View Full Version : Why are 8mm Mausers preferred over LEs?

Ignition Override
December 30, 2009, 12:58 AM
Being still a late-starter with guns, and a solid fan of #4 and #5 LEs, what is it about Mausers that has so much appeal?

Are "rc" German Mausers preferred over Yugos/Turks etc, IF historical and other subjective factors can be excluded?

December 30, 2009, 01:20 AM
I prefer my LE, had several mausers but still like the good ol' LE

December 30, 2009, 08:06 AM
Who says they are?

The SMLE action is probably the fastest-to-operate turnbolt MBR extant. As a milsurp collector, the SMLE is far more fun to shoot than a Mauser. In military trim, it is a very well balanced rifle as well and mounts very quickly as a result.

However, most of my SMLEs do not hold a candle to the bulk of my M98s when it comes to accuracy.

There are also other factors that may sway desirability. Because the SMLE headspaces on the cartridge rim, and most surplus SMLEs have long chambers, SMLEs have a reputation for being hard on brass, which would deter some reloaders. The Mauser headspaces on the cartridge shoulder, and the Mauser action does not stretch as much as the SMLE, so Mausers have a reputation for being easy on brass. Also, the bolt face on the Mauser covers a multitude of territory when it comes to cartridge selection, and, while the SMLE could be easier to accommodate different cartridges if there was an aftermarket source of the SMLE removable bolt head, no one is providing those bolt heads.

Another factor is the two piece SMLE stock and its protruding magazine. This tends to put off people who sporterize surplus rifles because it is a lot more work to make an SMLE visually appealing as a sporter than it is a Mauser. And there is a school of thought, that the non-rotating claw extractor on the Mauser is a most desirable feature.

One thing is for sure, you don't see near as many Mausers in some parts of the world as you do SMLEs, so in some sense, popularity is a geographical thing, primarily based on whether or not the country was a former British colony or a former German colony.

For me, I am happy with either one.

My favorite Mauser of all is the Czech Vz 24, both as a milsurp and as a base for sporterizing.

December 30, 2009, 10:49 AM
I don't know. I have one of each and like them about equally.

December 30, 2009, 10:55 AM
Ditto on all the above. I have a few of each that I shoot and enjoy regularly, but I do tend to grab the LEs more often. As to "history", I kinda think the RCs are lots more interesting than the Turks or Yugo M48s.

December 30, 2009, 11:27 AM
I own one Enfield and several mausers in different calibers and I enjoy shooting both equally although some of my mausers are more accurate than my Enfield.I only own one Enfield as of now though so I cant say if this would apply to all rifles.

As to whether or not RC's are preferred over other mausers it depends on your collecting interests.In regards to your question though, with historical and other factors excluded I would have to go for another rifle if youre looking for a fun accurate shooter.While its true that many RC's can be accurate shooters (this includes my own RC k98) some of them have not so great bores.So if youre looking for a cheap fun shooter the Yugos are what I would recommend since most of them seem to be in better shape than some of the RC's Ive seen.

I also wouldnt leave out the Turkish rifles since they are capable of great accuracy if the bores are good.Just examine the bore before buying one since many of these are well used.

In the end it all comes down to what youre looking to do with the rifle I suppose.Collecting? Shooting? Hunting? All of the above?

Just my .02

December 30, 2009, 01:38 PM
Gosh, there are fanatical fans of both rifles.
I have both Enfields and Mausers. My #4 Mk1's are popular with me because they are so accurate. I like the smooth actions on my Mausers, but except for my Czech M98/22's, they are not quite as accurate as my Enfield #4's.
As far as different mausers are concerned, I like the history of the RC K98k's but they as well as the Yugo's tend to be 3-4 MOA rifles. If you want accuracy in a Mausers, you need to look into the Swedes or the Czech M98/22's. These rifles generally get under 2 MOA. My Turk mausers are cheap but generally perform as well as any other mauser.
My only regret is that I didn't buy more 8mm and .303 when it was cheap.
If I am going to pay $1 per round, it is only going to be in my best rifles and probably only when I hunt. I'll plink with my .22's.

December 30, 2009, 01:54 PM
thats why i started loading for the both

Ignition Override
December 30, 2009, 02:56 PM

The title should have read "Why do so many people prefer 8mm Mausers?"

My only milsurps are a MN 44, a LE #4 and two #5s.
Also have a Savage .22, SKS and Mini 30.
The "Jungle Carbines" :) are my favorites. My next rifle will be a Garand during a personal visit to the Anniston CMP, but will look at Mausers in future gun shows for later plans.

December 30, 2009, 03:43 PM
I have always like the Mauser better.

As a rookie deer hunter, I borrowed my dad's Enfield, and missed a shot on a buck, broadside at 80 yards.
I blamed those peep sights, I prefer the Mauser style sights.

So, after that I got a Mauser and my deer hunting success went up to 100 percent, I have made over 60 kills with that Mauser.

I can't explain it, I have always preferred German-made stuff.

December 30, 2009, 04:15 PM
The title should have read "Why do so many people prefer 8mm Mausers?"
I hear ya.

Once you get into the Mauser world, you will find that there are substrata of Mauser cultists, like 6.5x55 Swede fans, 7x57 fans, Persian fans, etc. I guess the Mauser was the AK-47 of it's era. I have seen them all over South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Interestingly, I have seen quite a few No.1s and No. 4s in the Middle East as well.

If the balloon went up and I was standing in front of my safes and had to make a quick decision on a single bolt gun, I would feel comfortable with either the Mauser or the SMLE. I keep 100 rounds on stripper clips for each in its own bandoleer.

I know where there is a No. 5 for $300 in pretty decent shape, but I have not had the hand guard off of it to see if it has the scallops cut in the chamber area of the barrel. Money is tight right now, but I will probably not get another chance like this.

December 30, 2009, 05:51 PM
It has to do with what purpose civillian shooter are buying the gun for. The very attributes that make the Lee-Enfield arguably a better battle rifle also make it an inferior sporting rifle to the Mauser. First and foremost, the L-E's rear locking system, while plenty strong for .303 British, is an inherently weaker design than the frontal locking lugs of the Mauser. Because of this, a Mauser action makes a better platform for rechambering to high-pressure cartridges. Secondly, the flush fit 5-round magazine of the Mauser is more asthetically appealing to a sportsman and fits the hunting regulations of many jurisdictions better than the protruding 10-round magazine of the L-E. The socket-type stock of the L-E is less adaptable to differing stock designs than that of a Mauser. The rim-headspacing and oversize chamber of the L-E makes it less appealing to a handloader than the Mauser. Mausers were made in a much wider variety of configurations and calibers than the L-E thusly requiring less or no customization to fit the needs of many shooters. The oversize chamber of a L-E doesn't lend itself to the degree of accuracy that some Mausers are capable of (though most L-E's are more than battlefield accurate). Finally, of more recent development, 8mm Mauser surplus ammo is still widely available and relatively cheap wheras .303 Surplus is nearly non-existant and new-production ammo isn't all that cheap.

December 31, 2009, 01:08 AM

It could be the obvious. It is a superior and of a more
advanced design.

But the Enfield is competent, reliable, and proven.

Just like the M94 Winchester. But the M70 is superior and
a more advanced design.

But prejudice trumps all for individual preference, just
like tastes in women.



December 31, 2009, 03:25 AM
Americans tend to like Mausers because millions of them have been imported over the last century and more.
Enfields are less common and thus fewer people are familiar with them.

People like the things the know.

December 31, 2009, 12:52 PM
I agree with the above poster. It seems that lately 8mm's are are for sale everywhere and more people are familiar with them. As far as a difference between the different manufactures of 8mm's, there pretty much all made to the same specs. However, to fully explain why the 8mm appears to be more popular, you have to inject subjectivity into the discussion. Let's look at ergonomics and appearance. Pick up a Mauser and it looks and feels like a modern rifle. Pick up an Enfield, it loks and feels different, like something from a different era, and if you consider a Enfield No.1, many would consider it just plain ugly. With that being said, I own two Enfields, a No 1 and a No.4 and one RC Mauser. If I had to choose one of these to fight with, it would be the No.4

December 31, 2009, 01:25 PM
I think the mk 1s are so ugly they're cool looking; if I ever get an LE (hopefully I will) I want a Mk 1.

January 2, 2010, 08:16 PM
I am spoiled rotten. I have both.:D

But I like my Mosin Nagant M39 better.;)

Ignition Override
January 2, 2010, 09:02 PM
At today's Southaven MS (by Memphis) gun show there was an excellent bent bolt Yugo 48 (?) Mauser. Listed at $150 it easily sold by 1100. Very nice bore with original wood which looked new.
The guy at the same table might still have the good Turkish (German-built) Mauser with a very bright bore.
He also has a beautiful LE #4 Savage listed at $375. Too purty to shoot.

Two German guys I know tend to scoff at "British rifles", but after plinking today with one of them, this friend got interested in my LE #4 and offered me a low price for it. I should have told him "Du spinnst" = You are nuts.

That is an excellent video link.
It would be nice if it could be attached to about 50 million e-mails.

January 3, 2010, 12:52 AM
I personally like Enfields better, I cant afford to shoot mine much though

Ignition Override
January 3, 2010, 01:10 AM
If it's any consolation, I'm trying to figure out my first reloading equipment (Lee Ann. Kit), and how it would be assembled. But it is still in the box since the 25th.

January 3, 2010, 01:25 AM
I find it easier to get ammo for the k98 than .303. Most .303 surplus ammo is corrosive and there is a delay in some of the older stuff. I don't have any problems with vintage or surplus 8mm.

January 3, 2010, 02:11 AM
Personal preference, local history. It is a different story between South Africa and Australia. In the US one could ask why we prefer 30-06 1903's to 8mm Mausers....


January 3, 2010, 04:28 PM
Both are excellent rifles, when considered within the history of each weapon. They say the Germans brought a hunting rifle to WWII, the British brought a battle rifle, and the Americans brought Tommy guns....or something like that.

Ignition Override
January 4, 2010, 03:56 AM
"Roger that" kilimanjaro.
Do Mauser owners often want a "rc" German-built K 98 because of the classic looks and likely German origin for the various mismatched parts, or do they often want a Czech or Yugo which probably have bores and overall metal in better condition, apparently (mostly) with straight bolts for their first?

These Czechs/Yugos reportedly seem to be in better condition than most "rc"s.

Ignition Override
January 4, 2010, 03:57 AM
Pardon the double...don't know how to delete.

January 4, 2010, 11:33 PM
I have several Enfields and just two K98s.........one was a Norwegian surrender weapon now in .30-06 and the other a Russian capture, a 1940 make with quite a few matching parts and great appearance. I like both Mausers for the history behind them, although the condition of each is quite nice.

I did get a nice Turkish Mauser last month, it's a good rifle, but not quite the history lesson of the others. (It's part of the WWII collection because Turkey was wooed by both sides to enter the war, a lot of money and arms were spent and supplied to no avail.)

I'll try and get a good Czech or Yugo this year. There's still a lot of them out there and the Capture Mausers are about gone.

Ignition Override
January 5, 2010, 01:17 AM
And so the prices for Czechs and Yugos should be a good bit lower than a "RC" in similar condition, (even if the RC has no matching parts), mostly because there are many more of these east Euro rifles in the US than RCs?

There must be many more ways to compare various 8mm Mausers with each other, than various LEs.

For reloaders, are 7.92 mm bullets much harder to find than .311 LE bullets, or pricier?

:)Classicarms in NC now has Lee Enfield #4s, Czech Mausers and K-31s on their website.
Somebody with a quick $750-800 needs to order one of each.:cool:

F. Guffey
January 11, 2010, 08:47 AM


A. Cannon Doyle and Rudyard Kipling blamed skill and training for problems the British had in Africa, the British were using British rifles, their 'neighbors' were using Mausers, the British soldier in Africa would have traded the British rifles for their neighbor's rifle.

We went to Cuba with the 30/40 Krag, we would have traded the 30/40 Krag for the Mauser but that was not an option,

We spent 16 years developing a rifle for the next event, We basically went to war with a rifle the British developed starting in about 1906, everything would have worked out had they keep the 303 cartridge or developed a new powder for the .276, We built the P14 Enfield for the British and then used the same equipment to build the M1917, in WW1 the M1917 was the best thing that could have happened to us at the time, the British claim the Enfield is a Mauser design, they did not claim it was an Enfield Design.

Seems the Mauser preference started long before me, as for me, I have always had a choice when purchasing a rifle, Enfield? Mauser? There is just about nothing I can do with an Enfiled, with my self imposed limits there is nothing I can not do with a Mauser, beyond that there is the Enfield M1917, that should please most, the M1917 is a Mauser design British rifle adapter to the 30/06, a scaled up copy of the 7mm57.

F. Guffey

Ignition Override
January 12, 2010, 01:42 AM
Nice history briefing.
Am now a 'turncoat', bought my first Mauser at yesterday's gun show from a buddy who snagged it from a "carry-in"; nice Yugo 48A.

Lots of fun shooting but doubt it will cure the "LE Virus", only prolong the delirium. Both of these types make my (former) MN 44 seem like a tough but somewhat crude battle rifle.

Learned via a quick bulletin board response last night why the Mauser bolt did not close during my first attempt with such a rifle:confused:: the first round was stripped too slowly from the magazine, guided inwards by hand, and the next two rounds pushed by hand over the mag., straight into the chamber. Never saw this with the MNs or LE #4, #5s.

The extractor claw's critical "controlled round feed", Only from the magazine, also surprised three friends who are highly-experienced with rifles, but mostly other types.

January 12, 2010, 02:08 AM
They say the Germans brought a hunting rifle to WWII, the British brought a battle rifle, and the Americans brought Tommy guns....or something like that.

More like: The Germans brought a hunting rifle to WWII, the British brought a battle rifle, and the Americans brought everthing but the kitchen sink. They did however bring portable sinks...... just not the cast iron enamel coated kitchen model.

January 12, 2010, 02:39 AM
I'm faster with my 2A snap shooting at 25 yards, but both are fun to shoot. 8mm ammo's cheaper, so Mauser's the better deal. Somehow, "tossing" 196 grains feels better than 147 grains, but it's all in my mind. In an emergency, if I had to, I can group 11 rounds nicely with the LE 2A if I had to drop a crazy dude with an assult rifle 30 yards out...

January 12, 2010, 02:57 AM
Ahhhh Laufer = Ignitition Override .... ;)


Ignition Override
January 12, 2010, 02:59 PM
Tiki: Keep it cool man.
The KGB, Stasi and "Neighborhood Organizers" (Tovarichi=Kameraden) Senators Feinstein/Schumer etc may be reading.

These people are like British Police Commissioners: afraid of their own shadows and don't have the common sense to differentiate between criminals and law-abiding citizens.