The Mauser And Its Derivatives and The Lee Enfield And Its Different Models. (Culled from Erich's Reflections On The Past Hunting Season).
I transferred the following comments from Erich's original here as we have been overburdening his very nice thread; and because the subject is not nearly exhausted:
Edited: 4 days ago
In fact the Mausers the Boers ordered were all 1895 having a stacked magazine, but based on the 1893. The only Spanish Mauser was the 1892. Model 1895s were produced by Mauser Waffenfabrik. the Ludwig Loewe Company (the corporate owners of Mauser).
In 1896 the Boers ordered 70,000 Mauser rifles and carbines from Ludwig Loewe, later known as Deutsche Waffen-und Munitionfabriken (DWM), about 55,000 of which were delivered. Despite being called the “Model 1895″ by most sources, the vast majority of these used the earlier 1893-style receiver and bolt, and in official documents they are often referred to as “Model 93/95 Mausers.”
They differed from the Spanish model primarily in the style of the rear sight.Rifles ordered by the Orange Free State were marked “O.V.S” above the serial number and directly below it on the stock, while those delivered to the Transvaal had an A, B, or C letter prefix preceding their serial number. Because of manufacturing dates stamped on their receivers, South African sources often refer to them as “Model 1896″ or “Model 1897″ Mausers.
On demand by Genl. Christiaan de Wet some of the last Mauser rifles delivered to the Boers were equipped with turned-down bolt handles to make them more suitable for use by mounted men. The ones that were not had the bolt handles turned down by the Boer gunsmiths. DWM re-marked many undelivered rifles and sold them to Chile, and that is why some rifles from Chile show the OVS inscription.
There is no weak 1893-1896 action - many are still in use in South Africa managing all kinds of modern high pressure cartridges. There is no stretching or bolt compression. The only disadvantage it has compared to the '98 is the lack of a gas shield at the rear in case of a blown primer. That is easily fixed with a chamber outlet hole.
On the Enfield groove diameter: I have never seen any Enfield barrel here that had anything other than maximum .312" and in fact most are .311". Because of the drive bands my Peregrine bullets are .312" but the PMP manufactured bullets are all .311".
The South African manufactured .303 PMP with .311" Mk. VII bullets was the only ammunition allowed at all the Bisley 100-1000 yard international events. In fact the present event shot with 7.62x51 Nato is also solely supplied by PMP. There is no difference in the Savage made bolt and action to the Lee Enfield No. 4 design. In time I shall post a photo of the bolt of my Enfield and I am sure Michael will find that it is exactly similar to his. Should there be any change it certainly is not from Savage.
Andries: 4 days ago
Michael wrote: "My Gunsmith was aware that it was not case hardened steel and cautioned me to the effect that even though he did it, the receiver might stretch."
I assume a case of American vs. European terminology as used by the gunsmith: Case hardening is a unique American process. No European receiver or bolt, from the beginning to the present has ever been "case hardened". They were all perfectly heat treated though.
The German heat treatment process has always been done impeccably correctly and even though the 1894/5 were not as hard as the '98 these actions show no plastic deformation in the many conversions to high pressure cartridges done here. Having said that: the even more fussy Swedes did not trust the Germans with the 1896 Carl Gustaf 6.5x55 built under contract and supplied them with Swedish steel!
4 days ago
The gunsmith's name was "Swamp Scott", a machinist by trade, who was well aware of the various steels, heat treatment procedures and the history of the Mauser. Me being rather uneducated in that department, he no doubt simplified. Unfortunately, he was killed while saving his niece from a rip-tide in a flash flood about ten years ago. He was one of the last real gunsmiths in our area, there being only one other capable of building a rifle from the receiver while cutting and sighting a new Vanadium Steel barrel.
They are all gone now.
The rifle I am speaking about does have something like O.V.S. stamped quite deeply on the receiver. When I get back home I will take a look. It is an extremely light 7x57, with a Duracoat type coating and a camo stock.
4 days ago
OVS? Then THAT 7x57 is a shooter with a grand history, Michael. With 170 gr PMP Pro-Amm factory ammunition it will completely penetrate every wildebeest, kudu, zebra, oryx this side of 150 yards.
4 days ago
Edited: 4 days ago
Well the 7x57JS has the turn down bolt and was (still is) a carbine, but no ovs. Serial No. is C2308, a very early one I expect. Guess I should have kept it in original configuration. All other markings have been filled by the very hard micro-coating. It's not really actual Duracoat paint. The new barrel had no blueing, so I had the barrel and receiver sand blasted and micro-coated sniper grey. The cammo is also dark grey with leaf prints. It is purely a hunter / shooter now.
Andreis has seen the Ruger I have that was coated in this fashion.
Andries I know the bolt is the same (well the length of the bolt face maybe not), however
I believe the receiver cut to remove (turn it for removal) it is in a different place on the Savage. I know for certain it was different to remove the bolt on that older (I think No. 1 Mark I or at least it looked like also a Lee Metford but was not) and the No. 1 Mark III that I have - than the Savage. That is confusing, I know. That's kinda why I love the Enfields. I even had a P17 Enfield that was in 30-06!
4 days ago.
The early Savages had the standard #4 plunger at the right rear of the receiver for bolt removal. To cut production time Savage asked for some modifications, the change to the slot in the right receiver rail instead of the plunger was one of them. Long Branch made the exact same modified rifle.
4 days ago
Exactly so, t75. Mine is in the receiver rail.
2 days ago.
I think I have seen the later Long Branch / Savage bolt with the larger bodied bolt head for better finger hold which has a sear which simply clicks over the rail, saving the need of a certain level of two-hand dexterity. No need to first push the plunger down and retract the bolt so that the bolt head can be rotated to the vertical for bolt removal. It was only the later 7.92x57 Mauser that carried the "JS" suffix to distinguish it from the standard 1888 model 227 gr round nose bullet and the case having a slightly larger shoulder diameter.
In fact the letters were "IS" - but JS came about from wrong interpretation by English speaking countries of the Gothic style of the letter "I" used by CIP. The "S" indicated "Spitzergeschoss" (pointed bullet" as opposed to round nose bullet). The 7x57 never carried the "JS" nomenclature as it never has a pointed bullet but the 173 gr round nose.
Michael's perfect "Africa rifle" in my opinion is perfect in more than one way: First, the 30-06 is the absolute perfect cartridge for the 12 elk size big game with bullet weights in the 165-180gr category. Secondly, the 30-06 is the identical ballistic twin of the 7.92x62mm Mauser. The Ruger M77 action is simply the American Mauser - an improvement on the 1903 Springfiled action in terms of simplicity.
Michael - if the Chilean engraving is on your 7x57 rifle then it was on route to South Africa via Chile, but that vessel got impounded and found its way to the US. Have a look at the gas escape port in the chamber - that may give us further clues as to its origins.
a day ago
Edited: a day ago
The ship(s) that had the cargo of Mausers was not let thru the British blockade. The rifles were returned to Germany then resold to Chile (with the Chilean crest on the receivers now) where most remained in storage until the 50s & 60s when they were sold to US surplus firearms dealers. Yes, it was DWM and they got lucky with a resale and not having thousands of them in the warehouse. And in my memory somewhere I seem to recall that some did have the OVS and the odd Chilean 93 has been seen with OVS. The 2 at this house do not.
Oh, here is a link of the Savage and Long Branch bolt removal cut in the right rail. Andries, I think you might be thinking of the #1 mk 3 bolt head. It was oversize. http://enfielditis.net/SAVAGEPAGE.htm
20 hours ago
Ahhh...thank you Tom - I learned something new about the shipments meant for Genl. Christiaan de Wet that had the OVS stamp and then the Chilean crest of arms added. Those shipments are a fascinating research in itself with quite a few twists in the tail or tale.
I shall check out that mod asked for by Savage and then put out to Long Branch too by the Brits.
I am going to remove a 1/4 spiral from the plunger spring in my action. The plunger is too tiny and the spring quite stiff to compress.
16 hours ago
I find that same problem with My No. 1 Mark III, Andries. Makes getting the bolt out almost impossible. The Savage I have is really simple and easy with that rail cut out. I should probably go ahead and convert that one, but since I don't really need another hunting rifle - it hangs on the wall too.
13 hours ago
Hold off on the converting if it is in a decent condition. Many have turned a $600 rifle into a $100 rifle by sporterizing. However I am not trying to tell you what to do with your property but those in good original condition are appreciating in price here in the US due to the collector market and the internet.
Andries, you have a #4 mk1 Savage which was early and pre #4 mk1* Savage & Long Branch that had the ease of manufacturing modifications, including a 2 groove barrel.
10 hours ago
After having consumed thousands of PMP cordite propellant triggered by fulminate of mercury (so-called corrosive) primers during its first 50 years of life, and only in the past 20 years modern Somchem stuff the throat is still pristine and the rifling sharp and shiny like new. It really is a very accurate shooter.
With the military ammunition I only used "Young's .303" to clean the bore and then Ballistol oil as a preservative and copper remover, and with the modern propellants I bronze brush the bore with normal kerosene (paraffin) and clean all out with Ballistol.
Erich I trust all the chats are still within your your original line of interest - I could move the discussion to "Reliable Rifles" and if we have a great deal more to chat about I may do so.
Tom, will you check the shops or Brownell's for Young's .303 gun oil? Like Ballistol it is a water soluble oil and also good for black powder guns.
10 hours ago
Edited: 9 hours ago
Nada here except I think from Brownells. I think it and Ballistol are water based which would explain the corrosive salt removal in your bore, however I could be wrong regarding the water base on both. For some reason which I have not yet determined, it seems that the Long Branch rifles are a bit preferred probably due to the barrels, which makes no sense as those rifles and the Savage are identical. Made on identical machinery. Almost as if they were the same company, which they weren't, just close cooperation.
Might be a good idea to move as we have taken this several degrees off from Erich's op, which was interesting in itself.
2 hours ago
My thoughts exactly, Tom. No need to convert the rifle. I did those back when I could not afford a good commercial rifle. I purchased the Savage for the purpose of mil spec competition but never really pursued that. Especially since I later acquired a 1942 Springfield Armory rebuilt Springfield O3 (not A3) with a 4 groove barrel. This one has a sword bayonet with a rawhide sheath. So cool, heh. It out shoots the Savage going away, but then I have not accurized either one. If I got the 303 dies and the right bullets, I am sure the Savage would improve.
For that matter there is also the long WWII German 98 Mauser service rifle that shoots very well indeed! Not pretty, and quite cumbersome though. My father passed away recently and he was a collector. The list is long, and some have never been fired.
All that aside, the Enfields appeal to me for some reason. Like Andries has said, the action is very fast.
As for the oils, I find that Hopps #9 works fine on copper (smells awefull), and M-Pro 9 is a miracle with powder and brass (no smell). Tetra Gun Lube is good for penetration and moderate storage. Rem Oil goes on while hunting.