Gratuitous Gun Pic – FN Mauser 24/30 (7x57mm)

It occurs to me that we haven’t had a decent pic of a gun on this here website in ages, so without any more to-do, here goes:

Like the similar-but-not-identical Czech Model 1924, the Mauser 24/30 rifle was made for the Venezuelan army by Belgium’s Fabrique National, and not by Mauser (the Germans having been banned from making weapons for being Very Naughty Boys between 1914 and 1918).

I’m not going to go on about the gun’s history — between Othias, Mae and Ian McCollum, the topic has been extensively covered — but what I am going to go on about is the rifle itself, and its cartridge.

I happened upon one of these beauties at a local gun parlor, and were it not for the fact that I had only the budget to buy Daughter her carry piece, I would have walked away with two guns that day — a not-uncommon occurrence during Times Of Plenty back then.

If you can find one in  minty condition, this is not a rifle to be left on the rack.  The action is (duh) Mauser 98, the chambering is for one of my favorite cartridges, and were I to see that same one right now, I would sell a child or something to get it.   Here’s a comparison of like cartridges:

…and you can see that the 7x57mm is different from all the rest in that it has a long, thin bullet which provides excellent penetration.  This, lest we forget, is the same cartridge which kicked the .30-40 Krag’s ass during the Spanish-American War, and pushed the U.S. Army towards the .30-06 Springfield as a replacement.

I like the 7×57 because its recoil is relatively light, although I will also concede that it’s not the flattest-shooting cartridge past 200 yards.

But for an all-purpose rifle that can handle most small- to medium game and errrr two-legged targets with the same effect, you could do worse — a lot worse — than have one of these in your safe.


  1. I have a couple of nice 1891 Argentine Mausers, one was my departed brother’s hunting rifle that was sporterized and the other is in original military configuration. The 7.65x53mm isn’t a terrible cartridge although maybe a bit punchier than I would like. They sit in the safe next to 1903 Springfield and 1917 Enfield sporterized/military pairs, the sporters being my uncle’s and my dad’s hunting rifles respectively. The sporters were created back in the 60s or early 70s when those rifles were stacked like cordwood at many gunsmith shops and for about half the price of a newly manufactured hunting rifle you could get one of those old workhorses built into a respectable piece. I made it my mission as a young lad to obtain each of those guns when their owners no longer wanted/needed them, and as I grew older and wiser I also felt the need to protect a copy of each in its original form to go with them.

    1. Rev,
      That’s great that you have the heirlooms with examples of their original configurations. Enjoy!


  2. Are the 6.5mm cartridges even more mild shooting than 30-06? I was thinking about 7mm-08 as well as a 6.5mm offering. I don’t want to go as light as .223/5.56 but that might be an answer too. I’m looking for something up to deer and two legged predator sized but will more than likely be restricted to paper punching


  3. The mid-size 6.5 cartridges (really and of them from .243 thru .284 / 7mm) will be dramatically milder than a 30-06 without sacrificing performance on medium game or 2-legged predators. Highly recommend.

    Speaking of, today I joined the 6.5×55 club. Actually I joined it a while back without knowing it. I picked up a nice unaltered* Type 38 6.5 Jap rifle a while back. Finally got the reloading bits lined up and test fired it today. The first fired case looked *nothing* like the round that was loaded. Based on some rough measurements of the deformed and distended case, it appears she was reamed to 6.5 Swede at some point. Yay! Glad she didn’t blow up…

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