|Mausers of Turkey and The Ottoman Empire|
Model of 1893
Model 1893's received a lot of modifications when converted to 8mm Mauser. It seems that the conversions were done in the 1930's at the Ankara arsenal. Obviously, a new barrel in 8mm Mauser was added or the old barrel bored out for 8mm. The receiver face was cut to enable the longer bullet to be loaded into the magazine. A thumbhole cut-out was made on the left side to facilitate stripper clip loading. Often, the magazine cut-off on the right side was removed. Sometimes, a flange was added to hold the hand guard. A hand guard with a retaining clip (clips on to the barrel) on the bottom is used when there is no retaining flange. Please note that most barrels on the 1893's will having a matching serial number. This is quite different from the K.Kale models which seem to never have a barrel with the same serial number as the receiver.
Abbreviations or markings that you will see on rebuilt rifles are: T.C, Turkiye Cumhuriyeti or Republic of Turkey; .ASFA., Askari Fabrika or Military Factory and ANKARA or Ankara.
Another modification was the removal of some or all of the original Arabic script. The script basically said that the rifle was made by Mauser in Germany. On the left end of all that script is the year of manufacture in Arabic numbers. The most commonly reported dates are 1312 and 1313 but I have also seen pictures of 1311 stamped on the side. If you can read the original Arabic numbers, you must perform a conversion from the Ottoman Arabic calendar to get the Gregorian calendar year. Since the start of the new year doesn't match, it will only be an approximate date.
See my Arabic Numbers page for more information on calculating the year of manufacture. All Model 1893's were made in 1984, 1895 and 1896 so it doesn't really matter what year is on the receiver, it is an antique firearm under U.S. law.
The Magazine Cutoff is unique among Mauser rifles to the Turkish model of 1893. The cut off allows the shooter to keep the magazine in reserve while single loading new cartridges. The U.S. Springfield Model 1903 also has this feature. The cut off was a side mounted slide that extended out on the right side of the receiver. This extension was often cut off during the rebuild process. This permitted a normal 1903 stock to be used. If the cut off extension is intact, then the old style, original, straight stock is almost certain to be used. I have never actually seen the slide portion of the magazine cut off except in pictures.
The Turks apparently took off the barrels and rebored them for 8mm. This barrel appears to be an original barrel as it has the long set of proof marks as well as two serial numbers, one in Arabic and one in modern numbers. The gashes are not mine but rather show the crude techniques that the Turks used in the early days.
Here are some pictures of another 1893 in its original configuration. This one is owned by "Bill" in England. See pictures of Bill shooting his rifle in the rifles sections.
Here are some pictures of an 1893 in its original configuration. I believe this rifle is owned by an Englishman who has quite a collection of original Turks.
The Model of 1893 can fire before the bolt is fully closed if you pull the trigger too early. Be especially careful to keep your finger off the trigger until the bolt is fully closed. A Mauser Patent of 1892 describes "a stud on upper front end of sear could enter slot in bolt only when action was fully locked. If trigger were pulled when action was not fully locked, stud contacted side of bolt and prevented sear from pivoting far enough to release firing mechanism." If the trigger is modified or worn, then this safety mechanism can be bypassed. This feature was removed in the Model 1898 because of the switch to cock on opening.
All Model of 1893 Turkish Mauser rifles are classified as Antique Firearms under U.S. Federal law since all Model 1893's were made in 1895 or 1896 regardless of what rebuild year is stamped on the receiver. This means that you don't need an FFL to do the transfer (as far as the Feds are concerned). State or local law could possibly be different.