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GEW 88 questions

Gew88, Gew98, Kar98 etc.
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bampa
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GEW 88 questions

#1 Post by bampa » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:10 pm

I have two new-to-me GEW 88s that I have questions about. The first is one of the 1915 war-expedient "S" conversions that has the altered rear sight and spring in the magazine bottom. It's an 1889 Steyr that is all matching except for the bolt, which matches itself. It's not import-marked and has the original finish on the metal and wood, and it has the correct rod. It has no Turk markings. Maybe a WWI bringback?

Anyway, my question concerns the rear sight of the "S" conversion. It's different from the rear sights of other GEW 88 /05 rifles I have or have seen. The photos I've attached show the 88 "S" conversion rear sight on the left or top of the photos. To the right or bottom of the photos is the rear sight on an 88/05 I have that is similar to others I've seen. Anybody have ideas on the "S" rear sight?

My second question concerns the second GEW 88 I recently found. It is an 88/05 made in 1891 at Loewe and is mismatched. It has no Turk markings and is not import marked. It has the correct rod as well. However, the metal has been arsenal refinished somewhere. My question concerns the "star" stamp in the wood above the magazine, which is shown in an attached photo. I've been informed that this could be a Spanish stamp done during a rearsenal. I know some GEW 88s ended up in Spain during the civil war. Could this be one of them?

Thanks in advance for any replies....
Attachments
gew88-5.jpg
gew88-3.jpg
gew88-2.jpg
gew88-1.jpg
gew-4.jpg

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Re: GEW 88 questions

#2 Post by slowbob2 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:22 pm

Your 88s had the old 200 meter P-88 ammo sight recut to match the S ammo . It will also have the 200 meter flip up and the top range v on the sight ground out in a u shape to cancel them . I can not tell from the photo but your rear flip up may have been replace with the wrong part [ not ground ] by some one who did not know it should have been canceled . Yes it is most likely a WWI bring back . Also , since it is a 1889 made gun it could still have the original 1st design barrel on it . See if it slugs out to .314 - .321 . Those barrels are really hard to fins as they wore out quickly and most were changed to the later .311 - .321 barrel and yours could have one [ as they were not marked . . Since it is not Z marked it will not have the last 1896 1/2 spec .311 - .323 barrel . Nice rifle - a rare Gew-88s + an 1889 made , and maybe a .314 barrel . The 88/05 will not be import marked as it is a pre 98 . The blued receiver says Turkey . 88/05 rifles were updated with a new made 400 meter sight for P-88 ammo and then later ground and marked for S ammo , just like the 88s rifles . You can still see the old P-88 ammo sight marks that do not line up anymore . The 88/05 should still have the original German .311- .323 barrel on it as it does not show the mark for a Turk rebarrel .

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Re: GEW 88 questions

#3 Post by slowbob2 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:33 pm

Also every answer you got over on gunboards was by a person who had no idea what they were talking about . But it did not keep them from saying it !

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Re: GEW 88 questions

#4 Post by slowbob2 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:00 am

Also your 88s should have a crown S stamped on the side of the buttstock .

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Re: GEW 88 questions

#5 Post by Cattus Borealis » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:29 am

Nice Gew 88! I would slug your bore. I have found the Gew 88 to be an outstanding shooter, they are under-rated rifles.

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Re: GEW 88 questions

#6 Post by bampa » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:12 pm

Thanks for the replies. Yes, I didn't find the Gunboards answers to be helpful, but I sure appreciate the comments here. I have yet to slug the bore, but I will. Also, I had read that the buttstock on these S conversions should have an S stamp, as slowbob2 noted, but I don't think this one does. The stocks both have strong imperial stamps, but I just don't see an S in the stamps.

Also, I'm still a bit perplexed by that rear sight slide and leaf on the S. It's just so different -- from the screw at the top left of the leaf to the shape of the slide. Any further speculation on the rear sight would be appreciated, as would any comments about the stock "star" stamp on the 88/05 that some have indicated means Spanish Civil War use. Thanks again....

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Re: GEW 88 questions

#7 Post by slowbob2 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:54 pm

The S stamp on the stock is mainly a crown with an S as part of it . There is no need for speculation , the rear sight is a standard original Gew-88 sight , that is how they were made . They had a set screw to retain the slider , the longest range mark was a v on the top center . Remember , the rear sights on the 05 conversions were made new , were different and added to the rifles . A question to you . Does the S sight have the V ground into a big U on the flip up ? There were no Gew-88 /05's left in Germany by the SCW . All the 05 had went to Turkey , or to the Czechs who later sold more to Turkey . I have never seen a photo or heard of a 88 in the SCW . I have seen the star stamp on the wood of Turk rifles as an inspection mark . Mostly up by the bolt . When you slug it make sure it is clean to get a good reading . With all the .318 bore bull floating around , many people will shoot .318 lead / copper jacketed bullets in them , which will really lead or foul the grooves . Giving a poor measurement .

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Re: GEW 88 questions

#8 Post by Cattus Borealis » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:56 pm

I heartily recommend Scarlata's book on the 1888 Commission rifle. It is exceedingly well researched and is full of pictures of the IG 88 in action.

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Re: GEW 88 questions

#9 Post by slowbob2 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:56 pm

I do not . It is full of mistakes . By a guy who did not own any of the rifles . He does not read German , so he did not use any of the information in the original German documents or manuals. He did not understand the ammo .

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Re: GEW 88 questions

#10 Post by Cattus Borealis » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:45 am

I see.

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Re: GEW 88 questions

#11 Post by bampa » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:37 pm

Thanks again, slowbob2, for the help. I did not know the rear sights on the 05 conversions were made new, so it is good to learn the sight on my S is a standard 88 one. To answer your question, I think the 200-meter flip up is missing. There is a pin where I think the flip up attached but no flip up. The pin is sticking out a bit on each side where I think the flip up sides would have been, so maybe it is an original pin? Would removing the flip up but retaining the original pin be something done during the conversion process?

I, too, thought the Scarlata book was decent, but then again, I wasn't getting some answers from it regarding the rifles depicted here, which is why I have posted questions. It's hard to gauge the quality of information in a reference book when your own knowledge base could be more developed in a specific area — and my knowledge base could be more developed in many areas (just ask my wife). Live and learn, I guess!

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Re: GEW 88 questions

#12 Post by slowbob2 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:04 pm

You were not finding the answers there because he does not know them . Removing the flip up was not part of the conversion . The flip up sight had the V sighting notch ground away into a big U , just like the top of your sight . It remained on the rifle . Your rifle may have been changed by some one here to " match " the incorrect info in the book . I get $50.00 to correct all the mistakes in the book , and for the amount of work that is cheap . Did you slug your barrel to see if it was an original , first design .314 -.321 barrel ? Again something he does not even know exists , he keeps pushing the .318 barrel that never existed .

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Re: GEW 88 questions

#13 Post by Cattus Borealis » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:13 am

Slowbob,

Have you ever thought to write the author?

I have started to re-read the book with this in light. Despite missing info and errors there is a lot of compelling information.

Scarlatta mentions a consignment of "Mauser Muskets" shipped in 1937 to Spain. All of the "Mauser muskets" were stamped Erfurt 1890. The ship that transported them was SS Saromid of Gdynia, Poland and the rifles were from W. Daugs of Berlin. The weapons were supposed be shipped to China but wound up in Spain. Scarlatta's source on this was Robert Priest's research published in his article "Arms of the Spanish Civil War."

We can derive that
1. There were Gew 88s in the Spanish Civil War. P 156 has two photos of Republicans using them.

2. Arms dealers in Germany still had Gew 88 rifles in storage for international sale. It is possible that these rifles were stored in a neutral country.

Please let me know if you write Mr. Scarlatta. It should be interesting.
Last edited by Cattus Borealis on Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: GEW 88 questions

#14 Post by slowbob2 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:34 am

It would be a waste of time as the book does what he wanted it to do , get your 39.95 .

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Re: GEW 88 questions

#15 Post by Cattus Borealis » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:41 am

Ok. I see.

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