Range Report: Mauser M12 (6.5x55mm)

Just got back from the range, where I gave the new Mauser M12 its first serious shooting. Here she is, topped with a Minox ZX5 2-10x50mm scope (with an illuminated German #4 reticle) and tipped with a moderator (a.k.a. “suppressor”):

…and for those interested in such things, the stock detail:

“Yes, yes, Kim; that’s all very well, but how does it shoot?”

First I fired a few lighter bullet weights (120 grain), just to warm up the barrel and foul it up a little. I left the sights at 1″ over center, and then got serious, using some RWS 140-grain hollowpoints:

Yikes. With only a tiny sight adjustment, I ended up getting sub-MOA (1cm) groups (with apologies for the metric nonsense, but that’s how the spotter called them) — that’s slightly less than 1/2″ groups at the 100-meter mark.

I took off the scope (via the quick-release Mauser ring system) and put it back on again — same zero, same groups. So that operation works.

Then I removed the moderator — which, by the way, I want to marry so it can have my children — and added a simple muzzle brake, just to see the difference, and popped off a couple of rounds. Much louder, same point of impact.

Mr. FM tried it out, and although the point of impact shifted (he’s a left-hander, ’nuff said), his groups were similarly sized.

He, by the way, was practicing with his Blaser R8 in .300 WinMag:

…which shall henceforth be known as the “DANE” (Death To Anything At The Naughty End) rifle.

Come to think of it, mind you: that could also be the name of my M12. Another few hundred rounds, and I’ll be really comfortable with it, although it must be said that I’m more than halfway there already. What a lovely little piece.

Here we both are, after a good cleaning:


  1. Pbbfbfbffft. For that rifle, and that calibre, I am not surprised one bit. It blows me away actually. Back when I was a kid a gun like that was a work of either God or black magic. Oh sure, they were around and a few sorcerers that could build them on a regular basis… but only dedicated marksmen and high rollers and men of wealth and taste (like you) could afford them! 🙂

    Nowadays accurate guns are a dime a dozen. I have an M1A and a Ruger No. 1 that’ll do that all day long too. Things sure have changed. Back then neither of those guns were known for accuracy. Yannow – these kids with steadier nerves and brighter eyes will do even better with ’em too.

    But it looks like you’re getting some nice weather out there! And what are you drinking there, Kim?

    1. Apart from 6X and more 6X, I like to drink a little whisky of an evening. Sometimes more than a little. It all depends how hard Mr. FM twists my arm, really.

    1. Quentin, I grew up in South Africa. I’ve had Pimm’s, often. Maybe if there was no more 6X or whisky… nah, I’d still have gin.

  2. Delighted its working out. I am envious of the suppressor; here in ill-annoy such things are still completely verboten. Are you going to be able to bring it back?

    If not then some companies make ‘blast reducer’ muzzle features that vent forward. You lose any benefit of recoil or rise reduction but get much less blast back or to the sides (others on the range will thank you). I’ve shot an AR with one vs a standard flash hider and the difference was very noticeable.

    I need to take my ’96 to the range. Its been too long.

    1. Can’t bring the suppressor back with me, because I don’t have the tax stamp grrr grrrr grrrrr. As soon as Congress gets off its ass and passes the Hearing Protection Act into law, I’ll have one waiting for me here.

      1. I write my congresscritter about that regularly. Hopefully it would override the illinois ban but it needs to happen regardless. My ‘senators’ are lost causes but I still send them a note each month about HPA and other.

  3. Very nice rifle. I hope you enjoy it for a long time.

    A 98 in 8×56 has been my deer / hog rifle for the last 10 years. I love it and it is very accurate – especially considering that it was made in ’43.

    The Mauser brothers sure knew what they were doing.

  4. ‘at’s a beauty, most definitely. I’m glad to hear it shoots well too. Any idea on why its previous owner might have given it up?

    As soon as finances allow, I want to add a 6.5 to my collection, I’m just not sure which 6.5: a 6.5 Grendel, .260 Rem., or a 6.5×55. Whichever I chose, it’ll be a bolt-action only.

    1. I believe he traded it in on another rifle — a large-caliber one. Remember, the BritGov decides how many guns you may own…

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