Here’s the last in our series of “droolworthy Mauser Sporters” (see here for the 7×57 and here for the 8×60): a “standard” Mauser Sporter rifle from Collectors Firearms, this one chambered for the common 8x57mm cartridge:
Like the first two, this beauty has a full stock and double set trigger; but unlike the others, it doesn’t have a scope, nor is it even drilled and tapped for scope mounts:
But it has attractions all of its own, with a double-leaf rear sight, case-hardening finish on the action, and a half-octagon barrel; and those features alone would put this on a list of “guns I’d snap up in a heartbeat after winning the lottery”.
Longtime Readers will be familiar with my love of Mauser rifles, but should someone have stumbled on this website from another planet, allow me to explain myself.
Mauser bolt-action rifles are almost without exception the best large-scale production guns ever made, whether during the late 19th century (the Swedish M96), in the early 20th century (the WWI G98). the mid-20th century (K98) or since then (M03 and M12). They are strong, beautifully machined, accurate and reliable, and it is no exaggeration to say that it is the one rifle that no gun owner should be without — because long after all the modern rifles have expired from heavy usage, parts breaking and/or abuse, the Mauser will still work pretty much as well as the day it left the factory. And quite frankly, its chambering is irrelevant, whether a military one (6.5x55mm, 7x57mm, 7.65x53mm, 8x57mm), a “hunting” one (6.5x57mm, .270 Win, 8x60mm, 9.3x62mm, .375H&H, .416 Rigby) or in more “modern” ones such as .308 Win, 7mm Rem Mag or .300 Win Mag: whichever cartridge you choose, the Mauser will never let you down.
Over the years, I’ve owned well over a dozen Mausers at one time or another, whether military, customized, re-chambered and sporters, and I regret getting rid of each and every one. The very first rifle I ever bought was an Israeli mil-surp Mauser rechambered for 7.62 NATO, and the first gun I bought when I emigrated to America was a full-stocked Mauser sporter similar to the one pictured above, only with a single trigger. Other than during the bleak years of 2015-17, I have owned at least one Mauser rifle every day of my life, and a multitude of Mauser-style bolt actions (e.g. CZ 550) as well. Of all the millions of choices one can ever make during one’s lifetime, choosing a Mauser rifle will always be one of the best.
Here endeth the lesson.
And a fine lesson it is. One of the more interesting Mausers I’ve had the opportunity to shoot was a sporterized military rifle chambered in .257 Roberts. Not a bubba’d rifle, a beautifully blued rifle with a turned down bolt, set in a finely finished stock.
Sadly, Kim, I must agree with you. The Mauser action has been copied, plagiarized, imitated and borrowed for over a century. It’s quality and durability are beyond question. As far as Mannlicher style stocks are concerned, they have a certain attraction that transcends time. (My CZ 452 full Stock is a testament to that) However, beauty in a rifle is in the eye of the beholder. In my case it is a sporterized US Rifle of 1917, Eddystone Enfield. I have sent you an e-mail with some photos of it. It is a rifle done in the American style of sporting rifles. Still with a Mouser action (sic), and an optic for my aging eyes.
Same end result, different path the result.
Three Swedish Mausers, an M96, M38 and CG63. Also a CZ 550 in 6.5×55. And two mini-Mausers, a brace of CZ 452s, a Lux in .22 lr and an American in .22 wmr.
I have a hand full of Mausers including the 1889 Argentine in 7.65×53 which is I have been told is so old it is a Curio – Relic and not really a gun anymore but, it is. The 1903 Springfield was based on the Mauser action and until WWI the U.S. government had to pay Mauser a licensing fee for each rifle produced. After a lawsuit the U.S. paid Mauser over $250,000 and due to the hardening process they still could not produce in the 1903 a rifle that would hold up like a Mauser, I have one of the later ones that was made correctly.
Those Krauts in Oberndorf knew how to make excellent firearms.
There’s an old joke that ends with, “But you’re the one who’s showing me all the dirty pictures.”
Kim, the Ruger 77 action is a fairly faithful copy of the Mauser, especially the earlier Mk I (tang safety, red recoil pad) version.
How would you rate it in it’s commercial application in comparison to the Mauser?
Certainly, in it’s Military form, the Mauser is nigh-unto unbeatable for it’s intended purpose.
Bonus question. What chambering would you say was the pinnacle of the Military Mauser family?
Sunk New Dawn
6.5x55mm Swede. Less recoil than the 7mm and 8mm cartridges, and flatter-shooting. My M12 is the best of both worlds: the 98’s action coupled with the 96’s cartridge.
purchased one (through the mail) at the end of ’66 re-chambered in 308 Norma Magnum from a gunmaker in Azuza (don’t remember his name or the name he went under).
It’s gone with me on several trips over the years and the 180 gr has not been a disappointment.
There is a great reference book on the Mauser k98 by Richard Law. If I remember correctly it took around 140 seperate operations to produce the barreled action. I was lucky enough to purchase a pre-war (no foul Nazi markings )1936 ( first year production) Oberndorf. I can honestly say that the action is the finest I have including all the modern rifles I have. It is beautifully polished, machining marks are almost non existent on the interior and it is slick as butter. It is classic teutonic excellence !
The only military bolt-action rifle produced with higher-quality machining than yours was the Swiss Schmidt-Rubin 1911/K11 (and perhaps the later K31). And neither of these ever saw any combat action.
IRT your shooting the 45-70 at the range, down here in floridaland some dude dumped a mag of tracer at one of the local indoor ranges and set the (rubber) backstop material on fire. The local FD showed up and put it out but every time they thought they had it out and shut their water, it flared up again. Turned into a four-alarm fire and the range is still closed, heh, heh, heh. The funniest part is that tracer rounds are illegal to shoot in the state due to fire hazard.
Tracers are illegal to fire in Californistan, too, along with steel-jacketed and steel-like jacketed ammunition (including the GP-11). If proof were obtainable, I would bet a substantial amount of money that the instances of the steel-jacketed rounds setting anything on fire beyond the fireball range of Mosin-Nagants, were actually instances of tracer fire. Consequently, in Californistan, we GP-11 users have to put up with the range masters with magnets, looking at us like we were shooting at children.
I recently bought a new Zastava M70 Mauser in 375 H&H, in left hand. Lefty Mausers can be difficult to find, and I never thought I’d end up with a new one that I could afford. There’s a shop that sells on Gunbroker that’s importing them, mine worked out to about $800 in the end. I’ve been tempted to get another lefty in 6.5×55, just because I can. The stock is not well finished, but there’s a nice piece of wood lurking under that almost unsanded exterior. Metal work was excellent. I’m quite happy with it, all things considered. Got it’s scope in last week, need to mount that up and see how accurate it is (and I am).
Left hand and 6.5×55. Be still my beating heart!
and just to pick your brain further, what sorts of scopes do you favor?
I’m putting a 1-6×24 from Primary Arms on the 375, mostly for the fun of seeing if the cheap but good reputation Chinese scope can hold up to real recoil. Lifetime warranty, so no biggie if it doesn’t – I’ve seen more than enough PA scopes doing fine on ARs. If it were going to Africa (which it’s not) or it does break, I’d look at the same magnification range from a scope company I knew didn’t suck. I’m pretty agnostic about which company that would be. With everyone competing for the same price points most major optics vendors seem to be putting out both meh, good and great scopes.
On a 6.5×55, I’d go for something in the 2-7x, since I’m in New England. If I lived where I could let the rifle stretch it’s legs more, maybe a 3-9. I have enough high magnification on varmint or target rifles, I see the 6.5×55 as a great general purpose rifle.
If you search for “left hand Mauser” on Gunbroker, Greene Sporting in TN is the one importing the Zastava Mausers. He imports in small batches, what he’s got in left hand at the moment are 7.62×39, 30-06 and 375. He likes bringing in 6.5×55 and 9.3s, so you may have to wait for the next batch for one of those. He’s an easy guy to buy from!
Comments are closed.