Mauser as a target rifle?


Jolly Green
November 7, 2009, 08:44 PM
I'm having trouble deciding on my first rifle. Its purpose will solely be target shooting. I stuck between a WWII Mauser and an AR-15. I know the AR-15 will surmount the Mauser in target shooting any day, but the Mauser feels much more comfortable and easier to aim than than the AR. I was wondering if anyone here could tell me what types of groups I could expect with the Mauser.

I'm currently looking at a Russian RAC or a Czech one. Ammo wise I've found Yugo 50's and Romanian 70's on classicarms. Any suggestions on the rifle/ ammo.

Other issues that might factor in: right handed but left eye dominant. Hope to spend under 1k on gun and ammo.

Thanks, and sorry for all the questions.

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November 7, 2009, 09:05 PM
Welcome to the forum - your choices are at completely different ends of the gun spectrum. The Mauser is an excellent gun. But it is sixty plus years old with a 100 year old design. Using the Model 98 system as the first modern rifle, the AR15 system is the fourth generation ( bolt action, semi auto internal magazine, semi auto magazine fed w/piston, semi auto direct gas ) design that has been used by most military organizations. A good condition 98k with the right ammunition can shoot very well. But a new AR15 with most all ammunition most likely will out shoot it. I have several WWII era guns that I consider excellent shooters. One is a completely rebuilt 1944 Garand, the other is a 1941 VKT Model 39, a 1944 Mauser (BYF) 98K, nd a 1948 FN Mauser in 30-06. I hand load for each one and they are very accurate. But my Colt Sporter II using 77g V max bullets makes them look like old guns. And you can always add different uppers to an AR plus ammunition isn't a guessing game. If you go with the Mauser then consider reloading.

November 7, 2009, 09:06 PM
right handed but left eye dominant
Which means with open sights you shoot left handed? How about with a scope? Still need to shoot lefty, or can you shoot right?

November 7, 2009, 09:08 PM
Even a new in box mauser from WWII error will not shot 1moa with out work. Can you find a good shooter? Sure but expect 3-4 inch groups with your average mauser in expected for age condition. Then again a standard AR15 will only shoot 2 moa out of the box with Lake City ammo. You'll need to spend more for a target grade or varment grade gun.

This is what you should expect, but you might do better. I had a yugo 24/47 that would shoot 1 inch groups from the bench with iron sights with handloads all day long.

If you plan to complete you'll want to rebarrel the gun, add a trigger, work up ammo or find one that works well, and upgrade the sights to just to get started with either gun. The AR has the option to buy one already with all the upgrades but mauser will require work from a gun smith. If your handy you can change your own AR barrel, trigger, and handgards, and sights, and they are all pretty easy. Match grade .223 is cheaper than Match 8mm and so are the components.

If you love mausers, get a mauser. If you just want to compete, I'd say get the AR.

FYI - I have vz24 for sale on gunborker. It would make a great base for a target rifle.

Jolly Green
November 7, 2009, 09:16 PM
Thank you very much, I think i'm setting on a Mauser and reworking it, but I might give the AR another look.

Regarding the Mauser, does it matter what country it was refurbished in (Russia, Yugo, etc.)?

November 7, 2009, 09:17 PM
I have a Mitchell Mauser that I have been shooting for five years. It is of Yugoslavian extraction and has always shot excellent groups(heaven knows it ain't me!) I carried a M-16 and its progeny for 30 years and I want something more "aged" me. I think you would do well with an AR or Mauser platform for working up a great target rifle. A Mauser will be a little less expensive. Good luck, welcome aboard and good shooting!:)

November 7, 2009, 09:21 PM
When you say Mauser, I'm assuming you mean a used, military surplus rifle. Almost all only have open sights and will require drilling and tapping to mount a scope, and also maybe altering the bolt. It's not that hard, and I've done it myself. Here's a Turkish Mauser I payed 50$ years ago that I sporterized. With open sights I can shoot a Mauser at 4" at 100 yards. Scoped, about 2.5". My commercial Savage 110 shoots .75" groups.
Unfortunately, you'll have to pay three times as much for the same rifle today, and that's just for the rifle.

If you have a 1000$ to spend, I'd say you have enough for a nice bolt action hunting rifle and also another gun, maybe a .22 or light carbine (.357/9mm/.45/12gauge). Say 500$ for the bolt, 250-350$ for a light rifle, and 150-250 for ammo. Look in the Sunday ads for your local sporting goods store. Remington 700's and Savage 110's complete with a scope have been selling for 399-499$. I bet you'll find better deals then blowing your whole wad on a single black rifle.
Good luck,

November 7, 2009, 09:27 PM
If you want to start from scratch, get a mauser action and have a barrel installed. Most likely you won't keep it in 8mm, but rather change it to .260, 308, or 30-06 anyway.

Also, consider a springfield 03-a3. It's already has good sights, and a barrel swap and trigger will be easy.

I forgot to ask, what type of target shooting do you plan to do? Is this informal, NRA highpower, or will you be using a scope?

Jolly Green
November 7, 2009, 09:45 PM
I looked into the 1903, but am having trouble find 30-06 surplus. For target shooting, I plan on practicing informal w/ iron sights. I plan on competing in NRA eventually, but not with the Mauser or anytime soon.

November 7, 2009, 10:48 PM
I believe the CMP is out now, but they frequently carry surplus .30-06. Dirt cheap, too.

November 8, 2009, 11:43 AM
Define "target shooting." Do you mean organized competition? Then you will need a rifle that conforms to the rules for that type of match. Do you mean casual, informal shooting? Then pretty much ANY rifle will do.

Are you concerned with extreme accuracy? Then neither of your proposed choices is high on my list. Do you want to build a rifle? You will have to if you want a Mauser tricked out for serious range work.

I agree with Roadkill regarding how totally different the Mauser (I always assume the M98 when someone says Mauser with no further clarification) is from an AR15. In fact, this seems to trigger response #19 from the 100 FAQ list.

Which should I buy, an apple or an orange?

19. What is the sense in asking “Which of these should I get?” when the two guns in question are so radically different that they are not in any way comparable? An example would be asking which is better; a Colt Detective Special or a Ruger Redhawk? The utter ridiculousness of trying to compare such different models goes beyond the general prohibition of Point #10* and required a separate advisory.

I think you need to decide what you want to do with the rifle, and what you want it to do for you, before you can figure out which one is the best choice.

Side note: As I only have 21 days remaining on my Double Secret Probation I sincerely hope that I have not insulted any forum member or any forum member's wife with my comments.

* Should I buy?

10. Please don’t ask “Should I buy this gun?” We have no idea what you need or want. We can’t tell you what you would like. You have to figure that out for yourself. Really, why would want somebody else picking out your gun for you anyway?

November 8, 2009, 04:46 PM
Do you mean casual, informal shooting? Then pretty much ANY rifle will do.


A K98 is fun. A nicely bedded one, good barrel, service rifle sights will shoot 3-4 MOA, sometimes better.

It will kick something horrible. They have this steel buttplate meant to crush heads. Carry super glue to reattach your dental work.

It won't shoot to point of aim, none of mine did. I had to drift out front sights, replace them with taller sights. I also bedded mine and did trigger jobs.

If you change ammuntion with a K98 point of impact often changes. Unfortunately the sights are only drift adjustable for windage changes. Which means you hit the front sight blade with a brass pin drift, it slides an unpredictable amount, which moves the POI an unpredictable distance.

You will find that once you get the windage dead on, you shoot that ammo and live in fear of having to touch the sights.

It will cost more, but a new "service" grade AR15, made by Rock River, Armalite, Bushmaster, will shoot inside of that K98, be cheaper to shoot, and won't kick bad.

Still, everyone ought to own one M98, one Garand, and one AR15.

Steyr made, Russian capture, sold to Iraq. Now, mine.:p

Float Pilot
November 8, 2009, 05:01 PM
Get a Swede m/96 or a Swede CG-63. Then you will have a target grade Mauser rifle.

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