This is a good example of a Boer War Mauser Model 1896 Cavalry Carbine used by the Boer/Dutch Commandos against the British in South Africa at the turn of the century. Caliber is 7mm. The serial number is in the 6000 range and has all matching numbers including the bolt, stock, receiver, triggerguard, floorplate, sight, etc. The cleaning rod is missing. This one was manufactured by DEUTSCHE WAFFEN-UND MUNITIONSFABRIKEN of Berlin, Germany. Common to some ZAR guns, this one has the little round Inspector mark next to the frame number, on the left side of the stock, bolt handle, and barrel. No marking on the receiver ring which is also correct for a Boer Mauser. Only a few thousand carbines were made and shipped along with groups of rifles on Steamers to South Africa around 1896/97. Later shipments were blocked by the British Navy and sold off to the South American market...most bear Chilean Crests. Of the ones that made it to South Africa and placed into the hands of Boers, these state-of-the-art smokeless powder bolt action rifles proved themselves deadly to the British forces. While lacking formal military training, most Boer Commandos came from farming backgrounds and were skilled hunters, highly mobile on horseback, cunning, and most made excellent marksmen.
This particular carbine is in overall NRA Antique Very Good condition with the metalwork mostly a mixture of dull original blue and patina with nice markings and screws. Serial number is in the 5,000 range with numbers are all matching on the stock, frame, trigger housing, floorplate, rear sight, etc. Bolt is mis-matched which is VERY common on these Boer War guns. The bolt# is about 500 numbers off in the mid-4,000 serial range but correct for this contract of carbines as it has the turned-down handle and proof on the knob. Small traces of fire blue on the bolt release and most of the fire blue and the magazine charger plate. The action works well. The bore is Fair to Good condition...it needs to be cleaned...rifling is all there and no signs of any major pitting. Original sling swivels are mounted on the right side....these could be changed to right or left...so possibly carried by a Boer who was a lefty. The wood solid and in good condition with plenty of nicks and handling indicative of a rifle that saw combat. Complete with original handguard. No cracks or repairs. Its been several years since we've found a Boer War Mauser carbine like this one. A scarce untouched example with lots of character and history.