The Mystery 1889 Carbine
|Pictured above is a sporterized Schmidt-Rubin Model 1889, own by Tom Allen. It appears the original stock has been cut down, along with the barrel being shortened. The Serial No. (178XXX) on magazine, barrel, receiver ring, bolt all match, although the buttplate does not. The front site may be original, as it bears a Swiss Cross. Note also the muzzle is crowned. Tom reports this crowning is very similar to the crowning on the muzzle of his 1896/11.
The big mystery of this rifle is the rear sight.
|Normal 1889 sights are graduated out to 2000 meters. This sight appears to be graduated out to 500 meters, with two additional détentes above this position.
|Nor does this type of sight appear on any of the other Schmidt-Rubin Models. According to John Walter's Rifles of the World, no Schmidt-Rubin bore sights with graduations less than 1200 meters. Neither did the Swiss 1893 Mannlicher Carbine.
If anyone has any information on these sights, please E-mail Tom Allen or myself.
|UPDATE: After discussions with member of the Swiss Rifle Forum and Curio & Relics List, we have come to the conclusion that the rear sight is in fact the original rear sight which has been reshaped, and has had some of the longer range graduations files off. Tom Allen writes:
|. "As I look at this again under magnification, there is the
vestige of the number 8 above the number 7 on the top, left rail of the
sight. There also appear to be vestigial slots for the sight blade
above the 7 position that no longer will engage the blade. This probably
means the sight has been shortened as your correspondents suggest.
The numbers 300 and 500 appear on the left flat of the sight. The numbers 4,5,6,7, (and remnant of 8) appear on the top of this same left sight flat"
|It appears sometime earlier in this century, prior to 1960, someone
or someones mass produced a number of sporters based on this configuration.
At least 4 individuals reported to me that they possessed identical rifles.
No one has reported any import marks, and at least one individual reported
buying his 1889 in the 1960s.
Who did the sporterizing remains a mystery.
My thanks to Lynn B and DM Swany for suggesting "Cut Down" theory.
Phil Krause recently e-mailed me, and informed me that his father purchased an 1889 sporter like Tom's from a company called Golden State or Golden Globe in the mid to late 50s. His opinion is that the barrel crowning , and stock work were done in Switzerland, but he thinks it's likely the rear sight was modified here in the states, as his father's rear sight was un-modified when purchased the rifle.
Thanks Phil for the info.
Tom's 1896/11 Rifle
Tom is also the happy owner of a Schmidt-Rubin 1896/11 Rifle.
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