View Full Version : 2-Trigger Mauser 98

February 24, 2009, 02:25 PM
Has anyone here ever heard of a Mauser 98 receiver with 2 triggers; a "Set" trigger and a "Hair" trigger?

I received an original 98 Mauser, a .270 built on a Mauser receiver, a regular Mauser receiver (only) and a 2-trigger receiver from my Grandfather last year. Due to his health and advanced age, the only thing he can tell me about them is that he "picked them up in Germany off of German soldiers who weren't using their equipment anymore."

I'm currently talking to a gunsmith about building the 2-trigger receiver into a .308 and, when I described the receiver, he asked if I was sure it was a Mauser. I told him that I was pretty sure it was because it has that lever on the left side that you have to pull back in order to remove the bolt but it doesn't have the trigger guard like the other 3 receivers have.

I'm pretty excited about this build because, even after 60 years wrapped up in some oily plastic sheeting, the hair trigger is still super-sensitive.

If anyone has any information on this receiver I would sure like to learn more.
I haven't been able to locate anything at all and I sort of wonder if it is a trigger modification of some sort, rather than an original setup.

Thanks in advance!

February 24, 2009, 04:42 PM
Double set triggers are common on European civilian hunting rifles, due to the prevalence of stand hunting for driven game rather than stalking game as we do in the US.

Of the two triggers, one trigger is properly called the set or often set trigger, the other is called the trigger. Really! You can find examples of them in many post-WWI and post-WWII civilian hunting rifles from Europe built on either commercial receivers (no thumb notch or charger guide) or surplus military receivers (thumb notch and charger guides. They were not military issue, the double-lever set mechanisms are typically somewhat delicate and difficult to keep adjusted, and the standard trigger pulls somewhat heavy. The missing trigger guard is typical of these conversions; the trigger guard would be cut off and replaced with a bow-style trigger guard that screws into the bottom metal directly in front of the trigger, then inletted into the wood and secured against the stock at the pistol grip.

Many actions converted in this manner have dovetailed or soldered claw mounts attached to the receiver bridges. If yours sports claw mount bases, I hope they are soldered in place.

Many times the receivers were elaborately engraved above the wood line and on the bottom metal, and the receivers were often tinned or nickel plated to give them an "in the white" appearance while still protecting them from rust. I recently rebarreled one such rifle, and the owner was carrying on about the receiver being made from German silver (a high-nickel brass alloy), but they are in fact nickel plated or tinned with either pure tin or lead solder to give them their silver appearance. You can tell the difference between the two at a glance, tinned receivers having a "grayer" appearance.

I hope you build yourself a nice Continental sporter rifle with your action. They do make very attractive hunting rifles.

February 24, 2009, 04:55 PM
The weird thing about this is that it's just the receiver.
There isn't a stock or a barrel, just the receiver and the bolt and there is no "fancy" to it at all.
I could see it being a part off of a rifle if it was all "fancied up" but this one is pretty plain. I suppose there is the thought that someone (maybe even my Grandfather) had just started work on it and then quit.

I've never heard the term "Continental sporter rifle" before.
What is that or what does it mean?

I'll try to get a picture of it posted later.

February 24, 2009, 06:36 PM
Many times the trigger guard was made of horn, your's has been broken off for a long time. Chances are during the handling of the rifle when the barrel was removed.

March 3, 2009, 10:08 PM
Sorry it took me so long to post these pictures.

Here are some pictures of my normal Mauser 98 receiver and my 2-trigger Mauser 98 receiver.

I had forgotten that the 2-trigger receiver has a removable bottom plate on the magazine and, after examining these both side-by-side again, it appears the magazines are different as well.

Again, if anyone has any information on this receiver (bottom one) please let me know.



James K
March 3, 2009, 11:34 PM
The trigger guard was probably attached to the stock at the back, which is why there is no obvious attachment place on the receiver. If/when you decide to use it to build a rifle, I am sure a competent gunsmith can fashion a good looking trigger guard, perhaps from a shotgun guard.

Unfortunately, time may have caught up with your grandfather. Obviously, the barrels were removed from all those recievers and one re-barrelled in .270. The set trigger receiver was probably from one of the many thousands of civilian sporting rifles seized by Allied troops; many were destroyed, by burning or running over them with tanks, but GIs often were allowed to pick out guns before the destruction. Parts were also salvaged by GIs.


March 4, 2009, 10:31 AM
The upper receiver is a military Mauser 98, with the thumb notch in the left receiver wall.

The lower receiver is a commercial Mauser 98 receiver (1898-1946) that was made w/o the thumb notch [EDIT: NOT ! Sorry, and thanks, Jim ! I musta been half asleep, this morning, 'cause I can sure see the notch on both now ! :o ] , with Mauser factory double-set triggers installed and a hinged floorplate w/release lever.

Mauser used the commercial receivers on their factory Soprting Rifles/Carbines, in a variety of "Modells" (A/B/C/M/etc) - although most do not have a military-type bolt knob like yours.[EDIT: DOH !]
The missing TG was most likely horn, as posted above, since they were very fragile and not likely to survive.

Replacement horn guards are available ( http://www.newenglandcustomgun.com/index.html?Triggers.htm~maindeal ), or a double-shotgun style TG can be used instead, as posted above (also available from NECG).
The horn was preferred, because it wouldn't get cold (like metal) during Winter hunts.



March 4, 2009, 11:35 AM
Very neat thread.

If you do a custom, please share the process with photos. That's gonna make one humdinger.

James K
March 4, 2009, 11:36 AM
Both receivers have the thumb notch. While sporters were made with the thumb notch and the military style bolt knob, I suspect that one was originally a military rifle that was sporterized, possibly in Germany, and the set trigger system added.

Even original sporters made on Mauser civilian actions were not all made by Mauser. Those actions were sold by Mauser to other companies in Gemany and all over the world. British gun makers, including Holland & Holland, Rigby, and Purdey, used Mauser factory actions. Hundreds of makers used Mauser actions made by other manufacturers, like FN, Zastava, and CZ. And literally millions of sporters, with quality ranging from superb to junk, were made from Mauser military rifles and actions.


March 4, 2009, 12:05 PM
These two receivers were definitely assembled from parts of many rifles.

When taking these pictures, I noticed that the serial number parts on the bolt don't match the whole serial number on the receiver and those don't match the serial numbers on the magazine.

My Mauser 98 rifle and my .270 built on a Mauser 98 receiver each sport the same serial numbers, or parts of the same serial number on each receiver.
In other words, one receiver, bolt, floor plate, screw heads will all have serial numbers or parts of serial numbers that match each other.

Very neat thread.
If you do a custom, please share the process with photos. That's gonna make one humdinger.

Fisherman, I'm taking them to a gunsmith tomorrow to start discussing barrel, stock, trigger guard and figuring out what tweaks I can afford right now and what I can live without.

My plan is a .308 WIN built on the set trigger receiver, composite stock, Harris Bipod and topped with a Leupold Mark 2 sometime this year.

More questions:

1. These parts are all engraved with the Eagle and Swastika.
Was that something that was done on National level or was it done on military arms only?

2. What is the thumb notch?
Is that the little notch cut below the center line of the bolt on the left side?
What is it for?

Thanks again!

March 4, 2009, 12:11 PM
My plan is a .308 WIN built on the set trigger receiver, composite stock, Harris Bipod and topped with a Leupold Mark 2 sometime this year.

I'm a fan of the .308; but not for a classic Mauser. Fill up that mag well with 7x57, 8x57, 35 Whelen or even the 30-06. Bi-pod???? Composite??? what are you thinking? This might be a legacy action. Don't ruin it by going "modern".

Nice wood and a VX-III 1.5-6x20, VX-II 2-7x33 or even a peep is the ticket!


March 4, 2009, 12:22 PM

Well, I already have an 8mm Mauser in it's original setup.
Actually it looks like it was plucked right off the battlefield and was owned by a private.

I have a nicely done .270 WIN with the wood stock, Lyman sights and Flagis (sp?) barrel.

The other receiver (single trigger) will probably be built in the classic style with open sights or a VXIII, VXII scope.

I wanted this one set up as a bench rest shooter because of the set trigger.
Also, because of all the runs on ammo these days, I'm trying to stick to the calibers I already own so that my rifles can all "share" bullets.

March 4, 2009, 12:28 PM
Benchrest triggers are a dime a dozen. A Teutonic set trigger on the other hand...

Oh well, I tried. Best of luck with your build. I hope it provides you with every bit of a benchrester as you are hoping for.:)

March 4, 2009, 02:11 PM
2. What is the thumb notch? Is that the little notch cut below the center line of the bolt on the left side? - Yes

What is it for? - Clearance for the shooter's thumb, when pushing down a clip-full of ammo, out of it's stripper clip, into the magazine - a wartime speedloading. The clip lower end fits in the eared slot in the leading edge of the rear receiver ring.

BTW - I can see the doors clearly now (to my nursing home) ;) (Thanks, JK)


March 5, 2009, 06:42 PM

Well I dropped the receiver off today.

Still going with .308 WIN.

Decided on a wood stock.

Changed my mind from the Leupold Mark 2 scope to a Nikon Buckmaster.

I'll post pics when it's all done.

March 5, 2009, 10:30 PM
I look forward to seeing it when it's complete.;)

March 8, 2009, 12:45 AM
Complete surprise today.
The Gunsmith sent three pictures of his progress to my cell phone.

He had pulled the trigger guard off of an old double-barrel shotgun and we discussed ideas for reforming it to fit on my rifle.
Today when I received these pictures, I called and talked to him and he said the trigger guard we discussed doesn't give enough room for the set trigger so he grabbed a piece of bar stock and started forming and shaping one from scratch.
Here is where he is at so far:




March 11, 2009, 12:53 PM
Got more pictures from the gunsmith today!

A couple of shots of the bolt handle after it was forged and the new safety.



Looks like my barrel came in too.

March 11, 2009, 12:57 PM
It's coming along. Keep the updates roll in.

March 13, 2009, 12:36 PM
More pics from the gunsmith!

Receiver, barrel, triggers and trigger guard mounted in the stock.

Larger shot of everything put together.

I think all that is left is finishing the stock, reaming the chamber, bluing the barrel and action and then sticking the scope on and zeroing it.

March 13, 2009, 12:55 PM
What's the taper on the barrel? It looks to have no taper, but the shadows may be playing games with the view's eyes. That walnut looks to have some very nice figure in it. I look forward to seeing some more detailed pictures.

March 13, 2009, 01:00 PM
The barrel is a #5 profile, if that means anything to you.
That is .0700" at the muzzle.

I originally wanted the #6 profile which is .750" at the muzzle but Shilen didn't offer the 1:10 twist in .308 WIN in the #6 profile.
At least it wasn't available in the catalog we used.

The #5 was just a shade under and I was ok with that.

The stock is going to be done in a satin finish and all the bluing will be a matte style.

I'm getting antsy here!

March 19, 2009, 03:40 PM
More pictures today!
My gunsmith sent these pictures and then called to let me know it's done and ready to pick up.
The complete build only took him 14 days!

It's finished!!!

All it needs is the scope rings and scope attached.

I'll post some higher resolution pictures this weekend or next week.

March 22, 2009, 01:36 PM
Here she is!!!



Nikon Buckmaster scope, 4.5 - 14 x 40 mm with Mil Dot reticle.

Close up of the 15 degree barrel crown. http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii260/Fox1Hoodlum/Mauser%2098/IMG_7293.jpg


March 22, 2009, 01:38 PM
More Pictures

2-position safety that curves around the scope.

Forged bolt handle that curves around the scope.

Close up of the set triggers with tension adjustment screw.


Drop floor plate.

Floated barrel.

March 22, 2009, 01:40 PM
Very nice! That's not a rust blue finish is it? Is that ceracoat? Have you shot it yet?

March 22, 2009, 01:47 PM

Very nice! That's not a rust blue finish is it? Is that ceracoat? Have you shot it yet?


Don't know and don't know.

I have fired it.

8 rounds into a dirt backstop.

Mostly just to get a feel for it and work the triggers a bit.

Shooting with just the front trigger is way too hard.
Just too much pull.

The hair trigger was adjusted way too light. (By me)
I was taught that your shot should surprise you a bit; this one shocked the hell out of me. My brain was processing "feel for the trigger" and the very second my finger made contact, it was firing. I tightened it up a bit and had a friend help me boresight it. I was going to go out and shoot some today but it might rain.
I just don't want to get a brand spanking new rifle wet already.

March 22, 2009, 02:13 PM
It turned out very well and I think the walnut looks fantastic.

I've been mulling over a single set trigger for some time. I've a friend who put one in a Ruger #1 and he said the same thing...by the time the finger finds the trigger it has already fired...SURPRISE BREAK!

I would use the standard non-set position for hunting and the set trigger for novelty, but it's hard to justify $300 for a novelty and may end up with a run of the mill trigger job, but with it breaking at 4 lbs I am not even sure I need anything at all for a hunting rig.

Thanks for sharing the build process and I look forward a detailed range report.

March 22, 2009, 07:38 PM
Well I took it out in about 25 mph winds today; fortunately it was a tail wind.

Normally I would shoot at 25 yards, just to get to paper, then back up to 50 yards, keep it on paper, then out to 100 yards and zero it. Today I was shooting to "zero" and to mess with the hair trigger adjustment.

I don't have a good rest and our range just has a few old inner tubes filled with sand so, between the lack of good sandbags and the wind, I was moving around the target a bit. (Who cares? I was still shooting!)

After I got the scope dialed in a bit and got the hair trigger tightened up some, it was shooting more like I had envisioned when I started this project.
Today, after setting the set trigger, I can actually put my finger on the hair trigger and know I'm on it without actually shooting. This rifle is a dream to shoot! Once I have my sight picture, slow my breathing, touch the trigger, stop breathing and just barely squeeze, I've got a shot.
It will probably take me a little longer to get it zeroed at 100 yds. but I don't mind a bit because this rifle is just fun to shoot, and that's what it's all about.

March 28, 2009, 08:12 PM
Cool rifle, I like the double barrel receiver lever used on the floorplate.

March 28, 2009, 09:12 PM
Good luck with the gun,it's a great looking firearm.I enjoyed the step by step photo's.
I always admired people who can start with nothing and build something from scratch.

July 8, 2009, 08:58 AM
Hey, I stumbled onto this thread via Google while looking for into on that Nikon scope - but DANG ! What a fancy rifle :) Nice job

July 8, 2009, 12:49 PM
The correct way to use the set trigger is to not put your trigger finger on the front of the trigger in the conventional manner. Rather, place your index finger on the SIDE of the trigger after it has been set. That way the slightest twitch fires the gun while the sights are in perfect alignment. I used to have an 8mm Mauser with a set trigger set at 6 oz. It was a lot of fun, but I stupidly let it get away.

roberto mervicini
February 14, 2010, 03:51 PM
Hi, congratulation on your new sporter with double set trigger.
I really like this system, I own several rifles and 3 are with double set trigger: .300win.mag. build on a mauser 98 comercial action, . 308win. build on a yugo mauser action, and 8mm mauser vintage sporter.
I find that they are great to shoot with accuracy since once set with the rear trigger the front one could be set to fire at minimal pressure, as little as few oz.
ONE WORD OF CAUTION: once you set the rear trigger, if you do not fire with the front one and you decide to open the bolt and remove the cartridge from the chamber YOUR SETTING MECANISM IS STILL ARM AND IT REMAIN ARM UNTILL THE FRONT TRIGGER IS PULL. So if you set the trigger and for wathever reason you do not take the shot, once the rifle is unloaded always disingage the setting by pulling the front trigger. This could be done with the bolt open or without the bolt in the rifle.

James K
February 14, 2010, 09:51 PM
FWIW, the German WWII military acceptance stamp puts paid to speculation about a possible Mauser sporter.


February 14, 2010, 10:22 PM
Jim Keenan

FWIW, the German WWII military acceptance stamp puts paid to speculation about a possible Mauser sporter.


Jim, what do you mean about "paid to speculation" about it being a sporter?

February 15, 2010, 09:30 AM
Set triggers weather double set or single set, as on the Ruger, are the tool of the precision rifleman. Having to find the trigger after setting it is not in the best form in shooting. It shows that you don't know what your doing or your rifle.

I have a Ruger No1 V with a single set trigger and it works flawlessly, just as it was designed to. But I shoot varmint rifles and my heavy trigger is 1 1/2 to 2 pounds. many are set to less than one pound. If you learn to shoot a light trigger your shooting will improve greatly. The lighter triggerpull allows you to concentrate on the target and bullet placement.

A four pound trigger is OK if it breaks like a piece of glass with no creep in it.