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May 6, 7,  8 & 9, 2022

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Cal. 13.25mm
S# 1138. Bbl. 39″

All visible numbers match. Import marked on right side of receiver ring with “SIMPSON LTD G’BURG IL.” Tangent rear sight graduated to 500 meters. Inverted V front sight. WWI inaugurated static trench warfare on a larger scale than previous wars resulting in new conditions and problems. Machine gun and sniper positions were well dug in and tended to be protected by armor plating and there were early attempts to produce personal body armor. These plates were dealt with at first by using very high powered sporting rifles and if the plates were not penetrated, they could be simply, to paraphrase a British officer, “be bashed in”. The German army developed a steel cored armor piercing bullet for the 7.92 cal. rifle and machine gun cartridge called the “SmK” bullet. This bullet was not very effective against the tanks introduced by the British at the battle of Flers-Courcelette during the Somme campaign in September of 1916. Tank armor averaged between 1/4″ and 1/2″ in thickness and while it could sometimes be penetrated at close range by the steel cored “SmK” ammunition, this was not always reliable.

The Germans at this time were developing a heavy version of the Maxim machine gun chambered for the newly developed 13.2 X 92 semi-rimmed cartridge which was designated the “Tank und Flieger” (TuF). This cartridge was chosen for the new anti-tank rifle using a steel cored armor piercing bullet. The velocity was given as 2580 feet per second. This allowed it to penetrate approx. 1″ of armor at 100 meters at a 90 degree angle and nearly 3/4 of an inch at 500 meters. A potent round indeed. This cartridge was also at least in part the inspiration for the famed U.S. .50 cal. machine gun rd. There was no attempt to reduce the reportedly brutal recoil of these rifles. The late Carl “Bill” Morrison of Bradford Maine owned two of these rifles and rebarreled one to .50 machine gun. He stated that three shots at one session would result in a sore shoulder and splitting headache. The crew consisted of a gunner and an ammunition carrier who were cross-trained to do either job. This rifle gave the German soldier a means of dealing with tanks without the necessity of calling on the artillery which might be engaged with other tasks. They were used by both the Imperial German empire and Weimar Republic, some reportedly served in Sweden. A few of these rifles were given to museums and a few went to VFW Posts in the United States. This massive rifle is basically a scaled up Model 98 Mauser action with 2 additional locking lugs and weighs approx. 41 lbs. with bipod and measures 5 feet 6 3/4 inches in overall length. Reportedly approx. 15,000 of these rifles were produced. The receiver is marked with the Mauser banner trademark and the date 1918 on top of the receiver ring. The right side of the receiver ring has a crown over “K” proof. The left side of the receiver ring and the left side of the bbl. over the chamber have Imperial Eagle acceptance marks. The rifle utilizes a Mauser type flag safety. The bolt release lever is fire blued and marked with crown acceptance mark. Hardwood stock and separate pistol grip. Stock has 2 piece dovetailed construction at butt. Buttstock is marked on right side with 2 “crown” acceptance marks and “R”. Stock is retained at forward end by bbl. band incorporating a horizontal plate which accommodates the MG08/15 machine gun bipod giving the rifle a limited traverse when placed in a fixed position.

PROVENANCE: Collection of Dr. Geoffrey Sturgess.


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