Our 3rd December 2020 Arms and Militaria auction contains a collection of antique firearms and edged weapons consigned from the reserve collection of a museum. Amongst these items is a German over and under rifle and shotgun combination by Stahl & Berger Hamburg. These unusual firearms, more popular on the continent than in the UK, were often brought back as souvenirs following WWII. The gun is built around the Schuler Patent Hercules lock and is fitted with a set trigger, whilst needing a good overall haul and TLC, it was once a top-quality firearm.
The calibre of this rifle/shotgun was unknown there being no clear marks under the forend to tie the calibre down. In order for us to list and sell this item properly, as well as jump through all the necessary licencing, some further investigation was needed.
The shotgun part was quickly determined with specimen cartridges to be 16 bore but in order to work out the rifle part we needed to wax cast the chamber.
First, the somewhat dirty barrel and chamber were given a good scrub out before a screwed-up tinfoil plug was pushed into the barrel to a point just ahead of the chamber.
Beeswax provided by a friendly local beekeeper was then melted on the cooker.
Once fully melted the beeswax was carefully poured into the chamber.
The beeswax was left for half an hour to fully solidify.
Once the beeswax had fully solidified the wax casting could be carefully tapped out with a brass rod and measured with micrometer.
From the micrometer of the casting we were able to deduce that the calibre of the rifle is 8x60R Mauser. This calibre came into great popularity following WWI as German citizens were forbidden from owning military calibres. The 8x60R Mauser calibre allowed hunting rifles chambered in the more standard 8x57 rimless round to be adapted to comply with post-war licencing laws in Germany.
The Stahl & Berger is due to be sold as part of the 3rd December Arms and Militaria Sale.
We are still accepting entries for this auction and will be up until the 26th October.
Should you have any items you would like to consign to this sale we would be pleased to hear from you. Please contact Chris Large firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01270 623878
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