As already pointed out in the Historical Foreword, this arm while officially adopted in 1871 was actually issued in February 1872, with the improved safety demanded by the Testing Commission.
This arm was a single shot breech loader utilizing the bolt principle of the Dreyse and resembling it in many exterior details. However it employed a new cartridge whose case was drawn brass. This cartridge measured 3.07 inches over all and weighed 660.5 grains. The bullet was lead; its length was 1.0827 inches, its diameter (less patch) was 11 mm, (.433 inch), and its weight was 386 grains. The initial charge was approximately 77.16 grains of black powder which developed a muzzle velocity of about 1425 feet per second and gave a maximum range of about 3200 yards.
The rifle itself weighed 10 pounds 4 ounces :(1 pound 8 ounces more with bayonet). The overall length was 4 feet, 4.75 inches (6 feet .5-inch with bayonet). The barrel was 33.46 inches long and was rifled with 4-grooves of .0157 inch depth. The rifling made one turn in 21.65 inches (50 calibers) to the right. The sight adjustment ran from 300 meters (328 yards) to 1600 meters (1750 yards). The bore diameter was nominally 11 mm (.433).
This rifle was such a revolutionary development in the art of war that a fairly complete description of it is warranted here. Furthermore, millions of these rifles were distributed throughout the world, very large numbers having been sold in the U. S., particularly by the firm of Bannerman of N. Y. C. Moreover, they appeared in some quantity in use even in World War II in Europe. Ammunition for them was generally manufactured in Europe as late as 1937. Large numbers of them were adapted first in the late Ws and later in the early '20's to handling shot gun shells. These arms therefore may be encountered in the U. S. in general use as well as in arms collections.
The illustrations here used to show the functioning of this weapon are taken from contemporary drawings officially made by Mauser.
The bolt is fitted into the receiver of the rifle to permit it to travel backward and forward as the bolt handle is raised or lowered and the bolt drawn back or pushed forward.
The bolt cylinder is perforated and has the striker surrounded by
Was this article helpful?