Chin Weld

I like this old photo for what it shows and what it doesn’t. On it’s surface, we see the most famous of rifle ever created, the Mauser bolt action, configured as a sniper. Probably being used by a Axis soldier during WWII. Is there any higher technical level of small arms achievement than a sniper in war?

Now for what it doesn’t show: A cheek weld. It shows a chin weld. Sporting a borderline crappy optic featuring an even crappier single post reticle. On mounts that are too high for the objective in question.

My point? While sometimes newer isn’t always better, the same can be said for the “good old days”. It’s one thing to be romantic about items and gear being “period correct”. But very quickly, that goal directly conflicts with modern performance and accuracy standards.

As a collector, that rifle is cool. But if I was handed that rifle with orders to do the best I could against the enemies of The Republic, immediately I would be grabbing some duct tape and kitchen sponges to build a solid cheek piece.

Don’t mix your pleasures.

“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Marky Mark

Marky Mark

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Writer for Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

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  • Brennen Munro

    The British Troopers working as snipers had a shaped piece of wood that had two metal pins that lined up with holes drilled into the stock. They would drop the piece into place, add the leather cover, and it gave them a proper cheek weld onto the rifle stock. I am not sure if they all had this, but I have seen many that did, enough that it appeared to me to be a uniformally adopted fix.


    • Yes they did. I have seen a number of them. Also, the M41b Swede Sniper had a crazy looking cheek piece made of leather that functionally resembled stock packs of today.


  • Randy Shadoe

    “Skorzeny flat did not believe me when I described how U.S. snipers in Vietnam were getting kills on occasion over 1000 yards. “Brown, he said, I had most effective snipers on the Eastern Front but they never were effective over 300 meters. 1,000 meters is impossible!” Well, we argued for a while but I could not convince him.” – Robert K. Brown

    • Depends on terrain and other factors. But in the real world, a 1000 yard shot on a human is not the stuff of your average Fudd. Regardless of what the gun forums would have you believe. So in practical terms, the dirty-Nazi is correct.


  • Conner

    Probably has nothing to do with the subject being discussed here but that’s one reason I enjoy your forum. Keeping in mind that I just woke up and am on my first cup I’m seeing some things that stick out as I take (or took) my first glance at this old photo. First, the Mauser looks like a brand new refurb Mitchells Mauser M48. The scope looks to be a replica Hensoldt Wetzlar and I have no idea about the ring or a mounts. Also, understanding that snipers are never wanting to look the part, I have to say I’ve never seen a German soldier wearing sweat pants, sneakers and what looks like a Military surplus American Army jacket. Nothing he’s wearing has any German markings on it. If he’s trying not to look German he should know the German helmet is a dead give away. At the risk of sounding “racist” or being accused of “profiling” I have to add that this fella does not look like the typical blue eyed blond German that Hitler either bred or recruited. Anyway Marky, I’m not trying to put down your photo here. I’m just having some fun. I found it interesting enough to grab my Mauser to compare with your photo in the living room here with my wife staring at me like ‘uh-oh, the old man finally broke’! 🙂 Okay. I’m ready for you guys to tell me where I’m wrong. (be gentle) 🙂

    • I don’t know about about Germans to know if you are wrong or not. You may very well not be?! But what I’m talking about is how the stock (by his face) is actually not connecting. One thing that makes rifles “more accurate” is 4 points of contact on the shooter. 2 hands. Shoulder. And cheek weld. The scope is so high he doesn’t have any contact there. And at most, he might pull off a “chin-weld”.

      We are smarter today.

      But you know…you comment has me looking at the pic.