Gewehr 88 (05?) Markings and Questions

General Information & Facts Pertaining To The German Model 1888 Commission Rifle
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:22 am

Gewehr 88 (05?) Markings and Questions

Unread postby beanbomb » Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:24 pm

I just turned 16, and have decided to start collecting antique firearms. I recently found a Gewehr 88 commission rifle (not Turkish) and I thought I would post pictures of it as I have some questions about the gun. There are so many markings on the gun (many crossed out), and I am wondering if anyone can tell me what they mean and anything else about the rifle (I believe the buttplate and/or barrel band markings tell what units used the gun?). Any help is appreciated :D

Some facts about the rifle:

It is marked "S", but has not been converted to take stripper clips, and still uses the Mannlicher system. Is it still an 05? Can it shoot the Spitzer cartridge?

It was made in 1889 in Spandau

It has a dust cover with a spring to eject the metal clip. It is marked with a "J" (edit: this is an I for infantry)

There are multiple markings on the barrel bands and the buttplate. A bunch are crossed out.

The rifle was used by the 14th (Baden?) Pioneer Battalion, company 3 is crossed out on the bottom barrel band, and the top barrel band says company 5.
Any info on this unit would be nice.

Here is a link to photos, I can add more pictures and info if needed. Thanks!

IMG_4999.jpg (46.95 KiB) Viewed 2882 times

IMG_5003.jpg (52.91 KiB) Viewed 2882 times

IMG_5012.jpg (47.41 KiB) Viewed 2882 times

Site Admin
Posts: 105
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:39 pm

Re: Gewehr 88 (05?) Markings and Questions

Unread postby Admin » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:06 pm

Hi Bean & welcome aboard the S marking on receiver means it has been cleared to shoot the spritzer point bullet but NEVER shoot any military or European ammo it is way to hot, commercial ammo made in the U.S. has been made with that in mind & should be safe unless you have a Czech barrel on it the if the barrel shroud comes off you can see what markings is on it the barrel should have the last two numbers that can be found on left side of receiver & barrel shroud if it has a circle with a Z in it you would have to use cast bullets in it there is also a process called slugging your bore where you drive soft lead down bore for true size of bullet there are three different sizes used by Imperial Germany. Your rifle is not an Gew88/05 which uses stripper clips instead of the en-bloc clip which yours uses as evidenced by the ejector spring on dust cover which can be hard to find & lack of stripper clip guides on receiver & notch in receiver to clear bullet because of stripper clip guides, you are correct that in German ammo the J is actually an I for infantry but that is ammo the dust cover J stands for Junghans of Schramberg & (a toy maker)was first issued in December of 1914 also on period photos the tab on dust cover is not on same side as bolt when cocked, I can not make out all markings on buttplate but some are arsenal depot markings for repair.
How many parts match on rifle? Did it come with cleaning rod? It looks like the bolt is complete but since the bolt head can be removed quite easily it can be very dangerous if a live round was to placed in rifle & before any firearm of this age is to be fired have it check out by a gunsmith.
That being said the Gewehr 88 is safe if used properly & accurate like you said your rifle is covered in markings which was normal for most/all parts to be stamped. Once again Welcome to the forum & Nice rifle. 8-)