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Clark
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Reged: 25/11/08
Posts: 51
Loc: Sweden
My M-S 1903 Take Down .256
      #211610 - 27/06/12 04:35 AM

Hello,

I bought this of Holts Sealed Bids sale in January, but didn't receive it until now from England (it's been a long wait). And luckily it turned out alright.

It is a Mannlicher-Schoenauer 1903, take-down, in 6,5x54, number 17833. The barrel says "SPECIALLY MADE FOR CHAS. A. HEYER & CO." (just as the Osa Johnson Mauser), so it was originally ordered in Africa, which makes it a bit special (I confess this is one of the reasons I bought it). The stock seems to be typical Mannlicher, but some other details are different. It has an express sight with folding leafs up to 500 yards and an extra long barrel of 27,5". It also features a removable pistol grip cap (in horn) with a replacement front sight wrapped in paper inside (this wasn't mentioned in the auction text BTW). You press the small button and turn the cap 90 degrees and lift it up, I haven't seen this on any other rifle.

It does have british proof marks, probably done when brought to England later.

The only thing I will change about it is to remove the extension and fit a new Silvers to it as it is very, very long now. I did some shooting with it this weekend, and I placed three shots within an inch on 50 yards and no adjustments where needed.

It is in excellent shape, just the correct amount of patina. No trace of renovation or reblueing.

The scope have been fitted later, it is a Zeiss Diatal-DA in 4x32 in swivel mounts. The vendor, James Hepburne Scott, was kind enough to provde the following provenance, which adds to its uniqueness:

"I come from a line of passionate deerstalkers. Edward Ross was my great-grandfather. His father was Horatio. Hence I was thrilled when my uncle, Lord Polwarth, gave me this rifle for my 21st birthday in 1968. He took me to Holland & Holland where I was allowed to choose it. The sight was a gift from the three Miss Robertsons, of Robertson & Baxter whisky renown, who had so kindly invited me to stalk at Cluanie in Wester Ross for the previous five seasons. It was thanks to them that my interest in deer and deer-stalking developed and over the years I made so many wonderful friends in that part of Scotland.

Since the death of these remarkable ladies I have been very fortunate to be invited to stalk at the neighbouring estates of Glen Sheil, Glen Quoich, Barisdale and Druidaig; also, further afield, at Gruinard, Invercauld and Balmoral (as a young army officer).

This sport has given me more pleasure over the years than all others put together, and the sensation experienced as the rifle is drawn out of its sleeve after a long crawl across impossibly open ground is one I will take to Heaven, if I should ever get there."


Pictures:










In good company (a british made M-S 1903, unknown maker):


And even better company (the other two both belonging to my brother):


Edited by CptCurl (18/11/12 11:32 PM)


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dons
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Reged: 18/08/07
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Loc: Essex
Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: Clark]
      #211612 - 27/06/12 05:04 AM

Interesting and unusual MS, Congrats. I would agree that the butt extension has to go. Your brothers '03 MS shows some characteristics common to the Daniel Fraser firm. Is the Mauser an early Rigby?

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Clark
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Reged: 25/11/08
Posts: 51
Loc: Sweden
Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: dons]
      #211613 - 27/06/12 05:10 AM

Thanks!

Yes, it is an original Rigby .275, its number is 67455 (Mauser) and 5510 (Rigby).

/C


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lancaster
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Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: Clark]
      #211625 - 27/06/12 01:11 PM

very nice

--------------------
Norwegian hunter misses moose, shoots man on toilet


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500Nitro
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Reged: 06/01/03
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Loc: Victoria, Australia
Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: lancaster]
      #211627 - 27/06/12 01:21 PM


Superb.

Thanks for posting.


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HeymSR20
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Reged: 23/11/11
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Loc: Scotland
Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: 500Nitro]
      #212407 - 10/07/12 03:10 AM

I've handled but not shot that rifle - it is very nice indeed. The previous owner was a colleague of my Wife and I know he treasured it, and will be pleased its gone to a good home.

We have a silly law in Scotland that forbids for deer stalking the use of ammunition with less than 2450 fps or 100gn bullet weight for deer (60gn for Roe deer). We also have to show good reason to own a rifle. The factory ammo loadings for the 6.5 MS with 156gn bullet do not reach the minimum velocity requirements, ergo our firearms licencing departments are reluctant to allow coninued possession of 6.5MS rifles, since they are no longer "deer" legal and thus you cannot show good reason to possess them. Yes of course you can reload with a lighter bullet and easily exceed the velocity requirements, but that is a real faff to prove to them etc. Hence an awful lot of these lovely old rifles are being forced onto the market, even though there are countless deer that could testify as to their effectiveness.

I have another friend who is a dealer who has a whole roomfull of these old Mannlicher's that he is slowly dripping into the market.

Edited by HeymSR20 (10/07/12 03:11 AM)


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Kiwi_bloke
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Reged: 03/09/09
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Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: HeymSR20]
      #212453 - 10/07/12 07:03 PM

That's a really nice M.1903.

My 1927 M.1910 in 9,5x57 M.Sch has the same arrangement of a removable horn pistol grip cap with the same sight wrapped in newspaper. It's 10 thou different to the fitted sight and there's at least 1.5" change in group height by changing sights. To remove the fitted sight on my rifle, I have to drift it from left to right.

Mine doesn't have the multi-leaf standing sights like yours but an early factory catalogue shows they were an optional extra, perhaps fitted in this case for Heyer. In other respects, including the take-down pin and lever, it's the same and it was known by the Steyr factory as their "English" model. As to my barrel length, it's either the same or similar, I'd have to check. The M.1910 has a steel buttplate rather than a pad and this has a couple of spare rounds and a cleaning rod (take-down), under a trap. It also has a Baillie-Grohman peep sight that folds down when the bolt is cocked and then back up again.

I also have a 6,5 M.Sch carbine. I find that new or old 159-grain RWS bullets are undersize. Perhaps to fit some other German 6,5mm caliber also? I use an expander ball that I've turned down a few thou and this grips these undersize bullets, but accuracy is not flash and velocity is lacking. Hornady 160 grain .264" bullets are much more accurate and velocity better. If you slug the bore, you may be able to use Carcano diameter bullets as Handloader magazine recently advised. However, the Carcano bullets have to be loaded to a much shorter length or otherwise they jam in the rifling. This is because the forward part of the bullet is much less tapered than the .264" ones from the same company. Unless you have an OAL guage, and are a very experienced handloader, I'd perhaps avoid them. However, they do give good accuracy and velocity by obturating those rifles fitted with oversize bores. It seems that before 1945 6,5x54 M.Sch barrel lands and grooves were somewhat larger than those made after 1950, but assume nothing until your bore has been slugged.

I was in the Holland and Holland gunroom 25 or more years ago and this new Scottish law was about to come into effect. I was looking at a couple of 6,5x54 Mannlicher's but they expected others would soon become available. They made the point, a very fair one I think, that the 6,5 Mannlicher had probably shot more red deer in Scottland than any other except perhaps the venerable .303 British. It had also accounted for probably every game animal on Earth. So it is a very silly law.


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Kiwi_bloke
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Reged: 03/09/09
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Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: Kiwi_bloke]
      #212455 - 10/07/12 07:10 PM

I just checked. My M.1910 (9,5x57 M. Sch.) barrel length is 23,7/8" Longer barrels helped burn early powders more efficiently but also, with open sights, meant a longer sighting plane.

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Clark
.275 member


Reged: 25/11/08
Posts: 51
Loc: Sweden
Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: Kiwi_bloke]
      #212463 - 10/07/12 09:18 PM

Thanks Kiwi for the information, I wasn't aware of the English model, that's very interesting.

My extra sight isn't the exact same width as the one fitted, so maybe the original has been replaced for additional height or something.

It is very likely that my stock have the compartment for cleaning supplies as well, but is hidden because of the extension and rubber pad. I'll make sure my gunsmith checks when removing it.

Yours sounds like a very nice rifle as well, it would be great to see pictures of it.

Thanks,
Lars


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Clark
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Reged: 25/11/08
Posts: 51
Loc: Sweden
Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: HeymSR20]
      #212465 - 10/07/12 09:20 PM

Quote:

I've handled but not shot that rifle - it is very nice indeed. The previous owner was a colleague of my Wife and I know he treasured it, and will be pleased its gone to a good home.

We have a silly law in Scotland that forbids for deer stalking the use of ammunition with less than 2450 fps or 100gn bullet weight for deer (60gn for Roe deer).




That's great, thanks!

In Sweden 6,5x54 meets the minimum for moose, deer and wild boar, even though I plan to use it mostly for stalking roe deer.

/L


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: Clark]
      #212517 - 11/07/12 02:30 PM

Very nice.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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Rule303
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Reged: 05/07/09
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Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: NitroX]
      #212555 - 12/07/12 08:50 AM

Great looking rifles. The Scotish laws regarding deer are certainly ill thought out.

Thanks for posting.


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: Kiwi_bloke]
      #212561 - 12/07/12 06:05 PM

Quote:

I was in the Holland and Holland gunroom 25 or more years ago and this new Scottish law was about to come into effect. I was looking at a couple of 6,5x54 Mannlicher's but they expected others would soon become available. They made the point, a very fair one I think, that the 6,5 Mannlicher had probably shot more red deer in Scottland than any other except perhaps the venerable .303 British. It had also accounted for probably every game animal on Earth. So it is a very silly law.




Could you explain what the new Scottish game law is? Had a look through the thread and couldn't see a reference to it, but may have missed one?

I am guessing the 6.5mm will no longer be legal for red stag in Scotland? If so, a similar stupid law exists in Victoria where a 2" case, .270 and 130 gr is the minimum legal calibre for red deer. (unless I have completely forgotten it).

Would appreciate comments on the new Scots laws. Thanks.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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Kiwi_bloke
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Reged: 03/09/09
Posts: 153
Loc: New Zealand
Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: NitroX]
      #212564 - 12/07/12 06:38 PM

I took up your suggestion Clark to add photos of my M.1910 take-down for you to compare. Let's hope these links work.















Edited by CptCurl (18/11/12 11:33 PM)


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Clark
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Reged: 25/11/08
Posts: 51
Loc: Sweden
Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: Kiwi_bloke]
      #212584 - 13/07/12 06:09 AM

Very nice Kiwi, and very similar to mine (and I thought the removable grip cap was unique... ). Looks like yours have a cheekpiece?

Thanks for posting!

/L


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Kiwi_bloke
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Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: Clark]
      #212609 - 13/07/12 04:45 PM

Next time you see a German newspaper, tear off a corner and you know exactly what to wrap in it !

The 6,5x54 was a very popular target rifle once, and I think the longer barrel might relate to that period and that heritage, (i,e a longer sighting plane). Part of the reason for it's popularity for target shooting was that a worn bolt face could, if required, be removed and replaced. Check those numbers !


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Clark
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Reged: 25/11/08
Posts: 51
Loc: Sweden
Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: Kiwi_bloke]
      #212610 - 13/07/12 05:45 PM

I'll remember that, mine is wrapped in a oil-soaked piece of paper now.

Yes, that is a possibility, I can also imagine that the longer barrel on mine was because it was ordered for Africa, similar to the Mauser Africa model which also has an almost unnecessary long barrel.

Those 9.5x57 cartridges are beautiful BTW

/L


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HeymSR20
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Reged: 23/11/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Scotland
Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: Clark]
      #212639 - 14/07/12 04:08 AM

NitroX,

There are a number of minimum requirements on what rifles are legal for shooting deer in the UK. And it changes within the different countries.

So for example with my 243 and an 85grain bullet I can quite legally shoot a Red deer in England, but not in Scotlnd - bullet is too light. But in England I can't shoot a Roe deer with a 222 - min calibre is .240.

A 458 Win mag is deer legal in England but not in Scotland as it does n't have enough velocity. Nor is the 30-30.

The detail is from the BASC website - http://www.basc.org.uk/en/codes-of-practice/deer-stalking.cfm

The stalker must only use a rifle and ammunition which are legal for the species of deer being shot. In addition to compliance with the law the stalker should be guided by knowledge, experience and personal preference in their choice of a rifle and ammunition. The legal requirements are laid down in the several Deer Acts and Orders. For example:

England and Wales

For Muntjac and Chinese Water deer only- a rifle with a minimum calibre of not less than .220 inches and muzzle energy of not less than 1000 foot pounds and a bullet weight of not less than 50 grains may be used.

For all deer of any species - a minimum calibre of .240 and minimum muzzle energy of 1,700 foot pounds is the legal requirement.

Northern Ireland

For Muntjac and Chinese Water deer only- a rifle with a minimum calibre of not less than .220 inches and muzzle energy of not less than 1000 foot pounds and a bullet weight of not less than 50 grains may be used.

For all deer of any species - a minimum calibre of .236 inches, a minimum bullet weight of 100 grains and minimum muzzle energy of 1,700 foot pounds is the legal requirement.

Scotland

For roe deer, where the bullet must weigh at least 50 grains AND have a minimum muzzle velocity of 2,450 feet per second AND a minimum muzzle energy of 1,000 foot pounds may be used.

For all deer of any species - the bullet must weigh at least 100 grains AND have a minimum muzzle velocity of 2,450 feet per second AND a minimum muzzle energy of 1,750 foot pounds.


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JDL
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Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: HeymSR20]
      #212657 - 14/07/12 10:32 AM

Kiwi bloke, What is the pin just in front of the trigger guard on your very nice 1910?

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Clark
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Reged: 25/11/08
Posts: 51
Loc: Sweden
Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: JDL]
      #212673 - 14/07/12 05:24 PM

That's the release level for the take-down feature. If the magazine and bolt is taken out, all you need to do is to turn this level and remove the pin in the forestock and the action+barrel can be lifted out of the stock.

/C


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JDL
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Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: Clark]
      #212686 - 14/07/12 11:40 PM

Really neat, thanks. I've never seen a takedown except in pictures.

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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: JDL]
      #212696 - 15/07/12 12:32 AM

Everytime I see these lovely Mannlicher-Schoenauers I reflect on the two I let get away, a 6.5x54 and a 9.5x57. Both at the same time and at a reasonable price. But I was about to purchase my Jeffery double at the time and that was a big bite out of the bank account.

All of those rifles displayed look very nice and would be pleasant to hunt with.


PS Thanks for the comments on the ballistic legalities of deer hunting in the UK.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


Edited by NitroX (15/07/12 12:33 AM)


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Kiwi_bloke
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Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: NitroX]
      #212804 - 16/07/12 08:23 AM

These might assist. They're from a translated 1935 Steyr catalogue, (Steyr being the makers of Mannlicher-Schoenauer).





Edited by CptCurl (18/11/12 11:34 PM)


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HeymSR20
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Reged: 23/11/11
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Loc: Scotland
Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: Kiwi_bloke]
      #212906 - 17/07/12 07:41 PM

On the ballistic legalities, Kynoch Ammo now load for 6.5 MS a 140gr bullet at 2,700 fps so deer legal for any deer in the UK.

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Daryl_S
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Re: My M-S 1903 Take Down .256 [Re: HeymSR20]
      #212928 - 18/07/12 02:02 AM

6.5x54 with 140gr. at 2,700fps is really smoking for that round. What barrel length does Kynoch use?

That speed is right up with the best load for the 6.5 Creedmoor which makes it only with Hybrid100V powder and at 59,600psi, as well as the better data for a 24" .260 Rem at 57,000psi and 6.5x55 showing approx. 55,000psi, that's the 6.5x55's CIP max.

Even the 6.5/06 beats 2,700fps by only 100fps with all pressuresfor loads 2,730fps to 2,848fps, running over 61,300psi to 62,700psi - again, 24" bl.
A speer bullet was used in that testing.
I have to wonder if the barrel was at least 28" long for their test rifle.

--------------------
Daryl


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