Home Main Category General Firearms

Wanna Hear A Story?

Some_MookSome_Mook Posts: 327 Member
My best friend, before he passed 12 years ago, was a Deputy Sheriff. 

One day on the way home from work he stopped for a few things at a local grocery store and was approached by an elderly lady. 

She told him that her husband had recently passed away and she wanted to get rid of his firearms. 

She asked my friend if he could come by her house and collect them so that they could be disposed of.  He went over to her house a couple of days later and she showed him three rifles and a pistol that her husband had. 

The pistol was a Mauser P08, and my friend got pretty interested in it and asked the lady if she really wanted to have the guns destroyed as opposed to selling them. 

She said she really did not feel comfortable selling them because she would feel responsible if the person who bought them from her ever did anything bad using them and she just wanted to get rid of them.  She told my friend that if he wanted to take them and keep them, she was OK with that.

The P08 is pretty cool, nothing out of the ordinary and not all matching but it is fun to shoot.  The rifles were described by my friend as "some old Mauser" and a couple of "ratty" .22s (both single shot bolt action) and he never took any of these rifles to the range or the woods when we would go shooting or camping together.

After my friend passed away I had asked his widow what she planned on doing with all the guns. (full disclosure, I had been wanting the P08 for myself but didn't want to press the issue)  She said she would hold on to them until her daughters got older and then they could decide what to do. 

So now, 12 years later she called me and said that she and her daughters had decided what they wanted to keep, and wanted me to have a look through the rest and give her some idea of what they might be worth, as she has no use for them.

One of the 'ratty' little .22s is a Winchester Model 68-22 and, after cleaning it up, is in really nice shape for an 80 - 90 year old 'boys' rifle. Probably worth $225 easy.  The other is an even older Hamilton and Sons Model 47 that is pretty rough, more of what you'd expect for one of these rifles - they tended to get used pretty hard.  On a road test for work yesterday I stopped at the LGS and picked up a box of CCI low velocity shorts and will see how these two do.

The "some old" Mauser?  Holy Crap! 

It is a 1916 DWM Gewehr 98 with an authentic Trench Action cover and is gorgeous!  All the numbers (except for the cleaning rod) match.  I find it to be stunning, and even more stunning that he got it for free and really didn't seem to think much of it, and probably never realized that this model rifle represented the Gold Standard for Paul Mauser's bolt action design.

"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." - Thomas Paine
"I know my place in the world and it ain’t standing next to Jerry Miculek" - Zee


  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 5,760 Senior Member
    Wow, nice!!!
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    edited July 11 #3
    This is the first time I have seen a trench action cover.

    Were they general issue items?
    Did they work well in actual use?
  • Some_MookSome_Mook Posts: 327 Member
    edited July 12 #4
    Leather and canvas covers were used by many different countries, but could prove cumbersome to bring the weapon into action.  Germany began issuing the metal covers such as this one around 1917.  The French had a metal cover that could be attached to the bolt with a special screw.  The German design allows the cover to be easily and quickly removed or re-installed.  There is a pivoting clasp to hold the cover to the bolt and a guide rail that runs into a tube that is held to the stock and barrel with a spring clamp just in front of the receiver.  Forgotten weapons has a You-tube video comparing the French and German set-ups.  The Japanese also used a version of metal cover attached to the bolt during WWII
    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." - Thomas Paine
    "I know my place in the world and it ain’t standing next to Jerry Miculek" - Zee
  • Some_MookSome_Mook Posts: 327 Member

    This picture below shows how tightly the cover fits to the front of the receiver.  The action works flawlessly with the cover either on or off, but the cover has to be removed from the bolt in order to remove the bolt from the receiver.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." - Thomas Paine
    "I know my place in the world and it ain’t standing next to Jerry Miculek" - Zee
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    Thanks Mook!
    Its a beautifully made rifle. Quite a testament to old time quality considering the pressure to produce for war.
  • Some_MookSome_Mook Posts: 327 Member
    I love the engineering of the rear sight.  There are buttons on each side that if you squeeze them at the same time with thumb and finger you can slide the adjustment through the full range of travel, but if you alternate between the buttons - only pressing one side at a time while applying forward or rearward pressure you can make discreet 50 meter changes
    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." - Thomas Paine
    "I know my place in the world and it ain’t standing next to Jerry Miculek" - Zee
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    I think I saw Bloke on the range using that sight once. I'll have to check out the cover comparison on Forgotten Weapons.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    So what are you going to do? Is your buddy's wife going to make you a deal on these? I would love that old Mauser. I would lock it away and make a safe queen from hell out of it.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Some_MookSome_Mook Posts: 327 Member
    Right now the GEW.98 is sitting quietly in my safe surrounded by Mosins.  I have a strong urge to pick up a box of ammunition and go ring some gongs with it while playing AC/DC's  Hell's Bells.  I am going to see if the .22s will go bang and make some sort of a group and then see what she wants to do.  I already have someone interested in a g29 that she has and she still hasn't made up her mind on that.  I find the Gewehr fascinating but not to the point of spending the amount of coin that it is really worth, and SWMBO would really freak out If I told her that I need to get a 4th gun safe - the Mauser is in the spot where my M1 goes when it returns from being re-barreled.  Now,  if my friend's widow wants to gift me the P08 I would have no objections and I'm sure I could find some room for that.  😎
    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." - Thomas Paine
    "I know my place in the world and it ain’t standing next to Jerry Miculek" - Zee
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,396 Senior Member
    Wait one.... a GEW is surrounded by Mosins and you done know what to do because of room... Here is the plan, blank blank blank blank-CAN A MOSIN
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Posts: 2,689 Senior Member
    edited July 17 #12
    I think you have a $ 1,200 Gew 98 there. VERY nice WWI relic!
    How's the barrel? You might be able to shoot it with 8mm Mauser commercial loads from US makers or Prvi Partizan.

    The sight is the "Lange vizier" model, AKA "Rollercoaster"; we had those in our 1909 Mausers too and they give this rifle a very cool, distinctive look.

    Definitively a keeper. Last week good friend of mine was ringing a steel human torso popper @ 750 yards (seating and with a sandbag) with his almost identical 1909, so yours should be able to perform the same.

    Would like to see the P-08; those are cool shooter too, although will usually work fine only with Winchester 115gr. FMJs if everything is in proper working condition (specially the mag spring).

    The Gew rear sight is calibrated for 400 meters; for shorter distances my grandad was taught in the local Army to "aim to the belt buckle to hit the base of the neck". Might work for you.
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,889 Senior Member
    Nice! It funny what some folks consider “old junk” some years ago we were visiting friends of my in-laws, conversation turned to guns and I was asked to look at a junky old single shot and a ump shotgun. The shotgun turned out to be a pretty decent Winchester 1897 12ga and the single shot a model 1878 Sharps Broschardt in 45-70.
    I told them they were not junk and had significant value. Don’t know what ever happened to them, unfortunately the couple have since passed so I assume the children gave them away.
  • Some_MookSome_Mook Posts: 327 Member
    A little backyard test of the GEW 98

    I convinced my friend that she should hang onto this rifle, money in the bank if one day she needs the extra cash, otherwise pass it down to her grandkids.  I found a correct 1916 Bayonet for it and a decent leather sling.  She had four old rounds of ammo for it, and wanted me to make a video for her showing that it functions.

    I enjoy shooting my Mosin Nagants, but this rifle is a lot of fun too!  My makeshift backyard range allowed me to give it a try at 50 yards, aimed at the very bottom edge of a 16" gong and hit it along the top edge - I knew I was hitting steel, but did not know where until I was done shooting.  "Aim for the belt buckle, hit the neck" indeed.


    (Play it LOUD)

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." - Thomas Paine
    "I know my place in the world and it ain’t standing next to Jerry Miculek" - Zee
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,725 Senior Member
    Very nice.  American 8mm is nothing like European 8mm, it's a lot gentler.  And good shooting as well.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 10,900 Senior Member
    NICE indeed
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,851 Senior Member
    Excellent, and great story. Hearing you work the bolt of that 98 remind me of the scene from ‘The Longest day’ .....where the paratrooper thinks he hears the cricket 
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Posts: 2,689 Senior Member

    If using other than US or commercial made ammo (Prvi Partizan, Sellier & Bellot, etc.) assume any other as corrosively primed so inmediate post-shooting bore cleaning with boiling water to eliminate salt deposits inside the barrel is mandatory.

    Only oily rags to the metal parts for that rifle, and damp towel to the stock to remove dirt, light rust, etc. Otherwise may cause irreversible damage

    Here some good videos abouy the history of this fine rifle:

    Some shooting:

  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,396 Senior Member
    What he said.
    Now get a few of those jack handles out of your safe and put a rifle in there.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.