Mauser

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Mauser is a German arms manufacturer of a line of bolt-action rifles and pistols from the 1870s to present. Their designs were built for the German armed forces, but have been exported and licensed to a number of countries since the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as being a popular civilian firearm.

In the late twentieth century, Mauser continued to make sporting and hunting rifles. In the 1990s, it became a subsidiary of Rheinmetall. A division of the original company, Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH, was split off and continues making rifles, while the Rheinmetall subsidiary, called Mauser-Werke Oberndorf Waffensysteme GmbH, made other products for a time before being merged into Rheinmetall Waffe Munition Gmbh. The Mauser name has also sometimes been licensed by other companies.

Contents

History

The Early Years

Peter Paul Mauser, often referred to as Paul Mauser, was born on June 27, 1838, in Oberndorf am Neckar, in Württemberg. His brother Wilhelm was four years older. Their father, Franz Andreas Mauser, was a gunsmith at the Württemberg Royal Armory, which was established by King Frederick I on July 31, 1811. The factory was built in an Augustine cloister, chosen because it was very stoutly built and ideal for arms production. (Smith, W.H.B. (Reprinted 1990). Mauser Rifles and Pistols. Wolfe Publishing Company:Prescott, Arizona. Pg. 12-13. ISBN 0-935632-94-8) Franz Andreas Mauser married a woman from Oberndorf in 1819, and they had 13 children. Another son, Franz Mauser, travelled to America in 1853 with his sister and worked at E. Remington & Sons. (Olson, Ludwig (1981). Mauser Bolt Rifles (3rd ed.). F. Brownell & Son, Publishers, Inc.:Montezuma, Iowa. Pg. 1-3) Peter Paul was conscripted in 1859 and became an artilleryman at the Ludwigsburg arsenal, where he worked as a gunsmith. Based on the Dreyse needle gun (Zündnadelgewehr), he developed a rifle with a turn-bolt mechanism that cocked the gun as it was manipulated by the user. The rifle initially used a firing needle, but a later version used a firing pin and a rear-ignition cartridge. The bolt action rifle was shown to several governments, but only after the Austrian War Ministry showed it to Samuel Norris of E. Remington & Sons did anyone show serious interest in it. Norris believed the design could be adapted to convert Chassepot needle guns to fire metallic cartridges. Shortly thereafter, a partnership was formed in Oberndorf, Germany between Norris and the Mauser brothers. The partners went to Liege, Belgium in 1867, but when the French government showed no interest in a Chassepot conversion, the partnership was dissolved. Paul Mauser returned to Oberndorf in December 1869, and Wilhelm arrived in April, 1870.

Peter Paul and Wilhelm Mauser continued working on developing their new rifle in Paul's father-in-law's home. The Mauser rifle was accepted by the Prussian government on December 2, 1871, but was not accepted for service until February 14, 1872. The delay was caused by the Prussian government requesting a design change to the safety lock. Actual production of the rifle was given to government arsenals and large firms, though the Mauser brothers received an order for 3,000 rifle sights. The Xaver Jauch house was used as a factory starting May 1, 1872 to produce the sights, but after an order for 100,000 rifle sights was received from the Bavarian Rifle Factory at Amberg, the Mauser brothers began negotiations to purchase the Württemberg Royal Armory. A delay in the sale forced them to buy real estate overlooking the Neckar River Valley, where the Upper Works was built that same year. A floor of a house in Oberndorf was also rented to construct the Bavarian sight order. The Württemberg Armory was finally acquired on May 23, 1874, after an agreement between the Württemberg government and the Mausers to produce 100,000 Model-71 rifles. The partnership of Mauser Brothers and Company was formed between the Württemberg Vereinsbank of Stuttgart, Paul and Wilhelm Mauser on February 5, 1874. By May 23, 1874, the Mauser partnership had 3 factories in Oberndorf.

Wilhelm Mauser suffered from health problems throughout his life, which were aggravated by his frequent business travels. A combination of these led to his death on January 13, 1882. The partnership became a stock company with the name of Waffenfabrik Mauser on April 1, 1884. The shares held by the Württemberg Vereinsbank and Paul Mauser were sold to Ludwig Löwe & Company on December 28, 1887, and Paul Mauser stayed as the technical leader. Ludwig Löwe & Company was 50% owner of Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre, a company formed in 1889 to manufacture Mauser rifles for the Belgian government. Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken A.G. (DWM) was formed on November 7, 1896, as a merger of Ludwig Löwe & Company A.G., Deutsche Metallpatronenfabrik A.G., Rheinisch-Westfälischen Powder Company and Rottweil-Hamburg Powder Company. Mauser A.G. was formed on April 23, 1897. After World War II, DWM was renamed Industrie-Werke Karlsruhe A.G. (IWK).

Mauser-Norris Model 67/69 Rifle

A single shot, bolt-action rifle was developed between 1867 and 1869 by the Mauser brothers and Samuel Norris. The caliber and number produced is not known, though Ludwig Olson wrote in his Mauser Bolt Rifles, 3rd edition, that a "specimen was on display many years ago at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C." The rifle was first patented in Austria by Samuel Norris on December 24, 1867. The bolt head did not rotate, a feature chosen by Paul Mauser to "protect the heads of paper cartridges from friction and possible damage while locking the bolt, and to provide a non-rotary seat for the extractor when metallic cartridges were used."

An improved version of the rifle used a coil spring wrapped around the firing pin, a safety and a cocking piece attached to the rear of the firing pin. This rifle was shown to the Prussian government, and after some design changes to the safety, was accepted for service as the Infantry Rifle Model 71 on February 14, 1872. This is often considered a close relative of the Chassepot rifle, but W.H.B. Smith states in his Mauser Rifles and Pistols, "While the genesis of the turning-bolt action lock is usually credited to Dreyse, and the overall form of that first Mauser rifle is often thought to resemble closely that of the French Chassepot, the truly revolutionary features in the design are strictly those of Peter Paul Mauser."

Model 1871 and derivatives

The Mauser Model 1871 was Mauser brothers' first rifle, and was adopted by the German Empire (except for the Kingdom of Bavaria) as the Gewehr 71, or Infanterie-Gewehr 71 (I.G.Mod.71 was engraved on the rifles). Production began at the Oberndorf factory for the infantry version, which fired a black powder 11 x 60 mm round from a long 850 mm barrel. Shorter versions were introduced with the 700 mm barreled jäger and 500 mm cavalry carbine.

Slightly modified versions were widely sold to other countries, with rounds that would today be considered very large, typically 9.5mm to 11.5 mm. Serbia designed an improved version of the Model 71 in 10.15 mm, made in Germany and called the Mauser-Milovanovic M1878/80. In 1884, an 8-shot tubular magazine was added by Mauser, known as the Model 71/84. The Turkish Model 1887 rifle was the first of a series of rifles produced for the Turkish Army. Its design echoed that of the German Gewehr 71/84 service rifle, as a bolt-action weapon with a tubular magazine beneath the barrel. The Turkish contract specified that if any other nation ordered Mauser rifles with more advanced technology, that design would be substituted for the Model 1887 to fill the remainder of the Turkish order. This clause was utilized after Belgium adopted the Model 1889 rifle.

The introduction of the 7.92x57mm I / 8x57mm I and IS or JS cartridge

The last years of 19th century saw an arms race in the development of small arms. In 1886, when the French Army introduced the Lebel Model 1886, which used smokeless powder. This allowed smaller diameter rounds to be propelled at higher velocities, with accuracy out to 1,000 yards, making most other military rifles obsolete. Its disadvantage, however, was a slow to load tube magazine.

The German Army adopted the best features of the Lebel to the Gewehr 88, also known as the Model 1888 Commission Rifle (Judenflinte), along with a modified Mauser action and a Mannlicher style box magazine. There was a carbine version, the Karabiner 88. Both would be updated in the early 1900s and saw limited use in World War I. (Note that the Gewehr 88 was not actually a Mauser designed and engineered rifle.)

The Gewehr 88 was built for the new 7.92x57mm (0.318-inch bullet) cartridge, commonly known today as the "8 mm Mauser I", as it was used for later Mauser rifle models. This also was not a Mauser designed and engineered cartridge. The 7.92x57mm I incorporated the advantages of smokeless powder and higher velocity found in the Lebel. The 7.92x57mm I cartridge was rimless, which allowed smoother feeding for both rifles and machine guns. The original bullet had a round head; several redesigns, including the adoption of the spitzer bullet (7.92x57mm IS or 8x57mm JS or IS 0.323-inch bullet) with a sharp point and boat-tail, brought the cartridge to its eventual potency. Only later versions of Gewehr 98, or converted Gewehr 88 and Gewehr 98 rifles, could fire the improved 7.92x57mm IS cartridges.

The Mauser 7.92x57mm or 8.57mm JS or JSR (0.323-inch) cartridge sould not be fired out of a rifle designed for 7.92mm I / 8.57mm I (0.318-inch). Due to the diffent bullet sizes between the two, an older I rifle could blow up. Please have a qualified gunsmith verify the correct chambering by slogging the barrel before attempting to fire any such gun with any cartridge from any source.

Models 1889/90/91 and Experimental Model 92

After the Mauser brothers finished work on the Model 71/84 in 1880, the design team set out to create a small caliber repeater(smokeless). Because of setbacks brought on by Wilhelm Mauser's death, they failed to have the design completed by 1882, and the German Rifle Test Commission (Gewehr-Prüfungskommission) was formed. The commission preferred to create their own design. Paul Mauser created two different variations of the same rifle, one with a strengthened stock with a barrel shroud and a traditional design following the layout of the 71 series in hope he might be able to overturn the commission's decision or at least sell his design to the Kingdom of Bavaria, which adopted its own arms. The two rifles became known as the 89 Belgian (with a barrel shroud) and the 91 Argentine (with a 71 layout) Mausers, identical in their function and feed system. The main features were the ability to use stripper clips to feed the magazine (a revolution in rate of fire), and its rimless cartridge (7,65 Argentine), also advanced for the time.

The system proved very impressive at the 1884 Bavarian Arms Trials, and both firearms were a success, but nevertheless they failed to convince decision-makers of the stripper feed's massive superiority over the en-block system employed by Mannlicher at the time. In response, Mauser started small-scale production of his design to interest foreign nations, but failed to convince any of the European major powers.

It did, however, convince the Belgian attache, whose report urged the Belgian government to contact Mauser in the hopes the design might give them a chance to found a domestic arms industry. The heavy-barreled Mauser with the barrel shroud resulted in the founding of FN as an arms manufacturer, but because FN (150,000) could not keep up with orders, they outsourced production to BSA (70,000) in Birmingham, England.

The Belgians talks with Mauser prompted the Ottoman Empire to consider the design, but they wanted something simpler and ordered their own variation of the would-be 91 Argentine Mauser. It was known as the 90 Turkish, but as this was taking place, the South American countries engaged in an arms race. The Argentine Small Arms Commission contacted Mauser in 1886 to replace their Model 71's; since they wish to keep retraining of their armed forces to a minimum, they went for the Mauser 91.

All variations used the same 7,65 mm round-nosed cartridge, and many parts were interchangeable, with the exception of the bayonets of the 89 and 90/91, since the barrel shroud made the bayonet ring too wide. In an odd twist, the 89 Mauser rejected by Germany in 1884 would enter service in 1940 with to second-line units in Norway, Denmark, Holland and Belgium.

In the Model 92, a non-rotating Mauser claw extractor was introduced. The Model 92 in several variations participated in rifle trials for the U.S. Army of that year, though the Krag-Jørgensen rifle was chosen instead.

Model 1893

The next innovation was the Model 1893. This is commonly referred to as the "Spanish Mauser", though the model was adopted by other countries in other calibers, most notably the Ottoman Empire. The M93 introduced a short staggered-column box magazine as standard, holding five 7x57mm rounds flush with the bottom of the rifle, which could be reloaded quickly by pushing a strip of rounds from the top of the open bolt. The new 7x57mm round, which used a 173-grain full metal jacket bullet developing 700 m/s (2,300 f/s) from a 29-inch barrel, became the standard infantry arm for the Spanish armed forces, as well as for the military of several Latin-American nations, and is known in common usage as the "7mm Mauser".

The 1893 Mauser was used by the Spanish forces Army in Cuba against both U.S. and Cuban insurrectionist forces. It gained a deadly reputation from the 1898 Battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba, where 750 Spanish regulars significantly delayed the advance of 15,000 U.S. troops armed with a mix of .30-40 Krag-Jørgensen and older single shot Trap-Door Springfield rifles, causing 1,400 U.S. casualties in a matter of minutes. The Mauser's 7mm cartridge gave some 300 f/s higher velocity and resultant flatter trajectory over the 30 Army cartridge used in the U.S. Krag-Jorgensen rifle, extending the effective range of Spanish defensive fire, while the use of smokeless powder gave the Spanish a major advantage over the single-shot, black powder Springfield that was also issued to many U.S. troops. (The Krag-Jorgensen Gun: It Is Inferior In Many Respects To The Mauser Used By The Spaniards, The New York Times, 1 August 1898) In addition, the M93's stripper clip system allowed the Spaniards to reload far more quickly than could be done with the Krag, whose magazine had to be loaded one round at a time. This experience directly resulted in the commissioning of a U.S. Army board of investigation on the issue, which recommended replacement of the Krag. By 1903, U.S. authorities had adopted the M1903 Springfield rifle, which copied the 1898 Mauser's bolt and magazine systems, along with a higher-velocity .30 caliber cartridge, the .30-03 (later, .30-06).

When the Ottoman Army learned the new Spanish Model of 1893, it ordered about 200,000 rifles in the same configuration. Their rifles were chambered for the 7.65x53mm Mauser cartridge and were virtually identical to the Spanish model, except for a unique cartridge feed interruptor or magazine cutoff, which permitted the feeding of single cartridges while keeping the magazine fully loaded.

Model 1894 and Model 1895

Mauser Model 95 The armies of Brazil and Sweden issued the Model 94, and the similar Model 95 was sold to Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, China, Iran, and the South African states of Transvaal and "The Orange Free State" (Boers). A safety feature offered by the Model 1895 was a low shoulder at the rear of the receiver, just behind the base of the bolt handle, which would contain the bolt in the unlikely event that the front locking lugs sheared off due to excessive pressure. South African Mausers were highly effective against the British during the Second Boer War Mauser Model 95 / Plezier Mauser 7 x 57 mm; these proved deadly at long ranges, prompting the British to design their own Mauser-inspired high-velocity cartridge and rifle. The British Pattern 1914 rifle with a Mauser-style lug might have replaced the Lee-Enfield, but the exigencies of World War I prevented a replacement; thus the Lee-Enfield continued in use until it was replaced by a semi-automatic weapon after World War II. The lower rate of fire and lower magazine capacity was a source of criticism. Ironically, the Germans faced the U.S. M1917 rifle during World War I, which was the Pattern 14 rifle adapted to fire the U.S. .30-06 cartridges.

Model 1896

On November 3, 1893, the United Kingdom of Norway and Sweden adopted the 6.5x55 mm cartridge. As a result, the Swedes chambered their new service rifle and carbine, the m/94 and m/96 Mauser, in this round. The Swedish Mauser was manufactured relatively unchanged from 1896 to 1944, and the m/94 Carbine, m/96 Rifle, m/38 Short Rifle, and m/41 Sharpshooter models are known by collectors as "Swedish Mausers". They are often sought after by military service rifle shooters and hunters. A small initial batch of Model 96 rifles were built in Germany by Mauser, with the remainder being manufactured under license by Sweden's state-run Bofors Carl Gustaf factory. The Type 38 carbine was produced by (Husqvarna Vapenfabriks Aktiebolag) Husqvarna, with additional carbines being converted from Model 96 rifles.

"Swedish Steel" is a term for the steel used by the German Mauser, and later Swedish manufacturing facilities to make the M96 rifles. Lacking the industrial base necessary for mass producing steel and iron, the Swedish steel industry had developed a niche market for specialty high-strength steel alloys using nickel, copper, and vanadium, noted for their strength and corrosion resistance, and especially suited for use in toolmaking, cutlery, and firearms. As a consequence, when Mauser was contracted to fabricate the some production runs of Swedish Mausers in Germany due to production delays, Sweden required the use of Swedish steel in the manufacturing process. The Swedish Ordnance Office continued to specify the same Swedish steel alloy in Swedish-made Mausers until the last new-production m/38 barrelled actions were completed in 1944.

C1896 Pistol

File:Mauser c96.jpg
Mauser Model C96 Pistol


In 1896, Mauser also branched out into pistol design, producing the C96, commonly known as "Broomhandle," designed by the three brothers Fidel, Friedrich, and Josef Feederle [1] (often, erroneously, spelled "Federle"). All versions were made to use detachable shoulder-stock/holsters. Over a million C96's were produced between 1896 and the late 1930s.

In 1897, the Mausers were given control of the factory, forming Waffenfabrik Mauser AG.

Model 1898

Mauser M 98 controlled-feed bolt-action system; a = chamber, b = front main locking lugs recess, c = receiver, d = internal magazine spring, e = ammunition stripper clip, f = bolt group, g = firing pin, h = pistol grip.

Eventually in 1898, the German Army also purchased a Mauser design, the Model 98, which incorporated improvements of earlier models, and officially entered German service as the Gew. 98 on April 5, 1898. This remains by far the most successful of the Mauser designs, helped of course by the onset of two World Wars that demanded vast numbers of rifles.

Noticeable changes from previous Mauser rifle models included better ruptured case gas venting, better receiver metallurgy and larger receiver ring dimensions for handling the pressures of the 7.92x57 cartridge. Mauser also incorporated a new, third "safety" lug on the bolt body to protect the shooter in the event that one or more of the forward locking lugs failed. In 1905, the "spitzer" round was introduced, in response to the French adoption of a pointed and boat-tail round, which offered better ballistic performance. The bullet diameter was increased from 0.318" to 0.323". This improved round also copied the pointed tip design instead of the previous rounded nose profile, and most existing Model 98's and some Model 88's were re-chambered for the round, designated "7.92 x 57IS". Pointed rounds gave the bullet a better ballistic coefficient, improving the effective range of the cartridge by decreasing aerodynamic drag.

Paul Mauser died on May 29, 1914 before the start of World War I that August. World War I would see very large spike in demand for the company's rifles, as well as a number of variants of it. This included the several 98 carbines, as well as an experimental version with a twenty round, rather than five round, box magazine. The extended magazine was not well received, however.

A number of carbine versions known as Karabiner 98's had been introduced and used in World War I, some of which were even shorter than the later K.98k. These carbines were originally only distributed to cavalry troops, but later in the war to the special storm troop units as well.

G98 derivatives

A great number of military rifles derived from the M98 design. Some of these were German-made by various contractors apart from Mauser, and include the M1910 Serbian in 7x57mm, M1902 Mexican in 7x57mm, M1903 Turkish in 7.65x53mm, M1909 Argentinian in 7.65x53mm, Steyr M1912 Chilean in 7x57mm and numerous others.

The Mauser 1918 T-Gewehr was the world's first anti-tank rifle, i.e. the first rifle designed for the sole purpose of destroying armored targets. The weapon was essentially an enlarged G98 and fired 13.2x92mm (.525-caliber) semi-rimmed cartridges. In May 1918 the Mauser Company began mass production of the Mauser 13,2 mm Tank Abwehr Gewehr Mod. 18 in Oberndorf am Neckar.

Following the collapse of the German Empire after the World War I, many countries that were using Mauser models chose to develop, assemble or modify their own G98-action rifle designs. The most prolific of them were the Czechoslovakian M1922 CZ 98 and M1924 CZ vz.24 and the Belgian Fabrique Nationale M1924 and M1930, all in 7.92x57mm.

The Belgians and Czechs produced and widely exported their 'Mausers' in various calibers throughout the 1920s and 1930s, before their production facilities were absorbed by the conquering Nazi Germany government and used to produce parts or whole rifles for the German Army. Strictly speaking, these were not "Mauser" rifles, as they were not engineered or produced by the Germans. It is a common misconception that the Czech and Belgian "Mausers" are copies of the K98k due to their superficial similarity in length, but in reality, these were developed at least 10 years earlier and as they were peace-time products, they are renowned for their high standards of engineering and manufacture.

Meanwhile in Germany, in order to use the widespread and popular German single-shot target (and light hunting) cartridge 8.15x46R (comparable to the US-American .32-40) also in a military-looking firearm, a modified Gewehr 98 was designed in 8.15x46R and referred to as a "Wehrmannsgewehr", indicating civilian shooters' pre-military training usage. These were made primarily as single shots, though some only had a wood block in the magazine space to accomplish that. These became the 1936 Olympic team rifles for the Germans.

As the restrictions on production were increasingly ignored by the Germans, a new version Mauser was developed in the 1930s, from the rifle-length Karabiner 98b, the Mauser Standard Modell, which was nominally intended for export and civilian sales. While many Standard Modell rifles were indeed exported, it was meant primarily meant for use by the revived German military, and would rapidly evolve into the famous Karabiner 98 Kurz (carbine, short). The K98k was adopted by Nazi Germany as the standard infantry rifle in 1935, and would serve until the end of World War II, (see later paragraph).

Mauser 1910 and 1914 Pocket Pistols

The 1910 was a small self-loading pistol chambered for .25 ACP (6.35 mm). It was introduced in 1910; an updated model chambered for .32 ACP (7.65 mm) came out in 1914. Model 1934 is virtually identical to the 1914 except for the grip, which had a more curved back. Most of these would go on to be used by the Wehrmacht and the German Navy. They were also sold commercially.

Type A, Model B, Model K, Armee-Model C, Africa-Model

This was a series of very successful hunting rifles that were developed in the first decades of the 20th century. The Special Rifle Type A was the top-of-the-line sporting rifle of the early 1900s. The Model B (B for Büchse) and Model K were sport rifles offered in many configurations. The Model C was made from 1903 to 1930, and was a cheap rifle made to accommodate a range of cartridges, such as for hunting. Despite its name, it was not a major military rifle, though it was purchased by some. The Mauser Africa Model was used mainly by settlers in Africa, and was introduced around 1904 and 1905.

Modell M and Modell S

The Modell M was introduced in 1914. A Modell S (S for Stutzen or short) was also offered.

Mauser 1925 Special Range Rifle

The 1925 Special Range Rifle was a commercial product introduced in 1925 and sold in the United States. It was intended for high accuracy range shooting, and they also produced a .22 caliber training rifle during this timeframe.

Mauser Model 1934 Pocket Pistol

This was based on the earlier Model 1910/34, and was a small pocket pistol chambered for .32 ACP. It was used by the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) and also sold commercially.

Karabiner 98k

Mauser Karabiner 98k


The Karabiner 98k "Mauser" (often abbreviated "K98k" or "Kar98k") was adopted in the mid- 1930s and became the most common infantry rifle in service in the German Army during World War II. The design was based on developed from the Karabiner 98b, one of the carbines developed from the Model 1898. The K98k was first adopted by the Wehrmacht in 1935 to be their standard issue rifle, with many older versions being converted and shortened as well as the design itself entering production.

Mauser HSc

The Mauser HSc was a self-loading handgun introduced in the 1940s. It was offered in .32 ACP, and was a compact double action blowback design. Production ran from 1940 until the end of production in World War II, and for a period in the 1960s and early 1970s. The post-war models were also available in .380 ACP

Mauser Post 1940

In 1940, the Mauser Company was invited to take place in a competition to re-equip the German Army with a semi-automatic rifle, the Gewehr 41. The requirements specified that the design should not drill holes into the barrel, thereby requiring mechanisms that proved unreliable. Two designs were submitted, and the Mauser version, the G 41(M) failed miserably in testing and was cancelled after a short production run. Walther's version did not do much better, but was later improved with the addition of a simpler gas-Operated system.

With the fall of Germany at the end of the war, Oberndorf came under French control, and the entire factory was dismantled by the occupying forces. All records in the factory were destroyed on orders of the local French Army commander. For a period of years after World War II, Mauser Werke manufactured precision measurement instruments and tools, such as micrometers. Edmund Heckler, Theodor Koch and Alex Seidel, former Mauser engineers, saved what they could and used it to start Heckler & Koch. Heckler & Koch has since taken over the role of Germany's main small-arms manufacturer. Mauser continued to make hunting and sporting rifles, and in 1994, it became a subsidiary of Rheinmetall, which manufactured autocannons, such as the Mauser BK-27 and munitions under the name until 2004 when it merged into another unit. In 1999, the civilian manufacture of hunting, defense, and sporting rifles had been split off from Rheinmetall.

Civilian market

Mausers were readily adapted as hunting rifles. In Africa, so-called Safari rifles were often made from Mausers. These rifles were often rechambered in larger rounds up to and including .50 cal (12.7 mm). The adaptations usually consisted of shortening the foregrip and barrel, rechambering to popular British rounds, and minor alterations to the action, although the rifle was left fundamentally Mauser-designed. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, companies that made alterations were generally Commonwealth-based and developed several proprietary big game rounds specifically for hunting large and dangerous game. Today, large and small bore Mauser-derived rifles are made all over the world for the civilian market and are popular with hunters.

Additionally, numerous surplus military Mausers have entered the civilian market. Many of these rifles were left in their original condition and purchased by collectors or even by ordinary gun owners who continue to use them for casual shooting.

After World War II, there was a considerable number of surplus 98K actions, and some were used by Schultz & Larsen in Denmark as the basis for target rifles. Some of these are still in competitive use today, although with the benefit of new barrels.

The strong following enjoyed by surplus military Mausers is not only a testament to their reliability, but also to the widespread availability of affordable surplus ammunition. Ironically, this ammunition can also pose a significant threat to these rifles, since much of the ammunition uses a corrosive primer. Corrosive ammunition will remain useful for decades if it is stored in the right conditions, but care must be taken to thoroughly clean the gun after firing lest it quickly suffer irrevocable damage. Still, if proper care is taken, one can use corrosive ammunition with no ill effects, and of course, one can always has recourse to non-corrosive commercially-loaded ammunition.

Manufacturers

  • John Rigby & Company developed no less than four distinct rounds used in hunting big game (.275 Rigby, .350 Rigby, .416 Rigby, and in the early 90's .450 Rigby) for its Mauser Safari rifles.
  • Česká Zbrojovka manufactures various 98 Mauser variants, the most notable being the CZ 550 Safari Magnum, from .375 HHMag to .458 Lott.
  • Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH (Mauser Huntingweapons Ltd.) currently makes a Mauser M98 rifle chambered in several medium and magnum chamberings and a M98 Safari rifle, chambered in .416 Rigby, .450 Dakota, .458 Lott, and .500 Jeffry.
  • Zastava manufactures several 98 Mauser variants, the best known of these being the LK M70 and M85 series, in various popular calibers ranging from .22-250 to .458 Winchester Magnum. A number of the LK M70 slightly modified versions were widely sold to other countries.
  • Carl Gustav Sweden national armory took over the manufacturing of the M94/96 and the famous target rifles CG63 and CG68.
  • Husqvarna Vapenfabrik made M94-96 and variant M38 (also M38-96) and many other civilian variations; Model 46 (46A,46B and 46AN) in cal. 6.5X55 and 9.3X57 and 9.3X62, Model 640 (646 — 6.5X55, 648 — 8X57IS, 649 — 9.3X62) without the thumb notch. They also used FN action for later models 640 and 140 series. Considered as being of the finest Mauser-type action, the cross-over model 1640 Improved Mauser (over the M96) is a crossing between M98 and M96. They also produced the 1900 actions.
  • Fabrique Nationale de Herstal made one of the finest M98 series, early production being Small Ring, later being Large Ring of "C" (early) and "H" (late)design. The FN actions were used by others, i.e. Sako of Finland as their Hi-Power Rifles, Browning on the early Medallions, Husqvarna Small Ring model 146 and Large Ring late model 640, and Kodiak Arms, Connecticut, USA reconditioned milsurp FN Mauser actions to build fine grade commercial hunting rifles. Many other renowned arm manufacturers used the quality FN action.

Mauser firearms 1954–2004

In the 1950s, Mauser was formally re-established.

1960s

A rifle design by Walter Gehmann was purchased, and went into production in 1965 as the Modell 66. Some self-loading pistols are also offered again, such as the Mauser HSc.

  • Modell 66, Modell 66 S, Modell 66 P

1970s–1990

File:Mauser sp66.JPG
Mauser SP66 sniper rifle.
  • Modell 77
  • Modell 86
  • Mauser SP66 — a sniper rifle based on the Model 66. A further upgraded model was the Mauser 86 SR.
  • Mauser Parabellum - Mauser reintroduces the famous Parabellum pistol

1990–1999

In the 1990s Mauser was bought by Rheinmetall Berlin AG, the sale was completed in 1996. (Rheinmetall Berlin AG wasrenamed Rheinmetall AG that same year). In 1999, the firearms maker was split off from the Rheinmetall. The Mauser name was divided between the traditional civilian rifle company and a division of Rheinmetall.

  • Modell SR93 sniper rifle
  • Modell 94
  • Modell 96 / Modell 96 S — a straight pull action rifle
  • Modell SR97

1999–2004

In 1999, the Mauser civilian gun segment was separated from the military segment and was purchased by the German investors Michael Lüke and Thomas Ortmeier. The Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH (Mauser Huntingweapons Ltd.) was established with its company base being situated in Isny im Allgäu in southern Germany. Rifles are produced there exclusively for the hunting/sporting sector. Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH resumed the production of the Mauser models M 98 und M 98 Magnum again, according to the original drawings and respective Mauser patents of the Gewehr 98 and Karabiner 98k.

In 2000, Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH and its European sister companies, J.P. Sauer & Sohn, Blaser and Swiss Arms were unified by the German investors Michael Lüke and Thomas Ortmeier under the SIGARMS name.

In 2003, Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH introduced the M 03 hunting/sporting bolt-action rifle.

In 2004, Mauser-Werke Oberndorf Waffensysteme GmbH was incorporated into Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH, along with several other companies.

Mauser 2004–present

On October 1, 2007 SIGARMS officially changed its name to SIG SAUER. This change of name reflects how SIG SAUER has become one of the largest firearms manufacturing entities in the world.<ref name="About Us">About Us</ref> It is also the fastest-growing firearms maker in the United States, expanding its operations and increasing sales nearly 50% since 2005. SIG SAUER has recently tripled its work force and invested eighteen million dollars into state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and equipment.<ref name="About Us"/> The various contemporary Mauser rifle models are produced in Isny im Allgäu, Germany and sold under the brand name Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH (Mauser Huntingweapons Ltd.).<ref>Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH</ref><ref>Brochure M 03/M 98</ref>

Mauser rifles offered (2008)

  • M 03 Basic
  • M 03 Extreme
  • M 03 Trail
  • M 03 Match / Jagdmatch
  • M 03 Solid
  • M 03 Africa
  • M 03 Arabesque
  • M 03 De Luxe
  • M 03 Old Classic
  • M 03 Alpine
  • M 98
  • M 98 Magnum

Mauser M2 handgun

The Mauser M2 is a Mauser branded handgun offered in the United States. It is a self-loading double-action pistol offered in .45 ACP initially, and later in .40 S&W and .357 SIG. The Mauser M2 is dimensionally similar to the SIG P229 pistol, also manufactured by SIGARMS. Unlike most SIGs, it utilizes a rotating barrel like a Beretta. It's also striker-fired, like a Glock pistol.

The Mauser M2 was offered by SIGARMS, though by 2006, it no longer appeared on their website. SIGARMS purchased the Mauser name for pistol manufacture in 1999. This pistol also is no longer supported by SIGSAUER nor Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH. It has not been imported by SIG in over four years, and the Mauser Oberndorf plant where the M2 was manufactured has been closed.

See also

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