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Diamond Member with Oak Leaves and Swords
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Jon Speed's new book on Mauser Oberndorf, The Mauser Archive, has finally been printed and, as of last Monday, was available by mail order from Collector Grade Publications in Canada. This is the book Jon has been working on for a number of years. Its publication has been rumored to be "just around the corner" for almost three years..and now it's finally here. A good week for Mauser collectors!
Regards,
John

http://www.collectorgrade.com/bookshelf5.html
 

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looks like a good one!
 

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Cool! I'll have to order one asap. Several years ago when I got autograph labels from Jon for his other two books I also got one in advance for this book.

Vlad
 

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Any one have the table of contents? I am curious as the vague advertisement on the book seems to point to a book that is a mixture of many types of weapons, such as commercial and military and .22 rimfire.

I am wondering if this book is more on collecting military guns or commercial guns?

Any info would be appreciated as I would like to know exactly what this book is before I shell out the big bucks for it.
 

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It sounds to me as if the main focus is on "sporting arms." In any case it certainly includes them. It does also refer to the military models too. So it looks to me to be an all inclusive study. Sadly, too expensive for me.
 

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Reading the description of the book on the linked web page - I could personally relate to this statement: "These include actual production and sales data, inventory lists, and cost and sale price calculations for all types of Mauser products ...". I can picture Jon's excitement when he obtained that information.

When my FN-49 book was just starting lay-out and only about 60-90 days away from when we wanted to go to the printers, I received access to the FN factory sales data for the rifle. This was the first time, to my knowledge, that this type of data had "escaped" from FN, at least for a military arm. The data lead me to quickly revise/expand something like 17 of the 24 chapters; a lot of work, but the factory data was a tremendous addition to the book.

So, kudos to Jon for finding this heretofore unknown Mauser data !

Goose
 

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That is the focus of this book, - I got my copy last Thursday and a great disappointment... though a disappointment that shouldn't have surprised me.
The author’s name- Jon Speed -should have clued me to the focus of the book. It is an awesome book but it isn't in the same category as say Dr. Storz book when it comes to military production.

A must have book for its history of the Mauser firm, its figures and inventory lists but i had hoped more on the military aspects... it does clarify one thing as to perspective- these firms were commercial enterprises and sometimes collectors forget this.



It sounds to me as if the main focus is on "sporting arms." In any case it certainly includes them. It does also refer to the military models too. So it looks to me to be an all inclusive study. Sadly, too expensive for me.
 

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That is the focus of this book, - I got my copy last Thursday and a great disappointment... though a disappointment that shouldn't have surprised me.
The author’s name- Jon Speed -should have clued me to the focus of the book. It is an awesome book but it isn't in the same category as say Dr. Storz book when it comes to military production.

A must have book for its history of the Mauser firm, its figures and inventory lists but i had hoped more on the military aspects... it does clarify one thing as to perspective- these firms were commercial enterprises and sometimes collectors forget this.
I presumed its main focus being on sporting arms. How much of the book covers military arms and what does it cover?
 

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I love the book, far better and of more value for my “type” of collecting, I like the data, period documents and books as much as the rifles!

By far the focus is on Sporters, and commercial products, - it is a very large book though and has much on company history and patents, tons of sales lists and inventories which are of great help in a general way to any rifle collector.
I think the best way to describe the book is as the author did, - it is Vo.III of his other books on the Mauser firm, (both commercial sporters books, - for the most part)

It is an invaluable book to the history of the firm, and gives insight into events 1918-1933 like no other book on German rifles (most books have little to nothing here- even Dr. Storz wonderful book is miserable on this aspect of the Gewehr98), including the relationship with the IMKK and its interaction with other firms though in a indirect way, through lists and events (finally a firmer understanding on events post 1921 on its "aid" to the Czech & Yugo firms, which was known but actually some details!- not really aid but because of the IMKK they ended up "supplying" their start ups)

Lots of collateral value to the book, - it just isn't a book some novice (or deer getter dude type) will find especially valuable? I mean if you have Backbone and 20 rc’s and think this is the next step you probably will be disappointed?
 

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Does the book give new information on Standard Modells and the Banner Postal and Railway rifles?

thanks, runner
 

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It does cover such things in a superficial way, mostly through sales records and such but its not a study on the variations or anything of a revelation as to the many questions I could come up with? (and I am not even specialized on the SM & BannerK types like a couple collectors I know of..) At least I didn't find anything especially valuable, speaks of export and sales for the rifle in some detail..

From the perspective of a military Mauser collector, the book is primarily valuable for the sales/inventory records and patent sections, -personally I don't like the way the book is set up as it makes me work too damn hard to find the tidbits lost in the soup?

So far the best information to my interest is the between the war information (does discuss the IMKK which is a near impossible subject to get in-depth information on), and that of the T-Gewehr, - I wrote on the "rifle" and have seen every book one can imagine (in English- Kern wrote a book on the subject but translation being what it is I have yet to utilize it) including period intelligence reports and some of the information (in this book) on the T-Gewehr is unique.

Oh, error in the earlier post, Speed didn't say it was a Vol.III; rather Blake suggested it as so. I agree with that statement as I have the other two and it is incredibly valuable as a support to those volumes.
 

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What's a "Mauser"???
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Just got my copy a few hours ago. It will take weeks to digest the information in here...but the first page I opened the book to (p.431) has an image of a Mauser Oberndorf/DWM/Steyr Sales chart. This is the first original DWM source data I've seen on Mauser military rifles. The table lists Mauser rifles and carbines by year and country, 1907-1912, and shows a previously undocumented sale of 3,000 rifles to Morocco in 1909. Sure is nice to find that a gamble paid off, and that I own one of these! :)
Regards,
John
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Does the book give new information on Standard Modells and the Banner Postal and Railway rifles?

thanks, runner
Hi Runner,
Yes, for the Standardmodell exports there is some very signifciant new information. However, there is very little for the rifles sold internally in Germany other than rifles produced and sold annually for Oberndorf and Wittenau (Borsigwalde). Unfortunately, the company records do not mention specific receiver markings or barrel band types, etc.

For the contract Mauser collector, there is finally detail on the dates and quantities of the rifles delivered to Argentina, Ethiopia, Honduras, etc., and startlingly new and puzzling information on the over seventeen thousand 7 mm SM's sold to Joseph Manton's in Calcutta, India. As yet, the big picture is by no means complete since the records located so far have gaps in continuity.

So far, I have gone through the book three times, page by page, line by line, and it will take longer yet to chart the data. You have to understand that this book is (one of the few!) which is honestly titled: it is an "archive", a repository of original source data. Sometimes the data is strange and puzzling, sometimes surprising, sometimes it reinforces what we suspect, but it always adds interesting texture to the subject. Unfortunately, the firm did not photograph many of its military arms, but did phtograph its commercial arms for use in its advertising literature. Mr. Speed has found many of these original photographs which he correctly includes as part of the "archive". They may not be of burning interest to those of us who collect military rifles, but their presence in the book points out the reality that in today's collector market, the most sought-after, high end Mauser rifle is an Original Oberndorf commercial sporting or target rifle, not one of their military weapons.

In any case, the order books, inventories, and production documents all report on both sporting and military arms together. Because of the way they complied their information, you cannot separate one from the other when working with Oberndorf source data.

Here are a few samples of new information Jon Speed provides from the Oberndorf archives: references to Gewehr 98 stock blanks on hand after WW I which included not only walnut but maple, mahogony, pear and elm wood; the data on small caliber test cartridges (5mm, 5.5mm, 6mm); the section on Mauser's successful 30 years of law suits against the US Army for patent violations is also brand new material and highly interesting, as is the new information on the Model 1929 military rifle, the names of dozens of Mauser's overseas sales agents, and the fact that Mauser's first exports of the M1904 rifles to China went to the German colony in China, not the Chinese Government...although that may have simply been their agent's shipping adress. I was also surprised to see that in 1914, the Brazilian Government defaulted on a commercial contract to purchase more M1908 long rifles from Mauser, leaving 23,000 sitting the German warehouses at the start of WW I. I wonder what happened to those rifles?

The book is also interesting in what it does not show: no Gew 98 direct sales to Turkey, no production of the Hybrid "Gewehr-Karabiner 98" mentioned by John Walter in his "Central Powers Small Arms..." book; no direct sales to Spain during the SCW; etc. I also looked for references to the G40k but found none directly although there is a entry for experimental weapons in the 1940/41 and 1941/42 sales reports.

Much more to go! This is a GREAT book. As Paul mentioned earlier however, you do have to search for the data and do your own compilations...which you would in any archive. However, one VERY important fact remains which no one has commented on yet: Jon Speed has translated all of it into English for us! No internet translators needed!
Regards,
John
 

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Are models listed for the sales? I have a couple "waffenfabrik Mauser Oberndorf a/n" rifles marked model 1907, 1910 and unmarked, that i would like to find info on. If there is a chance of tracing rifles like these, that would be worth the price. JL
 

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Yo John,

Thanks for the info on the book. I'm going to wait until I have some time on my hands to buy this one. It's going to be awhile.

One quick question, since you mentioned Steyr. Have you taken the time to compare the numbers in John's new book against those listed in the document that Darrell posted from Heino that is "stickied" on the Mannlicher Forum?

For a number of reasons I still have my doubts regarding whether or not those numbers listed are complete. Have you compared the Steyr numbers that John lists against those in that "sales document"??? If you have a minute to cross reference them I think it would be interesting.

Just a thought. Take care.

Warmest regards,

JPS
 
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