I had an interesting rifle delivered today from Richard at RJ Militaria. It may be a bog-standard Gew 88, but it is unlikely to be one of the re-works for the Turkish Army. It is unusual in that it doesn't have the conversion for the charger clip as is so often seen on these weapons. It has also been fitted with a bolt from the carbine version. The turned-down handle was favoured by troops because in the confines of a trench the bolt was less likely to snag on equipment belts.
It looks as though this particular weapon saw service with the Austrian Army in WW1. Upon removing the protective barrel sleeve I found a clear stamp of the Austrian eagle. Although the sleeve is quite pitted, the rifle really isn't in that bad condition at all. There is some damage to the butt which may be combat related. Whatever it is, its certainly been that way for an awful long time. There is a good chance that the barrel sleeve would clean up well. The pitting isn't that deep - although there is a fair bit of it. I'm torn between leaving it as it is, or having a go.