Educational Zone #95 – Interesting Firearms – The Model 96 Swedish Mauser

My buddy Ted recently acquired an example of the Model 96 Swedish Mauser at a gun show. It is one of the cleanest examples of this rifle I have ever seen.

I told him, “If you ever decide to get rid of that rifle, give me first shot at it.”

He decided that he could live without it and sold it to me. 

Here it is.

It is as clean as the day it left the factory.

These rifles are in 6.5 X 55 Mauser, a very fine round.


Ted also sold me some military surplus ammo for the rifle. 

Here’s the ammo.

It is about the nastiest looking milsurp I’ve ever seen.

But “pretty is as pretty does”, so we will see how it shoots.”


I took a round apart and the bullet weighs 143 grains, and the powder is a standard stick powder.

The Swedes marked their rifles with a brass disc on the stock when they went through the armory for re-issue.


Here’s my disc. The most important number is in the smallest part of the “pie” on the disc.

The top number on mine is a “1”.

0 means “New”
1 means “Very good”
2 means “Moderately worn”
3 means “Serviceable”
4 means “Needs replacement”

My barrel is indeed “Very good”, as it looks like new and running a patch through it feels like a new barrel. We’ll see how it shoots.


This rifle was manufactured from 1893 until 1925.

Mine is stamped 1917, and I sure hope I look this good when I am 92 years old.

The rifle was made in the days when they liked long barrels, and this one has a 28 inch barrel and the 2 inch flash suppressor makes it a total of 51 inches long.

A long rifle for sure.


The sights are typical patridge sights, with elevation from 300 to 600 meters.

The battlefield zero is 300 yards, so it will shoot high at 100 yards.


The front sight is surprisingly wide compared to other military rifles, but it works well.


The bolt has the straight bolt handle,


and is massive for this cartridge.


I have seen a lot of these old rifles at gun shows and always noticed that the barrels had threads on the end of the barrel, in front of the sights.

Some rifles had a small screw-on cover on these threads and some were just left bare.

My rifle has a flash suppressor screwed on the end.


Some friends on advised me that the threads were to allow the use of a “shredder” to be used along with some blanks loaded with wooden bullets. The designers were worried that the wooden bullets in the blanks might harm other soldiers when fired, so they designed a shredder to break up the wooden bullets.

When these rifles were imported to the USA, someone designed this flash suppressor to cover the threads and make the rifle “look better”. Other than that, it doesn’t really do much, as the recoil from the 6.5 X 55 is not very harsh and the powder burns well in that long barrel.

Well, we went to the range this morning, and set it up.


And here.


Let’s see how it shoots. I will be shooting at 50 yards today.

I shot a 5 shot group, and asked Vern, who was looking through binoculars, “How did I do?”

He just said, “Man!”

I looked and said, “Holy smokes.”


Here’s the first 5 shots out of the rifle this morning.

It looks looks a 3 shot group, but it’s 5 shots.


The Swedes liked to stamp the last 3 digits of the serial number all over their rifles.

Here’s one number on the butt plate.


On the bolt.


On the floor plate.


And on the cocking piece and the safety.


And just in case you might think that first group was a fluke, here’s the last one I shot today, 5 shots.

I am not sure if the milsurp ammo is corrosive or not, so I will not take any chances, but washed the barrel out with Windex and sprayed it with WD-40 for the trip home.

There I cleaned it as usual.


Col. Townsend Whelen once observed, “Only accurate rifles are interesting.” If that’s true, then this one is very interesting.

Many thanks to Vern for the photo help, and thanks to Ted for the rifle.

6 Comments on Educational Zone #95 – Interesting Firearms – The Model 96 Swedish Mauser

  1. I have a M1896 that I have modified somewhat – I had an armorer drill and tap the receiver for a Redfield Jr. mount, installed a Simmons Whitetail 6.5×20-50mm scope on it, welded a low bolt handle and a Buehler safety on, modified the cocking piece to clear the safety, and put a Bold trigger adjusted to 3# on it. Using 120 grain handloads (Nosler Ballistic Tips), Winchester brass, CCI 200 primers and an appropriate dose of Alliant 19 powder (nothing radical – all within good loading practice levels), I have repeatedly shot 200 yard groups off of the bench that can be covered easily by a quarter, and with witnesses. It’s a light recoiling round, and with that long barrel, relatively low report. This old rifle hasn’t been recrowned, hasn’t been bedded, hasn’t had anything special done to it except for tightening the front screw tight and the rear one snug and it shoots better than a lot of very high dollar rifles.

    You can’t go wrong with a Swedish or with the 6.5×55 round. And from my experience, you can’t beat the 120 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip.

  2. WD4o kills primers do not use


  3. great read, I just bought 2 of these rifles ,1 as issued_Carl Gustaf 1912 and the other cg 1915 that has been sporterized hope that they shoot as good as your s

  4. I have a 1910 Mauser. Same fantastic accuracy. My best rifle by far

  5. Charles Fleming // November 18, 2016 at 11:05 pm // Reply

    I received a rifle just like yours (Gustaf 1917) from my father. Rifle looks almost new. I bought a simple blued steel cap to protect the threads that is un detectable when installed. the sight on this rifle flips vertical and is calibrated out to 2000 yds! I am doing good to have something on paper at 300 yards! thanks for the great article and photos

  6. I have a Model 96 dated 1911. A very nice rifle, the only thing missing was a regimental disk from the stock. I found a stock for a Model 38 that had the disk I needed. So I have a M38 stock, in good condition for sale or trade for a bayonet to fit my M96. If interested, call me at 603-504-4015. If you have a M38 with a buggered up stock, I’d rather you have it than it sit in my basement gathering dust. ~Bill

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