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Back In South Africa, I remember the time I bought my first Mauser, an Israeli surplus (rebarreled to 7.62x51mm NATO).  It looked something like this:

Of course, as my very first centerfire rifle, I was as proud as all hell about it — I even took it to the annual family reunion (on Ouma’s birthday) and showed it around.

One of my uncles peered at it like a suspicious dog, then took it, worked the action expertly, and smiled broadly.  When he handed it back to me, he asked in Afrikaans, “Do you know what they call a Boer without a Mauser?  No?  An Englishman!” *

Many chuckles from all the men sitting around, with murmurs of agreement and pats on my shoulder.

So yesterday I took possession of my latest badge of Afrikanerdom (courtesy of Longtime Reader BobJ, thankee squire), and OMG…

Pre-war manufacture, all the proper cartouches, and matching serial numbers.  The “42” refers to the Oberndorf factory, 1938 the year of manufacture, and the serial number has only four(!) digits.  I haven’t been so excited about a gun in years.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the range.

* “Weet jy wat hulle ‘n Boer sonder ‘n Mauser vernoem?  ‘n Ingelsman!”

In the Army (no explanations, it’s too long a story), the CO of my commando unit referred to it as “that Jewish Mauser” (“daardie Joodse Mauser”).


  1. I had that exact same rifle as a kid that you did Kim. Mine was better and special because the Isrealis – for whatever reason – refurbed the gun without stamping out the Nazi proofmarks! (Okay, no it wasn’t ‘better’… but you couldn’t tell me that as a proud young rifleman). I learned later that that was not too uncommon. It wasn’t a collector… but an excellent conversation piece.

    My load was a charge of Reloader 15 under a 150 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip and it came off the gun at a smidge over 3000 FPS – virtually 30-06 ballistics. 200 yard shots on game were doable as was fast snap and follow up shooting. I loved it so much I even found a bayonet and made a crappy leather bandolier of ammo pouches for it. My dad and grandad were furious – they both shot .303’s and regarded my choice in arms as nothing short of treason. If you didn’t shoot an Enfield… you were a fuggin kraut! They got their knickers in a bunch when I sold it and bought a sporting rifle, saying I must have been made out of money to be able to afford such luxury! In their day nobody could afford sporting guns and the Enfield was the only rifle a man really needed – and milsurps were a dime a dozen in their day. I got three times what I paid for that Mauser when I finally sold it.


    I’m deeply, deeply envious… and looking at the retirement fund of soon to be devalued Biden Bucks.

  3. I have a few old Mausers including an 1889 Argentine 7.65, one of their early rifles and I also have a 1903 Springfield which is so much Mauser the US had to pay Mauser a license fee for every rifle produced until we got into it in WWI. The Mauser is a great action but my favorite military cartridge and rifle is a Parker Hale sporting conversion of a 1944 Enfield made some time in the 1950’s that had an almost mint condition barrel when I bought it 20 years ago, the bolt on that rifle moves like melted butter over a stack of pancakes, smooth and slick.

    Kim, enjoy your new old Mauser because that one looks great.

  4. Enjoy! Nice looking rifle! I hope you enjoy it for a long time and don’t run out of ammunition for it.


  5. Very fine rifle.

    To repeat an old cliche: Get yourself a girl who looks at you the way Kim looks at that Mauser.

  6. I think I saw your rifle in the picture of the stacks of rifles that you posted. To the right of the guy in picture. Yeah that was the one.

    Good shootin’, now to find ammo.

  7. Well its after noon local time and nobody’s said it yet, so let me be the first. “If that rifle could only talk….”

    I had a postwar Yugo Mauser some years back. If I remember correctly we weren’t able to find a serial number on the gun. It didn’t look like it had been ground off – just wasn’t there. Even 30 years ago ghost guns existed.

  8. WELL DONE, Kim ….. That is an exquisite example of the marque.
    Here’s hoping is shoots as well as it looks.

  9. I don’t know if your olde ammoe locker is well-stocked, but SGAmmo has some 8mm Mauser stuff in stock, corrosive primed Romanian stuff.

    Just like you could run faster w/new tennis shoes, now you can shoot straighter…

  10. That is a stunningly beautiful specimen. Whatever you paid Bob J for it, it was not enough. Wow!

    How is the Ammo situation over your way? Around here ( my corner of Michigan) shelves are almost bare and what remains is mostly shotgun with birdshot loads and the occasional .22 and 9mm which vanish almost instantly.

    Then again, deer season is fast approaching so I am sure folks have been buying what they find daily.

    I do have an Argentine Mauser re-barreled in .30-06 which has a shorter barrel, smooth action but I have to sell it as it is much lighter than the Garand and every shot is turning my shoulder to hamburger. Steel butt plate too. Sniff!

  11. I have a Mitchell’s Mauser Kar98k, pretty, and in the safe. And a Yugoslavian M48. And a somewhat beat-up Russian capture Kar98k – and *that*’s the one I took to the range. Usually with an AR and and AK, but always enjoyed shooting the bolt-action Kar98k. Corrosive ammo, always cleaned with Windex and CLP. Probably my favorite rifle!

    (On .308 conversions. I have a couple of .303 Enfields. I have a truly ugly Ishapore No1 Mark 3 in .308 that I used to take off to the range if shooting .308 was planned (with a FAL and/or PTR). Whatever. If I have to stand on my doorstep with with a bolt-action, I have no objection to my old Kar98k!)

  12. I ask the assembled: how does it shoot in the different calibers? I have one of the Indian Ishapore SMLE in 7.62 nato, and I wonder how it shoots vs a regular .303 SMLE.

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