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Old July 25, 2014, 07:50 AM   #1
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Herstal- belgique rifle

I got this rifle from grandpa years ago,but I don't know what caliber it is.
It is a bolt action and the only markings it has are.FAB.NAT.D'ARMES DE GUERE
HERSTAL BELGIQUE.The only number on the rifle is 67990, but I am guessing it is the serial no.On the breach it has a royal crown and the letter L.It also has adjustable sites. Can anyone help me on what caliber it is?
Thanks George
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Old July 25, 2014, 07:54 AM   #2
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Sounds like a Mauser to me. Can you take a picture of it for us?
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Old July 25, 2014, 07:59 AM   #3
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I'll take some pictures and post them
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Old July 25, 2014, 09:12 AM   #4
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It's an FN action made in Belgium, it should be a Mauser action. Now the question is, commercial or military action? I'm betting military just based off the description. More than likely if military it's 8x57 or commonly Caledonia 8 mm Mauser.

However, if there isn't a chamber stamped on the barrel take it to a gunsmith and ask him to do a chamber cast to be safe. That way you know for sure what it is, and if it should be safe to shoot.
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Old July 25, 2014, 09:32 AM   #5
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As a guess, it seems to have some characteristics in common with an FN produced Belgian Model 1950, and the "L" would stand for King Leopold. But, in order for it to be a military piece, it needs a date (1951 or 1952) and "ABL" somewhere on the receiver.

1950s, IIRC, are chambered for .30-06.
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Old July 26, 2014, 10:36 AM   #6
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Is the "L" cursive? Is there a six-sided figure with a small "c" stamped on the barrel, receiver, and bolt? If so then it sounds like you have a model 1935 short rifle. It is a typical model 98 action but is likely chambered in 7.65x53. I get this info out of the book Mauser Military Rifles of the World.
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Old July 26, 2014, 04:31 PM   #7
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Yes the L is cursive and the left side of the barrel receiver it has 4 markings.
The first one looks like it is a six sided figure with a c, then it has a oval shape mark, with what looks like to me like the letters DGB then it has a mark like this *>, then it has another oval shape mark with a crown on top and what looks like to be a letter L or I. Now there seems to be 2 more letters inside this oval shape ,but i can not make them out All this markings are in line.And on the bottom of all this markings, it has the number 67990.Also on the bottom of the sight it has a circle with a letter A in it and the six sided figure with the c.
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Old July 27, 2014, 12:01 AM   #8
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Any pictures yet?
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Old July 27, 2014, 02:59 PM   #9
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You'll need more than the calibre, but that'll do for a start. Quick check is to use a vernier calipre to measure the inside diameter of the muzzle across the grooves of the rifling.
Better to slug the barrel though. Hammer a cast .30 calibre bullet or suitably sized lead fishing sinker though the barrel with a 1/4" brass rod and a plastic mallet, preferably from the chamber end, then measure with a micrometer or vernier. That will give you the calibre, but not the actual cartridge.
FN(Fabrique Nationale) Mausers, that we're all assuming and most likely is, came in multiple chamberings. Some, like the .308 and .30-06, use the same bullet diameter.
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Old August 3, 2014, 08:46 PM   #10
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Herstal - belgique rifle

I posted about the Herstal Belgique rifle. Here are the pictures you asked for.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg gun3.jpg (15.5 KB, 102 views)
File Type: jpg gun1.jpg (33.4 KB, 97 views)
File Type: jpg gun2.jpg (16.2 KB, 84 views)
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Old August 3, 2014, 10:25 PM   #11
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It looks like the bolt stop has a clip retainer, which would indicate an Argentine model; if so, the original caliber would have been 7.65x53 (aka 7.65x54). Many were converted to .30-'06, though, so a chamber cast would be in order.

Are there no markings on the top of the receiver ring?

Jim K
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Old August 17, 2014, 08:21 PM   #12
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the 7.65x53(54) originated in Belgium in the model 1889 Mauser and was then adopted by Argentina in 1891.
I am not sure however if that caliber carried over to the model 98 Belgian mauser or they went to the 7x57mm or 8x57mm mauser.
Requires more research on my part.
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Old August 19, 2014, 08:27 AM   #13
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Argentina stayed with the 7.65 through the 1909 Mauser, so they are quite common. Doubt they had a Belgian crest, though.
Might be a 1924 or 24/30 Belgian. I think the standard 1950 Belgian .30-06 was a carbine, this looks like a cut down rifle.

As James K said, a lot were rechambered to .30-06 on the assumption that Americans were not good enough shots to tell the difference of a .003" undersize bullet.
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Old August 20, 2014, 08:08 PM   #14
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It's been sporterized, hard to tell what it started out as, other than a large ring Mauser 98, the others' guesses are as good as any, but the Royal crown with the letter L is Belgian Military Contract... The army contract was finished in baked black enamel, the Navy grey phosphate. Original chambering was 30.06

By the way, the front band is on upside down.

Look like this?..... FN M1951 Belgian Contract Rifle... This particular one is for their Navy.

Last edited by trigger643; August 20, 2014 at 08:26 PM.
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