View Full Version : Swedish Mauser safety issues. (M-96)

May 6, 2010, 07:09 AM
My shop has recently acquired a Swedish Mauser. The firearm seems to be in wonderful shape. It has already been sporterized (a shame I know, but not my doing), and no, its not a Kimber Mod. I have dealt with almost all varieties of Mausers; from the good ol' 98s to VZ-24s from Czechoslovakian to German to Spanish, and this is the first time I have ran into these issues. This is also the first Swedish Mauser I have had in the shop. The safety can not be turned on or off when the firearm is cocked. And when the bolt is released the plunger drops. I have never seen this happen with any of the other Mauser rifles, which leads me to believe that it is an issue. I test fire every used weapon that comes into my shop so that I can avoid the nasty repercussions of someone getting a faulty firearm. However, I am not a smithy; just a firearm enthusiast/salesman. I do not feel comfortable test firing this rifle without first getting some input, nor can I sell it in good conscience. So, my firing line friends, any input or advice would be very much appreciated.

May 6, 2010, 10:07 AM
And when the bolt is released the plunger drops.

I have no idea what you are asking. "The Plunger" What is that?

Are you saying that when a cocked bolt is opened the firing pin falls?

Maybe you have an aftermarket trigger and the sear engagement is insufficient.

May 6, 2010, 01:39 PM
Yes, that's what I'm saying. The trigger is original, all parts match with the exception of the stock. That is why it is a confusing predicament. I've tried bolts from other Mausers and they all seem to work fine. My issue is that I want to keep the numbers matching. I could simply replace the bolt, but, that would be robbing Peter to pay Paul. I acquired this firearm for next to nothing on a trade. I have more money invested in my other sporterized Mausers. So, if I can get this issue resolved I stand to be able to sell the firearm at a low price and still keep profit margin where it needs to be.

May 6, 2010, 09:20 PM
I wonder if perhaps someone installed a cock on opening conversion improperly?
The Swedes normally cock on the forward stroke of the bolt but someone marketed a kit to reverse things and make it work like a M98.

May 6, 2010, 09:27 PM
A fairly common problem with surplus Mauser's is caused by wear of parts or replacement of parts.

In this case, the probable problem is worn or replaced cocking piece or sear "box".
In these Mauser's if the cocking piece, (the plunger at the rear of the bolt) or the actual sear in the trigger assembly is worn or has been replaced with parts that don't fit correctly, the safety may be hard or impossible to apply, and the action may not stay cocked if the safety is turned off.

What's happening is that the worn or replaced parts are allowing the cocking piece to sit too far forward.
Since the safety has to pass between the cocking piece and the bolt shroud, if the cocking piece is too far forward, the safety can't fit between or may be very hard to apply.
With the assembly too far forward, when the safety is turned off, the firing pin sometimes falls.

Look at the safety as you attempt to turn it on safe.
As the safety starts to turn, the cam area on it will move between the front of the cocking piece and the bolt shroud.
If the assembly is worn or mis-fit, the safety will touch the top of the cocking piece and can't force it back enough to go on safe.

Here's an exploded view of a Mauser. This is a commercial 98 model, but the actions are very similar:


The "plunger" or cocking piece is part number 1.
The safety is part number 2.
The bolt shroud is part number 3.
The sear or sear "box" is part number 20.

You probable problem is a worn or misfit of the cocking piece or sear box or both.

May 6, 2010, 09:32 PM
I may be mistaken, but I seem to recall that a similar malfunction can be created by improper reassembly.

James K
May 6, 2010, 10:09 PM
The condition is called sear reset failure and is VERY dangerous. Please do not fire that rifle or allow it to be sold until a gunsmith can fix it.

I will add to what Dfariswheel said by noting that in the vast majority of those cases, the condition is not caused by either wear or parts replacement; it is caused by someone determined to stone, file and grind in an attempt to "improve" the trigger pull. When he finds that he has made the gun dangerous he doesn't spend money to fix it, he trades it off so some poor sucker will get sued when the gun blows someone's head off.


May 6, 2010, 11:52 PM
IIRC, the safety should cam the striker back...if its not doing that its a problem too

WildrunstocockaswedeAlaska TM

May 7, 2010, 07:57 AM
Jim and Dfararis may be onto something here. However, after a close breakdown and examination there seems to be no problem with the cocking piece being too far forward. Also, I can see no tool marks that would lead me to believe that a blind monkey with a dremmel tool tried to work on the trigger pull. I got ballsy enough yesterday evening to clamp it down to the sled and use a remote trigger (Takes real cohenes to use a remote trigger huh?:rolleyes:) Everything seems to work fine when it comes to firing the gun. It fired smoothly and properly cycled the next round. Now, don't panic, I'm still not ready to put it on the shelf just yet. There is still a problem with the safety. I'm satisfied that the gun is in good "firing" condition. But, the safety issues are of too much concern to sell it just yet. There is something not right about a firearm that you can not put the safety on while cocked. There seems to be no way to use the safety on this gun; while cocked the safety wont budge, with the safety on the bolt won't budge. The bolt sleeve seems to be sitting too far back. However, when its not cocked the safety does cam the cocking piece.

May 7, 2010, 08:46 AM
The bolt isn't supposed to move when a Mauser safety is on all the way, they usually come with a 3-position safety. Left, bolt is locked, up, bolt moves but the firing pin is secured, right safety off.

mega twin
May 7, 2010, 11:05 AM
Swapping bolts is not a good idea either.
You would have to have it checked for headspace,and if out a lot,it would be cheaper for a gunsmith to repair the problem you have,than to set the barrel back and rechamber. IMO

May 7, 2010, 11:59 AM
Let me see if I understand:
1- When the bolt is cocked, the safety does not go on. This is an issue.
a- Is the bolt closing all the way? If not, the safety will not work. BTW, on Mausers, when the safety is to the left, the gun is ready to fire; up is safe/bolt can be operated; safety to the right, safety on, bolt locked.
b- Do the numbers on the safety lever match the rest of the gun? If not, the safety lever may have been replaced, and may need to be fitted.
2- When the bolt is released, the "plunger" drops. Hmmmm, let's see. Does this mean that when the bolt is closed, the striker falls off the sear? Or does it mean that when the action is opened the striker drops? The first one is an issue, the second is entirely normal for a "cock-on-close" action.

Either way, if the safety will not go on, it's time for a trip to the gunsmith, and you could have him check out the other issue as well.

May 7, 2010, 01:01 PM
Chances are the bolt shroud is turned out one turn. Someone was playing with the bolt and put the safety on (up and down) turned the boltshroud out one turn.

James K
May 7, 2010, 02:21 PM
I think Jaguarxk120 may have the answer.

To check, cock the rifle, pull the cocking piece (the part that is checkered on top) back until the safety can be put in the middle position. Remove the bolt and then turn the bolt sleeve (the part the safety is attached to) all the way in. Install the bolt and see if things work.


May 7, 2010, 02:58 PM
You nailed it Jaguar! That hadn't even occurred to me (duh). We have a guy that comes and "helps out" in the shop (aka messes with stuff) he is the one who pointed the issue out after taking the bolt out to "see how it works". Seems as if he removed the bolt and played with it and didn't tell me he had. Otherwise I probably would have thought about that. But thanks again! Problem resolved, inexpensive Swedish m-96 6.5 back on the shelf! Thanks for the help fellas! As usual, Jim, you seem to know your schtick!

May 8, 2010, 12:38 AM
Chances are the bolt shroud is turned out one turn.Yup, that's what I was trying to remember. It's been a lot of years since I've had an M96 bolt apart. :o

May 10, 2010, 07:00 AM
Thanks John. I co-own the shop with my father and uncle. My uncle has a Mauser "affliction". The vast majority of my experience lies with tactical weapons - I was private security contractor for a long time- it has always been about CQC. I'm also well versed in the art of shotguns, both for competition and wing-shooting. But I'm having to learn about the old bolt action guns. So ya'll (yep I'm a southern boy) really helped me out here. I didn't have to swallow my pride and make the phone call: "um what do I need to do here." Although I would have. I certainly appreciate the help so that I can avoid the ribbing :D. TFL is, as always, an invaluable resource. Thanks to you all.

May 10, 2010, 10:16 PM
I can tell you one thing I DO remember clearly from taking the bolt apart. Keep the chamber end of the bolt pointed AWAY from you at all times.

At one point in the disassembly the bolt jumped in my hand and when I looked to see what had happened the entire striker assembly was sticking out of the wall like a spear. It embedded a good 2 inches into the wall. I was very happy that it wasn't pointed at me when it let go.

James K
May 11, 2010, 08:44 PM
Just FWIW, that is the reason Mauser put a bolt sleeve lock on the Model 1898 and Springfield put one (of a different design) on the Model 1903. The American designers had never seen a 98 Mauser, but they also recognized the problem of a bolt sleeve coming unscrewed accidentally and corrected it. So with those guns, the bolt sleeve can still be unscrewed, but at least it has to be done deliberately.


November 25, 2011, 12:31 AM
Thanks Jaguarxk120 and James K - I could smooch you both on the lips (but don't worry, I won't) - I had the same problem (first time I've disassembled an M96 bolt), just needed another turn on the bolt sleeve. thanks again.

Live by faith, or die by the flesh.

August 25, 2012, 12:33 PM
The thread that keeps on giving....

I had the same issue with my 'new' M96. When I googled 'Swedish Mauser safety', this thread showed up near the top. I pulled the bolt per James K's instructions, screwed the bolt sleeve in, and she's good to go. Thanks, James K and jaguarxk120. And thanks to highcaliberprovider for having the good sense to recognize the problem originally, and post his question.

I bought my rifle from a shop that keeps milsurps out on the floor so potential customers can handle them, and I guess it got handled one time too many.

August 25, 2012, 09:41 PM
Most swedish mausers Ive come in contact with (I own one) cock on closing whereas all others cock on opening. I dont know if you have significant wear somewhere allowing the firing pin to release or some mechanical missalignment. You need the services of a qualified gunsmith.take care............................LOUD

April 14, 2013, 01:57 PM
Hi, I read this thread yesterday and did not reply as was still stumped on the problem I was having. I had recently replaced the firing pin on my M96 and had heatted and bent the bolt handles as I have done on several other Mausers in the past. Well, this time I was having issues with not being able to set the safety nor fire the action and it seemed that the bolt shroud was either too far forward or too far back and the problems described above were constant. I fiddled around for two days, even trying the old broken firing pin and last night after reading this thread just figured my M96 was headed for the parts heap. This morning, howver, I tried again, this time with the trigger removed from the frame and immediately could see that the half moon recess in the bolt into which the male counterpart on the trigger fits was about 1/32" off center.....meaning that the bolt was rotating to the right fully........taga! The inside of the bolt handle was hitting the right side of the receiver too early! Solution found and just reheated the bolt and bent it outwards slightly and all is resolved.....the safety works properly and the trigger function perfectly now......it is good news after expecting the worst and having raw fingers from all the assembling and dissassembling. I hope this helps and saves some frustration for other M96 users. It will now get fitted with a nrew laminate stock as well as a low-profile safety and Scope bases........best wishes to all and thanks to the above for triggering a second look at what should have been obvious!......karl