By Dietrich Apel

Identification of Gun Makers, Models and Calibers

Before you ask for help in identification of your German hunting guns, please take the time to first find answers in this Web-site. To find specific information enter a name or a key word into the window above. Gun makers or dealers are listed alphabetical order in Section 5.
 

If you need additional help, the following persons listed below have kindly agreed to help, but it is important that you give them the information that allows them to give you a good answer. Please be considerate and don’t take advantage of too much of their time.

Send inquires only to one person at a time and wait for an answer before you ask others!

On many German hunting guns the name found on the top rib or on top of the barrels is not always that of the maker, but the name of the dealer who sold the gun. A few good close-up photos of the action from all sides and the markings on the outside and mostly those under the barrels might make accurate identification possible. A few good photos are better than many poor ones. Please attach individual photos to the e-mail so they can be enlarged and enhanced. The photos should not be less than 200 KB so they can be enlarged, or more than 800 KB so they are not too time consuming.

For accurate identification of older rifle calibers a chamber cast must be made, especially when ammunition is no longer available. You can order the chamber casting alloy “Cerrosafe” with instructions from Brownells.com

Gunsmithing and Patents: Larry at: shoptalk@dutchmanwoodworks.com

Hunting Guns, Calibers, Ammunition, Mike at:  cmf9374r@yahoo.com

Pre-WW 2 Hunting Guns, Wolfgang at: info@altejagdwaffen.de

Prussian Daly Guns (Lindner, Sauer, etc) Ken at: kgeorgi@bcssi.com

J.P. Sauer & Sohn in Suhl history & hunting guns up to 1945: haggards@telia.com

J.P. Sauer & Sohn in Suhl, all guns up to 1945: jjcate44@epbfi.net

German guns, their makers, and their marks: Raimey S. Ellenburg at: rsesurvey@gmail.com

Germanic Guns of all ages: inquiries@germanguns.com

If information is not found above or in the Web-site you may contact me at: info@germanhuntingguns.com

If you want to share the knowledge you have acquired about a certain gun maker, dealer or subject and want to be added to this listing, please get in touch with us. Not only will you help others but also get more information and photography.

Buying or selling a German Gun

When buying a German gun one should use the same good common sense as when buying any make gun. Here are a few thoughts about the subject:

One of the questions asked all the time is what a gun is worth and whether it is a good investment. Rarely can we give a definite answer and suggest that you ask yourself whether you really like the gun and would really like to own it. Nobody can take away your pleasure in owning it, even if you paid more for the gun than you intended. If, on the other hand you bought a gun because of its low price alone, you might be bothered by its shortcomings as long as you own it.

We don’t list used guns for sale and only give you the following contact information to gun dealers, auctioneers and appraisers without any recommendations. Some of the sites available are:

http://www.gunsamerica.com a listing service

http://www.gunsinternational.com a listing service

http://www.gunbroker.com an auction format

http://www.auctionarms.com an auction format

http://www.doublegunshop.com in their ‘Classified’ section

http://forums.nitroexpress.com in their ‘Classified’ section

http://www.accuratereloading.com in their ‘Classified’ section

The above listings are given to assist you and give you options but do not imply that we recommend these over others. Any sale or advice is strictly between you and the service provider without any liability on our part.

What to look for when buying a used gun:

If you are looking for a gun by a certain maker or for a certain type of gun and find it, inspect it carefully. If on the other hand your mind is wide open, follow your first impression and don’t get carried away by the belief that a gun must be worth much more than the asking price. The danger is particularly great when you go to an auction.

One of my grandfather’s Dreilaufflinte (three barrel shotgun) was for sale at an auction. Since this gun was missing in the collection of my grandfather’s guns, I was really tempted. But it was in terrible condition, which would have just bothered me without end. I passed it up. If you see a gun you would really like to own, look very critically what might be wrong with it. You may still want the gun but won’t have unpleasant surprises and unexpected expenses later. Consider also, whether you want to shoot the gun or just collect it.

Here is a list of things to look for: Look for abuse on the outside that is not the same as wear from hard use. Sweaty hands will eat away the

bluing on the barrels and the finish on the action. Checkering will wear and become very smooth. The wood will get surface scratches and minor dents. But these things can be restored professionally to be like new.

The next and most important thing I would look over in a rifle is the bore. Worn out and pitted rifle bores and chambers can’t be restored.

If in doubt, ask for permission to fire a few shots to see what kind of a group you will get. The same goes for shotgun bores with deep pitting, bulges and severe dents. A good barrel maker can do a lot but is limited by the wall thickness that must be retained. Also look into the shotgun bores from the muzzle. If you don’t see any choke constriction, the barrels may have been cut off. If the chokes are very tight, you may want to have them measured and opened up for modern shells.

I would now remove the fore-end, hold the gun by the grip and shake it up and down and sideways. If you pay close attention, you will feel the slightest looseness. And don’t be surprised if you feel only sideways looseness. With the barrel lumps between the side-by-side barrels, the pressure of the shot wants to force the right barrel to the left and the left barrel to the right. Any experienced gunsmith will confirm that looseness of the action starts this way on most guns. This, by the way,

will happen on the very best guns eventually, but most actions can be tightened up. Just allow for this expense in your consideration.

Next I would study the proof marks as listed and explained in Gun Identification.

After letting the hammers down, I would remove the fore-end and take off the barrels to take a look at the firing pin holes in the action. Erosion around these holes could indicate that reloads or overloads were used. Inspect the firing pins to see that they have the proper protrusion and are not damaged in any way. New firing pins can most certainly be made, but it must be said at this point that most firing pins on the German breech loading guns are fragile and the gun should not be dry fired without having firing pin protectors (snap caps) in the chambers. They are available for just about any caliber and having a set in every gun will allow you to store the gun with the hammers down.

Now it is time to look at the stock and the fore-end, the most vulnerable parts since they are made from wood that is softer than steel and effected by the weather. Check them for chips, cracks and looseness. If very loose, the stock may have cracked on the inside. Find a good stock maker to do the repairs. With skill and modern materials like epoxies and fiberglass, the repairs will be stronger than the original stock and will not show. Stock refinishing will be covered in another article.

The barrels of the gun you are inspecting may have scope bases, but the scope is no longer with the gun. These bases are usually for German claw mount rings that are explained in another article.

Some German Drillings have the bad habit of miss- firing, especially the rifle barrel. This can be caused by a gummed up mechanism; a good strip cleaning might remedy this. At other times the V-spring is weak or cracked and must be replaced, but firing pins for the rifle barrel often hit the primer in a steep angle and lack enough force. This can aggravate even a good gunsmith, and the only solution could be the use of ammunition with softer primers.

Horn butt plates and grip caps can be repaired, recoil pads can be installed, stocks can be bent. All these jobs will cost some money but a new stock is really an expensive item.

When the whole fore-end is missing, you are in for a high expense and long wait if you can even find a gunsmith willing to tackle making a replacement. I always wondered why so many fore-ends got lost until a German gun retailer told me that they removed all fore-ends from the guns they had in stock before the American troops took away all of them at the end of Word War II.

The smart buyer knows what he is getting into, what he can live with or what it might cost to fix what he can’t live with and some horse-trading is part of the experience!

Photography of your gun

This close-up photo of the action shows a very unusual bolting system by Gustav Kersten.

 Close-up images of an action tell us more than images of the whole gun.

Take close-up photos of the action from all sides and of all markings that can be found on the underside of the barrels and the flats of the action.

Besides the proof marks, this photo shows the trade mark of a gunmaker in Suhl named Lindner. It also tells us that the gun was made in Prussia where Suhl was located at the time the gun was made. Witten Excelsior is the steel that was used for the barrels.

A few good photos are better than a whole bunch of poor ones! Save only the best

and those that show features or markings that are of interest. Images with as low as 72 dpi (dots per inch) suffice for e-mailing.

Besides proof marks, the markings tell us, that the caliber of the two rifle barrels is most likely the obsolete 9.3x75R Nimrod.

Use a background without patterns that is light and uniform in color.Make sure that your camera is focused properly.

Unless you have lighting equipment and experience, you can get the best results outside on a bright but cloudy day. For         photos taken in the sun, read the captions in the next photo.

 

An easy to duplicate photo set-up for using daylight

on a bright day is better than bright sun light.

A cloth uniform in color and without any patterns makes the best background.

A dead black background works best because it absorbs the shadows.

Avoid sending big digital files by e-mail! The service providers might not transmit them! Compress the images or burn them on a CD for mailing.

Id of Gun Maker, Model, Caliber and Ammo

Before you ask for help in identification of your German hunting guns, please take the time to first find answers in this Web-site.

To find specific information enter a name or a key word into the window Above.
Search Our Archive:

If you need additional help the following persons listed below have kindly agreed to help, but it is important that you give them the information that allows them to give you a good answer. Please be considerate and don’t take advantage of too much of their time.

On many German hunting guns the name found on the top rib or on top of the barrels is not always that of the maker, but the name of the dealer who sold the gun. A few good close-up photos of the action from all sides and the markings on the outside and mostly those under the barrels might make accurate identification possible.

For accurate identification of rifle calibers a chamber cast must be made, especially when ammunition is no longer available. You can order the chamber casting alloy “Cerrosafe” with instructions from Brownells.com

Gunsmithing and Patents: Larry at shoptalk@dutchmanwoodworks.com

Hunting Guns, Calibers, Ammunition: Mike at cmf9374r@yahoo.com

Pre-WW 2 Hunting Guns: Wolfgang at info@altejagdwaffen.de

Prussian Daly Guns (Lindner, Sauer, etc) Ken at kgeorgi@bcssi.com

J.P. Sauer & Sohn in Suhl history & hunting guns up to 1945 haggards@telia.com

J.P. Sauer & Sohn in Suhl, all guns up to 1945 jjcate44@epbfi.net

When all else has failed, you may contact Dietrich at: DA@GermanHuntingGuns.com

The Editor of this web site- Larry B. Schuknecht may be contacted at info@germanhuntingguns.com

 

If you want to share the knowledge you have acquired about a certain gun maker or subject and want to be added to this listing, please get in touch with me.