Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Vintage Custom Mauser

Ok, now humor me while I geek out on a beautiful piece of custom gun work. A long time ago somebody paid a pretty penny for this fine bit of what looks to be German or Austrian gunsmith art -- or at least in that tradition.

It brought back memories. The older man who got me into reloading and took me along on many of my early deer hunts had a very similar rifle. An 8mm-06 of Austrian craftsmanship with double set triggers and a similar stock (sans fancy scope and carving).

I apologize for the crude photography. This particular merchant of death must be saving on his power bill. I've been in better lit bars.

The wood and metal are in fine condition even though the blue is long gone. The metal is mostly in the white but not pitted.

First off look at the lovely butter knife bolt handle. Don't stop there.
Get a load of the double set triggers (sigh).
Try and look away from that scope and dovetail mounting system with see through mounts.

Go ahead. Take your eyes off it. I dare you.

HAH! Sorta like trying to maintain gentlemenly above the neckline eye contact while conversing with Jessica Simpson isn't it?
I forget what that mounting system is called. I do remember it's insanely expensive. Only seen nowadays on the finest bespoke rifles from the continent.
How about those classic open sights? Wake up in cold sweats at night dreaming of taking a shot at a onrushing dangerous game? Then those are the sights for you.

Next photo: get a load of the finely formed Schnabel forearm. Oooh-ahhh...
See that sling swivel soldered to the barrel?
Hard to make out in this shot but once more with feeling: Ooooh-ahhhh...

Finally a better look at the wood. Nicely figured walnut but not overly fancy -- still tightly grained enough to be strong and utilitarian for a magnum field rifle.

Here's the last big ticket item. A fine piece of wood working. Out of fashion these days but really a well executed piece of classic custom stockmaker's art.

Caliber? The barrel is stamped.338 mag. I dunno if that's a .338 Win Mag or a Norma Mag. This being a European piece of work, or at least heavily influenced by European style, I wouldn't be surprised if it's a .338 Norma Magnum but I don't know the history of that cartridge. The .338 Win Mag was introduced in 1958. This rifle and scope look to be that nearly old; at least as far as styling goes.

I reckon you couldn't touch it new for less than $4-5K these days. Maybe more. I dunno. That's not a market price point I venture into. You can have this one for just north of US$800.

1 comment:

John von Cannon said...

Nice workmanship--which is becoming a thing of the past! Just like in the day when Smith use to build great wheel guns with state of the art blue jobs that still hold up today!