The following information comes from the Conclusion of Mauser Rifles and Pistols by W. H. B. Smith. Mauser Rifles and Pistols is also available to purchase in print.
Every Mauser rifle, pistol and revolver ever manufactured on a production basis has been pictured or adequately described in this book.
If you encounter a genuine Mauser weapon not listed herein, you have a hand built experimental weapon discarded by Mauser as unsatisfactory; and probably brought here by one of our soldiers who picked it up after the Mauser factory had been visited by our troops.
If you have a Browning, Colt, Savage or similar pistol with the Mauser trademark on it together with the actual maker’s name, you merely have a weapon originally bought by Mauser for study and marked with its property stamp. Mauser didn’t make it.
This book is the only source of data in English on the history of Mauser, and it goes far beyond any data ever published in German.
Where dimensional data is not provided, as in the case of receiver lengths, it is because Mauser specifications were based on special steels and known cartridge ballistics; to publish this data generally might result in its improper use by unqualified gunsmiths.
Americans readily understand that the Springfield today differs so little mechanically from those made 40 years ago that the description of one essentially covers all.
Curiously, many Americans fail to realize that the same thing applies to Mauser 98 weapons. Every attempt has been made herein to show the very minor internal differences in Mauser rifles of various periods and calibers. The receiver bridge may be squared off as in some Mausers made for export; sights differ; bolt handles have different shapes; sling positions vary; lengths and weights differ; magazine releases are of button, stud or lever type. But the rifles themselves are nearly alike. Except that after 1924 the gas flanges on the bolt plugs are larger and the magazine followers hold the bolt open when the magazines are empty, any design differences in the series from 1898 to 1944 are those connected with simplification of manufacture. Since such minor modifications vary with every plant which ever made Mauser type actions or parts, it is not practical to list them.
The ammunition for Mauser and Mauser System rifles could not be more than touched upon in a book of this size and type. Those interested in even sampling the range of foreign cartridge data are herewith referred to the DWM and RWS catalogs which, while they contain an enormous amount of data, do not even scratch the surface. Thousands of foreign gunsmith built rifles on Mauser and Mauser type actions, and a summary of the caliber combinations or rifle specifications is as difficult as it is useless.
Finally, the reader’s attention is called to the fact that many of the illustrations used were made by Mauser years ago; a fact which may interfere somewhat with reproduction, but which provides an historical guarantee of authenticity.