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Charles Daly .223 mini-Mauser, First Impressions

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by CB900F, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. CB900F

    CB900F Active Member


    I have redeemed the little bugger outta the emporium & have it in my gun room. For those not familiar with my saga, it's a charles Daly Superior grade mini-Mauser Left Hand Bolt, LHB, in .223 Remington. I'm in no rush to shoot it just to shoot it. Things need to be done first, such as disassembling the action from the stock & a thorough cleaning.

    The action is held to the stock via two slotted head screw located in the normal positions for a bolt gun. No surprises, after all, it is a mini-Mauser. The floor plate, triggerguard & magazine remove from the bottom of the stock as a unit. The action & barrel simply pull out from the top. Again, perfectly normal, no surprises.

    The floor plate is spring loaded and hinged, with the magazine follower spring attached & the follower attached to it. A rather large spring loaded button at the right front of the triggerguard pushes in & releases the hinged floor plate. The head of the button is checkered, not hard to find, & also not obtrusive; blends in nicely. The magazine box is stamped steel & removes from the floor plate by pulling a small slotted head screw that's blind until the floorplate is removed from the stock. All the bottom metal is steel & substantial, about 5mm thick at the base plate. Steel's no problem on a gun that's about 7/8th's scale. In fact, I strongly doubt that there's any aluminum or MIM on the gun at all. The out of sight portions of the metalwork here are rough. No burrs & sharp edges mind you, just not finish machined at all.

    The barreled action has almost no recoil lug, but is utterly normal Mauser regardless of being a mirror image to most of the breed. The bolt pulls in the Mauser fashion, though the release is on the right side of the action. The safety though is not military Mauser. It's a slide type on-off located where Remington puts their's; immediately above the gold colored trigger. The safety slide button is of reasonable size & has a pyramidal stepped configuration that's easy to find & simple to operate. The bolt is two-lugged, 90 degree with the familiar rotating rail & a somewhat small clawed extractor.

    I was pleased to note, when cleaning all of the metal, that there were very few machining leftovers present. Most, if not all, of the American firearms manufacturer's could take that leaf out of Zastava's notebook to their benefit. However, I also noticed several places that showed less than superior manufacturing methods & tolerances common to price-point built anythings, this gun included.

    The stock has truly superior wood however. I showed it to a gentleman whose judgement I trust in these matters, and he was impressed to the point that he said he may have to get one of these things for himself. Which is not to say that all is rosy in the 'forest' as it were. The interior inletting showed some hair, complicated by being frozen in place because of the abundance of poly finish goo. The inletting was not of the clean edges & sharp corners type produced by sharp tools & attention to detail. This is a production type stock made in a hurry. Metal to wood fit is 'production' and it shows. The barrel is not free floated and the recoil lug, such as it is, will almost certainly benefit from glass bedding. I was surprised to see steel tube pillars embedded in the stock. A nice touch that. The recoil pad is of good quality & properly fitted, but completely uneccessary in this application. The pistol grip cap is done in faux ebony. Both the recoil pad & grip cap are separated from the stock wood by white line spacers. The checkering is pressed and not done to a high standard. There are flaws on the borders & overruns. All this tends to be masked by the blindingly brilliant gloss of the plastic goo finish. Basically, it's a Weatherby knock-off with the emphasis on knock-off. Now then, let me return to the lead sentence of this paragraph. The wood itself is gorgeous. It's a mahogany red with a beautiful grain and fiddleback throughout it's length. Where they got this stuff I don't know, but if it's not exhibition grade then it's damn close.

    All-in-all, the Daly mini-Mauser .223 shows well at first blush. But, the Devil's in the details, & here the details certainly show his influence. At this time, I'm not disappointed in the gun. After all, I recognize that it was indeed built to a price point & I bought it knowing that. The proof will be in the shooting. I paid well under $500.00 for this gun in LHB, & feel that had Daly put another $100.00 into the manufacturing, the Devil would have been exorcized. This review, & I'm sure others, would rave, and the public would be beating down Daly's doors in order to buy the things allbeit priced that $100.00 higher.

    I'm going to put time & effort into bedding, possibly free-floating, and certainly messing with the poly-goo finish. But then, I like to do those sort of things.

    As the old saying goes, "Ya pays yer nickle & ya makes yer choice". This one's worth the nickle to me, but damn, it coulda been worth a quarter for another nickle's being put into it.

  2. greg531mi

    greg531mi New Member

    Nice review, CDNN has a special on them also....Seems Charles Daly loves their glossy stocks....my gun club raffled a Daly Shotgun and 1911 away and thought they looked good til you looked close.....
    My conclusion was also, a Browning/Weatherby wantabe......
    After you shoot it, come back and tell us how she groups....
    Are you going to put a scope on it? What power?
    Years ago, I bought a 223 sporter, a HK 630, a self loader, and love it...
    With all those Coyotes running around, I think a scoped 223, would make a great gun for them.
  3. bcbr

    bcbr New Member


    links or pics Please,sounds like what I been searching for . :)
  4. CB900F

    CB900F Active Member


    Sorry, I can't do pictures. Link: www.charlesdaly.com. Yes, I'm going to scope it. I'm taking a Bushnell Legend 5-15 mil-dot A/O off another LHB .22 & putting it on the Daly.

    Bcbr, you a lefty also?

    Nope, this may be occasionally used for coyotes, but I seriously doubt it'll ever become the main gun for that. I've got a Rem 788 LHB in 6mm Rem that's simply superb with a 75gr Hornady V-Max.

  5. bcbr

    bcbr New Member


    Not a lefty, dear friend is and have been looking for a gift,had been looking at the single shot rifles in .223 but this sound s more like the idea i had.
    Thanks for the link. :)
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Active Member

    Or look at a CZ, though I don't think they make a lefthand version.

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