One piece Mauser cartridge clips

Hello all,

Does anyone have the story behind one piece Mauser cartridge clips?

I have these as being the M’04 and that they were made by both Germany and Turkey. The Turkish ones being of crude manufacture and unmarked. I have several with typical German markings with the clip made from brass or plated steel.

Is there a patent application or are there factory drawings or any other mention in the literature that would explain how these came to be used and what their correct designation might be?

In anticipation, Peter

“German Military Rifles and MPs” Gotz states that the one piece clip was introduced in 1904 but production reverted to the two pice later.

I can say that from a practical standpoint, the one-piece clips of Turkish manufacture are clearly inferior to the two-piece design. This might explain why they were not more commonly used.


Since these clips seem to be identified only with German and Turkish military use and since Turkey likely began their use as a result of German influence, I think they were developed by, or with the support of, the German military. I see these are being analogous to the Kar.98a carbine, which was a Mod. 98 Mauser “improved” by the authorities until it was inferior to its Paul Mauser original and eventually dropped from use. JG

Gill - know this isn’t a gun forum, but I am not at all sure your comments regarding the K98a are correct or justified. In what way was it inferior to any other Mauser 98 military rifle? The quality was as good, since it was manufactured at German military arsenals. Further, it was shorter and lighter than the Gewehr 98. It was the first of the Mausers to have the 600mm barrel length (about 23-1/2"), the length used in most of the Muaser rifles made after it. Its design led to the realization that what the Germans referred to as a “Karbiner” or shortened rifle was actually sufficient for general issue, and resulted in further improvement in the K98k.

In the great book “Backbone of the Wermacht,” by Kurt law, primary WWI complaints are pinned on the G98, not the K98a. The G98 was considered too long and unwieldy for use in the close confines of trenches. There were compalints related to both the K98a and the G98, but they related to having to produce and supply two differenc e versions of the same rifle. This was rectified with the advent of the K98K, much more similar in tactical concept to the K98a than to the original G98.

As to withdrawal from service, many WWII pictures show German military personnel armed with the K98a. It was likely substitute-standard by then, of course, but it was still in some use. I used to own one years ago made by Erfurt, and it was every bit the equal of any other Mauser, although the Germans wisely got rid of the silly stacking rod when they revised it to the K98k variation.

I am not an expert on Mauser military rifles, although I have owned dozens of them over the years, and still have perhaps half a dozen, for shooting. I have never formally collected Mauser rifles and carbines. But, this is the first time I have heard an assessment like yours.

Is there any source for the fact that it was found inferior and withdrawn from service?

I might have been a bit too disparaging when introducing this topic. There is nothing inherently wrong with the design of these one piece clips, they are reasonably easy to load, they hold the cartridges firmly and they strip the cartridges efficiently into the rifles magazine.

In return they use considerably less metal than is needed for the body of a regular two piece M’98 clip as well as dispensing with the need for a separate spring. So, not only cheaper to produce but considerably lighter too as well as conserving materials that could be better used elsewhere. Also, most of them are all brass so there is a reduced problem with corrosion affecting the clip.

I believe that they are an interesting design although, ultimately, a dead end.

I do find it interesting that they seem to have been introduced about 10 years before the outbreak of the First World War, a time when there was no military panic that might justify the introduction of a replacement type to the M’98 which is the pattern that seems to have been used throughout the Great War.


John: I haven’t either the time or the energy to go into this in depth, but, to me, the real engineering shortcomings of the Kar.98a versus the rifle as developed by Paul Mauser is that it has a lightweight unstepped barrel in lieu of the stepped type used on the Gew.98 and Kar.98k and that it is a small ring action with a large barrel thread, not an ideal from an engineering viewpoint and one specific to this arm. It served through the Reichswehr years in some numbers, but apart from limited manufacture of replacement parts, it was allowed to fade from the scene, there being no production of arms after 1918. The Kar.98k, adopted in 1934, is mechanically speaking, more of a short Gew.98 than it is a modified Kar.98a. The Kar.98a has only a handful of parts interchangeable with the Gew.98 and Kar.98k, even the trigger being unique! JG

In the documentation I have, this clip name is

Apparently the clever Turks in one of their early contracts with Mauser/Leowe/DWM included a provision that any unfilled porstions of contracts could be upgraded to the latest Mauser model at their discretion. Thus they went through many models over the years before WW1, and likely clips as well.

Great coverage in the solidly researched “Argentine Mauser Rifles 1871-1959” by Colin Webster. Much excellent background on overlapping and competing contracts and defaulting payments, etc which played into unexpected sales of various models to unlikely customers. Good section on ammo too. Although primarily a “gun book” the historical context is invaluable, and covers botht he German made rifles and the Argentine made rifles.

I meant to add this…

Has anyone opened packets of German made 7,92x57 and found the cartridges to be in this type of charger?


Peter, they did not use boxes. In the beginning of WW1 the German cartridges were mostly packed in Tragegurten.

This picture was taken in 1915. See the

There is in late printings of Ludwig Olson’s Mauser Bolt Rifles a photograph of an opened box of 7.9m/m S cartridges on one-piece brass clips. These cartridges, produced in 1913 at Spandau (per caption and box label), were recovered in the former colony of German Southwest Africa, evidently years after 1918. The box is one of the older type which holds the three clips bullets downward, rather than staggered. JG


In every reference that I have seen these chargers are referred to as the “1904 pattern”. In the Netherlands language book “Patronen”, co-authored by Hugo Wanting, they give the date of “Oktober 1904” as the date of introduction. That extra bit of information; “oktober”, implies that they had some more specific reference available. Maybe one of the collectors in the Netherlands can chime in with more info.

It is also possible that someone stated that they were 1904 pattern and every succeeding author simply copied this. These chargers are seen amongst many WW1 “dug ups” from France and Belgium.

Now I will put forward my theories (guesses): As to the rounds coming loose, I wonder if this is because of the reduced distance between the tips of the springs. All previous Mauser chargers were full length, that is a 5-round charger was as long as 5 rim diameters. So the final spring pressure was at the outside edge of the outer rounds. This both tipped the rounds together at the shoulders and reduced leverage by any rounds trying to wriggle out. If you gently pull the bullets apart they snap back in place when you let go. The end rounds also had to move for some distance before becoming insecure.

The 7.9x57mm Model 1898 charger is shorter than 5 rims so the end cartridges protrude beyond the end of it. The “Model 1904” has the spring tips even closer together and so they may have been worse (I don’t know, I wasn’t there). Perhaps the shortening of 7.9 chargers was to reduce the problem of the corners of the charger digging into the bandolier. If so, why not round the ends like the 7.5mm MAS? The various models of the US Springfield chargers retained the full length and rounded the corners to prevent snagging. However by adopting the inferior “trough” shaped spring they lost the vital pressure at the outer rim of the end rounds. This is why all chargers of this style, including the 5.56x45mm ones need the little tongues to be bent up to hold the cartridges in the charger.


Here is a steel variant of the 1-piece stripper.
Although the outer side of the stripper is corroded, the inside shows that it was originally tinned for rust protection.

I can’t say when the design was modified from brass to steel ( since strippers are not “my cup of tea”), but all I can say is that the metal spacers of MG08 Maxim belts were changed from brass to steel mid-1915.