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Just picked up a very grotty, bolt mismatched (but same serial letter block) OEWG (Steyr) M71, with the "all seeing eye" over an outwards-facing right-hand palm stamp about 1/2 inch high, on the buttstock on the LHS. However, the Bore is spectacular...as in Mint.

The "Masonic Eye" and the (red) Palm are both marks of the Loyal Orange Order of (protestant) Ireland ( Ulster). Could this be a "Howth Rifle" (a shipment of M71s and Steyr M1904s landed in Ireland for the Ulster Volunteers before WW I?.

Otherwise the rifle is missing sling loops, cleaning rod, has a broken rear sight flat spring, and is missing the bolt-retaining-washer and screw; other wise it is complete, although the woodwork looks well "drilled" and the metal has been covered with a thick dark lacquer or varnish, or has acquired "patina". The Bolt face shows absolutely no sign of firing ( no primer ring, perfectly round firing pin point,, etc). The rifle carries the usual "FW" acceptance markings, and the receiver-barrel unit is 5xxx S, whilst the bolt is 3xxx S; the stock I think has the same ## as the metal work (needs cleaning to be sure), and the actual acceptance date is obscured by varnish etc on the RHS of the receiver.

Anybody (JPS etc) with a better knowledge of these particular rifles ( wholesale prior to WW I) have any further info they can supply.??

I picked it up as a project repair/Movie gun use (I have only ONE Gew71,(long) and two Kar71s); another will " make the numbers" in case of need. Otherwise it will go well with my two Steyr M1904 Irish UVF Mannlichers...

regards,
Doc AV

and Happy New Year to you all!!!...and a coming-up Gong Hei Fa Cai to our Chinese friends as well (early February)
 

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The Howth M71s were brought in by the Republicans, ( specifically by Erskine Childers, his wife and some friends, aboard his yacht, the "Aasgard"), not the Ulster Volunteers, on 26 July 1914 before World War I began. They brought in 1,500 rifles and 49,000 rounds of ammunition.
The UVF brought in all sorts of other arms, including M71s; if I remember correctly they got them from Benny Spiro in Hamburg.
There is an extensive body of literature in English from both sides on their activities in stocking up with arms, as well as an article in DWJ in German.
When the Republicans were planning the Easter Rebellion they specifically asked the Germans for M71s; the Germans replied that they could not supply ammo - even though they had resumed manufacture of it in 1915/1916 (perhaps only for the Navy) - and supplied captured Russian M91 Mosins and bayonets and ammunition in "sanitized" crates instead but they never made it ashore.*
Some of the original Howth M71s apparently showed up in the Easter Rebellion and their use (with unjacketed lead bullets) may have been the origin of the the charge that the Republicans were using dum-dums.

*Except for a couple salvaged later from the wreck of the scuttled "Aud".
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Wapruf2

I had confused the "Howth" (Republican) rifles with those for the Loyalists(Ulster etc).

On another point, the re-commencement of manufacture of M71/84 ammo (Flat Point) was due to a request from the embattled African German Colonies ( the Asia-Pacific ones had by 1915 all been over-run by the Allies or Japan).
A shipment was prepared for delivery to Von Lettow-Vorbeck by Dirigible...however, they had to abort the voyage when already half way there ( over Abyssinia). Since the Dirigible Fleet was run by the Kriegsmarine, I suppose a "Naval Requisition" would be correct for an order of 11mm Mauser ammo.
BTW, the African Colonial Askari units initially were issued with M71s and some M71/84 , but as supplies of ammo ran out, they started using captured Magazine Lee Enfields (MLE) and also Portuguese M1904 Vergueiros.

regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.
 

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I have posted some corrections and additions to my previous post.

Insofar as the resumption of manufacture of M71 ammunition in 1915 and 1916 is concerned, per Windisch & Kellner, Die Munition zum Mausergewehr M71, Schwäbisch Gmund,. 2005, S. 33, resumption of M71 (not M71/84) ammo after termination of production of M71/84 ammo in the Spring of 1889 was intended for the Schutztruppen, rear echelon units, watchmen, etc. A longer use (hence my reference to the Navy) was in Abkommlaufe (subcaliber devices) made from JB 71 actions used by the Kaiserliches Marine and evidently the Reichsmarine, since Simson was authorised to make JB71 barrels in the post-WWI period and Polte made M71 cartridges for them as late as 1930 (Windisch & Kellner, op. cit., S.32.)

There were two ship deliveries of supplies to the Schutztruppe D.O.A. in WWI which included MGs, ammunition for the same, "modern" rifles and large quantities of ammunition; I have not seen a precise breakdown by type of rifle ammunition so I do not know if it was 11mm or 7.9mm, nor have I seen a breakdown of what is meant by "modern" rifles, although photos show the Schutztruppe armed with Kar 98as.

A cargo manifest of the Zeppelin L59 is published in Goebel, Afrika zu unsern Füßen, Berlin, Koehler, 1925, S.50; an extract follows; note the weights, important in loading the airship:
311,900 rounds of ammo, 7866 kg*
230 MG belts with 57,500 rnds belted ammo, 1748 kg
54 cases of MG ammo totalling 13,500 rnds, 441 kg
30 MGs, 510 kg.
4 "Infanteriegewehre" (infantry rifles)** with 5,000 rounds, 240 kg
9 spare MG barrels, 171 kg.
The total load, including fuel, supplies for the crew and the crew proper, came to 50,021 kg.

*Given the importance of weight, I suspect the 311,900 rounds of ammo was probably (if not exclusively) 7,9mm, with just perhaps some 9x19 Parabellum.

** Probably for the use of the crew, and probably Kar 98as.

The Brits knew the L59 was coming and sent a false message to it which caused it to turn back over Khartoum in the Sudan, not Abyssinia.

When the last element of the Schutztruppe D.O.A, surrendered there were 155 Germans and 1,156 askaris present and they turned in 7 German MGs, "a handful" of (JB?)71s, 208,000 rnds of assorted small arms ammunition, 30 British MGs, 1,071 British, Belgian and Portuguese rifles; aside from the M71s, there is no mention of German rifles. (Charles Miller, Battle for the Bundu, New York, MacMillan, 1974, p. 326) German rifles were probably dumped when their ammo ran out.
Officers were allowed to retain their P.08s, but they were taken away later, much to the disgust of the officers.
 
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