This is members Martin 08, GEW 98 bring back, not a War Bond plugged specimen. Martin 08 always has great photos and documentation. So for anyone that wants a close up view of a unmodified, WW I bring back Gew 98 check out this link. It is worth a print out or to save as a PDF.
Its that nice.
https://forums.gunboards.com/showthread ... tching-but
Quote Originally Posted by martin08 View Post
I had read many times about clipped firing pins on GEW98s, so that is how I knew to check.
But for those of us who aren't familiar with "War Bond" rifles, could you expand please? Thanks.
When the U.S. finally declared war on Germany on April 2nd, 1917, the U.S. military was woefully unprepared for war, let alone for a World War. To fund the war effort, the U.S. Govt. began to sell war bonds referred to as "Victory Bonds" at the time. Bonds are a form of debt securities that guarantee the payment of the principle and interest when the bonds matured. Over $30 billion dollars were raised for the war effort.
Two types of Bond were sold, commercial bonds and retail bonds. Commercial bonds were sold through the stock market, while retail bonds were sold directly to the public. Even the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts sold retail bonds in the same manner that they sell cookies today.
How this applies to the rifle in question is as follows.
First of all, lets take shooterike's statement completely out of the discussion.
"The "clipped" firing pin was done by order of some US officer to "demilitarize" it before the GI was allowed to take it home."
I can promise you that NO officer ever told a "Doughboy" (GI's fought in WWII) to clip the firing pin on a trophy rifle before shipping back to the States. Documented soldier "bring-backs" are never encountered with clipped firing pins.
As a reward to people and organizations that purchased large amounts of Victory Bonds, a large number of captured weapons were shipped to the U.S. by the government. The military picked over everything with a fine toothed comb for reference collections, for military branch museums and for state and national museums. Machine-guns, rifles and helmets were also doled out to VFW Posts, while rifles were distributed to individuals who had purchased a large amount of Victory Bonds.
The rifles in question were considered war trophy's that were expected to be placed on display rather than fired. The decision was made to clip the firing pins on these rifles in order to render them "safe" in the hands of members of the public who had no experience handling firearms. Can we say "city folks?"
This process was done on an organized basis. The MOST LIKELY scenario in regards to the clipped pins would have resulted from the organized assembly-line style approach where rifle bolts were removed by one person, disassembled by another and the pin clipped prior to the re-assembly of the bolt by another person. The mixture of serial numbered parts would hardly have been of concern at the time.
Per your comment Matt, this was NOT the only means of deactivating weapons. Other more destructive options were used in some instances. As collectors, we are very lucky that the majority of these rifles weren't ruined in the process!
Hope this info helps.
This one is mine, a non War bonds Trophy rifle. It is an actual bring back- no cut firing pin & the pin # matches the rifle, No duffle cut. :
Always check on matching rifles if the firing pin in the bolt actually matches the rifle & bolt serial number. Some can have a matching bolt to itself, but does not match the rifle. Most have a matching bolt, but the firing pin was cut, replaced, and as a result the firing pin's serial # no longer matches. Also many others have a mixture of parts and the bolt does not match- a bolt miss matched Gew 98. Some even have Turk, or unmarked, or remarked bolts.
http://www.surplusrifleforum.org/viewto ... =13&t=2525
Bolt face examples : normal and ground face
Cut firing pin
Turkish import GEW 98. Import marked on barrel. Turkish Ottoman crescent moon on Receiver
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.