Mauser or Enfield?


March 7, 2009, 06:24 PM

I was wondering how to decide which milsurp to get for shooting/hunting.

I've narrowed it to either a Lee Enfield No.4 Mk1 or 2, Jungle Carbine, P14

For the mausers: Russian Capture K98k, Yugo M48BO, Czech Vz 24, Swedish Mauser, US Model 1917

For a starter milsurp, which would be the best? Mosin Nagants are cheap, but I want a little more refinement and accuracy from iron sights,

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March 7, 2009, 06:30 PM
The no4 mk1 or mk2 or the jungle carbine would be my choice. Butter smooth action, excellent sights.

March 7, 2009, 06:50 PM
The bolt action system design of firearm action reached its apotheosis in the Mauser system.

Unlike the Lee-Enfield or Mosin-Nagant actions the Mauser is able to handle modern higher pressure "magnum" cartridges.

Mauser. There is no substitute.

March 7, 2009, 08:02 PM
Find a no 1 mk3, its a much more beautiful rifle and shoots like a champ! Plus with the long bayonet attached, it'll scare the sh*t out of the boys who come to date your daughter(Well thats why I'm keeping one). I have a k98 but wish i could get another Lithgow or Falkerzly instead

March 7, 2009, 08:13 PM
All of the choices you mentioned are excellent starters(or finishers for that matter). Another Mauser descendant is the Springfield '03a3. I say get them all eventually but begin with a 98 Mauser.

Ohio Gun Guy
March 7, 2009, 08:32 PM
I have both (MK3), but only slightly prefer the mauser. I think its the sights for me. Although it kicks a bit more than the enfield in my opinion (Not that the enfield is a pussycat).

I would vote Mauser, but if you found a new/very good Enfield you should definately consider it over an good/average mauser. (I'm not helping, am I?:D)

Just get both and report back to us as to which is your favorite. :evil:

March 7, 2009, 08:44 PM
considering I own all of those I would have to say, either shoot for the M1917 ( best boltgun ever made in my opinion) or the excellent swedish mauser. that being said, the south american mausers of usually the best in terms of fit and finish, even better then a swede.

For condition, the Yugo 48 is probably your best bet in finding a milsurp in like new to unissued condition. Search gunbroker and you'll actually find them at very good prices...seriously, these are practically untouched in most cases.

lee-enfields are nice, but .303 surplus is non-existent, so dont waste your breath. and mosin nagants are a POS, they are as crude as you can make a firearm and are difficult to use in ever respect ( bad trigger, short bolt = hard to cycle, rimmed cartrigde can produce feeding issues, laquered ammunition will build up in the chamber...seriously do not buy a mosin, they suck donkey balls. They are the high point of bolt guns. You are much better investing you money in any other bolt gun.

March 7, 2009, 10:39 PM
my two favorites are the Enfield #4 Mk1...i'd avoid the #5 jungle carbine, because it kicks like a mule...and the Swedish Mauser.

the Enfield is a superior fighting rifle, while the Swede is the most accurate and softest shooting

March 7, 2009, 11:31 PM
Enfield or Mauser? Might as well ask whether you should date the blonde or the brunette... Date them both!!!!

I have 2 enfields and 4 mausers. The mausers (K98, turk, spanish and 24/47) are better guns, but not much better than the enfields. I would look and see which one you find that is a better gun, get that first. Then get the other!!!

March 8, 2009, 12:02 AM
I have an Enfield addiction, and its not a cheap one. I hoard whatever surplus I can find that isn't pakistani, buy privi-partison, and reload.

As to which Enfield, it all comes down to personal taste. They all have 10 round magazines that are charger fed. The No. 1 Mk 3 has a small front sight blade, whereas the No. 4 Mk 1 and 2 have peep sights. The No. 5 is shorter, lighter, has a finer adjustment rear sight, and usually costs more.

The recoil for all Enfields is more or less the same. I can not tell a difference between them.

You won't be making sub MOA groups with an Enfield, but it wasn't made to do that. I've picked up some old crusty ishys that were complety packed in cosmoline and the action was still buttery smooth. They are battle rifles, and they won't fail. As a side note, there is no such thing as the No. 5's having a wandering zero.

Now, as for Mausers, I've got a few of them too. You'll find more surplus ammo. However, for what its worth, they only hold 5 rounds.

I find them to be just as accurate as Enfields. The actions feel different due to how they lock and straight bolts vs bent (unless it has a bent bolt). Recoil might be a little sharper if you can find some Turkish surplus, its hot stuff.

It all depends on the person. While I have both, I would go for any of my Enfields before any of my Mausers.

Actually, I'd go for my K-31 loaded with GP-11 and call it a day. :neener:

March 8, 2009, 12:09 AM
I think the Enfield was a much better design as a battle rifle while the Mauser had much more potential as a sporting rifle. The Mauser action is rock solid and it can handle much more powerful cartridges than the Enfield, but if you're buying this as a milsurp and intend on keeping it stock, that's irrelevant. The Enfield has much, much better sights, (not including 1903's or 1917's). It also has a 10 round mag and can be cycled much faster, (for hunting though that 10 round mag might be a liability).

And as far as Mosin Nagant's go, they can be decent rifles too, especially the Finns. My M39 is probably my favorite out of all my milsurps. They're bargain priced and if you get one that wasn't produced during the war years and check the bore, chances are you'll get a decent rifle. I'd personally rank them a step below the Mausers, but I greatly prefer their sights, (I think Mauser sights were some of the worst ever).

March 8, 2009, 12:10 AM
Get the K98 and a boat load of 8mm Privi Partizan ammo,and never look back.I've got Enfields and Mausers and Moisens,and you just can't beat the real thing,baby.

March 8, 2009, 12:11 AM
I would move the P14 into the Mauser catagory. It's basically the same as the M1917.

High Planes Drifter
March 8, 2009, 12:15 AM
I dont have much experience wih Enfields. I do own a Swedish Mauser, and can say , it is the most accurate, sweetest shooting rifle I have ever fired.

March 8, 2009, 12:26 AM
Get the k98. Any country who scores a 250:1 kill to death ratio with a bolt action as their main weapon earns my respect.

March 8, 2009, 12:29 AM
I have had a Springfield 1903A3, a Mauser k98, and more than a few Mosins.
I still have an Enfield No4Mk1*. Incredible rifle, and it has given me 1 inch at 100 yards with one handload. Ammo availability/pricing is the only downside, but I reload.

March 8, 2009, 12:32 AM
I would go with either a Swedish Mauser or a Persian. The Persians were made by CZ (Bruno) and are great surplus mausers since they never saw wartime action. The Swedes and Persians are reputed to be the most accurate mausers ever produced.

March 8, 2009, 10:36 AM
If YOU were to choose between an Ishapore No.4 Mk1 and a Russian Capture K98k, what would you choose?

March 8, 2009, 11:12 AM
If it is a true Ishapore made #4mk1 (some have surfaced recently), I would choose that. A Russian capture has been re-arsenaled and will be a sweet rifle with history behind it. A Brit made #4 that has been "reworked" by Ishapore would be a great rifle with less collectors value. My "shooter" #4mk1 is a Fazakerly with the "Ishy screw". My K98 is a Yugo rework, and it retains some German proof's.

My suggestion is to get both of them!!

March 8, 2009, 12:19 PM
What about a Longbranch reworked by Ishy?

March 8, 2009, 07:18 PM
Enfield 4/2 or 5/1. Enfield is the only foreign manufactured firearm I own...well except one.

March 8, 2009, 10:20 PM
dak0ta, the Long Branch is a nice rifle, considered by many to be the finest on the #4 Enfields. As a collector piece, not having been to the Ishy factory is preferred, but I think that since the rifles are getting hard to come by, that the Ishy rework will not make any difference. The difference in value could be 10% to 20%, depending on the overall condition.

March 9, 2009, 02:32 PM
I have a Fazakarley made Enfield N0.4 MK2 made in 1952, and a M1917 made in 1918 by Remington. Myself I would not consider the M1917 action a Mauser action, because it does not cock on open. It cocks on close like the rest of the Enfields do. That being said, the M1917 is no where as smooth an action as my No.4 is, but it is a straighter shooter the my No.4 is. As for the peep sights on both, they are both pretty accurate and easy to use IMO. Both kick about the same and both are fun to shoot. I went to a range 2 days ago for the first time and ran 45 shots through them total. 25 in the M1917 and I have a bruise the size of a golf ball on my right shoulder. It was still fun and I still will be shooting them again.

As for Mauser's, I do not own one...YET!!! I am having a sporter/hunting rifle built right now that I started out with just the action. If it turns out the way I am hoping it will, a 500yard shot will be an easy shot. I do know that there have been no problems finding aftermarket parts to complete the build and the quality goes from everyday shooter to competition marksman and everything in between.

I really like my Enfields, and I hope to love my Mauser. As others have said already. Pick the one that is in the best condition first, and then get more. They are fun and one is never enough. ;)


March 9, 2009, 05:20 PM
Vz24's were made at Brno, Brno made great 98K's. I've shot a jungle carbine and can't say I care for it much. If I was going to get an Enfield I'd get a #4 made by Savage. The 98 gets my vote as a better hunting cartridge, and action.

March 9, 2009, 05:28 PM
If you just want to buy a rifle and leave it pretty much stock than an Enfield No4 MK 2 is the way to go (especially one of the 1950s Fazakarley models as they are generally unfired and in brand new condition).

If you want to buy a milsurp that you'll re barrel and sporterize, than the Mauser will give you more options.

Of all the guns I've sold over the years, my pristine 1955 Fazakarley No4 MK2 is probably one I regret the most (even though I made a hefty profit on it).

March 9, 2009, 05:38 PM
Whatever you do avoid the jungle Enfield they are awful and extremely innacurate. nice wall hangers though.

March 9, 2009, 05:52 PM
Guero4179. "Extremely innacurate". I beg to differ.

What's so awful about them?

March 9, 2009, 07:42 PM
i think he is refering to the lightening cuts that cause the reported wandering zero. Now I think that is more rumor then fact. a desire by british troops to get a semi-auto instead of another boltgun design maybe?

March 9, 2009, 08:17 PM
1. The M1903 Springfield is NOT a derivative of the 98 Mauser. It is, however, a derivative of the 93 Mauser and U.S. Krag rifles. One could call it a cousin of the 98 Mauser, but that's about as far a comparison as would be correct.

2. The "wandering zero" myth associated with the No5Mk1 Lee-Enfield Jungle Carbine is just that. More often than not, any inaccuracy in said carbines is more the fault of a loose King Screw (aka, action screw), and the brisk recoil causing flinch in the shooter, vs. any of the lightening cuts in the Knox Form, bolt handle, receiver, and trigger guard. Propogators of said myth are more than welcome to borrow my original BSA No5Mk1, and as much 174gr MkVII ammo as their shoulder can withstand...

March 9, 2009, 10:11 PM
This is a 2"@ 100 yard group fired with my #5mk1 Fazakerly with my reloads bench, rest with sand bags, open sights.

The wondering zero was a political way to get away from a bolt action and get the SLR. I LOVE my #5, and have used it in vintage rifle matches, and done well (enough!).

The culprit-

March 10, 2009, 01:05 AM
My views on the Jungle Carbine are based on shooting one as a youth, it's a rifle that kicks hard and might make a new shooter develop bad habits. Either full sized Enfield or Mauser with a slip on pad is a fairly soft shooter because of thier weight, as compared to modern lightweight rifle.

I have fired a lot more Mauser rifles, and I prefer the sights of a Mauser, too.

A friend of my dad's brought a borrowed Enfield jungle carbine as his first rifle to elk camp of all places. He could shoot it, but even he has issues with the recoil and rarely fired more than 10 shots off the bench with the rifle. Think the .303 is probably enough gun for elk, but I wouldn't hesitate to think of the 8mm for game as big as moose.

March 10, 2009, 01:08 AM
The pattern 1914 is a simply amazing rifle.

Takes what I think is some of the best of both breeds and puts them together.

March 10, 2009, 10:09 PM
cleardiddion, I agree!

March 10, 2009, 10:19 PM
but .303 surplus is non-existent
Samco still has WWII British and some Pakistani.

March 10, 2009, 11:33 PM
Samco still has WWII British and some Pakistani.

sssshhhhh... thats for me :)

March 11, 2009, 12:35 AM
Y'all can have every single round of Pakistani click-fizzle-boom .303 ammo that was ever created, no problem.

Now if it was the Greek HXP surplus MkVII-equivalent, I'd snag that in a New York Minute.

March 11, 2009, 12:45 AM
If he's going to HUNT with it he needs to practice with the ammo he's going to hunt with, not milsurp stuff. There are a number of commercial softpoints in both calibers. Federal, Remington, Winchester and more importantly Privi Partizan (they load it hotter) make good hunting rounds.

March 11, 2009, 12:54 AM
I would suggest for your first a Yugo 27/47 or M48 8mm mauser, you can get them for around$100-$125 and they are accurate and built like tanks.
Also don't count out the Mosin Nagant for lack of accuracy.;)

March 11, 2009, 02:18 AM
I would suggest for your first a Yugo 27/47 or M48 8mm mauser, you can get them for around$100-$125


What store?

I'll ship a signed copy of my C&R FFL posthaste, for those prices! :what:

March 11, 2009, 04:16 AM
Get your hands on the Swedish Mauser. I have a sweet as a peach M96 and love it. Longer barrel makes the recoil feel even lighter and allows you to get the most out of the cartridge. Plus, they're almost always in better condition then other Mauser's and their relatives. The 6.5x55 will also do you right for hunting; flat trajectory, accurate, and easy on the shoulder and the ears. Hands down my favorite rifle.

March 11, 2009, 10:34 AM

What store?

I'll ship a signed copy of my C&R FFL posthaste, for those prices!

Look around and you can find them.

April 2, 2009, 09:59 PM
Mosin Nagants are cheap, but I want a little more refinement and accuracy from iron sights,

Don't underestimate the Mosin Nagants (especially the Finnish models). They're butt-ugly but they're cheap. reliable, and surprisingly accurate. Ammo is cheap and plentiful and they're fun to shoot. You've got to have one in a milsurp rifle collection.

If you want to start collecting milsurp rifles, I'd recommend an '03 or an '03A3. I'm surprised you didn't mention them. My '03 was my first milsurp rifle and I love it. It comes in second only to my Garand. I also own a Mosin Nagant 91/30 and a K98k but the '03 is my favorite bolt action rifle by far.

April 2, 2009, 10:08 PM
Get a Mosin-Nagant. Everyone told me they were bad, but my 1943r stamped Russian is beating the hell out of the expectations. I can't do MOA at 100 yards, but at 2.5 inches on a five-shot group? I don't mind, especially when three of the rounds are touching, one is a little out there, and the final round is a flyer (God I hate flyer's, they ruin an otherwise perfectly fine group).

April 2, 2009, 11:40 PM
The wondering zero was a political way to get away from a bolt action and get the SLR. I LOVE my #5, and have used it in vintage rifle matches, and done well (enough!).

No problems with my #5, well within minute of man.

April 2, 2009, 11:57 PM
I have both, and I like both, but there is a reason why everyone copies the mauser action in some way shape or form. Mauser k98 is my choice

April 3, 2009, 01:51 AM
Yugo Mauser M48 or 24/47. (Czech Vz24 if you can find one) is what I suggest. The war capture Mausers are too much money for what is often a pretty beat up rifle. Alot of the Yugo and Czech rifles are in unissued, or close to unissued shape.

April 3, 2009, 01:57 AM
Mauser all the way. I really can't say enough good things about the Mauser design.

April 3, 2009, 06:33 AM
The war capture Mausers are too much money for what is often a pretty beat up rifle.

Darn right! I paid $250 for an RC that was described as having a "good" bore. I received one that barely headspaces properly and has a counter-bored sewer pipe instead of a barrel. I guess it's ok if you like 10" keyhole groupings at 100 yards. :barf:

If I wanted a shooter I'd go for a Yugo M48 or M24/47.

April 3, 2009, 10:58 AM
I have a 98K bcd (Gustloff-Werke) and just put a Savage Enfield No. 4 MkI on layaway, so I'd have to say....both. I'd give the nod to the Mauser as ammo is a good bit easier to acquire. I'd also recommend the Moisin Nagant. I really like mine.

I'm putting together an adversary set that will be made up of the 98K (have), Enfield (layaway), Moisin Nagant (have), Garrand (need), Arisaka (need), and possibly Caracano (need).

April 3, 2009, 12:07 PM
Time for another nice pic:

April 3, 2009, 12:32 PM
I Just bought a K98 Mauser in 8mm with bayonet and cleaning kit. Shoot the deer and field dress with the bayonet. What a great concept!!!

April 3, 2009, 05:56 PM
Although they all have their pluses and minuses there is really only one first surplus choice that can't miss.
First let me say this. With few exceptions ALL surplus ammo is crap. Yeah, it goes bang but beyond that it's really only good for plinking and putting wear and tear on your rifle.
There is nothing wrong directly with the Enfields but it is a comparatively under powered round. The whole design is of the old world pre 1890s. The .303 Brit round is hard to find and expensive. The ones I've had were accurate and easy to shoot though.
The Mausers are a superb firearm as far as quality and can be reasonably accurate although not usually exceptionally so. The draw back is the cartridges it uses and the sights are crap. Sights are very difficult to use in perfect conditions not to mention in low light or less than perfect conditions. Of the Mausers the Swede is by far head and shoulders above all other Mausers. It is incredibly accurate easy to shoot and terrible very made. I love my Swedes. I have all incarnations including M41B sniper. Unless you reload the ammo is the issue. The commercial ammo is gutless and expensive. The Swede is still not a bad choice.
The P14s real nice too but the ammo again is the crux.
The P14s American cousin is a fine rifle. Very accurate. Real well made to a fault. It has 2 draws backs though. They are much longer than is necessary and the rear sight has no windage adjustment.
The Mosins are a creature in it's own catagory. They are cheaply made but still work surprising well. They are very powerfull and are more accurate than one might think considering the barrel is little more than a piece of pipe. The 7.62x54R surplus ammo is absolute garbage. But if you handload them they shoot actually pretty darn well. Big plus is they are F - - - ing cheap to buy.
There are a number of other surplus rifles out there like the Swiss K31s which is an absolute tack driver. Most accurate out of the box mil-spec rifle ever made. They're made like a Swiss watch you know and they are still cheap to buy. The crux again is the ammo. I handload mine and the results are nothing less than spectacular.
Which bring me to the obvious choice. The 1903A3. They are still plentiful. They are made to a very high level of quality. They are very accurate. All parts are readily available. They do nothing but continue to grow in value in good condition. And a huge plus is the cartridge ..... good ole 30.06. Plenty of surplus available. You can go to any mom and pop store and find ammo. It lends itself readily to handloading with components being very common. IMHO it's the best looking of all surplus bolt rifles. They are smooth reliable and tough as nails. The A3 has very nice peep sights with windage and elevation adjustments. Minus is they are getting costly to buy in good condition but if you search you can find one for the right price. I have a number of them of which I might part with one if asked nicely.
My vote goes to the 1903A3. CASE CLOSED!

April 3, 2009, 08:55 PM
My vote goes to the 1903A3. CASE CLOSED!


I love my '03 but I'll confess the sights are horribly painful to use. The peep sight on the '03A3 was a VAST improvement.

April 3, 2009, 11:21 PM
My vote goes to the 1903A3. CASE CLOSED!

I agree, I really enjoy shooting my 03A3.

April 4, 2009, 01:24 AM
I own and shoot both varieties, all of those that you mention. If you plan on shooting them in original condition, depending on your eyes, the #4 enfields and the P14 have the edge. The #1 Mk III enfields and Mausers have very small "V" notch sights that can be hard to see in good conditions and damn near impossible to see in less than perfect conditions. As my eyes age it is increasingly more difficult to use the "v" notch sights.
The #5 Jungle carbine while having a really cool looking profile, can be a bit of a challenge to shoot. For what ever reason, they replaced the standard buttstock with a narrower hard rubber buttstock that concentrates the recoil on a narrower portion of the old shoulder. If you do not like a heavier recoiling gun, this one is not for you.
Both rifles types are classics, both have loyal followings, so it comes down to what you are most comfortable with. You really can't go wrong with either type as long as it fits your style of shooting

April 4, 2009, 12:49 PM
IrishSquid, I agree. I also have some 03's. Although the iron sights are more precise, they require more discipline and good eye sight to make them work to the level the rifle itself is capable of. The A3 sights are a huge improvement. Here is 2 photos, one of my scoped national match Springfield 1903. Originally built in 1923, then sent back to the arsenal in 1939 to have the scope mounted. It has 2 bolts. The original NM bolt and the bolt for using the scope. The scope is a 3x Weaver. Fascinating to see how they did things back then as compared to today. It is a tack driver, easily shooting sub MOA with the scope. The second photo is a Smith Corona 1903A3 target rifle that I completely restored. The Lyman sights are a huge improvemt over the mil-spec peep sights. It also wil hit whatever you point it at.

April 4, 2009, 01:59 PM

Those are two beautiful rifles! I wish mine looked HALF that good! I've been spending too much time on my Garand. I need to pay little more attention to her older sister!

Not only are the M1903 and M1903A3 exceptional performers, they are downright pretty to look at.

April 4, 2009, 04:30 PM
You could always go the center ground and get the P14 or M1917. Then you have a Mauser/Enfield combination that takes the best features of all.

You have the strength of the 98 Mauser design, the exchangeable bolt head for quick easy repairs, the superior peep sight and a nigh indestructible rifle.

The 1903 and 03a3 are great rifles for target shooting, but they really should have rethought the front sight, for a battle rifle. It wouldn't have been hard to give it protective ears or a ring to prevent it from being knocked out of place, as it is kind of delicate. I do like the rear sight of the 03a3, even if it is once again more designed for thoughtful shooting, rather than the heat of combat, where you not really going to have much time to adjust the windage setting. It was a fine rifle, but with a few alterations it would have been perfect/the M1917. Unfortunately that rifle suffered from the "not designed in the US" syndrome, even if it was the main rifle used in WW1 by the US.

Dark Skies
April 4, 2009, 05:10 PM
My Lee Enfield #4 Mk1 is fitted with a Parker Hale 5C sight and has a number of replacement peep holes of varying sizes so sight picture and zeroing is not an issue. When I pick it up I'm hefting a piece of military history used to fight the Nazi hordes when Britain really was Great. My grandfather was all over it when I first brought it home. He was a marksman during WWII and carried one whilst fighting a rearguard action to Dunkirk and thereafter during every major theatre of the war. He'd turn in his grave if I took up a Mauser.

Factory loaded ammo is a doddle to get hold of over here and reloading components are plentiful.

April 4, 2009, 10:13 PM
Actually the Model 17 actions were excellent and stronger than the Mauser. But the ergonomics were at fault. There was never a need for a 26 inch barrel and although the Model 17 (P14) had a nice rear peep it had no windage adjustment and the size of the rear apature was to large for precision work at long distance. Which worked counter productive to utilizing the overly long barrel. As for the front sight on the 03 being "delicate" there is no known record of that ever being an issue and there is a front sight shroud that was easily installed which many did use. For some reason the military shyed away from the cock on closing Model 17 too. But the basic Model 17 action is superb and lend themselves well to custom built rifles for everything from tack driving target rifle to superb hunting rifles, even for cartridges like 458 Win mags for elphant. There is a reason why the gov't never used tham as 1st string rifles. That's because as ironic as it my seem in it's military form it's true genius was somewhat hidden by the couple of shortcomings I mentioned.
Here' a few photos of 2 of my modified Model 17 target rifle. Both have have the rear sight wings and boss milled off to provide a round rear receiver for mount target sights. The first one is a remington and retains the original 5 groove lefthand twist barrel shorten by 2.5 inches. It's mounted in a beautiful heavy bedded stock with excellent Redfield rear target sight and a brass bead front post sight within a globe. The second Model 17 is an Eddystone and there's nothing stock about it from the match grade 6 groove heavy barrel to the highly modified remnant of a military stock. It's a 22 inch barrel with excellent Lyman target sights, front and rear. It will routinely shoot 1MOA with the open sights and handlaoded ammo. They are both 30.06 and were built in the 1950s. Oh and I put in a photo of my mil-spec Eddystone Model 1917 for good measure :D

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