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Thread: Dakota or Mauser

  1. #1

    Default Dakota or Mauser

    What does everyone think of the Dakota Firearms, and the Dakota 76 action? Do you think that this action is as good or better than modern Mauser style actions such as the new Empire Mauser?

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    Default Mauser

    It begins and ends with Mauser . Mauser actions have , by far , been the most common action used for custom rifles since the war . FN's and the Argentine's are the creme of the crop with the Mark X's the least refined . Beauty of it is that most parts are interchangeable , you can switch bolt shrouds , safeties and firing pins . The one draw back is when you use a .375 H&H length cartridge you have to open the action a little too much , as with the Whitworth and early Weatherby's but it still is o.k. . Most guides in Africa and Alaska would put the Mauser on the top of the list . Mausers are cheap and great to work on with tons of goodies available through places like Brownells . You absolutely cannot go wrong with a 98 .

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    Default

    The Empire Mauser is the ne plus ultra of the action world right now (except for the new German made 98s) and their cost reflects it

  4. #4

    Default What a choice

    I have only owned one Dakota. A .358 Win. that I sold back to the original owner when he asked. What a beautiful action. I shoot Winchester's because I can't afford Dakota's. Those Empire Rifles are absolutely wonderful looking in the magazines and I wish I could own one. Is the Mauser action they use made by Granite Mountain Arms? By the Empire Rifle!

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    Default

    I think the refinements of the Dakota 76 are pretty obvious when you see one. To compare them with the M98 one needs to ask what is so great about the 98? (Kind of poetic)

    As you go down the list of things you have on your M98, also make a check mark across in the Dakota column.

    The differences are the M76 has the pre-64 Winchester trigger and three position safety, with none of the down side points of the M70. (coned breach, double cut inner ring, dumb bolt release, and flat rear tang flange)

    We could argue for the Mauser trigger over the Winchester style and I would take either. I actually prefer the left side two position safety of the Muaser (FN).

    The Dakota M76 does have the single cut inner ring making a stronger front ring and better gas seal like the original M98.
    The Dakota has the other attributes of the Mauser with a little more asthetically pleasing (to some) receiver and a very classy bolt release and a clover leaf rear tang.

    If the prices were the same, which one would you choose?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Default Mauser

    I'll qualify my praise for the Mauser . I served a two year apprenticeship with Austrian rifle builders many years ago and went on to teach at a gunsmithing school , my father-in.law supported a family of 11 kids building rifles based on mainly Mausers and some Springfields . A stock military Mauser trigger can become a thing of beauty by welding a tang on the front , drilling and tapping a set screw and installing a spring loaded roller bearing on the base of the trigger , nothing finer . Point is , is that the beauty , dependability and " workability " of a 98 Mauser is something most appreciated by the rifle builder . You would NEVER hear a true rifelman or rifle builder or common gunsmith ask the question " what's so great about a Mauser " . I don't drink , never have , never will but a customer from Denmark came into our shop with a half bottle of wine he had paid $350 for , a half bottle , in France . He made a big production out of giving everybody a shot glass full which I thought was pure Euro b.s. but that shot glass could have made a believer out of me , never tasted anything like it . Point is , nobody questions a Mauser who knows much about rifles , ask Alaskans like Phil Shoemaker .

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    Default One last shot

    The moderator has talked about " Mauser " safeties and " Mauser " triggers . There are many types of Mausers and for each and all are many , many types of triggers and safeties . A safety can be part of the trigger mechanism hanging on the right side or a wing safety on the bolt shroud or you can buy a pre-war Winchester bolt shroud and hang a wing safety on your Mauser . I have a pretty Alaskan view of guns for the most part as tools but it gets the best of me when I read posts by self-proclaimed expects making loose statements and observations about a subject they only have a surface understanding of .

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    Quote Originally Posted by logman View Post
    The moderator has talked about " Mauser " safeties and " Mauser " triggers . There are many types of Mausers and for each and all are many , many types of triggers and safeties . A safety can be part of the trigger mechanism hanging on the right side or a wing safety on the bolt shroud or you can buy a pre-war Winchester bolt shroud and hang a wing safety on your Mauser . I have a pretty Alaskan view of guns for the most part as tools but it gets the best of me when I read posts by self-proclaimed expects making loose statements and observations about a subject they only have a surface understanding of .

    A "surface understanding about"!! Well you don't seem very enlightened. The M98 Mauser trigger is the M98 Mauser trigger and I never said I didn't like it in fact I said I prefer it. We could hang many things on the Mauser such as after market safeties and triggers and that would only take away from the Mauser. Further, if the Mauser was so perfect why would so many owners hire so many gunsmiths to add to or improve certain aspects of it or to "hang" many different types of safeties or triggers on it? The obvious answer is that it does lack certain refinements and almost every user wants a better trigger and safety lever. That is why your father in law was able to feed a family of 11.

    The Mauser rifle is prolific because of its military roots. So many are used to build custom rifles because they are available and inexpensive. Not because people from all around the world seek them out as the best only to rebuild and modify at great expense.

    If we begin to alter and add different parts on the rifle to customize it or to make it more appealing, it must need a little something and it really isn't a Mauser anymore.

    You obviously know less than nothing about the M76 rifle. If you prefer an old M98 to an M76, that's just fine with me, but do not accuse me of not knowing the M98 Mauser.

  9. #9

    Default Me TOO

    I've never owned a Dakota (not sure I've ever even held one), so I'll keep my comments on Mausers.
    Mausers are not the END ALL rifle or action. If they were Paul and the Other Mausers wouldn't have made so many revisions to their original design. They are however the most readily available rifle action upon which to build a custom rifle, as 10's of millions were made and used around the world by many nations, on every continent, as their main battle rifle. They (M98) are not the strongest action made but within their working parameters function well. The strongest mauser style actions made were Type 38 Jap Arisaka rifles, but they are not very pretty.
    Mausers in their original forms were designed for military contracts and as such left out many desireable features sportsmen like or desire.
    Many gunsmiths have made good livings modifing military style actions to sporting configurations.
    I personally own several commercial mausers which though made for civilian use were lacking in the features desired by me. With a few modifications they are now what I desire in a hunting rifle; you or someone else might however feel the modifications were unneeded or not really improvments at all. Custom rifles are just that; custom built for their owner.
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    Default The Mauser 98 trigger is the Mauser 98 trigger

    FN Mausers (Sears 51's , etc.) have a split trigger assembly , the trigger is pinned to the floorplate/triggerguard with sear integrated with the trigger base pinned to the receiver . Mk X's ( Whitworths , etc . ) have a totally different trigger assembly with a integrated safety . The Argentine '09 ( rest of military ) have the military trigger and wing safety on the bolt shroud . 3 different Mausers , 3 different triggers , all " factory " .

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by logman View Post
    FN Mausers (Sears 51's , etc.) have a split trigger assembly , the trigger is pinned to the floorplate/triggerguard with sear integrated with the trigger base pinned to the receiver . Mk X's ( Whitworths , etc . ) have a totally different trigger assembly with a integrated safety . The Argentine '09 ( rest of military ) have the military trigger and wing safety on the bolt shroud . 3 different Mausers , 3 different triggers , all " factory " .
    So which one is the holy-grail of M98's then?

    Reason I'm asking, is that I see a FN Oberndorf every now & then. Any good?

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    Default Mausers

    The 09 Argentine is the prize , has an already hinged floorplate . FN's are what I've chased and have found some cheap 51's at rummage sales and jerked the actions . The later 98's were cranked out in a hurry with the cheap stamped floorplate and trigger guards , I'd be less interested in those . Mark X's are fine with a little elbow grease . The old Mausers can be Rockwell tested and heat treated if necessary , they are all good . I've gotten in a little trouble for backing the 98 with both barrels but again the people that live by their rifles in Africa as well as old time guides here will have nothing but praise for the Mauser , again , no real rifleman would question that action in any way .

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    Quote Originally Posted by yoge View Post
    What does everyone think of the Dakota Firearms, and the Dakota 76 action? Do you think that this action is as good or better than modern Mauser style actions such as the new Empire Mauser?

    I really didn't read all your post and didn't realyze you were comparing Dakota to the Empire Mauser. This is a much better comparison than Dakota to an older or military M98 Mauser.

    I will assume here that you are familiar with the M98 and its many parts.

    I've had about 100 or so M76 Dakotas in my hands that I took out of the stock for various reasons usually to adjust the trigger. And only two of the newly manufactured Empire Mausers. Both the Empires were of the Magnum "East Africa" model and I did not take either from the wood.
    Both cost the owners more than $10,000 each. I merely loaded ammo for them and sent them to Africa. (416 Rigby and 450 Rigby) I am much more familiar with the Dakota.

    Both actions have these good points:
    Machined from solid bar stock with a great deal of precision.
    Full Claw extractor cut to allow CRF.
    Mechanical ejector.
    Straddle floor plate with positive latch. (Won't spring open from recoil.)
    Receiver milled with anti bind rails and full diaphram. ("C" collar) (Empire?)
    Three position safety that acts directly on the striker.

    Differences would be;

    The Empire rifles have an integral square bridge and ring. This would be personal thing asthetically but would add strength to the receiver. It limits the selection of scope miounts but is very strong mounting system.

    Dakota has a much nicer looking and better functioning bolt release that is more in line with a rifle of the price. The Empire has the Mauser M98 bolt release/ejector which to me is less appealing to the eye and less reliable than the ejector only of the Dakota.

    I don't know what trigger mechanism is in the Empire but triggers were creepy on both rifles as was noted by myself and others who handled the rifles. The Dakota M76 is a duplicate of the Win M70 trigger and is fully adjustable, simple and rugged.

    I believe the Dakota Safari rifle can be bought for about $5000 and an Empire would be 2 times that amount.

    Both will be made to individual fit specifications and barrel length of choice as well as caliber. Dakota will make wildcat calibers based on cases from 222 to 416 Rigby for no extra charge. I don't now about Empire.

    I own a few Dakota M76's and M97's and consider them the best I can afford. I order sights on my rifles and they are filed and sighted to my specifications at no extra charge. I have a M76 Safari coming in 416 Murphy with a fine piece of hand picked french walnut and an extra MPI fiberglass stock, all for less than $5500.

    Many of the "extras" Empire advertises as standard can be added to a Dakota at no extra cost. Dakotas have gone up recently as have many other brands I'm sure.

    Hopefully this is more to the point of your question.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Quote Originally Posted by logman View Post
    The 09 Argentine is the prize , has an already hinged floorplate . FN's are what I've chased and have found some cheap 51's at rummage sales and jerked the actions . The later 98's were cranked out in a hurry with the cheap stamped floorplate and trigger guards , I'd be less interested in those . Mark X's are fine with a little elbow grease . The old Mausers can be Rockwell tested and heat treated if necessary , they are all good . I've gotten in a little trouble for backing the 98 with both barrels but again the people that live by their rifles in Africa as well as old time guides here will have nothing but praise for the Mauser , again , no real rifleman would question that action in any way .

    The Sears trigger is really something, huh? The trigger pinned into the bottom metal and the sear mounted on the receiver meet and control engagement via the torque of the bedding screws. Pretty much a joke. Sears M51's are the only place I've seen such a trigger but they are bad news. Many FN rifles were sold with the Sako trigger with it's integral safety acting on the enclosed sear.

    Even though these are on Mauser M98 actions they are not M98 triggers. The M98 trigger, with the sear pinned to the action to engage the striker shelf and the two hump trigger pinned to the sear. I have modified many of these and they do make very reliable and rugged triggers. I use set screws and remove the first stage hump to make a trigger that has the "feel" that myself and most others prefer on a hunting rifle.

    In their original state the trigger can be pushed forward to release the sear and can be jammed forward with a piece of tree limb to allow the rifle to fire when the safety is released. It happened to me. This is not condemning the Mauser action or trigger, just that as a hunting rifle, most would prefer a different trigger, and safety lever.

    The older FN actions with the trap door floor plate is one of my favorites, but it is likely disliked by many more. I prefer the post 1948 version without the left side thumb cut though the stripper notch doesn't bother me. I have a couple of these very nicely finished FN rifles with the M98 trigger and what is know as the FN two position (left side ) safety. The integral box and bottom metal is also something I like. These are machined . I have failed to see why a German made gun is better than a Belgium made gun.

    It seems to be true the German built and exported rifles (such as the 1909 Argentine) were better finished than some but I think the best finished of any German built military gun was the 1895 7x57's. The slickest of the bunch (military) was the Swedish made M94/96/38 rifles in 6.5x55.

    FN made rifles and actions for just about everyone. Some were very good and well finished (Browning) some not so good. They made actions for the very nicely finished pre 1957 Sakos I own. Surely you agree getting away from the thumb cut in the left side of the receiver was a good idea.
    For the purpose of a modern hunting rifle, the standard M98 Mauser usually needs some refinements. I'm speaking of the action not "sporterizing" a military gun. I'd rather not mess with that history.

    The three position flag safety lever, the two stage trigger, and the floor plate and release, and the bolt release are a few things that have been changed at request by riflemen over the years. Just as tapping for a scope is a common request. When you speak of a M98 Mauser, it isn't generally a recent manufactured action (excepting the Empire) so these are the things that are done.

    In all the countries I've been to in Africa, the Mauser is a much loved piece. This stemming from an encounter over 100 years ago with some British Kakies, but a big reason for the big number of M98 actions on their guns is availablility. Importing guns is not generally accepted even in South Africa and older military M98 actions are converted to very nice dangerous game rifles. There are many "Custom Mausers" but there are also many off the shelf Sako rifles particularly in 375 H&H and in recent years I've seen several Heym rifles, and these certainly do not have the Mauser "points". These, even well appointed Sakos, are still less expensive than than a custom Mauser. Mostly these are the A-V action Sakos and though very good rifles do not have all the M98 Mauser attributes.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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