Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Vaunted Mauser Action

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by prezbucky, Jul 10, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. prezbucky

    prezbucky Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Nashville
    I've read that Mauser (and Mauser-clone) bolt actions are smooth as butter. This has put a few questions in my mind which I'd like to put before those in the know:

    1) Is the Mauser-type bolt action the best, or is it overhyped?
    2) How can you tell if the bolt action rifle in front of you has a Mauser-type action (assuming the rifle is not made by Mauser...)?
    3) Would you pay $100 more for a rifle with a Mauser-type bolt action than one that had, say, an Enfield-type action?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  2. brian923

    brian923 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    676
    You tell me. Pretty much all rifle actions share at least one mauser design. Many share multiple desings. The mauser 98 action is a great action, and can handle most cartridges know to date.
     
  3. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,276
    Location:
    Kodiak, AK
    The Mauser action is indeed the smoothest and it also has a controlled round feed that means you could (if you wanted or needed to) chamber a round with the rifle upside down or while running, etc.

    Most people would say that an Enfield action is faster...

    Either action is better (smoother, faster) than that of a modern sporting rifle.
     
  4. gunnie

    gunnie Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Messages:
    787
    ..."Pretty much all rifle actions share at least one mauser design."...

    yeppir!

    questions...

    1) Is the Mauser-type bolt action the best, or is it overhyped?

    best for what? many actions are more "slick" to operate, especially short degree throw bolt designs. many more inherently accurate. most modern bolts have better lock times. the "controlled round feed" has a slight edge in reliability. also extraction of problematic cases, if true to the "long" + "wide" extractor.

    2) How can you tell if the bolt action rifle in front of you has a Mauser-type action (assuming the rifle is not made by Mauser...)?

    best bet, go to a gun show and check out a WWII FN mfgd milsurp. notice opposed locking lugs and third safety lug. rotating extractor. vented bolt and reciever. these, the prime mauser traits.


    3) Would you pay $100 more for a rifle with a Mauser-type bolt action than one that had, say, an Enfield-type action?

    yes, as a dangerous game rifle.

    gunnie
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  5. menacingsquirrel

    menacingsquirrel Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    Martinsburg, WV
    The mauser action is very reliable in terms of feeding as stated above. This is the reason many dangerous game hunters prefer this action. For accuracy, other actions such as the remington 700 are better. It all depends on what you are looking for in a rifle.
     
  6. Hatterasguy

    Hatterasguy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,604
    Its pretty good, but I think the Swiss straight pulls are faster and smoother.
     
  7. gunnie

    gunnie Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Messages:
    787
    but are they "bolt" actions?

    gunnie
     
  8. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    11,269
    Location:
    28078
    IMO the mauser action, its commercial derivatives, and the subsequent designs that it spawned are outstanding actions. They have proven to be some of the most reliable, robust, efficient, and smoothest designs ever used in a bolt action firearm. While I own and have previously owned several bolt action rifles that were not derived from the Mauser (or had underwent enough design changes to be considered exclusive of that title), I would not, and do not, own a bolt action rifle to be used for dangerous game that was a severe departure from the original Mauser design. It is the standard by which all others are judged and continually fall short (in other words: Remington 700s need not apply for this position :p). For other hunting uses I still find it to be a exceptional choice, but not a prerequisite. For target shooting it can often be detrimental due to the claw that forbids closing a round not fed via the magazine (without being relieved for this purpose), hunting is where it really shines.

    To spice things up a bit, here is a photo of my favorite Mauser (Whitworth Express .375H&H) as well as my most recent Mauser acquisition (Parker Hale 6mmRem.):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :)
     
  9. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,054
    I have mausers and I have enfields. The enfields are way smoother and faster than my mausers. The enfields are not as strong. Accuracy nod goes for the mauser.
     
  10. Oceans

    Oceans Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Messages:
    153
    Well now, let us see. For smoothness, I would suspect that the Krag- Jorgensen action would would rate higher on the list for smoothness than the standard Mauser action. For strength the Mauser ranks very high as an action(at least the '98 Mauser), but there are still stronger, the Rem 700 action would be one such example. For reliability, the Mauser is right up there at the top of bolt actions no doubt. You could do a hell of a lot worse then choosing an older military Mauser action to build upon. If you are dead set on a Mauser action, I would suggest to you, that you purchase a modern Winchester Model 70. There you get an updated Mauser action, in a fine sporting rifle, with a good stock meant for scoping use. You will get two solid lugs on the bolt vs. a split lug, the ability to feed cartridges straight into the chamber vs. having to put one in the magazine first. I myself like Remington 700s, but that is a personal preference. The Winchester 70 stays closer to the original '98 design.
     
  11. prezbucky

    prezbucky Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Nashville
    Thanks guys.

    Until the Winchester 70 was mentioned I figured that I'd go to a gun show and look for an old Mauser 8mm.

    On the other hand... the possibility of finding an old Mauser "steal" at a gun show is probably, well... an example of why the gun show is an opportunity to find good models at exceptional prices.

    Further research is very obviously necessary on my part.
     
  12. prezbucky

    prezbucky Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Nashville
    Well I just did a little research on the Mauser M98... and apparently they start at like $2000-$3000 for the real thing.

    So if I'm buying an actual Mauser in the near future, it'll be used.

    But it sounds like my questions have been answered:

    Yes, the Mauser action is damn good, but it isn't necessarily the best, depending on use. I don't plan on doing any tiger hunting, so I figure a Mosin Nagant or Remington 700 will do.
     
  13. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    11,269
    Location:
    28078
    I beg to differ. The Mauser has both better safety features and is a stronger action design (exclusive of metallurgy as scores of Mausers have been designed with varying degrees of metallurgical quality, the best certainly rival the Remingtons, whilst the worst certainly do not).

    That is just for a Mauser branded rifle, there are many more that are just as deserving of the Mauser title, but simply do not carry the hallmark. They range from mil. surps., to low end commercial copies, to the very best commercial reproductions (including those under the Mauser brand name). I purchased the Parker Hale pictured above for $200.00USD (used, from a dealer), about a month back.

    :)
     
  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    22,340
    There was a hillarious article in one of the gunzines some years ago describing the military Mauser as the gunsmith's full employment program. Some people like shooting army surplus, some want something nicer. If you want to go from the first group to the second, it is going to cost you.

    Any bolt action rifle with protruding dual locking lugs can be considered to have Mauser ancestry. The 1903 Springfield, 1913, 1914, and 1917 Enfields are first generation descendants, Winchester 54 and 70 are second generation, maybe a Remington 700 is third. Older Sakos and current Howas actually go back to some pre-98 Mauser design elements. Not all Mausers have big claw extractors.
     
  15. prezbucky

    prezbucky Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Nashville
    Ahh. (head spinning)

    So five good bolt-action rifle choices (among many others I'm sure) are:

    - Parker Hale
    - Mauser and derivatives (those that claim the Mauser action)
    -Rem 700
    - Winchester 70 (maybe among the derivatives, but a major player, so I'll give it its own slot here)
    - Enfield and derivatives.

    Those have been mentioned in this thread. Throw in Ruger, Browning, Savage (and more...) bolt actions, and -- damn. So many flavors of ice cream and maybe I need to taste each one to figure out what's best for me.
     
  16. jkingrph

    jkingrph Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,041
    Location:
    E. Texas
    In refeence to the Swiss straight pulls, yes they are definetly bolt actions. As you pull the operating handle straight back it operates in a cam shaped cut out and rotates the bolt to unlock it before it begins to move back. There is some similarity in the M-1 rifle & Carbine as well as the AR-25 in the mechanics of the motion, the semi autos being operated by high pressure gas, the Swiss by hand action.
     
  17. Hatterasguy

    Hatterasguy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,604

    Yes, the only difference is that on the straight pull design the bolt rotates itself into battery on its own, you only need to do one motion with your hand. On a Mauser action you have to rotate it.

    Its kinda like an M14 type action.
     
  18. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    11,269
    Location:
    28078
    Just keep in mind that WRT some of the aforementioned there is very little "Mauser" remaining. Whilst nearly all bolt action rifles owe homage to the Mauser action, most are severely departed from the original design (especially the Enfield and Remington 700 that you mention). IMO the lack of a dual bolt lug (plus the additional rear lug), large claw extractor, and hinged rear extractor precludes the rifle from being a "direct descendant" and should be otherwise named. That said, there are many actions that are direct descendants of the original design. The Whitworth (as well as the Mark. X) from Interarms and the Parker Hale (beware that PH produced many other designs as well), both pictured above are such direct descendants, as is the CZ-550 which is still being produced. IMO the Ruger M-77 and the Winchester/FNH Model-70 are still close enough to count as well, but are somewhat differing in their designs.

    The new Winchester M-70s are some of the best new bolt action rifles on the market (at any price) IMO. They offer a very smooth action, are very safe, and simply a solid rifle. That would be a good place to start looking, but shoulder as many rifles as you can for a good "fit". This often makes the most difference (as far as equipment anyway) in comfort as well as your ability to shoot the rifle quickly and accurately.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  19. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    4,787
    I would disagree that the 98 action is the smoothest. It was designed to be a reliable military weapon and as such it has many inherent qualities that work against smoothness of operation. The Krag is much slicker as is the Rem 700.

    What the 98 mostly is... is strong and reliable. And beautiful.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  20. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    22,340
    A Lee Enfield has no relation to a Mauser. It is based on designs by James Paris Lee first produced in 1879 by Sharps and thereafter by Remington. Used by the US Navy from 1882 until the 6mm Lee Navy by Winchester.

    Lee was showing twin lug bolt action box magazine rifles while Mauser was building single shot and tube magazine guns locking up on the root of the bolt handle. Later Remington-Lees even had front locking lugs... which the British took back out for the series ending with the SMLE and No 4.
     
  21. Redhat

    Redhat Member.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    678
    OP,

    The smoothest action I ever felt was a Colt Sauer. Having said that, I have one hunting rifle and it is a CZ550. Prior to that, I had a Remington 700. I can find no real difference in feel between the two when cycling the action. I will say the CZ when unloaded has some drag as the bolt moves over the magazine follower, but in practical terms I see no difference. The real plus with the CZ is the set trigger and the accuracy.

    For deer hunting, I think any would be fine, if I was going after dangerous game, I would probably follow the advice of those in the know and go with the controlled round feed of the Mauser design.

    I would also add that IMO, accuracy is not just due to the design of the bolt (action) but a lot depends on the barrel and bedding.
     
  22. prezbucky

    prezbucky Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Nashville
    So boiling things down (I have learned a ton in a few hours -- thanks to all), for a starter bolt-action rifle in, say, 30-06 or .308, some pretty good options would be the Winchester 70, Ruger 77, CZ 550 and Remington 700 -- excellent bolt-action rifles at reasonable prices. The Parker Hale... find one with Mauser action maybe further down the line.
     
  23. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    11,269
    Location:
    28078
    I would exclude the Remington M-700 unless you purchase an older/used one. The new ones have been subject to poor (or spotty at best) QC. OTOH the older ones can be great rifles. The others are all very good rifles, but also consider a Marlin XL-7/XS-7 (a less costly rifle that performs better than many others that cost twice as much), Savage bolt gun (several good ones to choose from), TC Venture/Icon, amongst others. You need to handle them to find the one best for you. You may even discover that a lever gun, slide action, single shot, or semi-automatic rifle is the best for you (though a bolt action is the ubiquitous hunting/target shooting rifle today that doesn't mean it the best choice for everyone).

    :)
     
  24. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    The Mauser 98 pattern has several major advantages. It's rugged, strong, easy to manufacture and reliable. It has lasted a long time and been used outside the military because it's so easy to use for a wide, wide array of rounds. The bolt design permits receiver-mounted scopes and the standard size magazine is plenty big for most cartridges. Unlike the Mosin or Enfield it's not set up to shoot bottlenecked rimmed cartridges. And unlike the Mannlicher-Schoenauer (a much smoother action BTW), it does not have a funky rotary magazine. Nor does it rely on en-bloc clips.

    It's not perfect, but it's the easiest to use for the widest range of chamberings out of the generation of smokeless rifles that emerged before WWI.

    If you want a Mauser for hunting and such, the CZ 550 uses the basic action and I've never heard complaints about them. Great iron sights, too.
     
  25. Dookie

    Dookie Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    577
    Location:
    Spokane
    The Mauser is a superb action, 50 years ago. Because of modern metallurgy and machining a Mauser action is now overtly complicated and outdated, but still very nice. Nearly all modern actions are based, loosely, and many not at all, on the Mauser action, but they are also much stronger, simpler, cheaper to build and more accurate. When was the last time anyone heard of a Mauser action doing anything at all in a competition? A basic Savage or Remington will out shoot most competition grade Mausers.

    As for smooth bolt actions, it's butter. But rattly as hell, at least the two examples I had were.

    Just like that 68 Chevelle that everyone loves, it may be nice and fun, but a basic Honda Civic is a much better car, just not sexy.

    A good modern example of a Mauser knockoff is the Ruger 77 action.

    I would love to have a nice Mauser, but I will save my money and buy a Savage/CZ/Remington/Sako and have much better performance than with a built Mauser. Plus, the modern bolts are very smooth.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page