The Mauser rifle company started making bolt action rifles in the 1870s. We will not cover all the long and detailed history of the evolution of the 1898 Mauser, but will start our story there.
In 1898, the German Army ordered rifles from Mauser that improved on many older designs.
It had better metallurgy, a larger receiver ring, and could handle the pressures of the 8 X 57 mm cartridge. It also had a new third safety lug on the bolt body to help protect the shooter in case of a failure.
In 1905, the round was switched to a spitzer bullet and this improved the ballistics to make this an excellent battle round.
This arm served the German military well in WWI. But between the wars, a shorter version was made and called the Karabiner 98K, or more commonly, the KAR98k. Over 14 million models of various configurations of the Mauser were eventually made. It is a great firearm.
I have always enjoyed shooting the Mauser.
I presently have only 5 examples.
The top rifle is a long-barreled Turkish Mauser.
The next two are Model 24/47 Mausers.
The next is a Yugo 48, and the bottom one is a German WWII K98.
They are all great shooters.
The ammunition for these fine old rifles used to be dirt cheap.
It bought it at less than 10 cents per round.
Today I was firing some Yugo surplus in stripper clips.
But nowadays, the supply is drying up and it is getting more expensive, even for the military surplus corrosive ammunition.
I sure wish I had “bought it cheap, and stacked it deep”.
Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned there.
Today we will look at one of my 24/47 rifles.
It is a rugged battle rifle.
The front sight is a pointed triangle-shaped sight with a hood to protect the sight.
The rear sight is a “V” partridge type sight.
Raising the adjustment will allow shooting to a very optimistic 2,000 meters.
This rifle has a “straight bolt” and the bolt is easy to operate.
Some versions of these rifles have a bent bolt, which some find easier to operate.
This rifle is clearly marked as a Model 24/47.
One of the things I find interesting about collecting C&R rifles is that they sometimes have beautiful wood.
This one has walnut with figures that would look good on a $2,000 shotgun.
Isn’t that amazing?
It is easy to charge the rifle’s magazine with a 5 round stripper clip.
One advantage of the Mauser design is the “claw extractor”.
This large and robust extractor grabs the round as it is fed into the chamber with a very wide claw.
This type of feed is called a “controlled feed”.
You cannot place a round in the chamber and close the bolt.
Doing so will not allow the extractor to grab the rim and will only result in a stuck case.
It must be fed from the magazine.
The rifles are heavy, going at about 9 pounds.
They were supplied with an effective bayonet.
And, of course, they are effective battle rifles, even unloaded.
It is also interesting that, even in war time production, they main action screws have a Lock screw to “lock” the main screw and prevent it backing out.
The bolts are a work of art. They have two very strong locking lugs up front…
And a third locking lug in the rear, in case of a failure.
This led to many of these actions being used after the war to build strong and accurate custom rifles.
My Uncle gave me a rifle that he had built in the 1960s off of a Mauser action.
It has a custom barrel chambered in .270 Winchester.
The stock is fiddle back maple, with rosewood inserts.
It is an MOA capable rifle.
Not bad for iron sights and 59 year old eyes, with 5 shots and three of them going into the same hole.
The 8mm round is a “kicker” when shooting from the bench.
But they are not unpleasant when shot from standing.
Working the bolt with the rifle on your shoulder is not difficult if practiced.
If you don’t own an 8mm Mauser, you owe it to yourself to get a sample, or two, or three.
They are great rifles.