New Project: German Martini Schuetzen Rifle

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Old No7
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New Project: German Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#1 Post by Old No7 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:28 pm

Gee, I haven't had too much time to play with my new flintlock yet, or even put my 12 pounder "The Beast" 45-70 Rolling Block No.1 Schuetzen through its paces, and here I am sitting with yet another new rifle project...

But at least this one has a lever! :wink:

I've just acquired an "unmarked" Germanic Schuetzen rifle that was probably made by "C. Stiegele of Munich". I'll share how I came to that conclusion, but before I do, here's a brief description and image of it...

The rifle is an "unknown" 8mm (for now, but it's most likely an 8.15X46R) with a 30” tapered octagon barrel, no maker’s marks on the receiver or barrel anywhere, a heavy checkered Schuetzen buttstock with large cheek rest, Schuetzen buttplate & lever, double-set triggers, original Schuetzen tang sight (with large 2.125” disc), pinhead ramp front sight (removable) with wings, and sling swivels on the barrel and butt.

Martini - Stiegele - No Maker's Mark (Small).jpg

The receiver & block both have crowned B & U proof marks, while the barrel has crowned B, U and G marks (the "G" means "rifled"). Other bottom barrel flat markings include the letters "MM" (or "WW"?) ahead of the underlug that secures the forearm, and behind it the serial # is stamped (and on the receiver), that's followed by a "6.24" date code (June 1924), and it was number "657" to be proofed that year with the bore at "7.6mm" (which I believe was the smoothbore size before rifling). I'm new to old German guns, but put all that together after several hours of research. The bore looks to be in great shape too.

Martini - Stiegele Munich bore (Small).jpg

Here's an image of a documented Stiegele/Munich Martini, and the screws of the receiver match all of mine exactly, as does the top tang which is screwed to both the wood buttstock and rear of the action, on top of which the sight is attached. The "round knob" formed in the middle of the lever matches mine exactly, as does the position of the triggers and rear swivel.

Martini - Stiegele other 01 (Small).jpg

I need to do a chamber cast to confirm the dimensions, and one screw securing the buttstock is missing but that will be easy to replace. The barrel is 1" just before the receiver and tapers down to 13/16" at the muzzle. My initial bore measurements, using a 0.314" lead 32 S&W SWC bullet (no, not the best tool...), show the lands may be 0.307" with the grooves at 0.314". I think those are tighter than what I've read this 8mm "German Schuetzen Cartridge" would likely run at, so I need to redo that more carefully later. Here's an image I found online of some 8.15X46R cases of various types:

8.15x46R Cases (Small).jpg

So far... The biggest concern I've found is there is an aluminum "toggle" (the British Martini part's name) or "striker cam" (what I'm calling it) mounted in the lever which cocks and trips the striker located in the block... That can't be good -- or last too long... And actually, right now it doesn't work at all... :o

So now the hunt for parts diagrams or photos of the suspect part from other Stiegele owners has started... Any info you guys might have would be really helpful, thanks!

At one point last night while looking over my new German toy, I thought: "Was ist los? Was habe ich gemacht?"

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Re: New Project: Stiegele Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#2 Post by Shasta » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:16 pm

Wow! That is a really unique rifle. :mrgreen:

Is it really built for a left handed shooter like the picture appears?


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Re: New Project: Stiegele Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#3 Post by Old No7 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:48 pm

Shasta wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:16 pm
Wow! That is a really unique rifle. :mrgreen:

Is it really built for a left handed shooter like the picture appears?

Shasta
Thanks for the comment, it is a neat rifle in many ways!

And it is a righty's rifle too -- as it has a huge dished cheek rest on the left side, maybe this image will be helpful. (There's a large thumb rest on the right side of the stock.)

Martini - Stiegele - No Maker's Mark 02.jpg

I haven't weighed it yet, but as I have a 12-pound Schuetzen roller called "The Beast" -- maybe I'll have to call this German Schuetzen...

"Das Biest" :wink:

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Re: New Project: Stiegele Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#4 Post by Pitchy » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:55 pm

Pretty dang cool Old No7, look forward to seeing your progress. 8)
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Re: New Project: Stiegele Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#5 Post by Chuck 100 yd » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:31 pm

Wow , I like ! You may have to make or have made the part you need. The aluminum part may have just been made as a patern
Proof before making the finished part out of much more difficult to work steel. I have done that before when no part was available to copy. Enjoy !

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Re: New Project: Stiegele Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#6 Post by Pisgah » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:49 pm

Heiliger Rauch! Was für ein Schütze!

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Re: New Project: Stiegele Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#7 Post by Old No7 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:53 pm

Chuck 100 yd wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:31 pm
Wow , I like ! You may have to make or have made the part you need. The aluminum part may have just been made as a patern
Proof before making the finished part out of much more difficult to work steel. I have done that before when no part was available to copy. Enjoy !
Well, I wanted a project... I got one...

Here's the "good" (printed image) versus the no-good "al-loo-mini-um" part on the right... No wonder it doesn't work right!

Martini - Stiegele toggle good-bad (Small).jpg

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Re: New Project: Stiegele Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#8 Post by Pete44ru » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:53 pm

Old No7 wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:53 pm

Here's the "good" (printed image) versus the no-good "al-loo-mini-um" part on the right... No wonder it doesn't work right!


Martini - Stiegele toggle good-bad (Small).jpg

Nice grab - it should be E-Z-Peazy to make the part via comparing the axle/pivot hole sizes of the pic of both parts & exterpolating the other shapes & dimensions into a pattern to make the part from steel (and harden it).

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Re: New Project: Stiegele Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#9 Post by M. M. Wright » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:41 am

I LIKE it! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: New Project: Stiegele Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#10 Post by Nath » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:03 am

You have fine tastes sir.

It wouldn't be, no it couldn't, could it..... could it be 303 Brit?!
I mean is it a reworked British Martini by ze Germans, Bavarians.

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Re: New Project: Stiegele Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#11 Post by JerryB » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:36 pm

Now that sounds plausible Nath.
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Re: New Project: German Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#12 Post by Old No7 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:30 pm

OK gang...

When you want leverguns info -- you come here!

When you want info on German guns? Go to the GGCA -- German Gun Collectors Association forum (click for link).

I've just learned my German Schuetzen rifle isn't a "Stiegele", but I was pretty close...

Here's what I got from GGCA:

Reply #1
It is doubtful that your rifle was made by Stiegel or even marketed by them. The proof marks you described seem to be from Zella-Mehlis Proof House (note the use of a ledger number 657). If this is the case, the MM likely is the mark of Max Moeller, a noted local barrel maker. Makers often made guns "for the trade" and offered them to be sold by others. They were often marked by the firm that marketed them, but often not marked. Stiegel is known to have marked theirs, per the advertisement you noted.
Consequently, I believe both your rifle and the Stiegeles were made by some makers in or near Zella-Mehlis, or at least the actions were. Then the Stiegel was marked by them, and whoever got yours didn't mark it. This then could answer why the actions are the same.

Reply #2
Apparently your rifle was made "for the trade" by the same Zella-Mehlis shop that supplied Stiegele too. At least the rifle was proofed by the Zella-Mehlis proofhouse and “MM” is the well-known barrel maker Max Moeller, Forstgasse 7, Zella-Mehlis. As MM made complete rifles after WW1, besides making barrels for most other Z-M gunmakers, he may have supplied the complete rifle to some country gunshop.


OK, so it's a not a Stiegele; and for sure, it isn't finished anywhere as nicely as the Stiegeles that I've seen online.

But at least the barrel and basic build quality should be on par with a Stiegele. And now I get to do some research on Herr Moeller and the gunmakers of Zella-Mehlis Germany (near Suhl). How cool is that?!?!

Waidmannsheil!

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Re: New Project: German Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#13 Post by 6pt-sika » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:37 pm

My now deceased shooting buddy had a Martini Schuetzen very similar to yours and I had one on the big falling block style action . Both were 8.15x46R , however before we ever fired the correct stuff we actually used some light 32-40 ammo in the Martinni .


They both shot nicely at the time but since my friends passing his youngest son has the Martinni and I sold mine a few months ago .

I did hoever keep the dies and molds as they work in a drilling I own that's actually 8x56R Sauer . Off the top of my head that might be 8x56 or 8x58 .
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Re: New Project: German Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#14 Post by KWK » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:03 pm

Spiffy rifle.

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Re: New Project: German Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#15 Post by Rusty » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:37 pm

That is a beautiful rifle. The first time I ever heard of Schuetzen rifles it was an old article in THE AMERICAN RIFLEMAN where they were covering the matches put on by the Coors Company. I thought it was great! By the way the winner of the match that year was shooting a Ruger #1 in .30-06.
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Re: New Project: German Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#16 Post by Bill in Oregon » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:40 am

Darryl, I had a chance to buy a very similar rifle from an Austrian maker some years ago -- and waited too long and missed it. The story I heard was that many of these were WWII bring-backs and often missing a part -- typically the rear aperture sight, but sometimes a key part in the firing mechanism to make the gun non-firing. Can't say if this is the story with your rifle. The thing that hooks you when you put these to your shoulder is the perfect design for offhand work. It's like you climb into the butt, climb into the trigger guard and you feel like you've just stepped into an orthopedic device with perfect ergonomics. Can't wait for you to get yours up and running.

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Re: New Project: German Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#17 Post by 6pt-sika » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:59 pm

Bill in Oregon wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:40 am
Darryl, I had a chance to buy a very similar rifle from an Austrian maker some years ago -- and waited too long and missed it. The story I heard was that many of these were WWII bring-backs and often missing a part -- typically the rear aperture sight, but sometimes a key part in the firing mechanism to make the gun non-firing. Can't say if this is the story with your rifle. The thing that hooks you when you put these to your shoulder is the perfect design for offhand work. It's like you climb into the butt, climb into the trigger guard and you feel like you've just stepped into an orthopedic device with perfect ergonomics. Can't wait for you to get yours up and running.
The one I had was a WWII bring back and yes it was missing the front and rear sight . There's a fellow out in Indianna I think that makes the rear sights and he made one for me as well as a front sight . I cannot remmember his name but the fellows on the Single Shot Rifle Forum would . I think the front and rear sight along with the clock keys to adjust them cost me a little under $300 and turn around time was something around a month .
Parkers , 444 Marlin , 6.5mm's , Sika Deer and my family in the Philippines !

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Re: New Project: German Martini Schuetzen Rifle

#18 Post by Ysabel Kid » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:53 pm

"Das Biest" I love it! :lol:

A very cool project! I need to start getting into those (cool projects), instead of just adding to my sorority! :wink:
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