Most everyone knows that the Israeli’s were given a hodgepodge of weaponry. They were flooded with thousands of left over K98 Mauser rifles after the war, and used them to great effect.
In the 1950’s when they adapted the FN-FAL as their service rifle, they had the Mausers converted to 7.62x51mm.
That made sense for several reasons. First, the 8mm Mauser rifles were pretty worn out; and since they were using 7.62 ammo, they needed uniformity. Second, Instead of having 8mm for the mausers and 30-06 for the Browning MG’s, they needed to use one basic rifle round to resolve supply issues. Third, their largest military supplier switched to the what would eventually be known as the 7.62×51 NATO standard.
While they were converting the Mauser rifles over, they would carve, “762” into the stock for a quick ID on which rifle used which ammo. I could go into more detail but that’s a brief history of the German Mauser being pressed into service for Israel.
That brings me to our Israeli Mauser. In the 1950’s Israel contracted with FN to have more made. They used left over German parts but the barrel and receiver were newly made by FN, chambered in 7.62x51mm, and sported the IDF receiver crest.
This is the model we acquired. It was made in 1958 and someone along the line heavily refinished the rifle. The stock is a standard German stock that sports a very thick layer of varnish.
The metal shows signs of pitting but that’s very common as many of these rifles left Israel and were sent to Central and South America in the late 60’s and 70’s. They were poorly treated and eventually made their way to the US surplus market.
Our example shows that abuse but whoever refinished it did a really good job. The milsurp collector and/or purist will hate it being refurb’d. But from our point of view as a shooter and reference gun, it works for us.
The rifle is in great shape but the bolt has some slop in it so a headspace check is in order; but other than that, it’s ready to hit the range. Add another milsurp, “308 conversion” to the rack in the armory.
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