An Old Mauser

A solid review of old school Mauser sporter techniques still useful today.

by Wendell Dwight Deaner

Anyone who has been following my articles in American Gunsmith knows I am a fan of the Mauser action, especially the 98s and 96s. Recently, an interesting custom Mauser 98 originally assembled in the early sixties came across my bench. This rifle was built by a gunsmith residing in Berlin, Pennsylvania during the heyday of converting military surplus rifles to sporters. It shows almost all of the features offered by the rifle builders of the day and is one of the most representative examples of the era I have ever seen. If one of these comes in your shop it deserves tender care and respect as this was your granddaddy’s favorite arm.

While there is not necessarily a lot of how-to in this article, there is a wealth of how-it-was-done in the golden age of sporterizing old rifles. This gun crossed my bench for something as mundane as a loose forend cap. After all these years, whatever glue the gunsmith used hardened and came loose. Acraglas was available in the early sixties but I would bet something like Elmer’s Carpenters glue was used on this gun. The forend piece is made of Rosewood and a matching grip cap compliments the walnut stock. Both are separated from the stock by the mandatory white-line spacer that seemed required in the day and was held in place by the standard method of an angled dowel locking it to the stock. A little hand pressure was all that was needed to separate it and give access to replace the adhesive.


Read more in our November 2012 issue. Back issues are available.

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