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German U-Boat Line-Thrower Rifle Conversions

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These two Gewehr 98 rifles were converted by the Mauser factory to be used as naval line-throwing rifles. The exact nature of the line and lead projectiles is not clear, but they are clearly original military conversions and came form the Geoffrey Sturgess collection. Entirely new stocks were made for these guns, with a substantially increased length of pull to mitigate the harsh recoil of line throwing. The magazines were blocked with wooden plugs, allowing only one short (blank) round to be held, but allowing that round to be depressed enough to close the rifle’s bolt over it and keep the chamber empty. The barrels were replaced with launch tubes, on 10 inches long with a 2 inch bore and the other 10.5 inches long with a 1.75 inch bore.

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