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At the recent Tulsa show a SPANDAU-marked M79 appeared and was sent to me on approval. Follows analysis: M79; SN 9536; Prussian-accepted; issued initially to: ?.l.M.11.77. (stippled out), then to: 38.A.B.4. Grips crudely replaced. File marks are evident on the right lower edge of the frame where some sort of markings were evidently removed. (?). The original maker's stamp on the left side (sideplate) has either been filed down or welded over and then filed down; file marks are evident and the lower edge of the sideplate shows a slight depression where the file was not held parallel the surface of the sideplate. Well to rear of the cylinder shield (i.e., out of position) there now appears crown/SPANDAU; this appears to have been either acid-etched or perhaps engraved; in any case, clearly not stamped and not equivalent to any crown/SPANDAU marked on rifles available for comparison (the letters of SPANDAU are much coarser). The finish is blued over pits; under intense light the blue appears to be an old cold blue which by now has lost its smell which may be over an old original arsenal reblue. The hammer, trigger, and all lockwork parts are blued, as well as the interior surface of the sideplate and the interior of the frame opposite the sideplate; the interior of the barrel also appears to be blued. The interior of the piece has been well greased with some sort of contemporary grease, perhaps RIG.
The theory advanced with this piece was that it was rebuilt/refinished at Spandau. However, H. Harder (private e-mail) advises Spandau did not rebuild/refinish M79s; Erfurt did that work; in any case, the current bluing does not match bluing found on arsenal refinished M79s.
This piece is being returned to its vendor with an accompanying analysis of its problems.
 
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