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Old March 31, 2013, 10:46 AM   #1
jryan32
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Old Mauser .257 Roberts

Back in the 80’s, while cleaning out local American Legion Hall basement, they came across a closet with a bunch of old rifles that had basically fallen apart, and were going to throw them out...supposedly old war memorabilia. They offered one to Dad since he was a hobby gunsmith. He bought a stock blank mail order, and rebuilt the rifle...the barrel was good (.257 Roberts).

After he died, I inherited the rifle...and wish I’d asked more questions about it. I pulled it out of the gun safe the other day & got to wondering what exactly the back story was...so started looking around the internet.

The only visible markings are the left rear of barrel is stamped with “257 ROB”, and behind it on the receiver it’s stamped with some type of Arabic looking script.
By looking at www.turkmauser.com, it appears it might be an old Model 1893 Mauser from the Ottoman Empire era.
The first 4 chars of the scripting are a year code, which translates into 1894.6 Gregorian calendar (1312 Islamic calendar).

There's also a crest on the top...Has markings of 1936, Ankara Military Factory...doesn't show T.C. though.

So I'm guessing it was originally built in 1894, but in 1936 was modified to 257 ROB. From what I've read, most of these were modified to 8mm, so wondering where/when 257 ROB came into play & why. Also wondering what exactly the arabic script on the receiver says.

If anyone can provide any additional info or backstory, I'd sure appreciate it. Thanks for the info...JR

Photo-Barrel/Receiver

Photo-Receiver closeup

Photo-Crest
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Old March 31, 2013, 11:20 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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The Turks were not building any .257 Roberts rifles, not even if you called it 6.35x57.

What happened was that the Turks brought all their rifles to the same caliber, 8mm, and as near the same configuration as possible in and after 1933. Then a few years ago they dumped thousands of obsolete bolt action rifles on the American market, always hungry for something cheap to plink with.

Yours is one of those surplus rifles that has been sporterized.
It has had a .257 barrel installed, the action drilled and tapped for scope mount, and no doubt the bolt handle bent to clear, then buffed out and reblued. Hopefully it got a low scope safety and maybe even an adjustable trigger.
The stock has a nice gloss, I assume it is a conventional sporter style replacement, not the old military wood.

I haven't a clue as to what the oriental chicken tracks signify.
There is a site devoted to the Turkish Mauser but he doesn't translate, either.
http://www.turkmauser.com/
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Old March 31, 2013, 05:40 PM   #3
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Have you shot the rifle? I'd be interested in your shooting impressions.

I can no longer buy firearms due to living on a small fixed income in my old age, but for many years I lusted for either a sporterized Mauser or a Remington 700 in .257 Roberts or 7X57.
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Old March 31, 2013, 08:36 PM   #4
51.50
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257 Roberts

Gun Parts Corp AKA Numrich has 257 Roberts barrels available for small ring Mausers.
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Old March 31, 2013, 09:34 PM   #5
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Maybe I can add a bit more. AS FA stands for ASkari FAbrika (Army Factory); Ankara (the capital of Turkey) is the location of the factory. The markings were put on when the rifle was updated for Turkish service. I suspect the T.C. was there but was removed when the rifle was gunsmithed in the U.S.

The maker was Ludwig Loewe. I can't read Arabic either, but the six pointed stars were a Loewe trademark. In spite of many references to "Turkish Mausers", no Mauser receivers were made in Turkey as they never had the tooling. They could, and did, rework and rebarrel millions of rifles, as Jim Watson says.

.257 Roberts is an excellent cartridge. While somewhat dated, it still has thousands of fans. It is essentially a necked down 7x57 and reloaders should keep to that approximate pressure range (40-45k psi). It is quite OK in an 1893 action if that rule is followed; it makes a good low recoil deer cartridge, and will do for varmints as well.

Jim
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Old April 1, 2013, 07:59 PM   #6
SIGSHR
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The markings are in Turkish which was written with the Arabic Alphabet until Ataturk made the switch to the Latin Alphabet. The four characters in the center of the first photo are numbers which AFAIK translate to 1312 Anno Hegira=1894 AD so it's an old one.
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Old April 1, 2013, 10:07 PM   #7
jryan32
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Thanks for the info guys.

When Dad acquired the rifle from the Legion basement, the stock was pretty much in pieces and had to be replaced, but as far as I know, the 257Rob barrel that's on it now is the same one that was on it then. So that's a big mystery...how & when it became a 257Rob.

I'd still like to know what the arabic script says.
Sure wish I'd have asked more historical questions about it when Dad was still around!
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Old April 1, 2013, 10:35 PM   #8
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The markings on the left side rail of those rifles was almost always the manufacturer; on contract rifles it might be in the language/alphabet of the purchasing nation.

As already mentioned, the conversion to .257 Roberts took place right here in the U.S., not by the Turks or the Germans. Unless the gunsmith put his name on the rifle or you can learn it some other way, he will likely remain unknown.

Jim
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Old April 2, 2013, 11:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Sure wish I'd have asked more historical questions about it when Dad was still around!
He may not have known either. We used to have old rifles and such just about everywhere. I worked in a gas station when I was in high school, and the owner would sometimes accept old guns for work done to someone's car. That didn't mean he knew anything about them. they were just barter goods. I have had many guns given to me over the years for work done, for payment of debts, for fixing other guns, etc, or just to get them out of the house.
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Old April 22, 2013, 07:13 PM   #10
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At least in my opinion the .257R is an excellent hunting cartridge with a broad range of uses; varmints to Rlk (at short ranges).

BTW, I have been hunting with my .257R in a small Ring 93 Mauser for 40+ years. It is one of those "magic" cartridges that shines when handloads are developed for it.

Last edited by hgmeyer; April 22, 2013 at 07:18 PM. Reason: expand
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Old April 25, 2013, 08:20 AM   #11
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On the closeup picture of the receiver, I can tell you the first 4 symbols are numbers. Which ones, I don't know, but recognize them from my time in the middle east.

I recently returned from a joint, multinational deployment in Kabul, where I worked with a handful of Turks. I emailed 1 the closeup photo to ask for a translation. When I hear back, I will let you know.
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Old July 9, 2013, 09:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Sure wish I'd have asked more historical questions about it when Dad was still around!
Me too. I have so many questions about my Dad's gun room that I thought I knew, but it is too late now.

I found an old Mauser too, the barrel receiver was-is painted over, so working on getting that resolved and the stock is rotted/damaged, so getting a newer one. Great history on the Mauser and glad you are looking into it. The LGS said it is a great action.

Oh, I have been to Turkey, but can't read any of it!
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Old July 11, 2013, 11:43 PM   #13
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My booboo in calling the marking "Arabic". As SIGSHR says, it is Turkish written in the Arabic alphabet. Odd, since I have corrected others on the same thing, pointing out that we use the basic Roman alphabet, but that doesn't mean this is written in Latin.

Jim
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