Guns & ammo
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I would appreciate any historical information you have on this single-shot .22-calibre rifle. On top of the barrel just in front of the chamber, it says “DEUTCHE WERKLE” and “WERK ERFURT,” while the bottom of the barrel sports a crown with the letter B.
Other markings include “DRP GERMANY” on the right frame hinge, the serial number 1379 on the block ahead of the firing pin spring, and what appears to be a stylized S within a circle on top of the action, along with “MOD 1.”
These little rifles were made from around 1920 to 1939 by Deutsche Werke (“German factory”) at Erfurt, Germany. The DRP stands for “Deutsche Reichspatente,” meaning the design was patented in Germany, while the “MOD 1” stands for Model 1. It was often referred to as a “youth model” because it is compact and lightweight. The low serial number on your rifle suggests it was most likely made in the early 1920s.
Apparently, a lot of these rifles were exported from Germany to Canada, as we seem to get a fair number of letters about them. Growing up in rural Saskatchewan in the 1950s and ’60s, I saw two or three of these in use on farms. They appear to have been well made and durable, often seeing a lot of use in teaching more than one generation how to shoot.
What appears to be the letter S is actually part of the “dormant lion” trademark of Deutsche Werke, with the S supposedly being the lion’s tail (it doesn’t look much like a lion to me!). It’s quite an interesting rifle, especially for .22 enthusiasts. It’s worth an estimated $150 to $200, although yours might bring in a bit more because it seems to be in nice condition.