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RonC
October 17, 2009, 10:56 PM
I finally had the opportunity to shoot the wood bullet "blanks" in my Swedish M96 Mauser made in 1910. First, I must say that I hope I look as good as this M96 when I am 100. The metal parts are in magnificent condition.

The regular cartridges shot high at 100 yards because the Elite peep sights had been set for 300 meter competition and the rear sight would not go up high enough to get the shots on paper at a mere 100 yards. However, the cartridges with wooden bullets shot lower and could be registered to hit the target. They weren't particularly accurate, giving 3-3.5" groups at 100 yards.

For those who aren't familiar with the Swedish surplus ammo, an explanation is in order. It was explained to me here on the firing line. The Swedish army was issued standard 6.55 x 55 cartridges for shooting practice. However, for drills, the troops were issued cartridges with normal brass casings and wooden bullets shaped like the real thing. A metal cover was placed over the muzzle so that the wooden bullet wouldn't go off and hurt someone. I was curious to see if the wooden bullet cartridges could be used for short distance target shooting. The answer was yes, but without the accuracy typical to the standard cartridge.

Wood may be great on a 1946 Ford "Woodie," but is only mediocre in a cartridge.
Several variations of wooden bullet cartridges:
http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/9295/655x55woodenbullet.gif
The rifle:
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/1270/swedishmausermineelites.jpg
Ron

Hardcase
October 17, 2009, 11:35 PM
That's very interesting! So, they would put a cover over the muzzle and the wooden bullet would crash into that? That sounds like a small pile of sawdust to clean up :p

justbill
October 18, 2009, 08:52 AM
First off, your 96 looks great. I really miss mine that was bought for less than $100 in the 80's. A comparable replacement today would easily go for three times that much, if I could find someone willing to part with one. :(

Any idea what kind of wood was used? I'd imagine softwood like Scandinavian pine or fir. Was there any evidence of splintering at the muzzle? I don't think I'd want to stand too close to someone shooting these rounds.

nolmsted
October 18, 2009, 09:33 AM
I think there maybe one of those for sale in the for sale section - nice looking gun

RonC
October 18, 2009, 10:17 AM
I believe that Allan's Armory has several, both with military sights and with target competition sights. http://www.allans-armory.com/ I have no connection to Allan's Armory except that I have purchased several historical rifles there and my experience has been consistently excellent. Allan rated my M96 as very good. I rate it as excellent. He is very conservative in his ratings.

If I recall, there was a thread on "Who shoots 6.5 x 55" here on The Firing Line. It was there that I learned about the wooden blank adapter when I noted that I had purchased 200 wooden rounds for about $19. My hope was that I could use them for very inexpensive target ammo. The blank adapter can still be purchased on some of the C&R merchants' sites.

For a rifle made in 1910, I can hardly believe the quality of the metal finish. It is almost perfect. The wood has a few, minor dings here and there, but also is in very fine condition. For me, it is almost like a new rifle.

Ron