Mauser M1915 Flieger-Karabiner

Thanks to reader Jacob, we have some fantastic photos of a Mauser M1915 Flieger-Karabiner. This was an early (although not the earliest) Mauser self-loading rifle design, and was used for a short time by German aviators (balloon and fixed-wing) during the First World War. Only about a thousand were made, and this one is in gorgeous condition. So without further ado, let’s take a look through Jacob’s photos…(and you can click on any of them for enlargement)

Mauser M1915 self-loading carbine
For more of the developmental history of the Mauser M1915, see the Mauser Selbstlader article
Mauser M1915 magazine change
The magazine change is a complicated process. First the magazine release, located in the front of the trigger guard is depressed and the trigger guard is pulled down. The magazine is then pulled free of the weapon. Two tabs on the sides of the receiver, visible above the trigger guard, are pushed forward. The bolt is drawn to the rear, where it is held open. A new magazine is inserted, and the trigger guard is pushed upwards, which locks the magazine in place and releases the bolt.
Mauser M1915 magazine change
Closer view of a magazine change operation
Mauser M1915 trigger guard and release
Close up of the trigger guard showing the trigger and magazine release.
Mauser M1915 top view (bolt closed)
Top view of the receiver deck and bolt, showing the wing shaped cocking handle and stripper clip guide.
Mauser M1915 rear sight
Leaf rear sight, graduated from 200 to 2,000 Meters.
Mauser M1915 receiver markings
Left side of receiver, showing company name, address, and date of manufacture.
Mauser M1915 proof and bore measurement
German acceptance mark and 7,90 caliber marking.
Mauser M1915 trigger guard and release
Close up of the trigger guard showing the trigger and magazine release.
Mauser M1915 actuating parts
Underside of the receiver deck (cover) showing the complicated nature of this design. The steel plate with two grooves acts on a stud on two flaps that lock the bolt in place. The recoil pushes this plate back, which unlocks the flaps, delaying the bolt stroke until pressures are safe.
Mauser M1915 top cover, camming plate, and locking flaps
Underside of the receiver deck with locking flaps, showing where the small studs on top of the flaps fit into the deck.
Mauser M1915 locking flaps
Both sides of the locking flaps.
Mauser M1915 top cover
Top of the receiver deck removed from the rifle.
Mauser M1915 action with bolt closed
Receiver with deck removed, showing flaps that delay the opening of the bolt. If the top deck were in place, its camming plate would have pulled the front of both flaps towards each other, bracing them behind the bolt and locking it.
Mauser M1915 action with bolt fully open
Receiver with deck removed, showing the flaps unlocked and the bolt at the rear of its travel.
Mauser M1915 charging handle
Detail of the cocking handle, extractor, and serial number
Mauser M1915 front end
The carbine featured a half-stock to reduce weight and to make the rifle quicker to point and track targets.
Mauser M1915 stock and handguard
The distinctive forward hand guard. The handguard is lined with asbestos where it meets the barrel, so that rapid firing does not ignite the handguard or stock.
Mauser M1915 front sight adjustment
The front sight is windage adjustable via a screw. This design is a decedent of the Mauser c06/08 rifle, which was a sporting arm, and retains the finely adjustable sights of its predecessor.
Mauser M1915 front sight ramp
Detail of the front sight, showing the windage adjustment screw.

Thanks for the pictures, Jacob!