1895 Spandau 1888 Commission Rifle: My mouth is just watering...

  • Last Post 01 August 2022
GregT posted this 28 July 2022

I pulled this rifle from my collection the other day. It is an un-modified rifle, straight 1888 commission rifle, has an "S" bore (.320" slugged out). Made in Spandau, 1895. The bore is in excellent plus condition! Years back, you have probably seen a photo of some rifles piled in an Ecuador warehouse being shoved around by a bulldozer. This rifle came from one of these piles! I got two at the time. I sold the lesser conditioned one to a friend of mine. This rifle has a dinged up stock, looks more likes dings and scratches from combat use. NO cracks and the inletting is perfect. I washed up the stock using that "purple colored detergent" (NAPA) and hot water and that treatment got rid of the old dirt and oil and even some of the lesser scratches disappeared. Excellent Imperial German stock cartouches and miscellaneous other letter stampings So, I'm thinking that this will make an excellent cast bullet shooter. I have a quantity of Missouri Bullet Company cast, 170 grain, RNFP slugs for the .32-40 that I are ready to go. Other bullets in this caliber I have cast up myself from a previous project. Those are in .322" and are one notch below Linotype in hardness. Why am I thinking UNIQUE would do fine? I have cleaned up the metal parts and the finish is mostly brown patina, some blue. Normal "GEW 1888" marking on the left receiver wall (below this making is a very small font "N.M". Any idea what that means?). Maybe "National Match"? (!) What would you all think about putting this rifle to use?



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bdrake71 posted this 28 July 2022

I own a 1888/05 that has  had its barrel throated for the later .323 spitzer bullets but it still has the original .318/.321 bore and I use cast lead bullets sized at .323" with great accuracy.  I use load data for .32 Winchester Special from Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook and  shoot it at 100 and 200 yards with excellent results.
 Here is a link to more information about this rifle design.  You might find out what N.M. means on their page.

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RicinYakima posted this 28 July 2022

12.0 grains of Unique is a common load for these around here. Higher velocity loads are around 18 grains of 4227. 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 31 July 2022

sounds like fun ... nothing like getting an old mystery rifle to give good results.

here is where i start :: 

bullet fit:: ...  nose of bullet as snug as possible in muzzle of gun.    rear end of bullet as snug as possible in throat of gun.

powder charge ... Unique .. if it looks like a  22-250, use 6 grains ... looks like a 308, use 7 grains ... looks like a 30-06 use 8 grains.

no filler needed.  no gas check need ( unless you want a small accuracy increase  ... for my 50 yard plinking no difference ) .

btw, alloys as soft as recovered 22 range scrap seem to work fine for these loads.  these are starter plinkers, but burn clean and blow up pop cans.  the other guys at our local range first laugh at these but it seems they enjoy emptying up my cigar ammo box .

ken ... waiting for the heavens to rain primers ...


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GregT posted this 01 August 2022

In my first post here, I asked if anyone knew what "n.m." under the GEW 1888 Stamping on the left receiver wall meant. Without going into a lot of detail, it means New Metal in the barrel and receiver. The max carbon content was watched but not the minimum. on the low end, new carbon standards were set and watched this time!


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