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Thread: What is a Mauser.....

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    Question What is a Mauser.....

    This question may seem odd....and I guess it is but I'm wondering about the opinions of those learned riflemen who appreciate the Mauser and who would prefer to build rifles on the Mauser actions. What are your reasons?

    What are the characteristics of the grand old Mausers that appeal to you the most. It seems they have enormous merit around the world and are the rifle to use. But why? Certainly rifles of today would have better steel and the CNC machines can maintain tighter tolerances than any hand fitted Mauser. So....what give? Why would you want a Mauser or why would you not want a Mauser rifle? Also is an old military Mauser superior to a modern rifle?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    This question may seem odd....and I guess it is but I'm wondering about the opinions of those learned riflemen who appreciate the Mauser and who would prefer to build rifles on the Mauser actions. What are your reasons?

    What are the characteristics of the grand old Mausers that appeal to you the most. It seems they have enormous merit around the world and are the rifle to use. But why? Certainly rifles of today would have better steel and the CNC machines can maintain tighter tolerances than any hand fitted Mauser. So....what give? Why would you want a Mauser or why would you not want a Mauser rifle? Also is an old military Mauser superior to a modern rifle?
    Thank you Murphy for asking a simple question that needs a monumental answer.

    Naturally the first way to answer (it seems to me) was or is to look at the Mauser design and the most copied features of that design. What are these features? A look at all the custom action for hunters, have one feature above all else, control feeding, no part is more copied.
    Next of course is gas venting, Bolt shroud, a part of the venting (outside shape is unimportant) moving the gas to the rail, lug lock up. I think of the best departure , which was the design by Mike Walker of the enclosed bolt head into the barrel. Then I remember there is a pay back for that design, you loose extraction power and control feeding. Along with the smaller extractor's lack of surface area, right down the line we will see a trade off for each benefit we will see a trade off on reliability.

    Would I use a Mauser for the most or latest word in accuracy, NO. That does not mean the accuracy potential from this action will not make up a rifle that is not acceptable for hunting accuracy.

    Accessories for the Mauser are easier to find than any other action I know of, much easier to get the rifle to what your individual wants and needs
    maybe. A clone of the Mauser that is a long way to be abut as perfect as a Man could want would be the Dakota 76, others are good but then you get into the 10,000 and up price range. Oddly enough I still feel there is some areas that need more offerings. The shroud safety from the 1917 Enfield is in my opinion is the best safety I know of. I have yet to see this as an after market option for a Mauser.

    All in all nothing comes as close than the Mauser for the after market builder for options.

    As far as the better steels than yesteryear. True, better yes, but was there ever an issue with the actions built a hundred years ago? Consider the biggest limiting factor for running pressures higher than 65,000 psi, it's the brass. Has nothing to do with the design of the action and only a little to do with the steel in the action.

    Yes Sir it can be done on CNC mills that will give tighter tolerences and yes much better steel like 8620 as the action FRED WELLS built.

    I like most people like the Mauser clones. With a few excetions I find that the Remington model 30 was probley the best of the Mauser clones. For the whole market over the years has at least for me, proven that the off the shelf Oberbendorf Mauser left little to be desired. Definetly all a guy could want in a hunting rifle in any era.

    I hope that my reply answers some of your question.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    Certainly rifles of today would have better steel and the CNC machines can maintain tighter tolerances than any hand fitted Mauser.
    Like a Model 70?

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    My understanding is that the Mauser was designed to operate under the extreme adverse conditions of war. I believe they weren't built to tighter tolerances on purpose,so that any foreign matter that entered the action wouldn't keep it from functioning. As far as todays better steel and machinery goes I bet the old manufacturers would have been glad to have them but I don't think it would have changed the finished product as far as its design.
    That being said I've hunted the past 30+ years with the same rifle. An early 80s S&W(Howa)in .300 magnum. It's been customized a good bit but I don't consider it a custom rifle. For me my custom rifle would be built on a Mauser action simply because it and the pre-64 Mod 70 are what all the old gun scribes and those hunters before us with vast experience touted as the ultimate in reliability and yet could be a work of art built in many different forms. Just about when I kinda figured I wasn't going to be able to afford have a custom rifle built I ran across a Yugoslavian Model 24b Mauser in the used rack at a friends gun shop and around here if it didn't say Remington on it well it just sat. This was in the early 90s. I found out it was custom built in the early 80s by a gunsmith in Johnstown,PA. It had been converted into semi light varmint rig chambered in .25-06(my second favorite round) with a 26" med hvy barrel. Its had all the typical after market parts for that period of time. Couldn't pass it up for $225! I've never shot it! It's been sitting in the safe all these years but this past April I sent it off to Jim and Alan at Clearwater Reboring to have it converted to 9.3x62mm with the barrel cut back to 20". I don't know what constitutes a true custom rifle but if I were to have one built from scratch I don't know what I'd do different than what I'm going to have when this rifle's together. I've even got three refurbished steel tubed Weavers of different magnifications to choose from for it.
    Well,that's my answer to your question.
    Oh,one more thing I don't even know what the heck I need this for. Maybe that's one characteristic of a custom rifle,you don't really need it.

    til later

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    Thanks guys for your input. To expand on this a little or to just be more specific let me list a few things.

    Breeching system: Locking lugs, gas seal, broach? The two front lugs are generally considered a strong lock-up. The original Mauser 98 system had a "C" cut diaphram that the flat of the breech end of the barrel butted up against. Cut out only on the right side to allow the claw extractor to fit there. The Remington system does away with the claw extractor and also the single cut in this "diaphram" and also put a flange on the bolt face to wrap the cartridge head with three rings of steel. Arguably the strongest gas seal available. The Springfield/Winchester used a cone shaped breech and this opens the breech and makes the worst gas seal of any type. I dislike this aspect of the M70 or the Springfield.

    Extractor: To Claw or not to claw? No contest here. Very few would disagree that this is the strongest and most reliable extractor, but requires a cut in the broaching to allow for it. Mauser and clones of this extractor win this one.


    Ejector: Mechanical, reliable, rugged? Spring loaded plunger?
    Springs break, also this hole in the bolt face is the biggest gas escape for the M700 action. The Mauser wins this also.

    Lockwork: Trigger/safety; simple, rugged, reliable? The Mauser sear milled at an angle to insure it reseats after partially pulling the trigger. A simple, reliable, rugged trigger, lacking a crisp release. The Winchester likely the best of both worlds. And both with a positive safety that cams the striker off the sear.

    The rest of the attributes of the Mauser will center around lesser points, magazine/floor plate, bolt shroud, etc. but the large ring of the receiver is part of its strength as well as the third safety lug make for one very strong safe system. This is all part of the designed in strength that didn't need any special high strength steel to be strong but was strong by design.


    How could we improve on the Mauser today? What would we change? Or which parts would we use if we were to mix and match to make the best bolt action ever? How important are aesthetics? Function fore-most, then beauty?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    This has been a good read so far. I am looking forward to the continued responses. Good post Murphy.
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  7. #7

    Default Mauser extractor is unbeatable

    After 40 years shooting of my 100+ rifles I've had only two extractors break, Win70 and Rem 700. The Winchester has nothing going for it and the Remington is exceptionally accurate but it has that stupid whimp of an extractor.My F.N. in 30-06 is on its fifth barrel and still has it's original 60 y.o. extractor. For me that puts a mauser way ahead of the opposition.

  8. #8

    Smile My 2 cents.........

    I have never owned a "Mauser". But in this day and age that almost makes me an expert! It is what those of us that were born in the 50's read about and drooled over as it was featured on countless covers of gun magazines. It was and still is often displayed as a refined piece of art, wrapped in beautiful walnut with a hand rubbed oil finish, a beautiful rust blue and custom iron sights. It is a true legend, from the battle fields to the worlds best and most famous hunting fields. It influenced the designers of the Springfield 30-06 and Mod. 70 Winchesters I grew up with and hunt with. My 2 cents................

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    I love all my old pre-64 model 70'. But I also know the limitation of the action, as a gas handler it is vary poor, but there are ways to deal with the problem, as ROY DUNLAP taught me years ago. The Springfield 03 is even worse with it's two piece firing pin. Yes I own them also.

    But Murphy wants suggestions for after market parts and here our a few suggestions.

    For bottom metal. http://www.blackburnmachine.com/index.html

    For bolt shroud. http://www.edlapourgunsmithing.com/index.html

    As for triggers, there's lots to choose from, I can't get past the Canjar single set trigger, the one year wait sucks. Timmony and others make a vary good trigger.

    I sure you know Murphy there are far more choices than just the few I offer up. These are the ones I like, that just does not mean that others aren't as good or the stuff out of Europe isn't really nice cause it is, I just can't afford to build them that way.

    As I mentioned above in my other post I believe the Mauser clone, copy of the M-70, has done a tremendous job on eliminating the gas handling problems of the old M-70.

    For the real purist out there, I know a guy back east that's doing vary nice bolt peep sights, that are every bit as nice as the best from Orbendorf
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  10. #10

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    For me, "Mauser" is lots more than a discussion of the action. In the heydey of custom gunsmithing Mauser was the action of choice for most of the very best gunsmiths from the 1930's through the 70's.

    When I hear or think "Mauser" I think of those great guns I've seen, handled, and sometimes shot. Even owned a few.

    The one that breaks my heart but helped pay for some college and a couple of babies when I parted with it is worth describing:

    It was an early product of the Griffin & Howe custom shop. Very sleekand trim with just the right fineline checkering on that gorgeous piece of dark walnut. The 22" barrel wore a ramp and express sights. No scope mounting on that shortened Mauser action. And it was chambered for the petite little 250-3000. I bet it didn't weigh over six pounds, and it handled like a fine upland bird gun.

    That's a Mauser to me!

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Be of good cheer BrownBear, it is still the most used action for the custom gunsmith, more custom builders use it today than any other. Why is this the case. It's what the customer demands. The only question is, how deep are your pockets? There are shops around the country that make the highly touted custom of yesteryear look vary shabby in comparison. A look at the web sites from The Gun Makers Guild, can leave the gun nut, breathless.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Be of good cheer BrownBear, it is still the most used action for the custom gunsmith, more custom builders use it today than any other. Why is this the case. It's what the customer demands. The only question is, how deep are your pockets? There are shops around the country that make the highly touted custom of yesteryear look vary shabby in comparison. A look at the web sites from The Gun Makers Guild, can leave the gun nut, breathless.
    I hear ya, but I'm still aflicted with the older ones rather than the new. Not much difference in dollars if at all, but a taste thing.

    I'm first in line when the owner of another G&H decides to turn it loose. I kept if for him for a couple of years "to work out loads" while he was overseas, and shot the heck out of it. In many ways it is a twin for that sweet little 250, or should I say BIG BROTHER. This one is in 404 Jeffrey and has the same ramp and express sights, but with the addition of a period 2x scope in claw-type removeable rings. It's light enough for recoil to really get your attention, but it's a joy to carry and really whacks anything in the landing zone.

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    I don't believe I can add anything more to the Mauser thread, it is a proud owner who can identify with what he or she has. I've a few Mausers, Pre-64's and Rem 30's---they bring great satisfaction in my heart on rifles well made!

    regards,

  14. #14

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    Extractor, ejector, bottom metal, safety lug, reliability, field strippable bolt, gas handling. Above all else hunting rifles, particularly those used for dangerous game have to work. A mauser may not be my choice for benchrest but for a hunting rifle it's a mauser or a true mauser action all the way. I have heard the criticism that they are sloppy when the bolt is open, well I have never shot a rifle with the bolt open! As for being less accurate than say a remington, I say baloney I have mausers that are just as accurate and certainly more than accurate enough for any shot that anybody should be taking at game animals. Plus if you are bulding say, a 9.3x62, doesn't it just have to be on a mauser?

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    Default Mauser

    Of the three WWI designs, the Enfield was the best battle rifle, the Springfield the best target rifle and the Mauser , the best hunting rifle.

    All three are some form of "controlled feed", although the Enfield is the poorest, but with cocking on loading, it is the best in really dirty environments and by rate of fire.

    I think many people can't get over that fact that a design over 100 years old, plotted out with pencil and paper, and produced without CNC milling gear is still the premier design... because it works.

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    Default Simple really...

    They made gazillions of them and they're CHEAP!
    BUT...I don't think they're the 'best'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darreld Walton View Post
    They made gazillions of them and they're CHEAP!
    BUT...I don't think they're the 'best'.

    Gazillions at least and cheap was part of the package back then but what would you prefer and what pros and cons could you submit. That would make a good post for us.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    I just got a S&W(Husquvarna)rifle in .30-06 that I'm doing a general cleanup and going over on for a friend who hopefully is going to sell it to me. It resembles a Mod70 Featherweight(schnabel forend,bbl just under 22"). Other than missing both front and rear dovetail sights and some of the"paint"on the bottom metal it"s in excellant shape. Anyway,as pertaining to this post,this thing has got the slickest,tightest Mauser action I have handled to date and I'm guessing that this was an entry level rifle. I've also got a Mod70 Featherweight Classic CRF .270 and there's no comparison in quality. This Husquvarna action is NICE! It's going to be interesting to compare my M98 action,when I get it back,to this action.

    til later

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    Default What model is it.

    I've researched all over the web and when I think I have the answer something doesn't fit. Here is what I know; it's military, 30.06 and made in Belgum - on the right side it has FAB NAT D'ARMES de GUERRE; HERSTAL - BELGIQUE, also has a Belgium crown with ELG in the oval. Has Fuerzas Militares under the scope mount that research shows was used in Columbia. Any help as to the model are history would be appreciated. Thanks

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    You have a Belgium made (FN) 98 Mauser. It specifically is called the model 1950 and was originally made in the U.S. military caliber of the time, the 30-06. Some of the older Cololmbian Mausers were converted from the 8x57 round to 30-06 by rebarreling, but a post WWII contract with Belgium's Fabrique Nationale plant (the only allowed maker of that military arm after WWII) made the model 1950 for the country of Colombia (Columbia) in 30-06 caliber. Originally, of course, they were not drilled and tapped for scope mounts but that is a common practice for a gun to be used for a hunting rifle. The rifles are well made and among the very best of the M98's.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    I've researched all over the web and when I think I have the answer something doesn't fit. Here is what I know; it's military, 30.06 and made in Belgum - on the right side it has FAB NAT D'ARMES de GUERRE; HERSTAL - BELGIQUE, also has a Belgium crown with ELG in the oval. Has Fuerzas Militares under the scope mount that research shows was used in Columbia. Any help as to the model are history would be appreciated. Thanks
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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