View Full Version : need Mauser info

January 28, 2001, 01:12 PM
I am new to the Mauser collecting hobby so have patience with my "rookie" questions.
I recently purchased a Mauser at a gun show but I'm not sure of the history of this particular gun. It says.....Modelo 1912-61 nato on the top, on the side it says.....waffenfabrik Steyr Austria .It has a 4 digit serial no. (that matches the stock but not the bolt ) The guy I bought it off of said it was rebareled to 308 win. in the 60's (The 61 nato stamping on top of the reciever) It has a straight bolt & 2 stage trigger. The bore is nice and a 308 no-go gauge did not close in it.I found some info on Mausers in some of my old coppies of the American Rifleman (yes I'm a NRA member) but no mention of the 1912.
Was this gun made in 1912 or is that just the model no. or both?
If I want to sporterize a Mauser 98 which ones are the best to start out with,what do I want to stay away from ?
Is there a better source of supplies / accessories than the gun parts corp. (numrich arms ) ?
What book(s) can I buy for more info ?

James K
January 29, 2001, 11:17 PM
The Modello 1912 was the designation applied by the using nation, so it is not a Mauser model designation, which is why you could not find it in the books. Since you don't say which country it came from, I am not sure if it is an 1898 action or not. If it cocks on opening and has a safety lug under the bolt, it is an 1898 action and a good place to start for a sporter. Steyr made excellent rifles.

Unless you want to stick with the original caliber or something in the same pressure range, avoid the pre-1898 (cock on closing) Mausers. Some of these were also converted to .308 (7.62 NATO), but are not as strong as they should be for that round.

Brownells (www.brownells.com) is a good place to start for sporterizing parts and accessories.



January 29, 2001, 11:47 PM
What you were told is true. Chile originally bought its rifles from DWM Berlin, Model 95 Mausers, but when they wanted to order more, but in the newer Model 98 Mauser, they gave the contract to Steyer in Austria. I don't know the whys about that contract, just that it was done. These are very nice rifles.
Before WWI, most Mausers were identified by the year the contract was signed, i.e. 1903 (Turks), 1908 (Brazilians), 1909 (Argentines) and 1912 (Chileans). All of these governments and many more were buying Mausers at this time and their arms were identified by the year the contract started, even though they kept buying more for many years. The different countries had little differences in the hardware on their rifles, but they were always buying the current Mauser model, the Model 98 in these cases.
All of these contracts terminated (if purchaces were still being made) on the outbreak of WW1 in August of 1914. Olsen, in his book (see below), says that many Chilean Model 1912's were still in Austria in 1914, along with a big supply of parts, and that the last of these rifles were bought by the Austrian Government and issued to their own troops.
After WWI, Germany was forbidden by treaty from engaging in the international arms trade and the Masuer making busines was taken over by the Belgians (FN) and the Czechs (CZ). These companies tended to have a basic Model named after the year of its introduction (FN1924 & 1935 or VZ24) that they sold to all the countries under that model name.
The Czech VZ24's that are on the market right now cheap are excellently made, high quality, pre WWII actions great for building a sporter. The Turks, also on the market, are by many different manufacturer's, tend to be more beat and have been more heavily refinished with very deep Turkish imprints that you probably don't want to see in a sporter. The Czech VZ24's will probably be easier for your gunsmith to work with.
There are also various models of Yugoslav Mausers being sold right know. I don't know them as well, so will leave them to others.
Good books on Mausers are Ball's "Masuer Military Rifles of the World", Olsen's "Mauser Bolt Rifles", Law's "Backbone of the Wehrmacht", Kehaya and Poyer's "The Swedish Mausr Rifles". Jerry Kuhnhausen's "The Masuer Bolt Actions: A Shop Manual" is a must if you are interested in the gunsmithing of these rifles.
I buy most parts at local gun shows, so I don't know who is the best mail order or internet outfit.

January 30, 2001, 05:14 PM
Thanks a-lot guys I appreciate the info,maybe I can help you some day. BLUE HORNET