The Mauser Sporter—Mauser 98-08 and Other Sporting Rifles

The following information on Mauser sporters comes from Chapter 24 of Mauser Rifles and Pistols by W. H. B. Smith. Mauser Rifles and Pistols is also available to purchase in print.

Genuine Mauser sporting rifles as made before and after World War I are among the finest weapons ever produced.

They were made in a very wide range of calibers, many of which are not manufactured in the United States.

The types and calibers generally marketed in this country are listed below:

Type A Mauser Sporter

This design was made in Germany specifically for foreign markets. It was finished much better than those for home consumption. Various types of sights were provided and this design was made in both single-trigger and double set-trigger types. The stock usually has a cheekpiece which is full checkered and a capped pistol grip. The fore-end tip is horn-capped. Sling swivels are provided, one on the barrel and the other on the stock. The usual barrel length of this type is 24-inches, round, although a later rifle with 22-inch barrel was also provided.

Mauser Sporter Type A Model 98-08

Type A Model 98-08. Mauser Magazine Rifle With Telescope: This model with telescope and set triggers was designed for precision game shooting. Except for the triggers, it is mechanically the same as the Gewehr 98. Stocks, calibers, general specifications and magazine floor plate release systems vary to a tremendous degree; but the mechanics are the same generally.

The standard calibers of the 24-inch was as follows: 7x57mm (.276), 8x60mm (.315), 9x57mm (.355), 9.3x62mm (.366), 10.75x68mm (.423), .280 Ross, .30-06 U.S., .318 W.R., and .404 Eley.

With the 22-inch barrel calibers were: 6.5x54mm (.256), and 8x51mm (.315); also .250-3000 Savage.

These rifles weighed about 7.25 to 7.75 pounds.

Mauser Sporter Caliber Details

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A table of ballistics for their cartridges is listed above. Ammunition when available may be obtained from the Stoeger Arms Corporation 507 Fifth Ave., New York, New York.

 Type B Mauser Sporter

The Type B was manufactured in a variety of patterns.

Mauser Sporter Type B Model 98-08

Type B Model 98-08. Mauser Magazine Rifle. Hunting Type With Quick Detachable Magazine Bottom For Rapid Magazine Unloading: In this type pushing a lever below the magazine bottom permits the bottom and magazine follower and spring to come out and permits removal of the cartridges without the necessity of working them through the action. Special hunting sights were furnished on this Model. As modified after 1924, this design has the wide gas flange issued in that year. Photograph from original Mauser records.

They were made for the following cartridges: 7x57mm (.276), 8x60mm (.315), 9x57mm (.355), 9.3x62mm (.360), 10.75x68mm (.423). The first pattern was supplied with 24-inch round barrel, silver bead foresight on matted block, pear-shaped bolt knob, hinged magazine bottom plate with lever release, walnut stock with cheekpiece, full checkered and steel capped pistol grip, hard rubber butt plate and sling swivels.

This type had dual set triggers. One model had leaf sights up to 300 yards, while another had a tangent curve sight up to 1000 yards.

Mauser Sporter Model 98-08 receiver closed

Model 98-08. Mauser Sporting Rifle. Right Side Receiver View With Action Closed: This model is fitted with set triggers to permit an extremely light pull instead of the customary military two-stage trigger pull. The stock is of light weight sporting design and much better finished than the military issue.

The second pattern of this type B was the same as the first pattern except that a single trigger was used.

The third type was the same except that the barrel was half octagon. This was a set trigger model.

Pattern four had a single trigger and a full octagon barrel.

Pattern five was the same as pattern four with full octagon barrel but had set trigger.

Mauser Sporter Model 98-08 receiver clip

Model 98-08. Mauser Hunting Rifle With Set Triggers. Right Side View With Action Open And Clip Inserted In Guide Ready For Magazine Loading: When the cartridges have been stripped down by the thumb into the magazine, a forward thrust on the bolt handle will knock the empty clip out of the clip guide. Note details of the famous third rear safety lug on bolt cylinder ahead of handle, and also of bolt travel guide rib on bolt cylinder. Except for the set triggers, all mechanical parts of this model interchange with the standard German military type. Note: Magnum actions and special sporting cartridge designs are not commonly clip loaded.

 Type K Mauser Sporter

The type K was a light weight short rifle with a 21.5-inch barrel. Other characteristics were the same as for the type A. It was made in single trigger and hair set-trigger type; also with round, partly round, partly octagon and full octagon barrels.

Mauser Sporter Type K

Type K Mauser Hunting Rifle With Single Trigger And Hunting Sights: This type was developed with lever operated magazine bottom release, special forestock, sights and sling swivels for general hunting use. “Kurz” or short actions are essentially reduced size military receivers and bolts. The original idea of using a shorter than standard action to reduce weight and speed operation was developed at Steyr in Austria, where 1910 Mexican and 1912 Serbian rifles were built. The current Yugoslav military action is shorter than the standard Kar. 98K.

The type K was furnished only in calibers 6.5x54mm (.256), 8x51mm (.315), and .250-3000 Savage.

Note: The “K” action is identical with the standard but is shorter and lighter. “K” here means “kurz” or “short”.

 Type M Mauser Sporter

The type M was made with both single trigger and set triggers and with leaf sights or tangent curved sights. It is unusual in that the stock extends to the muzzle. The barrel is round and is 20-inches long. A silver bead front sight on a matted block is standard. The bolt handle is flat, another characteristic. The hinged magazine bottom plate has a lever release. The walnut stock has a checkered cheekpiece. The pistol grip is steel capped. The steel plate is ribbed and has a trap for cleaning rod which may be screwed together. Sling swivels are provided.

This model was made in the following calibers: 6.5x54mm (.256), 7x57mm (.276), 8x51mm (.315), 8x60mm (.315), and 9x57mm (.355).

Mauser Sporter Type M 98-08

Type M Model 98-08. Mauser Hunting Rifle: This model varies from the previous ones only in furniture and sights. Note that it is equipped with sling swivels for carrying-sling and is stocked to the muzzle. This is an accepted feature in many fine European hunting rifles. Recent 615 Models are the same as this except for wider gas flange. Photos are from original Mauser records.

 Type S Mauser Sporter

This model is practically the same as the type M except for checkering and bolt handle shape. This type was also made with flat bolt handle but may be encountered with pear shaped bolt handle. The wooden stock extends to the muzzle of the 20-inch barrel where it is joined with a steel cap. This type weighs about 7-pounds. For the U.S. trade it was manufactured in caliber .30-06 U.S. The selling price for this caliber was about $175, or about $25 higher than for the other calibers.

Mauser Sporter Type S 98-08

Type S Model 98-08. Mauser Sporting Rifle. Right Side View: This is the original Mauser Sporting Rifle using the Model 98 action, mechanical parts of which are interchangeable with the German military types; but it is fitted with sporting sights and stocks and with double set triggers. Though seldom seen in the U.S., this is a popular European sporting style. Calibers cover the entire range of foreign ammunition, since many of these weapons were barreled to order.

 The Mauser Sporter Magnum Action

The so called “Magnum Action” is identical in all respects with the standard Mauser except for size and weight, being designed for super-power cartridges. It was used on type A rifles in calibers 10.75x68mm and .404 Jeffery.

On special order Mauser-Magnum actions were also provided in the U.S. for the .280 Ross or the 318 W.R. Express. The American selling price of these Magnums was about $250.00. This is approximately double the cost of the standard action.

Mauser Model 98-08 Target Rifle

Model 98-08. Mauser Repeating Rifle. Army Type Target Rifle With Long Barrel: This design was originally issued for target shooting and sniping. It is provided with the hunting-type magazine bottom release lever. This type of rifle was designed for hunters seeking a sporter approximating their familiar service rifle in length, weight and general external design.

The only differences in design required by use of Magnum receivers develops where very large cartridges are used. When stacking in double or staggered rows would make the rifle too bulky, receivers are modified to use a box magazine extending below the line of the stock.

Receivers are all basically short, standard or Magnum lengths and weights, but each is specially milled for the cartridge used.

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Mauser Sporting Rifles

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