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Old Mauser stalking rifle ?
      #57701 - 24/05/06 11:27 AM

I found a old interesting Mauser stalking rifle today at a rifle shop.It had a large british looking crown on top of the receiver,and gew 98 on side.Could this be a commonwealth sporter rifle?Were mauser actions like this built into hunting rifles and sent to africa and india for big game hunting & called commonwealth sporters after world war one?The local gunsmith said the crown was done after the original factory build and the rifle was probley built in 1915-1917 time frame he would estimate,he said it was custom built from a military action long time ago all original.The serial number was low ...something like 4447???The caliber was 8mm mauser the gunsmith claimed but i didnt think about the bore diameter being two differnt sizes in the early rifles...Were some old rifles like this bored.318 & then mauser later changed to .323 later?Do I need to slug/check the bore diameter or will there be a stamp/letter letting me know ?Also has anyone ever seen a mauser like this with the big crown and have any idea what it means?Did rigby built on 98 mausers, built back in those days have serial numbers around the same digits?Thanks for any info on what this rifle could be...I will try to find out more info & markings.Sorry for all the questions but no one around here to ask about old guns like this one....she looked to be a nice one with many stories to tell!


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Re: Old Mauser stalking rifle ? [Re: blackbearhunter]
      #57707 - 24/05/06 02:05 PM


The original military bore size was .318 and you are correct in saying it was later changed to .323. A 8x57 in .323 bore is referred to as a 8x57S (ie 8x60S, 8x68S, 8x75S etc).

Woodleigh makes projectiles in .318 bore I believe.

One of your questions answered. Don't know about the others.

John aka NitroX

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

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Re: Old Mauser stalking rifle ? [Re: NitroX]
      #62377 - 11/09/06 02:11 PM

The markings described denote a Gewehr 98 Military Mauser,
made by one of the German Imperial Arsenals (the Crown on the Receiver Ring, --Spandau, Erfurt, Danzig or Amberg);

The original calibre is 7,9mm"S" ( ie, .311 Bore/.323 groove).

These Sporters were "modified" from Military Surplus rifles after WW I, by Gunmakers in Belgium, Germany and England, and of course by "amateurs" in many commonwealth countries, which had "souvenired" them. Kynoch manufactured Sporting ammo (marked "7,9 or 8mm") well into the 1950s.

The rifle concerned, if still in 7,9x57 as I strongly suspect, will safely use standard "8mm" Commercial sporting ammo of US manufacture (underloaded) or Military Surplus or European Commercial 7,9mm ("8mm") ammo of the "S" variety (Both these latter have substantially higher pressure and velocities to the US " powderpuff " ammo.).

The reference to the ".318" diameter projectile refers to the older, M1888 cartridge and the Commission Gewehr 88, with its split bridge design and smaller groove dimensions (.318, then .321, Then (in the M1888/05) throat relieved to fire .323 Bullets ( the "M88-S" or M88/05, modifications).

Whilst M88 type Sporters, by Haenel, Sauer, Schilling etc. will be in the original 8x57J (.318) cartridge, any M98 actioned rifle will be in 7,9( 8)x57 JS (.323) cartridge.

BTW, in the 1920s Germany, the Sporters made from Military rifles were chambered for 8x60S, to avoid the prohibition on Military calibres in Germany (Versailles Treaty obligations).

So it would be necessary to check, (a) if the rifle has 1920s Civilian German Proof House marks, and (b) what the calibre designation with these (if any) is. If it is Belgian converted, then it will have the equivalent Belgian (Liege) Proofs ("ELG" in oval, etc) and the British converted guns will have "BP or CP" (Birmingham or London) and details of cartridge size and pressure in "Tons per sq.in". If a "Commonwealth" country conversions, there will be NO proof marks at all, other than the original German Military ones ("Imperial eagle", before serial number on both barrel and receiver, left side).

I hope this will be sufficient to work on, if not, send some photos of the receiver and the barrel shank, with any marking there-on.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics -Forensic Services
Brisbane Australia.

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Re: Old Mauser stalking rifle ? [Re: DocAV]
      #62382 - 11/09/06 09:05 PM


comercial Mauser-rifles from the time before 1950, mostly have the smaller .318"-calibre.
The suffix "I" and "S" just came by the standartisation of the 8mm-calibres in 1939.

" I " means infantery (the first barrell-calibre of the old M88-rifles from 1888-1894 was .318", in 1895 it changed to .323", but the ammonition still was load with the smaller .318" 227gr. FMJ-roundnouse-buillets.)

"S" means spitzer-buillet (in 1905 the builletdia. changed with the new 154gr. FMJ-spitzerbuillet to the barrellmeasure of .323". All military Mausers 98 have from the beginninī the bigger .323" barrells. Some older Mod. 88 were changed for the .323"-barrells, they got a "S" on the reciever)

Hunting rifles, comercials and rebuild with military-recievers mostly were made for the smaller .318". It becomes such a good reputation in the time from 1888-1905, that the gunsmiths dontīt saw a reason the change the barrelldia. to .323", like the army to it.
Some of them reduced the barrellmessures down to .303". They hope that the higher pressure give more precision and accuracy. In 1939 the standartisation ruels the measures to:

8mm I-cal.: 8mm S-cal.:
8,07mm/7,80mm 8,20mm/7,89mm
(.318"/.307") (.323"/.310")

When you would buy the rifle, check the measdures of the barrell. 8mm-J buillets (Softpoint-roundnose) are available by Sellier&Bellot, Norma and RWS in the weigt of 12,7g (196gr.).
Lighter buillets are made by Degol/Belgium.
Loaded ammunition is just available by Norma.
The max. preasure of the 8x57J is 47860psi and the energy is between the .308Win. and the .30-06.


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Re: Old Mauser stalking rifle ? [Re: blackberry9]
      #62484 - 14/09/06 07:14 PM

I'm confused. (no surprise Huh?)

Are you saying most Commercial Mod 98s made before 1950 are 318 and all Military Mod 98's are 323?

Lovu Zdar

A Man of Pleasure, Enterprise, Wit and Spirit Rare Books, Big Game Hunting, English Rifles, Fishing, Explosives, Chauvinism, Insensitivity, Public Drunkenness and Sloth, Champion of Lost and Unpopular Causes.

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Re: Old Mauser stalking rifle ? [Re: mickey]
      #62503 - 15/09/06 06:31 AM

Hi Mickey!

Please don`t be confussed(hahaha)

I have been collecting Mausers for some time now, and have come across "Alot " of Mausers, and NO, no-one can not generalize vintage/calibers..

The .318cal has been used from 1888 to the late 1950īs in
8x60 8x57 8x64 8x75.

I have two M98 of Commercial production made almost in the same year of eachother(1913-1914) one Model M in
8mm N (N=Normal= .318cal) and the other a model B Sporter
in 8mm S (S= spitzgeshosse= .323Cal).

If the 8x57 (318 cal) are fired in a M98 it can be loaded equaly to its "bigger" brother in .323 cal.

However one reason that one preferre to "download" the 8x57N i .318cal was that it was originaly made for the M88 rifle which isn`t so strong as the M98, but yet widely available in sporterrifles along with the M98line for many years.
I think I read somewhere the when Mauser came out in 1905 with the .323 cal dia, they "fooled proofed" their ".318 rifles" the .323 cal ammo, so no blow could occure.

ALLWAYS when in doubt regardless of "ol`wifes tale" SLUG THE BORE.
One shouldn`t be afraid or disregard an old rifle in the .318cal bore, just enjoy them.
I have just here recently ordered 200 bullets in .318 cal weighing 230 grain from DEGOL in belgium for my model M stutzen. RWS and GECO still make the .318 cal bullets because their are so many drillings and Kipplaufer(breakaction) in that boresize.

Edited by rigbymauser (15/09/06 06:36 AM)

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Re: Old Mauser stalking rifle ? [Re: rigbymauser]
      #62509 - 15/09/06 07:53 AM


yes, thatīs true. In the time before WW2, the .318"-calibre was more used by hunters than the .323". Huntingrifles and more than they, drillings an other combinated Guns with .323"
in 8x57 are very rear. Maybe 90% of the older weapons were made for the .318"-buillets.

All military Mauser 98, like the Rifle M98, the very rare cavallery-carbine 98/02, the carbines K98a, K98b and the famous K98k have .323"-barrells, becaus the M98 was developed in 1895, in that year in wich the german army moved there barrelldia. from .318" to .323". (The builletdia. just changed 10 years later). The reason was that, that the older coatmaterial of the 227gr.FMJs made problems, when the buillets moved through the barrell. Some of them exploded.
The development of coated buillets was just in the beginninī on that time. So it was saftyer for the army-leadership tho whide up the barrells for .005". Later they got better quality-material for there builletcoats, it donīt sprites in the barrell. But now, the powdergas streams straight allong the buillets in the barrell, and they loose a lot of energy. That was the reason to change the builletdia. also to .323" in 1905.

German Mod.88 rifles have two calibres. The rifle wich were by the german army after 1895 also have the .323"-cal. But all which were sold to Turky and Ethiopia have the smaler .318"-cal. The 88īs which are on the marked today have a lot of changed parts from the sold rifles. When you buy a old rifle for the 8x57 which has no cal.mark on it, control the barrelldia. at the gunsmith-store.

Yes you can shoot the lighter loaded ammunition from different american sellers which works in both cal.dia., but they donīt show you the full energy-reserv of the 8x57.

(please forgive me my bad english, I hope you understand what I try to say.)

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