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GEW 88 markings
Old 07-27-2017, 02:22 PM   #1
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Default GEW 88 markings

I just came across an 1896 Spandau manufactured GEW 88 that appears to be all matching. The rear band is marked "12.R.5.?" (might be 72.R), I assume this is a unit marking? Does anyone have any ideas if it is or which unit it might be for?

Eric


edit: please correct me if I'm wrong, but it means "12th Regiment, 5th Company, rifle number 123".
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Last edited by blinky; 07-27-2017 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:18 AM   #2
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Yes it is 12th Infanterie-Regiment....

Regards

Torsten

N.B. If the R is in italcs R it would be 12th Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:19 AM   #3
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Thank you Torsten

The R is not in italics. I'll post some pictures later today.

My understanding was that these were pretty much obsolete by WWI but this one was brought back by a US soldier who picked it up in 1918.

eric
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinky View Post
Thank you Torsten

The R is not in italics. I'll post some pictures later today.

My understanding was that these were pretty much obsolete by WWI but this one was brought back by a US soldier who picked it up in 1918.

eric
It is true that they were well on their way to replacement by the summer of 1914 and a lot of them had been pulled from service and sold off to surplus arms dealers. There were still around a million plus in service with reserve, Landwehr and Landstrum units and these went to war in 1914. Hundreds of thousands of G88 (and carbine variants) saw front line combat service throughout WWI and and hundreds of thousands of others were used in rear areas and freed up Gew98s for front service. Perhaps 1 in 4 (or 1 in 3) of the soldiers mobilized in 1914 were armed with a G88!
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:27 PM   #5
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I remember when these were sold at Woolworth's back in the '70s!
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:29 PM   #6
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I remember when these were sold at Woolworth's back in the '70s!

I looked at K98ks being sold at Sears in the 60s. A lot of G88s came in from Turkey in the early 1970s and were sold at Woolworth/Woolco, Kmart and from the back of every gun related (and some non gun related) magazine throughout most of the 1970s....typically from $29.95 to $39.95. These Turkish marked and modified G88s typically sell for $250-$350 today (about 8 to 10X original price just like Lugers, K98s and everything else from 45 years ago) or you can part them out for maybe $450! The non Turkish modified examples can bring much more.....Ive seen more than a couple over the last few years bring over 1K.
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phild View Post
It is true that they were well on their way to replacement by the summer of 1914 and a lot of them had been pulled from service and sold off to surplus arms dealers. There were still around a million plus in service with reserve, Landwehr and Landstrum units and these went to war in 1914. Hundreds of thousands of G88 (and carbine variants) saw front line combat service throughout WWI and and hundreds of thousands of others were used in rear areas and freed up Gew98s for front service. Perhaps 1 in 4 (or 1 in 3) of the soldiers mobilized in 1914 were armed with a G88!

Thank you, I learned something new! I'd say this one was certainly used throughout the war then. It even has shrapnel damage near the muzzle. I need to re-size my pictures then I'll try posting them.

Eric
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:58 AM   #8
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Not the best pictures but should give an idea of what the rifle is like.


It's pretty complete but the condition isn't the best.....it is what it is.
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:00 AM   #9
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more markings
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:01 AM   #10
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All the serial numbers match.
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:02 AM   #11
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And the "ding" on the muzzle.
It appears to be missing only the bolt face, the rear swivel for the sling and the cleaning rod.
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinky View Post
And the "ding" on the muzzle.
It appears to be missing only the bolt face, the rear swivel for the sling and the cleaning rod.
It looks like a legit bullet strike! More so from a lead core bullet and or a large pistol caliber.

Yours has the relieved chamber and deepened rifleling. 1896 is not an easy date to find and may have been the last year they were produced, not sure on that but a fairly rare date
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:16 AM   #13
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Kind of neat to know that it's maybe a little more unique than "just" and old GEW 88!
It appears the only parts missing are the cleaning rod, the bolt face and the front sight. I suspect the front sight was knocked free when it was hit. Since it does look like it hasn't been touched since 1918 I'm thinking just a light coat of oil and let it be?
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