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The 2 Must Have Mauser Rifle Books for Collectors.

Every now and then we have a request for a special rifle project. Historically over 90% of the bolt action rifles we have built, have been done so based on one of the variations of the Mauser 98 action. There are 4 variations of the Oberndorf commercial Mauser action, the Kurtz (small), Intermediate, Standard and Magnum. For special projects it is always a consideration for us to use, if available, an original Oberndorf action. I am sure many will cringe at the thought of breaking up a really good example of an original Mauser rifle but my thoughts are that unless they are in very special condition they can have a better and new lease of life, if made into something new.

2 Books for Mauser Enthusiasts

The 2 'Bibles' for checking what you have before you break up a really rare example are shown above, together with an original Kurtz action Mauser, a rifle which is 'currently under consideration' for the new life process!

Any of you with an interest in English sporting rifles should consider adding these books to your library.

Olson. Mauser Bolt Rifles.

Jon Speed. Mauser. Original Oberndorf Sporting Rifles.


  • Ned Cowell on March 10, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    I am always on the lookout for good reference material - so thank you for the tip!

    May I ask, why are older actions better that newly manufactured ones? Mauser 98 actions are still being made, are they not, so why is it ever necessary to break up an old rifle?

    All the best.


    • Simon Clode on March 10, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      I don't know if there is a sensible answer to this question. My thoughts are, yes, the Mauser 98 action is made today in various guises and they are all (well mostly) very good, we use them regularly. In some cases the manufacturer has 'made improvements' this in turn alters sizes and thus shapes, I think it is a case of making their mark on the product which they have every right to do. I do however feel and have always said to anyone making a new Mauser 98 that they should just copy the original - exactly, as it was a perfect action.

      Personally I like the rolling on of the name and the matting on the square bridges, and the original commercial actions are just slick as whistles in the feed. I like the new design of bottom metal more than the old though.

      Lastly I would add that most of the actions we do break up are beyond repair, the stocks may be bust or the rifling shot out and the expense of doing any work is not compensated by the resale value. A really good original Mauser has value but when restocked or re-barreled it doesn't, The value is similar to a new action so well worth considering for use.

      • Edward Cowell on March 11, 2016 at 6:11 am

        Thank you for taking the time to reply. I am familiar with the idea of re-cycling parts of old service rifles to perpetuate their working lives, and to derive continuing benefit from nice original parts. It is interesting to hear that something similar occurs in the top echelons of the rifle world!

        Kind regards


        • George on February 12, 2019 at 6:43 pm

          I think you'll find Ned to answer your original question and expand on Simons rebuttal; quality being more or less the same (perhaps even more so in regards to new metals and heat treating).

          Forgetting for a moment that new 98's are available from Mauser today but the saying goes that "there is only one Mauser, all other are copies" having original roll marks ect add a signifiant resale value here in my country, extended slightly to other German arsenal houses (see Lowe, Amberg, Enfurt/Erma) ect.

          The second is a combination of financial investment and collectibility of a old B or A Mauser. What might write off a O.K. gun could be quite mild but completely ruin the "collectibility" a split stock, water damage or even blueing issues can cost more than the purchase price to fix. So with the exception of a heirloom piece non of these rifles will be restored to original; hence so I personally believe its lovely to see them reborn in their new guises.

  • Keith on March 12, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I have Speed's book as it was recommended by a collector friend as an excellent reference book if you were collecting English magazine rifles or wanted to know anything about Mauser rifles and actions. I has been a great help. Thank you for the tip on the Mauser Bolt rifle book. I just ordered a copy from Brownell's. They have them on sale right now. Looking forward to adding it to my library.

    Check out page 234 of Speed's book pic 504 and 507 and guess where that rifle now resides. It was once owned by Jon Speed and it has clips.


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