Recently Jon Speed brought up a subject that both interesting and mysterious, the question of how Mauser Oberndorf handled the Turkish rifle contracts. The actual documents relate to the Model 1903 Mauser made for the Turks, but Jon Speed states that the markings were used on earlier contracts, the Model 1887, Model 1890 and Model 1893 made for the Turks.
It is important information for Gewehr98 rifle collectors also, as the marking also have relevance for the rifles Mauser Oberndorf made for Turkey during World War I. The rest is in the words of Jon Speed, who is intimately familiar with Mauser Oberndorf and the German documents he possesses:
Paul, many folks on Gunboards have questioned over the years what various markings mean on Turkish rifles made by the Mauser firm. I have a complete set of photocopied blueprints of the well known Turkish Model 1903 rifle, of which over 200,000 were made over a 5 year period. In this set of drawings are a group of images that Show all the Revision (Inspection) markings found on this model. The Most important is for the barrel which has a set of 6 markings. We will explain these marks as listed under the barrel image:
- Chart of Revision marks for the Turkish Model 1903 rifle. Note Turkish terms on top of receiver ring which honor the existing King
- Closer image of the main parts
- Close up of Barrel to show the 6 marks with explanation chart under this. These same markings were used on Turkish Model 1887 rifle and carbines, Turk Model 90 and Model 93 rifles. The marks are not always found in this order.
Chart from top to bottom:
- Inspection after barrel is Bored
- Proof after Barrel Pressure test
- After Rifling and Chamber completed
- After Front and rear sights mounted
- After System with Barrel Proof
- Final inspection
I hope this will help those interested in the Turkish Mauser’s. The Model 1903 system was the first use by Mauser of what we call the Intermediate system. Receiver ring is 4-5mm longer than on Standard action, Bolt is slightly shorter than Standard bolt.