My "New" Old Friend & Questions About the Mauser 96

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by therifleman556, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. therifleman556

    therifleman556 Well-Known Member

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    I picked up a darling of a rifle recently. For those of you not familiar with European rifles; this is a Husqvarna built M96 Mauser in 8x57mm. It's not a sporterized military action, but a purpose built sporting rifle. Notice the plain cocking piece and the lack of a thumb cut on the left side of the receiver.
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    This thing is a dream to shoot. It points naturally, is of a good weight for carry. I personally like the cock on close action for a fast handling rifle, it requires less effort to get the bolt raised and forward momentum of cycling the bolt makes cocking almost effortless. The accuracy it gave my first time out was icing on the cake. I don't think I've ever shot a group this good with open sights and at 110 yards no less!
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    While I've done a basic amount of research on these rifles, I still have a few questions about the 96 action. I see information floating around the web that the 96 is inherently weak, like American factory loads weak. I understand that this is not a 98 or a Mark V, but surely a well built rifle of Swedish steel made in the 1940s can handle European spec loads right?

    The next question is one of personal preference. What should I do with this fine piece (besides willing it to one of you ;) )?Leave it as is? Should I drill it for a Lyman receiver sight? I'd love to put a bolt peep on it but that can get pricey. Put a low bolt handle on it and find a period correct scope? There isn't a lot of collector value or interest in these (at least not yet) so I don't know that I'd be too concerned about that.
     
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  2. Ckgworks

    Ckgworks Well-Known Member

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    That is a darling! I have a soft spot for those......kinda the classic for me. I also recently picked up a "darling", so I'll tell you what I'm doing with mine. Mine is a Swede 96 in 6.5x55, original barrel cut to 24" with strong rifling. Someone has put some time/money in it already, converting it to cock on open with a Winchester swing style safety. Timney trigger, bent bolt handle, tapped for scope mounts, and really nice sights mounted on it. It is in a horrible looking stock though. I plan on building a new stock for it out of a very pretty block of marbled Clario walnut. My late father always had a set of Weaver pivot rings on his hunting rifle, and when going through his stuff, I found a set of pivot rings and bases for a M96. I have a almost period correct 3x9 gloss leupold that I'm going to mount in the pivot rings, mostly out of nostalgia to my father's rifle, but also because I like shooting open sights from time to time. End of the day, I hope I'll end up with a pretty, classic sporter of yesteryear, that I can take out on nice days.....so in short, I'd finish it out to whatever level that made it a useable classic for you! If you'd use it more with a scope, TAP it!
    I have a bad habit of buying other people's half finished spotter projects with dreams of finishing them to there proper glory! I also picked up a SMLE No 4 in .303 that has most of the metal work done on.....lyman sight and peep. Just needs a stock, polishing and bluing to finish. As far as weak actions go, if the guns in good shape, I just roll with loading them to period specs! Whatever you do enjoy it.....if you don't, you can will it to me! :rolleyes: Sorry for the long ramble, if you're still with me!
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  3. therifleman556

    therifleman556 Well-Known Member

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    I've got a steel/blued Weaver K2.5 lying around I think. That would require a different bolt handle and likely inletting the stock for it unless I wanted a very high scope.

    I was initially a bit disappointed when I gave the barrel a good scrub down, there's noticable light pitting near the muzzle and who knows what the rest of the way is like. I though if all else fails and it won't shoot I can send it out west and have it bored out to 9.3x62. A rifle like this needs a metric chamber, I think. I've always wanted a 35 Whelen, I could have them mark the barrel 9x63mm huh?:D
     
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  4. Hand Skills

    Hand Skills Well-Known Member

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  5. Ckgworks

    Ckgworks Well-Known Member

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    That's a really cool site for classy sights! Thanks, I'm going to bookmark that one! I hear you on the metric chambers and names, plus nothings better than the blank stares when someone asks what kind of gun you're shooting, followed by "OK, but what is it?" :rolleyes:......your 9x63 would give it to you from gun guys as well, although you'd have to put up with them correcting you all the time....That actually might be fun! ;) I have a Weaver K4 sitting around for something someday, I think they are good period correct scopes, and a 2.5 seems like it would be sweet for a old sporter like this! It's nice to see some others share some love for these old classics! They may not hold .5 moa at 600 yards, but they have accounted for a huge amount of game, and hold a special place in the history of hunting and sporting firearms! My problem is, when hunting season rolls around, I rarely seem to be able to grab one and hit the woods......There's always something new and a little shinier to try out.
     
  6. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    It is true that the 96 Mauser actions are not as strong as the 98's, but the gap between the two is not large. The real advantage of the 98 is in the way it protects the shooter in the event of a case failure.

    Your 96 will have no problems handling Euro spec ammo. Here is a good summary of what you can expect and why:

    https://www.chuckhawks.com/small_ring_mausers.htm
     
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