Once commonly available (and cheap!) as surplus, Mausers were routinely used in sporterization and customization projects. With a little prudent selection they are still good actions to build upon.
by Wendell Deaner
The 1950s and ’60s was the heyday of military rifle sporterizing. Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of rifles were brought into this country after World War Two. Model 98-style Mausers manufactured in various factories in various countries flooded the American market. As I remember back then, in those pre-1968 Gun Control Act days, these rifles could be purchased for less than twenty five dollars and ordered through the US mail! The guns ranged from pristine pre-war examples to slave-labor built weapons that may have been safer to stand in front of than fire. In addition, many other countries bought surplus rifles to be refurbished and stockpiled for their own troops’ use. South American countries ordered a vast amount of Mauser rifles in what we Americans might think of as odd calibers and configurations. The different models, calibers, and specifications of these rifles are worth a book unto themselves and several have, in fact, been written.
Read more in our March 2011 issue. Back issues are available.
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