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FN Belgian Mauser in .30-06?

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by JNewell, May 16, 2004.

  1. JNewell

    JNewell Well-Known Member

    Found at a local shop: a nearly-new Mauser made by FN around 1951. Chambered in .30-06. Bolt is straight, not bent. Frong ring is notched (apparently to facilitate loading the long .30-06 cartridge?) Finish is gray...could be parkerizing but the finish on the receiver rings looks very smooth. This particular example has metal better than 95% and wood better than 90% (some compression dings, nothing major).

    Can anyone help me with the background on these? Searched the 'net, found nada.

    Also wondering about a value estimate or range for this rifle, since the only one I could find anywhere for sale was priced very high, almost $900. The description for that sale says this is a naval-issue rifle and the finish is paint, not park'ing. Dunno...all info appreciated!

    Mod, if this should be in the Rifles forum, pls feel free to send it there.
  2. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister Moderator In Memoriam


    If My memory serves:

    Your rifle sounds like a Mauser 1898, some were built in Liege Belgium. The one you have, if my memory serves, was reconditioned in 1951 to 30-06. Many of the 06's were chambered for Columbia by lthe United States.

    In addition, I have seen these rifles, many years ago, at gun shows, and advertised in shotgun news. The finish, as you describe, could have been accomplished by an importer/distributor and sold as such.

    Even the reconditioned rifles had sporterized European Walnut stocks and they appeared to be high dollar guns. These are, Columbian Mausers, as I remember them referred to were not in the $900.00 catagory. They look good, however, it is not the "custom" Mauser, but a fancied up military rifle.

  3. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister Moderator In Memoriam


    In addition, it is diffuclt to actually consider the value without seeing the gun. But from your description, it sounds like my original post.

    98 history

  4. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    You have a FN Model 1950 rifle.
    The Model 1950 was the last post-war Mauser rifle built by FN, and it was built for use by Belgian forces.

    These were manufactured for the US 30/06, not re-chambered or re-built.

    There are several different crests on the receiver ring for the different Kings of Belgium reigning during that time.

    One featured a large "B" for King Baudoin?? The other had (I think) an "A".
    Also included in the crest were the letters "ABL" which (I think) stood for Army Rifle?? in the three languages used in Belgium.

    The rifles were parkerized with a European parkerization process, which unlike the American version, isn't bead-blasted.
    This leaves the rifle with a smooth gray finish.

    There were two versions of the 1950. One was used in the Belgian Congo, and due to the heavy use and harsh tropical environment, these are typically in poor condition, with shot-out bores and heavy pitting.

    The other version was used in Europe, and due to the limited use and better care taken with them, are usually in much better condition.

    The cut in the rear face of the receiver ring was to provide clearance for stripper clip loading the longer 30/06 rounds.
    When loading from a stripper clip, the clip tends to tip forward, and longer rounds contact the receiver ring.

    The 1950 was a stop-gap rifle for the Belgians.
    FN had large contracts to build and repair some US weapons like machine guns, and the 30/06 was adopted since there was plenty to be had at that time.

    Since FN had built Mauser 98 rifles under German occupation, the machinery was up and running, and it was a simple matter to build the 1950 to serve as a back-up to the new FN-made Model 1950 semi-auto rifle.

    The 1950 was used as a limited issue until enough 1950 autos could be built, and as a fall-back if the auto rifle had problems.

    So the 1950 is the only military FN Mauser ever built that was factory chambered for the 30/06 cartridge.
    All other military Mauser's in 30/06 were converted to that caliber.

    Due to the limited numbers produced, and original 30/06 caliber, rifles in better condition are beginning to increase in value.
  5. JNewell

    JNewell Well-Known Member

    Thanks folks.

    Dfariswheel, you've described the rifle exactly, except that I believe (I don't own this, just looked at it) that it had a very large script "L" on the front ring.

    Any guesses on value? My 90% wood/95% metal rating is on the conservative side. Is this a $300 rifle, or a $500 rifle? As mentioned there's one on GA for almost $900 but I have a hard time believing that's market. The thing that caught my eye, as you mentioned, was that here we have a 98 that's chambered for .30-06, so there's no new ammo/reloading overhead for me if I buy it.

    One other question. I didn't have any way to weigh it, but I'd say this rifle was more like 7-7.5# than the 8.5-9# I'm used to with military rifles. Definitely lighter by a good margin than a M1903, I'd say. Pointed like a dream, and the action was smoooooth. Does anyone know what the spec'd weight for these rifles was???
  6. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Those rifles were imported in the mid-1960's and many were brand new, unissued.

    Everything Dfariswheel says is correct, but I might add one small point. Since the only rationale for the rifle was to be able to use ammunition provided by the U.S., those rifles are made to take the M1903 stripper clip, not the standard Mauser clip.

  7. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    You refreshed my memory. The OTHER Belgian King before Baudoin was King Leopold, thus the large "L" on the ring, along with "ABL".

    Fixing a price depends on too many variables: Actual overall condition, what part of the country the rifle is for sale in, and the going rate THERE, etc.

    If the rifle is unaltered, in that condition, and has all matching numbers, I'd say it a sub-$500.00 rifle. HOW "sub" depends on the above factors, and how bad you want it.

    Look at it this way:
    1. There aren't going to be any more.
    2. They're great shooters.
    3. How many are left that are in that good of condition.
    4. This is the ONLY factory original 30/06 military Mauser ever made.
    5. Again, how bad do you want it?

    NOTE: MOST of these do not have matching numbers on the bolts, but do have matching numbers on the receiver and barrel. A non-match bolt won't really lower the value, but matching will RAISE the value.
  8. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    I have a Model 1950 "palace guard " rifle from some african nation, mine is 90% (never out of the palace?) . All the 1950 models Iv'e seen are either carbine 17" or short rifle 21" barrels. They ALL have turned down bolts. If that rifle has a straight bolt, odd's are it's a rechambered gun . Then a pristine rechamber would be worth $275 max. A pristine 1950 model is $450-500.:)
  9. JNewell

    JNewell Well-Known Member

    This one is all matching with original #s (no electro-pencil forced matches or un-numbered major parts -- though lots fewer numbered parts than my Swedes).

    I am still thinking it is more like a $350-400 rifle than $500, though.

    This isn't a rechamber, I'm sure. If it is, it was done by/at FN. You can see a similar rifle here
  10. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    The FN Model 1950 as made for the Belgian army definitely had a straight bolt, was definitely .30-'06 caliber, and definitely was not a carbine or short rifle. It was just as JNewell describes.

  11. ratscoot

    ratscoot Member

    ABL stands for Armee Belge-Belgisch Leger. So Belgian army in French and Dutch.
  12. rhino3662

    rhino3662 New Member

    I have pretty much the exact same rifle described above. matching serial number on the bolt, receiver, and barrel. was wondering if there was anywhere to check that number to confirm the year and manufacturer.
  13. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Hi, rhino3662,

    The Model 50 rifles have the date of manufacture stamped on the receiver ring, either 1951 or 1952.

    The ones in like new condition are bringing around $700, with ones with Belgian Congo markings bringing twice that.

  14. gmzzemog

    gmzzemog New Member

    I have one also. Got it from my brother who bought it in the late 60's early 70's when he was in the Airforce stationed in Ladado Texas. Has matching numbers but a little pitted. Still shoots great but the barrel will get hot if you fire off too many rounds like at the range. Has a crown with a large L then ABL and 1951 on reciever ring. Not sure how to measure the barrel but it is at least 23 1/2 in from tip to the front of the bolt when closed. Also there is an attachment for a byonet. I would love to find one for it.
  15. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    The standard (and official) way of measuring a barrel is to close the bolt, then insert a cleaning rod from the muzzle. Mark the rod at the top of the crown. The barrel lenght is the distance from the end of the rod to the mark.

    Bayonets for those Model 50's seem be non-existent, and I suspect there might never have been any. The K.98k and VZ24 bayonets will fit fine, and I wonder if FN just didn't bother with a bayonet for what was clearly a short term rifle anyway.

  16. docfret

    docfret New Member

    Bought FN Mauser stepped 21" barrel King Leopold 1951 30-06 w/ bent bolt, sporterized, matching serials 1866 - is this really a Model 1950 30-06 original? dfariswheel had the best answers to lead me to this, please advise. Thanks and Happy New Year!
  17. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    That sounds like a Model 1950 that was sporterized, as many were.

    Incidentally, that rifle is not only factory original in .30-'06, but its clip guide is made to take M1903 clips, which is the way the U.S. ammo came.

  18. Edarnold

    Edarnold Well-Known Member

    And for God's sake, if you do get this rifle DO NOT butcher it into a "deer rifle"!

    This model is scarce, and will only increase in collector value over time.

    Put a pile of money into sporterizing it, and it becomes just another $300 sporterized military Mauser.

  19. Centurion007

    Centurion007 New Member

    Belgian FN Mauser

    I will be buying one of these Mausers from a friend of mine. It has hardly been shot and never hunted. Here is how my friend describes it--

    My FN is made in Belgium perhaps in the 50's. It was 30/06 when I got it, not new. I had it rebarreled in the 90's by ER SHAW of Penn, with a 22" bull barrel in .338 Win Mag with a buff blue finish as close to parkerized as they could get. It has a Ram Line stock put on by gun smith in Palmer, AK.

    I was unable to copy the pics from my email address. Can anyone tell me how much this rifle would be worth in it's rebuilt condition with the .338 barrel and ER Shaw stock?


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