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Wehrmannsgewehr – German Shooting Competition After WW1

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Introduced by a Dutchman in 1897, the Wehrmannsgewehr was a type of 3-position shooting competition using military pattern rifles in a sporting caliber (the 8x46R, firing roughly a 150 grain lead bullet at 1800 fps). It was pretty limited in popularity in Germany until the end of World War One, when the Treaty of Versailles prohibited Germans from owning military arms. At that point, the sporting-caliber Wehrmannsgewehr became a very handy loophole in the law as a way for men to practice shooting skills with military style rifles. It would become quite widespread especially in northern Germany until the 1930s, when rimfire shooting began to eclipse it (the .22 rimfire ammunition was a lot cheaper, the guns were promoted by the government, and the 50m rimfire ranges were much more common than the 300m ranges required for Wehrmannsgewehr matches. Examples of these rifles were both made brand new and also converted from existing Gewehr 98s; this is an example of a conversion made by Haenel. As is typical, it is a single-shot rifle, with the magazine left filled with wood and a new stock covering the magazine area.

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