Ludvig Loewe – Berlin 1890 Gew 88 Rifle ……….f 528 SOLD

Created on May 14th 2016

A good Turkish Comm’ 88 Bolt Action Rifle dated 1890


This was Germany’s answer to the introduction of the French “Lebel” Rifle which used smokeless powder.  This weapon could be called ‘the rifle with many names’.  It has alternatively been described as the Commission ’88, the Gew ’88, a Mauser, and a Mannlicher.  Call it what you will it was a very effective solution to the weapon it was faced up against, at least in theory.  Markings on the shroud, at the breech end indicate it has been chambered for the 7.92 “S”  bullet.  It is worth noting that even if the rifle is marked as accepting the current 7.92mm round, no modern ammunition should be put through it as military and later ammuntion produces much higher pressure.  Only properly loaded low pressure ammuntion should be used with the correct shaped bullet.

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Although used by the Turkish army of the time, and built in Germany, this rifle retains many of its original features.  No attempt has been made to cover up it’s origins.  All markings indicate Turkish ownership, it could have been taking pot-shots at the Aussie’s at Gallipoli. There is one small hint to times past on the rifle, at the front band.  If one looks at the opposite side to the bayonet lug there are unit markings which read “B. 11.  R.3.  219.”  -  Worth further research.


The rifle is equipped with a one piece, full length, walnut stock with a single cross bolt.  There appear to be Imperial type German cartouches on the side of the butt-stock, but it is not possible to distinguish them.  Fitted with the simple flat steel butt-plate.  Classically designed early German rear sling swivel attachment.


Straight handled bolt with gas deflection shield to rear, marked same as bolt stub.  Internal five-shot magazine with later, folded steel tin-plate covering the opening on the original underside of the magazine.  In profile this produces the distinctive sloping profile of the trigger guard to magazine.  More obvious on first sight is the sheet metal, rolled barrel shroud which makes the barrel look roughly twice as thick as it actually is.  The shroud steps down at the muzzle to accept the bayonet ring.  The rear ladder sight, situated on top of the barrel, is marked completely in Turkish characters.  A slide with chequered button to release and to fix sight at required distance is opperated from the RHS of the ladder.


The straight handled bolt has a flag-type safety to the rear and is released from the action by a simple button-type bolt release catch at the rear LHS of the action.  Numbers are mixed all over the rifle but there are traditional Imperial German inspectors stamps on many parts of the weapon, the screws being no exception.  The round receiver and barrel shroud are marked with different numbers but the serial numer of the rifle appears to be, on balance, “5539P.”   The top of the receiver is marked;  ”S / LOEWE. BERLIN / 1890 / 1528″.  There are Imperial German inspectors marks on the RHS of the receiver.  During service it was modified to accept feeding by clip.  Two pads were attached to the rear front of the open receiver on the back of the action.  These pads are designed to accept the loading clips.  As part of the modification a small “bite” shaped half-round has been machined away from the rear of the receiver ring. This allows for the long nose of the improved round to be accepted.  It was, literally, too short to take the long round nosed bullets.


The barrel shroud and action appear to have been re-finished in a strong black but the bolt is as it should be, in the white.  This in time has turned dark brown to plumb in colour.  The stock is in very good condition and still relatively light in colour.  The rifle is fitted with the correct original cleaning rod with the double slot for cloth and gauze’s.  This rod is one of the first threaded at both ends to accept other rods, thus making up the full length of the barrel to be cleaned.  The bore is strong but needs a good cleaning, perhaps over several shoots to shift the stubburn detritus.

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A good early Commission 88, freshly proofed and complete.

Stock No’  f 528

£ 635.oo      SOLD

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