Few realize it but an obscure little Balkan country which had recently gained its independence from the Ottoman Empire, played a profound role in the development of the Mauser rifle. Serbia's purchase of the Model 1871 rifle came just in time to save the Mauser company from bankruptcy. It became the Serbian Model 1880. Among other innovations for which Serbian designers were responsible was the famous "ring-of-steel" which provided complete support for the cartridge base, and which was introduced into the Gew.M1898 rifle in 1905. Serbia, later renamed Yugoslavia, also helped develop the "intermediate-ring" Mauser action. Yugoslav Mausers — Models 1924, Model 24/47 and Model 1948 — are prized collectors items. Mr. Bogdanovic's book is the first in English to provide a complete discussion of these, and every other "Yugoslav" Mauser rifle from 1880 to the present, including all sniper rifles, hunting and target rifles and .22 sporting rifles. In Serbian and Yugoslav Mauser Rifles, each model is discussed in its own chapter. All serial numbers are presented by year. All markings are presented and translated and all finishes and changes to all models a described in text and charts and well illustrated with both photographs and excellent drawings for clarity. These are the rifles that proved so deadly to the Nazi occupiers in World War II in the hands of the famous Yugoslav "partisans."
"Serbian and Yugoslav Mauser Rifles" is one of the titles from North Cape Publications' "For Collectors Only Series" and, like the other titles in this series, information regarding these specific types of firearms is very complete, including: production tables, identifying markings, model specifications and historical context. Pictures and illustrations are basic black and white, photos are historical, all are of a high enough quality to serve their purpose. I was easily able to identify the origins and general history of a Yugo 1924/47 I recently purchased.
The book begins with the first Serbian produced firearm in 1832 and wraps up with the Model 1993 50 BMG Black Arrow Sniper ifle, however the concentration is as the title implies, Serbian Mausers. There is also as encapsulated history of Serbia - Yugoslavia in the context of wars and government. I grew up with the work "Yugoslavia" and Serbia was not something that was a part of my geographic vocabulary, so in this...
I have always been partial to Mausers, but always associated that rifle with Germany, not Serbia and Yugoslavia. In fact, I turned up my nose when I first started seeing what appeared to be Mauser rifles with Yugoslav, or Serbian markings.
Being a bottom feeder, however, I got a great price on a Model 48 A Mauser (a Kragujevac) at a gun show. The rifle was well made and shot as well as any of my German Mausers. The most frustrating thing about my Model 48 A was the dearth of information available about it and the assortment of interesting markings it carries. I also learned that Partisan ammunition from Serbia is some of the best 8 mm ammunition available.
Branko Bogdanovic filled that void admirably with SERBIAN AND YUGOSLAV MAUSER RIFLES, one of the FOR COLLECTORS ONLY series by North Cape Publications. The book, however, goes beyond the usual format of this series with some of the best illustrations and photographs I have ever seen. Gordana Totic is...
This book seems to cover every conceivable aspect of Yugoslav Mauser use and development in Yugoslavia from the late 1800s in Serbia (before Yugoslavia was created)until the 1990s. It contains a wealth of information on variants of the Mausers used in Serb/Yugoslav service, markings, production figures, manufacturing techniques, accoutrements, ammunition, etc. It is very well organized and has a profusion of tables that in themselves provide a wealth of information and are logically laid out. Illustrations tend to be dominated by well done drawings rather than actual photographs of the weapons themselves, although there are also a number of static photos as well as images of the rifles in use. The only negative aspect of this book, in my opinion, is that it is not printed on coated stock, which would have made the illustrations, especially the photographs, much more effective, but I realize that this would have escalated the cost, and thus probably the accessabilty, of the book...
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