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A Collectors Guide to the German Gew 88 Commission Rifle

Gew 88/05 Article
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A1Coyote
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Joined: 23 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:33 am    Post subject: Gew 88/05 Article Reply with quote

Thought this might be of interest to any Gew 88/05 owners.

I have posted an article over on "Commission Rifle", at Multiply.com. It regards the historical aspect of the Gew 88/05 rifles that were in German service from the troop trials in 1905 until the end of the Great War in 1918.

There are present day and period photographs to add to the descriptions of the narrative. Below is a link to the article:

http://commissionrifle.multiply.com/journal/item/237

Enjoy your 4th of July Weekend!
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TP
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As always, an excellent article George. Smile
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Leutnant


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read your article , you have the sights misidentified and do not seem to understand how or why they were remarked . The sight on the right is not a 88s sight , nor is the rifle a Gew-88s . The s stamped on the receiver is not what makes a rifle a Gew-88s . The 05 sight is a new made sight , not just a 88 sight with the flip up removed . A Gew-88s sight is different than either the Gew-88 or the 88/05 sight . The remarking was not to change the max range by 50 meters , it has to do with the lower range settings . The longer range setting were not meant to be used to aim at a man at 2000 meters [ or 1000 or 1400 ] , they were settings for volley fire . The 05 modification had nothing to do with S ammo .
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A1Coyote
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude, did you really read it? Question
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Dude, I read it . What part of what I said in the first post do you not understand ? If you go example by example I will comment on each .
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A1Coyote
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:22 am    Post subject: Gew 88/05 Article Reply with quote

mag

I do not believe I have ever made a personal attack at you, so I am a bit confused at why you would address your opinions in this manner.
I cannot help but feeling like I have been dry gulched. This is also in line with what recently was described by another forum member as rib jabs I believe.
It is hard to forget the controversies stirred up on Gew88.com in past months regarding the "True Gew 88/S' rear sights, and also over at gunboards.

With that said, I am always open to all ideas and opinions. I believe that I have always conducted myself in a respectful manner towards others, even when and If I did not totally agree to their line of thinking. I am what I am, a collector enjoying his hobby and seeking out new and accurate information.

I know you are of the opinion that Gew 88/S in it's true form is one that has the modified "S" rear sight. I am somewhat in agreement with that belief, and find credibility in that logic, but my opinion is this: John Walter, even though we have come to see his writings were flawed, said that Eckardt & Moraweitz claimed that new rear sight leaves were made for the S patrone, and Goetz was adament that they were re-ground with an appropriate graduation. He also wrote that he believed that they were both right. In this instance I have to agree with him.
Why all Gew 88/S and Gew 88/05 rifles do not have the newly made sights is in fact a huge mystery to me. I m not ashamed to say, "I just don't know!" I also do not know why all Gew 88 rifles that had their chambers modified to accept the S patronne and were stamped with the "S" stamp did not also receive modified "S" sights too is also mystery to me. I would expect that with all that was going on in the Imperial German Empire, the real answer, if it ever comes to light will be funding. They were expanding the Imperial German Navy, the First Morrocan Crisis almost brought Germany & France to the brink of war, the Prussian Army was testing the M1905 pickelhaube, that was leather shelled but covered with a feldgrau felt material. There were a multitude of other factors going on at that time frame. They were spending money on all sorts of things. Perhaps, and this is just my own humble opinion, the reason they did not spend money on all new sights, was that none was available for new sights. Just maybe. Dieter Storz writes that all the remaining Gew 88 rifles not previously modified for the "S" ammo were completed in 1915. This could explain why there were no new sights for Gew 88/S rifles, as they were still using up stores of Patrone 88 ammunition anyway. Maybe.

So yes, the rifle that I identified as a Gew 88/S has the unmodified original rear sight leaf. I am of the belief as many others are, that if there is an "S" stamp, than it is safe to refer to the rifle as an 88/S. I believe that this designation is valid. Like you, I await better more accurate information to appear. When that time comes I will openly agree that you alone were right about this. I will say that I have given this quite some thought since you have advised us of the appearance of your Gew 88/S with the modified rear sight, and JPS has also made light of those in his collection. At this time I think it is still appropriate to refer to an "S" stamped rifle with an original rear sight leaf, as a Gew 88/S, but perhaps it just might be more accurate to just say it is an "S" with an original leaf and leave it at that. But I did not write it that way.

We know that all these authors write that the Gew 88/05 was made using rifles already converted to Gew 88/S, and with the total brought forward by Dr. Storz, 495,220, that it is quite possible that the rear sight had the modified battle sight just removed. And this might also be a contributing factor to the rareness of the Gew 88/S modified rear sights. Do I know this for sure. Oh hell no. Just my opinion. So I appreciate and respect your opinion that the Gew 88/05 was made with a newly made sight, I really do not believe so. Again, as the newest Gew 88/05 you have come across just might have a new sight leaf, I think still that Ekardt & Morawietz and Goerz are both right. Your new rifle just might solidify that. And I am very anxious to see photos of it. And yes, I am not being sarcastic in saying this, I am sincerely looking forward to it. I did not say that it was to change the sighting by 50m, that came from another forum member's question as to why the new Gew 88/05 was not given a 2050m sight like the original Gew 88 sight leaf. As stated in my article, I really do not know why that was for sure. I did mention that it was made with a 2000m sight, like the Mauser tangent sight and the Lange visier sight were.

Why would you say that the Gew 88/05 had nothing to do with the S ammunition? Yes, it was done in a way, as example the breech face notch was made to accept the Patronne 88 in the Mauser charge/stripper clips, but it was done with rifles that modified to accept "S" cartidges. I also realize that there are Gew 88/05 rifles out there with no "S" stamp, much like the 1899 Amberg (I think that is the one) that pip has. Why it has no "S" stamp, well, I have no idea. But I bet that if a mold was made of the chamber, it would show that the chamber was modified. If I am proven to be wrong about that, well then, I will freely admit to it when that time comes.

I am one to accept any and all opinions, that is how we enrich our hobby. It helps us all out as collectors. I don't see how attacking other collectors will advance the study of Gew 88 Commission rifles. If I am wrong then please accept my sincere appology, but if I wasn't follically impaired, I would have to say you really mussed up my hair!

Your opinions and your suggestions on barrel slugging, safety, dimensions I continue to appreciate and respect. The manner in which you bring forward ideas you do not agree with leaves me bewildered to say the least. I really did not expect an exchange like this. But there it is. I will now go and prepare to enjoy a fine Independance Day with my family, and I truely hope you will do the same!

I am disappointed that you were not able to find any positive points to comment on, but such is life.

Happy July 4th everybody!
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TP
Grenadier


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mag, you continue to amaze me. You need to read a little more carefully and to realize that there has been more accurate information published by people in the past than you care to give credit for. As discussed in the past, we are confused by bad translations - Goetz is the primary victim of this. Let's all enjoy the Holiday, thanks again George for your posts and for the GREAT information on the Commission Rifle Blog.
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predictatv
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If, I may intrude with one morsel worth considering. On any rifle that is used by an army, you have supply and armory issues. Meaning, a rifle that is in constant use, will shortly be damaged. An armorer of the unit will repair it.
Now, having served and handled M-16A2's, I know an armor has responsibilities and a duty. To inspect and service these rifles. Before we grunts get them. Finding a flawed part? He will replace it ASAP. He will NOT particularly care if the part used is from a M16 A1 or an A2. As long as it fits proper and rifle works to standard. He is not going to hold a rifle back and keep it out of service If he has a serviceable part on hand.

Having gone thru all that? I hope that sheds some illumination as to the fate of some 88s rifles. In fact most 88's of any designation.. Any rifle, that serves, will have failures. Especially soft parts like sights. It simply may be that most all 88s rifles originally received the modified sight. However, in use, the repairs were done with parts on hand. You don' t deny the soldier his weapon. Just because a particular part is not "precisely" the exact perfect part. If, the modified sight is bent, broke? He's going to replace it. I'd hold him blameless for installing a "standard" sight.

Especially under the heavy demand of actual combat. So, a precisely perfect 88s may indeed be rare. But, that rarity should not instantly and forever disclaim that any imperfect 88s is no longer an 88s. Modified sight or not. It's marked as so. Therefore it should be accepted as such.

Missing the proper sight only tells me one thing at least. It served. Especially if the rifle happens to be a "bring back" and not an assembled Equadorian batch of mismatched parts. So, any arguing over whether a rifle is -is not an S? Just because a sight is modified-or not? Is rather misdirected and more than a tad pointless. Because that brings another line up that just can't be carried to a conclusion.

How did a rifle get stamped as such? If, it is not such? IE: Is the stamp a lie? No not originally. But, use and replacement parts can make the stamp pointless.
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A1Coyote
Hauptmann


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a very good point, as valid today as it was in 1907, 1914, 1916, 1980!

I would hazard to say that this could very well be true of many examples in collections today.

What about the rifles that did get sold off as surplus to SA. They too have a majority of examples with the "S" stamp too. So they had the chambers modified, perhaps before the sights were authorized, or had the sights replaced with originals. We might never know either way for sure, but you have brought up some really valid points. Thanks for participating in this discussion!
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A1Coyote
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

G-88 expert wrote:
The remarking was not to change the max range by 50 meters , it has to do with the lower range settings . The longer range setting were not meant to be used to aim at a man at 2000 meters [ or 1000 or 1400 ] , they were settings for volley fire . The 05 modification had nothing to do with S ammo .


From the CR forum member Pierregg:
pierregg wrote on Jul 1
Quote:
I am happy that even the experts are confused from time to time. I would not dare to mix in a technical discussion. But at the risk of unintendedly playing the clown: I did not understand exactly, why the rear sight leafs had to be changed also and brought back to 2.000 m. instead of 2050 m.



gwyliecoyote wrote on Jul 1

Quote:
Did some searching this evening. First small discoveries were that in Dieter Storz "Rifle & Carbine 98" book, that photos of the Mauser rear tangent sight and Lange Visier sight developed for use with Patrone 88, both were graduated from 200m - 2000m. Why not 2050m like Gew 88? No real explanation from any book I checked. But in 1905 when the chambers were widened for use of S Patrone spitzer rounds on both Gew 88 and Gew 98 rifles, a new Lange sight was developed that was graduated for 400m - 2000m, because the S cartridge was more powerful and had a flatter trajectory. So it seems that range estimation was a less critical consideration with the new round. Best I can come up with at the moment.


pierregg wrote on Jul 2
Quote:
I did not mean, George, to force you to re-study your books and documents. Thanks for your efforts and answer. The arrival of the new S-patrone played an important part in these alterations of the rifle, now I understand. And of course what kind of difference is 50 m. on a distance of 2.000 m.? Not so much. But was the rifle still effective at such a long range? Later during the war, on the Western Front, a distance of 2.000 m. had become more a range for snipers and machine-guns than for rifles. But could anyone would have expected that situation in 1898?


gwyliecoyote wrote on Jul 2, edited on Jul 2
Quote:
My friend, a valid and equally interesting question is always worth looking into!

I think that the GPK and the General Staff had only visions of a war where there were mass formations of infantrymen with fixed bayonets, who would have their officers calling out ranges to distant targets like cavalry and enemy infantry formations. You have to have a damn good eye to even clearly see a man at 2000m and actually hit the mark with open sights. And you are most likely correct assuming that with what was considered a more powerful cartridge with flatter trajectory, that fifty yards would not make much difference. Great question!


I realize now that perhaps I was a bit vague regarding officers calling out ranges, I guess i got lax and felt that folks would just realize that these were procedures of Volley Fire tactics, and everyone would just know that. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

Sorry about that Chief!
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Leutnant


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First I am not picking on you other than pointing out incorrect information in your article . The German military clearly states what makes a rifle a Gew-88s , The original rear sight modifiied for "S" ammo and the rifle being marked as such by a crown S stamped in the buttstock . Not a s stamped on the receiver , as that only means the rifle will chamber and fire "S" ammo . Just think about it , if the rifle was meant to fire "S" ammo , it will be sighted for it . Your rifle in the photo is NOT a Gew-88s , the sight is NOT a "S" sight . So your article is incorrect . And yes , many Gew-88s rifles were later modified BACK to P-88 ammo , with the sight changed back and the S on the stock canceled . They became a Gew-88 again . The 88/05 was made and sighted for P-88 ammo , was fittted with a NEW made rear sight that is different and does not interchange with the old sight , that is clear in German military documents , and if you look at any rifles . About half had the rear sight gound out and remarked later by the Germans for "S" ammo , and the other half do not seem to have had the sight corrected for "S" ammo untill the Turks got them . Just look at the sight , you can see the old P-88 ammo markings still under the new markings . That is what makes the 05 rifle with the original P-88 sight I found very interesting and rare . It was still in German service with P-88 ammo and did not go to Turkey and get modified . You are basing your ideas on old incorrect information , so your conclusions are wrong . That is how TP always amazes me , he has been spreading incorrect information for years : The bores had .318 grooves , the notch in the front of the receiver on a 05 is for the "longer" "S" ammo [ the 05 is for P-88 ammo ] , the stripper guides are riveted [ I knock one off and it is a WELD , plus by definition a rivet goes through a hole in both parts and there CLEARLY is NO hole through the receiver , just look it is not there ] .AND I duplicated the exact ring look when I welded it back on and ground it smooth . If you keep spreading this information , it will not go away . I now have every rifle model in steel , with every modification that matches the Original German documents EXACT to the word . So unless you do not think the German military knew what model rifles were what , my information is correct .
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another example of incorrect conclusions made from bad information . The SA rifles , About the s stamp and "we may never know " It is known right now . Most of the rifles went to SA about 20 years later than you are thinking , and not from Germany . That right there will clear up alot for you . Not to be picking on you again , but your article on what rifles from what units and why they are found in the SA rifles is incorrect also , Sorry .
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So this is where we might get a chance to advance everybodies knowledge, and that is a good thing.

You reminded me of a past thread from the fall I think. You are basing your opinions on the pamphlet dated 1915, that PeterS had posted, is that so?

It was a significant one, but sadly, after I downloaded a copy of it my pc crashed and it was lost to me. So have you translated this pamphlet?

Could you provide us a copy of the pamphlet by any chance along with the translation, that would be a great boon for the members of this forum, and I bet it would clear up any misconceptions once and for all. We would all be indepted to you, and it would end this question once and for all. And that would be a very good thing!
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Hauptmann


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

G-88 expert wrote:
Another example of incorrect conclusions made from bad information . The SA rifles , About the s stamp and "we may never know " It is known right now . Most of the rifles went to SA about 20 years later than you are thinking , and not from Germany . That right there will clear up alot for you . Not to be picking on you again , but your article on what rifles from what units and why they are found in the SA rifles is incorrect also , Sorry .


SORRY, BUT i MISSED THIS WHEN i WAS REPONDING TO THE PRIOR ANSWER. This is a totally interesting revelation. The consensus has been earlier that these rifles were sold off sometime prior to WWI, between 1904-1908.

So you are saying that the SA rifles were sold to Ecuador around say 1924? I am not disputing what you say, so where does this come from? If this is so, then by all means, I would be very pleased to find out the Who, what, where, when, that most accounts we come across lacks.

This is what advances the hobby, sharing knowledge! Good stuff.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is unfortunate most post here got dumped earlier. Some very pertinate info was lost. Discussions like this help rebuild it.

Yes, simple measuring, and then physical example, blows the notched receiver bit apart. It is indeed for the P88 ammo. Can vouch for that out of my stash of varied ammo. Czech made P88 ammo is to the length of the S patrone ammo. Where, original German P88 is longer overall. So, any thing contrary is just wrong. S patrone clears receiver with no need of notch.

Other reason for notch? The rear of modified trigger guard inner walls, no clip retainer, moves the position of cartridge closer to receiver. The German P88 now would strike receiver with no notch.

The stripper clips blocks are the same way. Any inspection of these show no rivet nor hole in receiver. However, there were photos of some receivers bearing stripper blocks with odd circular ring marks on them. Now, I'm only running off a less than perfect recall. But, I do remember the shots. So, there may be some receivers that got these blocks from other sources? Other than Germany/Turkey? That WOULD tend to start rumors. Id love to get hands on one to look over? The rings may only be the marks left from hasty use of clamps, that left imprint, during welding. So, that doesn't sound like the German's. Again, only actual inspection of such a rifle would clear that up. Or, is that an example of 88/14 modifications?

Many questions. Exposing own ignorance. How else am I to get good answers?

Now, as to the sight and crown over S marks in this discussion? G-88? Is it possible to post shots of actual examples? At your time and pleasure? You mentioned over stamps and the S sight will not retro fit old type sight and perhaps in reverse? As. it would give clear idea of the matter and provide us (we who be unwashed and uninformed-me) with photo example to guide. As, politely, I'm from Missouri. Please show me of what you're discussing so emphatically.
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