20 Comments

  1. Were these possibly occupation troops in Belgium or Holland? Their inventory of weaponry certainly seems to indicate that they were members of a second-line unit usually associated with that sort of duty. The Alsatian pup seems to be more interested in what is in the grass just ahead of his ( or her ) nose than in the otherwise dramatic proceedings around him ( or her ).

      • Actually, it DOES appear to have the barrel shroud, a feature of the original Belgian ’89.

        Reasons why it’s not a Commission M1888:
        1. Bolt handle BEHIND the rear receiver ring. Gew88s have a split bridge.
        2. The construction of the external magazine. If I remember correctly, there’s a “toe” at the front of the ’89 and ’91 magazines which houses a pivot for the follower. ’88s have no such structure.

        • Chris, that’s a really astute observation, especially coming off an old photo that isn’t all that sharp. My hat’s off to you on this one.

          • My FIRST firearm was a Commission ’88 cut down to short rifle length (probably for the Turkish Forestry Service) that I bought while in college in the ’70s. I’ve owned several more since then, including a Gew ’91 artillery short rifle. I’ve always been fascinated by the Commission ’88 and its Dutch and Greek cousins. Some day I’d like to own some of the commercial sporter conversions like the ones in the 1910 Alfa catalog.

        • Okay, you might have had a slightly unfair advantage when it came to identifying the rifle in the photo :-D. That still has to be a pretty impressive ongoing collection you’ve owned over the years — I’m jealous! Seriously, though, I think it’s really great that you’ve had the opportunity to do so, and I hope those commercial sporter rifles will come your way soon. Many thanks for being kind enough to share this with the rest of us!

          • They really are neat guns with a much richer history than people think, just by virtue of all the countries that used them, including Germany, China and Turkey. If I’m not mistaken they were even used in the Easter Rising.

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