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German M1871/84 Jaeger Rifle, Garde Reserve Schutzen Battalion, 1888, Matching

This item is listed for historical interest only. It was listed on our site previously but has been sold and is no longer available for purchase.
Sold for: $895.00
Item #25531

Original era manufacture. Learning new things about our hobby is a lot of fun, I certainly enjoy doing so, in spite of the fact that it was a bit of a red-face for me in this instance. Prior to the purchase of this nice old rifle I was unaware that the Imperial Army made an attempt to placate the Jaeger and Schutzen Battalions of the army with their own (and last issued)special model of the 71/84 rifle. While visiting a fellow collector he asked if I had a Jaeger pattern 71/84 in my collection? I said I didn't know one existed, Oh yes, he replied, and here is the difference. On the Jaeger pattern rifles the rear sling swivel is not located in the trigger guard, it is instead mounted onto the bottom of the stock. In addition, the old mounting hole on the trigger guard assembly has been enlarged so as to allow a rope or leather thong to be run through to let the soldier tie the rifle to his back. We took apart a standard 71/84 to check and lo and behold, the hole was considerably smaller than the Jaeger.

This particular example is an all matching (serial 3692)rifle in honest, unmessed with condition. The blue fittings retain most of their original finish, with a white receiver, however surface corrosion and spotting can be seen scattered along the length of the barrel and on the receiver. This surface corrosion can be seen on all of the metal fittings, it can be cleaned away but pitting will result. The stock has never been refinished and the Imperial proofs are sharp and clear. It also shows some scattered dings and dents from age and handling. The bore is very clean with strong rifling.

The unit marking on the butt are another clue to this pattern rifle being unique as they are G.R.S.2.206, Garde Reserve Schutzen Btln, 2nd Company, 206th weapon. The Schutzen battalions were two of the unique units of the old Imperial Army, only two, the Garde and the Garde Reserve Schutzen battalion. In addition, the year 1888 is rather important in that it was the year that three Kaisers ruled Germany, Wilhelm I, Friedrich-Wilhelm III and Wilhelm II.

Now as to my red face. Since I didn't have one of these I thought this is a great thing, so much so that I bought two, a Jaeger issued one and this one, not quite as clean as the Jaeger but marked to the Garde Schutzen Battalion. I drove home with my treasures and upon entering the warroom I was going to make room in the safe for this one. I reached in to pick up my standard model 71/84 and surprise, surprise it was a Jaeger model too, Garde Reserve Jaeger battalion, same issue year and just as nice. Further I reached up to my bookshelf and grabbed my copy of German Military Rifles; From The Werder Rifle to the M71/84 Rifle. I cracked the book open and in section 5, page 298 it was entitled "Changes for Jaeger and Schutzen, the Jaegerbuchse 71/84". Well, two things I re-learned that day, remember what you have in the collection and look in your books once in awhile. In addition, another fellow collector pointed out that these changes or modifications were carried out at the company, or battalion level and that there was a specific Jaeger pattern rifle proposed but never went beyond trials. Original examples of that rifle are said to be made from unobtainium. Still gives us something to look for though doesn't it.

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