The drawing shows the arm after the trigger has been pulhd, causing it to pivot and release the sear from engagement with the striker. The striker spring driving the striker forward forces the firing pin point through the hole in the breechblock face to fire the cartridge.
As the cartridge is chambered, the compressed magazine spring acting through its guide forcing against the nose of the magazine follower tilts that member and causes its arm to force the remaining 4-cartridges in the magazine up in line to bring the top one directly below the bolt for the next feeding stroke.
Note that while the locking lugs in this design are at the forward end of the bolt cylinder and are securely locked in their recesses in the receiver, the head of the bolt is a removable piece and hence the lugs are further back from the head of the cartridge than in later genuine Mauser construction.
It is not correct to speak of this arm as a Mauser even when it was made by that company. The arm is never so designated in any Mauser records. Popularly it is known as the "Commission and Mauser" because some of the construction details were adapted by the Commission from the Mauser design. Its official German designation was "Deutschland Infanteriegewehr M. 88" (German Infantry Rifle Model 1888).
it must be clip loaded, since the clip itself is an actual part of the magazine.
A partially filled Mannlicher clip in the action makes it impossible to load the chamber or magazine with a spare cartridge. In the Mauser system, the chamber can be loaded by pushing the cartridges down in the magazine, easing the bolt forward over their heads, then inserting a cartridge in the chamber and closing the bolt. A partially empty Mauser magazine can be filled with single cartridges anytime the action is open. The essential difference is that in the Mannlicher the clip goes in with the cartridges; while in the Mauser the cartridges are stripped in off the clip.
A thin steel jacket (or "barrel casing") around the barrel was intended to protect the rather thin-walled barrel from injuries and to protect the hands of the soldier from being burned by the heat generated during rapid fire.
The Model 1888 rifle introduced an entirely new and outstanding cartridge known as the 7.9 mm. (It is also listed as 7.91 and 7.92 mm). That design is the basis of the cartridge used by Germany from then on until the close of World War II. Except for ballistic changes in the shape of the bullet and the type of charge it is the same cartridge—one of the most efficient known.
While the nominal caliber is 7.9 mm, both manufacturers and War Ministry publications list a maximum diameter for the bullet of 8.1 mm for the M. 1888. The bore diameter is listed as 7.9 mm.
This cartridge (popularly known as "8 mm" Mauser in the U. S.) is the German 8x57mm rimless. It was originally issued with round nosed bullet. Bullet weights and styles, as well as loads, have varied with time and place of manufacture. Bullet diameter is about .318 inch.
The rifle measured 48.8 inches over all and weighed 8.4 pounds. The barrel was 29.1 inches long and had a barrel groove diameter of about .320 inch, 4-groove rifling to the right, one turn in 9.45 inches.
Sights were graduated from 500 to 4000 meters.
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