Mauser 1896 Carbine

Mar 11, 2013

The purchase order for this Mauser 1896 carbine, caliber 7 x 57 mm serial 3965 manufactured by Ludwig Loewe & Co. Berlin was placed on 2nd June 1896 by the Transvaal, later to become the “Zuid-Afrikaanshe Republiek” or South African Republic (Z.A.R.) The serial number identifies her as one of the  first batch which was made up of 20,000 rifles and 5,000 carbines, price was 3 GBP (Great Britain Pound) this price included a sling and delivery to Pretoria station. Also include at the same time was an order for ten million cartridges, these had to be loaded with a smokeless powder and delivered to Pretoria station for 6 GBP and 10 shillings. (20 shillings to one pound.) per thousand.

So we know that this trim little carbine was delivered to South Africa before the start of the Boer War. She came to me from the UK in 2010, I purchased her in a UK Auction, their agent told me she was one of three Boer War rifles that had been hanging on the wall in a Pub, when the Pub was redecorated the guns were put in auction, I purchased two of the three.

What makes this particular carbine unique is the silver plate on the stock, this plate reads:

C. H. Ord
W. A. Bushman
Captured from Boer Laager
Kaffer Kraal Crocodile River
Plumer Column

History tells us that the Boer Commandos armed with their modern Mauser rifles, firing the flat shooting 7 x 57 round acquitted themselves very well against the British army. This carbine is in amazedly good shape, all the numbers match, sights are intact and the bore is excellent. Judging from the extensive bruising on the stock I would think that this girl has seen a lot of use but she has also been well cared for. This carbine is very handy weighting only 7.25 lb and measuring 37.5 inches overall. In 1900 if I had been a Boer scout on the Veldt traveling light with my jacket pockets full of biscuits and biltong, a bandoleer of cartridges, a canteen and a good pony I would have felt that I had the greatest rifle of all time in my hands. As it is now I am privileged to care for this girl until the time comes to pass her on to the next owner. As a surviving veteran of the Boer War this is one girl who would surely be able to entertain us with stories from the past, if only she could talk.



Leave a comment