Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1437: Rare German Stendeback Model 1936 Semi-Automatic Prototype Rifle

Auction Date: September 9, 2017

Rare German Stendebach Model 1936 Prototype Trials Semi-Automatic Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $16,000 - $25,000

Rare German Stendebach Model 1936 Prototype Trials Semi-Automatic Rifle

Manufacturer: German
Model: Semi-Automatic
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 8 X 57
Barrel: 28 inch round
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 25995
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 238
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

This is a very rare and quite possibly "one of a kind" German/Austrian Stendeback Model 1936 semi-automatic prototype or trials rifle. The top of the receiver ring is marked "STENDEBACK/MOD. 1936". It has a rust blued type metal finish and a two-piece walnut stock. This unique rifle is a cross between the semi-automatic Pedersen rifle and the Model 1892 Blake bolt action rifle. This unique rifle was accompanied by a small handwritten note from the consignor that states he purchased this rifle in a junk store in Victoria, Texas, and that he was able to locate the previous owner, who related that he liberated this rifle in Augsburg, Germany at the end of the war. The Pedersen rifle used a delayed blow back "toggle action" design similar to the toggle action on the Luger pistol. The Pedersen design was evaluated by the U.S. Ordnance Board in the 1920s, and then by both the British and Japanese Military, eventually being rejected by all countries. The Blake rifle was designed in 1892 that used a standard bolt action mechanism with a rotary type magazine. It was developed when the U.S. Government was testing a new rifle to convert from the trapdoor to a modern bolt action rifle. The Blake design used an internal "rotary" type magazine that used a spool to hold the cartridges which rotated as each round was fired. That design also did not gain any favor at the time as the U.S. Ordnance Board adopted the Krag rifle with a side loading internal box magazine. Eventually an internal rotary magazine type design was used on the Johnson 1941 rifles and later on numerous bolt action and semi-automatic sporting rifles. In the mid to late 1930s Germany was still using the standard bolt action rifles; however, two companies, Walther and Mauser, were in a design battle to develop a semi-automatic infantry rifle for the German Army. So it appears that the Stendeback company may have decided to enter that same competition using this rifle design of a combined Pedersen semi-automatic toggle-action with the Blake rotary magazine design to produce this prototype rifle. The German Armaments Board eventually settled on the G41/G43 designs, which obviously ended this rifle and associated companies chances of any contracts. The receiver on this rifle is a massive and very complicated design which is manufactured from a one-piece steel casting that included the rotary magazine housing all in one piece. The interesting thing is that the internal rotary magazine spool, the hinged magazine cover, complete trigger guard, both barrel bands, lower sling swivel and buttplate are all manufactured from aluminum. This use of aluminum material, obviously lends itself to prototype/trials rifle production theory, as standard production parts would have been made from steel, while aluminum was used to facilitate a rapid manufacturing process. The action has a hinged toggle mechanism with a separate hinged bolt head assembly which uses internal springs to close the breechblock. It has a spring loaded loading gate on the right side (similar to the Krag and Johnson rifles) with a small spring loaded ratchet system on the left side that rotates the internal spool, allowing it to be loaded. You can also load and unload the spool by simply dropping the hinged magazine cover (on the underside of the action) to expose the rotary spool inside. It is fitted with a German GEW style 28 inch barrel with a standard inverted "v" front sight with a folding pop up rear sight that is inset into the rear upper tang of the receiver similar to what was used by the Mauser factory on some of their sporting rifles. It has a two-piece walnut stock with finger grooves on the side of the forend with a pre-war style round knob pistol grip stock. The top of the receiver ring, the top of the bolt head/breechblock and complete toggle assembly have been stippled, which was intended to provide a non-glare type of finish to prevent a shine when sighting the rifle. It is a very interesting, complicated rifle design that was obviously very short lived.

Rating Definition:

Very fine with 70% of its original blue finish which has darkened and browned out over time that shows only minor edge and high spot wear overall. The wood components are both in fine condition with a nice dark brown matching color overall showing minor handling marks and light pressure dents in some areas. The noted aluminum components are all in very fine condition. The markings are clear and sharp. A very interesting and certainly unique German semi-automatic prototype/trials rifle.

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