Bavarian Unit Marked Mauser M1871/84 Rifle
- Product Code: FLA-1980-SOLD
- Availability: Out Of Stock
This is an outstanding example of the Deutsches Infanteriegewehr 71.84, better known as the German M1871/84 rifle. The rifle was a Mauser design and was the first magazine fed, repeating, bolt action rifle adopted by the German states. The M1871/84 was in improvement over the earlier M1871 Mauser rifle, as that gun was a single shot rifle. The M1871/84 utilized a tubular magazine in the forend, similar in design to that found on Swiss Vetterli rifles of the era. While the Swiss rifle incorporated a side mounted loading gate on the frame, much like a Winchester, the German magazine was loaded through the breech. The M1871/84 rifle retained the Mauser bolt and safety design of the earlier M1871, and added a magazine cut-off which allowed the rifle to be used as a single shot gun, leaving the ammunition in the magazine for use when rapid fire was essential. The rifled weighed in at about 10 pounds, and the tubular magazine had an 8 round capacity. The rifle was 50 ““ in overall length, with a 30 ““ barrel. It was chambered for the centerfire 11x60R cartridge, which used a round nosed bullet and black powder as the propellant. The rifles were produced at various German state arsenals, including Prussia’s Spandau, Danzig and Erfurt armories, and Bavaria’s Amberg armory. Waffenfabrik Mauser produced the guns manufactured for the state of Württemberg. The rifle was manufactured from 1884 through 1888 and was replaced by the M1888 Commission Rifle. During its relatively short manufacturing lifespan, about 1 million M1871/84 rifles were produced. Although the rifle was rendered obsolete rather quickly by smokeless powder cartridges, it saw a significant post-production service career with the Landwehr (active reserve infantry) and the Landsturm (local reserve militia). With the coming of World War I, the M1871/84 again saw service with these lower priority reserve units, to free more modern weapons for use on the Western Front. In fact this example is unit marked on the buttplate for Great War service. It is marked B 12 R / 15 / 96 on the tang. This translates to 12th Regiment of Bavarian Reserve Infantry, 15th Company, 96th man.
The Infanteriegewehr M1871/84 offered here is in about EXCELLENT condition, and is quite close to mint. The rifle retains about 95% of its original brilliant blued finish on the barrel, with only some minor fading and tiny patches of lightly oxidized freckling. The majority of the finish loss is along high edges and contact points, and at the muzzle where a bayonet was affixed numerous times. The barrel bands retain about 80%-90% of their bright blue, with slightly more fading than the barrel, some light storage wear, and some lightly oxidized freckling. The triggerguard retains a similar amount of blued finish, with the most obvious areas of scattered, light surface freckling. The buttplate and receiver are in their original, unfinished state, “in the white”. They remain relatively bright and show only some scattered tiny patches of minor oxidation and small patches of minor age discoloration, most of which is confined to the buttplate. The rifle was produced at the Bavarian national arms manufacturory in Amberg, known simply as the Amberg Arsenal and is clearly marked with the (BAVARIAN CROWN) / AMBERG on the top of the receiver. The left flat below the Amberg mark is stamped with the royal cypher of Ludwig II (even though the ruler of Bavaria at that time was technically Otto of Bavaria, who was never able to officially rule due to “melancholy”), which is a (CROWN) / L). A pair of inspection marks flanks the cypher. The right upper receiver flat is marked with four inspection marks, of a (CROWN) over the Gothic letters which appear to be S, S, K and F. The rifle is serial number 61649 and is all matching, with all parts bearing either the complete serial number or at least the last two digits, 49. The right side of the receiver is marked in Gothic script: I. G. Mod 71/84 for Infanteriegewehr 71/84. The right side of the breech is clearly marked with the year of production, which was 1887, the next to last year these rifles were produced. All of the markings on the metal remain extremely crisp and sharp and are in fantastic condition. The action of the rifle works perfectly, with the bolt opening and closing smoothly and the famous Mauser safety and the magazine cut-off working exactly as they should. The bore of the rifle is in EXCELLENT condition. It remains brilliant, with perfect, crisp rifling. The bore shows only some minor accumulations of old grease and dust and will likely clean to about mint. The rifle is 100% complete and correct, retaining its original sling swivels, rear sight and magazine tube cap, complete with stacking pin. As previously mentioned, all of the parts of the rifle are matching. The gun has an old leather military style sling mounted on it that appears to be absolutely correct for the gun and the time period, but I cannot be sure that it is a Bavarian issue sling. However, a variety of ersatz items saw use during the Great War, and I feel very confident that this sling has been with the gun for approximately the last 100 years. The stock rates about EXCELLENT as well. The wood of the stock is extremely crisp and sharp with excellent markings. The stock shows numerous Bavarian inspection and ownership marks, all of which are deeply stamped and very crisp. The stock is full length and free of any breaks, cracks or repairs. There are some minor light handling and storage bumps and dings, but there are no detractions at all to the stock. For a gun that saw service with a Bavarian Reserve Infantry regiment during the Great War, the stock is in truly outstanding condition.
Overall this is simply a fantastic example of Germany’s first repeating military rifle. The gun is simply in wonderful condition and is extremely attractive. With the excellent bore, it would no doubt shoot wonderfully, and reloading for the rifle would certainly be a fun project. For any collector of early bolt-action military rifles, the Infanteriegewehr 71/84 is a must have, and this one is in a state of preservation that would be very difficult to improve upon. While the Prussian guns from Spandau tend to be found in wonderful condition from time to time, Bavarian rifles are not often encountered in this high state of preservation. The fact that the gun bears unit markings to the First World War only makes the gun more desirable and an even better addition to any serious German military rifle collection.SOLD