Offered for sale is this incredibly rare pre-WW2 Mauser Gewehr fur Deutsche Reichspost supposedly supplied to arm the security guards of the Postschutz (German Postal Protection Service) but destined for use by the Sturmabteilung (SA, also known as the Brownshirts) & Schutzstaffel (SS) as referenced on page 8-11 in ‘Backbone of the Wehrmacht’ by Richard D Law & ‘Karabiner 98’ Vol II.

The ‘Standard Modell’ was Mausers’ attempt to remain commercially viable & compete with their version of the ‘Model 1924’ being offered by Czech & Belgian manufacturers selling to China & South America & the forerunner to the famed Kar98k. In 1933, the Standard Modell had further improvements which made it identical to the K98k including the turndown bolt handle, which was the idea with the re-armament intentions of Nazi Germany commencing. As part of Hitler’s rearmament program which started around this time, the Standard Modell was also ordered for official issue to the German Postal Service to ‘guard postal offices & rail cars during riots’.  The arming of the postal service was an official government Act, effectively arming them with the exact same rifles intended for the Wehrmacht. This was no coincidence & definitely the government preparing the German arms industry for mass production of the K98 with the added benefit of getting these rifles into the hands of the Nazi Party.

Mauser were making Standard Modell rifles for export to China & South America plus secretly, the various regional High Commands of the SA.  The SA was the Nazi Party’s original paramilitary wing whose methods of violent intimidation played a key role in Adolf Hitler’s rise to power & who after the ‘Night of the long knives’ were replaced by the SS. As they were not able to source firearms through official procurement channels, SA district commanders purchased direct from Mauser Oberndorf to equip their members but often with some difficulty. Apparently, both the SA & SS were placing orders which angered the Army Ordnance Directorate no end as the official military was in demand of new rifles & expected to be the sole recipient in the build up of German forces under Hitler & the Nazi Party. The SA at that time outnumbered the official armed forces allowed by several million, but had no direct access through official channels so often acquired these rifles from the organisations who originally acquired them from Mauser.

It must also be remembered that even though they were legitimately ordered by ‘the government’, the government was the NSDAP ( Nazi Party) who wanted their paramilitary organizations armed. In ‘Backbone of the Wehrmacht’ it is formally acknowledged after the war by former Mauser senior management that the Gewehr fur Deutsche Reichspost designation was a ‘camouflage name’ within Mauser for weapons being made to arm the SA & SS.

Although the Gewehr fur Deutsche Reichspost Mausers were ordered for the Postal Service they were also issued to Zolldienst, (German Customs Service) & Deutsche Bahn (German National Railways System) & a smaller number to the military for field evaluations. These all has various stamps on the stock (D.R. for rail, Ch.d.A for military).

Because of the later laminated stock, we will probably never know this rifles’ history before it was refurbed & used in the defence of the Fatherland, most likely by the Waffen SS who were known to still be using reworks of these rifles until the end.

The ‘Gewehr fur Deutsche Reichspost’ was produced for only a limited time before Hitler gave the world a surly display of two fingers, rejected the Treaty of Versailles altogether, geared up the war machine & gave up any effort at stealth. As on 21 June 1935, the Karabiner 98k was officially adopted to replace the Rifle 98 & Carbine 98b in the German Wehrmacht. It is known that many Gewehr fur Deutsche Reichspost rifles ended up with the military, mainly Waffen SS, as the SS continued to have conflict with the traditional military with regard to weapons acquisition.

Despite being refurbished sometime during WW2, this rifle has matching numbers on the barrel, receiver, upper barrel band, floor plate, rear sight, stock & butt plate. As an arsenal or depot rework, the bolt unsurprisingly is not matching the rifle but matches itself.

This particular rifle bears all of the correct commercial proof marks including the Crown over the U & the Crown on N, indicating it is Nitro proofed plus the post 1934 ‘diamond’ mark. On the receiver ring is the classic commercial Mauser banner, leading to these also commonly being call the ‘Banner Mauser’. Below this is marked 1934 & above the banner is a badly worn & mostly obscured marking we think connects it to its post war history. The mark in question is what we now believe to be an Iraqi Army property stamp. How it ended up there is something we may never know. It has quite clear TG2 in a triangle on the under the wrist which is a German depot marking from when it was reworked & had the stock replaced, plus the serial number is also on the bottom of the stock in the correct place further validating this was done at an official depot or similar. Correct for a Gewehr fur Deutsche Reichspost the left side of the receiver is correctly stamped Mauser-Werke A.G. Oberndorf where the Standard Modell was marked or, where the military version has Mod. 98 would be, all of which is confirmed in ‘Backbone of the Wehrmacht’ & ‘Karabiner 98′ Vol IIb by Bruce Karem & Michael Steves.

Clearly this rifle has had more than one master in its service life as evidenced by the laminate stock & stamped top barrel band (not to mention the Iraqi stamp). These were sure to have been fitted during a refurbishment during the war as both the stock, the band & the butt plate are stamped correctly numbered to this rifle, further suggesting it was done by a German armourer at a depot or arsenal, post 1943. It is known that many Standard Models were used by the Waffen SS because even in wartime, they often had a very difficult time acquiring Kar98k’s through the official procurement channels, as the OKW (Wehrmacht High Command) just didn’t like the SS & just refused to share, right up to the end of the war & all available evidence leads to this is one of those rifles.

It must be remembered today that Mausers’ many devious attempts to confound the Allied inspectors still active enforcing the Treaty of Versailles makes it hard for modern collectors & researchers.  As collectors, we are told to buy the gun & not the story, but this rifle has all the indications for the sharp collector that suggests this is an extremely rare & collectable rifle.

If you are a collector who wants one of the commercial bannered Mauser rifles believed to have been acquired by the SA in the early 1930’s to arm their rising numbers, this could be your chance.

To be clear, we are stating our opinion & not claiming this opinion is fact as we will never have any way to confirm. We are using all available information & making our own decisions as you need to.

You will know if this is for you so do your own research & view the photos carefully as they form the main description & override all written information so ask for more if desired.

Whilst we check these out for serviceability, the warranty has expired & these are sold on an as is basis.

As with all used guns, we recommend you have this checked by a suitably qualified person prior to shooting.

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