On this episode of the Second Hand Showcase, we are looking at something that will soon go as extinct as the Dinosaur: The WWII Mauser Action.
After The Big One, the world was awash in war-time surplus. Doubly so with the loser’s equipment. Most today don’t recognize the effect this had on the firearms industry for multiple decades.
When a MILSURP collector in the early 21st Century gets on some gun forum, or gripes to his friends, about how some military collectible has been ruined by “fudds”. Or even questions the sanity or moral character of someone who wouldn “sporterize” something in 1950? That MILSURP collector is selfish, mal-educated, and trying to rewrite history to fit his world view.
Let me explain.
Not every MILSURP that ever existed was special or collectible. Not every MILSURP action you see in a sporter actually originated in a complete or working gun. Mauser rifles, in parts or complete, were in crates, on top of pallets, and stacked in warehouses world wide in 1946.
The Western powers gave away as many items as they could. And on many occasions, just dumped surplus into the oceans. None of this was special, unique or collectible. Your precious collectibles were piles of junk in the way.
When I was younger, I recall seeing WWI and WWII rifle actions readily available for those who wanted them. But even then, the desirability of having something “new”, “unissued” and made to spec was growing. Today? That’s the entire market. Nobody in the serious bolt-game world would even consider a WWI or WWII era action. Granted some of it is technology driven. But don’t kid yourself, much of it is because of cost and scarcity.
If a custom PRS rifle shop had pallets of Mausers out back for pennies on the dollar? Their marketing would talk about, “old world craftsmanship and forgings” that you can’t replicate today. Mated with modern CNC machining, truing and blueprinting services, how many cool kids would be winning matches attributed to unquantifiable “teutonic magic”? I suspect many.
But as the market sits now, it’s cheaper to make ‘em than to true-them. That’s because you can’t find them. Just ask Rigby & Sons.
This is more than an action. It’s one of the last of a breed of dinosaurs still walking the earth. Soon, they will be just a memory.
- Make: Mauser
- Model: 98.
- Bolt: Straight, non-matching.
- Ring Markings: BYF43
- Functional: Yes, appears to function.
- Condition: Used but in long-term packing grease.
If you wish to contact this FFL about this action, click here: