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Old September 7, 2012, 08:25 PM   #1
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Mauser Help Please...

Hi guys,

I was just given a Swedish Mauser, M96, 1920, 6.65 x 55. I know nothing about them and I'm trying to learn very quickly. Any help is MUCH appreciated!

1) Why the heck did they have to number all the parts, other than to be disappointed when they don't match? Looks like all mine match, except the cleaning rod and it DOESN'T fit in the barrel. Should I just assume that it was mismatched somewhere in the past 92 years? Can I buy any replacement M96 cleaning rod and be okay?

2) All my numbers are '215'. Are those numbers unique to this, and only this, single rifle? (Am I crazy to think I can find parts with that number on them floating around?)

3) What accessories (if any) should I get to use on the threaded barrel?

Many thanks...8 hours ago was the first I'd ever really heard about the Mausers.
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Old September 7, 2012, 10:00 PM   #2
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welcome to Imho the finest most precision made bolt action rifles in the world! Nothing on the planet even comes close to the design perfection of a Mauser. The Swedish versions especially and the german ones particularly! they are the basis for many fine sporting rifles , always copied never surpased. I know someone is gonna pipe up and say Mosin Nagant is wonderful but for me there is no comparison . sounds like you got a real treasure there , good luck with it..............................LOUD
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Old September 7, 2012, 10:16 PM   #3
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You got one hell of a great rifle. It should be accurate. Not many left that haven't been butchered.

Cherish it.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
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Old September 8, 2012, 06:58 AM   #4
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Welcome to the Swede disease, ya can't own just one

To attempt to answer you Qs

1. The parts in most old military rifles were all marked with the serial number. It was common practice in an age where hand fitting was not uncommon.

Cleaning rod. The large end of the cleaning rod is not made for the barrel, it is for holding a patch to clean the chamber. The threaded end is made to accept an extension for cleaning the barrel.

2. the serial number on the reciever is unique to the rifle. All the smaller parts are stamped with the last 3 digits from that number. I suppose it may be possible to find replacements parts with the same three digits, but the odds are very low

3. As for accesories. Get a steel thread protector for the threaded muzzle, sling, some stripper clips, and bayonet. If your going to do alot of shooting with it, a taller front sight will help you get on target at 100 yards
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Old September 8, 2012, 09:26 AM   #5
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The "215" number is NOT the serial number. The serial number will be found on the receiver. Some nations also placed the serial number on the bolt body. However, the "215" is an ASSEMBLY number, NOT serial number.

Assembly numbers were used simply to keep parts distinguished from those of another rifle....AFTER the hand fitting process was completed....but BEFORE the parts went on for final finishing. So, at final assembly, the numbered parts could be matched to the receiver, etc., for which they had been fitted.

The reason for assembly numbers is that Mausers, unlike modern "assembly line" rifles, had to have many parts carefully fitted and worked over, to ensure proper function. The various bits could NOT be simply slapped together and expect the action to work properly or reliably. The hand fitting of parts also enhanced the smoothness of operation and reduced long-term wear (which seems obvious, when you think about it). Modern commercial guns in general are specifically designed to avoid this step - because it costs a lot of labor time (and therefore, a lot of $$).

Whether you wish to put it down to imprecise manufacture in the old days, or see it as a quality enhancement, that is the way they were. The upside is that, if you find and old Mauser with all matching parts, then barring any neglect, actual damage, or excessive wear.... it usually will function very well - and last nearly forever.

Last edited by wpsdlrg; September 8, 2012 at 09:36 AM.
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Old September 8, 2012, 09:53 AM   #6
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My current Swede is dated 1917. Great gun.

Marking several of the parts with the last 2 or 3 digits of the serial number is common to a lot of European military guns before WWII. Not done today, as far as I know.

What this tells the collector is that the parts either are, or are not the ones the gun left the factory with. It tells us that, with all matching numbers, the gun was never stripped down and reassembled with a bunch of others at a repair facility. Or had a platoon's worth of parts cleaned together in a common bath...because when these things happen, its rare to get all the right marked parts back in the right rifle. And, as long as it functions, the military is happy.

The threaded barrels were not for a suppressor, but rather for a training device. At one time, the Swedes used practice ammo with a wooden bullet. They screwed a "cap" on the muzzle that was made to shred the wood bullet into splinters, for safety. The common accessory is a thread protector, a plain or knurled steel ring that covers the threads. They are out there, and cheap.

I have no way of knowing if the cleaning rod is the right one. It is very, very common for some rod that fits the hole to have been stuck in there at some warehouse or distributor, or former owner, if the correct rod was missing.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old September 8, 2012, 09:59 AM   #7
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You will love the Swedish Mauser. Extremely accurate!

Post some pictures when you get a chance JFS0650
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Old September 8, 2012, 10:19 AM   #8
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You guys have me excited about this thing! Looks like all the numbers match except the sights and cleaning rod.

What's the best way to post pictures?

Also, the guy that gave it to me seemed to think the "spring" needed checking. But, it loads and ejects fine for me...haven't fired it yet. Should the loading platform / magazine bottom (not sure correct term) move freely? Mine freely moves 'see-saw' style, and also slides a small distance forward and backward as the bolt moves it. Unloaded I use a finger to close the bolt. Sound pretty normal?

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Old September 8, 2012, 01:37 PM   #9
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photo (1).JPG

photo (2).JPG

photo (3).JPG

Any one know for sure what kind of wood the stock is? Thanks.
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Old September 8, 2012, 01:55 PM   #10
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Also, can the bolt and other parts be 'shined'? Such as the bolt handle or should I leave them alone?
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Old September 8, 2012, 02:59 PM   #11
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It sounds like everything in the magazine in functioning properly. He might have meant the firing pin spring. You won't know that until you shoot it. If you have several fail to fires with light dents from the pin in the primer it may need a new spring. Shoot it first.
Polishing the metal parts is possible and easy, but it is detrimental to collector value. It's your gun do as you please unless you want it to remain collectable. Not sure what the wood is. Congratulations on the fine rifle.
You can't fix stupid....however ignorance can be cured through education!
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Old September 8, 2012, 08:58 PM   #12
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"...can the bolt and other parts be 'shined'?"

This is what a normal Swedish M96 looks like---

The bolt is supposed to be polished bright steel.
If your bolt has started to turn grey, no amount of shining will get it back to where it started and it's best to just oil it and let it be.

PS. "Any one know for sure what kind of wood the stock is?"
In photo #2, the wood looks like Beech, dyed dark brown.
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Old September 9, 2012, 05:50 PM   #13
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Wow...beautiful. What do you polish with?
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Old September 9, 2012, 08:21 PM   #14
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I use Johnson's paste wax on my guns.

See this for just about all there is to know about Swede Mausers:
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Old September 9, 2012, 08:37 PM   #15
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I love gun collecting and the internet. It is a vast library of information. When and before I get a firearm I will research it using So easy to do and so much information.
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Old September 10, 2012, 03:15 AM   #16
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Carl Gustav 6.5 x 55

Many year ago I bought a "sporterised" Carl Gustav 6.5x 55 imported into Australia , cut down and mounted on a synthetic stock.
It was cheap , but is lovely to shoot.
I was wondering what the origins of this gun are. The scope mounts cover some of the writing.CARL???????STADS
GEV??????ORI, Serial number KB 136284
Can anyone tell me more about it ?
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:37 AM   #17
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also a newbie to swedish mausers

JFS0650, as I am also a newbie to Swedish Mausers, (just bought one last week), so a few thoughts...

be sure to have it checked by a gunsmith for safety before firing, and get someone to familiarize you with safe handling of this particular rifle, including what are appropriate cartridges for the rifle.

especially, get some one good to show you about handling the bolt dissassembly. There are things which can go wrong, from bolt stuck in odd position and won't go back in gun, to sticking yourself with firing pin and drawing blood. (yes, I had to figure out how to recock a bolt pulled from gun in uncocked position, and no, did not stick myself. but I can see how the pin might be an issue, when cocked)

the more experienced guys on the forum live and breath safety...probably were going to get around to mentioning this sort of thing, as soon as they are no longer green with envy at your good fortune.

I have the understanding that these old Mausers are tough, etc. However, if it was just given to you, no good way to be sure the gun's history and what kinds of use and abuse it has endured in almost 100 years.

best regards

(p.s. mine is model 96, 1916, with threaded barrel, in very good Swedish cousins, I guess to your rifle. I paid 400, so you have a good find !)
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:52 AM   #18
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couple of other things, perhaps obvious if you are experienced with rifles:

do not run the cleaning rod in and out of the muzzle of the barrel...this can ruin the guns accuracy unless you buy or make a protector for the barrel.

the cartridge is actually 6.5 x 55 Swedish, sometimes shows as 6.5 x 55 SE

a thing to check...if the gun has no import marks, the value may be greater. import marks are usually stamped on the barrel somewhere. may be small and subtle. mine shows the importer marks on the side of the barrel, about 6 inches from the muzzle... C.A.I. ST. ALB. VT

I am told that nonmatching cleaning rods are no big deal for value of the rifle, but that if all of the other numbers match, it is a major plus to value anyway.

not being a collector, I suppose it really depends on the buyer and seller.

do not be tempted to dissamble, strip and sand the stock, mount a scope, etc, if you are interested in collecter value. In fact, other than normal cleaning of barrel (from the chamber end) and bolt, etc., don't change anything if seeking to retain value.

one other some part of the US, there are vintage military rifle competitions where you can target shoot and meet others with similar interests. look up Civilian Marksmanship Program website. Swedish 6.5 x 55 rifles apparently do well in these events.
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:35 PM   #19
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The markings on the brass disk are bore measurements, marked the last time the rifle was armory inspected. Do a search, there are some detailed posts about it, and how to read it. I used to know, but don't remember anymore..

I have one of the 96n Swedes too, mine dated 1917. Gun is like new, and shoots really well. Sights set down, and still ring the 400yd gong all day long.

If it still has the orginal front sight (and most do) expect it to shoot rather high at 100yds. "Zero" for the Swede was 300 meters.

You can get a replacement front sight blade, in a height so you won't have to aim low to hit the center of the bull at 100, but then you will have to learn how to hold for longer ranges, because the long range marks on the sight will be "off".
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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