Mauser Rifle

Jan 2020
3
USA
Greetings,

I recently was in the country of Afghanistan and found something unique hanging on the wall one of the places that I visited.

There I founds a German Mauser, complete with German Eagle markings and matching serial numbers. I have pictures of the rifle somewhere but need to locate them.

My question for those on the forum would be:

Is this a German Mauser carried to the eastern front during WWII then put into a Soviet armory then taken to Afghanistan during the communist occupation, only where it fell into Taliban hands then ended up on the wall of building on a US installation???

Thoughts?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
5,006
Dispargum
I doubt the Soviets would keep a WW2 rifle in their armory for forty years on the theory that they might run out of AK-47s and might need the old weapons. More likely it was picked up on a WW2 battlefield as a souvenir and found its way via the black market to Afghanistan sometime prior to 1960. Of course all we can do is speculate without a documented paper trail which certainly doesn't exist.
 

pikeshot1600

Ad Honoris
Jul 2009
10,094
Not that it means much I suppose, but pictures would help. There might be some hints as to the time period. There were so many Mausers floating around before 1950 that it is hard to say how one made it to Afghanistan.

Is the "German eagle" the stylized National Socialist eagle or an earlier rendering from the Imperial decades?

Is the rifle longer with the bolt at 90 degrees (most likely Gewehr 98), or is it shorter which was by far the most common German rifle in WW II (the 98k Karabiner)? Many older Mausers were shortened as 98ks, and those have a different bolt. There were also other derivatives and Mauser types of Belgian and Czech origin that may have been modified and remarked.
 
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Jan 2020
3
USA
Thanks for the insight fellas.

Pike- I am currently out of town but when I return I will try to find my pictures and post them. I am pretty sure it is a National Socialist eagle if I remember right. just from my limited gun knowledge I believe it was a 98K.

Thanks again for the help
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,510
Portugal
After the WWII many German weapons entered in the black market and many in the 60’s found their way to the insurgent movements in Africa, Asia and Latin America (many sold or given by the Soviet Union).

The path of those weapons is often difficult to follow, but probably is not so surprising that one of those guns found its way to Afghanistan.
 
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redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,950
Stockport Cheshire UK
Mausers were used by both the Turkish and Persian armies for a large part of the 20th century, so some may have entered Afghanistan by that route. There is also the possibility that local gunsmiths have altered the weapon to make it a more valuble to a foreign buyer.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,510
Portugal
Mausers were used by both the Turkish and Persian armies for a large part of the 20th century, so some may have entered Afghanistan by that route. There is also the possibility that local gunsmiths have altered the weapon to make it a more valuble to a foreign buyer
Besides used, Mauser Rifles were produced in Turkey, as well in many other countries (Spain, Portugal, China…), but by the OP I assumed that it was German manufactured. Maybe the photos can give us more tips.
 
May 2019
385
Earth
Definitely agree with the other posters here, we need photos. It could be anything from a WW1 era Turkish Gewehr 98 to a WW2 K98k. Without photos or a very pictoral description, it's hard to say what model or era it's from.
 

pikeshot1600

Ad Honoris
Jul 2009
10,094
Just a comment on the post war trade in Mausers. Most of the Mausers that made their way into the arms market came from Iron Curtain countries. The US and Britain did not make it a practice to stockpile surrendered arms, but rather to destroy them. The Soviet Union used captured or surrendered arms to further Soviet military interests outside their occupied or "allied" territory.

As an example, the Israeli army (Haganah) received large numbers of Mauser rifles ostensibly from Czechoslovakia. The USSR was attempting to develop influence in the new state of Israel which desperately needed armaments in the late 1940s. These rifles continued in second line use with the IDF through the 1967 Six Day War, and even in the Yom Kippur War. When they were no longer needed, Israel sold them to whomever was in the market.

In such cases, it is doubtful that markings on large numbers of surrendered arms were altered. It is probably anyone's guess how that Mauser got to Afghanistan.
 
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Zip

Jan 2018
766
San Antonio
As an aside, wasn't the Lee Enfield the bolt gun of choice in those parts?