is adjustable on the rear mount using a 4.5mm or so square socket wrench (i do not have one) like other german mounts I have seen. They are also made as such so That the irons are still usable.
 

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Some more comments and historical information

A interesting thread and a nice rather "typical" German middle-class hunting rifle. Most of the older ones - previously in longtime private possession of fellow hunters - have ended up in the United States, due to the events of March-July 1945 ;-). Well, that is the course of fate, and the lot of those who lost the war, I fear...

Now, a few comments.

I. On liberated arms, stolen family heirlooms, and due spoils of war

1.
With all due respect for the servicemen who fought a good cause valiantly, the usual "sniper rifle" tale is just that: military lore and a tall tale. It's the same with the tens of thousands of German WW II bringback pistols, every single one of them picked up from the clutched hand of a dead Waffen-SS tank commander :-D.

2.
In reality, the historical picture is more mundane.
a) All captured German troops who still had their weapons had to surrender them, often while passing a large gun pile. There are countless pictures around which show the vanquished soldiers passing one by one and throwing their arms on these large heaps.

b) Frequently, the long arms were destroyed by tanks running over them. The US armed forces (contrary to the Russian and French practice) usually did not inspect, repair, and store the captured German weaponry, but rather made them unusable.

c) Before that happened however, ordnance personnel or quartermaster staff would often summarily look over the pile. If something looked very unsual and intriguing, it might be pulled out and be shown to an officer in command (might be a secret German weapon, after all?). Handguns were usually picked up and either kept by those who had the factual opportunity to do so, and otherwise bartered (or sold) to other soldiers. Barter was and is a very common opportunity and pastime with soldiers in all armies, times and ages.

d) There was a very vivid demand for war souvenirs, and the handy and nicely sized pistols (or revolvers) were the most popular souvenirs, rather than a clumsy and hard to ship rifle ("duffle bag cuts"). "Nazi paraphernalia" scored a close second as to souvenir popularity.

e) Since a souvenir is intended to testify, it almost always either was acquired together with a tale (if I give a bottle of booze, I may well demand to get a nice story about the pistol I receive, such as to tell the folks at home), and or a tale spun shortly afterwards. For those readers who now think of their aged relatives, let me add that I see nothing illicit or dishonest or in this; it is the common practice of "military lore".

3.
After the occupation, all civilian owners of firearms (hunters, shooters, collectors, regardless who) had to declare and surrender these to the occupation forces. This practice was the same in all our German occupation zones. Failure to comply was punishable with death.

4.
The surrendered weapons would be sifted. Those "at the source" '(which could be as lowly as a private in quartermaster services) had the chance and therefore the "right of first spoils", if not de iure, so de facto. The weapons who remained would often be looked at by officers or other higher brass. In the Soviet occupation zone (Middle and East Germany), majors, colonels and especially generals would regularly thus acquire the finer combined hunting weapons, especially if engraved or otherwise adorned. This was a consented practice of self-reward for presumed merit.

5.
What remained after these steps, would then wait for its eventual destiny, and in the meanwhile be given or traded off to other soldiers by those who oversaw the storage piles. Again, this was a consented practice ("war souvenirs") - after all, why not give to an interested comrade what otherwise would just have to be destroyed?

6.
What remained unclaimed - just as the military weaponry - would eventually wander to the foundry / into the smelter. In the French and Russian controlled territories, conquered military weaponry went into inspection, refurbishment and storage (e.g. the many "Russian" and Ukrainian Kar 98k that have flooded the market now) or would be re-issued to police, to colonial troops (Indochine Francaise), or would be sent to befriended nations and liberation movements.

For illustration, see here: http://www.panchogun.com/FVWebPhotos/FV-Collectors-in-WW2-5x100px.jpg


II. On German sniper (military sharpshooter) weaponry

1.
In the Great War (which was later to be called the First), German sharpshooters were indeed initially equipped with whatever telescopic rifle could be scrounged. Many of those were patriotic donations from civilian hunters; this was necessary because the sharpshooters themselves, though frequently taken from Jäger batallions, and having a civilian background of being foresters, hunters, or poachers (often!) did not themselves possess the expensive, newly-developed and rather unsporting telesope rifles. Officers, who might have privately owned such guns, were not snipers.

2.
This was no longer true for World War II. The German Wehrmacht's sharpshooters (small in number and under-trained, as with every other army at the time) started with a few old scoped Karabiner 98b from Weimar Republic Reichswehr times, which had remained packed in cosmoline, neglected and unissued for 15 years: the so-called "Karabiner 98b" were actually long rifles of Gewehr 98 provenance with a bent bolt and a modernized interwar tangent sight. Then, the scoping of Kar 98k began. The Wehrmacht did not use private or civilian rifles for sniping purposes; only the Kriegsmarine issued hunting rifles to their arctic weather parties (who incidentally not only fought polar bears, but also Russians, Danes and Americans in the eternal ice), and the Luftwaffe issued some survival rifles and esp. combination guns to aircrews. Also, the German occupation forces installed a military hunting administration, especially in the East.

3.
While in the end of the war, many auxiliary weapons were pressed into service, the Wehrmacht never used civilian rifles (officers' handguns are another story). However, the German Volkssturm, the last-ditch people's militia, was raised in autumn 1944. These last resort troops consisting of previously exempt civilian workers, invalids, old men and boys, were to be armed by the party, rather than by the Wehrmacht which would not help with any weaponry (the Gauleiter in their military function as Reichsverteidigungskommissare were also the nominal commanders of the Volkssturm, though the single units at the frontline were to be subordinated under military command). The scrounging and scavenging collections of the party however yielded very little in terms of weaponry, as the few existing archival sources on the Volkssturm can show us. Basically, the civilian rifles were kept by the owners, and all that could be drawn together were some training rifles from the party's own formations, namely HJ and SA. Most Volkssturm small arms were thus foreign weaponry (mostly Italian Carcanos but also Lebels and Dutch Mannlichers).
 

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Story it's gone

I sold this rifle over twenty years ago. I do think I made an error in caliber. I think it was 8X60 rather than 8X63.

Biff
 

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Guys,

This is great information. Thanks for sharing. Keep it coming if you have more to share.

Per 8x60, I have a Mannlicher High Velocity PreWar that I think may be my favorite rifle of all time. I still hunt with it. You can see pics of it above in the Mannlicher section (still reparing the site).
 

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Great info thanks Carcano!
 

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"Liberating" guns from occupied Germany

Thanks for the flowers, Jimmy C ! :) *blush*

Here is a beautiful find from the old (second) Italian Firearms Forum, to further corroborate and illustrate my description:

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magg52
Posted - 01/25/2005 : 11:50:55 PM
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I have a Carcano Cavalry Carbine with the following marks and serial no.:
"FNA-B" is stamped on top of barrel by the chamber, below that on the left is stamped the ser. no. YG 4102, (...) on the stock is the matching serial number YG 4102. (...)

It was brought home from the WW2 by my uncle who was with the 101st AB Div and confiscated weapons from German soliders and civilians after the war. Any help would be greatly appreciated,


magg52
Posted - 01/29/2005 : 6:06:21 PM
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Thanks to the help and great information I received from Airdale, I believe mine is late 1943 production. When my uncle died, we found about 30 long guns and 10 handguns still packed in cosmoline in wooden crates in the attic of his house. He shipped all the guns home from Germany while he was in the occupation forces waiting to be sent home after the war. Also packed were nazi swords and knives, just an amazing collection. How he got them home is beyond me.

Could there be a better illustration?!
:)

Yours,
Alexander
 

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Photos after World War One

Originally posted by Bill in Indiana:

Bill In Indiana
Posted - 08/02/2005 : 12:05:26 AM
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I came across these two pics from a 1919 New York Times story about the disarming of Germany....I'd have cried if I'd been there!

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/Bill In Indiana/200581235935_Pistl18.jpg

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/Bill In Indiana/2005820153_Pistl182.jpg



jeff barnes
Posted - 08/02/2005 : 8:28:09 PM
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My father served in Germany during WW2. His unit, the 107th cavalry was often first in German towns and took their surrender. He often spoke (with tear in eye) of the many fine schuetzen type target rifles they siezed with all the other weapons of war that were turned in. All were leaned against the nearest curb and had an M8 armored car or M5 Stuart tank driven over them.
He did manage to bring home a Norwegian colt 1911 which I own now complete with bring-back paper.
 
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