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Old June 11, 2009, 04:22 PM   #1
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How to determine make of gun by serial number

I have a bolt action rifle with a hinged floorplate in a 308Win. All that is stamped on the rifle is 308 WIN and the serial number. Is there a place I can go on the internet to find the manufacturer?

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Old June 11, 2009, 04:25 PM   #2
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Old June 11, 2009, 06:20 PM   #3
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Well, the most likely origin of such a rifle is one made by a gunsmith after World War II using a captured Mauser 98 action and an after market barrel blank.

My old gunsmith in Pennsylvania sent back several hundred Mauser actions during the war and made a nice living for years converting them into semi-custom rifles.

Do you have a good, clear picture of the gun that you can post?
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Old June 19, 2009, 11:11 AM   #4
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Here are some pictures of the rifle.

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Old June 20, 2009, 01:20 PM   #5
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Mauser action

Looks like a 95 Mauser

Most likely there will be markings on the reciever ring, underneath the front scope base. If so, they would go a long way tio identifying the rifle.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old June 20, 2009, 01:26 PM   #6
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Old June 20, 2009, 06:53 PM   #7
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Does look like a Model 1895 Mauser converted to a sporter.

Without some type of identifying marks, there's simply no way to identify WHO rebuilt it.
A good Mauser expert could examine it and help identify what the original model was and for what country it was originally made.

As for the person who converted it, some top custom gunsmiths marked their conversions on the barrel, but many, including home gunsmiths didn't mark them at all.
Based on the wood-to-metal fit, this was a rather crude home conversion using the original military stock, which was simply cut down to a sporter type.

Simply based on a serial number, there is no way to identify a gun.
First, because most gun makers used the same system of serial numbers. You'll find guns made by Colt, S&W, Winchester, Mauser, Walther and almost every other gun maker with the same number.
Second, some custom gunsmiths stamped their own serial numbers on guns, and those records, if they even bothered to keep them at all, are long lost.

So, it's possible to ID the original model the rifle was when it was made for some countries military, but identifying who converted into a sporter is impossible.
Best guess, some home gunsmith. There are literally millions of these type of home converted old military rifles around. Quality ranges from magnificent custom rifles worth big money, to these rather crudely done versions.

Last edited by Dfariswheel; June 20, 2009 at 07:00 PM.
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