Swedish Mauser

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Gevär m/96 (Model 1896 Rifle)
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Type Service rifle
Production history
Designer Paul Mauser
Designed 1896
Manufacturer Waffenfabrik Mauser Oberndorf a/n
Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori
Husqvarna Vapenfabriks AB
Produced 1898 to 1925
Variants m/1938 rifle, m/1941 sniper rifle, m/94 carbine.
Specifications
Weight 8lb. 13oz. (4 kg)
Length 49.6 (1260 mm)

Cartridge 6.5x55mm
Action Bolt action
Muzzle velocity 2380 ft/s (725 m/s)
Feed system 5-round internal box magazine
Sights square post front, U notch rear

"Swedish Mausers" are a family of bolt-action rifles based on the 1893 Mauser design, but using the 6.5x55mm cartridge, and incorporating unique design elements as requested by Sweden * [1]. These are the m/94 (Model 1894) carbine, m/96 (Model 1896) long rifle, m/38 (Model 1938) short rifle and m/41 (Model 1941) sniper rifle.[2]

These rifles, like other pre-1898 Mausers, "cock-on-closing" (similar to the contemporary Lee-Enfield rifle) instead of the "cock-on-opening" style found on the German Gewehr 98.

Contents

m/1894 Carbine

The m/1894 carbine was adopted in 1895 with the first 12,000 carbines being manufactured by Waffenfabrik Mauser Oberndorf a/n in Germany. All of this series of carbines were manufactured in 1895 only. A very few spare receivers dated 1895 were received from Mauser Oberndorf. A few of these 1895 receivers have been found built as m/1896 rifles having serial numbers falling into regular m/1896 rifle ranges. It is thought they were replacement receivers numbered the same as the replaced receiver, though this is not yet confirmed due to the extremely small number discovered so far.

In 1898 production began at Carl Gustafs stads Gevärsfaktori in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Production continued sporadically until 1918 and in very limited numbers afterward with receiver dates of 1929 and more so 1932. The highest 1918 serial number noted is 111,002. The m/94 carbines have a unique serial number sequence beginning with 1 and ending with the highest number so far noted 113,150 in 1932. There have been no carbines noted with receiver dates of 1902, 1905, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912 and 1913. It may be surmised that carbines produced from the end of regular production in 1918 until 1932 numbered about 2,150.

Some carbines have been lost from regular use by conversion to sub-caliber targeting & practice devises in artillery pieces. Many other carbines have been lost due to conversion to m/63 target rifles.

Sub variants

m/1894-14 carbines have a steel nose piece, not dissimilar to the No.1 Mk3 Lee-Enfield, with a protruding stud under the muzzle for the bayonet ring. There were two bayonets intended for the 94-14 carbine. The most prevalent was the m/1914 long bayonet. The second minor bayonet was the very long bladed m/1915 navy bayonet with the edge facing upwards.

m/1894-67: This was an 1894 carbine modified to accept the m/1867 yataghan blade saber bayonet. The modification involved a slot machined on the nose cap and a stud sleeve attached to the barrel. Numbers modified are unknown. Possibly only 100 or less. Several have shown up in the United States and one known in the Netherlands.

skolskjutningskarbin: So-called "school carbine". This carbine was manufactured for Swedish civilian schools for student training. All of these school carbines carry the receiver date of 1901. This model deviates from the standard m/1894 carbine in several ways. The serial number is prefixed with S and runs S.1 to S.1161 and possibly a few more. The serial number appears as S.500 on the left side-rail of the receiver. The bolt handle is the same straight handle of the m/1896 rifle. The sling swivels are on the bottom of the stock just as on the m/1896 rifle. There is no bayonet attachment. Many of these carbines have been found rebuilt as standard m/1894-14 carbines and in one case as a Carl Gustaf m/63 target rifle (CG63).

Kammarkarbin: also known as "gallery carbine". Unique serial numbers prefixed by K. Total number produced is unknown with the highest reported serial number being K.193 currently in a private collection in the United States. One has been reported in Switzerland. Carbine K.91 is in the Carl Gustaf factory museum in Sweden. Other differences from the standard m/1894 carbine include the stock being dyed black. The rifling rate of twist is about 4 times faster than the m/1894 carbine due to the unique bullet and much slower velocity of the special cartridge intended for this carbine. The only two receiver dates noted so far are 1898 and 1901.

1894/96 Fortress Carbine: Another variant produced in unknown numbers and unknown years of production. This carbine is very similar to the standard m/1894 except in the manner of sling attachment. This carbine uses sling attachment identical to the skolskjutningskarbin as the sling swivels are on the bottom of the stock instead of the side. The lower sling swivel is placed much further up the buttstock nearer the triggerguard than the m/1896 rifle.

Weapons Officers carbines: These standard m/1894 carbines were hand-built by weapons officers as part of their training. Instead of having serial numbers the name of the weapons officer is the identifying "serial" mark. Most all the parts are marked with the two letters of the officer's name and in some cases with a + sign. These carbines are among the most valuable of collectible m/1894 carbines.

m/1894 carbine use today by the Swedish army seems restricted to the 1st Kavalry, the Liv Guard, who's duty is to protect the royal palace in Stockholm. This duty is not only ceremonial as the carbines carried are fully loaded, chambered, cocked with safety "on".

m/96 Long Rifle

The Model 1896 rifle (6,5 mm Gevär m/96) was adopted in 1896 for infantry use, replacing the Model 1867-89 Remington rolling block rifle. Swedish production (under license) started in 1898 at Carl Gustafs, but additional rifles were produced by Mauser during 1899 and 1900 because of delays in shipping additional production machinery from Germany to Sweden.[3]

Standard production at Carl Gustafs continued until 1925, but approximately 18,000 m/96 rifles were manufactured by Husqvarna Vapenfabriks AB during World War II for civilian marksmanship training.[4]

m/38 Short Rifle

The Model 1938 rifle (6,5 mm Gevär m/38) was adopted in 1938 as part of a worldwide trend (which began just before World War I) towards service rifles that were shorter in overall length than a standard infantry rifle, but longer than a cavalry carbine. Contemporary examples such as the Karabiner 98k, Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk III, and Mosin-Nagant M91/30 were all noticeably shorter than a standard late 19th century infantry rifle, and with another war on the horizon the Swedes felt it would be expedient to adopt a shorter rifle for use by mechanized troops and the Navy.

The original m/38 rifles (Type I) were converted m/96 rifles with barrels cut down by 5.5" (139mm) and almost always with the original straight bolt handles. These rifles are often referred to by collectors as "m/96-38" rifles, but there was never an official designation for this conversion.[5] The majority of purpose-built m/38s (Type II) were equipped with bent bolt handles and manufactured by Husqvarna Vapenfabriks, with production ending in 1944. However, the Swedish military made no distinction in service between the two types.[6]

m/41 and m/41B Sniper Rifles

The m/41 and m/41B sniper rifles were m/96 rifles selected for accuracy and fitted with a telescopic sight, either the German AJACK 4x m/41, or the Swedish AGA 3x m/42 and m/44 scopes.[7]

The m/94 carbine and the m/96 and m/38 rifles were gradually phased out of Swedish service starting in the 1950s until the early 1980s. They were succeeded by the AG-42 semi-automatic rifle beginning in the late 1940s, followed by the AK 4 battle rifle starting in the 1960s.

Civilian Versions

Both the m/96 and m/38 rifles are highly sought after by military rifle shooters and hunters. The 6.5x55mm is an ideal all-round hunting rifle cartridge, as it has a flat trajectory, low recoil, and high accuracy. Many rifles in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa have been sporterized to make deer (or similar game) hunting rifles, and many firearms manufacturers, including SAKO, Ruger and Winchester, produce new hunting rifles chambered in this cartridge.

Many m/94 and m/96 rifles were successfully converted by Carl Gustafs and Norma into the CG 63 Competition Rifle chambered in 6.5x55mm and 7.62x51mm NATO. These rifles are known to be very accurate, with heavy free-floating barrels, diopter sights (many models), target stocks and tuned triggers.

Husqvarna also made commercial m/94 and m/96 versions available as sporting rifles called Model 46 and its variants (Models 46A, 46AN and 46B) in 6.5x55mm, 9.3x57mm and 9.3x62mm. After World War II they used m/96 and m/38 actions without thumb notch to create the Model 640 series (646 in 6.5x55mm, 648 in 8x57mm, 649 in 9.3x62). These are not to be confused with the late-production Model 640 using FN Herstal M98 actions. Stiga also made sporterized versions in popular calibers, which are very well finished and balanced.

References

  1. "Mauser Bolt Rifles by Ludwig Olsen, 3rd edtion, F. Brownell and Son, Publisher, p. 81
  2. Jones, D: Crown Jewels: The Mauser in Sweden, pp. 37, 59, 81, 93. Collector Grade Publications, 2003.
  3. Jones, p. 66
  4. Jones, p. 76
  5. Jones, p. 82
  6. Jones, p. 83
  7. Jones, pp. 95, 97

Further reading

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