May 18, 2022 Extraordinary Firearms
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/18/2022
M1896 experimental rifle designed by the chief armorer at the Spandau Arsenal, Louis Schlegelmilch. A limited quantity of the Schlegelmilch Model 1896 rifles were produced for the Germany Army (GPK) Small Bore Trials of 1896-1898 in hopes of securing a contract to replace the antiquated Gewehr Model 1888. These rifles were chambered for an experimental 6x58mm high velocity cartridge (which went on to be commercialized as 6mm Forster) and featured a unique and very distinct shrouded bolt that utilized a twin frontal lug design. The barrels are not threaded onto the receiver as was done traditionally but are instead dovetailed and pinned through the bottom, with additional support found in a steel cradle that is fitted into the stock. These rifles also feature a unique stripping/takedown feature, allowing for the entire action and barrel to be quickly removed from the stock. Major metal components are rust blued, with the bayonet lug, rear sight assembly, bolt assembly, and buttplate being in-the-white. The buttplate and rear sling swivel exhibit Imperial German crown proofs, with the underside of the barrel bearing a single Imperial German eagle proof, just to the rear of the "rollercoaster" Lange Vizier rear sight. Matching numbers are present on the receiver, stripper clip bridge, trigger group assembly, barrel, trigger guard/magazine housing assembly, trigger guard/magazine housing assembly takedown lever, floorplate, bolt assembly, bolt shroud, barrel bands, stock, stock cradle, as well as the upper handguard. Rear sight has a minimum setting of 300 meters, as compared to the minimum 400 meters on a standard Gewehr 98 sight, and is numbered "25" on the underside. Stock has been cut just to the rear of the rear barrel band and appears to have been glued back together. Accompanying this rifle is a scan of some notes mentioning that a Mr. Gaiser and Feederle have gone by train with five new rifles to be tested against the Schlegmilch rifle, a scan of a handwritten document from Paul Mauser's main representative, Franz Maroctty, congratulating Paul Mauser for doing well in the tests against the Schlegelmilch rifle, as well as scans of a blueprint titled "LOUIS SCHLEGELMILCH IN SPANDAU" above "Rifle cylinder lock, in which the latter (with the removal of the rifle case) slides on a rail". CONDITION: Very good, with metal components retaining the majority of their arsenal blue finish that show a pleasant brown patina overall, with some scattered storage handling marks, some light wear, as well as some spots of light surface oxidation. In-the-white components are very good, with the bolt handle and buttplate showing age-related discoloration overall. Mirror bore, exhibiting well-defined lands and grooves throughout. Stock shows some scattered impressions and minor marks from handling and storage but is otherwise fine. A very scarce and uniquely designed German experimental rifle utilized in the 1896-1898 Small Bore Trials for the discerning collector. MLW
Barrel Length
FFL Status
Curio & Relic
Scanned Documents, Blueprints
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $4,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $6,600.00
Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000
Number Bids: 6
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
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