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Old 01-15-2012, 10:16 PM   #11
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Thank you for the very helpful information, Mike. The next time I go to my parents house I'll have the 'Ole man take it out and I'll go over it some more. To be honest though, I doubt we'll ever really know.

I will definitely look into the cartridge and take your advice. I believe there was some ammunition my Dad found along with the rifle, maybe the cartridge it uses was known to the old man who passed on. I'll look into that as well. I think the best bet would be to bring it to a gunsmith and have them go over it and properly determine the round before firing it. I am dying to try this rifle but let me tell you... the first round is going to be with the gun in a brace, a string around the trigger, and me hiding behind something!

What I guess I was ultimately hoping for was, "Oh, yeah! That's a Mauser Model B-500!" or something like that. I find it interesting that this rifle seems to be quite unique in that it's either a customized build from a single gunsmith or a very small firm. jonm61 posted some links and in one of them, there is a rifle nearly identical to this one. It looks to be made from a Gewehr 98 as Mike suggested but there are major modifications. The heat dissipating rib atop the barrel (with excellently detailed scribed lines like the top of a PPK)? That is not a feature of any of those rifles and the assembly on this rifle is of such quality it appears to have been made from a single piece of steel. Also, the double-set trigger is completely unknown to Mauser rifles (as far as I know - probably soon to be proven wrong!). I wish you could hold this rifle and work the bolt yourself. It's the smoothest I've ever felt - it's like on bearings.

-Pilotsteve
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:02 PM   #12
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PilotSteve,

I know that rifle as a pre WWII Mauser Model B sporting rifle. I know this because I have one, although mine was brought back by a relative who was in Germany during the occupation.

The story I was told is that the german farmers after the war could not control the deer populations that flourished and destroyed the fields because of restrictions on gun ownership in 1946. They turned to the U.S. army, and for the short term the problem was addressed by occupational U.S. soldiers hunting them with weapons that were available. The Mauser plant was within the US sector and custom guns were built by available and idle gunsmiths. As the story goes, there is the right way, the wrong way, and the army way. Too much time was being spent hunting and not solving the problem. The army way was to bring in the 30 cal. machine guns and decimate the herds, hence problem solved. The gun you own may have been the result of the temporary solution. The one I own has a silver engraved door that flips out to hold four rounds of 8mm. I shoot the gun on rare occasions. I hit the bull with it at 100 yds, with tight group just high of center in 6 shots.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:30 AM   #13
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We hear all the time, and rightly so, about buying the gun and not the story. But that's one heck of a story regardless, CaptRob. Thanks for sharing it.

Welcome to the forum; enjoy your time here.
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:46 PM   #14
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I added an album titled "Mauser Sporting Rifles" that has several pictures for identifying the rifles. Hopefully that helps.



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Old 01-29-2012, 11:16 PM   #15
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CaptRob, I cannot thank you enough for the extraordinarily helpful information you've shared. You've found it - whatever that rifle is my father found, it's some variant of the Mauser Sporting Rifle Model B, pattern either 120 or 140 based on the wonderful (and rare!) prints you posted. Thank you so much!

I have a very mixed set of feelings when it comes to this rifle. It is my fathers, but he'll never use it. He's not interested in shooting as a sport so it sits in his gun cabinet. Along with his various other shotguns and rifles. Collecting dust and (probably) rust. To him, shooting is a waste of money unless you're hunting, and he's not physically capable of hunting anymore because his back is gone, so it won't be used for that either. He has told me several times that the rifle will pass to me "When I'm gone." How to feel about that? Talk about mixed emotions... Obviously, I lust over that rifle and want it for my own. But it's my Dads, and it won't be mine until...

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Old 02-10-2012, 04:38 PM   #16
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I finished uploading the remainder of the Mauser booklet to the photo album. I had to create a second album for the last three pages. (There must be an upload limit for albums). Hope you find some great information there!


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I'm happy to share what I know. This is a great website with very knowledgeable people. Best regards, Rob
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptRob View Post
I finished uploading the remainder of the Mauser booklet to the photo album. I had to create a second album for the last three pages. (There must be an upload limit for albums). Hope you find some great information there!
Searcher, the work CaptRob shared with this community should be either in the FAQ's or a sticky somewhere. What an incredible wealth of historical information and rare archival reference in that album. Amazing, and in posting that album, CaptRob added to the collective sum of knowledge available to the world. Prost, Rob.

Three ink cartridges later...

-Pilotsteve
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:36 AM   #18
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Odd that you should mention, PS, as I was thinking the exact same thing. A Sticky is it, for future reference.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:56 PM   #19
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These links will take anyone who's interested to CaptRob's incredible albums, loaded with rare information and impossible to find anywhere else on the web. Here's part 1:

https://www.waltherforums.com/forum/m...-albums81.html

And part 2:

https://www.waltherforums.com/forum/m...-albums86.html

Last week I visited my parents and brought the digital camera with me to get some more pictures of that rifle. Here's the steel buttplate with the word "Germany" curiously etched on it:



The front sight, which I discovered is actually dovetailed parallel to the bore; it can be switched out with other sizes to optimize accuracy. The design of the front sight seems to be a very helpful feature in identifying this rifle from among the reference photos CaptRob shared in his album:



And another of the bolt side. The workmanship is amazing.



Also, in regards to Mike's suggestion to try the cartridges my father has, I learned a lot more about that story and the plot definitely thickens in regards to that. I asked him to get the cartridges he had for it and produced a box of Winchester 8mm x (I think) 57.10 or something like that. They were not 7.92 x 57, as I think this rifle should accept. Taking Mike's instructions to bear, I removed the bolt (which requires removing the elevating rear peep sight) - the sight obscures the bolt removal mechanism so it must come off to be removed. I then slid one of the cartridges into the chamber and sure enough, it slipped right in and stopped with just enough poking out for the extractor to grasp it on the right side. Then I took it out and tested it by trying to insert the bullet end into the end of the barrel and guess what?

No sir. It would not fit into the barrel! Just as soon as the conical portion of the bullet was fully in the barrel, it would not go in... it would require pounding it into the barrel to fit. My father tried pushing it in firmly with his hand and it still would not go in. Obviously, this cartridge was not the right caliber. Dang it, I should have taken a picture of the box because I can't remember exactly what they were but I do recall them specifically being "8mm" according to the box. I suspect if I tried to do the same test with a 7.92mm bullet, it should fit.

The question is, how tightly should a bullet be in the barrel? Obviously it should be "snug" but shouldn't be pounded down the barrel to fit. Nor should it simply slip down the barrel like a bb gun, either. At any rate, I asked him where he got them; years ago he brought the rifle to someone who was purported to be a decent gunsmith and "knows his stuff" to look at it. He told my father that it was a Mauser 8mm and handed him that box of cartridges. Thank God he never tried firing this rifle with those...

-Pilotsteve

Last edited by Pilotsteve; 02-18-2012 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:31 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Pilotsteve View Post
...

Also, in regards to Mike's suggestion to try the cartridges my father has, I learned a lot more about that story and the plot definitely thickens in regards to that. I asked him to get the cartridges he had for it and produced a box of Winchester 8mm x (I think) 57.10 or something like that. They were not 7.92 x 57, as I think this rifle should accept. Taking Mike's instructions to bear, I removed the bolt (which requires removing the elevating rear peep sight) - the sight obscures the bolt removal mechanism so it must come off to be removed. I then slid one of the cartridges into the chamber and sure enough, it slipped right in and stopped with just enough poking out for the extractor to grasp it on the right side. Then I took it out and tested it by trying to insert the bullet end into the end of the barrel and guess what?

No sir. It would not fit into the barrel! Just as soon as the conical portion of the bullet was fully in the barrel, it would not go in... it would require pounding it into the barrel to fit. My father tried pushing it in firmly with his hand and it still would not go in. Obviously, this cartridge was not the right caliber. Dang it, I should have taken a picture of the box because I can't remember exactly what they were but I do recall them specifically being "8mm" according to the box. I suspect if I tried to do the same test with a 7.92mm bullet, it should fit.

The question is, how tightly should a bullet be in the barrel? Obviously it should be "snug" but shouldn't be pounded down the barrel to fit. Nor should it simply slip down the barrel like a bb gun, either. At any rate, I asked him where he got them; years ago he brought the rifle to someone who was purported to be a decent gunsmith and "knows his stuff" to look at it. He told my father that it was a Mauser 8mm and handed him that box of cartridges. Thank God he never tried firing this rifle with those...

-Pilotsteve
Steve: Go back and read my post #10. I said to insert a bullet in the muzzle to see if it was LOOSE, not tight. An 8x57mm Mauser bullet normally will NOT fit all the way into the bore of an 8x57 mm Mauser rifle at the muzzle unless the barrel has been shot out.

My suggestion was only intended to rule out the possibility that the rifle was bored for some 9mm or larger Mauser rifle cartridge that might chamber in an 8mm.

Bear in mind that a German 8x57mm sporting rifle barrel might be either of two bore sizes, .318" or .323". To determine which one is optimal for your rifle, you'll need to slug the bore.

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