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Not a Mosin or Mauser, But Better Than the Mauser and Almost...

Article about: Thanks Steve!

  1. #1

    Default Not a Mosin or Mauser, But Better Than the Mauser and Almost...

    ... as good as the Mosin!


    I got it in my head several months back that I wanted a Mauser. I went to a few gunstores and they all wanted around $400 to $600 for one. Nope. All had bent bolt handles, too, and I wanted a straight one, being a lefty and all.

    So I saw this thing in my favorite gunstore. Said "Amberg 88" or some danged thing on it. It had been sitting there for the better part of the year.

    The gunstore owner said he wanted to see it gone, and he'd make me a deal. It had rust in the bore but looked OK overall.

    I called up a friend who knows some about these things, told me some of what to check for. I told the gunstore owner that I'd have to come back for it after doing some research as I didn't know if it would be a wall hanger or a shooter, though I do like a project.

    He told me that I know how he dislikes old milsurps. I know... too much research to find their value. He also knows how I like a project and to make an offer. I told him I didn't feel right doing so because I'd likely insult him.

    He said he was thinking 50 bucks.

    Not to pass up a deal, I came back with "How about 25?"




    "Sold!" says I. $37.50 out the door.

    I got it home and pulled it apart. One dent, very little surface rust -- just one spot on what appeared to be a hood on the barrel. The barrel was pristine under that hood. I had been afraid maybe it was rusted through.

    Happily, it was not.

    I was pushing what looked like mud out of the barrel, and after liberal amounts of Fluid Film and bore brushes wrapped in steel wool, it started to shine.

    Not the best bore I've ever seen, but far from the worst. I've seen worse bores on Mosin-Nagants shoot well.

    Here are some pics:

    With shooting, the bore is cleaning up. It shines now and there are only a couple dark spots in it that look like rust.

    I'm still trying to decide for certain whether it's indeed redone for 0.323" bullets. It does have the "S" mark which means the chamber and leade were redone but the barrel was left as-was. Supposedly it can take either ammo, and I'm getting a little over an inch at 50 yards and 0.318" bullets.

    It's showing low pressure signs, though, and the neck is blowing way up when I fire. I'm overworking my shells' necks. This coming week I'll try some 0.323" bullets lightly loaded in it -- they are on order. (As I'm given to understand, gas erosion was a problem with the 0.318" bullets and the 0.323" bullets were made to seal better. Dangerous to shoot in unmodified, non-"S" chambers).

    This rifle originally saw action in a Bavarian reserve regiment before being shipped to Turkey for WWI (and you know it had 0.323" ammo shot through it there!).

    This is, in my opinion, almost the perfect rifle. The sights are precise and the barrel (mine is reenforced) is floated for all intents and purposes by using that sleeve.

    I would really only change the bolt. The lugs are a bit weak, and really should have a third. It's already been modified to 88/05 standards.

    It kicks hard, in prone. I'm not willing to put a recoil pad on it, though, as length-of-pull is perfect for me. Might end up investing in a P.A.S.T. pad as I have a bruised collarbone after five shots prone with 200grn bullets. I'm not a recoil wuss and do this regularly with the Mosin-Nagant, but this rifle is a bit lighter!

    The tall Mauser sight blank from Brownell's worked perfectly, and now it shoots POA.

    So, you-all reckon I made out OK for $37.50?



  2. #2

    Default Re: Not a Mosin or Mauser, But Better Than the Mauser and Almost...

    The bolt head alone was worth the money. You may want to check headspace on it if it is doing your brass hard. Mismatched turk bolt in a german made action does not lend itself to proper fit from my experiance. These will handle S patrone all day long , but I don't use sS patronen bullets in my gew88's.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Not a Mosin or Mauser, But Better Than the Mauser and Almost...

    Excellent deal, friend! Congratulations!
    cheers, Glenn

  4. #4

    Default Re: Not a Mosin or Mauser, But Better Than the Mauser and Almost...

    Very nice German Gew 88. That was sent to and used by the Turks......BILL
    "As long as there are brave men and warriors the halls of Valhalla will never be silent or empty"

    In memory of my father William T. Grist December 26, 1920--September 10, 2009..
    901st. Ordnance H.A.M. North Africa, Italy, Southern France....ETO
    Also in memory of my mother Jane Kidd Grist Feb. 22, 1920-- September 27, 2009... WWll War bride May 1942...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Not a Mosin or Mauser, But Better Than the Mauser and Almost...

    That is a sweet Deal on a Turked Commission 88. I Have not shot my 1891 AMBERG 88. It is matching except for the Turked bolt and rear site.I was told to use only commercial 8mm because it is loaded very light . I have a question for you. My Amberg has a set of # that are next to the serial # in the barrel channel of the stock. Those #'s are also on parts of the trigger, the follower, the barrel and other internal parts.They will be near your serial #. Did You find this Number??????? I thought maybe they were inspector marks at first but . I asked this question on the Commission rifle website and the owner of the site did some research and got a hold of Dr. Dieter Storz, Oberkonservator of the Bavarian Armee museum and he was told that these #'s were beleived to be Production numbers assigned by AMBERG arsenal when the 05 conversion was done. There was a list of the numbers on the Commission rifle site. My # is 42. The 42nd 05 conversion done!!!
    Welcome to the wonderful world of AMBERG 88'S
    Last edited by AZPhil; 02-19-2013 at 05:29 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Not a Mosin or Mauser, But Better Than the Mauser and Almost...

    Great looking firearm. When I was 17 a friend of mine and I ordered one of these out of a magazine. we also ordered some ammo for it. we shot this thing a lot. Great rifles.
    Thanks for sharing. It brought back some fond memories.

    I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Not a Mosin or Mauser, But Better Than the Mauser and Almost...

    One more question if you don't mind. Do you have this stamped on your barrel?
    Name:  S&Co stamp.jpg
Views: 311
Size:  15.2 KB
    They thought this might be a Simson and Companie of Suhl stamp. Even with the GF(Gewehr Fabrik Amberg). The barrel may have be sub contracted out.

    Semper Fi
    Last edited by AZPhil; 02-19-2013 at 09:54 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Not a Mosin or Mauser, But Better Than the Mauser and Almost...

    Hi Folks,


    To be honest, I copied a lot of that report from the one I wrote when I first got it about a year ago.

    I checked the headspace since -- it's excellent! Passes "go" and "no-go" perfectly.

    The bore slugs to about 0.318" but the chamber is indeed modified for 0.323" bullets... which makes it a squeeze bore of sorts.

    I handload for it, and that load uses 7,92x57 cases formed from .30-06, 0.323" Hornady 150 grain bullets, and 45 grains of Varget.

    It's a very sedate load, bringing in about 2500fps or so.

    This rifle is super precise. It easily holds MOA, though the features which allow it to do that make it unacceptable for general military issue, in my opinion, and those features were mostly done away with on the Mauser 98.

    I still hold that the Mosin-Nagant was probably the best rifle for those not familiar with firearms, with the Lee-Enfield and Mauser (and especially the US 1903 variants of the Mauser) probably being best for folks who grew up shooting, like most of the US previous to Korea, and the Swiss.

    Had I been a Early-20th-Century German in charge of the design, I'd probably have wanted to retain several features of the M88 for use with telescopic sights, probably using the 1905 conversion and a turned-down bolt, with a Russian PE-style 'scope mount.

    But, snipers weren't really recognized as a tactical asset until WWI, and even after that, most nations did not maintain a sniper's corp. In fact, I don't believe the US really had dedicated, ongoing sniper training until after WWII, so all this remains postulate.



  9. #9

    Default Re: Not a Mosin or Mauser, But Better Than the Mauser and Almost...


    I'll have to check on all that. I don't keep the Gewehr 88/05 at home but rather at the shop in the country where it stands ready for coyote (no, it's not yet fully retired!)

    There's a Gewehr 88 dedicated board someplace on the web. I'm trying to hunt it up for you -- I had a Java attack a while ago and it wiped all my bookmarks. Found out then that my bookmarks hadn't been backing up with the rest of the system, either!

    I'll check my rifle against yours next time I get the opportunity to tear it down.

    Do you have the stepped barrel, or the stronger tapered barrel? The stepped barrel is Czech, if I recall correctly, while the tapered barrel is original German.



  10. #10

    Default Re: Not a Mosin or Mauser, But Better Than the Mauser and Almost...

    Nice looking rifle - Can't beat the price - Well done.........!


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