Periscope Gun – A German “Trench Mauser” From World War I (Video)

   11.29.15

Periscope Gun – A German “Trench Mauser” From World War I (Video)

When fighting stagnates and enemy lines dug into trenches, snipers target anyone whose head pops up above the edge of the trench. Solution: Keep your head down, but your rifle up. The Germans called it Spiegelkolben.

The arrow points to the center of the rear sight, as seen in the almost-century-old original mirrors.
The arrow points to the center of the rear sight, as seen in the almost-century-old original mirrors.

Although not unique to Germany, this represents one of their solutions. A pair of mirrors provide sighting while a cable connects the bottom stock’s trigger to the trigger of the rifle.

Bottom trigger (left) connects to a cable which passes over a roller (center) and connects to rifle trigger (right).
Bottom trigger (left) connects to a cable that passes over a roller (center) and connects to rifle trigger (right).

You’d have to drag the gun back into the trench in order to cycle the bolt, although some versions of trench rifles did have articulated mechanisms that allowed soldiers to operate the bolt from below.

The rifle featured in the video also has some other “trench” modifications–like the 20-round fixed box magazine you can see protruding from the bottom of the receiver.

It also had night sights, although the stuff that used to make them glow in the dark ceased to do so long ago.

Although this one is one of the more primitive versions of a periscope gun or Spiegelkolben, it sold in October 2015 for a whopping $16,000 PLUS the buyer’s premium.

Although the video refers to some unnamed “cool piece of trench modification that comes with this, that wasn’t installed” that is supposedly described on the auction page, I was unable to find any mention of that on the auction page.

Even without it, this is one nifty shootin’ iron.

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